• 2018 Fantasy Impact: Rookie Catchers
    by Marc Hulet - 2/12 -  9
    Fantasy catchers typically have limited value to teams — although outliers like Buster Posey exist — so it doesn’t make much sense to spend much money (in auction leagues) or a significant draft slot on the position.
  • Roto Riteup
    The most roto-relevant news of the previous day, recapped in a concise format for your morning coffee.
  • Bullpen Report
    Detailed daily updates and charts on every bullpen in the Major Leagues to help you manage your saves and holds.
  • Prospect Coverage
    Our prospect team mines the minors for top prospects and useful pieces alike.
  • MASH Report
    Award-winning in-depth injury report with analysis from Jeff Zimmerman.
  • The Sleeper and The Bust Podcast
    Eno Sarris, Paul Sporer, and Jason Collette lead the RotoGraphs staff in a regular fantasy podcast.
  • Daily Fantasy Strategy
    The RotoGraphs team discusses daily fantasy strategy and then makes picks for the day.
  • Ottoneu Strategy
    Strategy for the year-round FanGraphs Fantasy game.
  • Top 50 Fantasy Prospects
    Marc Hulet adjusts (and updates) his prospect list for fantasy purposes.
  • Field of Streams
    A contest to see who can make the better picks: streaming pitcher and hitter choices for every day of the season in a podcast hosted by Dylan Higgins and Matthew Dewoskin.
C  -  1B  -  2B  -  SS  -  3B  -  OF  -  SP  -  RP

Largest Changes in NFBC ADP

Since NFBC ADP (average draft position) data has been available here at FanGraphs, I’ve kept the weekly values. Here are some biggest ADP movers over the past three weeks who started or ended up in the top-250 picks.

A note to remember is that a move at the top is more important in the steep section of the talent curve instead of later with the talent levels off.

Justin Verlander +2 (37th to 40th)
Zack Greinke +2 (44th to 46th)
Robbie Ray +3 (44th to 47th)
Yu Darvish +2 (50th to 52nd)

The second-tier starting pitchers are dropping in ADP. This drop is not surprising as my podcast mate, Rob Silver has noticed this spending trend away from starters in previous seasons.

I don’t see either of these pitchers as dropping in value, just the overall hitter-pitcher mix.

Alex Bregman -2 (34th to 32nd)

Owners are liking Bregman more and more. I think he’ll eventually be going in the second round regularly as owner have a “fear of missing out” with him

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Early 2B Rankings with Commentary

Continuing to make my way around the diamond, I’ve got the second base rankings today. You can find my SP and 1B rankings by clicking on those links in case you missed them the first time around.  These Average Draft Positions come from NFBC data as of 2/1. Each colored bar represents the start of a new tier.

Let me know how you’re attacking 2B in the comments below. Ideally I’d like to get in that 2nd tier for my primary 2B, but I’m OK if I have to dip into the 3rd or 4th tiers should I miss out on a Dozier or Odor and then I wait on MI and leverage the later tiers for that (Panik, Walker, Miller, etc…).

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Pitcher Spotlight: Taking A Chance On Kyle Gibson’s Slider

There are times I write about pitchers that I truly believe in. The ones that seem destined to break through the filter of mediocrity and into the spotlight of the masses. Kyle Gibson is not one of these pitchers.

But he did do something in 2017 that I think you should know about. It could be a gamechanger, it could be nothing, but it was at least something, and let’s be honest, that’s a lot more than we expected when talking about career 4.70 ERA and 16.0% strikeout rate Kyle Gibson.

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2018 Ottoneu FGPts Rankings- 2B/SS

Wednesday we kicked off our ottoneu FanGraphs points player rankings with C/1B/3B, and today I’m back with 2B/SS. This year the rankings will include values from myself, Trey Baughn, and the default values from the FanGraphs Auction Calculator using the ottoneu FanGraphs points preset (Steamer projections). We are presenting our individual dollar values, plus the weighted average of all three rankings (2:2:1 weighting with the Auction Calc weighted less). In addition, the tables below include ottoneu eligibility (5 games started/10 games played in the prior year). Players are ranked only at their most valuable position, and the hierarchy we are using is C/SS/2B/3B/OF/1B (with 3B and OF being a coin toss in terms of replacement level, we chose to include 3B/OF eligibles at 3B).

Prior Rankings: C/1B/3B

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Three Prospect Patterns

In redraft and shallow keeper formats, I tend to avoid most prospects. The bust rate is brutal. However, deeper dynasty leagues force everybody to play in the prospect pool. After five years of ottoneu and other deep formats, I’ve started to notice some things.

When a person does something long enough, they start to see patterns. Sometimes these trends contain meaningful information. In other cases, they’re merely confusing or outright misleading. A lot of the things we think we know about fantasy baseball are tied to these false flag patterns.

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Hitter-Pitcher Mix Tool for Drafts

A few days ago, many of the best fantasy baseball minds got together for the 15-team mixed LABR draft. While several storylines existed with it, the running joke in the draft chat was it if Mike Podhorzer or Scott Pianowski would blink first and draft a pitcher. Mike did and took Jake Arrieta in the 7th round while Scott held out until the 12th. While these two owners obviously took accumulating hitters to an extreme level, other owners took a more balanced approach or bought into pitching. Finding a hitter-pitcher balance, especially in a draft can be tough to calculate on the fly. The following a simple tool to help with that in draft confusion.

The first concept to understand is that the talent is not evenly distributed. I went over this concept earlier this week showing the non-linear talent drop using auction prices. Using concepts from this analysis can help create a simple framework by giving each round its own auction value. This can be done by going to our auction calculator, entering your league settings, and downloading both the hitter and pitcher values.
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Quick And Dirty Aging Curves With Exit Velocity.

Two weeks ago I wrote about what I call “Peak Angles” for batters. That is the angle at which they produce the highest ratio of high exit velocity to low exit velocity batted balls. The working theory is that this angle roughly correlates to swing plane, and when you know swing plane you might be able to work out valuable information. For example, you might be able to gain insight on batter versus pitcher match-ups by comparing the average pitch plane to the average bat plane. There are other factors involved, obviously, like contact skill and plate discipline, but swing plane could prove to be valuable in the long haul.

Over the past two weeks this line of thinking brought me to two different lines of inquiry. First, can you use the “Peak Angles Exit Velocity” to predict the maximum effective angle for a batter? Second, how do the most valuable launch angles and exit velocities age over time? Read the rest of this entry »

NFBC Slow Draft, Part I: Rotisserie Chickens

It’s time to review the first half of our NFBC slow draft. We’re not certain why we’re bothering. Sure, we enjoy reading about expert drafts as much as the next lunatic who’s ignoring his real-world responsibilities. But assuming we’re experts because we write for Fangraphs and you probably don’t is like assuming that Justin Bieber has talent because he has a recording contract and you probably don’t.

And anyway, decisions in drafts, unlike decisions in auctions—or at least less than decisions in auctions—are always deeply contextual, and thus not very useful in thinking about valuation in a different draft. In an auction, you’re usually going to be able to pay an above-market price to get guys you really want. Whether that’s a good strategy or not is beside the point; at least you’re going to be able to do it. In a draft, especially if you draft in a middle position, you’re frequently going to be a helpless bystander as players you like, and were prepared to take a round or two before you thought the market would, get grabbed by other owners with the same idea. Of course, occasionally a player you like and thought you had no chance of getting falls to you. Either way, you’re constantly readjusting as the draft develops, players you wanted to get disappear, and players you didn’t especially want wind up on your roster because, say, there was a run on closers and you were left with a choice among Fernando Rodney, Joakim Soria, and Brad Ziegler. Read the rest of this entry »

Ten 2018 Pitcher Strikeout Rate Decliners

On Tuesday, I hopped over to the pitcher side of the ledger to discuss nine fantasy relevant starting pitchers with strikeout rate upside this season. I used my xK% equation and compared what the formula spit out to what the pitcher’s actual strikeout was. Today, I’m going to share the ten pitchers who most outperformed their xK% marks.

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The Sleeper and the Bust Episode: 524 – LABR In-Draft Discussion

The Sleeper and the Bust Episode: 524– LABR Pre-Draft Discussion


The latest episode of “The Sleeper and the Bust” is brought to you by Out of the Park Baseball 19, the best baseball strategy game ever made – available NOW on PC, Mac, and Linux platforms! Go to ootpdevelopments.com to order now and save 10% with the code SLEEPER19!

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Paul and Jason talk through Tuesday night’s LABR Mixed Draft and Justin joins them this time! Check out the pre-draft discussion here and the full draft results here.

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