Tout Table: Saving a Leagues Scoring

With the fantasy season drawing to a close, many league commissioners engage the participants in rules discussions before everyone’s attention turns elsewhere. As such, the Touts were asked:

When your commissioner opens the floor for rules changes, what are some of your proposals?

Derek Carty (RotoGrinders, @DerekCarty): If everyone in the league can be in the same room together for draft day, eliminate the snake draft and do an auction every time.

Brad Johnson (Patreon/BaseballATeam, @BaseballATeam): I guess I don’t have specific rules I champion anymore, but I’m happy to help design ideas to sandpaper over any rough edges. I find it more fun for every league to be distinct – even if that means some have exploitable loopholes we intentionally leave open. To Derek’s point, auction drafts are by far my favorite. I also enjoy the constraints of snake drafts. Snakes force a very different approach to roster design.

Matt Williams (, @MattWi77iams): I always lobby to change the draft to a salary cap format. Otherwise, I will continue my crusade to eliminate wins and saves (which should be removed from both MLB and fantasy), and replaced with alternate categories.

Fred Zinkie (Yahoo! Fantasy Sports, @FredZinkieMLB): Change the saves category to (SV+(0.5*HD)). Apparently this has become a crusade of mine. I would also be open to the wins category being changed to something like W+QS, with a cap of a maximum of one point per pitching appearance.

Patrick Davitt (BaseballHQ, @patrickdavitt): I agree that saves are a poor category, but I don’t see fixing the issue by adding an even worse stat to the category. We could develop a “Quality Reliever Apperance” based on leverage, or if that’s too cumbersome, for a reliever whose [Outs earned-(runs+baserunners allowed)] was a positive value. I’d prefer if there was a bonuus for not letting bequeathed runners score, and/or a penalty for allowing them to score. But some of the smartest fantasy baseball minds are on this forum; surely we could come up with a workable reliever-valuing method. If not, the whole “let’s value non-closer relievers more” could be addressed by just better aligning fantasy rosters with ‘real baseball.’ MLB teams now have 13-13 H/P (50-50) splits, while we stick with a 14-9 (61-39) split that originated in 1984. Rostering just one-third of pitchers is what strips the fantasy value from real-world valuable non-closer RPs, by banishing htem into the replacement pool. Making the fantasy split 12-11 would encourage fantasy managers to consider more such RPs on their rosters to fill their available slots while trying to avoid the decimals carnage wrought by weak starters. And since more MLB teams are opting for a “spread the saves” model, 12-11 would also create more opportunities for fantasy managers to target saves (and wins) from non-closer relievers at draft and in-year, further enhancing their value. It would also mean more balance in free-agent pools, with more viable hitters to replace injured hitters.

Chris Blessing (Baseball HQ, @C_Blessing): No more wins. Let us rid ourselves of the win category. Let us move to either QS or IP. Let us never speak of wins in this league again! Also, I hate when the trade deadline corresponds with the MLB trade deadline. Aug 31st rocks.

Sara Sanchez (, @BCB_Sara): I love the Tout 12 team mixed league alternate categories of OBP instead of AVG, Holds + Saves instead of Saves & Innings Pitched instead of Wins. I recognize that the Holds part of this in particular isn’t perfect, but I really think all of these categories better reflect player value. I also like that they make the elite relievers who aren’t closers valuable. If I was starting a league I’d propose those categories instead of the standard 5×5.

Grey Albright (RazzBall, @razzball): Penalize people who quit leagues in June. They don’t get a first round pick; they don’t get a full budget at an auction; they don’t get invited back. Choose your own punishment.

Doug Dennis (BaseballHQ, @dougdennis41): If redraft league, I don’t mind what anyone wants to propose–just want to incorporate it into my strategy. If it is dynasty or keeper, I don’t like changes because my strategy to-date typically has not accounted for changes and I don’t like helping others who have a flawed strategy get a quicker re-set through a rule change.

Ariel Cohen (CBS Sports, @ATCNY): I have a few proposals. 1) I agree with the direction of Fred Z.’s crusade. If fantasy baseball started forming today … no one in their right mind would pick saves as a scoring category. They wouldn’t. Saves are ONLY still a category because we have been playing with it for a while … but it doesn’t make sense any longer. Using SV + some multiplier of holds (we should figure out what this should be …) is a great idea. Wins + some factor times QS is another … and I’ll add in a third one of steals + triples. Steals isn’t the same steals stat as it was back when roto started either. 2) While we are on the category train … I do want to point out from my first point … that there indeed is a value in keeping categories static from year to year. You learn trends, you build strategy, etc. However – the flip side is that it gets static and boring after a while. Part of the game of fantasy is figuring out the strategy of how to win each and every year. My second proposal is to turn the standard 5×5 roto (however we alter it) into a 6×6 league … where the first 5×5 categories do not change year to year … but the 6th hitting and pitching gategory does! That’s right … why not have the 6th category change every season … either by a rotation, or better yet … let last year’s winning choose them ! Perhaps he/she wants to add in walks and IP. Perhaps he/she wants to choose 2B and CSW. Whatever it is – let the 6th categories move every single year so that you have 83% of the categories static, but 17% of them new! 3) Lastly, I’m not sure why most platform don’t allow for the following other than Fantrax and OnRoto. In weekly leagues, if a player goes on the IL … he should be able to be replaced mid-week at any point with a healthy player. Plus, if a player comes off the IL during the week, he should be allowed to be activated for a player in the lineup at any time of the week. Why not … let’s take more luck deciding fantasy leagues away … and allow mid-week substituions. Personally (and no offense to avid NFBC players), I prefer weekly lineups with this IL repalcement rule to twice a week lineups. This way you aren’t spending your time on the waiver wire looking for @COL and 4 game Monday-Thursday weeks … and can focuse more on skill. As Fred Z. said, anything to help change the game more towards the identification of skill is a better game.

Ron Shandler (, @RonShandler): Echoing most of the above – Replace saves with saves plus holds (which works just fine without the multiplier – in practice, drafters still gravitate to saves regardless). Replace wins with innings pitched (QS doesn’t work as long as starters no longer go 6 IP anymore). Replace BA with OBP (why is this still not standard?). Replace FAAB blind-bidding with either Vickrey (winner pays $1 more than 2nd bid) or an eBay live bidding system.

Brad Johnson (Patreon/BaseballATeam, @BaseballATeam): I think y’all are overreacting to saves becoming a harder category to manage. The saves are all still out there. We even get to use more relievers to accrue them in the current meta. So often, when someone proposes a rule change, it’s because they want the game to be easier and/or more closely reward their innate playing style. PS, Ron is 100% right about FAAB. It astounds me that Vickrey isn’t the norm. Living bidding would be cool too.

Nick Pollack (Pitcher List, @PitcherList): I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again. Saves and stolen bases are the BALL AND CHAIN WE CHOOSE TO KEEP ON OUR ANKLES.

Mike Podhorzer (Fangraphs, @MikePodhorzer): I’m the commissioner of my local league and have never formally opened the floor for rule changes! Perhaps I should do so now, but I figure if anyone has any issues with the current rules, they would have said something by now. The only change we have made in recent years is increase the number of IL spots. Having to drop a player because your injury luck has been terrible is no fun!

Jason Collette (Rotowire, @jasoncollette): expanding the Saves category to some combination of SV + H or eliminating wins and saves & going with IP and SV+H+W as replacements. Too many pitchers are undesirable based on roles due to limitations of legacy scoring

Tim Heaney (, @TeamHeaney): (1) Make the draft an auction if it already isn’t. It may take longer, but it’s an exponentially better overall experience than a snake and the fairest way to access, assess, and navigate the player pool. (2) If your stubborn league resolves to stick with a snake draft, draw for KDS spots instead of a random picking of the order itself. The NFBC has it right in that facet. (3) Some combo of revising categories to include Saves+Holds, W+QS (or some nod to IP), and SB-CS. (4) Manual late-season IL placements for players who are out for the season but not yet placed on IL by their real-life team. (This is not a bitter Trevor Rogers manager competing for an NL-only dynasty league title saying that. Nope. Not at all.) (5) Off-the-wall a bit: In dynasty leagues, make the top finisher outside the money something like the third pick (behind the bottom two finishers) to preserve late-season interest.

Vlad Sedler (FTNfantasy, @rotogut): Call me old school but I’m a fan of the traditional 5×5 roto scoring in fantasy baseball. Would be open to a Holds + Saves league.

Glenn Colton (Fantasy Alarm, @GlennColton1): I see a lot of support for saves plus holds. I vote no. If one criticizes saves for being random, how can one embrace holds? It is equally or maybe even more random in my view. While I do not support this, I would sooner do saves-blown saves before I did saves + holds. While I am on the topic (sort of), what about SB-CS. Surely someone who steals 20 bases and gets caught once is more valuable than someone who steals 30 and gets caught 18 times. Finally, while I am rolling, I think all leagues, including Tout, should allow lineup changes for all players who have not yet played that week or in that scoring period rather than an arbitrary deadline of first game governing all games and all players.

Peter Kreutzer (Ask Rotoman, Fantasy Baseball Guide, @kroyte): Many excellent thoughts, but I’d like to maybe comment on a few of them: Davitt’s suggestion of moving to 12H 11P rosters is a good one. An 11 man staff is much more challenging, which is good. The reason for Sv + Hold/2 is that there can be multiple holds in a game, but only one (and sometimes no) save. The goal is to reward pitchers doing a good job in important roles. Net SvHlds/2 and Net Steals do that too, though they come with some odd wrinkles. Finally, Vickrey seemed like a great idea and we used it in Tout for a number of years. The problem is that the market for most weekly pickups isn’t that robust. So teams would bid what it was worth for them to get a player, say 134 (of 1000) units, but nobody else would bid and the Vickrey-adjusted price would drop to $1. This happened a lot. We tried instituting a floor. If a bid was more than 100 the adjusted prices would be at least 50 rather than 1 if no other team bid, but many disliked that. Plus, Vickrey caused the Bidmeister fits because it couldn’t adjust the winning bid amounts based on what happened in the earlier blocks. So if you bid 200 in the first block but it was Vickrey-adjust to 50, the BM still saw it as 200 and would put you over budget later even though you actually weren’t. It was this last that caused us to stop the experiment. But without a bidding floor Vickrey didn’t work as well as it might have.

Phil Hertz (BaseballHQ, @prhz50): In leagues that use innings instead of wins, I’d suggest experimenting with a category that combines wins, holds and 2x Saves. Also pet peeve, mostly relevant in Only Leagues, players need to enter the player pool by midnight before free agent bidding occurs.

Todd Zola (Mastersball, @toddzola): I am pretty vehemently opposed to adding holds. The way to fix a flawed category is not to make it even worse. This will likely never happen, but here is what I would do. Revert to 4×4 using batting average, HR, Runs+RBI-HR and SB-CS+BB for batters. For pitching, I want two counting stats and two ratios. IP and K% (or K-BB%) are automatic. Now it gets tough since I want to avoid saves and holds. Commissioner services can’t handle this (yet), but how about 1 pt if your pitcher appears in a win and 1/2 a point if they appear in a loss? I like that. Now we need a ratio. I know ERA is flawed, but so are all the categories so I’ll stick with the tried and true. As an alternate counting category, I’ve been fiddling with BB+HBP+(HR/4). Scoring could even go back to 5×5 with these five pitching categories and keeping HR, runs and RBI separate for hitters. I’m going to wait until the end of the season and calculate earnings based on this system, then compare in to standard 5×5.

Anthony Perri (Fantistics, @Anthony_Perri): OBP is a must to replace BA. xFIP to replace ERA. Wouldn’t mind to incoporate wOBA either.

Mike Gianella (Baseball Prospectus, @MikeGianella): These suggestions are mostly for mono leagues. Change roster composition so we have 12 hitters and 11 pitchers. To mirror MLB rosters more closely require 5 SP and 6 RP. I don’t know how I’d structure the offensive roster spots but one catcher leagues make way more sense. I don’t mind adding holds, but 5×5 Roto already does a very good job of accounting for non-closer reliever value as a great middle reliever can contribute in all five categories (and is particularly valuable in deep leagues). Much of the angst about saves is driven by fantasy managers in overall contest leagues like NFBC, where dumping the category makes winning the overall extremely difficult. In stand alone leagues like Tout, I like the ability to choose how hard we go after saves (or that you can choose to blow off the category completely). It’s one of the challenges of the game that makes it fun for me.

Brad Johnson (Patreon/BaseballATeam, @BaseballATeam): @Peter, check out how Ottoneu handles their bidding. Instead of having a single time when all bids resolve, make people nominate a player for a 2-day bid. Then the bidmeister should be able to handle it. Also, I thought of one rule I strongly champion – position eligibility should require no more than 5 games. Honestly, 2 games is sufficient imo.

Chris Clegg (Fantrax, @RotoClegg): I have become a proponent of saves + holds/2. The strategy of drafting saves only is fun, but when you factor in holds or holds/2, you factor in more relievers who do their jobs well. I also really like a stat that is specific to Fantrax that is Quality Appearance 7. With wins often being flukey and quality starts being harder to come by, QA7 does a good job. With QA7, you get a point if IP >= 4 and IP <= 4 2/3 and ER <= 1, or IP >=5 and IP <= 6 2/3 and ER <= 2, or IP >= 7 and ER <= 3. I have used it in several leagues and it seems to do a better job of showing a pitchers success than QS alone.

Tristan H. Cockcroft (ESPN, @SultanofStat): I think we’ve come to the breaking point in rotisserie leagues for how we roster and score pitchers. I propose we combine wins and saves — similar to Jason’s suggestion but without holds (until its definition is uniform across stat providers, this is a “no” for me) — add innings pitched as the fifth category, then revise rosters such that teams have a set number of starting and relief pitchers (suggest 6 and 4, but some of the other suggetions, like 12-hitters/11-pitchers, also appeal to me), rather than their choice of how many of each. With pitching as specialized as it is nowadays, and rosters so skewed towards more pitchers, it only makes sense to disincentivize categorical manipulation by loading up on relievers or skating by with barely the minimum innings and, to that end, it might also be a good idea to adopt Ottoneu’s approach that you only get the pitcher’s stats for the role in which he’s slotted (so, only starters’ stats for starters, and relievers’ for relievers). As an aside, I like Ron’s suggestion of an eBay-like live bidding system, and one of my football leagues does that pretty successfully.

Shelly Verougstraete (Dynasty Guru, @ShellyV_643): I agree with Vlad. I like the tradtional 5×5 rules. I do think a saves+holds/2 would mirror real baseball a bit more.

Mike Sheets (ESPN, @MikeASheets): In leagues that continue year to year, I want the fantasy manager who finishes fourth to get the first pick next season or select where they want to pick (assuming the top three spots get paid). Too many leagues draft in reverse order of the standings, rewarding those who tank or don’t play out the full season.

Charlie Wiegert (CDM Sports, @GFFantasySports): One of my leagues went to daily changes for DL moves, which On Roto can handle. I think it worked great and I’d like to see my other leagues, including Tout, do the same. The only problem is making sure when the guy comes off the DL he gets back in the line-up everyday, and it may make the commish job a little more work to watch it, but in the long run, it’s the way to do it!

Greg Jewett (Fantasy Alarm, @gjewett9): In our head-to-head points format in Tout, I would make it one match-up a week with an opponent, and also add one game against the median score. Taking a loss with a top three score two times this year gets frustrating. This would give teams who score well, but lose better representation in the standings.

Joe Sheehan (The Joe Sheehan Baseball Newsletter, @joe_sheehan): I have two hobby horses. One is the disproportionate importance of saves in fantasy relative to real baseball. Saves just aren’t the proxy for “best reliever” they once were, and much of in-season management just becomes chasing saves. The second is more about finding more ways to shape fantasy rosters to map to real baseball’s usage patterns. The creation of a swing spot helped, but between teams carrying just 13 hitters and one or two of those being unusable for fantasy purposes due to daily MLB roster churn, leagues are just too thin. I wonder if AL/NL-only leagues just need to be one team smaller to account for this.

Scott Swanay (FantasyBaseballSherpa, @fantasy_sherpa): For Tout specifically, I would love to see Saves replaced by Saves+Holds. With more teams adopting a closer-by-committee approach, it seems that Saves are becoming more random. Several of the recent winners of the Mixed League Auction have shown that either de-emphasizing Saves, or punting them altogether, can be a winning strategy. Wins are another category that seem to be increasingly random – I would love to see them replaced by IP or something else.

Tout Wars FAB Report: Week of September 26

Tout Wars considers the tacked on final series of the year to be its own week, so there will be one more FAB run next Sunday.

The leagues are still active, in part to make sure the participants finish about a cutoff, or else FAAB is deducted from next season’s 1000 starting points. The targets are 60 points for the 12-team leagues and 75-points for the 15-team leagues. For every point under the target, the Tout will lose $10 FAB.

To check out where your favorite Tout is in their league, just click on the league header. You can also see all of the rosters and league transactions.

American League

Player Team Bid
EPagan, Min Doug Dennis 75
CHolmes, NYY Rick Wolf/Glenn Colton 42
JWentz, Det Jason Collette 1
MMastrobuoni, TB Jason Collette 0
LSoto, LAA Rob Leibowitz 0
WBrennan, Cle Rick Wolf/Glenn Colton 0
MThaiss, LAA Mike Podhorzer 0
CCapel, Oak Mike Podhorzer 0

National League

Player Team Bid
JBae, Pit Ian Kahn 67
ETovar, Col Tristan H. Cockcroft 21
JAlvarado, Phi Peter Kreutzer 13
MLeiter, ChC Peter Kreutzer 13
BElder, Atl Steve Gardner 12
DBote, ChC Derek Carty 11
MGrove, LAD Tristan H. Cockcroft 8
TGore, NYM Peter Kreutzer 7
ChMartin, LAD Ian Kahn 5
RMoronta, Ari Phil Hertz 4
PBickford, LAD Ian Kahn 2
HMilner, Mil Ian Kahn 1
JDelay, Pit Brian Walton 0
JUrena, Col Phil Hertz 0

Mixed Salary Cap

Player Team Bid
NEaton, KC Scott Pianowski 56
MManning, Det Zach Steinhorn 38
JOviedo, Pit Scott Engel 6
JDuran, Min Scott Swanay 4
HWesneski, ChC Scott Engel 2
OCabrera, NYY Scott Engel 2
JWentz, Det Jeff Zimmerman 1
AAquino, Cin Jeff Zimmerman 1
BCrawford, SF Scott Pianowski 1
ESwanson, Sea Scott Swanay 0
ABaddoo, Det Scott Pianowski 0
JLyles, Bal Scott Pianowski 0
DBote, ChC Scott Pianowski 0

Mixed Draft

Player Team Bid
GHampson, Col AJ Mass 192
WMerrifield, Tor Ray Murphy 111
BElder, Atl Rudy Gamble 47
EOlivares, KC Adam Ronis 42
APujols, StL Seth Trachtman 40
BGarrett, Mia Seth Trachtman 16
RMcGuire, Bos Shelly Verougstraete 2
BDeLaCruz, Mia Tim McLeod 1
WBrennan, Cle Shelly Verougstraete 1
ETovar, Col Scott White 0
GMarquez, Col Scott White 0

Head to Head

Player Team Bid
OCabrera, NYY Greg Jewett 0
LRengifo, LAA Greg Jewett 0
BDeLaCruz, Mia Greg Jewett 0
HWesneski, ChC Frank Stampfl 0
ERodriguez, Det Frank Stampfl 0

Mixed with IP & Saves+Holds

Player Team Bid
EduEscobar, NYM Jennifer Piacenti 56
BOber, Min Matt Truss 42
EAndrus, CWS Chris Clegg 23
MKeller, Pit Chris Clegg 23
BNimmo, NYM Chris Clegg 17
AHouser, Mil Sara Sanchez 12
BDonovan, StL Chris Clegg 1

Tout Wars FAB Report: Week of September 19

You can’t take it with you! The Touts are emptying the FAB wallets. Some are embroiled in a tight battle for the championship, some are grinding to finish above the line to not lose FAB for next season while some are simply trying to end the season on a high note.

We’re getting down to the wire. If you want to track the races in any of the Tout leagues, just click on the league header.

American League

Player Team Bid
JAranda, TB Doug Dennis 104
BAbreu, Hou Doug Dennis 44
SHentges, Cle Doug Dennis 44
MMoniak, LAA Rick Wolf/Glenn Colton 39
DMartin, CWS Rick Wolf/Glenn Colton 19
DAcevedo, Oak Rob Leibowitz 0
DermGarcia, Oak Mike Podhorzer 0

National League

Player Team Bid
JGroshans, Mia Brian Walton 40
HWesneski, ChC Brian Walton 7
ZMcKinstry, ChC Grey Albright 5
CKuhl, Col Phil Hertz 1
JAzocar, SD Wilderman/Prior 0
WMiley, ChC Wilderman/Prior 0

Mixed Salary Cap

Player Team Bid
WMiley, ChC Scott Swanay 51
MStraw, Cle Zach Steinhorn 36
RCastro, Pit Scott Pianowski 35
KHayes, Pit Scott Swanay 31
BBello, Bos Alex Chamberlain 23
GUrshela, Min Scott Pianowski 19
DPeralta, TB Derek VanRiper 11
NSenzel, Cin Scott Pianowski 7
TKemp, Oak Scott Pianowski 6
ZGreinke, KC Scott Pianowski 2
DAcevedo, Oak Jeff Zimmerman 1
DMartin, CWS Jeff Zimmerman 1

Mixed Draft

Player Team Bid
JWendle, Mia AJ Mass 150
DJameson, Ari Perry Van Hook 131
CPinder, Oak AJ Mass 100
OCabrera, NYY Rudy Gamble 47
DFloro, Mia Rudy Gamble 37
RCastro, Pit Ray Murphy 34
YMoncada, CWS Adam Ronis 24
DMartin, CWS Rudy Gamble 24
IKinerFalefa, NYY Shelly Verougstraete 20
HWesneski, ChC Seth Trachtman 15
SHuff, Tex Seth Trachtman 8
CBellinger, LAD Mike Gianella 5
LOrtiz, Pit Tim McLeod 2
KFinnegan, Was Tim McLeod 2
JWentz, Det Tim McLeod 1
DAcevedo, Oak Scott White 0
AuRomine, Cin Shelly Verougstraete 0

Head to Head

Player Team Bid
ASampson, ChC Frank Stampfl 32
CMorris, Cle Frank Stampfl 6

Mixed with IP & Saves+Holds

Player Team Bid
APujols, StL Jennifer Piacenti 66
JSuarez, LAA Brian Entrekin 17
AAquino, Cin Brian Entrekin 16
YDaza, Col Brian Entrekin 12
WMiley, ChC Brian Entrekin 12
RCastro, Pit Jake Ciely 0
YMoncada, CWS Jake Ciely 0
BBello, Bos Jake Ciely 0
LRengifo, LAA Jake Ciely 0

Tout FAB Report: Week of September 12

The head to head playoffs are underway. We have a couple of leagues heading to a photo finish while everyone is still grinding to finish above the cutline to lose FAB for next season.

To check out the standings, full rosters and all the moves for each league, just click on the header.

American League

Player Team Bid
JJung, Tex Rob Leibowitz 252
OPeraza, NYY Doug Dennis 141
RGonzalez, CWS Jeff Erickson 45
KPilkington, Cle Jason Collette 4
RKreidler, Det Mike Podhorzer 2
TFreeman, Cle Patrick Davitt 1
DTate, Bal Rob Leibowitz 0
ACimber, Tor Rob Leibowitz 0
MMoore, Tex Rob Leibowitz 0
KWaldichuk, Oak Rick Wolf/Glenn Colton 0
JSears, Oak Rick Wolf/Glenn Colton 0
JWinder, Min Jeff Erickson 0
AToro, Sea Jeff Erickson 0

National League

Player Team Bid
ACall, Was Ian Kahn 82
DVillar, SF Brian Walton 45
SManaea, SD Ian Kahn 33
JSuwinski, Pit Brian Walton 25
RNelson, Ari Phil Hertz 14
PHiggins, ChC Peter Kreutzer 13
MVientos, NYM Phil Hertz 11
CMitchell, Pit Peter Kreutzer 8
JChavez, Atl Peter Kreutzer 4
MReynolds, Cin Wilderman/Prior 0
RAdams, Was Wilderman/Prior 0
GStubbs, Phi Wilderman/Prior 0

Mixed Salary Cap

Player Team Bid
CCarrasco, NYM Alex Chamberlain 89
JJung, Tex Jeff Zimmerman 42
EHaase, Det Zach Steinhorn 12
DFloro, Mia Justin Mason 8
YGomes, ChC Derek VanRiper 3
RGonzalez, CWS Derek VanRiper 3
MVientos, NYM Scott Engel 3
LPatino, TB Justin Mason 2
JSchreiber, Bos Scott Engel 2
LCessa, Cin Jeff Zimmerman 1
YMolina, StL Alex Chamberlain 1

Mixed Draft

Player Team Bid
HBrown, Hou Rudy Gamble 138
JBarrero, Cin Rudy Gamble 119
RNelson, Ari D.J. Short 50
OGonzalez, Cle Adam Ronis 28
CAbrams, Was Perry Van Hook 23
ACall, Was Perry Van Hook 23
CFlexen, Sea Perry Van Hook 17
AAquino, Cin Charlie Wiegert 15
EAndrus, CWS Charlie Wiegert 12
LCessa, Cin Adam Ronis 8
VCaratini, Mil Seth Trachtman 6
DVillar, SF Scott White 3
KGibson, Phi Mike Gianella 3
GMarquez, Col Mike Gianella 3
CMorris, Cle Shelly Verougstraete 3
KCarpenter, Det Scott White 1
SMoll, Oak Tim McLeod 1
AOttavino, NYM Scott White 0

Head to Head

Player Team Bid NPivetta, Bos Ariel Cohen 34 LThomas, Was Ariel Cohen 34 HBrown, Hou Frank Stampfl 33 EAndrus, CWS Ariel Cohen 24 YGrandal, CWS Frank Stampfl 12 RNelson, Ari Ryan Hallam 2 Frank Stampfl Greg Jewett 0 BAnderson, Mia Greg Jewett 0 GStanton, NYY Clay Link 0 HRamirez, TB Clay Link 0

Mixed with IP & Saves+Holds

Player Team Bid
LThomas, Was Sara Sanchez 22
YGomes, ChC Sara Sanchez 1

Tout Table: Tips for the Stretch Run

Moves become magnified since there is less margin for error. With that in mind, the Touts were asked:

What is your favorite piece of advice to offer those seeking tips on roster management down the stretch?

Perry Van Hook (Mastersball, @): At the end of the year whether you are trying to finish first or just improve in the standings, your focus should be on you positions in each category in your league Where can you gain points? Where do you have to make sure you aren’t losing point? If you have categories where you cant’ gain or lose points you might want to replace players you have whose strongest contributions are in those categories with players who can help you in others.

Ryan Hallam (Fighting Chance Fantasy, @FightingChance): Play like there is no tomorrow. Because there aren’t many more left. Guy dealing with a nagging injury, replace them. Guy on a hot streak, ride it! If you are in a roto league look at the standings and see where you can improve the most the quickest and go for it. No time to lose now, play that last month like your hair is on fire and hope your competition is paying more attention to their fantasy football teams.

D.J. Short (NBC Sports Edge, @djshort): I’d be careful about carrying dead weight on your roster. That could range from a player with a day-to-day type of injury, a veteran who is underperforming, or even an exciting prospect. It’s all about maximizing your roster for today. It’s not about a player’s perceived value or what they could be in the future. I’d also be honed in on which teams are playing the most games, possible two-start pitcher options, and where and who certain teams will be playing to close out the season. That value in the margins could ultimately be the separator in a league.

Fred Zinkie (Yahoo! Fantasy Sports, @FredZinkieMLB): Forget “Mr. Right” and find “Mr. Right Now”. Those who have the role you need at the moment are the players to target, even if you have doubts about their long-term future.

Jason Collette (Rotowire, @jasoncollette): Any scratch is a flaw. Every at bat or inning counts, so you don’t have the luxury to carry a guy around while waiting for that sore hammy or tweaked ankle to get healthy. Churn and burn until the end.

Brian Walton (CreativeSports2, @B_Walton): Know your league’s trade deadline. It may be your last chance to pick up a player who can contribute in key categories in which you are in need.

Michael A. Stein (Fantasy Judgment, @FantasyJudgment): Cut ties with injured players or minor leaguers unlikely to make an impact in September. Every roster spot is precious so accumulate depth and flexibility if possible. Focus on matchups and schedules because certain teams will be punching bags as they play out the stretch with weak pitchers and lineups.

Todd Zola (Mastersball, @toddzola): Don’t dismiss the ability to make up ground in ratio categories (BA, OBP, ERA, WHIP). While it all depends on where you are within each category, on average, more points are gained and lost the final week in ERA and WHIP than the other categories.

Doug Dennis (BaseballHQ, @dougdennis41): Do what you gotta do. Anything goes. Scrape up every point you can. Use every means possible. Hail Marys allowed.

Nick Pollack (Pitcher List, @PitcherList): Bank as much production as you can. There isn’t enough time left to chase the “perfect player” – If something is helpful now, go after it.

Scott Pianowski (Yahoo! Fantasy Sports, @Scott_Pianowski): Just showing up will go far this time of year. With football here and back-to-school dominating many households, some of the non-contenders in your league will start checking out. Every September I’m shocked at the good players I can land for small or even minimum bids. Another key is to carefully audit the categories, see where you can easily gain or fall. Vacuum value no longer matters, we’re no longer playing for the big inning. Your winning path is much more specific now, and that needs to be incorporated in your pickup and starting strategy.

Ron Shandler (, @RonShandler): Those in keeper and dynasty formats should maintain a close eye on September call-ups all month, and speculate. That’s what I did last September and now own Spencer Strider.

James Anderson (Rotowire, @RealJRAnderson): Don’t be afraid to drop someone in your redraft league if it makes your team better over the next 1-2 weeks. Playing time is always king, and that becomes an even bigger challenge in September.

Mike Gianella (Baseball Prospectus, @MikeGianella): Playing time is king. If someone is day-to-day or might go on the IL and you have a viable replacement, use the healthy player. If you don’t have limited IL slots don’t be afraid to cut a player unless it’s an obvious superstar. It’s easy to overthink these decisions but if you’ve put yourself in a position to win in September you should already have a strong feeling for who should and shouldn’t be starting for you right now.

Ariel Cohen (CBS Sports, @ATCNY): Its all about the format. In roto – play the categories, not just the raw player value. A 40-SB type player could be useless or more important than Aaron Judge depending on your situation. In points with playoffs – take a look at upcoming schedules and act in advance to get players on your playoff roster, regardless of wat had transpired thus far in the season. Also … take into account risk. Play safer options with a lead, and take risks when trailing. Finally … its all about playing time. Seek out players with playing time.

Jeff Zimmerman (Fangraphs, The Process, @jeffwzimmerman): Don’t look any further ahead than a week or two in redraft. Move on from hitters and pitchers if you don’t plan on using them over the next two weeks which is half the season.

Mike Podhorzer (Fangraphs, @MikePodhorzer): Throw out your preseason values. All that matters now is your position in each of the categories standings. Good in home runs and RBI, but could gain several stolen base points? Then sure, go ahead and trade Yordan Alvarez for Jorge Mateo or Cedric Mullins!

Andrea Lamont (LennyMelnickFantasySports, @RotoLady): Be willing to drop historically good players if they aren’t performing. Josh Hader comes to mind. Don’t bother with names, find players who are getting at bats every day. Pay close attention to categories to target areas you can gain points.

Alan Harrison (The Fantasy Fix, @TheFantasyFix): In roto, take a long look at your standings and assess your ability to gain points in each of the categories. If you can still trade, don’t be afraid ot make a trade that includes your preseason stud for their midseason waiver addition if you believe it will help you gain ground in said categories. Maximize ABs, tinker with matchups/platoons until the very end. Money or not, moving up a couple spots at the end of the season is worth the small investment of time. Finish what you started and have fun.

Brent Hershey (Baseball HQ, @BrentHQ): Remember that MLB front offices are always “thinking” similar to how we operate in dynasty leagues — always with at least one eye on the future. The teams that are ‘out of it’ are preparing for next year, giving chances to young players or reclamation projects to sink or swim, to see how players respond. That’s where some of the suprise opportunities and results are going to be found in the final weeks. Identify these opps. Plug the players in for your final push. May the hot streaks find you.

Charlie Wiegert (CDM Sports, @GFFantasySports): Navigating the mine field is tough! Keep an eye out for opportunities, like Herget getting saves for the Angels. Managers are going to six man rotations, and cutting innings for pitchers. Playoff teams will rest stars, non playoff teams will bring up rookies. Stay alert!

Matt Truss (Razzball, @MattTruss): Be flexible and you have to look at the standings to see where the most points can be gained. If I’m dead last in stolen bases in a league and have a HR cushion, I’m likely benching a bopper for a guy like, Bubba Thompson in hopes of making up points.

Nando DiFino (The Athletic, @nandodifino): Go nuts and try to win. You can still do a lot of damage in September — and other teams can, conversely, get hurt by injuries or bad stretches of play. Be aggressive with moves, pay attention to daily lineups, BOP and “last 7 days” and go for the title instead of playing things conservatively

Anthony Aniano (Rotoballer, @AAnianoFantasy): You are all in!!! Anyone is droppable and anyone is addable if it means helping you win the league.

Chris Blessing (Baseball HQ, @C_Blessing): I’m consumed by the waiver

Frank Stampfl (Fantasy Pros, @Roto_Frank): Don’t be afraid to cut struggling “stars”, especially in shallow leagues. If you play in Roto, pay close attention to which categories you can most easily move up AND down in when making waiver moves. If you play in H2H points, pitching will be key. Try and gobble up as many two-start pitchers as you can, whether to start them yourself or prevent your opponent from starting them.

Scott Swanay (FantasyBaseballSherpa, @fantasy_sherpa): Spend more time analyzing (if not agonizing over) pitching matchups, especially if you’re trying to balance ratio management w/ chasing Wins and Strikeouts. It might be tempting to throw caution to the wind and just look at the counting categories for pitching, but a couple of ill-advised pitcher selections could do serious damage to your WHIP/ERA without having much time to recover at this time of year.

Vlad Sedler (FTNfantasy, @rotogut): Don’t allow football to take away from your focus down the stretch. Keep up with daily MLB transactions, playing time, lineup orders, splits and opposing matchups. Keep grinding!

Shelly Verougstraete (Dynasty Guru, @ShellyV_643): Go week to week. Move on from hitters that are slumping or have bad matchups. Same goes for pitchers. If some lands on the injured list, it might be a good idea to just drop them.

Patrick Davitt (BaseballHQ, @patrickdavitt): What they said: Look for opportunities in the categories (don’t forget you can trade from any position if you’re on an “island” where you can’t gain or lose points), in redraft, don’t worry about “losing” the trade by the names involved if it means making gains in categories where those opportunities present themselves. Of course, in keeper/dynasty formats, if you ain’t winning, you need to be dealing for keepers.

Sara Sanchez (, @BCB_Sara): What everyone said above. Stay active. Keep making moves. Scour the free agents for people that can help you where you can make up the most points. So many people get distracted in the final few weeks of a season and those are all points you can make up on your competition.

Zach Steinhorn (CreativeSports2, @zachsteinhorn): Don’t be afraid to drop any player, even if you had high hopes for him entering the season and have stuck with him through his year-long struggles. If he hasn’t figured things out by now, there’s a good chance that 2022 will end up being a lost season. Roster spots have value and if you can use that roster spot to address a specific area of need, stubbornly holding on to a player simply because dropping him would be upsetting doesn’t make much sense.

Jeff Barton (Scoresheet Sports, @JeffScoresheet): Your place in the standings matters as the season closes. If you are ahead you can/should play it safe, and take the surer stat performers (generally veterans, or guys who have at least played all season and have been consistently good.) But, if you are lagging, then this is time for gambles. Maybe a guy who just got called up (Henderson?), or a pitcher on a losing MLB team who might get promoted to the rotation for the final 4-5 weeks, is the kind of guy you need to gamble on.

Tim Heaney (, @TeamHeaney): WAKE. UP. EARLY, in September. Read EVERYTHING you can in the final month about streamers, platoon matchups, and category targets. NFL kickoff can’t get in the way of the final month. When everyone worries about their RB1, you worry about what team’s fifth starter will face the Tigers.

Chris Clegg (Fantrax, @RotoClegg): At this point of the season, staying focused can allow you to make moves in the standings. Don’t be afraid to drop a player you drafted high if they are on an extended cold streak. You should be paying attention to standings to see what categories you can make gains in and hammer those categories when looking at waivers and lineup decisions. Small boosts in several categories can lead to changes in the overall standings.

Rob Leibowitz (Rotoheaven, @rob_leibowitz): It is all about the standings and the incremental changes you can make or defend against. Look for gains and vulnerabilities. If you have a shot at contending, that last trade or two you can make at your league’s trade deadline is crucial with a last minute move other teams can’t then counter. So wait as long as possible to announce any of those deals. I like to focus on saves and stolen bases and generally the other counting stats where a change or two can make a big difference over the last few weeks while using defensive measures on the derived stats if wins are not an issue (taking out that 4th or 5th starter type for a reliever, etc.) While this may not be as true as the days of the 40-man September when players were out for the season, even if not on the DL. It is time to cut bait in redraft leagues and keeper leagues if you’re in go for it mode.

Tout Head to Head, the Playoffs are Set

The regular season is over.

The final regular season standings

Clay Link edged 2021 champ Frank Stampfl for first place in a tight race, with both teams earning a first-round bye.

Greg Jewett wins the tiebreaker for the sixth and final playoff spot over Geoff Pontes. He’ll face 2020 champ Ariel Cohen in the first round.

In the other opening week game, fourth-place finisher Ryan Hallam will face Paul Sporer, who finished fifth.

Next week Link will face the winning team this week with the worse record, while Stampfl will face the team with the better record.

Tout Wars FAB Report: Week of September 5

As we enter the first full week of September, every move becomes magnified.

Some intriguing names are available this week, below are the players and bids.

To see the standings, rosters and all the moves for a specific league, just click on the league header.

American League

Player Team Bid
JHerget, LAA Patrick Davitt 129
JAguilar, Bal Rick Wolf/Glenn Colton 19
JSchreiber, Bos Rick Wolf/Glenn Colton 9
HBrown, Hou Mike Podhorzer 5
VBrujan, TB Jason Collette 3
ALange, Det Jason Collette 3
WSmith, Hou Jason Collette 2
JCave, Min Larry Schechter 1
CWong, Bos Larry Schechter 1
BHamilton, Min Mike Podhorzer 0
ABass, Tor Patrick Davitt 0

National League

Player Team Bid
MToglia, Col Tristan H. Cockcroft 45
RPepiot, LAD Tristan H. Cockcroft 21
SSteer, Cin Steve Gardner 9
JJunis, SF Tristan H. Cockcroft 8
PEspino, Was Phil Hertz 4
SOkert, Mia Peter Kreutzer 1
ABellatti, Phi Peter Kreutzer 1
ALopez, Cin Peter Kreutzer 0
ARivas, ChC Peter Kreutzer 0
AWynns, SF Wilderman/Prior 0
MBanuelos, Pit Todd Zola 0
JAlexander, Mil Derek Carty 0

Mixed Salary Cap

Player Team Bid
JProfar, SD Zach Steinhorn 53
TCasas, Bos Brent Hershey 31
MToglia, Col Tim Heaney 26
CMorris, Cle Brent Hershey 23
SSteer, Cin Derek VanRiper 22
JHerget, LAA Jeff Zimmerman 12
NPratto, KC Brent Hershey 11
KWaldichuk, Oak Brent Hershey 9
HBrown, Hou Scott Engel 7
OPeraza, NYY Scott Engel 7
KHernandez, Bos Justin Mason 4
JAssad, ChC Scott Engel 2
GMitchell, Mil Scott Engel 2
DJansen, Tor Brent Hershey 1
TFriedl, Cin Jeff Zimmerman 1
ERosario, SD Justin Mason 0
JHeasley, KC Justin Mason 0
THenry, Ari Justin Mason 0

Mixed Draft

Player Team Bid
JHerget, LAA Charlie Wiegert 122
CBethancourt, TB Charlie Wiegert 113
SSteer, Cin D.J. Short 100
MBarnes, Bos Charlie Wiegert 88
MTaylor, KC Charlie Wiegert 81
JLeclerc, Tex Charlie Wiegert 76
GSheets, CWS Charlie Wiegert 66
IVargas, Was Charlie Wiegert 41
MToglia, Col Tim McLeod 22
CDickerson, StL Adam Ronis 18
EduEscobar, NYM Adam Ronis 18
TFriedl, Cin Adam Ronis 18
JSuarez, LAA Rudy Gamble 18
TRogers, Mil Tim McLeod 16
BFalter, Phi Seth Trachtman 15
JGray, Was Mike Gianella 10
MOzuna, Atl Mike Gianella 10
OPeraza, NYY Scott White 5
GMitchell, Mil Scott White 0
LSeverino, NYY Scott White 0

Head to Head

Player Team Bid
OCruz, Pit Frank Stampfl 14
KWaldichuk, Oak Frank Stampfl 13
KBradish, Bal Clay Link 2
TFriedl, Cin Greg Jewett 0

Mixed with IP & Saves+Holds

Player Team Bid
GHenderson, Bal Matt Truss 111
CCarroll, Ari Chris Clegg 107
BHamilton, Min Sara Sanchez 24
CDoval, SF Matt Truss 23
JSiri, TB Matt Truss 21
JFraley, Cin Chris Clegg 12
IParedes, TB Chris Clegg 8
JTrevino, NYY Sara Sanchez 4
MMargot, TB Andy Behrens 1
DKremer, Bal Jake Ciely 0
KBradish, Bal Jake Ciely 0
TTaylor, Mil Jeff Boggis 0
JLyles, Bal Jeff Boggis 0
RGreene, Det Jake Ciely 0
MVierling, Phi Jake Ciely 0