Category Archives: Cheat Sheet

First Base Rankings – Better Get Your Power Here!

In my first positional ranking article, I want to lay out that all rankings (unless otherwise stated) are based on a standard 5×5 league.  Players qualify at any position where they played 20+ games in 2017.  It’s important that you understand your league’s scoring, roster size, transaction process, and any other important settings.

Whether drafting for fantasy football or baseball, I’ve had the most success building tiers of players by position.  As the draft goes on, I can see by position when a “tier” of players with similar projections are getting thin.  Then a decision is to be made if I pounce on the last one of a tier, or if I need to focus on a larger positional need.  This approach helps you to have a few players to target before your draft pick comes up.  Don’t be that guy at the draft who’s constantly late with their picks and annoying everyone else.  On to the rankings…

First base is a deep position and there are sleepers and value late.  Make sure you get power numbers from this position.  If you don’t, you’ll be behind the league in this day and age of power bats.

Scorching Hot (Top Tier)

This is my top tier for first basemen; and it’s deeeeeep.  I want one of these top 8 guys on my roster.  If I miss out, then I’m going to wait in the draft to find value.  Rhys Hoskins just made the top tier as of this writing.  Position rank is in (#).

(1)  Paul Goldschmidt – He’s at the top, but falling in some drafts to the middle/late 1st round.  Snag him up and don’t worry about the “humidor” effect.
(2)  Joey Votto – Just keeps ticking.
(3)  Freddie Freeman – Looking to be a consensus top 3 1B.  He’ll do fine; even with that Braves lineup.
(4)  Anthony Rizzo – Consistently produces; and I like consistency!
(5)  Cody Bellinger – He had a fantastic rookie campaign, but will he see a sophomore slump?
(6)  Edwin Encarnacion – This guy will be a DH, but still eligible at 1B in many leagues.  He may be 35, but he’s averaged over 38 HRs over the past six years and got 42 twice!
(7)  Jose Abreu – Another consistent producer.  He’s not the biggest masher, but he’ll get you about 30 HRs and is a career .301 hitter which gets overlooked.
(8)  Rhys Hoskins – I like Hoskins and expect around 35 HRs, but I typically like to see more of a track record before putting a player in the top tier.  How will the revamped lineup play out in Philly?

Fire Bombs (Power Tier)

These guys may have deficiencies, but they can flat out mash the ball.  That often comes with a low batting average, but 40+ HRs for any of these guys is possible.

(12)  Matt Olson – This guy is undervalued and should be at the 35 HR range.  Cheap version of Cody Bellinger / Rhys Hoskins.
(13)  Joey Gallo – If you can stomach his low batting average (career .201), his HRs will make you happy.
(16)  Justin Smoak – Was the 38 HRs from 2017 all “smoak” and mirrors?  It was his first year over 30 HRs, but also his first year with 500+ at bats.
(24)  Chris Davis – In the past 5 years, he has seasons of 53, 47, and 38 HRs.  The two other years he only got 450 at bats and blasted only 26 in down years.  He’s averaged 37 over the past 3 years.  For how late you get him, it’s worth a shot.

Warm Embers (Middle Tier)

This group of guys aren’t the most exciting, but they fall outside of the top tier, are veterans, and will provide value.

(9)  Eric Hosmer – He’s not going to get you the HRs you need, but fills out other categories.
(10)  Wil Myers – He may flirt with 30 HRs and he’s one of the few 1B eligible players who will get double digit steals.
(11)  Miguel Cabrera – This perennial first round pick has fallen, probably too far.  Expect a bounce back to about 30 HRs and a .300+ batting average with better health.
(14)  Carlos Santana – The new Philly brings his veteran presence to the young lineup and should flirt with 30 dingers.
(15)  Ryan Zimmerman – He resurrected his career last year, will he repeat after 3 down years?
(17)  Matt Carpenter – Another veteran coming off of a down year.  Don’t let him slip too far.

Lottery Tickets (I Like With Potential)

This is a group of players that I like in the later rounds; let’s see what they can do…

  • Justin Bour
  • Josh Bell
  • Ryan McMahon
  • Trey Mancini
  • Logan Morrison
  • Ryon Healy
  • Greg Bird
  • J. Cron

Cold As Ice (Likely Won’t Draft)

  • Eric Thames
  • Yonder Alonso
  • Brandon Belt
  • Danny Valencia

Fantasy Football Hangover? Here’s Your Cure

Got a Fantasy Football Hangover?  Here’s Why Fantasy Baseball Could Be Your Cure…

It’s time to turn the final page on the 2017 NFL season. The Philadelphia Eagles were triumphant and every other team fell short.  The season had no lack of stories:

  • The Arizona Cardinals and Green Bay Packers never lived up to expectations due to injuries of star players David Johnson and Aaron Rodgers
  • The Minnesota Vikings led by Case Keenum made it to the NFC Championship, and the Jacksonville Jaguars rode their opportunistic defense to the AFC Championship.
  • Rookies Kareem Hunt, Dalvin Cook, Leonard Fournette, Alvin Kamara, and Joe Mixon all showed up for their fantasy teams.

That all made for a great fantasy football season and I can’t wait to see what’s in store for 2018 MLB!

So it’s finally baseball season. For much of the country, we start to see the warmer weather, shorts come out of the attic or closet, we get more daylight, and there are baseball games on just about every day for 6 months. Personally, my transition to fantasy baseball is easy. Every year on the Monday after the Superbowl, we pick the fantasy baseball draft order in one of my longstanding leagues.  Then instantly, the excitement of draft day, cheat sheets, and sleepers/busts consume me.

Many people out there only play fantasy football, and are hesitant to get into the baseball realm. If you like fantasy football, you should try your luck at fantasy baseball.  This article is meant to go over some basics of the sport and hopefully give newcomers a base knowledge on what to expect.

First, let’s do a quick comparison of Fantasy Football vs Fantasy Baseball, in terms of the types of leagues that are offered, and which is best for you.

Type of League:

  • Football (Head to Head, Points): Most fantasy football leagues are head to head, points leagues and run in a very similar fashion.  You have a draft, fill you’re your roster spots with starters and bench players, and ultimately accumulate points based off of the stats that your team delivers.  In baseball, you have a choice of H2H or Roto.
  • Baseball (Head to Head, Points): This is similar to football.  Know your leagues rules and point values because every scoring system is different.  Do you lose points when your hitter strikes out?  Are stolen bases 2 points?  Do you get points if your hitter draws a walk?  In the Head 2 Head setup, you play a different team each week, the team with more points gets a win, and the team with the best records make the playoffs.  Fairly simple…
  • Baseball (Season Rotisserie): In a rotisserie league, you earn points based on how you perform in each category.  Most “Roto” leagues are 5×5, but this can be customized to any number of categories.  In a typical 5×5 league, the categories are:
    • Hitting (5 cats): Runs, RBIs, HRs, Stolen Bases, and Batting Average
    • Pitching (5 cats): Wins, Saves, Strikeouts, ERA (Earned Run Average), and WHIP (Walks+Hits/Innings Pitched)
    • If there are 10 teams, the team with best statistics over the whole season gets 10 points for that category, 2nd best gets 9 points, etc. The last place in the category will get 1 point.  If a team was tops in all 10 categories, they would have 100 points.  If a team was last in all categories, they would have 10 points.  Every other team falls somewhere in the middle.
  • Pros/Cons:
    • Head to Head Points leagues are most similar to fantasy football, as they have weekly matchups, and you either end the week with a win or loss. This does allow for more luck involved in the outcome.
    • A typical rotisserie league is cumulative over the entire season, which removes some of the week to week luck you may encounter in Head to Head. However, it is also much easier to fall out of contention half way through the baseball season.  Rotisserie leagues typically require a little more strategy than a points league.
    • There are also some leagues that are Head to Head Rotisserie.  This means that the weekly scoring is based on your performance in each category vs your opponent.  If you have more home runs than your opponent, you win that category.  Whoever wins the most categories gets a win for that week.

Time Investment:

Before you join a league, make sure that you understand how often you can change your lineup and how frequently waivers run. When I first started fantasy baseball, I was turned off by the fact of daily transactions.  Unless you are active every single day for 6 months, I would recommend a league with weekly transactions and lineup moves.  You can set your lineup once per week and just enjoy the games.

Drafting, Prospects, and Call Ups:

In the NFL, there are no minor leagues. When you do a fantasy draft, there are 32 NFL teams with starting spots and it’s a pretty finite universe.  When it comes to baseball, you need to know your prospects and when they are expected to contribute.  The player pool in baseball is much larger and provides plenty of players with potential.  That will also impact where you will draft “the next Bryce Harper”.  If you use a high draft pick on a player that doesn’t make the major league roster out of spring training, you may have to wait for a May/June call up.  It’s a balance of risk/reward and baseball has many more moving parts than football. Whether fantasy football or baseball, one thing is consistent with drafting: “You can’t win your league in the first round, but you can certainly lose it!”  I’m a firm believer in this.  You absolutely have to take some chances when drafting, but most of my chances will be after the 6th round or so.  And I will avoid injury prone players the same way because I need my core players on the field.

Make sure to come back and visit The Fantasy Sports Addiction website for position rankings, cheat sheets, and information to help you win your draft and your league.  Good luck to everyone this year!