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Daily Fantasy Baseball Tools: Using Our Hitter Projections To Make A Lineup

Making a Daily Fantasy Baseball lineup is a complex process, involving many considerations. To name a few: a hitter’s spot in the batting order, pitcher matchup, ballpark, team run projection, etc. That process is made much easier with DFW’s hitter projection tool, that takes into consideration many of the factors that go into evaluating the how well a player is expected to do in any given night. In this post I will explain how to use it.

Basic Concept

I will not explain exactly how the projection tool works, but I’ll explain the basic concept. The amount of runs and the amount of fantasy points scored in a game are nearly equivalent. Therefore, we can use a teams projected run total, and then distribute the expected amount of fantasy points in that total to each individual player in that lineup for a fairly accurate projection of expected fantasy points for any given player.

How those points are distributed depends on a few things:

1. Rest of season hitting projections

2. Batter handedness vs pitcher handedness

3. Value of good or bad spot in the batting order on plate appearances, RBIs, and Runs.

After those are considered, add in stolen bases and voila! We have our player projections. As of the writing of this article we do not consider park handedness splits nor GB/FB signals, nor catcher/pitcher stolen base matchup, but these are factors that will be included in the future.

Now that you know how the projections work, you need to know how to use the spreadsheet that gives the projections.

Points per $1000

This column gives you the expected fantasy points for a player divided by their salary in thousands of dollars. When you have a high salary pitcher, this tends to be the best column to sort by. It will give you the best value picks, which will be the most important hitters when you have a high salary pitcher such as Yu Darvish or Max Scherzer.

PPD*Salary/1000

This column gives you a metric that considers both how high a players salary is as well as his value. The equation is somewhat arbitrary.

(Points per $1000)*(((SQRT(Salary))/40)

Which is Points per $1000 times the square root of salary over 40. What this ends up being is a metric that values higher salary players more effectively than Points per $1000.

This is the most useful column to sort by when your pitcher salary is low. Why? Because you NEED to spend money on hitters, and this column tells you the best high salary hitters, without losing out on the crazy good value hitters.

Points Projection

This is literally how many fantasy points we project a player to score. Sometimes, the best value plays are so good that they are better than players who are even $1000 more pricey. Because of this, you can have a lot of cap room left to spend after choosing your favorite value picks at every position. This column helps you pick guys who aren’t necessarily a good point per dollar value, but are better than a good value pick at that position, so you can spend your cap money effectively.

Making a Lineup

For picking a pitcher, use these guidelines. On the day this article was written, the best pitchers seem to be Cole Hamels, Stephen Strasburg, and Jeff Samardzija. Because Samardzija is the biggest favorite, he seems like the best pick.

Samardzija is only $8200 so that means were going to have to spend a lot on hitters.

 

Teixeira is an obvious pick for first base. He’s flat out better than Moss point projection wise so there’s no reason to spend money on Moss over Teixeira.  McCann and Beltran also are fairly obvious choices, so we only have 5 more spots to fill. 2B can go to either Alcantara or Pedroia, 3B could either go to Frazier or Wright. With those picks we have 3 spots to choose from with about $11,000 in salary remaining, an average of nearly $3700 per player. We need 2 OF’s and a shortstop. Bautista is in an extremely righty friendly Fenway park seems like a good pick to use up a chunk of salary. With that we have about $6100 in salary left. I like Kole Calhoun on a team of righties at Camden Yards which is great for lefties, and with 2600 left we get a good pick with Starlin Castro.

 

And there is your lineup!

Fanduel is offering an 100k guaranteed Super Strikeout tonight with $10,000 going to first, so now is as good of a time as ever to sign up and give your own lineup a try.

View all posts by Daniel Steinberg
Daniel Steinberg

About the Author

Daniel Steinberg Daniel Steinberg is a former bond trader at a multi-billion dollar proprietary trading firm in Chicago. He uses his knowledge of statistics and his creativity from his career as a poker professional to create the most advanced Daily Fantasy statistical analysis that you will find anywhere. Follow him on twitter @DanielSingerS

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