Head-to-head points draft strategy
Fantasy baseball leagues come in many shapes and sizes. One of the fastest growing formats is head-to-head using points scoring. In fact, about one-third of all ESPN leagues play this way, as opposed to the more traditional rotisserie scoring. Perhaps the reason is that head-to-head points is very similar to fantasy football.
Yes, to many players, it can be very intimidating to play a 13-team National League-only auction using 5x5 rotisserie scoring, with a category called WHIP. What the heck is WHIP? Points-based scoring, in which the common box score stats are assigned point values, is a great alternative to become familiar with the nuances involved in fantasy baseball analysis. Before you know it, WHIP turns into BABIP, VORP and xFIP.
Playing in a head-to-head points league can be a great companion or alternative to rotisserie leagues. Granted, there is merit to the contention that head-to-head scheduling introduces an element of luck devoid in rotisserie. However, other than the thrill of the last day of the season, rotisserie cannot match the feel of a weeklong mano-a-mano matchup against your buddy that will be decided during the Sunday night ESPN game. It is scary how often you have one team's starting pitcher and leadoff hitter while he has the other team's cleanup man and closer. And isn't that what this game is all about: the interweaving of competition and camaraderie?
But it is a competition, and in order to beat your buddy, you better be prepared. While fantasy points simplify the game, compared to categorical rotisserie scoring, there are some intricacies and nuances that can lead to advantages. Most understand the first step is applying your scoring system to a player's projected performance, resulting in the projected points per player. What many do next is set up their cheat sheet based on these projected points, perhaps making a mental adjustment for a player's position. Unfortunately, they are omitting a crucial step. Or maybe, if you are reading this, their omission is fortunate, as you will soon understand the key to setting up a points-based cheat sheet.
2012 Fantasy Baseball Draft Kit
2012 Projections and Profiles
• Top 300 | AL-only | NL-only
• Points Leagues | Cheat sheets
• Custom roto dollar value generator
• Fantasy Draft Engine
• Catcher: Rankings | Preview
• First Base: Rankings | Preview
• Second Base: Rankings | Preview
• Third Base: Rankings | Preview
• Shortstop: Rankings | Preview
• Outfield: Rankings | Preview
• Designated Hitter: Rankings
• Starting Pitcher: Rankings | Preview
• Relief Pitcher: Rankings | Preview
• Tristan H. Cockcroft's Top 250 keepers
Talented Mr. Roto
• Bold predictions for the season
• Berry's Guys I Love, Guys I Hate
• Matthew Berry's Top 250 Rankings
• Matthew Berry's Draft-Day Manifesto
• Berry's "100 Facts to know" for 2012
• Mock Draft with 11 Average Joes
• Position battle winners, losers
• ADP reveals drafting trends
• Staff sleeper and bust picks
• Tristan's Twenty: Cockcroft's 2012 targets
• Bleagh! The guys Tristan doesn't like for 2012
• Cockcroft's 'perfect' draft
• The components of ERA
• Understanding the BABIP statistic
• Cockcroft's "Kings of Command"
• Which teams got worse defensively?
• Spring watch list
• 2013 free agents to be, by position
• 'Mulligan' ERAs: The impact of awful starts
• Dissecting wins for pitchers
• Why negative BA can be overrated
• Notable offseason moves | All moves
• 30 Questions archive
• Goldstein: Top 50 prospects | 51-100
• Eric Karabell: Top 100 | Five prospects
• Karabell: My 2012 "Do Not Draft" list
• Karabell: Bold stat predictions
• Karabell: Steals sleepers
• Karabell: Bounce-back sleepers for 2012
• Keith Law: Top 100 prospects for 2012
• Dan Szymborski: MLB's best sophomores
• Szymborski: Nine make-or-break players
• Szymborski: Breakout hitters | Pitchers
• Dave Cameron: Spring stats that matter
• Todd Zola: Players with new home parks
• Todd Zola: 10 surprising park factors
• Todd Zola: Advanced auction strategy • Todd Zola: Head-to-head points strategy
• Matt Wieters could be the No. 1 catcher
• Dee Gordon's steals upside
• Is Alex Rodriguez "washed up?"
• When should you draft your first closer?
• Is Derek Jeter still a top-10 shortstop?
• Can you trust Brian Wilson?
• What to expect from Dan Uggla in 2012
• Just how good is Desmond Jennings?
• Will Jason Motte be a reliable closer?
• What is Starlin Castro's upside?