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RotoAuthority League Update: What's Different about 2013?

The RotoAuthority League is a highly competitive 12-team fantasy baseball league run by Tim Dierkes. The settings consist of standard 5 X 5 Rotisserie scoring and 23-man lineups along with 3 bench spots. In an effort to keep owners interested as well as to infuse new blood into the league, the teams that finish below 8th place are kicked out of the league each year. The author of this column just hopes he’s not one of them.

We've now reached a point in the season at which many statistics have begun to stabilize. At the individual player level, we'll still witness wide fluctuations in statistical performances. Leaguewide data, however, is now a good indicator of what you can expect going forward.

With that in mind, I wanted to take a look at the current standings in the RotoAuthority League and see how they compare to past standings in the league. In this way, we might be able to see which statistics have begun more scarce and thus more valuable. With the season 26% complete through Saturday's games, all counting stats were extrapolated to end-of-season totals. Meanwhile, ratio statistics were kept the same. I used median finishes in each category, because mean values tended to be slighltly skewed, as some owners have punted categories in the past.

Accordingly, the file at the bottom links to the median totals in each category across the league for each of the past five years and then for this season's projected statistics.

So what are some interesting trends?

  • There has already been plenty of discussion on this topic, but for whatever reason stolen bases are way down this season. How does this affect the game we play? Well, one-trick ponies like Juan Pierre become more valuable. The fact that Everth Cabrera ranks third among shortstops on the ESPN Player Rater makes a tad more sense now. In short, buy your speed now before others in your league fully appreciate those speedsters.
  • Batting average continues to decline. Five years ago a .260 AVG provided negative value in the category. We've now reached a point that a .260 AVG actually helps a fantasy owner. There are a few ramifications of this new reality. For one, fantasy owners who took chances on perennially AVG killers J.P. Arencibia and Mark Reynolds are reaping the rewards. With this new baseline AVG around .255, players like this duo may still hurt you in the category but not nearly as much. On the flip side, this also pushes elite AVG performers like Joey Votto even higher up in the first round.  
  • Pitching is still dominant across the league. I've always been one to wait on pitching, but that philosophy seems to be for dinosaurs at this point. In ERA and WHIP the categorical targets continue to decline on an annual basis. There's a strong argument to be made for taking Clayton Kershaw at least in the top ten, if not in the top five. If you have to put up an ERA near 3.00 to finish near the top of the category, 230 innings of an ERA around 2.50 puts you a step ahead the rest of the league. Disaster outings by starting pitchers have become even more of a killer in today's Roto game.  

Download Past RotoAuthority League Standings 

2008 1120.5 266.5 1106.5 160 0.279 90 98 1192 3.8 1.295
2009 1119 288 1079.5 158 0.273 89.5 103 1230.5 4.04 1.31
2010 1088 258.5 1032 167.5 0.269 98 97 1278.5 3.685 1.26
2011 1082 268.5 1059 168 0.266 93.5 94 1309 3.55 1.24
2012 1091 285 1057 171.5 0.269 95.5 98.5 1327.5 3.725 1.235
2013 1083 277 1017 138.5 0.2665 88.5 98 1317 3.545 1.1195


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