So after some fussing with scoring options, the CBSSports.com league draws ever nearer actually drafting its players. It's funny, I've never worried about stats before; in leagues with friends there is an understanding that we will not be adjusting the default Yahoo! options, and that I will be drafting players for their batting average and ability to hit triples.
But the Viva El Birdos league requires, obviously, a different approach. While I wanted to reward picking players who are actually good, I wanted to keep some of the day-to-day flukiness of traditional fantasy baseball, which was originally designed to make its owners really angry at players who would otherwise engender no emotional reaction at all when they drive in six runs against the Rangers.
With that in mind, I ended up using these twelve stats:
HR, RBI, R, SB-CS: The traditionals. RBI and runs scored don't correlate very well with the actual business of manufacturing runs, but they tell stories, and in a head-to-head league they also allow individual waiver-wire players to crush one's hopes and dreams on a week-to-week basis. I am of the opinion that any my-fantasy-team story is usually a bad one, but "the time David Murphy cleared the bases with a triple" is at least better than "the time David Murphy's triple brought his XR total over the line."
OPS, XR: My concession to what we actually know about run scoring. OPS requires no explanation; XR is extrapolated runs, a run estimator like Runs Created that is easier to fit into CBSSports.com's custom formula box. By using a rate stat and a counting stat I tried to avoid the Ted Williams dilemma that comes in any league when your batting average or OPS is fractionally higher than your opponent's—do I leave Garrett Anderson out there, in hopes that he goes 2-6 with those singles I so desperately need, or do I pull him back to keep that .666 OPS off the board?
IP, BB, K, W: I admit it: I love pitchers' wins and losses. I realize they don't mean anything; I realize they reward Jack Morris in favor of players who are far better than Jack Morris, and have created a world in which pitchers are, to a serious degree, ranked in order of their middle relievers and offenses. But I like that Old Hoss Radbourn has an unbreakable record, and it made me undeniably happy to see Mike Mussina retire on that round number, even though his relievers, fittingly, almost lost it for him.
ERA, FIP: More than anything else, I'm going to be interested to see if anybody ends up with a big gap here.
Before the plugging begins—my disclaimer, please! CBSSports.com is an SB Nation partner and paying sponsor of the SB Nation baseball communities. This post is one of a series of sponsor-endorsed posts related to the CBSSports.com Fantasy Baseball Commissioner League.
So far I've enjoyed my CBSSports.com Fantasy Baseball Commissioner League experience, although it took me a few tries to keep my parentheses straight in the course of using XR. If you, too, would like to run a large fantasy baseball league related to the blog for which you write, click this link for 50% off a CBSSports.com commissioner league.