Evaluating Fantasy Overachievers and Underachievers

Today we are introducing a new feature to see which fantasy players are overachieving and underachieving.  Below you’ll see why this matters, how it works, and how you can use this data to manage your team moving forward.  (At the time of this writing, fantasy baseball examples are shown but the same features are available for fantasy football, fantasy basketball, and fantasy hockey.)

Why it Matters

Understanding which players are overachieving and underachieving is extremely important when it comes to managing your team for future success.  If your team consists of too many overachieving players, then you’ll quickly realize that the fast start your team had is bound to come to an abrupt end.

On the flip-side, if your team consists of too many underachieving players, then you may have to dig yourself out of a hole as you wait for these player’s to return to form.  Consistently starting a player who has not performed well, but has high expectations may ensure your team continues its slow start.

A fantasy team will inevitably have both types of players and it is important to start players during their hot streaks and bench players who are failing to live up to expectations.   Managing your team requires daily effort to stay on top of such trends.

How to Detect Overachievers and Underachievers

When analyzing your team’s roster, it’s absolutely critical to put personal feelings aside.  Sure you had high hopes for Billy Hamilton during the baseball draft, but your team needs players who are performing well right now.

The Fantasy Assistant makes this easy by using colors to determine who is performing better, worse, or on par with their expectations.

Notice the green and red colors?
Notice the green and red colors?

The picture above shows a small portion of my starting lineup.  Player ratings in red are currently underachieving and player’s in green are currently overachieving.  Players who have no color next to their rating indicates that they are performing close to their expectations.  If you mouse over each rating, a more detailed explanation is revealed.

In addition to a revised lineup, we are also introducing a brand new section which is called “Over Under” so you can research the best and worst players by position.  The EXPR number indicates how much worse or better the player is performing based on expectations.

Third Base Underachievers
Third Base Overachievers
Third Base Underachievers

How to use this Knowledge

As mentioned earlier, the most obvious way to use this knowledge is to bench underachievers and start overachievers when its in your favor.  However, you should also use this data to pick-up players on the waiver wire who can give your team an immediate boost.

A perfect example of this has been Yangervis Solarte for the early start of the 2014 baseball season.  Lately, he’s already come back down to earth so it’s probably best if you go ahead and drop him since he has already cooled off.

Another possible way to utilize this data is to help develop trades based on this information.  An irrational or impatient fantasy player often makes mistakes when a player on their team is performing poorly.  There may be an opportunity to snag Adrian Beltre or Manny Machado for a discount if their owner wants to get rid of them before they start to perform closer to expectations and fully come back from their injuries.

How to stay on top of Fantasy Baseball Closer news

Keeping track of fantasy baseball closer news can be tough.  One day you are racking up the saves, while the next day you’re on the outside looking in after a sudden stint on the DL.  Luckily I have the solutions to this closer problem.


One of the best sites I have come across is called Closer Monkey.  They offer you free email alerts whenever a new closer takes over, plus daily digests so you are informed about the latest happenings.  As if that isn’t enough, they have a Twitter account for real-time tweets.  I personally subscribe to these guys myself and think they do an incredible job.

Another source for closer news comes from another Twitter account aptly called “Closer news“.  These guys tend to give you more up to the minute stats and results from closing situations.  For example, if you closer has pitched in three straight games, they’ll provide a heads up on Twitter that he may not be available today.

Then, of course, there is always reddit’s fantasybaseball subreddit for those who want to get involved in the latest news and be surrounded by fellow fantasy geeks.  This has way more to offer than just closer news.

Finally the most obvious solution to keeping track of closer news is right here at FantasySP.  Once you have a league synced, FantasySP will send you player alerts any time one of your player’s has significant news.    Furthermore, if FantasySP detects a significant waiver trend in your league, the site will automatically send you a Waiver Alert so you can beast others to the waiver wire.  This works incredibly well when it comes to keeping tabs on closers, but it also works for all players in all four major sports.

Category Analysis, Predictions, and Matchups

A major update hit the Fantasy Assistant today involving team projections, matchup analysis, and category analysis.  The first sport to receive this update is baseball, but expect them to show up for basketball, football, and hockey in the coming days.

Projected Stats & Rankings

New Predictions
New Predictions

Previously, we had projected stats, but now they also show you where you are projected to rank against other teams in your league.  Each category and ranking is accompanied by our standard color system of red, orange, and green.  Each color gives you an easy overview of strengths and weaknesses.

By default, we are showing 8 hitting categories and 7 pitching categories for baseball.   These projections are based on your current starting lineup. The final categories are called “PTS”, which estimates where you will rank based on standard h2h scoring in both pitching and hitting.

For those of you playing other sports, you will see different stats relevant to your sport but it will all work exactly the same.  The goal is to give you a well rounded overview of your team whether you are playing category based h2h, rotisserie leagues, or standard h2h.

Matchup Analysis

Matchup analysis by team
Matchup analysis by team

A completely new section has been added which allows you to compare stats projections against your entire league.  Again, these projections are based on your starting lineup moving forward.   By default we are showing you all teams in your league based on the entire season, but you can also break things down to seven days or the past 30 days.

There are plenty of different ways you might want to use this data for setting your lineup.  For example, if I am playing Tiny Webb next week , then I can set my lineup accordingly based on their team’s recent performance.

To do that, I can select that team from the dropdown to easily compare the two.  If I know I have no shot to win in saves, then I may want to skip that category all together and try to get points in the remaining categories.

As I mentioned earlier, each sport will have different categories, but the matchup analysis will remain the same.  This update is already live on FantasySP. and our CBSSports apps.

Free & Customizable Average Draft Positions

During fantasy drafts  many of us base our picks on average draft position, sometimes referred to as ADP.   Today is the official announcement of our  average draft position tool, which is available for the NFL, MLB, NHL, and NBA.  The key difference with our tool is that it’s completely free, offers historical ADP numbers, and is customizable to closely match your league.

One of the biggest drawbacks to some of the Average Draft Position tools is that it is impossible to see how a specific player’s ADP changes throughout the course of draft season.  We wanted to change that and show historical charts for the top 250+ players.

Here is what Jean Segura’s ADP chart looks like so far:

Jean Segura ADP
Jean Segura ADP

Thus far Segura is very up and down with his highest ADP to be at around 23.  Knowing where a guy is trending could very well change your draft day strategy.

Our ADP tool can be particularly useful when customizing it for auction drafts and looking how prices change for each player.  Yahoo’s ADP tool shows average cost for Trout and Cabrera to be at around $60 and doesn’t offer any customization.  As it turns out, the average cost changes drastically depending on how many teams are involved.  When comparing auction leagues with 12 teams vs 10 teams, the average cost of the most expensive player increases by around $15.00 – $20.00.

Full list of customizations include Draft Type: (snake or auction), League Type: (h2h or roto), and Number of Teams: (6 – 20).  The NFL ADP tool will have slightly different options than those listed here, with the support of PPR leagues.  Our ADP tool is also optimized for mobile phones or desktop users.

The data that populates our ADP tool comes from fellow FantasySP users who synced their leagues.  Because this tool was created during draft season, you’ll notice that some stats are a bit light at the moment.  As draft season continues, it should populate with hundreds more leagues by the time draft season ends.

Go ahead and give it a try.


How Important is Your Fantasy Baseball Draft?

On the surface this sounds like a pretty dumb question, but how important is your fantasy baseball draft?  Many of us go into drafts thinking it’s do-or-die and a mistake on draft day can cost the fantasy season.  Others spend money on draft tools to help them draft the ultimate team. But is all of this really necessary?  The truth is that roughly 40% to 60% of your drafted team will no longer be on your roster.

The Set Up

In order to talk about the importance of the draft, we must first define the parameters we are looking to compare.   A very basic way of deciding how important the draft is to compare how many drafted players are still on the roster by the end of the season.  Additionality, we want to look to see if there are any patterns that may explain which type of players don’t seem to stick around.  Perhaps there is a possible correlation between an auto-drafted team’s player retention and a manually drafted team?

For this specific example, we will be using what I’d like to call the “typical league“.  This is a league that has at least one person who doesn’t show up to the draft, or misses the first few rounds.  This type of league is a mix of players who take it very seriously and those who think of it as a fun hobby.  The league I am describing just so happens to be the official FantasySP 5×5 roto mixed league that has 28 rounds with 10 teams.  The drafting style is a snake draft with a randomly set order.  Many of us are in similar leagues like the one I described, and I think it applies to a large portion of fantasy baseball leagues out there.

The results I find here could vary greatly across public free leagues and private leagues with $500 buy-ins and varying types of drafts, rules, and number of teams.  However,  my findings should shed some light on the usefulness of draft tools and the importance of the draft itself.

The Teams

We will be using three types of teams: an active team present on draft day that finished in the top 3, an autodrafted active team, and an active team present on draft day with a bottom 3 finish.

Top 3 Team

The first team I will analyze is a team that placed 2nd in the league and was present on draft day to select their entire team.  At the end of the season, 14 players (50%) were no longer on their roster.  The first player to be ousted on the team was Jose Bautista, which was a 3rd round pick and was obviously dropped late in the season due to injury.   The next player to be dropped was a 10th round pick of Will Middlebrooks.  As you may recall, he was sent down to the minors and lost his job to a rookie last year by the name of Jose Iglesias.  Both Bautista and Middlebrooks proved their worth at various points in the season.

The first player who was truly expendable was Ben Revere, who was drafted in the 12th round.  Of the drafted players no longer on their roster, 12/14 occurred on rounds 12+.

Autodrafted Team

The autodrafted team obviously missed the draft, but they remained active in the league up until September.  Their team finished 6th of 10 teams, which is near the middle of the pack.    By the end of the season, team autodraft dropped 15 players  from draft day, or 53% of their total roster.  The first player dropped on the team was James Shields, who was autodrafted in the 7th round.  Next up was Chase Headley, drafted in the 8th round which was followed up by Jason Motte in the 10th.

The dropping of James Shields makes little sense to me and probably explains the teams 6th place finish more than anything.

Chase Headley did not perform very well in 2013 compared to his previous season.  The dropping of Jason Motte was of no surprise and the fact he was autodrafted is not surprising either.

Of the drafted players no longer on their roster, 12/15 occurred on rounds 13+.

The Bad Team

This team finished the season in 8th place and was active on draft day and throughout the season.  By the end of the season, this team dropped 11 of their players from draft day, or 39% of their original team.  Amazingly, their first dropped player did not happen until round 14 who happened to be Ichiro Suzuki.  Their next dropped player, Josh Willingham, occurred in round 15.  Neither of these two players are too surprising considering it was a 10 team league, especially the drop of Willingham.  However, Suzuki had his moments and was a productive player in some categories.  The 3rd player dropped, Marco Scutaro, was drafted in round 16 and dropped due to his poor performance

Of the drafted players no longer on their roster, 11/11 occurred on rounds 14+.

Making Sense of the Results

Are these results what you expected?  A whopping 88.5%, of the players no longer on these teams were drafted in rounds 12+.  There is no question that having an autodrafted team puts you at a disadvantage compared to other teams, so it is absolutely critical that you attend the draft.  However, you probably already knew that.

The biggest surprise I’ve found is that 40% to 60% of your drafted roster will not survive the season.  It doesn’t matter if you are a bad team, a good team, or an autodrafted team. 

So is the draft important?  Yes, without question it is important to attend your draft.  However after the middle of your draft things get blurry and those drafted players could easily be auto-drafted and have the similar chances of sticking around.

Knowing this information, does it make sense to spend money on draft tools since half of the drafted players won’t be on your team? That depends.  Chances are, a player drafted in the 1st half of your draft will likely stick around for the whole season.  The question is how much better of a player would you draft if you listen to a draft tools advice?  I would hazard to guess that the difference is negligible.  Most draft tools are based on projected stats and average draft positions that we all have access to.  Nothing magical is going on here.

Quite frankly, if you are a veteran fantasy baseball player then the first half of the draft should be a breeze for you.  You should not need a draft tool to help you whatsoever.  If you are a newbie, then I think a draft tool will make sense for you.

I think my findings can be applied to a large portion of leagues out there, even if they vary greatly from the one I used.  I do not know what happens when you add 14 or 16 teams to a league or if it becomes an NL or AL only league.  Is the second half of the draft less important or more important in these scenarios?  These are questions that will have to wait for another day.

Based on the data, you will win or lose in your league by how you perform on the waiver wire.  If up to 60% of your roster will no longer be on your team by the end of the season then it is imperative to pay close attention to the waiver wire.  Luckily, keeping tabs on your players and dominating the waiver wire is what FantasySP specializes in.

Worry less about the draft and worry more about the daily fantasy baseball grind we all love.  It’s going to be a long summer, and FantasySP has you covered. Go ahead and sign up.