I was having thoughts about “value” of players across fantasy boards and i realized the value of trust in drafting, as players could be viewed as commodities you’ve invested in (I was bored in finance class, so sue me). “True Value,” if you will. I was thinking of how I was thinking of how players with certain consistencies/upsides in consistent yearly categories (Doubles, On-Base Percentage, and Steals being my favorites of mine). These players might be boring, but build a team correctly with them piece by piece and you have an excellent shot of winning each week, in head-to-head formats especially (my preference over rotisserie). And couple this idea with the idea of maximizing gains (again, like stocks), you can bet that loading up on one, consistent collection of players (aka the project) will guarantee consistently low risks/high benefits players and high basement/ great upside potential players. In lots of larger leagues, you will find yourself tricked into the human instinct to want symmetry (why ladies think Denzel is Such aunkasaurus rex) but I say buck it. Invest in boring, but solid players including sleepers/upside picks (i.e. not super-risks like josh hamilton, guys like denard span, my guy if the twins get hitting). My draft strategy has moved around yearly as I’ve gathered league upon league to my beltline of fantasy gluttony, but I’ve settled on these three markers as solid fantasy credentials that will you by in pretty much all leagues in my book (with the hope, as always, that you are a clever enough manager to pull the trigger on the waiver wire when appropriate (helllllooooo steaming pitchers): Doubles, Steals, and On Base Percentage for batters, Innings Pitched, K:BB Rate: (kind of cheating as it is an uncommon actual stat, I know, I know but come on people, it’s just comparing two numbers), and K/9 Rate. I realize I will often be steal-biased, as I am an admitted and recovering Crawford-holic the past few years (it’s an unhealthy fixation people). I am overjoyed to be holding the cards of Abreu in the aggressive running angels, the fastest native american in Boston, Nate McClouth, Denard Span, J. Texas Whiskey- Burbon (I’m buying!!!! I’m so buying!! STEAL!! GPGPGP!!), and the newly minted leadoff hitter in front of #3 hitter Hanley Ramirez- Chris Coghlan. Clearly I Have a need for speed. But there is balance there too (Abreu being an excellent, excellent exaple of low-risk, known and highly beneficial player).
When you are looking at similar players, I suggest you look for consistently good players. Consistently good players in Baseball a) Hit Doubles b) Getting on Base and c) Stealing Bases. Pitchers are obviously a matter of preference for categories in a lot of ways but i maintain that it can be comforting to know that even on a bad night, a guy ain’t gonna murder you for pitching (hello, garza and lackey on my team). Innings, the pitchers control of his pitches, and the pitchers ability NOT hit the ball to make batters all seem to be perfect fantasy inputs to figure out useful pitchers. But, as I said, I tend to focus goals to maximize one project’s returns at a time, so I feel much more confident with my offense put together in such a way more so at this point).
Players who have upside but people have questions about for some reason (lDexter Fowler, for example?). In my ‘absolute value’ idea of valuing consistenly in any format, a player like Fowler should be thought about in this way-
DO I know exactly what to expect with him? No. it’s hard to know exactly with young players, especially in Colorado.
Is he clearly a talented player? Is he ‘an athlete’? Yup. Guy’s built. Lanky power, long legs, great length (Jay Bilas’ Ears just perked up) Fowler is a scouting gem. You can’t teach being talented.
Does he have power? And by that I mean is he better than Christian Guzman? It gets to the outfield on the fly, right?
Yes. Yes times a large number, and yes, definitely. Fowler stole 27 bases, hit ten triples, 29 doubles and 4 homers and had a .363 OBP in 433 AB’s in his rookie season. He whacks the ball around and can run- he will probably do something useful on any given fantasy night. See my point? The same can be applied for whatever metrics you want to use for pitchers, some value other tendencies or worry about full-season (so shortsighted) risks, like Brandon Webb. I just think the reasoning i have above is most solid. A pitcher who masters what I described will be a good pitcher.
Trust. If you’re like me, this is easier said than done much of the time (Francisco Liriano, maybe?). But if you build around this type of consistency of player, you can build yourself the space to take on some serious high risk/reward players (like jose reyes, who can be a top-15 performer but is NOT ranked that high ANYWHERE. Risk. I feel like an insurance commercial. “Build your fantasy player portfolio with a strong foundation, with me at the standard for Returns- Gooch, Inc… ” A roster filled with consistency can take on risk- it makes sense. I’m just saying, just sayin’.
Listen, don’t get me wrong, I’m not giving some expert knowledge on how to win, I’m just a guy rambling on. But I think I know my stuff and you took the time to read it. So thanks. I feel smarter.
bonus: if you haven’t seen Jimmy Kimmel’s “Handsome Men’s Club” Skit yet, please, watch it– hilarious stuff. Kimmel really seems like a funny guy. Could he emerge out of all of this as a kind of cult hero? Did he just grow a huge set of Media Cajones? I think so.