Analyzing the standings before the season

It would seem like an exercise in futility to try and predict your fantasy league’s standings before the season even starts, but to me it’s actually worthwhile.  Actually, I find it important to do so during the draft, because it can help you see which categories are worth chasing the lead in and which you can ignore for a while.  Last night, it helped me see that I was high in the rate stats (batting average, ERA, and WHIP), so I could focus in the later rounds on power categories, maybe steals, or strikeouts.  The result is a fairly balanced team with a chance to win pretty much any category except saves, which (as usual) were highly over-valued.

For all this talk about my detailed draft strategy, my team is perhaps not as good as I would like.  In years past, I’ve predicted that I would get 80 of a possible 100 points (scoring goes down from 10 to 1 in each category based on team standings), which would destroy the competition in most leagues.  This year, I’m predicting just 68 points, but enough for a win in a very close league.

The way I make these predictions is not just by taking the league’s standings based on my player projections, although that is the main idea.  I actually take each team’s z-score for a category, which tells me how many standard deviations above or below average each team is in each category.  While that means five teams could finish with six points in a category in my estimates (in other words, it’s not going to be accurate in that way), it seems like a better way to get a feel for where each team stands at the start of the season.

Below are my predicted standings using that method:

Hitting
Team Order Name AVG R HR RBI SB Total
1 1 West Coast Fresh 8.3 9.2 7.3 8.0 3.7 36.5
2 7 Connor’s Maulers 2.0 10.0 7.7 9.3 6.7 35.7
3 4 Just Over The Wall 9.1 5.7 7.6 7.0 5.8 35.2
4 8 Daffy DingersIII 1.0 9.2 10.0 10.0 4.8 35.0
5 6 CFM 7.2 6.0 7.2 8.6 3.9 32.9
6 10 GOBIGORANGE 2 7.9 6.9 4.0 3.6 10.0 32.4
7 2 downtown2 3.9 4.6 9.4 9.5 3.1 30.5
8 5 Diphthongs 6.9 6.9 1.0 3.5 6.1 24.5
9 3 Twitchy Cansecos 10.0 2.8 2.9 1.0 7.4 24.1
10 9 Scatmanners 6.3 1.0 8.9 3.9 1.0 21.0
Pitching
Team Order Name ERA WHIP W SV K Total
1 5 Diphthongs 10.0 9.1 7.3 4.2 6.0 36.6
2 4 Just Over The Wall 8.1 10.0 6.7 2.0 6.0 32.8
3 3 Twitchy Cansecos 8.1 5.1 3.1 9.0 4.4 29.7
4 6 CFM 4.9 3.1 2.7 10.0 4.6 25.2
5 9 Scatmanners 1.0 1.9 10.0 1.0 10.0 23.9
6 7 Connor’s Maulers 3.2 3.4 3.1 8.8 4.3 22.8
7 8 Daffy DingersIII 3.2 1.0 1.9 10.0 3.8 19.8
8 2 downtown2 4.3 3.2 2.9 6.2 3.1 19.8
9 1 West Coast Fresh 4.4 2.3 1.5 7.8 3.2 19.3
10 10 GOBIGORANGE 2 1.9 1.3 1.0 8.6 1.0 13.8
Totals
Team Order Name Hitting Pitching Overall
1 4 Just Over The Wall 35.2 32.8 68.0
2 5 Diphthongs 24.5 36.6 61.1
3 7 Connor’s Maulers 35.7 22.8 58.5
4 6 CFM 32.9 25.2 58.2
5 1 West Coast Fresh 36.5 19.3 55.8
6 8 Daffy DingersIII 35.0 19.8 54.8
7 3 Twitchy Cansecos 24.1 29.7 53.8
8 2 downtown2 30.5 19.8 50.4
9 10 GOBIGORANGE 2 32.4 13.8 46.2
10 9 Scatmanners 21.0 23.9 44.8

As you can see, I actually do predict myself to finish first, so the draft wasn’t a total disaster.  (Since I’m using my own projections for this analysis, it would be a disaster if I didn’t predict that.)  The column for “Order” is the team’s draft position.  The draft was “snake-style,” where the teams reverse the selection order for even-numbered rounds.

From these standings, it looks like I’m only slightly above average in power and steals, and actually slightly below average in runs.  Saves are a loss for me, unless both Wheeler and Linebrink become their teams’ closers mid-season.  Moving up from there, I’m moderately above average in strikeouts.  Even though I have seven starters, having a guy like Maddux reduces my potential there.  I’m hoping Rich Hill really turns it on, though.  Wins, ERA, and batting average show me as about a full standard deviation above average, which is pretty comfortable.  Then we have WHIP, where I expect to win the category unless Lieber’s replacement is a very low-end starter.  The total of all this comes out to a win for me, and a second place finish for my friend (and #5-picking draft neighbor Doug).

If I can work out the details on a better estimation method than this (I have an idea for one, but I’m not sure it will work), I’ll post those later today.

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5 thoughts on “Analyzing the standings before the season

  1. thats awesome, who in your league named their team the diphthongs? you have a greek language scholar in your league. i feel like a big nerd for even knowing that.

  2. It’s hard to go wrong with a random plural noun for a fantasy team name (Diphthongs, Croutons, Dirigibles, etc.).

  3. Yeah, I’ve noticed that trend in your team names. I don’t know if there’s a trend in mine or not, although for a few years, I tried to make it so mine would be either first or last in the league alphabetically.

    [slam]
    It’s a shame that your well-named teams will always have the dishonor of a second-place or lower finish.
    [/slam]

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