Most of you don’t realize this, but it turns out that you can learn quite a bit from the wisdom of Captain Jack Sparrow, especially from his 2003 film – “Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl.” He gives key advice for all types of life situations, and these also apply to fantasy baseball, so please take heed…
1. Adjust Your Tactics to the Situation – (i.e. Maximize Your IP when you need strikeouts):
Jack Sparrow to Will Turner (after he draws his sword): “Put it away, son. It's not worth you getting beat again.”
Will Turner: “You didn't beat me. You ignored the rules of engagement. In a fair fight, I'd kill you.”
Jack Sparrow: “That's not much incentive for me to fight fair, then, is it?”
2. Predictability is Better than Honesty – (i.e. Don’t Overlook Consistent Players):
Captain Jack Sparrow: “Me? I'm dishonest, and a dishonest man you can always trust to be dishonest. Honestly. It's the honest ones you want to watch out for because you can never predict when they're going to do something incredibly... stupid.”
3. Don’t Be Afraid to Own Up to Your Mistakes – (i.e. Just Because You Add a Player for $100 Doesn’t Mean You Have To Hold Him):
Jack Sparrow: “Charlotte!” (She slaps Jack in the face and he mutters to himself) “Not sure I deserved that!!! (A second woman approaches) Giselle!”
Giselle: (referring to Charlotte) “Who is she?” (She slaps Jack even harder in the face)
Jack Sparrow (mutters to himself): “I MAY have deserved that.”
4. When it’s Important, Don’t Hesitate to Ask Your Question Again - (i.e. Why am I starting pitchers against the Blue Jays in Buffalo?)
Jack Sparrow: [Wakes up and sees Elizabeth burning the rum] “No! Not good! Stop! Not good! What are you doing? You burned all the food, the shade... the rum.”
Elizabeth: “Yes, the rum is gone.”
Jack Sparrow: “Why is the rum gone?”
Elizabeth: “One: because it is a vile drink that turns even the most respectable men into complete scoundrels. Two: that signal is over a thousand feet high. The entire Royal Navy is out looking for me. Do you really think there is even the slightest chance they won't see it?”
Jack Sparrow: “But why is the rum gone?”
5. Above All, Keep Your Word - (i.e. If you SAY you’re going to limit your FAAB spending this week, then actually do so)
Jack Sparrow: (Speaking to Will about Elizabeth) “She’s safe, just like I promised. She’s all set to marry Norrington, just like she promised. And you get to die for her, just like you promised. So we’re all men of our word really… except for, of course, Elizabeth, who is, in fact, a woman.”
RBIs are down approximately 10% from 2019. This is somewhat to be expected, as 2019 was the year of the Happy Fun Ball. In any case, impact hits – largely home runs – are down significantly from two seasons ago. During 2019 there was a 4.1% chance of a home run in each AB. In contrast, 2021 batters have been able to produce only home runs at a 3.5% rate. That’s enough to depress scoring significantly.
Leading RBI Producers
In looking at the top RBI leaders, there are 18 players with 40 or more RBI as of 6/11. These are the players powering the fantasy teams who are up near the top in this Main Event category. I’m categorizing 9 of the 40+ RBI players as somewhat expected, but that still leaves 9 surprises with an ADP over 150 (including two undrafted players) – Jesus Aguilar (47 RBI – ADP 352); Yuli Gurriel (45 – ADP 290); Trey Mancini (45 – ADP 162); Adolis Garcia (44 – ADP undrafted); Randal Grichuk (44 – ADP 309); Brandon Crawford (41 – ADP undrafted); Eduardo Escobar (41 – ADP 282); Jared Walsh (40 – ADP 254); and Mitch Haniger (40 – ADP 189).
Cracking the Main Event RBI Code
So we need to crack the Main Event code for Runs Batted In (or RIBBIES as they are referred to in the Caribbean). Our goal is to determine the TARGET 5000 for RBIs (the total that yields 500 points in RBIs - since reaching 500 points out of 645 in all 10 categories is enough for 5000 points and a top 20 overall position).
In attempting to unlock this code, note that MLB RBIs totaled 22471 in 2019. In 2021, there have been 7677 (as of 6/11) RBIs or only 34.1% of the 2019 total in 38.0% of the season – so this confirms that RBIs are accumulating at a significantly slower pace. So given that, what RBI total yields 500 points? In the Main Event for the full season 2019, 1098 RBI produced points at the 77.5% level. And since we’ve played 38.0% of the season - based on 2019 levels you’d EXPECT the 500-point plateau to require 417 RBIs. But of course, since RBI are significantly down, it turns out you only need 389 RBI to be at the 77.5% level as of 6/11. So in unraveling the code of the RBI we can determine that THIS YEAR’S Target 5000 is just 1024 RBI by the end of 2021.
2019 Full Season: 77.5% level in Main Event = 1098 RBIs
2021 on June 11th: 77.5% (Target 5000) level = 389 RBIs
2021 Full Season Target: 77.5% (Target 5000) level = 1024 RBIs
However, please remember that, as Hector Barbossa says: “The code is more what you’d call ‘guidelines’ than actual rules.”
At this point, we’re about one-third of the way through the season, and Main Event fantasy owners are balancing the original $1000 of FAAB they were given while bearing in mind that only 44% of FAAB periods have been completed (12 of the 27 FAAB periods). Here are the Main Event FAAB totals across 645 teams including the winning bids from the June 13th FAAB run:
For all ten FAAB runs thus far, the average Main Event team has won 22.3 bids this season (1.85 per week) and spent $648. This is higher than $1000 FAAB dollars divided by 27 FAAB periods ($37 per week – 12 FAAB periods times $37 indicates that $444 is the proper spending on a straight-line basis – so that would mean that teams would have $556 left). Actual spending, however, leaves the average team with $352 of FAAB, dropping their average weekly budget for the remaining 15 periods from $37 to $23.46.
How Long Will He Be Good?
In the twelfth FAAB period of the season held on June 13th, 10 players were picked up in 19 or more leagues (see below) with Sam Long targeted in all made 43 as he made a strong debut for the Giants. Christian Arroyo, who is playing regularly for the Red Sox, was added in 28 leagues, and Daniel Vogelbach was given an opportunity for playing time with Travis Shaw injured in Milwaukee.
The Wow Bid of the Week
The Main Event Wow Bid of the Week – going to the largest bid of each FAAB period – is awarded to two $185 bids for Dylan Bundy (both by the same owner in different leagues). These winning bids beat runner-up amounts of $119 and $117, so they needed to be strong to succeed. Dylan Bundy is showing some signs of improvement lately, so we shall see if this produces the desired results for this owner.
The Century Club has just 6 Members This Week
There were only 10 SUCCESSFUL bids over $100 of FAAB during this FAAB run – the lowest number of the season – and also for the first time zero $200+ free agents. It is clear that Main Event fantasy are sharply reducing their bids to try to preserve their remaining FAAB dollars.
Instead of showing the players dropped the most – you can see below some of the most INTERESTING drops. These are the players dropped who were most likely difficult decisions – either prompted by a run of injuries to a fantasy team or driven by a need for a replacement at a particular position. These players might draw bids next week from other league members, and many of these players were bid on aggressively even this week.
The Emperor’s New Groove: Four Players from Three Weeks Ago…Updated Results: 7 Good Adds out of 28
We’ll keep 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 5/23 (stats are from 5/24 through 6/13):
· Danny Santana – 38 AB; 0 HR; 0 SB; .079 BA – yikes
· Taylor Walls – 52 AB; 1 HR; 3 SB; .231 BA – it’s on the edge but I’ll put him in the middle column – he is still playing and did have three hits yesterday
· Ji-Man Choi – 21 AB; 0 HR; 0 SB; .190 BA – he pulled a groin muscle and is just now returning – this didn’t work out for sure
· Randy Dobnak – .18.1 IP; 0 Wins; 11.29 ERA; 2.24 WHIP – umm, no
So three gladiators lost this week and one got a side thumb. The record is just not good to date (7 thumbs up; 11 thumbs down; 10 side thumbs). Here are the 7 top adds (based on their first three weeks of production): Cesar Valdez/Yermin Mercedes (4/25); Lou Trivino/Huascar Ynoa (5/9); Alex Wood (5/16); and James Kaprielian/Hansel Robles (5/23). It’s interesting that even these players have (mostly) seen their value decline after the initial three weeks.
Clark is a Shark
Congratulations to Clark Olson, as he is the new leader of the 2021 Main Event with one of his five Main Event entries – with a margin of 22.5 over his closest pursuer, Gregg Martin. Clark has a total of 5478 points, and his Contest-Leading roster was built from the #11 draft position with Jose Ramirez. He followed that up with Max Scherzer, Vladimir Guerrero Jr., and Liam Hendriks. This gave him a great base of steals, power, saves and strikeouts. He also hit on later picks of Teoscar Hernandez in the 7th; Marcus Stroman in the 10th; Yusei Kikuchi in the 17th and Tyler O’Neill in the 22nd – and he also picked up Isiah Kiner-Falefa in the 25th round. I asked Clark through a spokesperson how many stolen bases he projected for Kiner-Falefa, and he replied – “I knew he would have 15 on June 15th, and I think he’ll have 35 by the end of the season.” This is a fantastic projection, considering that Kiner-Falefa had just 18 steals in the three years prior!
Let’s check in on our previous leaders – are they still in the top 20? Yes – all previous leaders ARE still in the top 20 overall!
· Brian Slack (4/5): 8th place (his legal team has entered a motion to stop the season after the first week)
· Tyler Jung (4/12): Still in 9th (but is considering going to umpiring school because the strike zone is too inconsistent)
· John Pausma (4/19): Now in 6th overall (gave up asking for $1115 of FAAB for this Main Event team and feels he is being quite generous by lowering this request to $1110 – his most recent letter to the NFBC started with “C’mon Greg and Tom!”)
· Two-time leader Chris Uram (4/26 & 5/3): is solidly in contention in 15th place (has stated that Todd Whitestone is, without doubt, the worst fantasy baseball writer he has ever heard of.” My reply? “But you HAVE heard of me.”)
· Abdul Madani (5/10): Still a force in the standings at 7th (is thinking that the main floor in his house is too small for his expected trophy and is going over other options)
· Samuel Horton (5/17): Still in the top 20 at 13th (refuses to eat green eggs and ham in a box or with a fox)
· Douglas Roth (5/24): Still right in contention at 3rd (is developing a Roth IRA calculator for the internet)
· Scott Kotchek (5/31 & 6/7): Is now in 10th and says it is because he has Kotched a cold…
Congratulations also to this week’s second place-holder (Gregg Martin) and a true star holding down fourth AND fifth places – Phillippe Dussault!
In addition, we’re following 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 43 leagues listed in the chart below (with those in the top 20 positions highlighted in blue) – you can find your assigned league number for the purposes of this article number by referring to the chart at the end of my first article of the season (use this link https://www.spstreamer.com/post/and-they-re-off) – which displays the league draft location, draft date and time, and Official NFBC League Number.
Out of the 43 Main Event leagues – only 9 had new leaders this week (compared to 8 last week). In addition, the top three places stayed in the exact same order in 15 of 43 leagues. There’s plenty of time to move up of course, but 34 fantasy owners held the lead from one week to the next, showing that they have solid teams that will be difficult to catch.
Fifteen Main Event Stars
Jack Sparrow: “Well! I think this has been a very good experience for all of us, eh? Spiritually? Ecumenically? Grammatically?”
There are multiple NFBC players who are in the top three places of two or more Main Event Leagues, which is extremely impressive. The most notable players as of June 13th are listed below (only included are those with at least one Main Event league-leading team) – these 15 fantasy players occupy 23 of the first place positions; 7 of the second place positions; and 7 of the third-place spots, or 37 of the 129 top three placements.
1. THREE FIRST PLACE TEAMS & ONE 3rd – Clark Olson
2. THREE FIRST PLACE TEAMS - Tyler Jung
3. TWO 1st & ONE 2nd – Phillippe Dussault
4. TWO 1st & ONE 3rd – Chris Fessler
5. TWO 1st – Samuel Horton; Andrew Geller
6. ONE 1st & TWO 2nd – Abdul Madani
7. ONE 1st; ONE 2nd; ONE 3rd – Brian Slack
8. ONE 1st & ONE 2nd – Dalton Del Don; Mark Srebro; Stephen Jupinka
9. ONE 1st; ONE 3rd – Vlad Sedler; David Miller; Matthew Davis; Matthew Shepherd