2014 Fantasy Baseball Daily Fix Podcast: September 2, 2014

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Below is a podcast with me discussing daily fantasy strategy for the day. It’s only about seven and a half minutes long. I discuss the starting pitchers with the highest projected point totals and the ones who are the best value for their price. I also discuss which teams are the best to use for stacking hitters from the same lineup. You can also find the podcast on iTunes by searching for ‘thefantasyfix.com’ in the search bar.

2014 Fantasy Baseball: Breakout Player of the Year– Shortstops

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As the calendar flips to September we notice two things in fantasy baseball. First, most full season fantasy leagues are moving into the playoff portion of their seasons. By definition, this will eliminate most teams. So, in parlance, most fantasy owners are ready to go fishing. This brings us to the second thing we notice this time of year. Most fantasy players have moved onto fantasy football. Luckily for you, I haven’t played fantasy football in years. I simply focus on the great game that is baseball.

That being said, it is high time we continue the process of looking at which players have successfully broken out at each position. Today, we focus on shortstops. Again, this isn’t about who the best shortstop in the game. Coming into the season, Troy Tulowitzki went either first or second among shortstops, so it is not a surprise to see him on the top of the list. We are looking for the guys that were overlooked on draft day.

The primary statistic we are using to rank these guys is runs created. Nearly every site uses it even if they call it something different. Baseball-reference.com calls it runs created (RC). Fangraphs calls it wRC, but it is essentially the same thing. It is an advanced statistic that estimates the number of runs a player actually creates for his team based on everything he does offensively. If a player creates 100 runs in a season, then he has had a very good season. With a month left, you will see that none of the shortstops have a chance to get there.

The rest of the numbers are familiar to you. Runs produced is a number I’ve used before in some of my other articles. It is simply the combination of runs and RBI minus home runs. We will look at the top 20 percent of shortstops (top six) and from there determine which of the shortstops is the breakout player of the year at the position. [Read more...]

2014 Fantasy Baseball Week 23 Waiver Wire: 3 to Catch, 3 to Cut, 3 to Keep

In the Week 23 edition of fantasy baseball 3×3, we’re running with Jordan Schafer, moving on from Joe Kelly, and settling in with Travis d’Arnaud.

There are plenty of waiver wire columns out there that provide an exhaustive list of the most added players in fantasy leagues. This isn’t one of them. Here, we’ll run down a few of the most interesting players for fantasy owners, with perspective on who deserves a your attention, who deserves your patience, and who deserves to go straight to bed without dessert.

Any questions, thoughts, trade deadline quandries? Hit me in the comments or on Twitter.

Oh, and here’s The Fantasy Fix Football Draft Guide.

3 TO CATCH

Players to be picked up; available in most standard leagues

Jordan Schafer | Minnesota Twins | OF

Jordan Schafer has mostly flopped since debuting with a bang, but in his aimless bouncing around the league, he has found one elite skill. Despite logging barely two full seasons worth of plate appearances over his five-year career, Schafer has swiped a total of 98 bases with a success rate better than 80%. His SB/PA rate looks a bit inflated after plenty of pinch running opportunities, but his success in those chances proves that he can run even when the defense knows it’s coming. His problem has always been getting on base, but that’s been much less of an issue since Schafer was traded to Minnesota.

Since joining the Twins, his swinging strike rate has dropped by more than four percentage points from the 14.4% he maintained as a Brave this season. His strikeout rate has dropped to a career low 13.1%. He’s kept his walk rate over 10% and his fly ball rate under 30%; the fact that he’s traded some grounders for extra base line drives is just gravy. His .383 BABIP is high, but something around .350 isn’t unsustainable for a guy with his speed.

As long as he hits, Schafer is going to keep playing, Ron Gardenhire has said as much. Eventually, his BABIP will fade a bit, but he’ll stick in the lineup long enough to swipe at least six or seven bags in the next month.

To pick him up, I’d drop: Gregory Polanco, Mookie Betts, Alejandro De Aza

[Read more...]

2014 Fantasy Baseball: Week 23 Two-Start Pitchers and Streamers

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There are several two-start pitchers who qualify for the streaming portion of this article. For sake of brevity I’ll only cover them in the top portion of the article, but you should definitely pick up any of the two-starters you want to stream. If you have any questions about these starters, other pitchers or general fantasy baseball questions hit me up on Twitter.

Must-Starts

  1. Corey Kluber – Mon vs. DET, Sat vs. CWS
  2. David Price – Mon at Cle, Sat vs. SF
  3. Drew Smyly – Mon vs. BOS, Sat vs. BAL
  4. Tyson Ross – Mon vs. ARI, Sat at COL
  5. Cole Hamels – Mon at ATL, Sun at WSH
  6. Julio Teheran – Mon vs. PHI, Sun at MIA
  7. Gerrit Cole – Mon at STL, Sun at CHC
  8. Lance Lynn – Mon vs. PIT, Sat at MIL
  9. Zack Wheeler – Mon at MIA, Sun at CIN
  10. Tim Hudson – Mon at COL, Sun at DET
  11. Mat Latos – Tue at BAL, Sun vs. NYM
  12. Adam Wainwright – Tue vs. PIT, Sun at MIL

[Read more...]

2014 Fantasy Baseball Daily Fix Podcast: September 1, 2014

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Source: Scott Cunningham/Getty Images North America

Below is a podcast with me discussing daily fantasy strategy for the day. It’s only about six and a half minutes long. I discuss the starting pitchers with the highest projected point totals and the ones who are the best value for their price. I also discuss which teams are the best to use for stacking hitters from the same lineup. You can also find the podcast on iTunes by searching for ‘thefantasyfix.com’ in the search bar.

2014 Fantasy Baseball: Brad Boxberger, The Next Great Reliever?

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Relievers don’t garner much interest unless they occupy the closer role. It’s just the way it is. As we know, though, closers – and bullpens in general – change on a whim. So, this week, I’ve spent a lot of time planning for next year, or at least thinking about it.

In Tuesday’s Rookie Report, I focused mainly on Ken Giles, Philadelphia’s flamethrowing new addition, who just happens to not have a sexy fantasy role. Only Jonathan Papelbon and, maybe, Antonio Bastardo stand in his way of being Philly’s closer. If I were running the show, he’d be chosen over Bastardo, but I’m not. Giles isn’t today’s man, though, Brad Boxberger is.

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2014 Fantasy Baseball Daily Fix Podcast: August 29, 2014

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Below is a podcast with me discussing daily fantasy strategy for the day. It’s only about 12 minutes long. I discuss why you should stop paying attention to matchups when picking starting pitchers. I also discuss which teams are the best to use for stacking hitters from the same lineup. You can also find the podcast on iTunes by searching for ‘thefantasyfix.com’ in the search bar.

2014 Fantasy Baseball Daily Fix: August 27th

Welcome to another edition of the daily fix. This week represents the last week of what we might call normal baseball. After August 31st, rosters will expand to as many as forty and trades will no longer happen for most contenders. More importantly for most of you, football season will commence and many fans will shift their attention almost completely to baseball. That means it is a perfect time to sign up at Draftkings. When people shift their attention away from a sport, you can take advantage if you are still paying attention.

Today, I will be playing the $1 MLB 50/50 challenge. There are going to be over 400 players, so the top 200 or so bring home $1.90. Draftkings uses a salary cap system for you to pick your roster. You choose one regular at each position and two pitchers for $50,000. Salaries are based on player’s fantasy points per game and who they happen to be matching up with. So, we will include both of those figures on both of our tables.

Our first table will be the lineup I will be using during the contest. The second lineup will be a reasonable alternative at each position. Obviously, the first lineup will conform with the salary cap rules (all the way to max this time around) while the second one might not necessarily conform with those rules. As always, you should check the weather and lineups up to game time so that you can make some last second changes if needed. [Read more...]

2014 Fantasy Baseball: The Rookie Report, August 26

Javier Baez Fantasy Baseball

Today’s report will be the last one for a little while. I’ll likely do a recap once the season ends, but I’ll be taking a quick break. Before that happens, though, let’s review once again, complete with plenty of Javier Baez talk. [Read more...]

2014 Fantasy Baseball: Breakout Player of the Year — Third Base

As we continue through the breakout series, we must keep in mind one guiding principle. What constitutes a breakout player? You might be tempted to think it is the best player at a particular position, but that’s not the case. This is a player that was not highly thought of at the beginning of the season for one reason or another. In order to find that guy, we are going to look at the top six players at each position according to runs created.

Runs created is an advanced statistic that incorporates everything a player does offensively to estimate how many runs he is actually worth to his team. It’s always interesting to compare those totals with the number of runs a player actually produces. That can be calculated by adding runs and RBI and then subtracting home runs. Since we are looking at breakout fantasy players, we will focus on the standard fantasy categories.

Once we identify the top six guys, we will whittle that down to the top three break out guys at the position. Again, it’s not necessarily about who is the best player, but who is the biggest surprise. Third base likely won’t have many outrageous surprises like we have seen at other positions, but there are one or two guys that have been pleasant surprises on the season. First, let’s take a look at the top six guys. [Read more...]