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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 02-16-2003, 08:17 PM
gradysfalcon gradysfalcon is online now
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Default drafting strategy

im in a 4 x 4 nl league only whats everyones best strategy as far as drafting ....
go after a guy that gets steals only or go after a guy that gets steals and has the average as well with rbi?

as far as starting pitching what do you guys go after besides the johnsons and schillings ...

last year middle relivers killed me im thinking of just getting staters and stoppers....



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Old 02-16-2003, 10:55 PM
Avon Barksdale Avon Barksdale is offline
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Ideally it is best to avoid middle inning relievers( there are some that help out with K's and ERA), but it is almost impossible when you are in a 12 or 14 man league and it is only NL. I don't know how many teams are in your league, but I am assuming 12 or 14. If you can get 2 solid closers then you will be in a very good spot in the saves category.

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Old 02-17-2003, 09:27 PM
gradysfalcon gradysfalcon is online now
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Avon Barksdale
yes im in a 12 team league thats what i will shoot for 2 closers this year and forget the middle relivers this year.
how much would you say to pay for a top reliver ?

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Old 02-18-2003, 04:08 PM
Avon Barksdale Avon Barksdale is offline
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Grady,

It is uncommon that your league uses whip instead of strikeouts..alot of time whip is only included in 5x5 leagues. Without Strikeouts, Closers are alot more important because they tend to have low era and whip.

Also this league will take away alot of value from schilling,johnson and pedro who are bid up based on their strikeout ability. It is my guess that quality closers will be as expensive(if not more expensive) than top tier starters

I am of the opinion that saves is almost a luck category. There are alot of closers that are coming off off season surgeries that should be ready, but it is too early to tell.

I have to guess that top tier closers(smoltz, gagne, nenn) can go for as high as $35-$40 which is alot to spend on a closer. It may be better to take 2 or 3 middle tier closers(mike williams, williamson, jiminez) or lower tier closers(dejean, stewart, looper) depending on the price. This brings me back to my luck statement. Last year closers like Williams, Mesa and Gagne probably went very cheap, but they turned out to have big years. As long as you have people who definitely will close games for their team anything could happen.

Also you may want to watch to see what happens with hoffman and isringhausen...depending on when your draft is and what their status is witasick and kline may be worth drafting if they can be had cheaply

Avon
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Old 02-18-2003, 10:05 PM
gradysfalcon gradysfalcon is online now
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yes im in very wierd league its a national league only and we draft a week after the season!
pitching catagorys
wins
saves
era
whip
offense catagorys
batting average
rbi
home runs
steals
there are 12 teams in the league
9 pitchers 14 offensive players...
if you were in this league what would you spend your money on to try to win this league....
thanks for the tip on going after the 2nd tier relivers and i agree saves are a very lucky catagory... kinda like steals in basketball....
thanks for your insight ....
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Old 02-19-2003, 12:08 AM
Avon Barksdale Avon Barksdale is offline
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To win the league you really need to be balanced. A team will rarely win if they give up on 1 category. It is easier said then done. I would try to get one major offensive guy like Sosa, bonds, Helton etc. and fill in from there. The Key is balance. Try not to draft a guy that bats .220 because that will kill your average, unless you feel that he more than makes up for it in another category. It is better to get guys who can contribute a little in all categories then a guy who will weigh you down with average.

I am by no means an expert, but I think this is a successful strategy.

I will be around here alot, so this next month or so should be pretty interesting.

Also, The fact that you are drafting a week into the season will take alot of guess work out of the equation. I think it is a disadvantage to someone who knows their stuff
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Old 02-22-2003, 03:36 AM
gradysfalcon gradysfalcon is online now
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http://www.sandlotshrink.com/strategy.htm
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Old 02-22-2003, 06:47 PM
gradysfalcon gradysfalcon is online now
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Strategy is Overrated
By Chris Liss
RotoWire Managing Editor


I was reading the 2003 RotoWire Fantasy Baseball Guide the other day, and I came across Roger Anderson's article entitled "Auction Strategy - Using LABR as a Guide." In it, he discusses various strategies that different LABR teams have used over the years, from Steve Moyer's $9 pitching staff to a general "Stars and Scrubs" approach and a general "Middle Price Risk Avoidance" tact. After examining the correlation between amount spent on hitting, amount spent on pitching, number of $30+ players purchased and number of $25+ players purchased and total points in LABR, i.e., the correlation between these various strategies and winning, Anderson concludes:

"When it comes right down to it, it looks like it doesn't matter what strategy you apply as long as you pick the "right" players."

On the one hand, that's stating the obvious. Of course, the team that drafts the best players and gets the most help via free agency and trades will win the league. But what Anderson's article demonstrates to some extent (given the small LABR sample size) is that whether you get the best players and therefore win your league does not largely depend on your particular strategy.

So assuming we agree with this, a few questions naturally arise: How do we buy the right players and avoid the wrong ones? If there's no method we can use reliably to give us an advantage over other owners, then is it all just luck? If it's all just luck then why do the same owners seem to be in the hunt year after year?

The reason I believe the same owners are in the running year after year is not luck, and as Anderson's article demonstrates, it has little to do with strategy. What makes a good owner is what I would call educated instinct. Educated instinct is essentially having a pretty good feel for which players will exceed expectations in a given season and which will fall below. Of course, in order for your instincts to help you in a meaningful way, you have to know the players and the league inside and out. While number crunching is in my opinion useless when it comes to winning fantasy leagues, you at the very least, need to know the numbers to be crunched. Otherwise, your hunches won't have any foundation. You need to know for example that Corey Patterson won't take a walk to save his life (or the Cubs' season, as the case may be). You need to know that Shawn Estes walks way too many batters given his inability to rack up strikeouts. You need to know the facts, and the stats and player's skill-sets are facts.

Here's what you don't need to do: project stats for every player in the league based on his age, skill set, health, opportunity and team context and run those through a formula. Again, no matter how good your formula is, it's still taking the projections that you yourself made and turning those into values. If your projections aren't very good, then you won't get accurate values.

But what if your projections are good? Don't good projections plus a good formula equal good values? In theory, maybe, but your projections, if you do them for every player in the league won't be any good. How do I know this? Because it's the nature of projections to be bad.

Think about what you do when you project stats for the entire league. You take each player, consider the above factors, i.e., age, skill set (as determined by both his scouting report and numbers), health, opportunity and team context, and project what a player will probably do. What does that mean to project what he will "probably" do?

It means having him play 10 or 20 or even a million 2003 seasons in your mind and taking the average of all of them and using that as his projection. Bonds could hit 75 homers or he could get hurt and hit three. Whatever the case, all the possibilities and their frequency will be loosely factored in, and you'll come up with some number like 42 or 45 homers as his projection. You'll do that for every player, taking into account a seasons where he achieves his absolute ceiling and seasons where he's injury-nagged and playing horribly. You'll settle on a middle of the road outcome and use it.

So let's say you wind up giving Bonds 42 homers. That seems like a good middle of the road projection for him. And it's probably a good number to plug in to help generate his dollar value. The problem is that Bonds hitting exactly 42 homers is very unlikely. Even Bonds hitting between 40-45 homers is probably less likely than him hitting some other number. The point is that your projections will usually fail to predict the season that any player will actually have even if you know which one(s) he's most likely to have. That's because projections don't purport to predict, but are instead merely a tool for valuing players. Your projections will almost necessarily be off, and the case I've used (Bonds) is a player that has a ton of history and a well-known skill set to assess. It's only that much harder to project accurately a player like Mark Teixeira, Mark Bellhorn, Ted Lilly or John Stephens.

So given this difficulty, people doing their projections will put these players into a category and project them accordingly. Lilly is a young fourth starter with a good skill set and some major league success who coming off an arm injury. He'll be projected for 8-to-10 wins or so. Bellhorn is a 28-year old coming off a career year. He'll be projected to do slightly worse than last season, etc, etc. These are just educated guesses, but if you take them and plug them into a formula, you'll come out with a value, and you may even feel pretty good about that. You might think: "Bellhorn's worth about $9 this year. I'll bid up to $8 on him. Or Lilly's worth $4. I'll bid him up to $3."

The problem with this is that Bellhorn or Lilly or Bonds, for that matter, may be the wrong players! And if you put them through your formula you might bid on them up to where you have them valued, and they might be awful. Or they might be the "right" players, and you might let them go when they get bid up a dollar or two past the value your formula generated. We honestly don't know. Just because you crunched the numbers and have a dollar value next to them doesn't mean that you have any more certainty about what they're worth. Your projections are by and large just averages based on loose assumptions about what type of player you're dealing with. It may be comforting to have a dollar value next to them, but that number will likely add nothing to the facts of which you were already aware.

So how do you get the right guys? Well, no matter what you do, you probably won't get all of them, but by using your informed instincts, you can get enough of them to win your league. Once you've done the necessary research, there are certain guys that will strike you as candidates to exceed their expectations and certain guys you'll want to stay away from. Don't bid on the guys you don't like just because they're two or three dollars under "market value". And don't pass on the guys you like just because they are two or three dollars over market value. If you were to substitute predictions for your projections on the guys you like, your formula would add the extra dollars to them. (I define predictions as the precise seasons you think particular players will have, not the average of all of the possible seasons you think players of a given type will have). You will have hunches about guys, which you don't even need to quantify. Just know that you are willing to pay more than market value for them because market value in leagues with knowledgeable owners will be based largely on projections and not your predictions. If some other owner likes the same guy, well, you'll be in a bidding war, and you just have to know when to say when. That's also a matter of instinct.

Of course, for the vast majority of players, you won't have a big lean one way or the other. In that case, "market value", or the projections of a website or columnist you trust will do as values. But the vast majority of my budget will be spent on those 10 or 20 guys my instincts tell me will do well this season, while none of it will be spent on the guys about whom I have a bad feeling. Sure, I'll have to fill in the gaps with guys for whom I have less of a feel, but I'll go with my gut to the extent I can in those cases as well.

Fantasy baseball, like any other complex endeavor worth doing, isn't an exact science. There's no golden formula or secret method that will relieve you of the burden of having to make judgment calls for yourself. The sooner you embrace this uncertainty and toss out your overwrought spreadsheets and projections, the more likely you'll be to connect with your instincts. And that is how you'll get the right players.





Article first appeared 02/21/03
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Old 02-24-2003, 12:17 AM
bayshore kid bayshore kid is offline
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My Top 5 starters in order:

1. RJ
2. Pedro Martinez
3. Schill
4. Roy Oswalt (this guy is THAT damn good)
5. Mark Mulder OR Barry Zito (Both studs)[img]i/expressions/face-icon-small-smile.gif[/img]
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Old 03-07-2003, 01:46 AM
Picksix Picksix is offline
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<<It is uncommon that your league uses whip instead of strikeouts..alot of time whip is only included in 5x5 leagues. Without Strikeouts, Closers are alot more important because they tend to have low era and whip.>>

AB,

I thought the traditional Roti League was 4X4 with whip, not K's. I've been in a league for over 10 years and that is the way we have always done it. Most of the books I used to buy had the players ranked using the 8 categories that Grady had listed.

If K's are used instead of whip, it would totally change some of my strategies. It would be a nice change of pace though. Starters would be much more valuable with K's instead of whip.
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Old 03-07-2003, 01:56 AM
Avon Barksdale Avon Barksdale is offline
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P6,

That is probably the case, but any 4x4 league that I have ever been it used strike outs. I think the main reason we used k's instead of whip is because of the similarities between whip and ERA. I know they are totally different, but they tend to run the same. A pitcher with a great whip usually( not always, but usually) has a great era and vice versa. By having whip it almost made us feel like we had 3 pitching categories instead of 4. I also think adding strikeouts adds a different element to the mix.

All the leagues that I have been in over the last few years have been 5x5 anyway.
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