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Fantasy Baseball Points & Categories League Draft Risers & Fallers (2024)

Fantasy Baseball Points & Categories League Draft Risers & Fallers (2024)

The formulation of my fScores allows me a unique insight into how much plate skills impact fantasy value and it changes drastically depending on league type. The biggest benefactors of points leagues are hitters who have phenomenal plate skills and hitters who get a lot of hits and benefit more from consistent production at high volume rather than being the toolsy guy with a lot of speed. Contrasting from a hitter side, the players that get dinged the most in points leagues are the speedsters and standard, older school leadoff types or players who are a high HR/SB guy with bad plate skills.

In regards to pitching, closers are almost worthless. In some points leagues when you can use SPARPs (Starting Pitchers As Relief Pitchers), all relievers are worthless in comparison to any starter that can be plugged into that relief spot. Keeping in mind that the exact points league value changes will be dependent upon the exact format and valuation of points, some points league types have advantages over others. I prefer Ottoneu FanGraphs’ H2H points as a game style for points leagues, as the Ottoneu format does not allow for the use of SPARPs requiring five RP and utilizing a 40-man roster in a salary-formatted league. Therefore, RP are required and their value is closer to that of a real-life reliever or closer against the inflated cost of closers in saves, category leagues or uselessness of closers in points leagues where you can arbitrage relievers with SPARPs.

One oddity that takes getting used to in the FanGraphs’ points system is how much a pitcher gets dinged for giving up home runs, thus pitchers that pitch a ton of innings without allowing HRs (almost like a QS, but not quite) are well rewarded versus the pitcher that can only pitch 4-5 innings, even if they strike out everyone they face. Innings pitched are critical in almost any points format and to avoid just the glitch of spamming innings, Ottoneu leagues counter with a start cap for the week in weekly leagues – therefore, you need to pick your starts carefully.

We are going to dig into 10 of the biggest ranking differences for hitters in this article. We will, more or less, avoid pitching as a topic after this little intro because the values are all relative to what type of points league and the entire group of RP are just simply less relevant by at least 150-200 players. So just adjust downward by 10-15 rounds in snakes or maybe like 65-75% of value in salary format leagues on all relievers and you will be on the right track. When it comes to starters, just focus more on the high QS guys… anyone who pitches more innings without giving up damage (no HRs, more ground balls) will do well.

For example; Logan Webb was the number two starter in Ottoneu over Spencer Strider in 2023. Players like Webb, Framber Valdez, Sonny Gray, Jordan Montgomery, Merrill Kelly and Chris Bassitt play up in this sort of format while guys like Snell, Cease, Glasnow and Baz will all get dinged a little bit in overall value, while their weekly value might be fine.

That’s enough about pitchers, let’s get into the top 10 hitters where the value is drastically different from categories to points leagues in a positive way. These are in no particular order, just the top 10 most noteworthy.

*If you are curious about the fScore ratings you can check out my fScore rankings and information.

10 Biggest Value Changes

Juan Soto (OF – NYY)

Name fContact fDiscipline fPower fSpeed fDurability TOTAL FUTURE
Juan Soto 103 192 147 80 117 131 137

Juan Soto leads all of baseball with a 192 fScore in fDiscipline, meaning he is 92% better at taking walks and avoiding strikeouts than the league-average starter. Soto ranked in Ottoneu H2H FanGraphs points as the fifth overall hitter in 2023 to Acuna, Freeman, Betts and Olsen. I would project him to finish second or third behind Acuna and maybe Betts in 2024. Even though Soto is already going in the back half of the first round, he’s an excellent example of the difference between categories and points leagues, where Soto jumps some of the more skills-based guys like Julio Rodriguez, Witt and Tatis.

Nolan Schanuel (1B – LAA) 

Name fContact fDiscipline fPower fSpeed fDurability TOTAL FUTURE
Nolan Schanuel 99 182 67 84 78 97 102

Nolan Schanuel is only valuable in points leagues or OBP leagues. He’s not worth owning in almost any categories league because he will only stand out as an average contact hitter with insane plate skills. He’s Steven Kwan without the speed. He rates out with the second-best overall fDiscipline in 2024 fScores. In points leagues, he’s still no Juan Soto. Still, he should rank around the top 25-30 first basemen as he averaged 5.04 points per game in Ottoneu in 2023 and finished in points per game ahead of guys like Springer, Chisholm, Pasquantino, Kim, Jordan Walker, Realmuto, Elly De La Cruz, Noelvi Marte, CJ Abrams and more.

Alex Bregman (3B – HOU)

Name fContact fDiscipline fPower fSpeed fDurability TOTAL FUTURE
Alex Bregman 104 169 97 66 116 112 117

Alex Bregman, like Soto, is still a stud in his own right in categories leagues, however, in points leagues, he rates out as a top 20-25 hitter pretty easily and as the third overall player in fDiscipline in 2024 fScores. In Ottoneu leagues, Bregman finished fifth of all 3B in points in 2023 just behind Royce Lewis, Riley, Ramirez and Devers. Whereas in categories league he would be going behind guys like Witt, de la Cruz, Machado and maybe even Kim and Steer. In points leagues, he should be going above all those guys and jumps ahead in average draft position (ADP) by around 40 spots or so, as I have him in the 50-60 range of hitters in categories leagues.

Steven Kwan (OF – CLE)

Name fContact fDiscipline fPower fSpeed fDurability TOTAL FUTURE
Steven Kwan 110 168 52 114 114 108 111

Steven Kwan rates fourth in fDiscipline for 2024 and has an insane ability to not strike out, which plays in points leagues where strikeouts are negative points. Kwan doesn’t rate as well in leagues where strikeouts don’t matter because his walk rate, while solid, isn’t elite. He does however get a good number of hits and leads off – the quantity should help drive him in points leagues. In 2023 Ottoneu FanGraphs points leagues he finished ahead of guys like Machado, Arenado, Josh Lowe, Jake Burger and Michael Harris II. He rates out as a top 50-60 hitter option, whereas in categories leagues, he’s my 90th overall hitter.

Luis Arraez (1B/3B – FLA)

Name fContact fDiscipline fPower fSpeed fDurability TOTAL FUTURE
Luis Arraez 200 166 66 71 109 116 121

Luis Arraez rates fifth in fDiscipline and easily rates first in fContact, which means a lot of hits – therefore a lot of points. Arraez rates as a top 40-50 hitter in points versus around 75 or so in categories leagues. In 2023 Ottoneu points, Arraez finished ahead of guys like Yordan, Yelich, Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Bellinger and Harper in overall points. In points per game, he beat out guys like Bo Bichette, Francisco Lindor, Christian Walker, Trea Turner, Pete Alonso and Fernando Tatis Jr.

Lars Nootbaar (OF – STL)

Name fContact fDiscipline fPower fSpeed fDurability TOTAL FUTURE
Lars Nootbaar 100 156 105 100 99 108 120

Lars Nootbaar ranks as my 10th-best player in fDiscipline and his general well-roundedness plus his amazing plate skills make for a great points player versus a merely solid roto/categories player. Nootbaar ranks as a top 70-ish hitter in categories leagues but in points he ranks closer to a top-50 guy, matching Guerrero Jr. in points/game in Ottoneu in 2023 and beating guys like Jake Burger, Nick Castellanos, Yainer Diaz, Nolan Arenado, Josh Jung and Jazz Chisholm Jr.

Jung Hoo Lee (OF – SF)

Name fContact fDiscipline fPower fSpeed fDurability TOTAL FUTURE
Jung Hoo Lee 110 154 69 84 87 99 104

Jung Hoo Lee is popping over from Korea as the best hitter to come over since Ha-Seong Kim and already rates out as my 11th overall player in fDiscipline despite being dinged handedly in my Korea-to-MLB conversion table. As a new player, there is no current track record to base this assumption on but he’s the type of player that fits into this category as a high-contact, high-plate skills guy with limited power and speed. He’s also projected to lead off for the Giants, so I’m bumping him up a few rounds from the standard ADP for points leagues.

Kyle Schwarber (OF – PHI)

Name fContact fDiscipline fPower fSpeed fDurability TOTAL FUTURE
Kyle Schwarber 91 148 184 67 115 125 125

Kyle Schwarber is good in any format but he is way better in OBP or points formats because his bad batting average (his biggest flaw) won’t hurt you the way it does in batting average leagues. Schwarber ranked out as the 17th-best hitter in fDiscipline via my 2024 fScores and finished Ottoneu points as a top-15 earner in 2023, where he beat out guys like Ozzie Albies, Luis Robert, Yordan, Turner, Alonso and Lindor. He rates out in standard categories leagues around 35th or so as a hitter, so there’s a nice 20-spot bump near the top of the rankings between leagues for Schwarber.

Yandy Diaz (1B – TB)

Name fContact fDiscipline fPower fSpeed fDurability TOTAL FUTURE
Yandy Diaz 111 146 100 63 103 106 109

Yandy Diaz being on this list shouldn’t surprise anyone. In roto and categories leagues, Diaz is an above-average player, but in points leagues, he’s an absolute legend. He only ranks 18th in total fDiscipline but the big bang for your buck here is the above-average contact paired with the plate skills and the league-average power (which is tanked a bit due to his propensity to hit groundballs). Diaz ranks for me as around the 120-125th overall hitter in standard categories leagues, mainly because his stats are easily replaceable as a 1B. However, in points leagues, Diaz is an absolute beast finishing within the top 15 overall in Ottoneu points in 2023 ahead of guys like Witt, Albies, Judge, Schwarber and the crew we just mentioned above. Not only that, but he finished in the top 10 in points per game ahead of Juan Soto, Bryce Harper, Corbin Carroll, Kyle Tucker and Jose Ramirez. I would bump him up as a top-35 player or so pretty easily in points leagues. This is almost definitely the largest mover between league types you will find.

Brandon Nimmo (OF – NYM)

Name fContact fDiscipline fPower fSpeed fDurability TOTAL FUTURE
Brandon Nimmo 102 135 105 67 109 105 110

Brandon Nimmo is another points league legend, ranking out down at 41st in fDiscipline for 2024. He again gets a boost similar to Diaz in the well-rounded skills across the board, plus he has the bonus of being a lead-off guy who hits in front of Pete Alonso and will be driven in to score a lot of runs. Nimmo ranks in my hitting tier in standard leagues in the 100-110 range, but in points leagues, he’s up in Lars Nootbaar territory as a top 50-ish player or so for a 50-plus spot bump. In 2023, Nimmo finished as a top-20 points earner in Ottoneu points leagues ahead of the likes of Paul Goldschmidt, Turner and Yelich. He finished with over six points per game, which is better per-game production than guys like Adolis Garcia, Schwarber, Goldschmidt, Bregman, Tatis and Guerrero.

The exact bump for some of these guys will depend on your league format and points settings. This should, however, provide you with some options you can bump way up your rankings for hitting purposes in 2024 points league.

Fantasy Baseball Draft Strategy

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