No matter the Fantasy Sport, it is paramount to understand that player values can differ based on the scoring format of your league. While most Fantasy Baseball players participate in standard 5×5 Roto leagues, many Fantasy players are now gravitating towards Points leagues. Given that most Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) websites use a similar Points scoring format, season long Points leagues should continue to see an increase in popularity.
One of the major differences with Points Leagues compared to Roto Leagues is that you don’t have to chase category stats. For example, if your team is made up predominately of power hitters and very few players who steal bases and/or hit for average, this roster make up can still be successful. With Points leagues it is all about the total accumulation of stats, like it is with DFS.
A Points scoring format can also make trading within your league more appealing since you don’t have to try and trade for any particular stats category. You are simply trying to trade for value. It can also expand the number of usable players on the waiver wire since Fantasy players don’t have to only target free agents that match their category needs.
Most Fantasy Baseball articles you will read across the industry are based on a 5×5 Roto scoring format. If you try and apply Rotisserie rankings to a Points League scoring system, you will inevitably overvalue and undervalue certain players. So to help, we have identified five players whose Fantasy value is augmented in Points leagues compared to traditional Roto leagues.
It’s important to remember that while individual counting categories don’t matter in Points Leagues, there are still several statistical categories that can hurt a hitters Fantasy value. Strikeouts ranking at the top of this list. Most leagues penalize hitters -1 points for each strikeout they record. Therefore, hitters who strike out at above average rates, limit their value. The classic example of this over the past 15 years has been Adam Dunn. While Dunn managed to hit 40 HRs or more in 6 of his 14 MLB seasons, in every season where he got at least 600 at-bats, he struck out at least 160 times in every one of those seasons. Topping out at a whopping 222 strikeouts in 2012.
Five Fantasy Baseball Hitters Better in Points Leagues
J.T. Realmuto, C, Miami Marlins
This is a player that is still relatively unproven (in any Fantasy format) but we believe he has more upside in a Points League format. If you are in a Keeper Points league, this is definitely a player you should be targeting. How many catchers have the ability to hit 15 HRs and strike out less than 100 times? Right now he is being drafted as the second catcher in most leagues but has potential to deliver Top 12 catcher stats in a Points League format.
Joe Mauer, 1B, Minnesota Twins
We have seen Mauer’s Fantasy value (in all formats) plummet the past few years following injuries, including a concussion in 2013. Right now, Mauer is the 33rd ranked first baseman on FantasyPros.
Mauer recently admitted that he has been suffering from blurred vision for parts of the past few seasons which has hampered his ability to pick up the spin on many different pitches, and is now taking the necessary steps to correct this problem using a variety of corrective lenses.
While he will probably never return to his 2009 MVP form, it is not out of the question for him to return his Fantasy production closer to his 2012 form. In that season he hit .319 with a .414 OPB. He also hit 10 HRs, 85 RBIs and was 19th in MVP balloting.
What Fantasy stats that stood out that year from a Points League perspective is that he compiled 90 walks versus only 88 strikeouts. That is the type of stat line that can help you win your league if you can draft those statistics late in your draft.
Brian Dozier, 2B, Minnesota Twins
What helps set Dozier apart in Points Leagues at second base is his number of plate appearances, averaging over 700 the past two seasons. Just as in DFS where playing time and plate appearances translate into DFS success, it is also a huge factor Points formats. The more plate appearances a player gets, the more opportunity they have to accumulate counting stats.
The stat projections for 2016 tells us that only Jose Altuve should rank higher at second base in a Points Format.
Xander Bogaerts, SS, Boston Red Sox
In 2015, Bogaerts struck out 101 times, which for someone who only hit seven HRs, doesn’t look great at first glance. But given that he cut that number down from 138 in 2014 with 60 additional plate appearances, we expect his On-Base Percentage (OBP) will continue to climb in 2016.
While it might be a little too much to expect him to repeat his .320 batting average again in 2016, if he can stay above .300, we expect as he matures he can increase his HR production from seven in 2015 to the 10-12 range in 2016. That would rank him as a Top 5 Fantasy player among third baseman in Points Leagues.
Jose Bautista, OF, Toronto Blue Jays
While Bautista will probably never come close to hitting .300 moving forward, he is a player who can hit 40 HRs and give you more walks than strikeouts, which puts him in a select category for power hitters. (Remember every four walks he earns, is equivalent to another home run in most Points leagues).
So when looking at hitters, especially power hitters, On-base Plus Slugging (OPS) percentage is a key factor to consider since every extra base per hit yields an additional point. With Bautista, as long as he continues hitting in one of the most hitter friendly parks (Rogers Centre) and surrounded by a lineup as good as any in baseball, we don’t foresee a regression in 2016. FantasyPros has him as the third highest rated outfielder in Points formats.
Always remember, no matter what league format you play, make sure you understand your scoring system so that you can effectively project a players Fantasy value in your particular league.
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