Andy Behrens

  • Tout Wars recap: Jose Abreu, Xander Bogaerts, Carlos Rodon and various other Sox

    Andy Behrens at Roto Arcade 1 day ago

    It would not be entirely accurate to say that I entered this year's A.L.-only Tout Wars auction with a highly detailed and thoroughly vetted plan.

    No, plan is definitely the wrong term.

    [Yahoo Sports Fantasy Baseball: Sign up and join a league today!]

    Last year I had a well-rehearsed plan, executed it reasonably well, and then four of my players suffered season-ending injuries almost immediately. Mike Trout couldn't do it all by himself. My pitching staff was basically Yordano Ventura and five dudes who threw like Boof Bonser. That is to say, it was not a good pitching staff.

    At a very basic level, of course, the idea in any fantasy auction is to use your $260 budget to purchase a group of players you believe will deliver far greater than $260 in value. And then you need to remember to address all statistical categories while simultaneously tracking the needs of your competitors ... and their dwindling auction resources, and their bidding habits.

    C: Jason Castro $13, Geovany Soto $2

    And now for the arms...

  • Fantasy baseball sleepers, 2015: Joc Pederson, Taijuan Walker and a dozen other spring stars

    Andy Behrens at Roto Arcade 4 days ago

    If you were under the impression that spring training existed entirely as a showcase for Kris Bryant's ridiculous power and for no other reason ... well, we get it. Bryant's dominance has certainly been the top story from the exhibition season. When a prospect slugs eight homers over just 29 plate appearances, hype is gonna happen. It's unavoidable.

    [Yahoo Sports Fantasy Baseball: Sign up and join a league today!]

    However, Bryant actually isn't the only player making noise this spring — he's been the noisiest, sure, but he's not alone.

    Today, our purpose is to discuss other players who've surged in March, several of whom have earned opening day roster spots. We're diving relatively deep here, just for the record, well beyond the early rounds in standard fantasy drafts. You shouldn't need us to tell you about Mike Trout's 1.459 spring OPS, or Brandon Belt's .333/.467/.722 slash. Those guys are well established. The players mentioned below have much, much more to prove.

    Joc Pederson, OF, LAD

    Taijuan Walker, SP, SEA

  • Fantasy Baseball Position Primer: Relief Pitcher

    Andy Behrens at Roto Arcade 9 days ago

    Closers are really a fantasy nuisance.

    You're a fool if you draft them early — or if you draft too many of them — because we all know several new sources of saves will emerge during the season. Happens every year. Something like one-third of closing jobs will flip at some point.

    [Yahoo Sports Fantasy Baseball: Sign up and join a league today!]

    But of course if you don't draft any closers — or if you limit yourself to just one — then you'll spend the next six months of your life targeting saves on the wire. And for most of us, that's not much fun. Nor is it entirely practical if you're a normal human, instead of a fantasy professional.

    If you desperately need reliever ranks, we've got you covered right here.

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    [Want to join a league and live draft right now? Go to the Yahoo Draft Lobby]

  • Kris Bryant can't wait

    Andy Behrens at Roto Arcade 10 days ago

    On Monday afternoon, Chicago Cubs prospect Kris Bryant had a miserable day at the plate by his recent standards, merely going 1-for-3 with an opposite field double off the wall.

    Normally, he does stuff like this and this and this.

    [Yahoo Sports Fantasy Baseball: Sign up and join a league today!]

    Bryant is now nine games into his second spring with the Cubs and he's 10-for-23 with two doubles, six homers and an OPS of 1.804. No other ballplayer on any team has hit more than three spring home runs.

    This is a conversation, gamers, not a monologue...

    Related MLB video:

  • Fantasy Baseball Position Primer: Starting Pitcher

    Andy Behrens at Roto Arcade 10 days ago

    Whatever statistical lines of demarcation you've used in the past to define good, bad and ordinary pitching performances, it's well past time for an update. We've hammered away at this general theme in earlier Position Primers, you might have noticed. The run-scoring environment has changed substantially in recent seasons, so fantasy managers need to adapt.

    [Yahoo Sports Fantasy Baseball: Sign up and join a league today!]

    Back in 2004, for example, the Atlanta Braves led all major league teams in ERA at 3.74. Last year, the average MLB pitching staff posted a 3.74 ERA. Seventeen teams finished below that number, and the average National League ERA was 3.66.

    Among all individual pitchers who tossed more than 140.0 innings in '04, only 19 posted ERAs below 3.50. Last season, 26 pitchers delivered sub-3.00 ERAs with over 140 frames of work, and 48 hurlers were below 3.50.

    2014 – 51 2013 – 44 2012 – 38 2011 – 39 2010 – 26 2009 – 26 2008 – 24 2007 – 21 2006 – 20 2005 – 30 2004 – 17 2003 – 20 2002 – 14 2001 – 17 2000 – 13

    That's silly, right?

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  • Fantasy Baseball Position Primer: Outfield

    Andy Behrens at Roto Arcade 15 days ago

    The outfield is where you'll find ... well, everything.

    Whatever you need, it's available in the outfield. All hitting stats, all player traits. This roster spot is where the four and five-category fantasy commodities tend to reside. The top-two overall picks in an average Yahoo draft are a pair of outfielders — Mike Trout and Andrew McCutchen — and four additional OF-eligible players are typically selected among the overall top-ten.

    [Yahoo Sports Fantasy Baseball: Sign up and join a league today!]

    Simply put, fantasy is a numbers game, and the outfield is rich with numbers. If you adhere too strictly to position-scarcity draft principles in the opening rounds, you'll whiff on several of the game's most productive, bankable, multi-category assets.

    Bottom line: If you deliberately avoid this position at the top of your draft, you're choosing to pass on fantasy's most useful and reliable stars. Does that sound like a winning approach?

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    Position averages for the top-60 outfielders, last three years

    OUTFIELD TIERS TIER ONE

    TIER TWO

    TIER THREE

  • Fantasy Baseball Position Primer: Middle Infield

    Andy Behrens at Roto Arcade 16 days ago

    Not so long ago, back when middle infielders were supposed to look like this dude or this dude, we expected the best of them to hit 30-plus home runs. Today, in a much different run-scoring environment, our projections for second basemen and shortstops are relatively modest.

    [Yahoo Sports Fantasy Baseball: Sign up and join a league today!]

    Only six middle infielders reached the 20-homer plateau last season, and none topped Ian Desmond's 24. Only four middles finished the year with more than 80 RBIs, and none reached 100. Banking on significant production in the power categories from these spots, is ... well, it's probably a terrible plan.

    But really, all you're guaranteed to find at these positions — up and down your draft board — are pressing questions. For example...

    Can Javier Baez somehow not strike out 250 times, if he plays a full season?

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    TIER TWO

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  • Fantasy Baseball Position Primer: Ranking the corner Infielders

    Andy Behrens at Roto Arcade 22 days ago

    Many of you have been managing fantasy baseball teams for a decade or more, so you can remember a time when power stats were available everywhere , at all positions. Back in the day, we used to get 25 and 30-homer seasons from middle infielders who weren't even particularly skilled at hitting — like this guy and this guy.

    Power was unavoidable. Everyone cleared the fences.

    These days, however, power isn't so widely available.

    [Yahoo Sports Fantasy Baseball: Sign up and join a league today!]

    We should also note that last year's minor league home run leaderboard was dominated by corner infielders, including third base prospects Kris Bryant (43) and Joey Gallo (42), as well as 20-year-old first baseman Matt Olson (37). Miguel Sano is on his way, too, following a year lost to injury. And Yasmany Tomas has been known to reach the seats.

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    TIER TWO

    TIER THREE

  • Fantasy Baseball Position Primer: Catcher

    Andy Behrens at Roto Arcade 24 days ago

    In leagues with standard Yahoo settings, there are basically two acceptable ways to address the position of catcher on draft day:

    1) Get Buster Posey in the early rounds, or...

    2) Wait it out and find a value — and when it seems like you've finally waited long enough, wait another round or two.

    [Yahoo Sports Fantasy Baseball: Sign up and join a league today!]

    Seriously, with the exception of Buster, this position is really a minefield of uninteresting numbers and grossly inflated prices. Last season, Posey was the only catcher to finish among the top-50 overall fantasy assets in the year-end ranks (No. 42). In fact, over the past 15 years he's one of just four backstops to have delivered that sort of value. Here's the full list of the catchers who've achieved top-50 status in recent seasons:

    [Related: Dishing on Gattis, and other catchers]

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    TIER ONE

  • Pressing Questions: The Chicago Cubs

    Andy Behrens at Roto Arcade 1 mth ago

    When the Chicago Cubs last appeared in the World Series, the team's pennant-winning roster included names like Dewey, Mack, Walter, Stan, Lon, Cy, Len, Lennie, Hank and Peanuts. The National League was composed of only eight teams. Baseball cards, discontinued during the war, generally featured painted images. Mordecai Brown was still alive, Bud Selig was 11 years old and Rob Manfred was not yet born.

    [Yahoo Sports Fantasy Baseball: Signup and join a league today!]

    Chicago lost the 1945 Series to the Newhouser and Greenberg-led Tigers, and so began one of the more remarkable periods of sustained non-achievement in the history of team sports. These past seven decades have been a little rough for the Cubs.

    Q: GIVE US BRYANT. NOW. MUST HAVE. URGENT.

    A: I mean, that's not even a question. Please respect the Q&A gimmick.

    Q: OK, fine. When will Kris Bryant arrive in the majors for keeps, and what will his early numbers look like?

    A: Better. Thank you.

    Q: How 'bout the rest of Chicago's silly collection of prospects? Who are the names to know?

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