## Fantasy Rankings Prep (2 of 3)

In my last article, I went over the initial work for valuing players in a basic fantasy league (12 5×5 teams with 23 roster positions).  Each league has its own unique rules so the procedure may need to be adjusted accordingly. Today, I am going to finish the positional rankings and begin to come up with an overall ranking.

By using the Standing Gain Points (SGP) ranking values created in the previous article, here are the pitcher and hitter point equations (for an explanation on SGP read here or here):

Pitcher SPG = W/3.01+SV/6.83+SO/33.3+((3.592-((ER+578.7)*(9/(IP+1329))))/.081)+((1.226-((1629+H+BB)/(IP+1329)))/.0151)

Hitter SPG = HR/7.793+R/20.82+RBI/21.393+SB/8.229+((((1886+H)/(7058+AB))-.2673)/.0018)

With these equations, I like to stop and run a quick value test so I have a general idea of each value’s weight when comparing players. With counting stats, the weights are easy since the average values can be divided by each other. For hitters it works out to about: 1HR ~ 1SB ~ 3 RBI ~ 3 Runs. The problem arises with AVG because it has two inputs, hits and at bats. Take two hitters, one hitting 10 points below the league average AVG with 300 projected at bats and one hitting 10 points above with 200 projected at bats. While both are differ from the mean value the same amount, the player with 300 PA will have more weight and drive down the average more. So for the following values I assumed a 550 AB player, 200 IP starter, 60 IP reliever. A difference of 10 K for a 60 IP reliever is a huge jump therefore the other stats can be off by more.

• 550 AB Hitter: 1 HR = 1.1 SB = 2.7 R = 2.7 RBI = 0.0033 AVG
• 200 IP: 10K = 0.9W = 2.1 SV = 0.180 ERA 0.0375 WHIP
• 60 IP: 10K = 0.9W = 2.1 SV = 0.525 ERA = 0.1166 WHIP

For the next major step, each person has to come up with a projection for each player. Some people believe they should go through every single player and create a projection (see Mike Podhorzer’s book). Also, a person can download and use an industry projection set such as Steamer (Link to Steamer Projections – click on Export Data). I use the combination of 3-4 projections to get a consensus projection and then look for player I disagree with (I mainly look for changes in playing time at this point). Once I have a set of projections in a spreadsheet, I use the above two equations to get the final SPG values. Using these formula’s here are the top rated hitters and pitchers.

 Name AVG HR SB R RBI SGP Value Mike Trout 0.309 26 34 119 90 19.0 Miguel Cabrera 0.328 39 4 108 124 18.8 Paul Goldschmidt 0.291 33 14 99 107 16.5 Carlos Gonzalez 0.301 29 21 92 96 16.3 Andrew McCutchen 0.304 24 23 92 96 16.2 Ryan Braun 0.299 28 18 88 94 15.5 Chris Davis 0.268 39 5 95 107 15.1 Yasiel Puig 0.290 26 20 90 87 14.9 Edwin Encarnacion 0.274 34 6 94 107 14.8 Jacoby Ellsbury 0.284 15 38 91 64 14.5

 Name Wins Saves K ERA WHIP totalvalue Clayton Kershaw 16 0 219 2.71 1.06 17.1 Yu Darvish 16 0 248 3.07 1.15 16.5 Stephen Strasburg 15 0 210 2.98 1.12 15.3 Max Scherzer 15 0 222 3.29 1.14 15.3 Cliff Lee 14 0 201 3.04 1.07 15.2 Adam Wainwright 16 0 191 3.11 1.13 15.1 Felix Hernandez 15 0 208 3.09 1.14 15.1 Madison Bumgarner 15 0 199 3.11 1.15 14.7 Chris Sale 14 0 211 3.27 1.12 14.6 Justin Verlander 16 0 201 3.30 1.17 14.6

For pitchers, I just divide them into starters and relievers and just put them to the side for now. If a pitcher doesn’t have a defined role, I put them with the starters, but it usually doesn’t matter since they are marginal players anyway.

The one issue with this data is positional “scarcity” is not taken into account.  I went ahead and grouped the players into position groupings and ranked the players according to each position in this order (min 5 games at a position).

Catchers
Middle Infielders (2B and SS)
Outfielders
Corner Infielders (1B and 3B)
Utility (The best of the rest)

At this point, I can send the positional rankings to Eno and he can cage back up the socky monkey. From now on, the following steps should be done to get an overall value ranking.

Keep these rankings handy because three items need to be done to .

First, the values need to be adjusted for replacement level at each position. The positional replacement level SGP values with my rankings are:

Catchers: 5.8
Middle Infielders: 8.1
Outfielders: 9.2
Corner Infielders: 8.9
Utility: 8.4

Note: Originally, I used the incorrect values. Corner Infielders and Outfielders had higher values than the Utility value, so I needed to use the minimum utility value for all three replacement level baselines.

I went back and adjusted the values so each player grouping had 5.8 as the lowest ranked player. Here are the top 20 final hitter values:

 Name AVG HR SB Runs RBI Adjusted Value Total Value Mike Trout 0.309 26 34 119 90 16.4 19.0 Miguel Cabrera 0.328 39 4 108 124 16.2 18.8 Paul Goldschmidt 0.291 33 14 99 107 13.9 16.5 Carlos Gonzalez 0.301 29 21 92 96 13.7 16.3 Andrew McCutchen 0.304 24 23 92 96 13.6 16.2 Ryan Braun 0.299 28 18 88 94 12.9 15.5 Chris Davis 0.268 39 5 95 107 12.5 15.1 Yasiel Puig 0.290 26 20 90 87 12.3 14.9 Buster Posey 0.306 20 3 80 87 12.2 12.2 Edwin Encarnacion 0.274 34 6 94 107 12.2 14.8 Jacoby Ellsbury 0.284 15 38 91 64 11.9 14.5 Prince Fielder 0.288 31 1 94 106 11.7 14.3 Joe Mauer 0.309 14 4 83 81 11.6 11.6 Troy Tulowitzki 0.302 28 4 87 97 11.6 13.9 Carlos Gomez 0.262 22 36 78 75 11.5 14.1 Wilin Rosario 0.280 27 5 69 82 11.5 11.5 Adam Jones 0.285 28 12 83 92 11.4 14.0 Adrian Beltre 0.300 29 1 89 100 11.4 14.0 Giancarlo Stanton 0.271 36 4 89 99 11.4 14.0 Joey Votto 0.304 25 5 90 97 11.3 13.9

These values are far from my draft order and I will go over a draft plan with them in tomorrow’s article.

The second item I do with the rankings is create a graph with the rank on the x-axis and the adjusted SGP value on the y-axis. Here are overall and outfield graphs.

What I am looking for is huge drops in talent from one player to the next such as happens from the 13th to 14th outfielder spots or after Trout and Cabrera. I take this information and mark on my draft sheet where the talent drops off at each position and with the overall rankings. If an outfielder and second baseman have the same value, but the next second baseman’s value is significantly lower and three outfielders are almost the same, take the second baseman and hope one of the outfielders makes it back to your next pick.

The third and final item is to look over the rankings for any issues. Get the rankings finallized before moving on. A few items to check for:

• Make sure foreign players on ranked like Jose Abreu. If the player doesn’t have a projection, it is time to do your best to create one.
• Adjust playing time for any recently injured players like Cole Hamels or Hisashi Iwakuma.
• Look to see if any player sticks out and you don’t feel right about the ranking. If you use a projection, go back and see if you disagree with it and adjust the player’s production. Don’t and I repeat don’t just change the ranking. You may feel good about the player, but it doesn’t mean you should over pay for less production.
• Look to see if any players were not included and you feel they should be. Again, see if their projection needs adjusted.

Well, I am finally done for today and let me know if you have any questions. Tomorrow, I will look at how I set up my plan when it comes to drafting.

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Jeff writes for RotoGraphs, The Hardball Times, Rotowire, Baseball America, and BaseballHQ. He has been nominated for two SABR Analytics Research Award for Contemporary Analysis and won it in 2013 in tandem with Bill Petti. He has won three FSWA Awards including on for his MASH series. In his first two seasons in Tout Wars, he's won the H2H league and mixed auction league. Follow him on Twitter @jeffwzimmerman.

Guest
PWR

For Joe Mauer, it appears your projections are much more bullish than Steamer or even the Fans. Did you adjust that or is that really the average for 3-4 systems? What players did you make adjustments that didn’t involve playing time? great stuff thx

Guest
Blue

The Mauer ranking is being driven by his fatally flawed positional adjustments.