2014 Fantasy Baseball: Disappointments — Right Field

ryan braun

Photo Credit: By Steve Paluch

Some leagues have five starting outfielders. That means 12-team leagues will employ 60 starting outfielders when they employ those five guys. Even leagues with the standard three starters will see a number of outfielders employed as utility players along the way. So, conservatively, we might be looking at a bare minimum of 15 starting right fielders. We can definitely find a few folks that could classify as disappointments.

The right field crop has it’s fair share of disappointments like some other positions. But we haven’t seen that in the outfield just yet. Sometimes it happens that way. Ironically, the first disappointment is only there because of a position change. It may not be so much about being a disappointment as adjusting our expectations. Pitchers have clearly taken over in the battle between pitching and hitting. Sure, there are still some dominant hitters out there, but we may need to collectively change our expectations of what certain guys will do.

Ryan Braun– Milwaukee Brewers

(.266 AVG, 19 HR, 68 Runs, 81 RBI, 11 SB)

What Happened?

Do you want the snarky answer or do you want a more thoughtful one? The snarky answer involves simply being off the juice and that might be more accurate than we might think. However, I think we have a combination of getting off the juice and the game shifting back to pitching. Braun only played in 135 games. If you gave him the customary 150+ games then we might be looking at 25 HR and close to 100 RBI. So, really Braun wasn’t quite as disappointing as we were led to believe. The difference is that he isn’t the top 10 overall fantasy player he used to be. [Read more...]

2014 Fantasy Baseball: Disappointments — Centerfielders

We return from a work induced break to continue with the saga of looking at more disappointments from the 2014 season. Of course, this comes on the heels of all of baseball’s awards. Disappointments are an interesting contrast when compared to rookies of the year, Cy Young award winners, and most valuable player awards. Like some other positions, there weren’t very many disappointments in center field. You had to be considered a potential fantasy starter to be considered a disappointment, and there weren’t a lot of those.

We will have to stretch the rules a bit to get in our three disappointments. Fundamentally, this isn’t a big deal because many leagues employ five starting outfielders. In a standard twelve team league, that means that sixty outfielders would end up being starters. In that scenario, we might see as many as twenty center fielders become regulars. Since we have liberally expanded the rules, let’s see what we can find.

Michael Bourn– Cleveland Indians

(.257 AVG, 3 HR, 57 Runs, 28 RBI, 10 SB)

What Happened?

Some things get better with age. Speedy outfielders are not among those. 2014 was Bourn’s age 31 season. A look at classic lead-off hitters shows that they normally lose their speed in their early thirties. The ones that are able to make it are the ones that improvise their games in other ways. They get on base and they score runs. Bourn has never had an OBP higher than .354 and last year it was a paltry .314. He also missed nearly 60 games to injury. When you combine those two factors together you can see what happened to Bourn.

What about 2015? [Read more...]

2014 Fantasy Baseball: Disappointments — Left Fielders

Carlos Gonzalez

The World Series is officially over, so now teams are entering off-season mode. Unlike past seasons, teams can begin signing free agents five calendar days after the World Series is over. By the time you read this, some teams will be ready to pounce on some of those free agents. One of the temptations for all fantasy players is to read too much into the results from the playoffs. Some players will be overvalued or undervalued depending on how they performed in the postseason. For left fielders, that might be overvaluing Alex Gordon based on his strong postseason performance.

The flip side is to look at players that disappointed in the postseason. We didn’t see many prominent left fielders that struggled in the post-season, but we did see quite a few that struggled in the regular season. The key is to determine whether it was a blip on the radar or a trend we need to pay attention to. The key in November is to keep everything in perspective. Most of us will be drafting again in March, so we have time to let cooler heads prevail.

Carlos Gonzalez– Colorado Rockies
[Read more...]

2014 Fantasy Baseball: Disappointments– Shortstops

segura land

Jean Segura
Source: Mike McGinnis/Getty Images North America

As we continue the disappointment train, we find ourselves with the exact opposite problem as we had with the third basemen. It isn’t that we didn’t have shortstops that sucked. It’s that a majority of them were expected to suck, so it is hard to pinpoint the ones that disappointed. In point of fact, at least one of them won’t necessarily look all that disappointing at the outset. Sometimes we just have to shift our collective expectations. This is obviously true at shortstop where there are only a few true legitimate all-star performers. Welcome to the era of the pitcher.

If there is any general theme for 2015 it is that we have to finally shift our perceptions on the balance between pitching and hitting. There are some positions where there are only a handful of dominant performers. After that it is catch as catch can. After players like Troy Tulowitzki and Hanley Ramirez, most of the guys on the board are going to have some sort of flaw, so you have to pick and choose which flaws you can live with.

Jean Segura– Milwaukee Brewers

(.246 AVG, 5 HR, 61 Runs, 31 RBI, 20 SB)

What Happened? [Read more...]

2014 Fantasy Baseball: Disappointments — Third Basemen

wright land

David Wright
Source: Jamie Sabau/Getty Images North America

Discussing disappointments at third base could take awhile. There is no position on the diamond that was more underwhelming than third base. It certainly starts with the three names we will look at today, but it isn’t limited to those names. Others may have been more mildly disappointing. Then there is the shadow that was cast by Alex Rodriguez. No, Arod isn’t the dominant force that he was during his prime, but we are talking about a starting quality fantasy third baseman that found himself suspended for the season. The end result was a position where most fantasy players found themselves scrambling for credible performance.

Since it has been a little while since we visited disappointments, we should set up some ground rules. In order to be labeled a disappointment, you had to be a preseason starter in most 12-team leagues. That might be hard at some positions and at least one of these guys will be a borderline case. In another, you will be wondering whether that player’s performance could be truly labeled as disappointing. Perception is reality in these cases, but we have to remember what the perception was in March.

David Wright– New York Mets

(.269 AVG, 8 HR, 54 Runs, 63 RBI, 8 SB)

What Happened? [Read more...]

2014 Fantasy Baseball: Disappointments — Second Basemen

kipnis land

Source: Ed Zurga/Getty Images North America

It’s certainly interesting looking at fantasy baseball through the prism of disappointments. Obviously there are disappointments at every position, but it is also interesting that some positions disappoint as a whole. Nowhere is that more true than second base (and third base which we will see next). While every position has its Jose Altuve, we certainly see more disappointments in the offing than we do surprises. Moreover, surprises are usually guys added in the late rounds or even in free agency. Anyone can nab those guys and so anyone can see their fortunes go from rags to riches.

The flip side is much more cruel. Our disappointments were picked and earmarked as starters. In some cases, they were picked among the first five rounds. It isn’t impossible to overcome drafting a disappointing player, but it’s difficult to be sure. If you find yourself nabbing more than one, you can almost guarantee a season outside the playoff hunt. That happened to more than a few of us this season. The best we can do is do an autopsy on the season to determine what happened and whether it is likely to happen again. So, here are the top three disappointments from the 2014 season. [Read more...]

2014 Fantasy Baseball: Disappointments — First Basemen

davis land

The yin and yang of sports is about as powerful as any force there is. For the most part. There are few out of nowhere surprises at first base. Most of the players picked among the top twelve were highly thought of before the season. On the flip side, the players labeled as disappointments were not only picked among the top twelve first basemen but were also probably picked in the first four to five rounds of most drafts. These kinds of mistakes tend to blow up a fantasy season and many seasons were blown up when these three players tanked on the season.

Keep in mind that players can tank for two primary reasons. The first and most prevalent reason is that players simply under-perform in comparison with expectations. The second reason is that the player could have lost a lot of time due to injury. Obviously, the circumstances surrounding the lack of performance will color what we might expect from the player in the future. We will look at both for all three players. [Read more...]

2014 Fantasy Baseball: Disappointments — Catchers

Source: Victor Decolongon/Getty Images North America

Source: Victor Decolongon/Getty Images North America

If sports are anything, they are great sources of drama. The major networks now pay billions of dollars to broadcast major professional and college sports. As they say, live sports are TIVO proof. The best Hollywood writers in the world can’t write this stuff. The Kansas City Royals don’t appear in the playoffs for 29 years and suddenly they look like World Series contenders. Of course, few people concern themselves with the flip side of that feel good story. In July, the Athletics seemed on the verge of running away with everything. They had just added Jeff Samardzija, Jon Lester, and Jason Hammel. Now, they are all planning early vacations.

Before the end of the season, I went through an entire series of breakout players at each position. I’ll begin the offseason by looking at the reverse. We will be looking at three players at each position that we could classify as disappointments. In order to classify as a disappointment, a player should be a consensus preseason starter in a standard 12-team league. With all of the positions, we will look at why they were disappointing and whether we can expect them to bounce back. [Read more...]

2014 Fantasy Baseball: Breakout Player of the Year — NL Starters

roarkland

Source: Rob Foldy/Getty Images North America)

As we finally get to the end of the season and the end of this series, we see some interesting results when looking at pitchers. Pitching runs created are similar to runs created for batters and here we see some fascinating results. National League rankings were done according to those pitcher runs created and some big names were likely left off of the list. Some will be in a position other than what we think. However, the exact position of the pitchers is not as important as where they were in the Yahoo rankings prior to the season.

Again, we can have the debate over who the Cy Young Award winner should be at another time. For most, Clayton Kershaw is the obvious winner, but the pitcher runs created statistic would indicate someone else should win. In the breakout series, Kershaw is not a consideration anyway. We are looking for pitchers that were unheralded before the season and managed to surprise us all.

As we saw with the American League pitchers, there is a difference between who performs well in the standard 5×5 fantasy numbers and who performs well according to the advanced statistics we like to use. We will have plenty of time in the offseason to reevaluate all of the starting pitchers. [Read more...]

2014 Fantasy Baseball Daily Fix: September 19

We are coming down to the bitter end of the 2014 campaign, but there is still time to get on the Draftkings bandwagon. With a little more than a week left, there are still numerous opportunities to either make some big bucks or at least have a little fun while you are waiting for your Sunday slate to come up. The brain drain coming from the baseball world makes this a perfect time to pounce on the competition.

Fortunately for you, the second wild card has kept some teams in the playoff hunt even into the last week. Therefore, more teams are continuing to play their regulars into the last week. Of course, most teams have still packed it in and most of the divisions have already been decided. So, playing the last week can be challenging.

Draftkings gives you a 50,000 dollar salary cap to go on. I almost always play the double up challenges because it gives you the best opportunity to win. There are numerous other games you can play and some of them give you the opportunity to make some big bucks. Sure, most of the action might be in the NFL, but give baseball another try.

Salary

FPPG

Opposing SP

C

Wilin Rosario

4100

6.2

Chase Anderson

1B

Adam Laroche

4200

8.0

Tom Koehler

2B

Kolten Wong

3300

6.8

David Holmberg

3B

Jimmy Parades

3800

6.6

Allen Webster

SS

Erick Aybar

3800

6.9

Lisaverto Bonilla

OF

Danny Santana

4800

8.8

Trevor Bauer

OF

Steve Pearce

4700

8.1

Allen Webster

OF

Hunter Pence

4300

8.5

Odrismer Despaigne

SP

John Lackey

8300

16.0

Cincinnati Reds

SP

Doug Fister

8700

15.7

Miam Marlins

 

Salary

FPPG

Opposing SP

C

Dioner Navaroo

4000

6.1

Hiroki Kuroda

1B

Lucas Duda

4000

7.4

Julio Teheran

2B

Chase Utley

3700

7.4

Jon Lester

3B

Pablo Sandoval

3800

6.9

Odrismer Despaigne

SS

J.J. Hardy

3600

6.0

Allen Webster

OF

Chris Carter

4300

7.8

Taijuan Walker

OF

Justin Upton

4400

8.2

Zack Wheeler

SP

Jose Quintana

7700

16.8

Tampa Bay Rays

SP

Taijuan Walker

8000

10.4

Houston Astros