A fan of the Yankees, Red Sox, and large sample sizes.
THE ULTIMATE FANTASY CHAMPIONSHIP
There's a thread over at RotoJunkie about how fantasy "experts" would fare in your local league, and how one of us would fare in an expert league like LABR and ToutWars. I posted something there, but I think it's good enough to put here, too.
Perhaps there needs to be a line drawn between "professional" and "expert". Professionals are paid for their contributions to fantasy baseball, while experts are those that are really really good at it. Very few people are both - Ron Shandler and Todd Zola immediately come to mind.
In order to become a professional, you need to "know baseball", be able to write well, and find a way to get published/onto the internet. The first is a baseball talent issue, the second is a secondary talent issue, and the third is an opportunity issue. Really knowing fantasy baseball inside and out is not a qualification. Most of the time it's easiest for old-school baseball writers to get this kind of gig. Not only do most old-school baseball writers not understand the hard-core statistical side of baseball, they might also be completely horrible with the strategy aspect of fantasy baseball, especially when considering different kinds of leagues.
Many of the best fantasy baseball people (the actual experts) don't have the three professional qualifications, or simply have no interest in being a professional.
And frankly, one year of winning an "expert" league doesn't tell you much about someone's actual abilities. We all spew "sample size, sample size" when talking about stats, and it applies here, too. If you want to really find the best of the best, you need to have lots of data points. That is, you need to have many many leagues. Something like...
The Ultimate Fantasy Championship
Get 60 "experts" from around the fantasy baseball world - both professionals and non-professionals. Over the course of five years, have each person compete in 5 leagues each year. Each league would be of a different type, covering all the different quirky rules that pop up. Something like:
- 15 team MLB 5x5 auction
- 12 team NL-only 4x4 auction
- 12 team AL-only 5x5 auction
- 10 team MLB 5x5 draft
- 12 team MLB Yahoo-style draft
Participants would be "randomly" placed into leagues, such that each participant wasn't in too many leagues with another participant each year, and wasn't in the same type of league with another participant too many years. Points would be awarded based on position of finish in each league. After five years, add up all the points, and you've got a pretty good idea who the real "experts" are. I bet ESPN would cover it in their Poker/Billiards/Ping Pong/Strongest Man time slot.
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