On Hiatus…

March 19th, 2014

The DraftMVP team is taking a break to sit atop a mountain-top and ponder life… we will hopefully be back at this soon.

Why Play Fantasy Baseball Online?

July 14th, 2012

If you’ve not yet experienced drafting your fantasy baseball team online, then you may not be aware of the numerous benefits that doing so can offer. Next time you’re busy putting together your dream team, why not consider using online tools in order to do so? Here are just a few of the advantages to be had…

Firstly, drafting your fantasy team in this way can often prove to be incredibly convenient. Many of us already spend the majority of our days at the computer, whether it be preparing presentations or playing games at sites like OnlinePoker.com. If you find it hard to find time within your busy schedule to choose who to include in your dream team, then this can make it that little bit easier. It also means that you can make alterations to your team line-up at any time of the day or night, from the comfort of your own home (or office). This something which would not necessarily be an option .

By drafting your team online, you may even find that you make better decisions about who to include. After all, while you’re using the internet, you will also have access to a huge amount of useful statistical information. If you want to know the latest baseball events as they unfold, then this is certainly one of the best ways to do so. If you want to research your team before deciding who will make the cut, then you will have all the information you need at your fingertips. Being able to make decisions which are well-informed can be key in choosing a team which is likely to prove successful. You will also find it much easier to share your choices with others taking part, and keep track of scores. These are just a few of the reasons why more and more people are choosing to go online to draft their fantasy baseball team.

Draft Live! ADP is a Powerful Force!

March 26th, 2011
So Jason Bay didn’t work out for you last year, huh?  Obviously you were a victim of Auto-draft.  Jason Bay’s ADP (Average Draft Position) last year was right around 40.  Of course you knew Citi Field is where HR’s go to die.  Of course you knew Jason Bay would not be one of the top 12-15 best OF’s in baseball.  And that is why you cannot rely on auto-draft.

The draft is all about finding value, and if you’re not there you cannot make your adjustments.  There’s no such thing as sleepers anymore.  Everyone’s got access, everyone’s got the knowledge.  It’s now all about reaching a little bit early for a player you like, and being willing to wait a little on a player you don’t.  Because my analysis shows that almost without fail, all it takes is one pick:
- Reach one pick early if you want him
- Wait one pick late if you’re luke-warm and maybe you’re intrigued if he’s still there
- And if not even intrigued then, don’t worry, he definitely won’t be there the following round to tempt you.

A pick is only good or bad depending on where you draft him compared to the ADP, your league’s perceived value of him, and your perceived value of a player.  Sure, you might not want Alex Rios who has an ADP right around 40 (like Bay last year).  But at pick #60, what was a bad pick all of a sudden becomes intriguing.

And again, shaping your team with your personality and mojo during the draft only takes minor adjustments.  A little decision-making can really go a long way.  Let’s use the Bay example again, and let’s also ignore that in retrospect no pick wouldn’t been worth wasting on him.  In more than 90% of drafts last year, with an ADP of 40, he wasn’t hardly picked before 35 or later than 45.  What that does that say?  If you really want him, all you have to do is reach one round early.  And if you don’t think he’s worth a gamble at 50, or even worth spending pick #60 on?  Then guaranteed he’s off the board already so don’t even keep him on your radar.

And the reason he’s off the board?  It’s because someone else’s auto-draft took him by #45.  Don’t be that guy.  For a good successful season, the draft has to be your first priority.  Don’t work late, don’t put anything else (family, friends, food, whatever) ahead of it.  The flavor your team has for the whole season depends on it.  Give it your personality, not Yahoo or ESPN’s ADP personality.  Everyone will know when you end up with this year’s Jason Bay.

- Jason Chen

Post-draft analysis: Examiner fantasy baseball draft 2011

March 23rd, 2011

As we talked about the other day, it’s important to evaluate your team after your draft. In our quest for more data on this, we came across Travis’s blog post about his draft and decided to run his team through our draft tool. We hope you don’t mind Travis – it looks like you’ve got one of the more balanced teams we’ve come across so nice job. As you noted in your post, you kind of punted on saves and steals is a big question mark for you, but definitely look VERY competitive in 6 categories. Great job!

Post-draft analysis: “Miggy’s Scotch”

March 22nd, 2011

As we talked about yesterday, it’s important to evaluate your team after your draft. In our quest for more data on this, we came across Laura’s blog post about her draft and decided to run her team through our draft tool. We hope you don’t mind Laura!

Her team:

POSITION PLAYERS
BAL C Matt Wieters (12)
STL 1B Albert Pujols (1)
CIN 2B Brandon Phillips (4)
PIT 3B Pedro Alvarez (8)
TEX SS Elvis Andrus (9)
TEX OF Josh Hamilton (3)
ATL OF Jason Heyward (5)
CIN OF Jay Bruce (7)
MIL 1B Prince Fielder (2)
PHI 2B Chase Utley (6)
NYM OF Carlos Beltran (18)
TB 2B Sean Rodriguez (19)
PHI OF Domonic Brown (20)
KC SS Alcides Escobar (21)
ATL 1B Freddie Freeman (22)

PITCHERS
DET Max Scherzer (10)
ARI Daniel Hudson (11)
TB Jeremy Hellickson (13)
CIN Aroldis Chapman (17)
WAS Stephen Strasburg (14)
TEX Colby Lewis (15)
CHC Ryan Dempster (16)

 

And our evaluation:

Now, we have a bit of a deficiency when it comes to new players, so this evaluation of her saves isn’t exactly fair, but as she mentions in her blog post, Laura’s somewhat thin at pitching and is going to have to look after that pretty closely. From what we can tell, she’s probably going to have to punt on steals and might be able to trade from strength in the batting categories in order to shore up her pitching weaknesses. Laura, if you’d like to let us know about the details of your league, we can make sure this reflects the scoring categories and roster sizes more appropriately.

 

 

 

 

Hope is not a fantasy baseball strategy

March 21st, 2011

Feeling pretty good aren’t you?

 

Let me guess, you’re looking at your roster and thinking, “I’ve got Pujols, David Wright, Cliff Lee, A-Rod, Mariano and a bunch of solid guys, I had a pretty good draft..”

Wrong

 

Let’s face facts. Many of us fantasy baseball addicts are just eternal optimists. We “play” this sport for 6 months a year, watching our real teams AND our fantasy rosters on a daily basis, hoping to eek out a victory this week or to find that we’re rooting for this year’s SF Giants (Go GIANTSSSSS!!!)

But for most of us, it’s just hope. Endless hope. We’re hoping that our team will win more games. Hope that two randoms are going to start hitting and shock us. Hope that our late round “sleeper” that everyone else read about too actually pans out. Hope, hope, hope.

HOPE  IS NOT A FANTASY BASEBALL STRATEGY.

Tough love folks. That’s what we’re about here at DraftMVP. Data. Analysis. Ruthless calculation. Why?

WE WANT YOU TO WIN.

There, we said it. Your draft might have been ok. But most of you are just hoping it was good. Right now you’re sitting there talking yourself into John Lackey or J.D. Drew. We know you’re doing it – don’t deny it.

What you should really be doing is tough analysis and asking some simple questions of your roster:

  • Where are you strong?
  • What can you build on?
  • What categories are you going to have to punt on?
  • What kind of early season trades can you swoop in and make before anyone else realizes what’s going on?

Many of you have been using our draft tool (not signed up? go do it now) and are familiar with how we present data. But for those of you who didn’t draft with it, you can still make use of the analysis we provide. Instead of just HOPING that your team is good, you can take 10 minutes to analyze your roster, with your league’s scoring categories and rules taken into account.

In 10 minutes you’ll go from feeling “pretty good” about your team to knowing that you’re strong in 6 categories and weak in 4.

You think we’re exaggerating don’t you? Here, we’ll show you. We took Michael Stein’s roster from the Yahoo! Expert League, input it into our draft tool and assumed that it was a standard 5×5 scoring format. 5 minutes later (we’re fast), here’s what we see:

 

Michael Stein's Y! Expert League Roster

Michael, we hate to break it to you, but your team’s got some holes. You probably realized you were light on saves, but it looks like you’re going to need help at Steals, Runs, Wins and Strikeouts too (if these are your league settings* of course).

To the rest of you – we ask: do you have 10 minutes to shape your season? Go out and win folks. Go out and win.

*(Michael, let us know in the comments what the league specifics are and we can update the analysis quickly).

Pujols Staying Put?

March 13th, 2011
I’ve been obsessing about this whole Albert Pujols thing.  He is the best hitter in baseball right now, and maybe one of the best right-handed hitters ever.  And he is AVAILABLE?!  Why this isn’t even bigger news than it already is, I’m not sure.  Probably because he comes off as a soft-spoken low-key mild-mannered guy (he’s boring?).  This isn’t Manny Ramirez or Derek Jeter.  But when was the last time the best player in a sport was to become imminently available?  Ok, it was just last year with Lebron James.  But Pujols is already one of the best to ever play if he stopped playing right now.  I’m not sure if that’s the case with Lebron. 

And Pujols is still peaking isn’t he?  Last year, he led MLB in Runs and led the NL in HR and RBI.  The year before that, he led MLB in Runs, HR, Total Bases SLG, OPS.  His maddening consistency has become monotonous.  Two MVP’s in the last 3 years, and he was 2nd in MVP voting last year (probably because people tired of voting for him).  Will fantasy baseball players tire of picking him 1st in their drafts this year?  Um, no, he’s still ranked #1 in ADP.

Anyways, as a sports fan, with all the recent free agent betrayals (by players as well as teams), it’d be nice to see a top-tier player like Pujols be able to stay with a historical and traditioned team like the Cardinals.

Joe Posnanski has written some good stuff about the Pujols situation, so check out his blog:
http://joeposnanski.blogspot.com/2011/02/pujols-and-cardinals.html http://joeposnanski.blogspot.com/2011/02/cashing-in-without-yankees.html

I also really like some of the analysis done at Fangraphs, especially the simple WAR graph used here really puts things in perspective:

http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/index.php/the-pujols-contract/
http://www.fangraphs.com/community/index.php/rationalizing-the-next-pujols-contract/
——

Have you been keeping up in the off-season?

March 9th, 2011

No?

We didn’t think so Smile.

Can’t say we blame you – a lot happens over the off-season in baseball and right now is when most fantasy baseball players dust off the cobwebs, wake up their stats brains and start looking at what happened the past several months.

We’ll help you start off down the re-education path with some key information and recommendations:

  1. Matthew Berry’s Love/Hate list – Love him or Hate him, his annual list is great for surfacing a lot of names and dispelling a lot of your mental myths. Remember, Jimmy Rollins is NOT a full-time player these days and Alfonso Soriano is not the guy you relied upon 5 years ago.
  2. The big offseason moves, courtesy of Fox Sports
  3. The team at Fantasy Baseball 101 have been working on a great series for Head-to-Head leagues and how to think about ADP. You owe it to yourself to have an opinion on where the Average Draft Picks are off-base – you can pick up lots of value just by being prepped.
  4. How to pair pitchers when drafting – can’t say we’ve used this strategy, but it seems to fundamentally rely upon portfolio theory to work.
  5. Brandon Funston’s Big Board is always fun, if just for the comments.
  6. Don’t be an idiot and draft Greinke too soon – he’s injured.

Share your favorite recap and re-intro articles in the comments and we’ll add them to this post!

Hidden Outfield Gems

March 9th, 2011
I’ve often entered fantasy baseball drafts feeling like the OF position is really deep.  So one of my favorite draft strategies is to hold off on grabbing superstar OF’s in the early rounds, fill other needs instead, and go after the 2nd and 3rd tier OF’s hoping at least one will pan out into a top tier player.  That’s the type of value I’m looking for.  Go heavy for a few late rounds and you may come out of the draft with the OF power you need.  But you need to choose wisely to find these gems.  Power is the game and gamble here, as speed often comes with a premium. 

First, I concede that these players may have their flaws, in some cases pretty major flaws, such as high strikeout rates, low AVG, and ratios suggesting regression.  But that is why they are not Ryan Braun or Josh Hamilton.  They are players that will fill up portions of your stat sheet at a much lower investment.  Think about how these types of guys might fit into your strategy.

  • Corey Hart.  Only 3 OF’s hit more HR’s than Corey Hart.  Top 10 among OF’s last year in RBI, TB, XBH, and SLG.  Depending on the rest of your team combination, if you can spare the K’s and low AVG, he could be exactly what you need to round out your stats.  Right now on ESPN he’s the 25th ranked OF and going after 90+ picks.  And his recent oblique flare-up may scare other managers off, so you can probably get him even later.  He is worth a gamble for the small commitment.
  • Delmon Young.  Only 2 OF’s had more RBI’s.  Young led OF’s in doubles, which tells me he could be on the verge of even bigger things.  All could be had after 90+ picks.
  • Nick Swisher.  Top 15 RBI’s, 5th in HR and OPS, 6th in SLG.  Average draft pick = 150+.
  • Other late flyers:  Carlos Quentin, Vernon Wells, Luke Scott.

Take a look for yourself.  Play around with the Advanced Search feature in the DraftMVP tool and see what kind of gems you might be able to uncover.  Later this season you may be rubbing these picks in the faces of your fellow managers.

Oh how we love coaches

January 5th, 2011

Especially when they blow their tops. With the football playoffs about to start, it seemed appropriate that we share these favorite NFL coaching blowups with you.