• 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

Looking to Fill Your League or Join a League? Click Here! 2018 Edition

Welcome to the RotoGraphs Matchmaker Service. No, I cannot find you a date. However, we could hopefully facilitate the marriage of league owner with leagueless owner. If you are seeking an owner to fill your fantasy league or are the owner hoping to be seeked to join that unfilled league, this is your new home. In the comments, please advertise your league openings or your availability and desire to join a league. To make things easier, it would be helpful to include the details of the league you’re seeking to fill or prefer to join in the following format:

Read the rest of this entry »

2018 Pod’s Picks — Starting Pitchers

Yesterday, I listed and discussed nine hitters who I ranked significantly higher than the rest of my fellow RotoGraphers. Today, I move on to starting pitchers. I limited this list to those in my top 60 and also did a bit of cherry picking. Why? Because of this comment I added to the starting pitcher composite rankings post:

Before I get a million questions, remember these are projected end of season rankings based on dollar values earned. It’s absolutely not exactly how I would draft these pitchers, as I will always prefer a lower IP guy with better ratio projections than a higher IP guy with worse ratios, but more wins and Ks to boost his dollar value. That preference is not reflected in the ranking above, as it’s a strategic choice, not a mathematical one.

So I excluded guys like Rick Porcello, Julio Teheran, and Cole Hamels, whose betters rankings are likely due to differences in how we ranked players. All get most of their value from volume, rather than strong ratios. It’s more valuable to discuss players I ranked better due to a more bullish projection.

2018 Pod’s Picks
NAME Pod Consensus Diff
Kyle Hendricks 17 42 -25
Felix Hernandez 52 70 -18
Jon Lester 21 37 -16
Joe Musgrove 49 65 -16
Sonny Gray 36 51 -15
Patrick Corbin 53 68 -15
Sean Manaea 43 57 -14
Kenta Maeda 30 41 -11

It’s crazy to me to find Kyle Hendricks‘ name atop this list, as he is exactly the type of pitcher that I would have avoided like the plague several years ago. Guys who outperform their underlying skills by limiting hits on balls in play or stranding a high rate of runners rarely find their way onto my rosters. But that outperformance is why a statistical-oriented group of rankers like us are at risk of undervaluing him. The thing is, all the research has confirmed that his hit suppression skills were real. That doesn’t mean it’s repeatable, but at least we can’t automatically chalk up what has happened as a fluke. He has also limited hard contact throughout his career, which has allowed him to maintain a better than average BABIP. Oh, and the Cubs defense is again expected to be fantastic. Even forecasting the second worst ERA and WHIP of his career makes him appear super undervalued.

It would appear that fantasy owners have left poor King Felix Hernandez for dead. His SIERA jumped above 4.00 for the first time in his career back in 2016, and remained there last season during an injury-riddled campaign. The Fans and I are the only forecasters projecting a sub-4.00 ERA, and how is that? Well, I’m forecasting the slightest increase in strikeout rate and a marginal rebound in GB% coming off a career low mark. And of course, I don’t expect another 20%+ HR/FB rate! So small improvements here and there and better fortune should all combine to drop his ERA back below 4.00.

Geez, do I love elderly, boring veterans, or does everyone else just hate them? Jon Lester just posted his first 4.00+ ERA since 2012, as his strikeout rate slid again, to its lowest mark since 2013, while his walk rate spiked to its worst mark since 2011. He also couldn’t keep the ball in the park and his BABIP surged above .300. Unlike for Felix above, I’m actually right in the ballpark of the rest of the projections, with a slightly elevated WHIP. This appears to be an anti-boring vet stance for a 34 year old, but I don’t discriminate. Give me all the undervalued vets I could fit on my roster!

Though I like Joe Musgrove, I somehow haven’t managed to draft him in either of the two leagues in which he was part of the player pool. His xK% suggests strikeout rate upside and the move to a pitcher friendly home park in the National League could lead to a breakout.

I had no idea I was bullish on Sonny Gray, though I did buy him in AL Tout Wars. His skills fully recovered last year after his strikeout rate declined in 2016 and he returned to that BABIP depressor we used to question. Welp, he’s at it again, folks! He also boosted his SwStk% to a career high, so really, everything points to 2016 being the fluke.

Patrick Corbin‘s stock was boosted when the Diamondbacks announced their decision to use the humidor this year. That’s going to help all their pitchers, and especially Corbin, who suffered through inflated HR/FB rates the past two seasons, along with a BABIP of at least .317 in four of five seasons. That BABIP history is scary, but the humidor should also reduce hits on balls in play. I’m not sure if any of the projections are accounting for the humidor or how much, if any, its use was accounted for in my fellow rankers’ rankings.

I’m now four for four at rostering Sean Manaea. He was just below Musgrove on my strikeout surger list, and his minor league strikeout marks suggest significant upside as well. Both his changeup and slider have been fantastic by SwStk% and his fastball has been fine. He’s one of my favorite breakout candidates.

There was so much excitement heading into Kenta Maeda‘s first season with the Dodgers, but now after two full seasons, everyone has seemingly moved on. Perhaps it was the meh 4.22 ERA last year that has turned off fantasy owners. But, it came with a much more respectable 3.79 SIERA, as he had much more trouble keeping his fly balls in the park. My projection is a bit more bullish than all but ZiPS on the ERA front, and right in line with all in WHIP. Innings is obviously a concern, but he’s armed with an elite slider/cutter (two different pitches or the same?) and should be supported by a strong defense and offense behind him.

Roto Riteup: March 22, 2018

The season is just a week away!!! Current mood:


Read the rest of this entry »

Jeff Zimmerman’s 2018 Bold Predictions

After an crushing last season’s BOLD predictions, it’s time to regress with some outlandish claims focusing on their average draft position (ADP).

#1 Dinelson Lamet will end the season as a top-30 pitcher.

Lamet has two factors pointing him having a great 2018 season. First, he posted a 10.9 K/9 in 114 major league innings. Additionally, he made 29 starts between Triple-A and the majors. If he has just a little bit of batted ball luck (and hopefully develop a third pitch), his production will soar.

#2 Gregory Bird will outproduce Aaron Judge.

I’m both high on Bird and low on Judge. With Bird, he’s finally healthy and will join Judge in the middle of the Yankees lineup. I don’t believe in Judge’s high BABIP and batting average. I think both will sink quite a bit dragging down both is RBI and Runs totals.

#3 Adrian Beltre will outperform his ADP (158) and be a top-75 player.

I have no idea how Beltre is going in the so late in drafts. While dealing with injuries last season, he hit 17 HR with a .312 AVG in 389 PA. I’d rather have Beltre over Shaw who is going around pick 90. I’ll wait four to five rounds and own Beltre.

#4 Luis Severino will outproduce all but one of the top-4 starters. Read the rest of this entry »

Ottoneu 201: Maximizing Salary Cap Space

Ottoneu auction leagues are drafting furiously to finalize rosters prior to the start of the regular season. Earlier this week Justin touched on the best way to build out a roster. Head-to-head is also coming to Ottoneu in 2018. The Ottoneu community is buzzing with prospect junkies and interested owners looking to join new leagues.

Needless to say, Ottoneu is now in full swing, so if you’re still on the fence about trying out the game this year, now is the perfect time to jump in with both feet. With so much activity in March, most of our Ottoneu content is geared toward helping new owners learn the basics of the game. However, today I want to detour and offer a few tricks of the trade that veteran owners have figured out over time that might benefit those who are trying to take their Ottoneu game to the next level this season.

Trading for players you intend to cut…for cap space.

No matter how good your pre-auction plan, it’s not all that uncommon to exit an Ottoneu draft with less cash that you had hoped to save for future transactions. While a good rule of thumb is to keep about $10 in cap space, it’s easier said than done when some of the better bargains find their way into your hands at the end of a long draft night. What do you do when you’re up against a tight salary cap to start the season?

Read the rest of this entry »

2018 Pod’s Picks — Hitters

Every year after we post our positional rankings, I run my Pod’s Picks series, highlighting the players I am more bullish and bearish on compared with the consensus. I didn’t want to completely skip the series this time, so because I’m strapped for time before opening day, I’m going to do a hitter version that lumps all positions together. I’m also only going to discuss my picks, which are the players I am most bullish on versus the rest of the rankers. I figure advice on who to draft, rather than who to avoid, is a bit more valuable.

Read the rest of this entry »

Roto Riteup: March 21, 2018

Today is my 9th anniversary with my wife and she is looking for help:

Read the rest of this entry »

Heartbreak in the Fifth Round: An NFBC Main Event Review

The NFBC Main Event is different. In case you’re unfamiliar, the National Fantasy Baseball Championship is a series of 32 individual 15-team leagues that also functions as its own super league of 480 teams. It’s a no-trading format, too, so balance isn’t just a strategy, it’s a must. It’d be great to win your individual league, but you’re playing to win the Main. It’s also loaded with some of the best fantasy players in the entire game. There’s something about a $125,000 dollar prize that brings out the best of the best!

This is my second year in the Main, but my first time doing a live draft. It paired perfectly with my trip to NYC for Tout Wars (more on that team on the podcast) making for a brilliant double-draft weekend. Tout Wars on Saturday and the Main Event on Sunday with my co-manager and friend, Dusty Wagner.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Sleeper and the Bust Episode: 533 – The Tout Wars Review


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!

Follow us on Twitter

Notable Transactions/Rumors/Articles/Game Play

Read the rest of this entry »

Brad Johnson Baseball Chat: 3/20/2018

Here’s today’s transcript. Enjoy your drafts everyone!

Brad Johnson: Hey folks, let’s getting rolling

Brad Johnson: I promise to be at my grumpiest, grouchiest self today

Brad Johnson: or similar

Corky: I just read your “Am I crazy” post.  Interesting.  I’m more intrigued by a comment you left – do you still suggest going heavy on pitching in a 5×5 H2H weekly league, where your record at the end of the week is based on categories won (i.e. 7-3)?  How much would you spend on pitching in that type of league?

Brad Johnson: That was Justin’s post. But I did comment.

Brad Johnson: There’s no one size fits all approach, but it can be very profitable to dominate the pitching categories if the rest of your league is using a 70/30 pitching split.

Read the rest of this entry »

Am I Crazy? My 2018 Tout Wars Team

Last year, I filled in for Stephania Bell at Tout Wars. This year I was invited to to join Tout Wars in the H2H league. I responded by putting together a team (that I think) is unlike any other that has ever been assembled on that kind of stage. Read the rest of this entry »