What have we learned?
So I wanted to take another break from some of the more in-depth statistical analysis pieces to talk about what I've learned this fantasy baseball season and hopefully it will inspire some readers to write in with the different things they've learned during the season as well. We're just about 3/4's of the way through the fantasy season and we've come along a way. Hopefully all of you are still in contention and the preparation for fantasy football leagues is taking a backseat to a playoff run. So I wanted to take the time out and look back on what this fantasy season has brought me and what i've learned from this season and share it with the readers. My goal is to always take one new concept from each season and work on refining it for the next season.
As much as we're "experts"we're owners just like you, and we're constantly learning from the research we provide and the experiences we have. We learn from each other and we all get better. After reading through some analysis provided by Lou last year I got the idea to start focusing my pre-draft work on the difference between leagues. As a result I started specifically targeting more NL Pitchers and AL Hitters in my mixed league drafts. If I viewed two hitters similarly, let's say Michael Cuddyer and Jeff Francoeur the edge would go to Cuddyer because AL teams tend to slightly outscore NL teams. Similarly I specifically started targeting pitchers in the NL, guys like Rich Hill, Chris Young, and Matt Cain started littering my squads.
Our goal as a site is to continue to offer informative and entertaining articles that help give you, the subscriber, the tools necessary to be a successful fantasy owner. So we spend much of our time talking about the concept of "regressing to the mean"and what kind of indicators we're looking for in order to decipher which direction a player's performance is likely to head in. As a result most of us are inclined to pay close attention to the numbers when evaluating an individual player and sometimes I, personally, get a little too attached to the numbers. In fact, this has by far been my biggest weakness this season. As a result the one thing I've learned this season is to always trust talent. The list of guys I've regrettably passed over on the waiver wires this year is filled with former top prospects that I've written off for a variety of reasons. Whether it was Josh Hamilton, who I couldn't possibly understand how he could succeed after 4 years off and had less than 90 career AB's above A ball or it was BJ Upton whose high K Rate and high BHIP% made me think another tease was coming. The theme remained consistent throughout the guys I missed out on, I kept underestimating talent. As a result I've added in a little qualitative factor to each potential transaction I make and I try to imagine the floor and the ceiling of the player I'm pursuing. The floor is more important in leagues that I'm going to be forced to play this player right away, while the ceiling takes precedent in a league where I have a deeper bench. So each time I consider making a pickup I think back to all the different scout's analysis I've read and I think to myself what kind of ceiling are we looking at and with guys that were considered uber-prospects I'm now on board. I just took a flier on Justin Upton in a shallow mixed league where I have some cushion before heading into the playoffs hoping to catch lightening in a bottle. As I write this I just saw Upton launch a ball into the LF bleachers, sadly while riding my bench.
So what have you learned this season and what specific concepts or articles have gotten your attention? What do you want to learn more about? Write in and share ideas and we can all keep learning together!