Monday, February 28, 2011

A View Inside My Fantasy Baseball League

Ronnie Jones is currently planning to take Chewbacca
with his first round pick.
When it comes to fantasy sports, baseball is the one true king. With this in mind, I've decided to make my main baseball league viewable to the public, and I will also post weekly updates, analysis, standings, etc on this blog. Before we get into the description of the league, let's take a look at why fantasy baseball reigns supreme.

Fantasy football may be the most popular version, but it also focuses on the lowest common denominator of fan. Once you draft, there is very little incentive to check your team more than once or twice a week. Most importantly, the head to head format and small rosters cause luck to be the most important factor in deciding who takes home the hardware. In fact, it isn't uncommon for teams on auto-pilot to make the playoffs or even win the championship. The best team over the course of the season rarely wins the championship, and that has soured me on fantasy football.

Fantasy baseball is the exact opposite. The truly knowledgeable competitors will find that their skills and intelligence are fully rewarded over the course of a 162 game season. I'm comfortable stating that it is impossible for a team on auto-pilot to win a normal fantasy baseball league. Fantasy baseball requires owners to check their teams and make transactions almost daily to stay competitive. The draft is only the beginning, and in many cases, it is much less important than working the waiver wire and adjusting your roster throughout the season. I've noticed that my baseball teams look drastically different at the end of the year than they did after the draft due to trades and other transactions. With the default Rotisserie scoring system (explained below), fantasy baseball successfully removes 99% of the luck from the equation. Whereas football rewards the best team over the last two weeks or so, baseball rewards the best team over the entire season.

Rotisserie baseball separates team performance into categories. The most common version is 5x5 in which there are five hitting categories (Average, HRs, Runs, RBI, and SB) and five pitching categories (Wins, ERA, WHIP, K's, and Saves). Points are awarded based on the final standings in each category (In a ten person league, ten points for first place in that category and one point for last place), and whichever team totals the most points wins. 

Now onto the Grads and Scrubs league details....

Our league's scoring system is 7x7 Rotisserie with deep rosters and six keepers (Each team designated six players they want to keep on their roster for the next year) per year. The categories are:

Batting Average
On-Base Percentage
Quality Starts
Slugging Percentage

The two past champions are Team Daugherty and Team Koojo. Best of all, Ronnie Jones holds the record for quickest waving of the white flag (Mid-May), though he claims that this year will be different. 

Here are the players being kept for each team:

TEAM DAUGHERTY  (John Daugherty)
Hanley Ramirez, FlaSS
Roy Halladay, PhiSP
Matt Kemp, LADCF
Justin Upton, AriRF
Chase Utley, Phi2B
Jay Bruce, CinRF
JUST WAIT (Ronnie Jones) 
Albert Pujols, StL1B
Domonic Brown, PhiRF
Troy Tulowitzki, ColSS
Felix Hernandez, SeaSP
Andrew McCutchen, PitCF
Carlos Santana, CleC
CC Sabathia, NYYSP
Carl Crawford, BosLF
Evan Longoria, TB3B
Kendry Morales, LAA1B
Shin-Soo Choo, CleRF
Tim Lincecum, SFSP
TEAM CERVERO  (Mark Cervero)
B.J. Upton, TBCF
Adrian Gonzalez, Bos1B
Matt Cain, SFSP
Dustin Pedroia, Bos2B
Jose Bautista, Tor3B
Andre Ethier, LADRF
WALKING WOUNDED (Kyle Bedrosian)
Adrian Beltre, Tex3B
Jose Reyes, NYMSS
Matt Holliday, StLLF
Jon Lester, BosSP
Justin Morneau, Min1B
Ian Kinsler, Tex2B
TEAM BEAULIER  (Scott Beaulier)
Cliff Lee, PhiSP
Zack Greinke, MilSP
Joey Votto, Cin1B
Nelson Cruz, TexRF
Cole Hamels, PhiSP
Jonathan Sanchez, SFSP
BIG MIKE  (Mike Armstrong)
Kevin Youkilis, Bos1B
Clayton Kershaw, LADSP
Dan Uggla, Atl2B
Mat Latos, SDSP
Delmon Young, MinLF
Colby Rasmus, StLCF
SHAUG'S SQUAD  (Billy Shaugnessy)
Tommy Hanson, AtlSP
Jason Heyward, AtlRF
Miguel Cabrera, Det1B
Mike Stanton, FlaRF
Joe Mauer, MinC
David Wright, NYM3B
TEAM WINKER  (Joey Winker)
Josh Hamilton, TexCF
Chad Billingsley, LADSP
Michael Young, Tex3B
Matt Garza, ChCSP
Tim Hudson, AtlSP
Rickie Weeks, Mil2B
TEAM BENTLEY  (Richard Bentley)
Mark Teixeira, NYY1B
Ryan Zimmerman, Was3B
Ubaldo Jimenez, ColSP
Buster Posey, SFC
Robinson Cano, NYY2B
Carlos Marmol, ChCRP
TEAM KOOJO  (Kyle Johnston)
Ryan Braun, MilLF
Alex Rodriguez, NYY3B
Prince Fielder, Mil1B
Brian McCann, AtlC
Justin Verlander, DetSP
David Price, TBSP
TEAM DIMAURO  (Nick DiMauro)
Ryan Howard, Phi1B
Adam Dunn, CWS1B
Ichiro Suzuki, SeaRF
Carlos Gonzalez, ColLF
Jayson Werth, WasRF
Josh Johnson, FlaSP

As you can see, the league is very balanced heading into the draft. I look forward to having a very competitive year, and the transparency should provide some solid motivation to not finish at the bottom. I hope everyone will join me in analyzing the league as the season progresses. Feel free to heckle or praise any team or owner in the comments section. If it all works out right, this experiment should prove to be a lot of fun.

Click here to view our league homepage.


  1. I'm going to like watching this blog. Especially as I watch my team shred this league this year. I say late April for Ronnie this year. I'm telling you, he is looking forward to 2027 when Bryce Harper is 37 and dealing with bone on bone issues in his knees.

  2. Haha, I think Ronnie will provide us with plenty of entertainment all on his own.

  3. Chewy is pretty young, if you can believe his Visa. Lots of upside there.

  4. I am going to enjoy pulling a 1991 "worst to first" turnaround and making all of you eat your words

  5. Well, it only took two years of giving up early and trading for keepers/picks.

    In hindsight, drafting a team in the inaugural draft that immediately needed to start rebuilding was probably a bad idea.