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Redsfan320
01-04-2010, 08:55 AM
I've been thinking about playing fantasy baseball this year. It would be my first time. Any tips?

320

Eric_the_Red
01-04-2010, 12:57 PM
First year, play in a mixed (AL & NL) league, with 10-12 owners, using the traditional 5x5 stats (Avg, R, HR, RBI, SB and ERA, WHIP, K, W and SV).

Listen to the ESPN Fantasy Focus and MLB Fantasy 411 podcasts.

Have fun!

*BaseClogger*
01-04-2010, 12:59 PM
Don't buy one of those stupid magazines. Get yourself acquainted with some of the better online fantasy baseball blogs, such as http://www.rotoauthority.com/. On that site there are some fantasy baseball "roundtables" that include other bloggers so check their sites out too. I hope that helps a little...

redsfandan
01-04-2010, 01:25 PM
The draft is the most important day of the season. If you don't want to use your 1st year strictly as a learning experience it's important to prepare. Taking advantage of a site like www.mockdraftcentral.com will help. Yahoo also has mock drafts but theirs won't start for another 6+ weeks while mdc already has mocks going on.

Redsfan320
01-04-2010, 05:19 PM
First year, play in a mixed (AL & NL) league, with 10-12 owners, using the traditional 5x5 stats (Avg, R, HR, RBI, SB and ERA, WHIP, K, W and SV).

Planned on a 5x5 league, but was leaning toward an NL-only since I'm much more familiar with the players. Why a mixed league?

320

Eric_the_Red
01-04-2010, 06:52 PM
Planned on a 5x5 league, but was leaning toward an NL-only since I'm much more familiar with the players. Why a mixed league?

320

Usually easier, but if you are unfamiliar with AL players this may be a disadvantage for you.

westofyou
01-04-2010, 06:53 PM
Plan to hate your pitching, something always goes wrong there.

Redsfan320
01-04-2010, 07:04 PM
Usually easier, but if you are unfamiliar with AL players this may be a disadvantage for you.

Yeah, I'm definitely unfamiliar with AL players, so yeah.


Plan to hate your pitching, something always goes wrong there.

I'll keep it in mind, WoY.

320

gonelong
01-05-2010, 11:58 AM
I always found it helpful to create a spread-sheet with the position players in clear tiers. (you define the tiers based on your scoring). That way you can quickly tell that there are only 1 tier level SS available, while there are still 6 tier 1 level OF available. Scarcity at the position level is important at both the top and the bottom. You can sink yourself pretty quickly with a guy that gets 400 ABs and hits .220 or gets 25 starts and puts up a 6.75 ERA.

For each player I calculated a number for each of the categories, plus an overall number. This allowed me to quickly determine, in the middle rounds, where I was deficient/strong and who would be the best fit.. You might have 2 guys ranked the same, but one can help you out quite a bit more with WHIP at the expense of Ks, etc.

Next I'd look at each guy and determine if I though his numbers would be better than last season, worse, or roughly equal ... and then note that by each total score (-, +, =) - another way to distinguish between 2 guys of roughly the "same value"

If you have last years final stats for the league, then you can kinda figure out what a K or HR is worth in your league. Then you can tell if 1 HR or 10 Ks or 2 SB is worth more. Use this info to calculate a score for each player for each individual category, and overall. Use these numbers to set your tiers by position. I usually divided up the scores by 5ths and then used 5 colors to denote the tiers, making some adjustments if the drop off from the 2nd last guy in a tier and the last guy was a huge gap.

If you are going to be in the league on an annual basis, take notes during each draft. You'll soon find out that Bob likes HR hitters, Steve wants players from team x and y, John doesn't take any west coast players because he wants to check his scores before bedtime, and Nick likes to load up on starting pitching. You can use this info combined with your draft order to determine which players you need to pick now if you want them, and which you can let slide another round. Guys will also tend to draft players that did well for them the previous year, and avoid any that didn't do so well. This can be exploited as well.

A supplemental sheet for those guys without a starting position, or starting the year in the minors or on the bench is handy as well.

This sucks a bit the first year, but once you have the sheet set up, it's not bad to update. I always tended to update the sheet for the next year while watching the playoffs. Then you only had to make adjustments for FA, injuries, etc. in the spring.

... or you can download something from one of the million sites available and have the same info as most of the other guys drafting. :)



GL

Dom Heffner
01-05-2010, 07:37 PM
Maybe this isn't advice for a newbie, but I would avoid 5x5 leagues.

Counting wins and stolen bases are silly- especially when you make them as valuable as home runs. Willy Taveras should not be on any fantasy roster where there are 12 owners. Not one. But in fantasy he will be- or at least one of his clones.

I enjoyed rotisserie when I was starting out.

Eric_the_Red
01-05-2010, 09:16 PM
Maybe this isn't advice for a newbie, but I would avoid 5x5 leagues.

Counting wins and stolen bases are silly- especially when you make them as valuable as home runs. Willy Taveras should not be on any fantasy roster where there are 12 owners. Not one. But in fantasy he will be- or at least one of his clones.

I enjoyed rotisserie when I was starting out.

Wily Taveras has no value in a 10 or 12 team mixed 5x5 league. If he is owned, the owner has no business playing fantasy.

IowaRed
01-05-2010, 10:41 PM
Do some research so you have an idea what you want to do. Use sites like fantasybaseballcafe and sportsfanatics, not necessarily as gospel but as starting points for rankings, tiers, strategies, etc. I would strongly suggest being as prepared for the draft as possible because players you want or were counting on, will often be drafted by the person in front of you and you need to be able to have another option in mind. Don't be afraid to try out your own strategy, listen to the "experts" but use their info. in tandem with your own knowledge, projections, hunches. Don't necessarily follow the run on SP's or closers or 2B's just because everybody else is taking them. Find the right niche for you, be it big $$$, playing with friends, in person drafts, roto, H2H, minor leagues, there are a million ways to play and have fun.

Dom Heffner
01-06-2010, 08:07 PM
Wily Taveras has no value in a 10 or 12 team mixed 5x5 league. If he is owned, the owner has no business playing fantasy.


I was referring to the previous version of Taveras, but it holds true for any guy who has a bunch of steals, regardless of his success rate or how lousy his other stats are.

Check out this cheat sheet for 2008- Willy is ranked ahead of Todd Helton, Jermaine Dye, Javy Vazquez, Tim Lincecum.

As the 101st ranked player, he would start in a 10 or 12 team league.

http://www.kffl.com/article.php/85901/515

Anyone who steals 50 bases is roster fare in a 5x5 league (as Taveras did the season before). If steals count as much as homers, why wouldn't you have him? Yeah, 50 homers equals 50 steals, that sounds about right.

If you want to live in that world, you'll love a 5x5 league LOL....

*BaseClogger*
01-07-2010, 02:49 AM
I was referring to the previous version of Taveras, but it holds true for any guy who has a bunch of steals, regardless of his success rate or how lousy his other stats are.

Check out this cheat sheet for 2008- Willy is ranked ahead of Todd Helton, Jermaine Dye, Javy Vazquez, Tim Lincecum.

As the 101st ranked player, he would start in a 10 or 12 team league.

http://www.kffl.com/article.php/85901/515

Anyone who steals 50 bases is roster fare in a 5x5 league (as Taveras did the season before). If steals count as much as homers, why wouldn't you have him? Yeah, 50 homers equals 50 steals, that sounds about right.

If you want to live in that world, you'll love a 5x5 league LOL....

It's FANTASY baseball. ;)

Using SB might be less realistic but it adds to the strategy of the game, giving previously unused players new-found value and adds a new dimension to the complexity of the game...

Eric_the_Red
01-07-2010, 08:39 AM
^ Yep, part of the strategy is finding good value SB guys. In 5x5 a SB does not equal a HR. A HR also gives that player a run and at least 1 RBI.

Dom Heffner
01-08-2010, 07:54 PM
Gosh, I just can't play that way. Willy Taveras has no value in real life, so to make a game where he has value is insane.

I don't play 5x5 leagues for this reason. I just don't get how giving Willie Taveras value is "fun."

KoryMac5
01-08-2010, 08:13 PM
Biggest advice I can give is don't be a homer. Don't just draft guys because they are your favs or belong to your team. Try to get the best player available whether they play for your team or not.

TeamSelig
01-09-2010, 01:10 AM
I agree with Kory Mac. In fact, don't even draft any Cincinnati players.

*BaseClogger*
01-09-2010, 01:35 AM
Gosh, I just can't play that way. Willy Taveras has no value in real life, so to make a game where he has value is insane.

I don't play 5x5 leagues for this reason. I just don't get how giving Willie Taveras value is "fun."

Well, the first thing you can do to set your mind straight is to understand that Willy Taveras actually has no fantasy value...

Redsfan320
01-09-2010, 06:33 AM
don't even draft any Cincinnati players.

What about Votto? To be my backup to Pujols. ;)

320

AtomicDumpling
01-09-2010, 04:16 PM
Well, the first thing you can do to set your mind straight is to understand that Willy Taveras actually has no fantasy value...

Yep, Taveras is even a poor option in an NL-only league.

Sure his stolen bases have value, but that value is destroyed when you realize he is awful in the other four categories. He is as much a liability in 5x5 fantasy as he is in real baseball.

Dom Heffner
01-10-2010, 09:56 PM
Well, the first thing you can do to set your mind straight is to understand that Willy Taveras actually has no fantasy value...


Dude- I understand he has no value now. A few years ago when he stole all those bases he had value, evidenced by the cheat sheet I posted.

Here's another, showing him as the 34th overall outfielder in 2007: http://www.scribd.com/doc/231359/ESPN-Fantasy-Baseball-5x5-Rankings

While I realize he has no value now, why would you ever play in a system that ever made a player like that have value?

At #34, he is a starting outfielder in a 12 team league.

This ranking comes the year after he slugged .338, but because he stole 33 bases he's a starter.

It would hold true for any player of this caliber, really, because the 5x5 knuckleheads live in some world where stolen bases are awesome, even if the dude getting them has an OPS under .700.

It's silly and gives false value to bad players.

The same people who try to limit value by playing "NL only" or AL only" then turn right around and expand value to an atrocity like Taveras or Michael Bourn the year he hit .229 but stole 41 bases.

If my team beats yours by 100 homers and you steal one more base than mine, we're even.

That's messed up. :)