March is here and that means many of you are scrambling to prepare for your drafts. Here at FantasyPros, we’re squarely focused on helping to eliminate the work involved in getting ready, all while offering the tools to help you win big. One of these tools is our annual accuracy assessment. And, with Spring Training in full gear, we figured it’s about time we revealed which experts provided the most accurate advice last season.
Before we get to the results, here are a few quick notes about the accuracy study:
- Draft rankings from 65 fantasy experts were analyzed. That makes this our largest MLB accuracy competition (past results: 2012, 2011)
- All of the rankings tracked used a standard 5×5 Roto setup.
- The experts were rated Roto-style at each 5×5 category. The scores (PAY™) listed below represent the % of total possible Roto points earned by each expert. A 100% PAY™ would mean the expert ranked best for every 5×5 category (see: full methodology).
So who came out on top? Here are the 10 most accurate fantasy baseball experts…
Overall Draft Accuracy Scores
|Top 10 Fantasy Baseball Experts
|1.||Andy Behrens – Yahoo! Sports||85.2%|
|2.||Brent Namejko – Fantasy Smack Talk||79.4%|
|3.||Terrance Bridgett – FantasyTrade411||78.6%|
|4.||Michael Clifford – FantasyTrade411||77.9%|
|5.||Jesse Sakstrup – The Hardball Times||77.4%|
|6.||Michael Pichan – Fantasy Alarm||76.8%|
|7.||Brandon Funston – Yahoo! Sports||76.5%|
|8.||Josh Shepardson – The Fantasy Fix||70.5%|
|9.||Scott Pianowski – Yahoo! Sports||69.1%|
|10.||Mike Podhorzer – FanGraphs||68.2%|
Congrats to 2013’s most accurate fantasy baseball expert: Andy Behrens (Yahoo! Sports). This is our third accuracy competition for baseball and Behrens has finished in the following spots: 1st place (2013), 2nd place (2012) and 2nd place (2011). Not too shabby, right? Also impressive is that this is the third year in a row Yahoo! Sports has placed three experts in the top 10. Kudos also go to the crew at FantasyTrade411 (two top 5 experts) as well as Josh Shepardson (last year’s winner) for finishing near the top again.
Andy Behrens earned first place honors this time around as the only expert to finish inside the top 10 for both his Hitter and Pitcher predictions. One of his best Hitter picks was slotting Carlos Gomez above 95% of the experts we tracked. Behrens had touted Gomez last March as a player he’d target on all of his teams and the Milwaukee speedster delivered by finishing the season as MLB’s only 20 HR / 40 SB player. Behrens also showed some foresight by ranking both Dodgers’ phenom, Yasiel Puig, and a rejuvenated Alfonso Soriano above all other experts monitored.
For Pitchers, Behrens was one of only 4 experts to predict that Kenley Jansen (1.88 ERA, 28 SVs) would be a top 10 RP. He went the other direction on Jonathan Papelbon, who disappointed fantasy owners everywhere in 2013. His ranking for the Phils’ closer (RP #7) was second lowest of all experts tracked. As far as the stud starters are concerned, it didn’t hurt that Behrens went above the field of experts for several big names that were surprisingly (in retrospect) NOT consensus top 10 pitchers heading into the season: Jordan Zimmermann (+6 spots vs. consensus), Yu Darvish (+4 spots vs. consensus), Max Scherzer (+4 spots vs. consensus), and Adam Wainwright (+2 spots vs. consensus). Behrens also had a good read on the AL’s ERA-leader, Anibal Sanchez. His ranking (SP #29) for the underrated Tigers’ hurler was the highest of any expert. To cap it off, Behrens produced a couple of nice sleeper picks for players that didn’t crack the top 50 consensus pitchers: Alex Cobb (+23 spots vs. consensus) and Andrew Cashner (+20 spots vs. consensus).
As always, there were key players that performed above expectations in 2013. The difference between drafting or passing on such players could have impacted any team’s fantasy fortunes. That’s why we’re recognizing the experts that were the strongest advocates of each player (i.e. they had the player ranked higher than anyone else). Expert Consensus Ranks (ECR) are included in the table below to show just how far out on a limb each expert went with their ranking.
|Chris Davis||1B||Muntradamus – Beast Dome||11||22|
|Josh Donaldson||3B||Eric Mack – Bleacher Report||24||30|
|Jean Segura||SS||R.J. White – Fantasy Baseball Café||13||18|
|Hunter Pence||OF||Eric Mack – Bleacher Report||22||31|
|Carlos Gomez||OF||Matt Eastman – Fantasy Knuckleheads||10||34|
|Yasiel Puig||OF||Andy Behrens – Yahoo! Sports||73||104|
|Jayson Werth||OF||Wayne Bretsky – BretskyBall||26||52|
|Michael Cuddyer||OF||Muntradamus – Beast Dome||31||49|
|Domonic Brown||OF||Josh Shepardson – The Fantasy Fix||47||67|
|Max Scherzer||SP||Michael Pichan – Fantasy Alarm||6||19|
|Jose Fernandez||SP||Site Projections – RotoChamp||52||110|
|Hisashi Iwakuma||SP||Zach Sanders – FanGraphs||42||71|
|Matt Harvey||SP||Site Projections – RotoChamp||19||39|
|Anibal Sanchez||SP||Andy Behrens – Yahoo! Sports||29||38|
|Greg Holland||RP||Staff Rankings – KFFL||5||12|
|Koji Uehara||RP||Staff Rankings – KFFL||26||58|
*Ranks are at the position level
On the flip side, here are the notable disappointments from 2013 along with the experts that went out on a limb by going against the consensus with their rankings. Note that some players (e.g. Albert Pujols) are not listed because the expert opinions were all similar for the player.
|Billy Butler||1B||Michael Pichan – Fantasy Alarm||15||7|
|Ike Davis||1B||Eric Mack – Bleacher Report||25||15|
|Dan Uggla||2B||Eno Sarris – FanGraphs||23||13|
|Starlin Castro||SS||Matt Eastman – Fantasy Knuckleheads||7||3|
|Brett Lawrie||3B||Scott Pianowski – Yahoo! Sports||15||7|
|Chase Headley||3B||Michael Pichan – Fantasy Alarm||23||9|
|Matt Kemp||OF||Andy Behrens – Yahoo! Sports||5||2|
|B.J. Upton||OF||Al Mechior – CBS Sports||32||17|
|Josh Hamilton||OF||Matt Eastman – Fantasy Knuckleheads||46||9|
|Jason Heyward||OF||Matt Eastman – Fantasy Knuckleheads||18||10|
|Giancarlo Stanton||OF||Michael Pichan – Fantasy Alarm||20||6|
|Michael Bourn||OF||Mike Podhorzer – FanGraphs||43||22|
|Justin Verlander||SP||Joshua Kay – The Fantasy Fix||4||1|
|Matt Cain||SP||Jeff Zimmerman – FanGraphs||21||8|
|David Price||SP||Jeff Zimmerman – FanGraphs||8||4|
|R.A. Dickey||SP||Matt Eastman – Fantasy Knuckleheads||35||16|
|Jonathan Papelbon||RP||Ryan Fowler – Fox Sports||8||2|
|J.J. Putz||RP||Al Mechior – CBS Sports||23||8|
*Ranks are at the position level
That wraps up our analysis of 2013’s expert draft rankings. Congratulations again to Andy Behrens and the rest of the top experts!