Just because fantasy baseball season is over doesn’t mean that you have to stop obsessing over it. This is especially true for those in keeper leagues. There is an off-season exercise that is particularly beneficial for those having withdrawals. This is useful if you might be looking at rebuilding your team, or if you just want to stay on top.
I will detail the process that I and many other owners go through in developing a Winning Formula. This can be utilized in the majority of fantasy formats, but will especially reference a Roto style league.
Step 1. Pull up your leagues standings from last year. Record the first and second place teams statistics for each category. For example the two teams that finished with the most points in HRs, and the HR totals those teams accumulated. Then average those two numbers, and do so for each category. (I like to do this in case one team ran away with a particular category potentially skewing the numbers). This average represents the statistical goal per category that you want your team to accumulate.
Step 2. I like to divide these goals by the number of hitters on my leagues roster, as well as pitchers. This is not necessary but can be useful, especially for retooling your roster after a bad year. For example; now I know that if I built a team with hitters who all accumulated; 83 Runs, 24 HRs, 84 RBI, 15 SBs, and a .283 average I would have won out on offensive categories in my league last year, and potentially the upcoming year. You will also notice that these are pretty achievable numbers.
Step 3. So you have your team goals. Now take the players that you plan on or are thinking about keeping. And plug in their projected stats for the upcoming year. (I recommend finding a site that averages many other sites projections, or at least using 3 different projections and averaging them together). With these projected stats you can subtract those from your teams goal in each category. You now have a better idea of how you need to complete your roster, via draft, trade, or both.
Step 4. Most likely you are not going to win all your categories so if your projections are falling short across the board that is to be expected. But you can have an idea of how many points accumulated have won your league in the past. And with that information you can try to pinpoint certain categories and how you want to accumulate those points.
For example: If I know that with 90 points I will most likely win my league next year, I can begin focusing on how I achieve my team goals in a way to accumulate 90 points. And similar methods for different league types.
Notes. I don’t recommend factoring in bench players contributions, but also remember that they are there. If you project a roster that is 10 runs short of the goal, you will more than likely pick that up with a player on your bench.
Be careful just averaging players projected AVGs, ERA, WHIP. This can give a false view of your teams projected stats. Your team’s stats are done by ABS and Hits, and earned runs, innings, walks, hits etc. So a closer’s 2.20 era over 60 Innings won’t effect your team’s era as much as just averaging all your pitchers ERAs would. If you really want to accurately project your teams statistics plug in the projected IPs, with Earned runs, hits, and walks or the players ABs, Hits, etc.