With the 2010 fantasy season in the rear view mirror, it’s time to focus in on the keeper market. The scale and scope of publicly available keeper information can be difficult to swallow at times. Often, experts will make “keep” or “cut” recommendations for some kind of generic one-size-fits-all league. If several different writers are consulted, it quickly becomes clear that these generic leagues can vary in subtle but important ways. The advice often amounts to “I like this player” or “I don’t like this player.”
The problem with this is immediately clear: only a certain subset of the readership is targeted with the recommendation. What’s more, there are many players who fall into some kind of gray area—under certain formats they’re prime keepers and in others they are either mediocre assets or clear cuts. The goal of the On The Margins series will be to highlight key players in this gray area in order to determine what type of leagues they should be kept in.
The execution, as planned, is straight forward. Players who are highlighted in the series will be analyzed. A key portion of this will fall to Brian Cartwright’s Oliver projection system, which is available to THT Forecasts subscribers. Since this is fantasy baseball and few leagues are based on linear weights, other factors like strength of lineup or team defense will be considered.
After the analysis, conclusions will be made as to what types of leagues the player should be kept in. This is where the reader’s input would be helpful. As it’s currently envisioned, the advice will be presented in a table with keeper cost type as the columns and league size as the rows. Basically, there will be six rows with options for 10, 12, 14, 16, 18, 20 teams. A similar matrix can be provided upon request for those in NL/AL only leagues. The columns are the tricky part. They should cover a wide swathe of keeper systems without being tediously detailed. Below are some tentative categories.
-3 keeps, no cost
-5 keeps, no cost
-10 keeps, no cost
-cost: draft round – 2
-cost: Y! rank 2010
-cost: Y! rank 2011
-cost: auction cost +$5
Including a category for contracts seems difficult under this simple framework, but suggestions are encouraged. Like AL/NL only, the simplest way to treat for this is to make this available upon reader request.
That leaves one final detail: the quality of the recommendation. Because every team has its own unique set of circumstances, a simple keep or cut designation is probably not the best way to go. Instead five options will be used: Definitely Keep, Probably Keep, Neutral, Probably Cut, Definitely Cut.
Now that the basic project is detailed, here’s how you can help. First, has any ‘common’ format been ignored entirely? Additionally, is there a way to improve the proposed presentation? Do you think a different recommendation system is more appropriate, perhaps a 1-10 rating with 10 equaling Definitely Keep? This series is for you so don’t be shy about commenting.