SkyKing162's Baseblog

A fan of the Yankees, Red Sox, and large sample sizes.

$100 AND $500 BILLS

Fantasy baseball is a fun game. It builds ego, makes us feel like a part of the game, and keeps college friends together. And there's a battle line drawn between the people that play in shallow leagues versus deep leagues.

At most discussion boards it goes like this:

"Shallow leagues are no fun. They're so easy. Every team's an All-Star team."

"Shutup. You're an elitist prick. I'll kick your ass in a shallow league."

I think both arguments are correct, to a certain extent, and both sound really lame, too.

Fantasy baseball is a zero-sum game. By definition, there will be one winner, one second-place finisher, and one big loser. Whether your team is "good" or "bad" depends on how your team finishes compared to the other teams. Just because a team has a lot of All-Stars doesn't make it a good team. Calling a player an All-Star means that he's good compared to other major league baseball players. If MLB contracted down to 6 teams, would Rafael Furcal be an All-Star anymore? No, he'd be replacement level talent.

Just because a "good" player is available on the waiver wire doesn't mean he's going to help a team in a shallow league. My metaphor is this: if you pick up a $100 bill, that's great. Except if everyone else is picking up $500 bills. The absolute skill of Rafael Furcal doesn't change depending on the size of the league. It's his relative value that changes. Hell, if the league expanded to 30 teams, Neifi Perez might be league-average. As it is, he's extremely replaceable to MLB teams, but is still better than 99.99% of the world population.

In some respects, it's harder to succeed in shallower leagues. The difference between one All-Star and another is hard to predict.

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