What It Takes To Win


What It Takes To Win: RBIs

Time for another installment of  What It Takes To Win.    In this series, I examine my keeper league and determine the necessary thresholds to finish strong in each category.  I feel that my league is fairly standard: 23-man rosters, 12 teams, normal 5x5 categories.  I've got three years of data to work with, and my goal is to finish at least third in each category.  10 points times 10 categories equals 100 points, enough to win the league.  Last time I looked at home runs.

In looking at three years of data for my league, I've determined that 1141 RBIs should earn you at least third place in the RBI category.

  • You'll need 81.5 RBIs per position player.  That's why I try not to get more than one guy who will be in the 50-60 range.  If you can get three 100 RBI guys, then you need about 77 per each of the remaining.
  • Given our threholds of a .288 average and 22 HRs and adding 81.5 RBIs, we find 18 players who fit the bill.  By the way I think this is the last time you'll find Ryan Braun outside of the first round for quite a while.
  • I have 20 guys getting to the century mark in ribbies.  33 managed it last year, 38 the year before.  So my system (and most) are conservative in projecting RBIs.



What It Takes To Win: Home Runs

Time for another installment of  What It Takes To Win.    In this series, I examine my keeper league and determine the necessary thresholds to finish strong in each category.  I feel that my league is fairly standard: 23-man rosters, 12 teams, normal 5x5 categories.  I've got three years of data to work with, and my goal is to finish at least third in each category.  10 points times 10 categories equals 100 points, typically enough to win the league.  Last time I looked at batting average.

I have found 313 home runs to be a mark that is likely to earn a second or third place finish in the home runs category.  This is a lofty goal to set.

  • Given 14 position players, you'll need to average 22.4 per to reach 313.  The mark becomes 24 for the remaining if you draft Juan Pierre; it goes down to 20.4 for the rest if you get Ryan Howard.
  • Say you get a respectable 30 home runs between your two catchers, and another 45 between your three middle infielders.  That'd mean you really need 26.5 from each of the remaining nine traditional power positions.
  • In 2007, 46 players hit 25 or more bombs.  In '06, 54 reached the mark.  In '05, 45 did it.  So assume there are on average four 25+ HR hitters for each of the 12 teams in the fantasy league.
  • Given our benchmark last time of .288 and today's 22.4 per player HR benchmark, how many players are likely to do both?  By my count, just 20.  Among those, eight can steal double digit bases for you.  Hunter Pence is probably the quietest five-category guy.



What It Takes To Win: Batting Average

Let's kick off the 2008 version of What It Takes To Win.  In this series, I examine my keeper league and determine the necessary thresholds to finish strong in each category.  I feel that my league is fairly standard: 23-man rosters, 12 teams, normal 5x5 categories.  I've got three years of data to work with, and my goal is to finish at least third in each category.  10 points times 10 categories equals 100 points, enough to win the league.

I have found a .288 team average to be a mark that is likely to earn a second or third place finish in the batting average category.

  • I see three catchers topping .288 in '08: Joe Mauer, Victor Martinez, and Brian McCann.   
  • I have eight first basemen who can manage the feat.
  • I also see eight second basemen likely to pull it off, with Howie Kendrick an interesting five-category sleeper.
  • Eight shortstops are at or above .288. 
  • This is getting odd...I have eight third basemen making the cut.
  • I see 17 outfielders cracking .288.  That's less than I would've guessed.  And of the 17, Ichiro, Willy Taveras, Jacoby Ellsbury, and Juan Pierre are not expected to reach double digits in home runs.  So taking one of those four means you need to compensate elsewhere in power.
  • How much would it hurt to own Adam Dunn, who is projected to hit .251?  Say everyone aside from Dunn is projected for 500 ABs and 144 hits, putting them all at .288.  Dunn would take your team average from .288 to .285.
  • Say you have Albert Pujols, projected to hit .327 in 553 ABs.  He takes your team average from .288 to .291.  I guess the point here is that at the extremes a single hitter can swing your average as much as three points.




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