Articles by Jeff Erickson

Jeff Erickson is a co-founder of and the only two-time winner of Baseball Writer of the Year from the Fantasy Sports Writers Association. He roots for the Reds, Bengals, Red Wings, Pacers and Northwestern University (the real NU).

MLB Playoffs Cheat Sheet

Here’s a quick MLB Playoffs Cheat Sheet. This is for 5×5 leagues, assuming that you have a single draft before the playoffs start, without any redrafts after a round of the playoffs is completed. As such, we’re trying to project who is going to play more games in addition to simply evaluating players. Positions are based on 20 games played during the 2016 regular season.

My operating assumptions:

  • I like the Giants and Blue Jays slightly better in the Wild Card games, but neither Wild Card winner to advance beyond the next round.
  • I’m picking against the Indians and Nationals in their respective Divisional Round matchups because their starting pitching is so decimated.
  • Even though I like the Giants and Jays to have better chances, many of their respective top players are buried in the rankings because of the risk that they play just one game, or none at all in the case of their starting pitchers. At best, they’re 52-48 favorites.
  • My team preferences are pretty chalky – I like, in this order: Cubs, Dodgers, Rangers, Red Sox, if I’m building a stack in drafts.

Stopa League FAAB Results

For those of you with early drafts, the first round of FAAB bidding is vital. So many things have changed, be it by injury or job battles. Every team seemingly has a hole to fill, or an opportunity to grab. Obviously the early bids have to be weighted higher – the upside of the players available is typically higher, and the length in which get to use them is longer.

The Stopa $11K Auction League completed our auction over the All-Star break during RotoWire’s Annual trip to Vegas, just as it did last year. Mark Sanchez was still the Broncos’ quarterback, Tony Romo was still coming back from his previous injury, and Jamaal Charles was expected to be ready for the start of the season. This is a unique league – there’s a flex spot, super flex spot, and two starting tight ends. So your values might not correspond to ours. Nonetheless, here’s the results of a wild round of FAAB bidding.

NFFC PrimeTime – Quarterback Chicken

I competed in the NFFC (National Fantasy Football Championship) Prime Time draft Saturday afternoon at the Bellagio in Las Vegas, drafting from the 11th spot in a 12-team league. Most of you are familiar with the NFFC by now, but for those that aren’t, here are the key aspects to the league:

  • It’s a full-point PPR league, with three starting WR spots and a Flex spot.
  • There are no trades allowed in any of the NFFC leagues.
  • We have 10-man benches.
  • Most importantly, there’s an overall contest in addition to the individual leagues.

The Most Interesting Man In the World This Week

It’s rare to find a pitcher that’s coming back from injury that has added three miles an hour to his average fastball, and even rarer still to find him available on the waiver wire in a deep league in mid-June. But that’s where we are with James Paxton, and also why he has become one of the most important players to my success this season. And the funny thing is I’m not even going to use him this week in one of my two leagues where I own him (Hi, Red Sox!). Late note – it appears now that Paxton will face TB  instead of BOS, which still isn’t a picnic given what the Rays do against LHP.

NFBC Main Event (15-team mixed)

Team Player Bid Runner-Up
El Scorchos Main James Paxton (SP) 133 78
Team enfield Tim Anderson (SS) 125 37
CC’s Desperados Jameson Taillon (SP) 112 18
Canadian Beavers Carlos Estevez (MR) 96 76
Strike Force ME Dan Straily (SP) 70 33
Team Keikoan Fernando Abad (MR) 37 19
El Scorchos Main Matt Cain (SP) 27
Canadian Beavers Martin Prado (3B) 19 11
Doctor Who Danny Espinosa (SS) 13 2
Doctor Who Zack Godley (SP) 13
Doctor Who Michael A. Taylor (CF) 11
Ozville Flying Monkeys Boone Logan (MR) 9
CC’s Desperados Jason Motte (MR) 7
El Scorchos Main Robinson Chirinos (C) 5 3
HARRY CRUMB Raisel Iglesias (SP) 4
HARRY CRUMB Danny Santana (RF) 4 1
Ninja squirrel Kurt Suzuki (C) 3
Canadian Beavers Tyler Anderson (SP) 3
Team Keikoan Luis Valbuena (3B) 2
Money 2 Tom Koehler (SP) 1

My ratios in this league have improved from “historically bad” to “still gruesome, but not all-time bad” – I even have a better WHIP than one competitor in my league! But I still need a lot of help, and it was worth it to me to spend a good chunk of my dwindling FAAB on Paxton and use him.

Memorial Day Weekend FAAB Results

As the season persists and the FAAB budgets drain, the winning bids are getting smaller and we’re having trouble identifying potential impact players. It’s now that league-context is so important in analyzing the results.

NFBC Main Event

Team Player Bid Runner-Up
Ozville Flying Monkeys Eduardo Rodriguez (SP) 69 38
Ozville Flying Monkeys Archie Bradley (SP) 69 53
Canadian Beavers CC Sabathia (SP) 67 37
Ninja squirrel Michael Pineda (SP) 57 42
Ozville Flying Monkeys Logan Morrison (1B) 37 2
Ozville Flying Monkeys Chase Utley (2B) 34
HARRY CRUMB Yangervis Solarte (3B) 34 6
CC’s Desperados Jurickson Profar (2B) 26 16
Canadian Beavers Paulo Orlando (RF) 20 15
Doctor Who Ryan Rua (LF) 18
Doctor Who Hyun Soo Kim (LF) 18
El Scorchos Main Christian Friedrich (MR) 17
El Scorchos Main Williams Perez (SP) 17
Rock Me Amadeus? Tim Lincecum (SP) 16
Team enfield John Jaso (1B) 13
Strike Force ME Jhoulys Chacin (SP) 12
Arthur Digby Sellers Chase Headley (3B) 9
Ozville Flying Monkeys Bobby Wilson (C) 4
Strike Force ME Chris Heston (MR) 3
El Scorchos Main Mat Latos (SP) 3
Money 2 Luis Valbuena (3B) 2
Arthur Digby Sellers Peter O’Brien (LF) 1 1

Week 7 Quick FAAB Report

It was a relatively quiet week for me, as I didn’t find many appealing options on the waiver wire.

NFBC Main Event

Team Player Bid Runner-Up
Ozville Flying Monkeys Matt Andriese (SP) 238 221
Money 2 Rajai Davis (CF) 106 99
Money 2 Sam Dyson (MR) 106 6
Money 2 Brandon Guyer (LF) 76
Team Keikoan Jesse Hahn (SP) 46 15
HARRY CRUMB Steven Moya (RF) 44
Money 2 Yunel Escobar (3B) 38 17
CC’s Desperados Danny Duffy (MR) 34 13
Ozville Flying Monkeys Mike Foltynewicz (SP) 28 16
Ozville Flying Monkeys Kevin Siegrist (MR) 28 24
HARRY CRUMB Chris Iannetta (C) 28 12
Canadian Beavers Jhonny Peralta (SS) 28
El Scorchos Main Tom Koehler (SP) 17
Team enfield Justin Nicolino (SP) 11
Doctor Who Dillon Gee (MR) 8 5
Doctor Who Logan Verrett (MR) 8
Doctor Who Juan Centeno (C) 3
HARRY CRUMB Jason Motte (MR) 2
El Scorchos Main Ryan Buchter (MR) 1
Arthur Digby Sellers Trayce Thompson (RF) 1

My starting pitching remains tragic (and got worse Monday with Jose Berrios!), so my focus was trained more on the subsequent week for two-start starters, and even that wasn’t very inspiring. Koehler kind of stinks, but he has three pretty good matchups the next two weeks. With my ratios in tatters, I need to max out starts to at least compete in K’s and W’s.

Buchter is a saves stash – Fernando Rodney isn’t in trouble, but with him it always seems to lurk, and Buchter has been excellent, and picked up the save when Rodney wasn’t available last week. He’ll be the guy if and when there’s a change. It’s only a question of whether I’ll be able to wait it out.

Week 6 FAAB Results

Despite a lack of high-profile names available in most leagues, I was fairly active in FAAB bidding this week. Here are the results from my NFBC and industry leagues.

NFBC Main Event

Team Player Bid Runner-Up
Canadian Beavers Adam Duvall (LF) 157 74
Arthur Digby Sellers Colin Rea (SP) 87 30
Las Vegas Blvd. Aaron Hicks (CF) 47 6
Ninja squirrel Dan Straily (SP) 44 23
HARRY CRUMB Alex Presley (LF) 34
Team Keikoan Wade Miley (SP) 33 7
Doctor Who Aaron Hill (3B) 27 24
Canadian Beavers Chris Young (SP) 26 6
HARRY CRUMB Dustin Garneau (C) 24
Las Vegas Blvd. Ivan Nova (SP) 23
HARRY CRUMB Marwin Gonzalez (SS) 18
Ozville Flying Monkeys David Phelps (MR) 18
Ozville Flying Monkeys Doug Fister (SP) 18 2
Ozville Flying Monkeys Kyle Barraclough (MR) 18
Money 2 Ross Ohlendorf (MR) 18
Ninja squirrel Archie Bradley (SP) 15 13
Team enfield Daniel Norris (SP) 15 13
El Scorchos Main Justin Smoak (1B) 13
El Scorchos Main Adam Morgan (SP) 13
Doctor Who Curt Casali (C) 7 6
Money 2 Henderson Alvarez (SP) 6
Doctor Who Chris Devenski (MR) 6 1
Strike Force ME Bobby Wilson (C) 4
Team Keikoan Juan Uribe (3B) 3
Team Keikoan Tony Wolters (C) 2
El Scorchos Main Ubaldo Jimenez (SP) 1
Money 2 Steve Pearce (LF) 1

My starting pitching is reaching Threat-Level Midnight status (4.688 ERA, 1.376 WHIP, tied for 11/15 in K’s), so I need to maximize SP’s, including taking a chance on Morgan, who in his brief turn this time around has displayed increased velocity over last year. He gets a start at Atlanta and home against the Reds this week.