There have been 19 days of baseball since the Major League Baseball opened on April 7th and fantasy owners are starting to hit their stride. Many of the 705 NFBC Main Event owners, like many fantasy baseball owners in all leagues, are noticing the reduced power stats from their teams. Because they are less than fully satisfied with home run totals, it reminded me of an incident in a middle school home economics class that I witnessed:
Home Economics Teacher to Student Caught with a Comic Book at the Beginning of Class
Teacher: What ARE you doing?
Student: Um, well, I’m preparing for class.
Teacher: That’s not preparation, that’s a comic book! Give me that! (rips it out of student’s hands)
Teacher (with great finality): You’ll get this back at the end of the semester!
Student: Why, it’ll take you that long to read it?
- This was a funny comeback
- This resulted in detention
Through Sunday 4/25, hitters have truly been in detention themselves. MLB has played 9.8% of the season and runs per game, which were already sharply down in 2021 to 4.53, are now amazingly MUCH lower than that to 4.02 – down another 11.3% even from that reduced baseline. In addition:
- Batting average is down 5.0% to .232 (from .244 last season).
- More importantly, homers are off a remarkable 27.1% from 2021 – from 1.22 per game to only 0.89 per game (and the 1.22 level was already much lower than the 2019 high-water mark of 1.39 per game).
Until and unless this changes, we may have to think in terms of reaching for a lower bar for our hitting targets this season. And on the other side of the coin, you might think that your pitching stats are great, but they may not be good enough in this new environment. We’ll follow along to see if this changes and report back, but this new .232 batting average era may not be as short-lived as that student’s home economics class that day.
|MLB STATS||RUNS/GAME||HOME RUNS||BATTING AVERAGE|
In the fourth FAAB period held on Sunday, April 25th, ten players were picked up in 29 or more leagues (see below) with Dany Jimenez targeted in 38 leagues as he picked up his third save for Oakland this week. The question remains – what will the Athletics do with Lou Trivino, who was out on the COVID-IL? These owners are certainly hoping that Jimenez factors into the save mix. Kendall Graveman, Daniel Vogelbach, and Glenn Otto were each added in 36 leagues, as fantasy owners worry about Liam Hendriks back problem; see Vogelbach emerge as the classic small, quick, and pesky leadoff man for the Pirates; and hope for improvement from Otto in the Texas rotation.
Others in the top ten widest pickups that also attracted at least one winning bid over $100 were Bruce Zimmermann – who has been pitching extremely well for the Orioles, and Sheldon Neuse, who is hitting a ton for the new-look Athletics.
|ADDED IN MOST MAIN EVENT LEAGUES||Leagues Added||Reason||Highest Winning Bid||Lowest Winning Bid|
|Dany Jimenez||38||Three saves for OAK||324||21|
|Kendall Graveman||36||Is Liam Hendriks hurt?||89||5|
|Daniel Vogelbach||36||Pesky PIT leadoff man||55||1|
|Glenn Otto||36||New TEX SP||54||3|
|Michael King||34||Long man for NYY||89||3|
|Bruce Zimmermann||33||BAL Ace||131||7|
|Gavin Sheets||32||Regular PT for CHW||78||13|
|Sheldon Neuse||29||Hitting well for OAK||125||1|
|Josh Fleming||29||Regular in TB rotation||54||1|
|Jakob Junis||28||In SF rotation?||38||6|
The Wow Bid of the Week
One of our favorite features – the Main Event Wow Bid of the Week – is back and goes to the largest bid of each FAAB period. This week that honor goes to a $508 bid for Seattle outfielder Jesse Winker, who was available in just one Main Event league. Interestingly, the runner-up bid of $377 WOULD have been the Wow Bid of the Week if it had been successful, as no other winning bid was higher – other than the winning bid on Winker of course!
The Century Club Has 38 Members This Week
There were 38 players that attracted SUCCESSFUL bids over $100 during this FAAB run, and 5 of those players had at least one winning bid over $200 – Jesse Winker, Dany Jimenez, Matt Barnesl Alec Bohm, and Chris Stratton. Players attracting the most bids over $100 were Dany Jimenez with 14, Andres Munoz with 12, and Alec Bohm with 10. There were 82 successful bids over $100 and 7 successful bids over $200 (see below):
|TEAM||BIDS OVER $100 – MAIN EVENT||Winning Bids over $100||Winning Bids over $200||Highest Winning Bid (FAAB $)|
For the three FAAB runs thus far, the average Main Event team has won 6.1 bids this season (roughly 1.5 per week) and spent $190.39 per team. This is lower than last year when about $251 was spent per team in the first four FAAB runs. This means that in 2022, the average team still has $810 of FAAB left, so expect bidding to continue to remain relatively strong over the next few weeks.
|2022||TOTAL NUMBER OF MAIN EVENT WINNING BIDS||TOTAL FAAB DOLLARS SPENT MAIN EVENT||AVERAGE WINNING BID MAIN EVENT||AVERAGE AMOUNTS SPENT PER ME TEAM|
Final Colosseum Stats: Four Players from Three Weeks Ago…Results: 1 Good Add out of 4:
Again this season we’ll be keeping tabs on the 4 most added players from 3 weeks ago to see how some of the biggest free-agent acquisitions have been doing for their fantasy owners. These are the players acquired in the most leagues on the very first FAAB run this season – on 4/3 just before the season started (stats are from the start of the season on 4/7 through 4/24):
- Dillon Tate: 9.1 IP; 7:1 K-BB; 0 WINS; 2.89 ERA; 0.75 WHIP but 0 SAVES – the stats are good, but he never got a save which was the main reason for adding him. He is a PUSH in our Roman Colosseum.
- Greg Holland: 4.2 IP; 5:1 K-BB; 0 WINS; 7.71 ERA; 1.50 WHIP; 0 SAVES and was DFA’d by the Royals on 4.19 – LOSS
- Steven Kwan: 15-for-44 .341 AVG; 0 HR; 0 SB – his batting average is great, but I don’t think he adds a lot in the other categories and I am not optimistic that he hits over .300 for the full season – he’s been good so far so I’m a little torn here – I’m going to give him the victory but state that I don’t think he’ll be remembered as an outstanding add by year-end. WIN.
- Bryson Stott: 4-for-30 .133 AVG; 0 HR; 0 SB – this is a LOSS for sure – he might get sent down soon as he isn’t playing consistently any more.
- 1 thumbs up – 25% (full year 2021 24%)
- 1 side thumbs – 25% (full year 2021 27%)
- 2 thumbs down – 50% (full year 2021 49%)
This is about what we saw last year – but we will follow along to see if the widest pickups by the Main Event owners improve over the course of the season.
In addition, we’ll be following the Main Event chase all season in this space, and showing the overall leader board as it shifts throughout the season. First, here are the top 20 in the overall standings after the morning of April 12th.
|Overall Rank: Thru 4/17||Fantasy Owner||Overall Points||Points Behind||NFBC League Number #|
|Average Top 20 Overall Score||5416.4|
Read it and Weep
Congratulations to Chris Read for taking hold of the Number One position! Not only that, but Chris has just two Main Event entries, and apparently that’s enough! Kudos also go out to Abdulaziz Madani (the 2019 overall champ), Douglas Gruber, last week’s overall leader Scott Fleming, and Beau Reid for their top five early-season positions. Certainly, none of the top 20 can feel secure about their position after just four days, but it is also true that it’s much more preferable to get off to a fast start than to stumble out of the gate. All of these 20 can feel good about posting a nice solid beginning.
Philippe Dussault in 14th Place!
This is happening, folks. Philippe is back in the top 20 and moving up fast. Can anyone stop him? Can anyone slow him down? I mean, I know the man is short on cash but winning two years in a row would seem a little greedy if you ask me…
Where are our 2022 Previous Overall Leaders?
Tim Lilly (4/11): Tim is in 96th place which is still more than respectable, and says that he is just giving others a chance to shine. He’s not greedy like some other contestants.
Scott Fleming (4/18): Right in the thick of the race at the number 4 overall position, Scott has traveled to Belgium to be with his Flemish family roots. He plans to be back soon according to news reports.
League of Legends
In addition, we’ll follow the individual league races this season. It is no small feat to win a league championship in the Main Event regardless of a fantasy owner’s overall place, and the top three in each league earn a cash prize and deserve recognition. You can see the 47 leagues listed in the chart below – along with the top three in the standings as of Monday morning.
|NFBC League Number||LEADER||League Points||2nd PLACE||League Points||3rd PLACE||League Points|
|#934||Doug Moe||118.5||Daniel Semsel||108.5||Jason Anthony||99.0|
|#935||Mark Srebro||108.5||Dave Shovein||101.0||Dave Smith||98.5|
|#943||Daniel DaSilva||110.5||Andrew Kopicz||101.0||Eric Heberlig||100.5|
|#1026||Jody Ryan||109.0||Scott Davis||108.5||Jeff Erickson & Tim Schulee||105.5|
|#1027||Michael Govier||112.5||Jason Gill||112.0||Justin Salinger||104.5|
|#1028||Jacob Halusker||116.0||James Milkowski||103.5||Zachary Waxman||97.5|
|#1029||Ken Magner||124.0||Scott Waggener||105.5||Matt Modica||100.5|
|#1030||Daniel DaSilva||106.0||Zach Bettencourt||102.5||Douglas Roth||97.5|
|#1031||Daniel Prepas||124.5||Tim Lilly||98.0||Stephen Marshall||95.0|
|#1032||Keith Tonsager||106.0||Dave McDonald & Tony DiVincenzo||101.5||Ronny Mor||97.5|
|#1034||Ned Donohue||108.0||Rian Lange||100.0||Andrew Geller||97.5|
|#1132||Eric Heberlig||108.5||Jon Engstrom||105.5||Jin Chun||102.5|
|#1143||Greg Lathrop||114.5||Curtis Jones||94.0||Markus Sultan||92.0|
|#1192||Marc Fleisher||104.0||Christopher Vaccaro||100.0||Lopi Asch||86.5|
|#1221||TIE: Mike Duggan||103.5||TIE: Marc Fleisher||103.5||Eric Heberlig||102.0|
|#1226||Michael Garcia||105.5||Mike Massotto||104.0||Brian Jenner||99.5|
|#1228||John Pausma||106.5||Charles Sommer||102.0||Jason Anthony||94.5|
|#1233||Steve Heisman||102.0||Stephen Jupinka||97.0||Jon Stadtmueller||95.0|
|#1236||TIE: Joe McHugh||107.0||TIE: Dalton Del Don||107.0||Sammy Reid||92.0|
|#1244||Douglas Gruber||119.0||Andrew Geller||98.5||Jordan Epping||98.0|
|#1260||Vince Clemente||106.0||Jason Aberli||97.0||Christopher Cosley||93.0|
|#1263||Ryan Welborn||106.5||Chris Uram||103.0||Eric Heberlig||98.5|
|#1264||Ryan Rufe||113.5||Brian Edwards||109.0||Bill Macey||104.0|
|#1265||Tyler Jung||123.5||Aaron Jones||100.0||Wayne Edwards||98.5|
|#1287||Bob Catsiroumpas||106.5||Eric Price||104.0||Chris Read||100.0|
|#1292||Chris Fessler||118.0||Steve Gregovich||105.5||Uttam Rath||84.5|
|#1294||Eric Karlovic||113.0||Carl Kunda||108.0||Stephen Fiore||96.0|
|#1297||Richard Briskin||110.5||Zach Bettencourt||110.0||Beau Reid||102.0|
|#1304||Herb Eroh||104.5||Abdulaziz Madani||102.5||Jeff Campbell||101.0|
|#1306||David Miller||101.5||KC Cha||98.0||Dave Petroziello||96.0|
|#1318||Douglas Gruber||116.5||Dan Kenyon||96.0||JimJ Ferrari||95.5|
|#1319||Bob Casale||107.5||Abdulaziz Madani||104.5||Jon Stadtmueller||103.0|
|#1320||Philippe Dussault||116.0||Gary Allen||108.0||Michael Fuchs||105.0|
|#1321||Bradley Beckman||113.0||Gary Allen||106.0||Chris Fessler||98.5|
|#1322||Kellen Arneson||118.5||John Lymberis||100.0||Vlad Sedler||98.5|
|#1331||Robert DiPietro||115.0||P McD||107.5||TIE: William McAleer & Bob Catsiroumpas||101.5|
|#1332||Chris Read||136.5||Leonard Ringle||107.0||Kenneth Clark||87.0|
|#1363||Matthew McDonough||111.0||Scott Davis||104.5||Paul Hong||102.5|
|#1364||Al Williams||105.5||Geoffrey Stein||102.0||Chris Fessler||95.5|
|#1365||Raymond Ventura||103.0||Scott Waggener||102.0||Craig Clarke||98.0|
|#1366||Les Travis||109.5||Christopher Hahn||105.5||TIE: KC Cha & Jeff Mitseff||96.0|
|#1371||Brian Slack||118.5||P McD||105.0||KC Cha||102.5|
|#1402||Abdulaziz Madani||125.5||Shawn Childs||106.5||Ray Butler||99.0|
|#1405||Michael Lins||115.0||William McAleer||102.5||Michael Secor||96.5|
|#1408||Les Travis||104.0||Charles Kieta||97.5||Ronny Mor||96.0|
|#1511||Beau Reid||120.5||Scott Fleming||119.0||Mike Ballscmiede||107.0|
|#1524||Marc Perlmutter||105.5||Alan Gellin||102.0||Chet Kresge||99.5|
|Average 1st Place Score||111.9||Average 2nd Place Score||103.5||Average 3rd Place Score||98.1|
There are multiple NFBC players who are in the top three of not only one league, but two or more. Even at this early stage, that is impressive. A special shout-out goes to my podcast partner Robert DiPietro, who sits comfortably in 11th place overall! Also, notable names (at least to me) are – crowd favorites Vlad Sedler, Matt Modica, Justin Salinger, Brian Slack, Tyler Jung, Michael Govier, 2017 Main Event Champ Chris Fessler, Zach Bettencourt, Ryan Rufe (in his first-ever Main Event contest!), Doug Moe, Greg Lathrop, the tag team of Jeff Erickson and Tim Schuler, Jon Stadtmueller, Andrew Geller, Mark Srebro and newly-inducted Hall-of-Famer (and 2018 Main Event Champ) John Pausma!
As we head into the first full week of the MLB season, I STRONGLY URGE all fantasy baseball owners to consider their situation carefully before popping off that funny one-liner. The consequences just may not be worth it!