2017 Fantasy Baseball: Total Points– Center Field
As we go through the final week of the regular season, so the total points standings can look a lot more like the MVP standings at some positions. Center field is one of the deeper positions on the diamond in terms of fantasy production. Unlike the basic 5×5 leagues, total points encompasses just about everything a player does offensively both positively and negatively, so the results will mirror the MVP standings more accurately.
When we move into the offseason we will look at each position in much more detail, but for our purposes here we are simply doing a primer into total points and its implications. We have developed our own point system here, so it might vary depending on the platform you use. There is still some money to be won in daily fantasy baseball even if the standard fantasy season is nearly at a close. We will combine stolen bases, walks, and hit by pitches into a positive category and strikeouts, caught stealings, and grounded into double plays as a negative category. Statistics are accurate as of Tuesday September 26th.
Total Bases= 1 point each SO= -1 point each
Runs= 1 point each CS= -1 point each
RBI= 1 point each GIDP= -1 point each
Walks= 1 point each
SB= 1 point each
HBP= 1 point each
First, we should begin with what makes elite players elite and it is something unique to total points. The on base component (walks) can be seen in the positive category and that category separates the good from the great. Blackmon could be a dark horse MVP candidate. Naturally, many will question the validity of these numbers because half came in Coors Field, but getting close to 600 points is pretty darn impressive no matter where it happens.
Mike Trout coming close to 500 points after missing six weeks is even more impressive. Both he and Springer missed significant time, so they will be high draft picks next season and will look even better on a per game basis. While yearly players will not care about those considerations, DFS players obviously do.
Rank and File
If there is any fascinating study it is the difference between great players and good players. Most of the players here are good players. Invariably, you can point to the differential between the positive and negative category. A quick comparison of Jones versus Trout is evidence enough of how that works. Of course, as guys like Cain become free agents it becomes interesting to see how they are viewed in the open market. By definition, most teams would do better with him than with their guy, but how much better and how much is that worth?
Of course, total points doesn’t include fielding and that has to be a consideration for teams as opposed to fantasy players. So, a player like Span is a definite fantasy option whereas his days in center field are likely numbered from a defensive perspective. Fowler is the one outlier on this list as he has always had a good ratio of positive versus negative output. Like in the past, he has struggled to remain healthy though.
Sometimes a player embodies a perspective more perfectly than any abstract explanation. Hamilton is the best case for total points I can think of. In a five category universe he gets overdrafted every time because of those steals. Here he is appropriately valued. The steals help in the positive category, but every other category drags him down into this group of fantasy backups.
The rest of the group have similar warts that prevent them from being overly productive. All of them have had flashes of brilliance and when those come at the end of the season like they have with Buxtom we might be tempted to read too much into that. Still, all of them have the same characteristics of simply missing something that would elevate them into a starter.