Revised: Fantasy Baseball Scoring PERFECTED(?)

I was reading over my last post and I didn’t like the way the roster was breaking down into relevant and irrelevant levels of worth/value. Nearly every roster spot should have ways of achieving success based on a focused study of statistical output.

With that in mind, I went after trying to understand how the points were being accumulated, and how my weights were amplifying/deflating some values over others. I decided on a core format style which I feel would make for the best type of gameplay: steady accumulation with rare bursts of point gain interspersed. This likely leads to close games decided decisively (on one scoring event) or juggernauts demolishing their foes as they “go off” for big points. Steady accumulation on events like walks, singles, strikeouts (pitchers), assists, RBI or runs scored keep things close, hopefully, allowing for talented drafters to show how they set their lineups well in anticipation of big games for a given player. Only 7 bench slots means you can’t keep one of every position player on your bench for replacement, you will be FORCED to play the wire, like all good owners should if they expect to do well.

So, after some tweaking, I came up with a scoring set I like. I added Innings Pitched (.1 rounded down, .2 rounded up) as a trickle stat for pitchers that makes them better producers on a consistent basis. I changed the value of some of the offensive stats to neuter the distance between them and pitchers. The result is a dog that won’t impregnate any other dogs ever again.

 

 

So, the output of this needed to be judged somehow with actual data, which I provided the scorecard long before I began tweaking values. I have included my sample line up card here so we can look together and see how the values are expressed as fantasy points. Please note, this data is the ASB benchmark I have mentioned in other posts. The idea here is to highlight a “best case scenario” data-set to judge how high, potentially, the ceiling of exclusivity can go. On a game-to-game basis, this is going to be a more interesting thing to see. Looking towards a high point of 7,000+ fantasy points of season accumulation, and an unknown number of games in which to disperse them. I am THAT unfamiliar with the format that right now, I don’t know how long a MLB fantasy season is, or how frequently “games” occur as daily would be impossible. I can imagine daily maintenance being necessary, but having as many match-ups as there are games is a nauseating thought.

 

In my first post I talked about my points of emphasis in the game itself, and among the values that have endured to arrive at the final cut is Pickoffs. A rare but consequential event, the point value of which is devastating. 12 points for this event is the most heavily weighted event I score in this league template. Why? Because it’s a tease. Like picking a really good punt/kickoff returner in the NFL, you’re hoping your lousy pitcher redeems himself because his Pickoff move is phenomenal. Will he reward you with an unprecedented point total, or will he leave you starved for an event that, at best occurs less than 20 times a year for the league leaders? If he goes off, your cushy seat to victory is more likely than it was a minute ago, but your bet is on the rare event, or the steady churning motion of a consistent, winning pitcher with no rad move to first.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I have achieved a balance that now seems both competitive and enjoyable. It is the best I have achieved in my limited experimentation with the format, and really brings an element of uncertainty to drafting. I also foresee players making (nearly) irrelevant contributions due to lousy performances being more harsh than in the NFL. A zero is never ever wanted, but expected from time to time, but maybe in this league three days of .25 fantasy points might be just as terrible, if not worse.

Maybe one day I will know.  It’s a fun to think about.

UPDATE: Mid-Afternoon

For the sake of comparisons, I ran a simulation based on an actual head-to-head matchup, which in the regular season collect data over 7 days or so. I wanted to see what a high-output production would look like, which would be an approximation of having a “good week.” See below, though this is an unlikely final lineup, it is a possible one, and definitely a Cubs fan.

Looking over the 7 day output, I can see now that with 18 roster slots, some of those position players are bound to crater, while one or two others rocket up. These scores remind me of the FNFL scale which goes something like this:

0 – 5 = Wretched
6 – 10 = Minimal
11 – 15 = Average
16 – 20 = Above Average
21 + = Exceptional

We had a “200” barrier in my Detail Oriented league a few years ago… whoever gets there first is almost certain to win. That seems accurate as reflected here, but the flexibility of upward expansion for some of the roster slots seems outstanding. I like the way this looks, but also recognize how vital fielding the right players is, and making sure your roster is up to date. The restricted bench makes for a more competitive free-agent market, inciting wire competition.

FF Thoughts: Balanced Scoring Theory

It has been my experience in designing fantasy scoring systems for the NFL that the weight of every statistical category must be appraised in respect to the total items being scored, roster positions available and some form of biased incentive.

It can be said, as a baseline, common events should not be comparable in worth to rare events. It is this weighting that defines the terms of competition, and an aspect I particularly relish. I have beliefs about what aspects of a given sport are more difficult to achieve versus things that should occur and do occur regularly/often. What I cultivate in participants is a similar respect for the remarkable and an interpretive invitation to strategize.

As I develop my thoughts on how to apply my prior FNFL experience to the FMLB format, I intend to be true to my signature preferences and unique interpretation of the sport (s). MLB tends to be more statistically dependent (developed) and maybe even drowning in an excess of interpretations and comparisons. I hope to cut through the bullshit and boil my league rules down to the essential, and the remarkable. The mundane have been exiled!

Scoring: Two Factors

Weighted Scoring Categories

I use a combination of elements to determine what value to assign things: (commonality/frequency + subjective difficulty + game-flow based significance = relative weighted value). Through this, you should begin to see my perturbed view of the sport, and what makes it interesting.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Some of my preferences become apparent with how harshly things are penalized, or how they are rewarded. Based on an ideal set of player’s 2018 All-Star Break statistics (relative mid-marker), the draft will see offensive players going first, but relief pitchers among the second wave. See below for the impact on how the team should be built in terms of available point scoring potential.

Difficult plays and stats that are hard to earn are weighted, but more heavily towards the remarkable. Outfield Assists for example, as I have stated in previous posts, are pretty fucking awesome. Clearly there are more points to be scored as an offensive player, but that seems to follow logic in terms of actual gameplay. Still, I see that, if there was to be a draft, I could see multiple strategies towards some desired stat-cultivation effort to specifically target a course towards relevance, and the postseason. Plays that cause outs, or kill rallies, or erase runs are dealt with harshly.

 

 

Roster Positions – Team Size

Depending on what is being scored/weighted, the roster needs to reflect a discipline to balance, and an incentive for a diverse live draft by fairly distributing point-earning opportunities across positions. As you can probably tell from the scoring table listed above, there are some positions on the lineup card that are going to be, generally, better contributors than others. The roster below is ordered in terms of fantasy point scoring weight/ideal projected point output potential (Great, High, Average, Low-ish

1B
2B
SS
3B
OF1
OF2
OF3
OF4
RP1
RP2
RP3
SP1
SP2
SP3
SP4
SP5
C1
C2
______
(18)

There would be 7 bench slots, rounding out the active roster at 25. There’s a certain nostalgic symbolism I wish to also encapsulate, (see the 5 man rotation, the 7th, setup and closer slots). I feel like there are 4 starting outfielders on every Major League team as a baseline based on logic, and the nature of the positions. I did not feel it necessary to be specific about the outfield positions as this level of specificity doesn’t add to the fun and makes drafting arduous because of the constraining requirements of the roster slot. In my build, OF gets to be more useful, potentially, based on a freedom to load RF or CF or whatever your preference.

C has become like FNFL TE to me now. Hit or miss, boom or bust, this roster slot looks like the one that will inevitably fuck me somehow. C rates low, even with All-Stars driving the stats, but they seem like to do so in bursts rather than consistently. Plus, this is another roster position that is most-likely to have a savvy backup on real MLB rosters.

I foresee infielders (with the exception of C1/2) being hard to find after some trends have been established. I have often wondered about free-agency and waiver pickups in FMLB. Maybe this will be something I learn about later, or maybe not at all. 

Well, I think this league would be fun, but this will never happen, more than likely. Good things to think about though, and that’s really all I’m trying to do. I just want something to feel good about, and excited I guess. Things have been really hard lately, and my energy is running dangerously low. I’m going to need help soon, and this little exercise has been one of my coping activities to help myself think about something positive and fun while also innocuous. Thank you.

A Decision Made

I had been living in a world of ambiguity, unsure as to what direction I would be headed. I didn’t know if I should continue to be true to my workplace or to march ahead with my life helping the mentally ill. I needed clarity and things were coming to a head.

As of this moment, my independent life is over. I am living in my parent’s living room for the next 7 months. We are all, as I have stated in previous posts, moving north in July 2018. I had hoped to be working and saving money during that time, but instead I have sued my workplace for discrimination. That process has moved forward to the point of a formal demand letter. I did not know what my future was going to be and perhaps I still don’t. However, I do have some clarity that I want to spend my time helping people and getting back in touch with my peers. I have been a cog in the corporate machine before, and I reject that as a meaningful contribution. I want meaning. I NEED to be doing something that has an impact. I’ve solved problems for customers, yes. It is not the same as picking someone up off the floor and helping them walk again.

I do believe the lawsuit will be settled out of court. The money I receive should be comparable to what I would have made if I still worked most of next year. I hope that I can be kept occupied by my new direction. I need a formal, professional, helpful relationship to engage with. Life has been a scramble with me moving out, and the dust is beginning to settle. I feel like I am headed in the right direction, but there is still quite a bit to be done. Today I have my interview with NAMI at 4. I am very excited to meet them and express my enthusiasm for the opportunity.

I am definitely in a fiction place rather than non fiction. I am rebooting The Realm for my friends and running a d20 game. First one I’ve run in maybe 10 years. I’ve always been down to run games, I just never had the spark. I seem to have found that now, at least, which has spurned a beautiful creative process. I have written a great deal of fiction, none of which is in any sort of final state. I will however post my most polished turd for you to gawk at. Creative input requested!

As the days go on, the future resolves itself further. I’m encouraged by the progress I’ve made and glad to have something fun to ponder about. The story  have in mind for them is QUITE compelling. Dramatic. Inspiring. Own horn. Tooted.

Edain 4.4

A friend at work inspired me to start gaming, so I patched up to 4.4. Imladris I have yet to fully comprehend, but I’m getting there. However the one thing I did notice since the patch is a significant increase in AI difficulty for Brutal and Hard. So significant that I can’t beat Brutal in maps I already beat on Brutal. I look at the aftergame data and something really sticks out. Right from the get go, I spend most of my resources on buildings, and my line plummets. AI on the other hand, starts gaining resources right from the get go, steadily increasing. Source unknown. But he doesn’t spend resources until a few minutes in. What this looks like on the receiving end is approximately 500% more units than I have to defend with. Overwhelming sums of low level battalions, escalating rapidly. It’s probably possible to develop a fast turtle strategy to defend against it, but that poses the question: why play the AI? It aught to be that the AI behaves like a human player and has a few different strategies to employ. It’s not realistic that a human player can come up with as many units as the Brutal AI can. Why practice defending yourself from something you are not likely to face in a multiplayer setting? 

Medium however, has a much more realistic chart. Medium has to spend the first thousand and work on getting it back with resource buildings. That I like. So I started playing Medium and had some great games. 

I had one game where silverthorns and Ents were the crushing blow. Those hero battalions for Lothlorien are deadly. There was another where Rohan farmhands and heroes swarmed over everything. The one faction I can’t seem to get a hold of is Gondor. I love them, but I can’t win with them. I can’t figure out what I’m doing wrong. I’m dead long before I get to hero battalions, or sequestered in my base waiting to die. My early and mid game strategies are lacking. I need to rethink the whole thing. Hero first approach doesn’t work because of Boromir’s cost, and Beregond doesn’t last long for the 1000 he costs. No, no, I need to rethink the way I use Gondor. We shall see what comes of it. 

I’m eagerly awaiting 4.5, as the final race will be added: Misty Mountains. Or Goblins. They haven’t decided, I think. It’s actually a tad overdue already. It makes me wonder what they are toiling over. Is it the unique mechanics of the race? Or are there any? Many questions. But we only need 1 more and then Edain is complete. It was a long time ago that Edain first came out. Several years. But well worth the wait. Gameplay is fantastic, graphically stunning, ingenuous mechanics, ample unique races to fit every style, I could go on. Point being, they’ve worked hard on providing a genuinely fantastic product. It is classy and polished. EA better take note of how the professionals handle things. 

I’m going to update the RTS preferences right after I post this. It’s time. 

Playoffs

So now I am in the post season in both leagues. In the family league, its championship time. I’m in, but I lost Gordon right in the home stretch so I’m basically fucked. I needed him back this week against Cleveland. So I’m going to lose out on a huge chunk that I need to build a lead. I barely survived round 1. I’m not going to get lucky twice in the same season. It’s not even a remote possibility that my scrubs will post a higher score than his. He has New England’s defense and that one is sure to go off. He also has Tom Brady, Tod Gurley with a juicy match up, Thomas Rawls, Jordy Nelson. I could go on. Justin Tucker. Ok. So I have to climb over some ridiculous average scores. I have no one that competes with them by position with the exception of Bell. My TE has been a disaster all year. I’m making a move this week for one because I don’t trust Ebron anymore. My WR position doesn’t consistently produce for PPR the way I had hoped. Crabtree has dropped 17 passes. So far. And I’m probably stuck starting him this week. He and his drops. Dropped balls in the championship are killer, and could cost you the crown. No doubt. It’s happened to me before. 

I give my logical effort to play the lineup I think will do the best, and just let it go. I’ve won before. I know how great that is. I had an inkling I would win last year but stayed humble. Now I’m sure I will be eliminated I feel somewhat liberated from pressure. I feel like I should strive to win while knowing that goal may not be achievable. When the ratios are aligned against you, victory is long gone. I am thinking there is a 10% chance I will win after having looked over the two weeks we play. He has just st so many choice matchups, and I’m missing out on one of my best. My best is probably done for the season. I realize the reality of my situation, and we are moving on. I’m being very Klingon about all this. “Perhaps today IS a good day to die!”

At work my lineup is stronger. I’m in the semifinals. I have little concern for the work league to be honest. I can’t beat Tony no matter how hard I try. I’ve thrown everything at him to no avail. Will he go 4-0 against me? Last time this happened, I went 3-0 against him but lost in the championship. It may well shape up to that very scenario, but not end the same way. I think he will thoroughly kick my ass with his super-team if I get past the first round. Tubby has no shot. Points aren’t there. Joseph (my opponent) has taken some hits. His lineup has been underperforming, but then again, so has mine. Mine even to a more severe extent I contend. So I may be out by the conclusion of Sunday. Christmas Day playoff elimination doubleheader. 

In truth, I’ve been only using football as a crutch. I have just had no other things I was doing rather than football. Recently I started gaming again. I’ve been exercising. I’m trying to diversify. So yeah I’m playing this year, but I’m not committed to it as I have been in the past. There’s just so much going on right now. And I get to be with family this weekend and Amanda too. Christmas is almost here. I’m being buried alive in debt. I’m alive. The world is going on all around me. I want to be a part of life. I don’t really have much concern about football right now. Survival is the priority. Things are improving. Goodnight. 

Top Score

It’s nearing the end of NFL Sunday and I’m still quite undecided as to my FFL fate. I have opposing players going tonight that greatly concern me. Namely Zeeke Elliot. He could go for 200 like it was nothing. So if he does, I’m sunk. If he is mediocre, I might just build a strong lead headed into game 2 of round 1. I lead in both leagues, both with Edelman going Monday night as insurance. I really hope this works out. Why all of a sudden? Because I would be riding on the back of the single greatest player performance of the year. Le’Veon Bell’s line today: 38 carries, 236 yards rushing, three rushing touchdowns, four catches, 64 receiving yards. 61 fantasy points. Record setting performance, one for the ages. Nearly 300 yards of offense. Unbelievable. So I lost Gordon today too. Bell helps augment my suffering. I hear that the injury is not severe, so hopefully he gets back to cutting and sprinting soon. Only 3 games left in the season. I have no one I can replace him with who has a chance at his volume. But Martin should fill in at least for next week. I’m tired of betting on wide receivers. Fucking impossible. I can’t guess for shit on right ends either. I’ve got to have the lowest output from the TE slot in the entire league this season. I have little doubt. But anyway. Wish me luck. 

The Playoffs!!!

It’s getting down to the last 4 weeks of the regular season and fantasy football 2016 is coming to a close. Despite my low expectations, I have once again clinched the playoffs for the fourth year in a row. In the family league the playoffs have begun and I finished the season with an 8-5 record. Each playoff round in the family league lasts two weeks, so it’s significantly more difficult to achieve victory since your foe gets two chances to knock you down. Winning 4 weeks in a row to clinch the championship is precisely what I did last year, but I have about a 15% probability of repeating that feat. My wide receivers are substandard… but I have a strong ground game, which has carried me this far. I need exemplary performances from below-average players in order to advance, and that is asking an awful lot from the fantasy football gods. The gods have rarely been forgiving, but sometimes they are. Either way, I don’t think I have much shot at it in the family league.

In the work league, the regular season is still trucking right along and into next week as well. We play 1 week per round and we most certainly play week 17. No football is omitted regardless of status of starting players. Good fantasy football is built around two skills: ability to select talent during the draft and ability to see talent on the free agent market and capitalize with waiver moves. So making some last minute streaming waiver transactions is exactly what fantasy football is about, and we should all be capable of assessing free agent talent based on matchups (at least). Therefore, making waiver substitutions for starting players on week 17 is business as usual, and even more of a challenge to overcome to achieve victory. I likes me a good challenge. Both my leagues play on week 17 during the most critical game of the season. High stakes, high risk, huge reward.

At work I’m 9-4 and have clinched a playoff spot (currently in 3rd place). I was in first place last year in both leagues heading into the playoffs. I’m thinking I have a real shot at the championship again at work. My running game is fucking stellar, and my wide receivers are at least mediocre. I have a soft schedule in the matchup department for several players, including my two biggest point scorers (Gordon and Bell) facing at least two bottom 10 defenses in the last 4 weeks of the season. Right when I will need a big performance most I have the highest likelihood of getting one… or at least, that’s the theory. I have big matchups mostly week 16, but a couple that carry over into week 17. In the family league (the one I particularly would like to win), a big performance week 16 could provide me with enough cushion to secure it even mid way through week 17 (unless I were to seriously implode week 17 [<— very possible]).

But my point is, hey, I just took the crown in both leagues last year, and here I am back in the playoff picture the following season. Above expectation. I had a rock solid draft, have made some dynamite waiver moves, and basically played the same way I did last year: not overthinking it, sticking to the basics and trusting the initial instinctual impulse. It has paid off with a return to relevancy once again. Even in the event that I end up battling for third place, I will still have proven that my victories, and constant presence in the playoffs is no fluke. I really do know what I’m doing. It’s not even as hard as we seem to all think it is. I’m not saying I’m phenomenal by any stretch, but I do have a talent for this.

But the family league this year might be out of reach. I sense an early demise at the hands of a significantly more well armed team. I don’t have the best matchups this week, a lot of stuff that could really go either way. That’s the type that’s hardest to assess, since the factors don’t favor any particular outcome. Those are the matchups that get decided by that initial instinct, and a lot of times they work out for me. Frankly, more often than not. Off waivers, I started Carson Wentz and he put up 20, Jaquizz Rodgers and he put up 154 yards and Steffon Diggs, who put up 13 receptions. I’m keen on things sometimes. But then again, I started Ebron and he goose egged me, and Crabtree hit me once for 3.5 early in the season and again this last week for 6.1. Sigh. Sometimes you knock it out of the park… other times, you whiff like a novice.

Ok blog, you are now caught up on the status of my FFL world. Wish me luck!