The Most Accurate Fantasy Baseball Experts

Mar 4, 2014

2013 MLB AccuracyMarch 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

View the full field (65 experts) | Combine top experts into consensus rankings

Top 10 Fantasy Baseball Experts
 Rank  Expert  PAY™
 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).

Surprise Players

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.

 Player  Position  Top Expert  Rank*  ECR
 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

Disappointing Players

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.

 Player  Position  Top Expert  Rank*  ECR
 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!

Lastly, be sure to follow us on Twitter and Facebook to stay on top of our latest news and updates. We’ll have plenty in store leading up to and during the baseball season. Stay tuned!


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