Last week, I looked at the rough target numbers you need for each category to win the NFBC Main Event. For some background, the Main Event consists of 30 separate 15-team leagues that compete individually for 15 points in each category while simultaneously competing for 450 points per category in the overall contest. For the purposes of this post, I’m looking at the overall dimension of the contest, though any findings will obviously apply to the individual leagues as well:
I ran the Steamer pitching projections through my formula earlier today. Here are the results for their hitting projections, using the same standard-deviations-above-replacement methodology for each category:
I ran the Steamer pitching projections through my basic formula which compares players across categories based on standard deviations above replacement in each category. The merits of the approach are it generates a good overall value based on the projected the player pool. The weakness is it doesn’t account for the way people actually fill their pitching slots, i.e., it assumes everyone’s trying to maximize overall value of the nine slots rather than doing so for seven while separately trying to score well in saves in the last two. As a result, one-dimensional closers – those projected to help in saves but little else – are ranked lower than they would be in a typical draft or auction.
I don’t believe in shooting for strict categorical target goals during a draft, but thought it might be useful to get a rough idea of what it takes to win the 450-team NFBC Main Event overall. Typically it’s around 80th percentile in each of the 10 categories, or 360 out of 450 possible points for each. Last year, 3600 total category points would have put you in ninth place, so it’s ballpark for what it took, though the winner, Rob Silver, had more than 4,000. But let’s keep it simple and aim for 80 percent or 3600.
It was 20 years ago today that fantasy sports’ first player news update was written. The very first update was about Roger McDowell. A second update that day was written on Jason Bere. RotoNews.com had launched in January, but added a new system of player news with a searchable database on this date. RotoNews later morphed into RotoWire.com and the player news has remained in the same database. The original updates can still be viewed on RotoWire.com:
Since 1997, RotoNews-RotoWire has written 590,801 MLB updates and more than 1.8 million updates among 14+ sports.
Before 1997, there were some web sites and print publications that had nuggets on players for fantasy purposes. However, RotoNews’ format of having a “news” and “analysis” (then called “recommends”) section for each update has become a standard that even competitors follow. And RotoNews’ player news system was the first that featured a searchable database.
An article from USA Today Baseball Weekly on April 16, 1997 below heralds the launch of the RotoNews player news pages (RotoNews didn’t even have it’s own URL at the time, that would come a few months later).
In 1997 we gathered information mostly from print sources, TV and a few online newspapers. With the invention of blogs and then Twitter, the amount of information available on players has increased dramatically. We write many more player notes per player each year as a result. Given those caveats, here are the top 20 most updated MLB players over the past 20 years. It’s a mix of big stars and frequently-injured players.
- Carlos Beltran 1,179 updates
- David Ortiz 1,044
- Alex Rodriguez 1,032
- Hanley Ramirez 984
- Carl Crawford 923
- Josh Hamilton 890
- Chipper Jones 889
- Jose Reyes 885
- Coco Crisp 875
- Albert Pujols 874
- Aramis Ramirez 842
- J.D. Drew 820
- Pedro Martinez 813
- Miguel Cabrera 809
- Jake Peavy 809
- Bartolo Colon 804
- Kerry Wood 802
- Derek Jeter 791
- Ryan Howard 788
- Joe Mauer 784
RotoWire’s Jeff Erickson has authored the most MLB updates with 45,282.
I’ve chipped in 23,352 MLB player notes since writing the first two and 66,136 overall in all sports (at least the ones we tracked).
Thanks to everyone who has read our work the past two decades on RotoNews, RotoWire or the many partners who utilize our player news (currently ESPN, FoxSports, NFL.com, CBS Sports, FanDuel, Yahoo! Sports, DraftKings, MyFantasyLeague and many more). Here’s to another great 20 years.
Let’s continue my “learn from my mistakes” tour. Take my NFBC Main Event team. Please. I finished in ninth place (of 15) in my league with 69 points, and never really challenged. That translated into 333/450 in the overall contest. Just terrible.
For those unfamiliar with the NFBC, the National Fantasy Baseball Championship is a series of high-stakes leagues run by Greg Ambrosius and Tom Kessenich. There are multiple live and online events, both with an individual league component as well as an overall contest. The Main Event is a series of 15-team mixed league teams where one can compete for the individual league title in addition to an overall grand prize of $125,000. Teams are selected via snake draft, and there’s no trading allowed.
I agonized about how to tackle starting pitching from the 12th spot in the draft in my league, debating whether to leap early to take Max Scherzer in the first round, leap early to take Chris Sale, Jake Arrieta or Madison Bumgarner at 2.4 (19th spot), or take what came to me in the third round or later. The NFBC pushes starting pitching harder than any other format both because of the trading ban and because of the overall contest, so waiting much later really wasn’t a viable option. I decided to open Door #3, and take what was given to me in the third round.
I chose ……. poorly.
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