Play Fantasy The Most Award Winning Fantasy game with real time scoring, top expert analysis, custom settings, and more. Play Now
 
Tag:tiers
Posted on: March 16, 2008 1:24 am
Edited on: May 8, 2008 7:55 pm
 

Lackey and tiers revisited

Well, I can't sidestep the obvious today.

Angels SP John Lackey will miss at least the first month of the season with triceps tendinitis -- and possibly more, depending on the team's re-evaluation of him at that point. Unlike Prince Fielder's conversion to tofu (which I hopefully tackled yesterday), this news should send shock waves through the Fantasy community because a presumed ace now no longer fits the description.

I mean it: Lackey, a 19-game winner last year who finished third in Cy Young voting, now has the rug pulled completely out from under him. And triceps tendinitis is such a vague injury with such an uncertain prognosis that I almost expect that early timetable of one month to extend even longer. I don't mean to sound like an alarmist, and I don't want to get ahead of myself, but I wouldn't fall out of my chair if this "tendinitis" developed into a season-ending injury at some point. This isn't the case of Yovani Gallardo, who suffered a freak injury with a clear resolution and recovery (and to his leg, not his arm). Lackey has me running scared.

How scared? Well, based on what I know right now, I have to drop him from my second to my third tier of starting pitchers -- in the A.J. Burnett/Francisco Liriano range, because he comes with similar upside and risk. I reserve the right to drop him even further, though, and if push came to shove in an actual draft, I could see myself taking John Maine over him.

In light of this injury news, now seems like an appropriate time to revisit my tiers, offering you the latest update from the most recent developments in spring training. Also, with the final installment of my Draft Day Dos and Don'ts series currently featured on the site, I want to make my tiers easier for the newcomers to find.

Anchors away.

-----

In case you don't know what I mean by "tiers," I'll direct you to two of my columns: Draft Day Dos and Don'ts, Part I and Draft Day Dos and Don'ts, Part IV. In fact, you should just go read the whole Draft Day Dos and Don'ts series. I won't get paid more money if you do, but I'll feel awfully good inside.

Now, I want to clear up a few issues on these tiers before I go right into them. Obviously, I created them from my own personal rankings, not the CBSSports.com defaults. I encourage you to create your own tiers based on your own rankings, but if you want a guide, you now have mine.

I tried to make my rankings as generic as possible, meaning they don't appeal to any particular scoring system. I would obviously fine-tune them based on the scoring system, and certain players would make dramatic leaps higher or lower. With these tiers, I also intended to appeal to the majority, meaning those who play in 10-to-12-team mixed leagues. If you play in a deeper league, you obviously need to go deeper with your tiers.

The last tier at each position doesn't necessarily include all guys who I consider more or less equal to each other. Theoretically, the draft should end somewhere in the middle of that final tier, and I wanted to tack onto it a few guys who I make a point to keep an eye on, no matter the league format.

I included DH-only players at first base because tiers only make sense at positions you need. Obviously, you don't need a DH because you can play any position at DH. Still, those DH-only players have value, so I wanted to include them in the tiers in a way that would gauge their value appropriately to everyone else. Grouping them with the first basemen seemed the most logical choice. Based on the depth at the position, your DH most often ends up a first baseman if not a DH-only player.

And on a final note, as you can see from the time of post, I put together these tiers early in the morning, after a long night of writing updates. I quite conceivably could have omitted somebody. Then again, I quite conceivably could have omitted him on purpose. If you see a glaring omission, let me know. I'll either add the missing player or explain to you why I didn't include him in the first place.

Now, my fellow tough guys, let's tier it up.

Catcher
The Elite
Victor Martinez, Russell Martin
The Next-Best Things (I have yet to draft from this particular tier at this particular position.)
Brian McCann, Joe Mauer, Jorge Posada
The Fallback Options
Kenji Johjima, Geovany Soto, Jarrod Saltalamacchia, J.R. Towles, Chris Snyder, Bengie Molina, Ramon Hernandez, Jason Varitek, Dioner Navarro, Ronny Paulino, Carlos Ruiz, Gregg Zaun, John Buck, Kurt Suzuki

First base
The Elite
Prince Fielder, David Ortiz
The Near-Elite
Albert Pujols, Ryan Howard, Mark Teixeira, Lance Berkman, Travis Hafner, Justin Morneau
The Next-Best Things
Carlos Pena, Gary Sheffield, Derrek Lee, Adrian Gonzalez, Victor Martinez, Jim Thome, James Loney, Todd Helton, Nick Swisher, Paul Konerko
The Fallback Options
Kevin Youkilis, Carlos Guillen, Alex Gordon, Nick Johnson, Conor Jackson, Ryan Garko, Frank Thomas, Casey Kotchman, Carlos Delgado, Daric Barton, Adam A. LaRoche, Joey Votto

Second base
The Elite
Chase Utley
The Near-Elite
Brandon Phillips, B.J. Upton, Brian Roberts, Ian Kinsler, Robinson Cano
The Fallback Options
Rickie Weeks, Dan Uggla, Kelly Johnson
Adequate Middle Infielders
Placido Polanco, Jeff Kent, Dustin Pedroia, Aaron Hill, Howie Kendrick, Orlando Hudson, Yunel Escobar, Ty Wigginton, Mark Ellis, Kazuo Matsui

Third base
The Elite
Alex Rodriguez, David Wright, Miguel Cabrera
The Next-Best Things
Ryan J. Braun, Chipper Jones, Aramis Ramirez, Garrett Atkins
The Fallback Options (I have yet to draft from this particular tier at this particular position.)
Chone Figgins, Ryan Zimmerman, Mike Lowell, Adrian Beltre
Late-Round Sleepers
Alex Gordon, Troy Glaus, Evan Longoria, Kevin Kouzmanoff, Hank Blalock, Chase Headley, Josh Fields, Yunel Escobar, Mark Reynolds, Scott Rolen, Edwin Encarnacion

Shortstop
The Elite
Hanley Ramirez, Jose B. Reyes, Jimmy Rollins
The Next-Best Things (I have only once drafted from this particular tier at this particular position, and I immediately regretted it.)
Derek Jeter, Troy Tulowitzki, Miguel Tejada, Carlos Guillen
The Fallback Options
Khalil Greene, J.J. Hardy, Rafael Furcal, Edgar Renteria, Michael Young, Orlando Cabrera, Stephen Drew, Yunel Escobar, Jhonny Peralta, Julio Lugo

Outfield
The Elite
Matt Holliday, Vladimir Guerrero
The Near-Elite
Magglio Ordonez, Lance Berkman, Carlos N. Lee, Carlos Beltran, Carl Crawford, Alfonso Soriano, Curtis Granderson, Grady Sizemore, Ichiro Suzuki
The Next-Best Things
Alex Rios, Manny Ramirez, Nick Markakis, Bobby Abreu, Corey C. Hart, Adam Dunn, B.J. Upton, Nick Swisher, Hideki Matsui
The Fallback Options
Brad Hawpe, Hunter Pence, Chris B. Young, Eric Byrnes, Jason Bay, Torii Hunter, Vernon Wells, Jeremy Hermida, Josh Hamilton, Matt Kemp, Delmon Young, Juan Pierre, Pat Burrell, Aaron Rowand, Shane Victorino, Jermaine Dye, Jeff Francoeur, Ken Griffey, Raul Ibanez
The Overrated and Late-Round Sleepers
Kosuke Fukudome, Andruw Jones, Jack Cust, Rick Ankiel, Josh Fields, Melky Cabrera, J.D. Drew, Johnny Damon, Lastings Milledge, Josh Willingham, Jacoby Ellsbury, Justin Upton, Corey Patterson, Michael Bourn, Willy Taveras, Michael Cuddyer, Jose Guillen, Garret Anderson, Nate McLouth, Milton Bradley, Luke Scott, Elijah Dukes, Jerry Owens, Carlos Gomez, Mike Cameron, Moises Alou, Ryan Church, Austin Kearns, Jason Kubel, Carlos Quentin

Starting pitcher
The Elite
Johan Santana, Jake Peavy, Erik Bedard, Brandon Webb, C.C. Sabathia, Justin Verlander, Josh Beckett
The Near-Elite
Aaron Harang, Cole Hamels, Roy Oswalt, Dan Haren, Roy Halladay, John Smoltz
The Next-Best Things
Daisuke Matsuzaka, James Shields, Scott Kazmir, Felix Hernandez, Brett Myers, A.J. Burnett, Javier Vazquez, Ben Sheets, Chris R. Young, Fausto Carmona, Yovani Gallardo, Francisco Liriano, John Lackey, Carlos Zambrano, Matt Cain, Tim Lincecum
The Fallback Options
John Maine, Chad Billingsley, Jered Weaver, Dustin McGowan, Brad Penny, Adam Wainwright, Jeremy Bonderman, Rich Hill, Ted Lilly, Chien-Ming Wang, Ian Snell, Oliver Perez, Jeff Francis
The Overrated and Late-Round Sleepers
Phil Hughes, Tim Hudson, Pedro Martinez, Derek Lowe, Clay Buchholz, Dontrelle Willis, Randy Johnson, Gil Meche, Zack Greinke, Joe Blanton, Rich Harden, Ian Kennedy, Hiroki Kuroda, Micah Owings, Tom Gorzelanny, Ervin Santana, Ubaldo Jimenez, Mark Buehrle, Andy Pettitte, Jason Schmidt, Bronson Arroyo, Jason Bergmann, Matt Garza, Wandy Rodriguez, Kelvim Escobar, Barry Zito, John Patterson, Andy Sonnanstine, Boof Bonser

Closers
The Elite (I have yet to draft from this particular tier at this particular position.)
Francisco Rodriguez, J.J. Putz, Takashi Saito, Jonathan Papelbon, Mariano Rivera, Joe Nathan, Billy Wagner
The Next-Best Things
Francisco Cordero, Jose Valverde, Bobby Jenks, Trevor Hoffman, Rafael Soriano, Manny Corpas, Jason Isringhausen
The Fallback Options
Brad Lidge, Joakim Soria, B.J. Ryan, Matt Capps, Chad Cordero, Huston Street
Last Resorts (I have yet to settle for one of these guys in a mixed league.)
Eric Gagne, Brandon Lyon, Kevin Gregg, Troy Percival, Brian Wilson, Joe Borowski, Todd Jones, George Sherrill

That's all for now.
Category: MLB
Posted on: March 12, 2008 2:19 am
Edited on: May 8, 2008 7:57 pm
 

OCD over OBP

Checked my e-mail today and found one I rather liked. It comes to us from Tony Weaver in Sarasota, Fla.:

"My leagues are all 5X5 Rotisserie with on-base percentage as a category instead of batting average. Since walks come into play with OBP, is there any players you would shoot up or down the tiers (see March 5 post) that come to mind? Thanks for your help!"

See kids? You don't necessarily send those e-mails into a black hole. Not necessarily.

Tony actually hit on a subject close to my heart, and I applaud his league for replacing batting average with on-base percentage. I think the latter gives a more accurate assessment of a player's ability and real-life worth (which Fantasy should attempt to model as closely as possible). Now if only his league could replace home runs with slugging percentage. Then, it'd really be cooking.

I love walks. I pay close attention to them and tend to factor them into my player rankings even in standard Rotisserie. You might call such behavior a bias of some sort, but I think players with good plate discipline tend to become good players sooner, remain good players longer, and post good numbers more consistently.

In leagues that count walks, I often try to draft only the players listed here. I don't do anything stupid, obviously, but I end up with a lot more hits than misses. And if you're like me, you'll often find yourself in leagues where your competitors hardly adjust their rankings for the walk. If so, you shouldn't either. You want to maximize value whenever possible, after all. Just make sure you know how late is too late, or someone else in your league will steal a player from you without even recognizing his true value. Talk about frustrating.

Now, I don't have an exact cutoff for the players on this list. I won't say everyone listed here walks a certain number of times per at-bat or anything like that. But from what I've noticed, these players stand out as the ones that walk most often at their positions. If you want to suggest one or two that I missed, feel free. Hey, I want to know about them for my own Fantasy purposes.

Oh, and just to keep the list from becoming too crowded, I omitted anyone I named in "The Elite" tier at his particular position. The Elite is the elite no matter the format.

I present to you the OBP All-Stars (or at least guys who walk a lot):

Catcher (The Elite: Victor Martinez, Russell Martin)
Joe Mauer, Jorge Posada, Jason Varitek, Carlos Ruiz, Gregg Zaun, Chris Iannetta

First Base/DH (The Elite: Prince Fielder, Albert Pujols, David Ortiz)
Ryan Howard, Lance Berkman, Travis Hafner, Gary Sheffield, Jim Thome, Todd Helton, Nick Swisher, Kevin Youkilis, Nick Johnson, Frank Thomas, Daric Barton

Second Base (The Elite: Chase Utley)
B.J. Upton, Brian Roberts, Rickie Weeks, Kelly Johnson, Jeff Kent

Third Base (The Elite: Alex Rodriguez, David Wright, Miguel Cabrera)
Chipper Jones, Troy Glaus

Shortstop (The Elite: Hanley Ramirez, Jose B. Reyes, Jimmy Rollins)
Derek Jeter, Carlos Guillen, Stephen Drew (But each is a reach just to give shortstop some candidates. Guess I have another reason to target the Big Three this year.)

Outfield (The Elite: Matt Holliday, Vladimir Guerrero)
Lance Berkman, Grady Sizemore, Manny Ramirez, Bobby Abreu, Adam Dunn, Nick Swisher, Brad Hawpe, Jason Bay, Pat Burrell, Jack Cust, J.D. Drew, Milton Bradley, Luke Scott

That's all for now.
Category: MLB
Tags: OBP, tiers, walks
 
Posted on: March 5, 2008 4:15 am
Edited on: May 8, 2008 7:59 pm
 

Tiers

Well, I finally caved.

After the bombardment of e-mails from people asking me for my tiers, I decided to post them for all to see on my blog. It was no small endeavor.

In case you don't know what I mean by "tiers," I'll direct you to two of my columns: Draft Day Dos and Don'ts, Part I and Draft Day Dos and Don'ts, Part IV. In fact, you should just go read the whole Draft Day Dos and Don'ts series. I won't get paid more money if you do, but I'll feel awfully good inside.

Now, I want to clear up a few issues on these tiers before I go right into them. Obviously, I created them from my own personal rankings, not the CBSSports.com defaults. I encourage you to create your own tiers based on your own rankings, but if you want a guide, you now have mine.

I tried to make my rankings as generic as possible, meaning they don't appeal to any particular scoring system. I would obviously fine-tune them based on the scoring system, and certain players would make dramatic leaps higher or lower. With these tiers, I also intended to appeal to the majority, meaning those who play in 10-to-12-team mixed leagues. If you play in a deeper league, you obviously need to go deeper with your tiers.

The last tier at each position doesn't necessarily include all guys who I consider more or less equal to each other. Theoretically, the draft should end somewhere in the middle of that final tier, and I wanted to tack onto it a few guys who I make a point to keep an eye on, no matter the league format.

I included DH-only players at first base because tiers only make sense at positions you need. Obviously, you don't need a DH because you can play any position at DH. Still, those DH-only players have value, so I wanted to include them in the tiers in a way that would gauge their value appropriately to everyone else. Grouping them with the first basemen seemed the most logical choice. Based on the depth at the position, your DH most often ends up a first baseman if not a DH-only player.

And on a final note, as you can see from the time of post, I put together these tiers awfully early in the morning, after a long night of writing updates. I quite conceivably could have omitted somebody. Then again, I quite conceivably could have omitted him on purpose. If you see a glaring omission, let me know. I'll either add the missing player or explain to you why I didn't include him in the first place.

Now, my fellow tough guys, let's tier it up.

Catcher
The Elite

Victor Martinez, Russell Martin
The Next-Best Things (I have yet to draft from this particular tier at this particular position.)
Brian McCann, Joe Mauer, Jorge Posada
The Fallback Options
Kenji Johjima, Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Geovany Soto, J.R. Towles, Chris Snyder, Ramon Hernandez, Bengie Molina, Jason Varitek, Dioner Navarro, Ronny Paulino, Carlos Ruiz, Gregg Zaun, John Buck, Kurt Suzuki

First base
The Elite
Prince Fielder, Albert Pujols, David Ortiz
The Near-Elite
Ryan Howard, Mark Teixeira, Lance Berkman, Travis Hafner, Justin Morneau
The Next-Best Things
Carlos Pena, Gary Sheffield, Derrek Lee, Adrian Gonzalez, Victor Martinez, Jim Thome, James Loney, Todd Helton, Nick Swisher, Paul Konerko
The Fallback Options
Kevin Youkilis, Carlos Guillen, Ryan Garko, Alex Gordon, Nick Johnson, Conor Jackson, Frank Thomas, Casey Kotchman, Carlos Delgado, Joey Votto, Daric Barton, Adam A. LaRoche

Second base
The Elite
Chase Utley
The Near-Elite
Brandon Phillips, B.J. Upton, Brian Roberts, Ian Kinsler, Robinson Cano
The Fallback Options
Rickie Weeks, Dan Uggla, Kelly Johnson
Adequate Middle Infielders
Placido Polanco, Jeff Kent, Dustin Pedroia, Aaron Hill, Howie Kendrick, Orlando Hudson, Ty Wigginton, Mark Ellis, Kazuo Matsui, Yunel Escobar

Third base
The Elite
Alex Rodriguez, David Wright, Miguel Cabrera
The Next-Best Things
Ryan J. Braun, Chipper Jones, Aramis Ramirez, Garrett Atkins
The Fallback Options (I have yet to draft from this particular tier at this particular position.)
Chone Figgins, Ryan Zimmerman, Mike Lowell, Adrian Beltre
Late-Round Sleepers
Alex Gordon, Troy Glaus, Evan Longoria, Kevin Kouzmanoff, Hank Blalock, Josh Fields, Mark Reynolds, Scott Rolen, Edwin Encarnacion

Shortstop
The Elite
Hanley Ramirez, Jose B. Reyes, Jimmy Rollins
The Next-Best Things (I have only once drafted from this particular tier at this particular position, and I immediately regretted it.)
Derek Jeter, Troy Tulowitzki, Miguel Tejada, Carlos Guillen
The Fallback Options
Khalil Greene, J.J. Hardy, Rafael Furcal, Edgar Renteria, Michael Young, Orlando Cabrera, Stephen Drew, Jhonny Peralta, Julio Lugo

Outfield
The Elite
Matt Holliday, Vladimir Guerrero
The Near-Elite
Magglio Ordonez, Lance Berkman, Carlos N. Lee, Carlos Beltran, Carl Crawford, Alfonso Soriano, Curtis Granderson, Grady Sizemore, Ichiro Suzuki
The Next-Best Things
Alex Rios, Manny Ramirez, Nick Markakis, Bobby Abreu, Corey C. Hart, Adam Dunn, B.J. Upton, Nick Swisher, Hideki Matsui
The Fallback Options
Brad Hawpe, Hunter Pence, Chris B. Young, Eric Byrnes, Jason Bay, Torii Hunter, Vernon Wells, Jeremy Hermida, Josh Hamilton, Matt Kemp, Delmon Young, Juan Pierre, Pat Burrell, Aaron Rowand, Shane Victorino, Jermaine Dye, Jeff Francoeur, Ken Griffey, Raul Ibanez
The Overrated and Late-Round Sleepers
Kosuke Fukudome, Andruw Jones, Jack Cust, Rick Ankiel, Josh Fields, Melky Cabrera, J.D. Drew, Johnny Damon, Josh Willingham, Jacoby Ellsbury, Justin Upton, Corey Patterson, Michael Bourn, Willy Taveras, Michael Cuddyer, Jose Guillen, Garret Anderson, Lastings Milledge, Nate McLouth, Milton Bradley, Luke Scott, Carlos Quentin, Rocco Baldelli, Carlos Gomez, Mike Cameron, Moises Alou, Ryan Church, Austin Kearns, Jason Kubel

Starting pitcher
The Elite
Johan Santana, Jake Peavy, Erik Bedard, Brandon Webb, C.C. Sabathia, Josh Beckett, Justin Verlander
The Near-Elite
Aaron Harang, John Lackey, Cole Hamels, Roy Oswalt, Dan Haren, Roy Halladay, John Smoltz
The Next-Best Things
Daisuke Matsuzaka, James Shields, Scott Kazmir, Felix Hernandez, Brett Myers, A.J. Burnett, Javier Vazquez, Ben Sheets, Chris R. Young, Fausto Carmona, Carlos Zambrano, Yovani Gallardo, Matt Cain, Tim Lincecum, Francisco Liriano
The Fallback Options
John Maine, Chad Billingsley, Jered Weaver, Dustin McGowan, Brad Penny, Adam Wainwright, Jeremy Bonderman, Rich Hill, Ted Lilly, Chien-Ming Wang, Ian Snell, Oliver Perez, Jeff Francis
The Overrated and Late-Round Sleepers
Phil Hughes, Tim Hudson, Pedro Martinez, Derek Lowe, Clay Buchholz, Dontrelle Willis, Randy Johnson, Gil Meche, Zack Greinke, Joe Blanton, Rich Harden, Micah Owings, Ian Kennedy, Hiroki Kuroda, Tom Gorzelanny, Ervin Santana, Ubaldo Jimenez, Mark Buehrle, Barry Zito, Andy Pettitte, Kelvim Escobar, Jason Schmidt, Bronson Arroyo, Jason Bergmann, Matt Garza, Wandy Rodriguez, John Patterson, Andy Sonnanstine, Boof Bonser

Closers
The Elite (I have yet to draft from this particular tier at this particular position.)
Francisco Rodriguez, J.J. Putz, Takashi Saito, Jonathan Papelbon, Mariano Rivera, Joe Nathan, Billy Wagner
The Next-Best Things
Francisco Cordero, Jose Valverde, Bobby Jenks, Trevor Hoffman, Rafael Soriano, Manny Corpas, Jason Isringhausen
The Fallback Options
Brad Lidge, Joakim Soria, Matt Capps, Chad Cordero, B.J. Ryan, Huston Street
Last Resorts (I have yet to settle for one of these guys in a mixed league.)
Eric Gagne, Brandon Lyon, Kevin Gregg, Troy Percival, Brian Wilson, Joe Borowski, Todd Jones, George Sherrill

That's all for now. (And isn't it enough?)
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com