Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Contract Year Players in Fantasy Baseball - The Great Fantasy Baseball Debate Week #4

This week brings a bye week for me in the Great Fantasy Debate. I'm off to a 2-1 start with a shocking loss last week. Since I'm not going head to head this week I tried to be somewhat objective in my analysis of this week's question regarding the performance of fantasy baseball players in contract years (see insert of contract year poster child Adrian Beltre on a Topps Heritage baseball card).

The debate over whether or not the contract year for a player is worth looking at prior to the draft has gone on for the last 5-10 years, pro side (first team listed) please tell us why it is important to look at and back up your answer with stats the contract year.

My basic take is that statistically they have not proven that contract years impact performance. However, if you have someone a little iffy (lazy, injury prone, unfocused, off the field problems, etc.) then the contract year factor is worth taking a look at.

Also, here's something pretty official looking from Springer Link that show contract years don't bump performance statistically but does show a uniform decline in seasons following the contract year - interesting.

Contract years won't affect the fantasy baseball performance of stars like Albert Pujols get an autographed Pujols baseball card for your collection.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Drafting Pitchers Early in Fantasy Baseball - The Great Fantasy Baseball Debate Week #3

If his name isn't Johan Santana I'm not interested in starting pitchers in fantasy baseball. Here's the week 3 topic for The Great Fantasy Debate:

Is drafting a number one starter early (first five rounds) still a good strategy to follow?

I basically pointed out that hitting is much more stable and a smarter early investment in fantasy baseball drafts. Secondly, it's easy to play matchups and rotate 2 start pitchers. Third, premium closers are even more valuable than they used to be. And finally, Johan Santana is the last ace in fantasy baseball.

Fantasy baseball really took off in the 90s with the advent of Al Gore's interweb. Those were the days of Clemens, Pedro, Randy Johnson, Maddux, Schilling, etc. Ace's abounded and snatching a steady year in year out stud pitcher made a ton of sense. However, as we approach the turn of this decade Johan Santana is the only pitcher left that provides this level of consistency.

Check out my article at the Fantasy Pros 911 and remember, Vote For Greg!

You can also pick up a Johan Santana baseball card and other Met gear on eBay - click here!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

NFBC FAAB Results Through 2 Weeks

I've been pretty aggressive in my FAAB bidding in the National Fantasy Baseball Championship Main Event (New York 6) . I drafted heavy pitching with Santana and Lincecum so I've felt I've a major need for some depth for my offense and the back of my rotation - click here to see my NFBC draft results.

Week #1
Dallas Braden $72 with a runner up of $31, the top 3 other leagues $32, $24, $20 - I paid a nice premium for Braden but his minor league numbers are solid and I trust Billy Beane - he's uncovered Cy Young caliber pitchers like Zito, Haren, Hundon, Mulder, etc. and flipped them just in time. Braden has had 2 quality starts so far and may work his way from spot starter to mid-fantasy baseball rotation.

Marcus Thames $128 with a runner up of $76, the top 3 other leagues were$109, $87, $77 - I listened to 3 straight podcasts that all touted Marcus Thames as a cheap 25 HR OF that should be rostered in ALL moderately deep leagues. Then, 2 days later, Sheffield got cut! I really wanted depth for my OF and figure Thames will snag 50-100 more ABs and should get around 30 HRs. With Milton Bradley missing time this week and Nady apparently blowing out his elbow this looks like a good move. Given the runner up and other top bids $128 was a great FAAB bid.

Week #2
Brandon Wood New York 6 $93 with a runner up of $80, other leagues $16 and $11 - (pictured Bowman Chrome Auto Baseball Card) I'm a huge believer in Brandon Wood and now have him in all leagues. I had him targeted on draft day and was stoked to see him get cut week 1. The fact that the Angels sent him down is actually a good sign - says they want to stop jerking him around and the next time he comes up it's for good. When he does I expect him to hit around .270 with a pace of 35 HRs and 10 SBs - these are crazy stud like numbers for someone with SS and 3B eligibility. Through 4 games in AAA he's batting .333 with 3 HRs. Help is coming!!!

Click here to pick up a Brandon Wood baseball card on eBay!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Fantasy Baseball Draft Prep Lessons - The Great Fantasy Baseball Debate Week #2

The Great Fantasy Debate rolls on to week #2 along with the fantasy baseball season. This week's question centered around lessons learned in prepping for this year's draft.

Now that your drafts are over and the season has started what is the biggest lesson you learned when preparing for your draft and explain?

This year I really focused on mastering the mid rounds. In the NFBC, for example, I really felt like I was obsessed with sleepers in the end game during my first 2 years. Partially as a result of that I had a lot of trouble fielding solid players picked in the mid rounds. Players like Gil Meche, Willy Taveras and Rickie Weeks are some of the cornerstone players on my NFBC fantasy baseball teams.

Join The Great Fantasy Debate - vote for Greg and post your comments by clicking here.

Grab a Gil Meche baseball card for your collection on eBay!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Auction Fantasy Baseball Draft Results - Part 2 of 2

This fantasy baseball league starts out with $312 less the cost of keepers. At this point of the auction draft I'm down to $30 with 14 spots to fill - let's see how far I can pinch the penny. This is the 'scrubs' part of the 'stars and scrubs' strategy.

Rickie Weeks, 2B $6 - (pictured in a auto Southern League baseball card) I'm in 3 leagues and have Weeks in all 3, his upside is still huge and his cost is reasonable even if he plays to his recent averages, I'm banking a lot on him this year including an 11th round pick in the NFBC Main Event

Gil Meche, SP $4 - Meche is a little light for a 10 team league but I think he's figured something out, at worst he'll be a great spot starter and at best be a bottom of the rotation option

Josh Johsnson, SP $10 - I really needed to spend some money on another starter to help back up Santana, I don't love Johnson but he could bounce all the way back from TJ and be a solid #2

Wandy Rodriguez, SP $1 - I was onto this guy the last couple of years and I flat out think he's way too injury prone and will never sniff 200 innings - if I'm wrong he could be the steal of the draft and a great back of the rotation fantasy pitcher

Clayton Kershaw, SP $4 - I guess everyone else was broke too, he has great keeper potential at $4 and if he starts to put it together at the big league level look out!

Kiroki Kuroda, SP $1 - nice command and control guy that will be a good spot starter/back of the rotation guy

Andre Ethier, OF $3 - didn't have to have another OF but had my eye on him for the end game for over an hour, a .300 hitter batting clean up behind Manny - he'll put up sick numbers, nice guy to have in case of injury

Paul Konerko, 1B $1 - coming off of back surgery but looked fine in the spring, I needed a true 1B and think he has a shot to get back to his 35 HR ways

Mike Aviles, SS $1 - I needed a middle infielder, down side is that last year was flukey, upside is that it was for real, also had a great spring, could hit .320 w/ 15-20 HRs and maybe 10 SBs, could play his way into the top 10 of fantasy baseball middle infielders

Jason Motte, RP $1 - got hammered on Opening Day but could be a breakout closer, I hate spending money on closers and it's not necessary in a 10 team league if you do some homework

Mike Gonzalez, RP $1 - arm problems and inconsistency have kept Gonzalez from being an elite closer, I'll take a chance for a buck

Mark Teahan, OF $1 - he's soon to qualify at 2B and hits in the 3 hole, I need depth and he could be a big time breakout candidate with nice average, power, speed and opportunity

Brandon Wood, SS/3B $1 - I actually like the fact that they sent Wood down after a sick Spring Training - it shows they're done jerking him around and when he comes up again he'll stay, when he does he'll immediately pace for .270, 35 HRs and 10 SBs, were talking Ryan Braun type rookie impact at SS - coming mid-May

Jesse Litch, SP $1 - I like him a lot in an NFBC format but he may be too light for this league

Click here for the 'stars' part of the 'stars and scrubs' strategy - Auction Fantasy Baseball Draft Results - Part 1 of 2

You can see my keeper list by clicking here.

Pick up a Rickie Weeks baseball card on eBay for your collection today!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Auction Fantasy Baseball Draft Results - Part 1 of 2

My auction fantasy baseball keeper league drafted this past weekend which now kicks off our 12th season. I typically employ a 'stars and scrubs' draft strategy with a heavy if not 100% weight on picking up bats. In recent years inflation has really taken off in this league - usually we'd have one player that would crack the $50 mark but last year we had more than 6 with a similar result this year.

Here are the stars:

David Wright, 3B $52 - a relatively good value, with Arod hurt I think Wright is in a class all by himself, he's also the only other player that I think can bat .300 go 30/30 and top 100 runs and RBIs outside of Hanley Ramirez - he was my #1 pick in the NFBC Main Event

Grady Sizemore, OF $48 - I like a big outfield on my fantasy baseball team and Grady is #1, all in all I think $48 was a pretty low figure

Johan Santana, SP $45 - I paid a premium here and haven't spent more than $1 on a pitcher in 3 years - way to fall off the wagon, with Heilman out of town and the excitement of a new stadium I think The Supernatural is headed for another Cy Young - Santana was my second round pick in the NFBC Main Event - nice to reunite them and bonus that I'm a Met fan

David Ortiz, U $26 - if Ortiz played a position he'd be close to a $40 player, he's past his prime but over last year's injury and one of my favorite buy low candidates this season - I still see a .300 BA, 30-35 HRs and a ton of runs and RBI

Carlos Lee, OF $38 - El Caballo was my first round pick in my NFBC satellite league a few weeks ago and rounds out a sick outfield of Braun, BJ Upton and Sizemore, Lee is a 4 category beast and chips in a few steals for style points

Victor Martinez, C/1B $13 - I already have Russell Martin but everyone was shell shocked with the big names off the board, he's actually OK as my starting 1B for now but I wouldn't mind flipping him for a starting pitcher - he may top out at 20 HRs but he has a nice BA and batting clean up will boost his counting stats

Click here to check out my keeper list.

Also see, Auction Fantasy Baseball Draft Results - Part 2 of 2

Visit eBay to add an autographed David Wright baseball card to your collection!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Sabermetrics v. Scouting - The Great Fantasy Baseball Debate Week #1

The regular season of The Great Fantasy Debate kicks off this week. As the home team I'll take pro as to why sabermetrics is a better tool for fantasy baseball than traditional scouting. The book Money Ball goes into great detail about how Billy Beane has used sabermetric techniques and analysis to consistently win 'reality' baseball on a shoe string budget. In fantasy baseball we only care about numbers accumulation so sabermetrics can be relied on even more heavily.

In this week's Fantasy Debate I quote Bill James, the father of sabermetrics and Socrates. I also look at the Red Sox recent success under Theo Epstein, the Alex Rios breakout or lack there of and Delmon Young's huge groundball rate.

Click here and vote for Greg in The Great Fantasy Debate

Pick up a Copy of The New Bill James Historical Baseball Abstract from