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One of the things you’ll hear from virtually every fantasy pundit is that a successful draft is based on how much value you get out of each one of your picks. The first few rounds are obviously dedicated to the studs, the players on whom your foundation is built. You’re picking from the best of the best and each selection, unless you make a total bonehead move or the player suffers a debilitating injury, should produce high end value for you.
Tim Lincecum is the worst pitcher ever. Alex Gordon has been a massive disappointment. Mike Napoli is flipping killing my fantasy team. I hear comments like that on a daily basis from people. Maybe all of the above is true, but there might also be something else going on here. What is that something else? The most obvious situation that has to be addressed is expectations. Were your expectations for a player reasonable given his skill level, age, club situation etc. Second, it's sample size. A quick example. Adam Jones has been a superstar this year, a top-25 performer overall, hitting .289 with 20 homers, 44 RBI, 54 runs and 11 steals. However, were you aware that since the start of June that he's hit .252 with 10 RBIs an a .681 OPS? Yeah, he's been pretty bad of late. So that brings me to the heart of today's article --- sample size. What does it mean, when is it important, and how should you work with it?
Well, we might as well lead with this today, right?
"Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose, sometimes…it rains." Apologies for yesterday’s absence, folks. Heavy storms hit the other day and my internet access was wiped out. Obviously there’s no reason to backtrack as you can’t go back in time and adjust your fantasy lineups, so we’ll just move “forward” so to speak and hit you with the latest action and news from Thursday. However, since I’m not feeling my usual snarky and clever self, we’ll just get right to the big stuff.
We are all looking for value at the draft table. One of the easiest ways to determine the value of a player is to consider what position he plays. With the growing trend toward people drafting based on “position scarcity,” I thought it would be worth my time, and my time is extremely valuable so it must be important, to give a list of some of the bigger name players who qualify at more than one position on the diamond (to be listed below the player has to have appeared in at least 20 games at each position – the standard qualifier in almost all fantasy leagues). To be clear, I'm not saying you should draft Mike Aviles before J.J. Hardy simply because he qualifies at more than one spot. What I am saying though is if you are trying to decide between Mike Aviles and Jason Bartlett that maybe you should lean toward Aviles because he will be able to help you out in two spots (in Aviles case he'll also qualify at middle and corner infield, further increasing his usefulness).
Prince Fielder trusted his agent and waited, and waited, and waited. It paid off as the Tigers signed him to the 4th largest deal in the history of baseball. Will he continue to have success in Detroit? At this time of year everyone talks about projections. I'll give my thoughts on why I think number projections are a shell game that no one really has the answer to. I'll also touch on two relatively minor signings – Bartolo Colon to the A's and Wilson Betemit to the Orioles – and tell you which one has the potential to be a more significant move for the 2012 season.