I figured that since the site is up and running and has a base of articles and most of the rankings are finished, we could start our email discussions. I wanted to discuss offseason moves that we think will have the most impact in the fantasy world.
I think the easiest way to go about this is to do division by division. So what better place to start than the AL East?
Adam Wainwright hurt his elbow and apparently things don’t look good. Keeper leagues, plan accordingly.
Relief pitchers are often thought of as the “Kickers” of baseball, and there is a reason for this theory. For one, there are 30 closers in the league (maybe even more if you count “by committee” bullpens). If you’re in a 10 team league, there will be a throng of closers to be had, even into the late rounds (not every closer will be owned by the end of the draft). Closers also only fulfill one stat category (Saves), which means if you draft a closer with one of your top 10 picks, you’re going to be losing out on a lot of other categories.
That being said, I like to own one of the more renown closers as to avoid the headache of “chasing saves.” I won’t ever go out and draft the best closer, or the second best for that matter, but I like to have a guy on my team who is going to get me at least 30 saves and won’t be in jeopardy of losing his job. This would actually be a good year to draft Jonathan Papelbon or Francisco Rodriguez because of how late you can get them. Brian Wilson was a great value last year, but I won’t own him this year due to his inflated value.
The best closer this year has to be Carlos Marmol, not because he’s going to get the most saves/save opportunities, but because he’s the only pitcher on this list who is a two stat player. Last year, Marmol had 138 strikeouts in 77.2 innings! That’s startling. The only real knock on the guy is his inability to have a 1-2-3 inning. If you own this flamethrower, I would suggest not watching any of his performances. Marmol allowed 12 more walks than hits last year, which suggests major control issues, but when you’re also striking out the side every outing, not many are going to complain.
So after a grueling process of ranking and re-ranking, we bring you the full Top-100 for 2011 from Rotobrian, Smugglingplums, and Backdoor Slider. On the right side of the table are the average ranks. Some of this might be surprising, but I think this is a really good list of players. Use the comments section to air your praise or grievances. -rotobrian
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by Jared Cothren
Remember the scene in ‘Back to the Future Part II’ when Marty McFly travels to futuristic 2015 and buys a sports almanac with the idea of going back to 1985 and capitalizing on a fool proof plan of no-risk sports betting? Well, lucky for us there are a few seasons left in that almanac and I was able to take a peek at the player stats from the 2011 season. I noticed that there are some big names that don’t put up the big numbers we have come to expect every year. I want to share all of this insight with you so you don’t have to endure being the season long punchline of your fantasy league while similtaniously blowing your chances at taking home the hottest chick at the bar when the lights come on…otherwise known as the “fantasy baseball championship.” Now, I want to explain that this list is not intended to be a “Do Not Draft List,” as the names in this article will put up some decent numbers but they are not worth the slot where they are being drafted therefore qualifying as a draft bust.
by Ryan Butler
Fantasy baseball is the ultimate “What have you done for me lately?” business. To cut bait, or to keep fishing? That, is the question all fantasy team managers must answer where under-performing players are concerned. We are like women in that we are always on the lookout for the bigger, better deal. Even if you already have a productive player manning a position on your team, you, the ever-diligent fantasy skipper, are scanning the horizon for someone better. Casey McGehee is sweet, cute, responsible, and treats you well, but you would breakup with him in a heartbeat if that dreamboat Evan Longoria would only dump his stupid girlfriend.
For the players discussed here, the answer to “What have you done for me lately?” is “Oh, not much, besides let down you and everybody else who owned me last season.” It’s OK. One bad season does not necessarily spell the end of a player’s viability as a good fantasy option. What it does mean is lower expectations and ranking in the proceeding year’s draft. Either because of injury, erosion of skills, or bad luck, these guys all were down last season. I think that this year they’ll be back to their old productive, fantasy-owner-delighting ways.
by Brian Dorsey
One of the most exciting days for fantasy baseball is draft day. Oh, that sweet anticipation of discovering who is going to play for you this season (well, at least until you start to tinker and trade). You’ll sign up for your league in February and spend a month and a half from then until the draft just analyzing stats, organizing draft day strategies, making flowcharts, overanalyzing your opponents, and breaking plans with anyone who can’t stand to listen to you talk about baseball for at least two hours.
Draft day is very important.
Missing a draft and having your team auto-drafted is regrettable. You want to have your guys. You want to have a sense of ownership. But drafting your own team also means you need to have more knowledge of players. Just because you draft your own team doesn’t mean it will be perfect, in fact that’s the exact opposite of being true. An auto-draft will actually probably draft a better team than you will, because the computer won’t be name biased. There are players who I just flat-out won’t draft because they have either hurt me in the past or they don’t presently excite me (but that doesn’t mean I’m right).
One thing an auto-draft can’t do though, is figure out players who are overrated and underrated. Auto-draft is a slave to the rankings. And each year, whether you’re on ESPN or Yahoo! or whatever, the fantasy experts will rank certain guys too high or too low. Don’t get me wrong, they’re right most of the time, but just like you have favorite/hated players, so do they. Here are a few players who will be drafted too high/too low in 2011. For this article, I’ll be using Yahoo’s rankings. So here we go.
When I’m looking at drafting a pitcher, I want a guy who is going to first and foremost get around 200 innings pitched and 200 strikeouts. If you can’t pitch near 200 innings it usually means you’re the type of pitcher who a) can’t stay healthy, b) you’re so inconsistent you don’t often go deeper than the 5th inning, or c) you’re a youngster who has an inning limit.