Most Accurate Fantasy Baseball Experts

by Bobby Sylvester | @bobbyfantasypro | Featured Writer
Mar 9, 2017

A few experts forecasted Big Papi going out with a bang

Spring Training and the 2017 World Baseball Classic are both underway, so that means you’re prepping for your fantasy baseball drafts. Here at FantasyPros, our endeavor is to eliminate the “work” that comes with getting ready for draft day. Whether it’s via our free mobile apps or award-winning draft tools, there are several ways we can help. Another useful tool is our annual expert accuracy assessment. With your draft right around the corner, now is the time to highlight which experts were the most accurate in their rankings last season.

Before we get to the results, here are a few quick notes about the accuracy study:

  • In total, draft rankings from 57 fantasy experts were analyzed
  • All of the rankings tracked used a standard 5×5 Roto setup.
  • The experts were rated by comparing their preseason rankings to our Player Rater that evaluates performance across the season (see: full methodology).

Without further ado, here are the experts with the most accurate fantasy baseball rankings.

Expert Accuracy Standings

Top Fantasy Baseball Experts
 Rank  Expert
 1.  Jake Ciely – RotoExperts
 2.  Andrew Gould – Bleacher Report
 3.  Scott Pianowski – Yahoo
 4.  Zach Jacobson – The Fake Baseball
 5.  Steve Gardner – USA Today
 6.  Tristan Cockcroft – ESPN
 7.  Josh Shepardson – Fantasy Cruncher
 8.  Brett Talley – The Fantasy Fix
 9.  Jeff Boggis – Fantasy Football Empire
 10.  Luke Gloeckner – Mr. Cheatsheet

See the full field of experts (57 total) | Combine top experts into consensus rankings

Congratulations to Jake Ciely (RotoExperts) for finishing in first place as 2016’s most accurate expert. Ceily also won this contest last year and has consistently placed high in our football accuracy contests as well. Jake did not finish among the top four for any single position, but managed to place in the top 11 for 2B, 3B, SS, OF, SP and RP. 

Ciely was most accurate in his starting pitcher rankings, where as you would imagine, he had plenty of impressive predictions. For instance, Jake was the leading expert on Noah Syndergaard (SP #13), which was right on the money. The Expert Consensus, meanwhile, had Syndergaard ranked five spots worse. Another example was Masahiro Tanaka, who finished 16 spots better than the experts predicted. Jake, however, split the difference, grading him as SP #23. Likewise, Ciely was able to foresee several pitchers taking a step backward: Dallas Keuchel (-5 rank spots vs. consensus), Jacob deGrom (-4 rank spots vs consensus) and Michael Wacha (-13 vs consensus). His most notable ranking had to be for Kenta Maeda who he slotted all the way up at #37, which was a full 24 spots closer to Maeda’s actual performance than the Expert Consensus.

As for his hitter rankings, Ciely was rightfully skeptical of Joc Pederson (-12 rank spots vs consensus), Michael Brantley (-9 rank spots vs consensus) and Devin Mesoraco (-9 spots vs consensus). He deserves a lot of credit for being one of the top experts on a handful of young outfielders who performed beyond expectations as well. Those hitters were Stephen Piscotty (+10 rank spots vs consensus), Leonys Martin (+11 rank spots vs consensus) and  Marcell Ozuna (+7 rank spots vs consensus)

Props are also in store for Andrew Gould (Bleacher Report). Gould finished in 2nd place and it was his second straight season in the top 10. Besides Ciely, he was the only expert to post back to back top-10 finishes. Andrew led all experts in ranking outfielders, but his standout predictions came at other positions. He was tied as the leading expert on Trea Turner (+6 rank spots vs. consensus), forecasted the Jake Lamb breakout (+4 rank spots vs consensus) and the reemergence of David Ortiz (+5 vs consensus).

Surprise Players

As always, there were plenty of players that performed above expectations last season. The difference between drafting or passing on these players could have impacted any team’s fantasy fortunes. Below are the experts that had the best read on each player (they had him ranked higher than anyone else). Our Expert Consensus Rankings (ECR) are included in the table to show just how far out on a limb each pundit went with their ranking.

 Player Pos  Top Expert  Rank*  ECR
David Ortiz 1B Marc Caviglia – Bruno Boys
Josh Shepardson – Fantasy Cruncher
Mario Mergola – Sportfolio
7 13
Wil Myers 1B Chris Meyers – Athlon Sports  14 20
David Murphy 2B Terrance Bridgett – Fake Pigskin 5 13
Trea Turner 2B Eric Karabell – ESPN
Andrew Gould – Bleacher Report
Mario Mergola – Sportfolio
22 28
Yasmany Tomas 3B Matt Hayes – Razzball  14 20
Jonathan Villar SS Adam Sutton – DraftStars
Staff Rankings – ESPN 
18 26
Jean Segura SS Muntradamus – Beast Dome 6 14
Jose Ramirez SS Al Melchior – FanRag Sports 24 37
Wilson Ramos C Munstradamus – Beast Dome 7 17
Yadier Molina C  Zachary Barson – BaseballWhiz 9 20
Mark Trumbo OF Muntradamus – Beast Dome 17 49
Hanley Ramirez OF Muntradamus – Beast Dome 13 30
Jackie Bradley OF Al Melchior – FanRag Sports
Terrance Bridgett – Fake Pigskin
47 69
Adam Duvall OF Nick Pollack  – Pitcher List 78 103
Justin Verlander SP Al Melchior – FanRag Sports 19 36
Rick Porcello SP Al Melchior – FanRag Sports 59 81
Kyle Hendricks SP Mario Mergola – Sportfolio 21 57
Tanner Roark SP Mario Mergola – Sportfolio 67 127
J.A. Happ SP Brett Talley – The Fantasy Fix  61 92
Alexander Colome RP  Tim McCullough – RotoExperts 22 38
Seung-Hwan Oh RP Adam Ronis – ScoutFantasy  47 79

 *Ranks are at the position level

Busts

On the flip side, here are the notable disappointments from 2016 along with the experts that went against popular opinion with their rankings.

Player Pos Top Expert Rank* ECR
Chris Davis 1B Tim Young – Brewer Rat  15 7
Matt Carpenter 3B Zachary Barson – BaseballWhiz  13 6
Troy Tulowitzki SS Brett Talley – The Fantasy Fix 7 2
Giancarlo Stanton OF Scott Pianowski – Yahoo 6 4
Jose Bautista OF Marc Caviglia – Bruno Boys  13 5
Andrew McCutchen OF Jeff Boggis – Fantasy Football Empire
Michael Beller – Sports Illustrated
Doug Anderson – FNTSY Sports Network
6 3
Jacob deGrom SP David Gonos – SoCalledFanEx
Justin Klein – The Fake Baseball
Chris Meaney – FNTSY Sports Network
14 7
Matt Harvey SP Michael Beller – Sports Illustrated  17 8
Zack Greinke SP Greg Smith – The Fake Baseball  18 10
Gerrit Cole SP Mario Mergola – Sportfolio  20 12
Dallas Keuchel SP Mario Mergola – Sportfolio 28 14
Felix Hernandez SP Muntradamus – Beast Dome  25 17
Sonny Gray SP Josh Shepardson – Fantasy Cruncher   47 21
Craig Kimbrel RP KJ – Fantasy Team Advice  10 3
Trevor Rosenthal RP Mario Mergola – Sportfolio  19 9
Kenneth Giles RP Wayne Bretsky – Bretsky Ball   30 11

That wraps up our analysis of 2016’s expert draft rankings. Congratulations again to Jake Ciely and the rest of the top experts!

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


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