Our fantasy baseball rankings week 8 are up to help you prep your team for the upcoming period between deciding who to start/bench, pick up and maybe even swing a trade.
Fantasy Baseball Rankings Process
These weekly rankings are a combined effort by Chris (@Roto_Chris) and myself (@DraftBuddy). To give you a better understanding of the process, we copy over the rankings from the prior week on Friday, and then each login at different times from Friday through Monday to move players up, down, in or out of the rankings for the upcoming week. Plus we provide comments where possible to help support the rankings.
This is our first year doing this, and the process is still in flux as we figure out the best way to attack the rankings each week in a collaborative effort to provide good quality work. Rankings are not easy. Here are some of the challenges we’ve discovered with respect to producing weekly fantasy baseball rankings:
Weekly vs. Rest of Season
The rankings are called weekly rankings, implying – okay, flat out stating – they are for only one week. That was the idea when we started. However, given the nature of baseball, we don’t want to be too reactionary by moving players way up or way down from their “typical” ranking for one week, even if they are swinging a hot bat or have a primo matchup.
For this reason, the tiers are important. [Sub-challenge: Chris and I disagree about how to apply the tiers at times.] The usefulness of the tiers as I see it is to group similarly valuable players for fantasy baseball. A tier should be players we are mostly indifferent about in a broad sense. The tiers have a more rest-of-season rankings look and feel to them, with players moving tiers when they really earn it (good or bad). Then we can tweak the rankings in the tiers for the week based on matchups, recent play, etc.
Identifying New Rankings-Worthy Players
If a guy is on the list from the prior week then great, easy to identify him and figure out what to do with him for the upcoming week. If a guy was injured and missed a week or two, we probably had him down in that bottom “do not start” tier as a placeholder. So even there for the eye to see we can check the latest news on him and rank him appropriately.
What about new guys that aren’t on the list at all from the prior week? That is tougher. If it is a hot prospect called up that everyone is talking about, like Nick Senzel or Nate Lowe, then we should realize well enough to add him. As long as we don’t get into a, “I thought you were going to add him,” communication breakdown. Under the radar guys that are suddenly getting significant playing time and hitting better than their prime that passed them 6 years ago? Tough to spot early.
I created some database queries to check every week to help with this, but if you feel someone is missing that should be ranked, please lend us a hand by dropping us a note. Twitter or a blog post comment are best.
Guessing Injuries on a Short Turnaround
Our weekly periods run Monday through Sunday. Plenty of teams play Sunday, and there are games every Monday. To that end, the rankings are due Sunday-Monday to be useful for a weekly format. In fact, consider the rankings publicly available and ready to review when this weekly rankings post is published.
The problem, as you can probably guess, is the lack of news and time from a weekend injury to a key player and the start of the new week. Sometimes, we have to guess. We will try to make educated guesses, but when the Washington Nationals decide to not put Anthony Rendon on IL for days and days, it feels more like rolling the dice deciding whether to rank him like normal, or down in the bench-’em category.
Fantasy Baseball Rankings Week 8
Now you have some idea about the process involved in the weekly rankings, and we won’t get into that every week, but I will try to give some big picture insight into the rankings beyond the individual player notes already attached to the rankings.
Relief Pitcher Rankings Overhaul
The RP rankings, or closer rankings (primarily), needed a bigger than normal overhaul this week because they were getting a bit stale from recent bullpen changes. The natural thing when I jump into the rankings is to start at the hitters and work through each position until I get to the SP and then end at RP. That is a lot of players and, most likely, RP receive less attention as exhaustion sets in. We will force ourselves to switch up the start point so all positions get relatively equal attention.
Bottom Tier – Do Not Start
Mentioning this again because I want to make sure it is clear. For most positions the bottom tier in the rankings is the “do not start” tier. You’ll notice those guys are injured or not playing, or in the case of starting pitchers not currently in the rotation. I haven’t had time to update the program to better label this group of players.
If we move a player way down because he was sent down to the minors or lost his spot in the rotation or his closer role, etc.., then we tend to move them here for the first or second week, so everyone can see what happened to him. This is better than him simply vanishing off the list. Then if it is going to be an extended absence we could remove him a later week.
Time to sign off. Good luck this week!