Mike Trout More or Less Valuable with 5 OF or 3 OF Starters in Last Player Picked

The window on the left is output from Last Player Picked for a league with 3 OF and 3 UT starters. The window on the right is with 5 OF and 1 UT. Mike Trout's value is the same in both, as are the rest of the outfielders.

The window on the left is output from Last Player Picked for a league with 3 OF and 3 UT starters. The window on the right is with 5 OF and 1 UT. Mike Trout’s value is the same in both, as are the rest of the outfielders.

Received an email from member Steve from his using Last Player Picked, and it is something that has stumped him since before LPP was available at this website. Maybe our fellow members can chime in with their own thoughts on this question.

First, thanks so much for continuing the Last Player Picked model; it’s by far the best I’ve ever seen. This question has bugged me since Mays Copeland developed the methodology, but now I’m desperate to find out the answer since I’m joining a league with 3 OF instead of 5. Hopefully it’s not an error in the model and just something basic that I’m missing, but it doesn’t make intuitive sense:

If you reduce the number of starting catchers in your standard league from 2 to 1, their value will decrease considerably. Makes perfect sense, in a 12 team league with one catcher you only need 12 catchers with positive value vs. 24, and the difference between Buster Posey and the 24th catcher is much greater than the difference between Posey and the 12th best catcher.

So why does this same logic not work for outfielders? Cut the number of outfielders from 5 to 3, and Mike Trout is worth MORE, not less. At first I thought it might have something to do with the relative player pool size and depth; there are obviously a lot more OF with positive value than catchers. But that should be irrelevant – by definition in a 12 team league with 60 OF vs. a 12 team league with 36 OF, the 36th OF is worth $1 and the 60th OF is still worth $1. So shouldn’t the difference between Mike Trout and the 60th OF be greater, not less, than the difference between Trout and the 36th OF? ~ Steve

Hi Steve. Thanks for the email. My immediate thought is because there are 24 more OF in the draftable player pool (2 extra OF x 12 teams) so the money has to be spread around more than with the 3 OF league – all else being equal.

I wonder if we did a test comparing a league with 3 OF and 2 UT vs. a league with 5 OF and 0 UT if Trout would indeed be more valuable in the 5 OF format. Of course many of those UT players are likely OF, but perhaps worth a check. I am unfortunately traveling right now and not able to check. I will give this some more thought, but that is one idea for the apparent discrepancy. What do you think?

Continued … I am burning up my roaming internet package, but I had to know. I ran two different scenarios on LPP similar as described above. One, the default settings, uses 5 OF and 1 UT position. The second, I changed to 3 OF and 3 UT, so the total number of starters in each league is identical. All other settings stayed the same. The results were … drum roll please … identical values for OF in both leagues.

So, while Trout’s value did not increase in the 5 OF format vs. the 3 OF format, at least it didn’t go down. I think that lends some credence to my initial thought that the reason someone might see the unexpected result of his value going down with more starters, is because there just aren’t enough dollars to go around.

If anyone has further thoughts on the Last Player Picked valuation methodology – and I really should reblog that as a series here sometime – then please feel free to comment below.

Fantasy Analysis: New York Jets Trade for WR Brandon Marshall from Chicago Bears

NFL: DEC 15 Bears at BrownsWith a deadline looming to determine the draft pick compensation the New York Jets owe the Seattle Seahawks as part of their trade for Percy Harvin, the Jets traded a 5th round pick in this year’s draft to acquire Brandon Marshall from Chicago.

With the acquisition of Marshall, the Jets will almost certainly release Harvin. Doing so prior to March 19th lowers the draft pick compensation owed to Seattle from a 4th round pick to a 6th round pick in this year’s draft.

In New York, the 30-year old Marshall (turning 31 on March 23rd) will be paired in the starting line up with Eric Decker, giving the team its most formidable pair of starting wide receivers in several years, as the team attempts to surround either Geno Smith or a veteran free agent acquisition with talent at the team’s skill positions. The Jets will assume the remaining three years and $23.7-million of Marshall’s contract, none of which is guaranteed.

The talented yet mercurial Marshall will be joining his fourth team in ten years after previous stints in Denver, Miami and Chicago. During his nine-year career, he has topped 1,000 yards seven times and appeared in five Pro Bowls.

Fantasy Analysis

After topping 80 receptions and 1,000 receiving yards in seven consecutive seasons, Marshal suffered through a subpar campaign in 2014 as leg and rib injuries, as well as a punctured lung, caused him to miss three games. He finished the season with 61 receptions for 721 yards and eight touchdowns, his worst production since his rookie season in 2006, wearing out his welcome in Chicago along the way.

The team’s new management felt it was addition by subtraction in deciding to move Marshall to the New York Jets for just a 5th round pick.

In Chicago, Marshall won’t have Jay Cutler force-feeding him the ball and it certainly won’t be a surprise if the Jets issues at quarterback lead to another season with fewer than 1,000 receiving yards. In just one season, Marshall moves from being a potential top 10 fantasy wide receiver to no better than an upper-tier WR3 entering 2015.

[Help Desk] Fantasy Baseball Draft Buddy Tech Support Q&A, Part II

Here are two more recent tech support emails (one email, one tweet) received for fantasy baseball version of Draft Buddy. Part I questions and answers was posted yesterday.

More Players on Overall Cheatsheet


I’m usually asking questions about the fantasy football Draft Buddy, but this year I’m trying out baseball, too. Is there any way to have a longer list of players? For example, in one of my leagues (mixed 5×5 with 24 roster spots), the cheatsheets never got to Joc Pederson, and he got drafted by a competitor. So is there a way to see more players on the cheatsheet, or physically add on a player who’s not on the lists? Thanks for the time.


The overall list does stop at a point, and baseball drafts do tend to be longer/deeper than football on average, but similar to the football Draft Buddy, the positional cheatsheets have more players listed at each position. I see Pederson in my OF rankings on the hitters cheatsheet at #60. I found him quickly by using CTRL-F (Command-F on Mac) which brings up a find box, typing in part of his name and hitting OK.

If you truly can’t find a player you can always type his name next to the relevant pick on the draft report tab. That player’s team might not come up, but the name should still flow through to the roster and update Buddy for the next pick in the draft.

One thing I find with baseball drafts is the players being drafted can vary a lot more than football. Lots of different players to choose from, lots of different opinions on his current year fantasy contributions. The young guys are interesting too. Players may start in the minors and are expected to come up to the majors later in the season and contribute. The big question is when. Some owners are pretty savvy about drafting these guys, or are just excited about drafting and rostering prospects, depending on the size of the league and available roster spots of course. We don’t really see that in football. Young guys are more or less expected they are going to produce right away or not, unless injury strikes a veteran opening the door for a rookie.


Question and Answer:

Let me expand on this about the tier difference to say that depending on whether your cheatsheets have dollar values or fantasy points, and how big those values are, will influence how appropriate the tiering difference value is set at on the options tab. For dollar values on a $260 salary cap, a small difference of $5 (the default) is probably good to get nice size tiers. For fantasy points, where the points are in hundreds, then you will need a much large number to show suitable tiers.