# Fantasy 411 Q&A: Mar. 4, 2009 (Cory’s Latest, Greatest Projections!!!!!!)

Hey folks, I haven’t been posting much lately so when I speak up I want to make it count! So, here are updated projections for both batters and pitchers, now including eight total sources and as many new categories as I could reasonably include…

**2009_projections_030409.xls**

This is the last set of projections I’m going to post but I hope to post a spreadsheet soon including the various tools I use to convert projections to rankings.

Excerpting from a response posted to a question posted on another recent chat Q&A thread, here’s the step-by-step nutshell for doing so:

* Build your stat projections for each player;

* Figure out the top “x” number of guys that will be drafted at each position and overall;

* The best undrafted player then becomes “replacement level”… he’s the best player on the waiver wire;

* Figure out roughly how many of each stat are needed to win each category and how many the last place team will have, using last year’s standings as a guide… i.e., first place has 300 homers and last place has 180;

* Divide the difference between the first-place total and the last-place total by the number of teams in the league… for HR, that’s 300-180 = 120, divided by 12 teams = 10 HR. So 10 HR’s are worth one point in the standings;

* Divide the difference between each player’s total in each stat and the replacement level total… so if Pujols has 35 HR and the replacement-level guy has 15, that’s 20 HR;

* Divide that by the amount of each stat needed for one point… in the case of HR, it’s 10, and Pujols is projected for 20 HR above replacement… 20/10 = 2.0 points in HR;

* Do that for each stat for each player and then sum them up for total “standings gain points” for each player;

* Rank descending by SGP and voila, you have rankings.

(The same basic logic applies in rate stats categories but you have to back out the H/AB, etc., to calculate individual SGP’s. For example, in the AVG category above, .2881 – .2662 = .0219, divided by 12 is .001825. Then figure out the baseline H/AB and sub in each player to see how much above that his AVG would lift you.)

This isn’t really as complicated as it sounds; the real trick is correctly anticipating who will be drafted in each league. But then again, as you get further from the top, the difference between drafted and undrafted players is very minimal.

Well folks I hope this helps. I’m a little behind schedule in my draft prep but I’ll post what I can when I can, all leading up to the NFBC main event at 1:00 p.m. ET on Saturday, March 21.

Thanks

Cory

P.S. – I’m gonna go answer some Q&A questions now, too! :-)

**FEATURED QUESTION OF THE DAY**

**Hey guys, awesome work. I have a trade/keeper question for you guys.
I’m in a 12 team H2H league where we keep 5, 1 must be a pitcher (I’ve
written in on this league before). My keepers right now are Berkman,
Bay, Beltran, Ellsbury, and Billingsley. I got offered King Felix and
Pedroia for Berkman. The league has proven very difficult for trading,
so improving keepers is tough. With Berkman still putting up nice
numbers, but I would think on the decline, should I make the trade now
to upgrade my future keeper in Pedroia? I dont like trading for the
future, but making a trade in this league is almost legendary, so the
time to strike would be now. Just want to get your thoughts on the
deal. I probably wouldnt keep Felix, but the deal would just be to get
Pedroia. Thanks for your time and effort!**

**Wes**

Wes,

This all depends on your feelings for Pedroia. His ADP (24)isn’t

much higher then Berkman’s(16) and I definitely don’t think last year

was a fluke for the wee one. Point being this is a fair one for one.

Berkman only qualifying at 1B kinda makes me want to do this because 1B

is clearly deeper then 2B and you have some pop in Beltran, bay etc.

Ask yourself this. What 1B do you get in the draft to replace

Berkman? If that player plus Pedroia is a steal then do it. If it’s not

and comes back to just Berkman vs Pedroia then go with your gut. Would

Lee, Dunn, Votto or Chris Davis and Pedroia for Berkman interest you?

-Siano

Woo hoo thanks Cory….been using these projections the last few years, they are great. Keep up the good work!

Cory,

What can I say? This is amazing. I am so amazed that you share your efforts with us.

TP

Hey guys, awesome work. I have a trade/keeper question for you guys. I’m in a 12 team H2H league where we keep 5, 1 must be a pitcher (I’ve written in on this league before). My keepers right now are Berkman, Bay, Beltran, Ellsbury, and Billingsley. I got offered King Felix and Pedroia for Berkman. The league has proven very difficult for trading, so improving keepers is tough. With Berkman still putting up nice numbers, but I would think on the decline, should I make the trade now to upgrade my future keeper in Pedroia? I dont like trading for the future, but making a trade in this league is almost legendary, so the time to strike would be now. Just want to get your thoughts on the deal. I probably wouldnt keep Felix, but the deal would just be to get Pedroia. Thanks for your time and effort!

Wes,

This all depends on your feelings for Pedroia. His ADP (24)isn’t much higher then Berkman’s(16) and I definitely don’t think last year was a fluke for the wee one. Point being this is a fair one for one. Berkman only qualifying at 1B kinda makes me want to do this because 1B is clearly deeper then 2B and you have some pop in Beltran, bay etc.

Ask yourself this. What 1B do you get in the draft to replace Berkman? If that player plus Pedroia is a steal then do it. If it’s not and comes back to just Berkman vs Pedroia then go with your gut. Would Lee, Dunn, Votto or Chris Davis and Pedroia for Berkman interest you?

-Siano

Wes, I’d rather have Billingsley than Felix, too, so essentially you are trading Berkman for Pedroia straight up. Pass.

A follow-up to Cory’s comment regarding keeping Mauer as my #5 pick in a vanilla league. I tend to follow the “catchers later” philosophy, i.e. I avoid investing a high pick or high $ in an auction league in the C position. My feeling is that most catchers will give you 130 games at most, where you can get 150 or so from other position players. So in essence I refuse to pay the scarcity premium for the top C’s, thinking that I get more absolute stats by investing in the alternatives at other positions. I guess it boils down to Mauer+later pick vs. alternative #5+later C pick, but I think the latter is best. Comments on these opposing philosophies?

Allan in San Antonio

Also, thanks for the projections and the methodology, Cory, this is awesome stuff!

A in SA

Allan, I think the catcher scarcity points are well-taken, but the difference between the #1 and #24 catchers (i.e., two catchers in a 12-team league) is massive, whereas the difference between a #1 OF and the #60 OF is not as massive… think Shin-Soo Choo for example.

But hey, differing philosophies are what make drafts fun!

–Cory

Nice to see this year’s projections Cory.

I have an odd question. I’m looking for the opposite of a List of 12 guys. I need guys who have starting rotation spots but didn’t start last year (rookies, Japanese imports, injuries). Any suggestions?

Cory,

THANK YOU FOR THE PROJECTIONS!

Got a quick question with how the SGP thing works.

Should we be comparing players against the “best replacement level player” regardless of position?

For example, if Aaron Rowand is the best overall replacement player, of what value is it to know that Joe Mauer is 4.3 SGP’s better than him? (making up a number) Wouldn’t it be more valuable to know that he is 9.1 SGP’s better than Yadier Molina?

Of course, if we only do comparisons by position, it tends to over-emphasize the Kinsler’s and Russell Martin’s of the world…or does it?

How do you mathematically factor in position scarcity? Is it by comparing only against similar positions, only against the best available waiver wire player, or some hybrid of the two?

Thanks,

Chris

NL only auction Keeper League (5×5)- can keep for one year at previous years value only and then the player goes back into the pool. This guy has Lincecum at 15 and doesn’t really have any other value for his possible other 2 keepers. I feel like I have more than 3 options so I was wondering which 2 or 3 of these guys you’d be willing to package together to make a run at Tiny Tim.

Iannetta $1, Delgado $6, McClouth $10, Maybin $2, Jimenez $1, Chris Perez $2, Brian Wilson $1

This guys is smart and I am guessing he is going to ask for McClouth at 10 and one of the closers, what do you think?

Nate, I’d make all of those guys available and see whether you can get Lincecum for any 2 for 1 package. But the players I would be most hesitant to deal at those prices are McLouth, Iannetta, and Maybin, in that order. Even if you are forced to trade one of these guys, you’re by no means losing out. Try Maybin first, as I think he may be a year away from making a big fantasy impact, and by then, he’ll be back in the available pool.

Zach

Keeper question here. 12 team mixed league, 28 man rosters w/ $265 cap. We have to submit our keepers (no limit) in a few weeks and I wanted to know if these players are worth keeping or trading for at their current price.

Denard Span $5

Atkins $21 (several projections have him at a 300/20+/100+ season)

Kelly Johnson $10

Alex Gordon $12

Figgins $16

King Felix $17

Combined, my current keepers have above average power, below average speed, and weak pitching (Liriano is my ‘ace’ but I can live with it). What do you think?

Mahalo!

Cory –

MLB Fantasy Projections stunned me with a projection of 31 HR’s for Russell Branyan, your projections are at 17 HR’s. Is there an explanation for the 31???

Thanks

TJ

Maybe it’s the English major in me, but I’m having problems getting the rate stat calculations in Excel. I was able to create the spreadsheet calculations for the counting stats, but can’t quite figure out the spreadsheet functions for figuring out SGP to include the rate stats like AVG, WHIP, ERA (so that they reflect at bats and innings pitched). Cany anyone help me with the function formula? Or has anyone plugged Cory’s formula for figuring SGP into a spreadsheet that they’d be willing to share with me!? gkrake at yahoo.com

-Glenn in Portland

Keeper question. 12 team H2H mixed, 6 x 6, OPS the additional offensive category, three keepers. I am debating between Tex, BJ Upton, Manny, and Carl Crawford. I am leaning towards Tex, Upton, and Crawford to go into the draft not having to worry too much about steals. Would you rather keep Manny over one of those three? Thanks guys.

Glenn,

In a perfect world you’d divide the number of projected at bats (or innings) by the total number of at bats (or innings) your team will log in the year.

In my case, i had no idea how many at bats my team would have so i simply divided by 9 (9 starting hitters). I then figured that the average replacement player would log about 450 at bats (I could argue anywhere from 425 to 500), then divided the projected at bats for each player by 450 to get a multiplier on the previously “divided by 9″ number. That way Ichiro’s batting average got more weight than Mike Napoli’s, etc.

Pitching was easy…my league has a limit of 1600 innings that I always max out on. So I simply made the ERA and WHIP multipliers a function of projected innings pitched divided by 1600.

Aloha,

Chris

Firstly, what an incredible resource. Thank you.

However, I’m also struggling with calculating this for AVG.

Once you get the 1st place – last place divided by number of teams, (Something in the region of 0.015 for my 12 team league) what do you do with this number?

An interesting observation is that Pujols is just a shade under Ryan Howard in my predictions so far with average not counted yet. Really interesting to see just how valuable Pujols really is.

Who do you rate higher at 1B: Atkins or Huff, or would you rather wait a round or two and take LaRoche?

Everyone says that there is great depth at 1B, but it seems to me that that is only true if you sacrifice AVG, which I dont like to do. So who else could I target in the 2nd half of the draft at 1B?

Thanks for the updated projections Cory!. I’m trying to step through the SGP formulas but i’m getting stuck on how to determine the best undrafted player. I’m in an 11 team league and usually there are 15 catchers taken. So that would make the 16th catcher the replacement level. how do i know who is the 16th catcher is or what his stat line is? is it the 16 ranked catcher from last year? I’m totally lost on this despite it probably being something easy i’m just missing. Thanks in advance,

Brian

Hey Cory,

Can your system for generating rankings work with any league size, roster size, scoring categories, etc.? Or is it based on a particular league structure?

Great work 411 crew!

Hey Cory,

Can your system for generating rankings work with any league size, roster size, scoring categories, etc.? Or is it based on a particular league structure?

Great work 411 crew!

Kevin, my head says Huff given his big year last year and superior plate discipline but my heart says Atkins because a) the Coors factor and b) Huff’s inconsistency in recent seasons. Plus, Atkins is eligible at both 1b/3b.

Csmorash, my draft spreadsheet is based on a 15-team 5×5 mixed league but with some work in can be converted to work in pretty much any format. Unfortunately I’m not a superstar programmer so it might be some heavy lifting, but I will try to provide detailed instructions when I post it in the next week or so.

Brian, this is actually somewhat subjective… I try to figure out every player who will be drafted, then take the next-best guy eligible at every position. Obviously you might be off on figuring out who the last catcher or reliever taken will be, but to a certain extent it doesn’t really matter, because you’re already down near replacement level at that point. The key is to figure out the range between the top guy and the best undrafted guy.

–Cory