Recently, I introduced the concept of Target Percentages, the percentage of the targeted total stats a player earns for your fantasy baseball team based on his projections. Part one explains the concept and calculations in more detail. For part two, I will show you how to use Target Percentages during a draft.
In a perfect world you would like each batter (or pitcher) you draft to, “pull their own weight” by contributing positively to each category. For a simple example, let’s say you are in a league where you start 10 batters. Ideally, each batter accumulates 10% (or 1/10 starters) of your Runs, 10% of you HR, 10% of your RBI and 10% of your SB. In the ratio categories you just want to stay positive. For other league setups you simply identify your positive contribution line by 1/x where x is the number of batters (or pitchers) you start.
For this mock draft exercise I am drafting from the 8th slot using the same settings continued from part one on Target Percentages: 12-team league, 5×5 roto with 13 hitters, 9 pitchers and 3 bench spots. My positive contribution line is 7.7% (1/13) for batters and 11.1% (1/9) for pitchers.
I use color coding to draw attention to the players that are contributing positively and pulling their weight or better on my cheatsheet. Green indicates players that are giving me a positive contribution in that category by scoring 7.7% or more for batters or 11.1% or more for pitchers. Yellow indicates one percentage point away from being green (for batters, 6.7% to 7.69%). This indicator lets me know visually that they are close to contributing positively in that category.
I, personally, don’t color code the ratio categories since I am indicating negative numbers already in red. I suppose you could switch it around and color code positive contributors in green and maybe go down to -0.25 or -0.50 in yellow to indicate they are close to positive. Target Percentages are a tool to use however you see fit.
The last bit of draft prep I do is to identify my Star Players. I add up how many green categories for each player + positive ratio categories and that is their Star Factor. Hello, Mike Trout and Paul Goldschmidt! You will never see a 5-category pitcher. Why? They will never give you enough of what you need for Wins and Saves. These multi-category players are the ones you want to, um, target!Here is a sample cheat sheet for this exercise. Click the image to open the PDF in a new tab. Please refrain from critiquing the cheatsheet (wink). This is meant as a demonstration of how to use Target Percentages during a draft. For this exercise I did a mock draft using FantasyPros’ Mock Draft Simulator. And, away we go…
Pick 1.8 (#8) – I am looking at Giancarlo Stanton, Mookie Betts or Manny Machado, or I can go Matt Scherzer, Chris Sale or Corey Kluber. I don’t like to draft a pitcher this early. Maybe at the turn, but not at 8. It really boils down to Betts vs. Stanton or in terms of categories the decision is SB and AVG vs. HR and RBI. Betts just misses being a 5-category star and I’m partial to banking high AVG guys early so the pick is Betts.
Pick 2.5 (#17) – Ugh, I was really hoping that Scherzer, Sale or Kluber would make it back to me here but they were all taken. I still have one SP on my cheat sheet that gives me a solid starting foundation for my pitching squad in Noah Syndergaard.
I’m not positive that he will make it back to me as his ADP is late second round to early third, but I’m going to take my chances that I get him at pick #32. Looking at batters, I’ve got Machado, Francisco Lindor and Joey Votto remaining as 4-category stars. Much like Betts, Lindor is a few HR short of being a 5-category star and a shortstop, so I take him. Adding him to Betts gives me:
|Mookie Betts (OF1)||9%||7%||8%||13%||2.00|
|Francisco Lindor (SS)||8%||7%||8%||9%||1.50|
|New Batting Total||17%||14%||16%||22%||3.50|
Pick 3.8 (#32) – Well, Thor is still here so I snatch him. The three 3-category batters remaining are Brian Dozier, Marcell Ozuna and Jose Abreu. Dozier is out due to the -2.00 AVG hit. I’m going to be taking enough hits later so I don’t need to do so now. Ozuna and Abreu are twins with the same Target Percentage lines so I’m going to cross my fingers and hope one of them is still there in the round 4.
|Noah Syndergaard (SP)||12%||0%||14%||1.25||2.00|
Pick 4.5 (#41) – Well, all three 3-category guys went off the board. I’m going to snag one of the few batters out there with a high HR% and an AVG that doesn’t put me in a bottomless crater.
|Old Batting Total||17%||14%||16%||22%||3.50|
|Edwin Encarnacion (1B)||7%||10%||9%||1%||-2.25|
|New Batting Total||24%||24%||25%||23%||1.25|
Pick 5.8 (#56) – I’m beginning to see a lot of red remaining on my starting pitchers cheatsheet. I want to get a SP2 that will not put a sizeable dent in the solid ratios Thor gives me so I grab an Archer (Chris Archer) to go with the Hammer.
|Noah Syndergaard (SP1)||12%||0%||14%||1.25||2.00|
|Chris Archer (SP2)||11%||0%||14%||0.25||0.50|
|New Pitching Total||23%||0%||28%||1.50||2.50|
Pick 6.5 (#65) – Whew, it worked. I was hoping Aroldis Chapman would make it back to me! He’s one of the four closers that are 0.75 or higher in ERA.
|Old Pitching Total||23%||0%||28%||1.50||2.50|
|Aroldis Chapman (RP1)||4%||24%||6%||0.75||0.50|
|New Pitching Total||27%||24%||34%||2.25||3.00|
Pick 7.8 (#80) – I’m going with Andrew McCutchen who just misses projections in the green on Runs, HR and RBI. I feel it is important to point out that a player may have 8% for a category but still be yellow. This is due to rounding. McCutchen for example actually scored 7.66% in Runs but rounded up to 8%.
|Old Hitting Total||24%||24%||25%||23%||1.25|
|Andrew McCutchen (OF2)||8%||7%||7%||6%||-0.75|
|New Hitting Total||32%||31%||32%||29%||0.50|
Pick 8.5 (#89) – I had intended to reach for DJ LeMahieu here to get his +2.75 help in AVG, but alas, it was not meant to be. I’m starting to notice the lack of green left on my cheat sheet for HR and RBI so I take one of my favorites, Miguel Cabrera.
|Old Hitting Total||32%||31%||32%||29%||0.50|
|Miguel Cabrera (CI)||6%||7%||7%||1%||0.75|
|New Hitting Total||38%||38%||39%||30%||1.25|
Pick 9.8 (#104) – I’m taking Rougned Odor to help me in HR but he is going to put me in the negative in AVG, which stinks. See what I did there? The good news is that there are some positive AVG guys still available in the outfield.
|Old Hitting Total||38%||38%||39%||30%||1.25|
|Rougned Odor (2B)||6%||8%||8%||8%||-2.00|
|New Hitting Total||44%||46%||47%||38%||-0.75|
Pick 10.5 (#113) – Taking closer number two. You have to take one somewhere. Why not here? Brad Hand is one of the remaining closers available with a high SV% and positive ratios.
|Old Pitching Total||27%||24%||34%||2.25||3.00|
|Brad Hand (RP2)||3%||24%||5%||0.25||0.00|
|New Pitching Total||30%||48%||39%||2.50||3.00|
Pick 11.8 (#128) – Kyle Seager, Ender Inciarte or closer number three. Still some decent OF out there so I am adding Seager. And, yes I see my AVG sinking lower.
|Old Hitting Total||44%||46%||47%||38%||-0.75|
|Kyle Seager (3B)||7%||7%||7%||2%||-1.50|
|New Hitting Total||51%||53%||54%||40%||-2.25|
Pick 12.5 (#137) – My third and final closer, Alex Colome. He was one of the few left with a high SV%.
|Old Pitching Total||30%||48%||39%||2.50||3.00|
|Alex Colome (RP3)||3%||28%||4%||-0.25||-0.50|
|New Pitching Total||33%||76%||43%||2.25||2.50|
Okay, hopefully you’ve gotten a good grasp of utilizing Target Percentages during the draft. I’m not going to go pick by pick for the rest of the draft, but so far I’ve drafted seven batters and five pitchers.
With my remaining six batters to draft as starters I need to draft C, MI, 3 OF and UT and make up 49% in Runs, 47% in HR, 46% in RBI and 60% in SB all while trying to get back positive in AVG. I will have to target players with an average HR score of 8.1% to achieve 100%. It’s not impossible to do this, but it limits some of the players you can select during the rest of the draft.
For example, a quick look at the remaining catchers and I see that there is not a single player with a HR% score greater than 6%. So, when I select my catcher, I have to make up for the shortcoming at another position.
With my remaining four pitchers to draft as starters I will focus on three starting pitchers and one reliever to make up 67% of Wins, 24% of Saves and 57% of K. This will be nearly impossible to do in the draft and speaks more to the nature of pitching in fantasy baseball. You will fill in the gaps with players from the waiver wire, a story for another day.
I hope that this example was helpful to you, and I hope you are getting the idea of how to use Target Percentages – they’ll keep you on target during your draft!