Before I went on vacation last week, I posted what I had for replacement value with respect to the NFBC’s 12-team, $100K online championship. It was the aggregate by-position numbers gleaned from one of last year’s leagues. Here I’ll break it down further into individual stat lines.
Alex Colome led Major League Baseball in saves with 47 in 2017. He did that despite seeing his strikeout rate drop from 31.4% in 2016 to 20.6% in 2017. While he had a 3.24 ERA, his xFIP ERA was all the way up to 4.32. I already viewed him as a risk because of his likelihood of being dealt, but when DVR and I were talking about closers on our SiriusXM show this week, he named him as one of the established closers that he’s most worried about. He cited Colome’s 11.9% swinging strike rate, which was 85th among all qualified relievers last year. As a point of reference, Craig Kimbrel led all relievers with a 19.8% swinging strike rate, followed by Kenley Jansen at 18.2%.
What’s more valuable, 200 strikeouts from a starting pitcher or 37 home runs from an outfielder? The answer isn’t obvious, and it’s actually not knowable without having information about the league context. The context in which I’ve been most interested lately is the NFBC format, in this case the 12-team. And before we can answer the question even for that specific format, we need to understand the concept of replacement value.
We had the first “Beat Chris Liss” NFBC Online Championship draft early this year. As always, it’s a 12-team standard 5 x 5 format that’s both an individual league and part of an overall contest, the first prize for which pays $100K. I drew the seventh pick, and, as always, I’ve already spent the money.
If you play in deep, competitive fantasy leagues, you know that one of the commodities you can never get enough of is pitching. No matter how stacked your staff is coming out of your draft or auction, injuries and under-performance always create holes over the summer, and that’s before you factor in strategies like streaming SPs.
As such, it’s always helpful to know where to look to find pitchers who may not be on the fantasy radar in March but could wind up being key contributors in June. By now, the statistical markers for pitching sleepers are well known — strikeouts good, walks and home runs bad — but there’s one area that doesn’t get a lot of focus that has produced some gems in recent years.
The RotoWire Online Championship is an NFBC league with a $350 entry fee, 12-team, 5×5 leagues and a $100K grand prize. A substantial portion of your entry fee goes toward the overall prize pool – you win only $1,500 for first place in your individual league – so it’s imperative to draft with the overall competition in mind. That means balance across all 10 categories as this is a no-trade format (for obvious reasons.) To that end, I ran some numbers from recent seasons to see how much one would need in each category to contend for the overall.