411 Glossary + MLB.com Fantasy Preview + Tout Rosters

Zach here,

A couple of years ago,  Cory, Mike and I put together a glossary of both popular 411 sayings and general fantasy baseball terms. As a new season draws near, I figured I’d re-post the glossary, which should be particularly helpful to those of you who are either new to the show or new to fantasy.

Click Here to download the glossary.


In other news, the 2012 MLB.com Fantasy Preview applet was launched yesterday. It includes over 800 player blurbs, rankings, projections and dollar values along with printable cheat sheets, so check it out!

Also, the 2012 Tout Wars lineups are set, so visit the Tout site for that info and more.


Great info, as always guys. Can’t wait for the daily podcasts to get going. Cory, sorry about your tough Round 1 matchup on IQ. I was rooting for you. Will you be putting together the composite projections again this year? It’s an invaluable tool. Finally, 12 team vanilla roto keeper question. I can keep three of the following, who do you recommend: Kinsler, BJ Upton, Jennings or Bruce. Thanks!

Hey Craig,

Yes, Cory’s working on the composite projections and they should be up here on the blog very soon! As for the keepers, I’d say Upton is the odd man out. By now, we pretty much know who he is, a good player but a player with a glaring flaw (batting average). I think last year’s numbers are as good as you’re going to get and would sooner take a chance on the upsides of Jennings and Bruce.


So on TOUT.. why do some start with less FAAB? Did some use credit last year?

Glad the preview is up. Are you guys going to disscuss it here? Why so many cheap players. Like in pitching.. some of those $1 pitchers have to be worth more.

And…do you know if there are any issues with the bloomberg rankings?



Quoting from the Tout Wars constitution:

“Total FAAB allocation is subject to adjustment based on a player’s finish the year before. The following year, teams will have deducted 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.”

As for the preview, I totally agree that the dollar values are too low. The strength of the applet really lies in the blurbs, rankings and projections. I suggest you use a different source for dollar values, but I’ve always had trouble finding good ones as a lot depends on your specific league structure and the tendencies of your league mates. A lot of times in auctions, I get to the point where I just have to wing it and adjust my budget plan accordingly.


Hey Zach, saw you drafted Kendry Morales in your mock, do you think he can hold down the DH job for the whole season? I held him most of last year in my keeper league at a dirt cheap price ($3), to maybe get a big bargain with him as a keeper. My options are 1 yr ($6), 2 yrs ($9), 3 yrs ($11), or Renewable year ($9)…do you like any of those options at this point? Obviously he’s no lock to play, and it is the Scociapath managing, but surely if he’s healthy again and hitting well, he should stay in the lineup over Abreu and even Trumbo. And people forget what a hitter he was turning into a few years ago…don’t have to keep anyone in his place (keep up to 8) but would you keep him? We don’t name our keepers just yet though, so I could ask you again just before we name them if it’s easier to call then.


Yeah, at that point in the draft I just felt that there was very little downside in taking a chance on Morales. It’s really anybody’s guess whether he’ll be fully healthy for the start of the season but the reports so far have been encouraging. And if he’s healthy, there’s no doubt in my mind that he’ll get everyday ABs. It’s easy to forget that he was far and away the MVP of the team in ’09. As of now, I’d do 1 year at $6 for him, but keep a close eye on this situation as we will definitely get a better read come March.


Would it be possible to get the 2012 MLB.com Fantasy Preview rankings (something like the top 300) in an Excel file format? I can’t figure out how to get it from the website into an Excel file like I did last year. Thanks


Not sure about that. I’ll ask the fantasy department guys.


Pick 2 keepers from this list….
D. Wright


Wright and McCann. I’m not that high on Wright this year but I’ll give him the edge over A-Rod due to Rodriguez’s health and age issues and the fact that Wright is right now the more well-rounded player, And who knows, maybe the moved in fences at Citi Field will help his power. It’s true that Wright also missed time last year but I have more confidence in his ability to stay on the field this season than I do in A-Rod’s. As for McCann, it’s always nice to have a top-shelf option at such a thin position.


Good job with the new fantasy preview Zach and the 411 crew, very useful for draft day like always. Is there any reason the players projections aren’t included in the printable version though? They used to be a few years back, which is useful as you can check the guys predicted numbers before you draft them. I can find other ways round it, but just wondered if they might consider using a similar printable format to a few years ago- that one rocked.


Agreed! The 411 has little to do with the preview besides the fact that I did the RP blurbs and projections and Cory did another position. The fantasy department guys put it together and I’m not sure why they changed formats starting last year. It looks better graphically but is a bit less useful. They must have not gotten too many complaints last year though as the format wasn’t changed back!


We were wanting to move our league to ESPN this year. It looks like position eligibility requires 20 games last year but our league only needs 10. We also use less games for the current season then the standard 10. Is there not a way to use different values.

I read a lot of posts on the blog and see many don’t use the 20 and 10 game requirements. Maybe they use a different site?

Thank you


Yeah, as far as I know each site enforces their own rules for position eligibility and they are not editable. I just checked my ESPN league and I know that I can’t change the number there.


My league uses CBS Sports (commissioner league) and we can edit these rules. We use 30 games for prior year and 3 games for current year position eligibility.

Would you draft Ian Kennedy in the 4th or 5th round or Ian Kinsler in the 4th or 5th round? And Bautista, A-Gonzo or Justin Verlander in the 1st round?


Kinsler and Bautista. One of the main 411 mantras is that we value hitters over pitchers as a pitcher’s performance tends to vary more drastically from season to season. 4th or 5th round for Kennedy is waaay too early for a guy who had a great year last year but carries a very limited track record. Bautista’s 3B eligibility gives him the edge over Gonzo and I wouldn’t draft any pitcher in the first round, even if his name is Justin Verlander.


When is the earliest I should draft Jose Valverde or Craig Kimbrel in a head-to-head league that saves come in handy?


Kimbrel will be a tough call as he will undoubtedly be the first closer off the board, so you won’t really be able to gauge how highly the league values closers. If you want him, I’d say mid to late 5th round is reasonable in a 12-team league. Valverde will be an easier decision. I’d wait for guys like Wilson and Hanrahan to get picked and then pounce on Valverde if you think he won’t make it back to you before your next turn. Anywhere from the 8th to the 11th round is where I’m seeing him going in mocks.


Just curious, looking at the rankings and projections on MLB.com…why is Jesus Montero ranked below Alex Avila and Miguel Montero when his projected stats are better than each of the other two catchers in 4 of the 5 main rotisserie categories? Avila is projected to steal two bases to JMon’s one, and Miguel is projected for 8 more RBI.


A good point but I think one explanation could be that the rankings are more conservative (less influenced by “upside”) while the projections are more optimistic. You’re right though that they should theoretically be more on the same page.


Hi Zach is the MLB.com prospect rankings aimed at fantasy baseball, or more real baseball? Just about to start my yearly prospect draft in my keeper league, and just just wondering if Mayo’s rankings are the best to go by. I used them last year and they worked ok, just wondered if maybe there was another site more geared to fantasy prospects rather than real baseball ones.


My understanding is that Mayo’s list is geared towards fantasy, though it might focus more on long-term keeper leagues than on what to expect in 2012. I use it too and have found it pretty accurate, so I’ll give it my stamp of approval!


12 team mixed pts league. Deciding between Pineda @ $11 or Hosmer @ $6. Please help?


Hosmer. Hands down. Even if the prices were reversed I’d say Hosmer. At $6 he could very well be the best keeper choice in your entire league!


Hi Zach, glad to hear you feel the same about the fantasy preview draft sheets. The colour coding for each position seemed a nice idea if I remember correctly, but the lack of projections for each player is a real downer we agree. Is there anywhere I can send an email in about it? Might aswell get my voice heard! As it stands I think ESPN now do the best free draft sheets version, same content yet fits all on one page!


I’ll bring it up with those guys. Not really sure about the reasoning behind the switch in format.


Zach just wondered a bit about your draft strategy for prospect drafts. I’m kinda new to these and not familiar with many prospects, and while im nearing the end of my draft now would be interesting to know your approach on it all. The biggest change I think with these is a lot of players have different ETA’s, do you tend to go best upside, or one nearer the bigs, or a bit of both? I mean it surely can be better if a player gets here 2 years sooner and you can make use of him, rather than someone who is eventually better but takes much longer to reach the show (hence my thinking on taking Hultzen over Walker/Bradley). Also how much does opportunity/ future roadblocks for the players affect your drafting? I recently drafted Mike Olt, thinking that when his bats ready and if Beltre’s still manning the hot corner for the Rangers, then they’ll find a fit for him on another team.
Dan from England.


Although I’m not in any true dynasty style leagues, my approach in my keeper leagues is to always value the near term over the short term, unless we’re talking about a can’t miss stud prospect who might not arrive for a couple of years. Play to win now, as a lot of so called top prospects never really live up to the hype, so the wait would end up being all for naught. And yes, opportunity should play a big part in your decision making.


Do you guys prefer a value strategy or a best available player strategy in a keeper league? I need to designate 4 keepers and lose the pick for the round in which they are kept.

Should I keep:

Justin Upton (1), Adrian Gonzalez (1), Dustin Pedroia (1), and Jose Reyes (1) as my 1st-4th round picks


Alex Gordon (27), CJ Wilson (14), David Price (9), and J.J. Hardy (18) and free up those early picks I would miss out on otherwise?

Which group would you keep? Does it make sense to mix and match from the two groups?




I like to take both factors into consideration when making these sort of keeper decisions and often do mix and match. But in your case, the prospect of keeping all four of those studs is way too enticing to pass up. Those are four top-20 guys!


Alright got an autopick league results in. What are your thoughts and concerns? (Outside of the AVG)
C-Kurt Suzuki
1B-Kevin Youkilis
2B-Aaron Hill
3B-Ian Stewart (NOOOOOOOO!)
SS-Jose Reyes (first pick I liked)
OFs- Stanton, Bruce, and Gardner (I really liked these picks)
IF-Freddie Freeman
Util-Rafael Furcal
BN-Placido Polanco and Brain Roberts
P- Garza, Jamie Garcia, Soria, Sergio Romo, Big Erv, Ogando, Danks, Uehara, Ramon Ramirez, Eduardo Sanchez, and Freddy Gracia

Btw it’s 20 team league non-keeper league


That’s a great outfield for a 20-teamer. That said, I’d like to see you have a much better utility guy than Furcal, who at this point in his career is a shell of his former self. He really doesn’t offer a great deal of production in any one category and isn’t even assured everyday at-bats, not to mention that he’s an injury risk. Your starting pitching is solid, and while it’s OK to have only one closer in such a large league, I try to avoid being in that situation, even if your second closer is shaky.


Would Michael Bourn be a good pick if I get Jay Bruce, Nelly Cruz and Mike Stanton to put Bourn as a Util. game

Also forgot, h2h league


Sure, why not? It would make for a nice power/speed balance, though if your league is H2H points I’m not sure how important that is.


hey Im in a 10 team head to head league….I usually wait on pitching til the 6th round or so,,,,many top pitchers are gone but Weaver and Sabathia are still available and all closers(Kimbrel) Should I take one on my 4th pick or else I am looking at Castro for SS or Jennings for OF although lots of OFs available….My 1st 3 picks are A.Gonzalez, Kinsler and Beltre


As much as I usually preach waiting on pitching, if my choice was Castro, Jennings or Weaver/Sabathia, I’d go with one of those pitchers (probably CC). I’m not a big Castro fan as a lot of his value is tied to his AVG and his .344 BABIP from last year is on the high side. Is he a valuable fantasy commodity, especially given the position he plays? Absolutely. But is he 4th round material? I don’t think so. As for Jennings, I like him but I also think that people are getting a bit too giddy about him based on a half season. He has a bright future but I do expect some struggles as pitchers adjust to him.



1: Regarding Tout wars, why did Cory move to the mixed league?
2: Keeper Q. Keeping 6 from A Gonz., Cano, Youk, Choo, Alex Gordon, Kershaw and Stubbs, Who’s out?
3: In same league: Would you trade A Gonz or Cano for McCann and one of Cliff Lee or CarGo?

Bertil in Sweden

Thx hey what do you think of Aybar at ss….at this time A Ramirex, Jeter, and Cabrera are also available as well as a few others….I have Beltre at 3B but need a CI if Zimmerman or Youkilis, A Rod, Wright, Lawrie, or Sandoval are available in the 5th round who do you think would hold the most value in Head to Head leagues

ps do you feel the 5th round is to early for a player like Uggla or Brandon Phillips?

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