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Most Accurate Fantasy Baseball Experts (2023 Results)

Most Accurate Fantasy Baseball Experts (2023 Results)

Baseball is in the air! Spring training starts today! Some historic contracts have been signed. Fantasy drafts are getting scheduled, and it’s time to start preparing. The foundation of a good draft strategy is a solid set of rankings, but what rankings should you use? Today we aim to help answer that question by revealing which fantasy baseball experts delivered the best rankings last year.

Accuracy Methodology

You can get all the details on how we measure rankings accuracy here. Our core goal is to measure how well a set of rankings predicts the actual performance of the players over the course of the season. Here’s how:

  1. Define the player pool: We want to look at all players who are relevant in a typical 12-team league, including highly-drafted disappointments and sleepers who broke out. To do this, we set a cutoff for each position and included players who were above the cutoff in preseason ECR or who were above the cutoff in the final standings. For example, we include starting pitchers who were top 50 by either metric. You can see the cutoffs for each position in the methodology article.
  2. Calculate VORP: Fantasy baseball doesn’t use fantasy points in most leagues, so we need to determine final rankings according to the standard 5×5 categories. We do this by converting player stats to z-scores within the player pool, which represents how much better or worse a stat is than the average in terms of standard deviations. This normalizes the stats to all be on the same scale, so we can add them together to get a single number representing a player’s performance. We then subtract a replacement-level score to get Value Over RePlacement (VORP). This is the main way our MLB rankings methodology differs from the NFL.
  3. Interpret rankings as predictions: Our metric for player performance is in terms of VORP as calculated in the last step, so we apply a template to preseason projections so that they can be interpreted as VORP predictions. We can then subtract those numbers to quantify how accurate the ranking was as a prediction. This results in an “error” for each player.
  4. Aggregate: Within a position, we add together the errors for each player to get a lower-is-better measure of how accurate the expert was for that position. For overall accuracy, we add together the scores across positions. This process naturally weights the importance of each position according to the size of each position’s player pool, so, for example, SP accuracy is more impactful than RP.

Overall 2023 Accuracy Standings

This year we had 58 experts participate, a healthy increase from 48 last year. Without further ado, here are the experts who had the most accurate fantasy baseball rankings for the 2023 season!

See the full field of experts (58 total) | Combine top experts into consensus rankings

Congratulations to Grey Albright, founder of Razzball! He adds this win to a resume that already includes a Top 11 finish in 2020. And what an impressive win it was – Grey landed himself in 6 of the 8 positions – 1B, 2B, 3B, OF, SP and RP. No other expert was top-10 at more than 4 positions, and only two others managed top-10 for both types of pitchers. Many experts excel at one or two positions, but to show such dominance across the majority of the player pool is truly impressive.

If you’re a long-time reader, you might recognize our second-place winner, Nick Mariano of RotoBaller! He’s no stranger to success, having been the #1 most accurate expert in 2018. This year, he finished top-10 at four different positions, 1B, 2B, 3B, and OF, joining Albright as the only experts to reach that mark. That included being the #1 most accurate ranker for 1B and top-5 for both 2B and 3B.

Our third-place finisher, Travis Argo, from the wonderfully named Fantasy Six Pack, has done something very impressive. In only two years competing, he has back-to-back top-10 finishes. In such a close race with so many talented experts, that is a rare feat. He did his best work at the most important positions, becoming the #1 expert for SP and top-5 for OF as well as 1B.

Top Experts By Position

Baseball loves a good specialist, so we like to recognize the experts who absolutely nailed an individual position. Here are your #1 most accurate experts for each position:

This concludes the 2023 MLB Fantasy Draft Rankings accuracy study. See you in the draft room!

Jacob Herlin is a Data Scientist for FantasyPros. You can find him on twitter @jacoblawherlin.

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