I love fantasy baseball. Love it.
I have been in a league for six or seven years that is a bit deeper than many leagues in that it is a 8×8 league. Our offensive categories are average, home runs, RBI, runs, run produced, OPS, stolen bases and total bases with pitching categories of era, WHIP, quality starts, wins, saves, strikeouts, innings pitched and batting average against.
Following stats outside of a typical 5×5 league got me interested in baseball metrics and analytics. While our league favors home run hitters it is still a fun league. I don’t get in a ton of fantasy baseball leagues partly because I am too competitive and with two kids, a full time job, a golf habit and this thing I do I call writing I don’t have enough time to fully invest in multiple leagues. I was in three one year and I spent a good hour every morning at work looking at fantasy baseball, potential free agent picks up and possible trades.
Wait, why is this a bad thing?
I was in a league last year that also had fielding percentage, assists, extra base hits, strikeouts per nine innings and some other obscure stats (one of which I still cannot figure out what it is or how it was scored – “EFF” was the stat and I’m guessing that stood for efficiency but I had some pitchers get lit up and still score a 1.0 for EFF…I was confused). While I do like this league it is really involved with multiple year contracts, keepers of varying sorts, crazy roster options and some other things that made it so complicated I needed to spend way more time than I could and had to drop out this year.
This all leads me to my recently added fantasy rankings (next to “Home” at the top of the page). I don’t think there are too many wild choices in my lists.
At the catcher position I like McCann more than Santana for now, but that could change by May.
First base is loaded. Give me any of the top six guys and I am happy. Even any of the top 12 and I am OK at the position.
Second base might see Utley drop off if he continues to have issues. If he is going to miss significant time he will drop off.
I think Evan Longoria is in for a huge year and was tempted to put him in front of Bautista but two years in a row from Jose is tough to ignore. Really like Beltre, Zimmerman and will be watching David Wright early to see how the change in fences at Citi Field and his side help/hurt him in ’12. Once Miguel Cabrera gets 3B status he will surely jump into the top 3 at the position.
Tulo reigns supreme at shortstop and Ramirez will get his 3B eligibility early, too, which will further shake up the 3B rankings early in the season. Watch out for speedy Dee Gordon in Los Angeles!
I put Braun ahead of Kemp in the outfield, but only slightly. I need to see another great year from Kemp before I truly believe but on the strength of another potential 40/40 season (or close to it) I have to rank him high. The top 10-15 in the OF are all really strong and then it starts to drop off fast. The thought of being stuck with almost any of those guys in the 40-50 spots makes me a bit queezy.
Starting pitchers excite me. The thought of having one of those top 10 pitchers on my team just makes me giddy! Love the strikeouts that most of them provide and watching your fantasy pitcher dominate just makes the entire day better, doesn’t it? Give me 18 holes followed by watching a dominating performance by Justin Verlander and my day is complete. My kid can poo in his pants and I would be OK with it.
Closers. I hate closers. In real life baseball and fantasy. I view closers the same as I do kickers in football; I’ll wait until the last round to pick up whoever is left as they only help me in one category in my league. I need power arms that throw 6-7 innings an outing and guys who hit bombs, not a guy who may or may not give me saves. While someone else in my league is taking Mariano Rivera in the fifth round to help in one category I am taking someone like Ben Zobrist who not only helps in multiple offensive categories but he can play three or four different positions. I might not update my RP rankings all year. Hate them.
Keep checking back as I will update my rankings all year. See anything you have serious beef with? Let me know in the comments!