Your favorite (hopefully) fantasy baseball website is back, everybody. It's a bit of a short update here, but for years I've gotten requests for in-season updates, and so I've finally carved out some time to give it a shot. Today I've uploaded the May update for the Big Board. We're about 20% of the way through the season, and through that 20% we've already learned some things. Didi Gregorius is great. Chris Davis sucks. And a whole slew of new rookies have emerged onto the scene. With that info, the projection systems (ZiPS, Steamer, and FGDepth) have updated with new rest-of-season estimates, and so I've loaded that all up into the May version of the Big Board.
As always, I'm bringing together a sort of 'Draft Day Survival Guide' for readers that sums up the preseason work here on the Harper Wallbanger blog. Keep up the good work people. By being here, I'm guessing you're more than ready to draft, but that's just half the battle - after this, onward to in-season management!
First, the Player Valuation series all in one place for easy reading:
Tip #1: Know where player values come from
Tip #2: Set your Hit/Pitch split
Tip #3: Value your Picks and Make Preseason Trades
Tip #4: Customize your Projections
Tip #5: Draft with tiers
Tip #6: Use the best projection systems
Tip #7: Draft undervalued players
If you're using the Big Board, you'll also find these helpful:
My sincerest thanks go out to all the supporters of Harper Wallbanger and the Big Board. It's been a banner year here, with hundreds of people signing up to use the Board. Here's hoping that every single one of you dominates your drafts this year, and manages to ride that to the 'ship in your respective leagues.
Over the next couple of weeks at Harper Wallbanger, I'm sorting through the Big Board for 12-team 5x5 leagues to find the must-draft and must-avoid players at each position. It's the position I love, and everybody else hates, relievers!
The story is more or less the same every year. Relievers are volatile, and in certain league formats, vital to your success due to their elite ERA/WHIP numbers. I like the old addage that you should 'draft skills', and so I always focus on drafting relievers I believe will be good, regardless of role. Others chase saves and that is a losing game unless you're lucky. At the high end, I want one of the top guys like Jansen, Kimbrel, or any of the next 4 or so. After that, I'm out, I'll take what drops. The mid-range is generally a terrible investment if your league only counts Saves. So today, I'm identifying a number of guys that fit into the mold of what I'm usually looking for: good skills, possibility of future saves, and cheap.
Over the next couple of weeks at Harper Wallbanger, I'm sorting through the Big Board for 12-team 5x5 leagues to find the must-draft and must-avoid players at each position. Welcome to the final stretch, it's starting pitchers!
More and more, the debate about SP value is all about innings. The high-velocity, high-breaking-ball usage, along with the 10-day DL and extensive bullpen use means that SPs are throwing less innings than ever, with only 15 guys clearing 200IP last year. Whoever your SP1 is, you should probably hope to get at least 180-190IP out of that guy! That, combined with elite performance, is what sets the top 10 or so SP apart from the rest. As always, there is a tier of overvalued mid-range guys that follows that. I love these guys too, but there is a real trick to drafting them. How sure are you that you'll see the breakout season (Castillo, Ohtani, McCullers)? Or get the innings you need (Paxton, Wood, Hill)? Or see regression in the right direction (Darvish, Tanaka, Archer)? There is risk associated with all of these guys, so you have to pick your spots wisely. What follows is my list of guys where the value seems to outweigh that risk!