February 2011

2011 composite projections 1.0

Hey gang, as promised, here’s a first draft of this year’s composite projections (

Composite projections 021911.xls

), a day earlier than last year’s February 20 release date!


Before you ask any questions about the projections, PLEASE
read the posts accompanying the projections from last year (http://bit.ly/buiDI1), and the year before (http://bit.ly/9BOXOq), and the year before that
(http://bit.ly/akGm0b), which explain how they
are built, what they include and what they don’t.

This year I was able to compile projections from 15 – that’s
right, fifteen! — different sources, and there’s still one more system I’d
like to incorporate into in a future update. However, this spreadsheet only includes
players who were included in at least eight or more of the 15 different
projection systems, and who are currently on an MLB roster (including spring


Please keep in mind that these are not “my projections”: I
have no vested interest in the numbers provided here for any particular player,
so don’t ask me why this or that guy seems too high or too low; if you don’t
like the projection for, say, Pedro Alvarez (below), don’t tell me about it… go buy a
dog! This is simply the “wisdom of the crowds” projection based on multiple



Also, as this is a first draft, these future changes are not
yet done:

* Don’t ask for other stats categories beyond what’s in
here… this is all I have to share with ya;

* They are NOT adjusted for playing time on a per-player or
per-team basis… this is the “raw” playing time as projected by the various


* The RBI numbers here are based strictly on the Padden
formula I used (see this post — http://bit.ly/5erm1F
— for an explanation), rather than the projection systems, and don’t include
any adjustment based on expected batting order position;

* Runs and RBI’s have not yet been correlated, as explained
in the same post;

* I haven’t put together a games-by-position file but will
do that soon too.

For more info read the previous posts, and I’ll post future
revisions as these and other adjustments are made. Enjoy!





Is there depth at catcher?

A follower on Twitter pointed out that our friend Matthew
of ESPN and I have offered some contradictory observations on the depth of the
talent pool at catcher this season. TMR and I have known each other for several
years and have some different viewpoints on various topics, but hey, there’s
room for that in fantasy baseball… reasonable people can still disagree!

When questioned though, we here at the F411 are always
willing to show our work, and then you the reader/listener/viewer can decide if
you agree or not. Hey, reasonable people can still disagree!

Here’s how I view the catcher situation this year on a
team-by-team basis, compared to what they had last year:

ARI – Montero should be better than last season if healthy.
If. UP

ATL – McCann is consistent and in his prime. N/C

BAL – Another season of hopeful expectations for Wieters N/C

BOS – They go from the consistency of V-Mart to the unfulfilled
promise of “Pits”. DOWN

CHC – Soto should see more at-bats under Quade than Piniella

CWS – Pierzynski is useful but in decline. N/C

CIN – Hopefully Hannigan plays more than Hernandez N/C

CLE – Santana should be a stud if healthy UP

COL – I’m a big Iannetta fan but he’s flopped in previous
chances. N/C

DET – Avila/Laird is just awful for fantasy purposes N/C

FLO – Not a big Buck fan, but certainly better than
Paulino/Davis UP

HOU – Castro may have upside but for now this is awful N/C

KC – Pena and May have upside but a healthy Kendall is bad
news here N/C

LAA – Neither Mathis nor Wilson can hit, and Napoli’s gone.

LAD – Barajas will deliver power, but even an injured Martin
is at worst comparable N/C

MIL – Kottaras/Lucroy is just ugly N/C

MIN – Mauer stands alone as the elite N/C

NYM – Is Thole any better than what they’ve had? N/C

NYY – Martin should replace Posada on a value basis N/C

OAK – Suzuki should be better than last year, but the
personnel hasn’t changed N/C

PHI – Ruiz is solid, unspectacular… same as last year N/C

PIT – Snyder’s AVG offsets the power; he’s no better than
Doumit N/C

STL – Molina is useful, unspectacular N/C

SD – Hundley won’t hit for AVG but has power and may steal a
few UP

SF – Posey is a stud, but not a 100% lock just yet UP

SEA – Is Olivo THAT much better than last year’s dreck?
Charitably, UP

TB – Jaso is useful but nothing special N/C

TEX – Adding Napoli to the mix is a huge, huge plus UP

TOR – Arencibia has monster power but the AVG will hurt… not
unlike Buck N/C

WSH – Pudge isn’t quite what he used to be N/C



So by my count, eight teams have improved their offensive
situation behind the plate, which is obviously good news… two have declined and
the other 20 have stayed pretty much the same. However, that doesn’t really
speak to the level of talent at the position, because other than Buster Posey
and Carlos Santana (right), we’re generally dealing with the same group of players but
with different distributions in playing time.

Clearly the additions of Posey and Santana to the mix
improve the depth in the top (and near-top) tier, but the declines of Russell Martin,
Jorge Posada
and Kurt Suzuki somewhat offset that. Beyond that there are a
number of promising players, but many of whom carry significant risks:

If Montero, Martin and Santana can stay healthy… if Wieters,
, Iannetta and Hundley finally establish themselves… if Soto and
Napoli get more playing time… if all of those things happen, then I will
concede that the catcher position is indeed deeper than we’ve become used to.

But those are a LOT of ifs, and from a tiering standpoint, I
don’t think we can confidently say there’s more certainty to choose from this
year than in any other year.

That’s how I view it. Anyone who disagrees, feel free to
chime in!




MLB.com Fantasy Preview + Notable Show Dates

The wait is over! The 2011 MLB.com Fantasy Preview has arrived. Click Here to start sifting through the more than 800 player blurbs and projections. This should keep you busy for awhile.

Our next podcast will come next Thursday (February 17th) and the annual overrated/underrated show is set for March 1st.

And don’t forget about the MLB Network preview show slated for the evening of Sunday, March 20th.


MLB Network Preview Show Date and Tout Wars News.

Hey everyone here is some info for upcoming Fantasy 411 related news.


The 2011 preview show on MLB Network is slated for the evening of March 20th. It’s part of a huge fantasy weekend for us because that is also Tout weekend. Below is some info about Tout Wars that you’ll be interested in including some new rule changes you may want to use in your leagues, I love them.



toutwars.gifMarch 18th is Tout night at Foley’s in NYC so come by say hello and buy us beers. Due to space limitations we won’t be able to have fans attend Tout drafts this year but Sirius/XM’s fantasy channel is planning on broadcasting some if not all of the drafts live so keep an ear out for that.


Here’s the rest of the info make sure if you want to get into writing or get noticed that you read all the way to the bottom……..Siano


Tout AL: March 19th at 9am.

Tout Mixed: March 19th at 3pm.

Tout NL: March 20th at 10am.


The league lineups are as follows (#=new league, *=Tout rookie):



Jason Grey

Larry Schechter #

Jeff Erickson

Todd Zola #

Dean Peterson

Steve Moyer

Mike Siano

Jason Collette

Rick Wolf/Glenn Colton

Ron Shandler

Matt Berry

Lawr Michaels



Nate Ravitz

Brian Walton

Lenny Melnick/Paul Grecco

Mike Gianella

Peter Kreutzer

Phil Hertz

Rob Liebowitz #

Scott Pianowski

Tristan Cockcroft

Scott Wilderman

Cory Schwartz

Chris Liss

Steve Gardner #



Andy Behrens

Charlie Wiegert

Scott Swanay *

Fred Zinkie *

Eric Mack

David Feldman *

Nicholas Minnix

David Gonos

Derek Carty

Tim Heaney *

Paul Petera 

Nano Di Fino

Seth Trachtman

Gene McCaffrey #

JP Kastner




We want there to be something at stake apart from the SABR Trophy and bragging rights for winning, so we’ve added a couple of wrinkles (effective 2012):


Reserve round draft order will be based on the previous year’s finish. Last year’s first place team gets first reserve pick, second gets second, and so on. Players who change leagues will be slotted into the spot they finished in the league they played. Rookies will have the last picks. Ties will be broken by a random tiebreaker.


Teams will be penalized one FAAB-dollar for each point (rounded down) that they finish below league-specific thresholds. The thresholds are 60 points for AL, 65 points for NL and 75 points for Mixed. For instance, a Tout NL team that finished with 52 points would start the following year with 87 FAAB dollars, rather than 100. 


So, some small incentives to keep pushing for points all season long.




We seek interested fantasy baseball writers to cover the Tout Wars action. This can be on a regular or semi-regular basis. All ideas will be considered. This is an excellent chance for young writers to meet and suck up to industry veterans, and get on the radar for future Tout Wars invitations. Make recommendations or have interested parties send proposals to webmaster@toutwars.com.

411 Retrospective

Hey everyone,

As the 2011 season approaches, we here at the 411 thought it would be a cool idea to take a journey through the past, gathering up the links to some of the more notable blog posts dating back to the blog’s inception. Below you’ll find every List of 12 along with Mike and Cory’s preseason overrated and underrated picks, the All-Surprise, All-Disappointment and All-Fantasy teams and the end of season grades.


Lists of 12

Cory explains the theory behind the List of 12:

For those of you unfamiliar with the List of 12, the concept is pretty simple: we look for starting pitchers who crossed the 500 career innings barrier during the previous season, and focus on them as breakout candidates for the upcoming season. The theory behind this is that it takes pitchers at least a couple of seasons to fully adjust to pitching in the Majors, so in fantasy we want to find guys who are ready to have breakout seasons but might still be a little under the radar. Some of these guys stink and will continue to stink, but if you’re looking for guys who are ready to take the next step, this list is a good place to start.








2010 Overrated

2010 Underrated

2009 Overrated and Underrated

2008 Overrated and Underrated

2007 Overrated and Underrated

All-Surprise and All-Disappointment Teams

2010 All-Surprise and All-Disappointment

2009 All-Surprise

2009 All-Disappointment

2008 All-Surprise

2008 All-Disappointment

2007 All-Surprise and All-Disappointment

2006 All-Surprise

2006 All-Disappointment

All-Fantasy Teams






Final Grades