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Most Accurate Fantasy Baseball Experts (2018)

Mar 1, 2019
Kyle Freeland

The top expert ranked recognized Kyle Freeland’s outlook in his rankings

Forget Christmas. The most wonderful time of the year is now. Spring training is in full swing and we’re barreling towards the earliest opening day in MLB history. With games in Japan starting on March 20th, there’s a real possibility you’re preparing for your earliest fantasy baseball draft ever. Our Draft Wizard, Mobile Apps, Consensus Projections and Expert Rankings are here to help you dominate without having to live and breathe Baseball for the next few weeks (You can still do that, of course, if you’re like us and that’s just your idea of a good time). With so much information available, it’s important to know who to listen to. To help with this, we analyzed the 2018 draft rankings of the top fantasy baseball experts to determine who delivered the most accurate advice.

A few notes before we get to the standings:

  • Rankings and accuracy are based on a standard 5×5 Roto league.
  • Accuracy is determined by comparing the expert’s ranking for each player to where that player finished for the season.
  • Ratings are determined by position and then combined to give an overall score.
  • A VORP system (Value Over Replacement Player) is used to give more weight to higher-ranked players – Missing by 20 rank spots is worse when it’s rank 1 vs rank 21 than when it’s rank 80 vs rank 100. You can view the full methodology here.
  • 57 experts were rated for 2018.

Without further ado, below are the experts with the top MLB draft rankings for 2018. The full standings are available here.

Overall Expert Accuracy Standings

Top Fantasy Baseball Draft Experts
Rank Expert
1 Nick Mariano – Rotoballer
2 Adam Ronis – ScoutFantasySports
3 Frank Stampfl – RotoExperts
4 Scott Pianowski – Yahoo
5 Andrew Gould – FantasyPros
6 Jason Johnson
7 Andy Singleton – Razzball
8 Tyler Thompson – Fantasy Six Pack
9 Heath Capps – Fake Teams
10 Jake Ciely – The Athletic

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

Congratulations are in order for Nick Mariano from Rotoballer, who took home the title with Adam Ronis and Frank Stampfl just barely behind him. Nick finished in the top 5 for the three most productive offensive positions: 1st basemen, 3rd basemen and outfielders. He also finished in the top 5 for relief pitchers. Nick was joined by Ronis as the only experts to post top-5 finishes at four different positions, and as two of only four experts to post a top-5 finish at both a hitting and a pitching position.

The name of the game for Nick was consistency. Out of 25 third basemen, there was only one player (Maikel Franco) for whom ECR was more accurate than Nick. Even in that case, Nick was only worse by a single rank spot. For first basemen, only 4/28 (14%) players were ranked better by the consensus, and two of them were within one rank. In fact, Nick outperformed the consensus in all but two positions (2B and SP), where he was essentially tied.

Even with his consistency, Nick still had a handful of hot takes that made him look like a genius. His biggest hit was reliever Kirby Yates, who was promoted to the Padres’ closing job after Brad Hand was traded. The consensus had Yates outside the top 100 relievers, while Nick ranked him a whopping 44 spots higher. Nick was also one of the highest-ranking experts for breakout pitcher Kyle Freeland (+40 vs consensus) and Mike Fiers (+32 vs consensus). Both were ranked so low by the Consensus as to be undraftable, while Nick ranked them high enough to be on the radar. His other hits included Patrick Corbin (+24 vs consensus), Jose Martinez (+23), Jhoulys Chacin (+20), Sean Manaea (+19) and Brian Anderson (+12).

Congratulations are also due to Adam Ronis of ScoutFantasySports and Frank Stampfl from RotoExperts. Adam was the #1 expert for both 3B and SS and trailed Nick by just a single VORP error point (For context, the top 10 experts all had VORP errors between 900 and 950. For more detail, see our full methodology). Adam was the only other expert to post top-5 finishes at four different positions. Frank was less than 1 VORP point behind Adam and was the only expert to finish in the top 5 at 3 positions (C, 1B and OF).

You can see the full standings for all 57 experts here.

Top Experts By Position

We’d also like to highlight experts who nailed a single position even if they didn’t finish in the top 10 for overall accuracy, or didn’t qualify for the overall accuracy due to not having rankings at every position.

#1 Experts by Position
Position Most Accurate Expert
C Jacob Hubman – The Fantasy Headliners
1B Jeff Zimmerman – FanGraphs
2B Staff Rankings – ScoutFantasySports
3B Adam Ronis – ScoutFantasySports
SS Adam Ronis – ScoutFantasySports
OF Andrew Seifter – FantasyPros
SP Scott Pianowski – Yahoo
RP Andy Behrens – Yahoo


Breakout Players

Another fun exercise is the find the players who exceeded expectations the most, and highlight the experts who saw it coming (or in some cases, just gave them a chance). Here’s a list of the players who finished the furthest above the consensus rank, and the expert who ranked them best.

Player Pos Top Expert Rank Actual ECR
Elias Diaz C Frank Stampfl – RotoExperts 40 15 59
Jesus Aguilar 1B Frank Stampfl – RotoExperts 28 3 35
Joe Wendle 2B Mario Mergola – Sporfolio 28 9 36
Miguel Andujar 3B Nick Pollack – Pitcher List 20 6 30
Johan Carmago SS Brad Richter – Going For 2 22 13 26
Jurickson Profar OF Chris Meaney – The Athletic 110 38 155
Nick Markakis OF Michael Florio – RotoExperts 41 26 101
Mallex Smith OF Dalton Del Don – Yahoo 66 31 105
Scooter Gennett OF Brad Richter – Going For 2 36 12 71
David Peralta OF Mario Mergola – Sporfolio 35 16 68
Kyle Freeland SP Mario Mergola – Sporfolio 100 17 173
Zack Wheeler SP Grey Albright – Razzball 86 23 154
Trevor Williams SP Grey Albright – Razzball 58 30 139
Mike Fiers SP Mike Podhorzer – FanGraphs 87 37 144
Jose Urena SP Andy Behrens – Yahoo 93 50 152
Walker Buehler SP Dalton Del Don – Yahoo 94 25 119
Wade LeBlanc RP Mario Mergola – Sporfolio 157 15 191
Anibal Sanchez RP Jeff Boggis – Fantasy Football Empire 75 6 148
Jared Hughes RP Brad Richter – Going For 2 109 23 162

That wraps up our analysis of 2018’s expert draft rankings. Congratulations again to Nick Mariano 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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