Aug 27

Nick Rothschild’s Pick ‘em or Kick ‘em: Draft Edition

The clock is ticking. Your hands begin to sweat.

You have 90 seconds at the most to make the decision, and despite all of your preparation the names on the board are now foreign to you.

We’ve all been in a fantasy football draft that has either A.) Snuck up on you and didn’t give you time to prepare or B.) Played out differently than you expected. The worst thing you can do is panic, and the second worst thing you can do is take a guy that isn’t a good value for your pick.

So what do you do?

In the first of my season long series “Pick ‘em or Kick ‘em” I’m going to outline the guys you should “pick” or “pass*” based on a number of factors, including: ADP, draft strategy, and team/individual upside.

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Aug 27

Staking your claim…avoiding the fantasy fool’s gold at your draft!

Wes Welker

Last week we went over the guys to target in your draft that can help you strike it rich on draft day. The focus this week will be on those players that might have been fantasy gold last year or look like hidden nuggets this year, but none will be worth their weight in gold.

Keep in mind that my views on these players are weighted against their current ADP’s. It’s not to say that all these players will be worthless or has zero value; I’d just much rather get someone else with higher value around where these players are going in drafts. With that said, the same holds true on the other end of the spectrum, if these players fall TOO far in drafts then the value may be worth the risk. Heck, even Dwayne Bowe is a value at some point in a draft…isn’t he…anyone?

‘What glitters may not be gold; and even wolves may smile; and fools will be led by promises to their deaths.’ –Lauren Oliver Continue reading

Aug 26

Rankings Debate The Truth v Commish pt. 2

debateOne thing we can all agree on is that the fantasy community has dissenting opinions on several players and the discussions can get intense. Isn’t that what makes this game so great? If you missed part 1, last week I annihilated my colleague debated my colleague on quarterbacks and running backs so this time around we’ll be tackling wide receivers and tight ends. Rob Gronkowski, DeSean Jackson, and Victor Cruz are all polarizing figures which some of us hate and love this year so stay tuned as me and Pete Neubacher engage in another fantasy rankings debate of epic proportions.

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Aug 22

Running Backs and the Deciding Week

Bishop Sankey 2014 by Thomson200

Bishop Sankey 2014 by Thomson200

Can you believe it? Only 12 days left until the start of the regular season kicks off. This is the most important weekend for fantasy owners because it’s the 3rd week of preseason. This will be the time that all the starters play 3 quarters of football and we will get to see a true test of who could be in-line for a breakout year. Most fantasy owners don’t draft until after the 3rd week so let’s start talking about draft strategies and what you should watch for this weekend.

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Aug 20

Chris Tillman’s Misleading Streak

Last night on twitter, I saw an interesting tidbit from ESPN Stats and Info about Chris Tillman. I couldn’t believe my eyes as 14 straight starts with 3 ER or fewer seems like a big deal, yet Tillman didn’t seem to be getting any extra media attention for his streak. After taking a look at some other statistics, it’s clear that Tillman is getting lucky rather than actually being an elite pitcher.

Hit the jump to see my recommendation on the Orioles right-hander.

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Aug 20

Frame Job 2.0 – On the Corner

Last week i reviewed some of the latest developments in catcher framing.  A tough statistic to apply directly to fantasy sports, catcher framing metrics place a value (runs saved/added) to the ability of a catcher to “frame” strikes by taking borderline pitches and receiving them in a way that causes the umpire to call a strike.  The methods reviewed last week include the earliest developments by Mike Fast and the later applications and standardization and control of the BaseballProspectus method that built off Fast’s work.

What I tried to do, as was pointed out to me by astute readers and commenters, was an academic exercise.  The overall impact of catcher framing is significant, but not to the point that you can quantify an impact to fantasy relevant 5×5 categories for projection purposes.  Theoretically, the pitchers changing teams I mentioned should benefit or suffer slightly based on their new battery mate, but application to ERA and/or WHIP is still difficult to isolate.  The limited application of both framing metrics AND this coming piece on umpire effects should only enter your analysis at the margins, so with that limited application in mind, lets dive in!

Continuing my series of pieces on the strike zone, a mystical and difficult to quantify factor, today I’ll review umpire effects.  Again, these pieces may present a more academic and theoretical approach, however, there is applicable value to picking streamers, constructing daily league rosters, or other start/sit type decisions.

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Aug 20

Staking your claim…finding fantasy gold at your draft!

Every year around this time fantasy owners head off to their drafts like old time gold miners headed west during the Gold Rush, hoping to strike it rich. Just like buying a piece of land or ‘claim’ back in the day, so too are owners with the picks they get in their draft. A first round pick in your draft is like buying a prime piece of land, you are almost certain to find gold, but if you don’t extract enough gold ‘value’ from that land, then it wasn’t worth the purchase price.

Think of your draft in this sense with each owner having maybe 15-18 claims (rounds) to generate as much gold (value) as possible. See, I don’t believe in the antiquated term ‘sleeper’ anymore. Nowadays, the morning ‘sleeper’ is that night’s 10th round pick (Ahem, Andre Williams ADP after the Hall of Fame game). With the rise of Social Media and people getting information at a moment’s notice, almost every player is a known commodity and it’s next to impossible to get value from that sleeper no one has heard of as it was in the past. It is much more imperative now in the current state of fantasy football to maximize value from the players you choose in the draft. Continue reading

Aug 19

Vegas, use them before they use you

It is almost here, it is almost upon us, it is almost fantasy time. Can you feel it? Yes, I am sure you can. Many people have already drafted, some are still drafting but the fact of the matter is that the start of the regular football season is only about two weeks away. If you are anything like me, then you are constantly looking to get that edge on the other teams. This article is not to cover draft strategy, who you should draft or what my favorite sleeper picks are; this article is to get you ready for week one. How am I supposed to get you ready for week one you say? Well, I might have a slight gambling problem, but hey, it is not a problem if you are winning, at least that is what I keep telling my girlfriend. Gambling on football is a multi-billion dollar industry and the bookies know this, they also are the best numbers people in the business; I want to explain how you can use Vegas odds to your advantage. For those doubtful at this point, I want you to know that yes, I am still talking about fantasy football, let me show you what I mean.

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Aug 19

Ranking Debate – The Truth v. The Commish Quarterbacks and Running Backs

debate

Everyone loves a good debate.  Thin crust or deep dish?  Hard tacos or soft?  Less filling or tastes great?  Can you tell I haven’t had lunch yet. Sports debates can turn into some of the most heated debates around.  That’s because sports fans tend to be passionate about their favorite teams or players.  Tell a Chicago fan that the 2000 Ravens had a better defense than the ’86 Bears, then just sit back and watch the sparks fly.  The same can be said for fantasy players.  Everyone has their opinions on who will breakout and who will be a bust.  It’s one of the things that makes this game so great.  No opinion is too crazy and you can make a case for just about any player if you know how to find the right stats to back up your point.  If I would have told you in the summer of 2013 that Knowshon Moreno was going to be a top-5 running back, you would have laughed me out of the room. Continue reading

Aug 18

One for the Price of … None: A Platoon Version of Buster Posey

Dioner Navarro is one cool customer -- and you can be too, provided you just wisen up to the power of the platoon.

Dioner Navarro is one cool customer — and you can be too, provided you just wisen up to the power of the platoon.

Whatever happened to Renaissance Men? That totally used to be a thing, but now we live in a specialized world — where people excel in one thing and suck in everything else. Seriously, ladies, how can you expect me to dominate in fantasy baseball AND in the bedroom? There’s only so much one man can do.

So why have one man when two can do the job? I’m talking about fantasy baseball, get your mind out of the gutters, people.

With that in mind, here’s a look at how you might be better off in your league using a platoon at catcher instead of trying to rely on one player to give you the production you need.

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