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    Marc Hulet adjusts (and updates) his prospect list for fantasy purposes.
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C  -  1B  -  2B  -  SS  -  3B  -  OF  -  SP  -  RP

Tim Beckham’s Weird Second Half

As #1 overall picks go, Tim Beckham has undoubtedly disappointed. He went #1 overall to the Tampa Bay Rays in 2008, but didn’t log his first significant chunk of playing time until 2015 at age-25 and wasn’t exactly inspiring in those 83 games (91 wRC+, 0 WAR). He put up meager numbers throughout his minor league career (.712 OPS in 2889 PA), suffered a torn ACL in 2014, and appeared in just 64 games in 2016 despite spending most of the season on the MLB roster. The word “bust” was starting to be used more and more with Beckham. His early 2017 work did nothing to help that as he posted a 95 wRC+ in 87 games (including a 32% K rate) before the Rays finally decided to trade him to Baltimore in a move that was only really noticed because of his status as a former #1 overall.

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Auction Calculator Vs NFBC ADP: Machado, Marte, & Hosmer

With the addition of NFBC ADP (average draft position) to our projection pages. I went and set our auction calculator settings for an NFBC roto team (14 Hitters, 9 pitchers). I just started going down the hitter rankings to find any major discrepancies. I didn’t make it off the first page. Here is an examination of why the values differ for three players.

Note: I’d prefer to use plate appearances to compare playing time but all the print publications use at-bats so I’m stuck using at-bats as a comparison.

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The Screw Cancer League Needs Your Help

UPDATE: Thank you to everybody who submitted an application. We have filled all four open spots in the league, raising $1,258 for cancer related charities. We’ve also received an additional $25 from readers. If you would like to join our fundraising drive, read more below.

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Years ago, in response to his own battle with the disease, Dave Cameron founded the Screw Cancer League, an ottoneu FGpts league designed to raise money for cancer-related charities. Per Cameron, the league has successfully raised over $30,000 since its inception in 2012. Cameron (and a few others) have bowed out due to new responsibilities. It’s considered gauche (fireable) for a MLB employee to play fantasy baseball.

Today, I’d like to briefly ask for your help in two ways. With our fearless leader gone, it’s time to form Screw Cancer 2.0.

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Who Has the Extra Stuff? Additional Batter Avg FB Dist Fun

Yesterday, I introduced you to Statcast’s batter average fly ball distance (Avg FB Dist), which is one of the new components of my recently updated and improved xHR/FB rate. Today, I’ll continue to swim in the Avg FB Dist pool, this time listing and discussing specific players.

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Is Stolen Base Rate Predictive of Anything?

Last week, I began an examination of stolen base rates. The process is messy with too many variables and nuances to consider. I’m examining the information through several different lenses and seeing what applies. Today, I’m going to look at how success rate plays a role.

Team Level Analysis

As sabermetric principles are being utilized more and more by front offices, they quickly came around to the idea that for stolen bases to be helpful, the success rate needs to be high. In 2000, the success rate was 69% for the entire league and it has increased to 73% last season.

Knowing that each team is made of different players and their individual success rate are a factor, here are the three-year success rate along with total stolen base attempt percentage ((CS+SB)/(1B+HBP+BB)).

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Underrated and Overrated: Scooter Gennett and Whit Merrifield Edition

2017 was the year of unexpected late-20s middle-infield breakouts, as the fantasy leaderboards at both second base and shortstop were populated by a number of players nearing 30 who went undrafted in the vast majority of leagues. Now that we have some draft data thanks to the National Fantasy Baseball Championship (NFBC), I figured it might be interesting to see which of these options fantasy owners are buying into going forward.

The players in question today include second basemen Whit Merrifield and Scooter Gennett. Let’s start with a quick look at where these guys finished 2017, and where they’re being drafted heading into 2018.

2017 Overall Rank 2018 Overall ADP 2017 2B Rank 2018 2B ADP
Merrifield 23 69.9 4 7
Gennett 87 192.8 13 18

The first thing I noticed is that not many fantasy owners expect either player to replicate their 2017 seasons, which is good! It’s unlikely that either of these guys are as good as they displayed last season, so this is a fine start. These seem like reasonable expectations on the surface.

With any offseason fantasy baseball article, I think the most important thing to figure out is where the bargains are. Asking the question, “Who are fantasy owners over and underpaying for,” helps us set our own personal targets for draft day. Keeping this in mind, I think it’s pretty obvious where the value is here. Let’s see if you agree.

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FanGraphs has NFBC ADP Data!

In case you missed the announcement in Paul Sporer‘s latest post:

FanGraphs now has NFBC ADP data!

NFBC ADP data used to be hosted at Stats, Inc. Prior to last week, 2018 data had only been available to NFBC contestants.

Anticipated FAQs:

Where can I find the data?

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A Minor Review of 2017: New York Yankees

It feels like the Yankees can do no wrong. They went out and stole Giancarlo Stanton… their club is littered with high-ceiling talent… and the minor league system still has a of gems, including underrated players like Matt Sauer and Miguel Andujar.

The Graduate: Aaron Judge, OF: He’s good. Really good.

First Taste of The Show: Miguel Andujar, 3B: I wrote a glowing report for Andujar in last year’s version of this series, and all those things continue to be true. The young third baseman showed very well in both double-A and triple-A, and even received a brief taste of The Show. He has a chance to be a .300 hitter with 20+ homers given his ability to make consistent, hard contact. Andujar is still too aggressive for his own good so his ability to produce a solid on-base average will rely heavily on the hit tool. I don’t think it’s out of line to expect an all-star caliber season or two from this prospect and I wouldn’t blame the Yankees if they decided to give Andujar a shot at the third base job in 2018 in an effort to save some money.

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Getting to Know Batter Average Fly Ball Distance

Last week, I unveiled the newest version of my xHR/FB rate, which incorporates two Statcast metrics. The first of those components was Barrels per True Fly Ball Rate (Brls/True FB), which I introduced last Wednesday, and then discussed further on Thursday. Today, I’m going to dive into the other Statcast metric, Average Fly Ball Distance (Avg FB Dist), which is found on the Statcast Search page.

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NFBC Hitting Sleepers

We added the average draft positions for National Fantasy Baseball Championship leagues to our projections pages! Right now only Steamer is up and so you can click here and find the ADP in the last column on the right. Once I was told they were live I thought let’s take this info and use it with the Steamer 600 projection (their normal projection normalized to 600 PA for everyone) to find some potential gems. Essentially, it’s a playing time sleeper list. If these guys were to find 600 PA, Steamer is suggesting they’ve got the skills to shine. I’m looking at players currently being drafted outside the top 200 in NFBC leagues.

Here are 12 names that stood out to me:

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