Michael Salfino

  • Pitching by the Numbers: Weak contact

    Michael Salfino at Yahoo Sports 6 days ago

    Let’s talk about the starting pitchers who were best last year in limiting hit quality while also having playable K rates in 12-team mixers.

    [Baseball 2015 from Yahoo! Fantasy Sports: Join a league today!]

    Notice first that the ERAs of these pitchers seem to have less connection to BABIP. And 15 of 25 outperformed their FIP ERA, which is really hard to do. While BABIP is not technically a part of the FIP formula, the practical result is focusing on BABIP because it assumes league average performance in converting balls in play into outs. But I don’t like how BABIP ignores homers and how FIP ignores double and triples. So if I’m going to pick one of these stats to supplement my (K-BB)/IP, it’s going to be ISO allowed.

  • Pitching by the Numbers: Tiering up

    Michael Salfino at Yahoo Sports 13 days ago

    The assumption in fantasy baseball is that we need to project players in order to find hidden value beyond last year’s stats. Because, of course, any idiot can just pay the freight for the players’ prior-year numbers when they have similar roles and health.

    [Baseball 2015 from Yahoo! Fantasy Sports: Join a league today!]

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

  • Pitching by the Numbers: Walk the line

    Michael Salfino at Yahoo Sports 16 days ago

    We continue setting the table for our 2015 pitching analysis by putting today’s individual numbers into the modern context. Last week, we adjusted strikeout percentage for the league average, where 100 was average. This week, we do the same with BB%. 

    [Baseball 2015 from Yahoo! Fantasy Sports: Join a league today!]

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

  • Pitching by the Numbers: Closing costs

    Michael Salfino at Yahoo Sports 1 mth ago

    Last week I detailed my strategyof not drafting starting pitching when a top 80(ish) hitter is still on the board. Now let me make it clear, that doesn’t mean that I’m not drafting any pitchers in those rounds. I’m willing to pay the freight on certain closers.

    * - Does not currently hold the closer role for his team

  • Scouting Notebook: Backs on the wire

    Michael Salfino at Yahoo Sports 3 mths ago

    Week 15 in Fantasy Football was the proverbial “Drunkard’s Walk.” Whether you advanced or were vanquished depends on whether your big players showed up at all. That’s usually the case, of course, but it’s hard to remember another playoff week where so many big names came up empty. But before the post-mortem, let’s help those that are advancing assess the waiver wire, which, as is the case every week, is ripe. It’s quite frankly hilarious that Toby Gerhart may decide fantasy championships, but that’s our game, boys. The zeroRB guys don’t care, of course. Gerhart suddenly is in line for the most touches and probably any goal-line ones on a team that plays a low-scoring, running friendly brand of defensive football. This week, in front of a nation-wide Thursday audience (as part of, I’m sure, some elaborate practical joke), Gerhart and the Jaguars face the Titans, one of the friendliest running-game matchups going. In San Francisco, Carlos Hyde may be in line for the most touches now that Frank Gore is in the concussion protocol (worst Mission:Impossible title ever). Hyde needs to be rostered, even defensively. I was right about Rashad Jennings not being able to hold up as a first-time featured back, but wrong about Andre Williams. Even against a Rams run defense that is very overrated, I can’t trust Williams. His upside is 40 yards and a goal-line TD. His floor is 40 yards. Only play Williams over some real-life backup you’d otherwise be forced to start. It’s Week 16 and those are three backs who will be starting and who are all free in many leagues. Remember this when you are lectured next summer ad infinitum about how impossible it is to find a running back during the season. I can’t remember a week without a reasonable running back option on waivers. It’s relentless. I’m not even counting Jonas Gray, as no Patriots running back is bettable. New England is going to pass the Jets silly in Week 16 anyway. The window to pickup Jonathan Stewart is still open a crack, and he’s a solid option versus the Browns’ horrendous run defense. I like Latavius Murray, too, even against Buffalo, because home-run hitters aren’t that matchup sensitive. And the Raiders may come to play at home.

  • Splitsville: Holding out for a hero

    Michael Salfino at Yahoo Sports 3 mths ago

    Let’s start Splitsville this week with a look at the top scorers of Week 15 last year, mostly to prepare ourselves for how cruelly random our game can be. Source for this is Pro-Football-Reference’s excellent player-finder database, well worth a subscription. Top five Week 15, 2013 QBs: Nick Foles, Alex Smith, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Matt Cassel and Matt Flynn. Top five RBs: Jamaal Charles, Matt Asiata, Eddie Lacy, DeAngelo Williams, Rashad Jennings Top five WRs: DeSean Jackson, Greg Jennings, Dez Bryant, Pierre Garcon, Julian Edelman, Andre Caldwell [ Join FanDuel.com s $2M Week 15 fantasy league: $25 to enter; top 17,475 teams paid ] So some crazy players may end up being on the Week 15 Hero list this year. You know the candidates, guys like Johnny Manziel, Derek Anderson, Jake Locker, Marquess Wilson, Kerwynn Williams, Latavius Murray, Harry Douglas…. Who knows? Anyone who is starting is dangerous in any given week. Again, forget about “fantasy points vs. position X” stats to pick your lineups. They’re too touchdown driven and touchdowns are random. The rate stats are way better if you want to increase your odds in breaking ties for your starting lineup. You can fish for yourself here...

  • Scouting Notebook: Le'Veon on legendary run

    Michael Salfino at Yahoo Sports 3 mths ago

    Le’Veon Bell has been a disappointment to his owners when it comes to converting yardage into touchdowns but all that changed at a perfect time for his owners, with three scores in Week 14. So let’s start our Scouting Notebook with the player who is rapidly emerging as the consensus No. 1 running back (and thus, in the non-zeroRB world, the No. 1 overall pick) in 2015. Bell now has a remarkable 711 yards in his last three games. Only one player in league history has more (or has even ever broken 700) in a three game stretch — Walter Payton of the Chicago Bears in 1977. Bell's season total is up to 1,924 yards. He’ll have to play near his recent pace to break Chris Johnson’s 2009 record of 2,509 scrimmage yards. But just holding his full-season average, which seems a safe bet considering his recent surge, would get Bell to 2,368 scrimmage yards, the fourth most in league history (leapfrogging 1997 Barry Sanders). Bell is the complete package, of course, except for home-run speed. But his slashing style, patience and vision coupled with his outstanding receiving ability reminds me of former Jet Freeman McNeil, as you can see for yourself . I would not be in on Marquess Wilson...