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About Rick Lucks - RotoBaller

Hello fellow Rotoballers! I'm a guy that was reading fantasy baseball magazines before I was old enough to legally play. Now that I am, lets win some leagues together!

Rick Lucks - RotoBaller has written 258 articles so far, you can find them below.


Personally, I've always been a little leery of pitching breakouts at first. If an offensive acquisition goes sideways, they can't do any worse than zeroes in HR, RBI, runs scored, and stolen bases. By contrast, pitchers can provide negative value in ERA and WHIP to accompany zeroes in W, S, and Ks. If your league... Read More

Welcome back to Streaming Wars, your one-stop shop for streaming the waiver wire all season long. This article, now in its second year, runs seven days a week. It may only be April, but it's never too early to start streaming. For those who are newcomers to this feature - use this column on a daily basis... Read More

Playing the wire is often the primary fantasy baseball activity in April, as you quickly try to sort through your draft day bargains and the guys you no longer require. Your first waiver claims should be treated in the same manner. Some of them will contribute to your roster all season long, while others are... Read More

The beauty of an analytical approach to the game is that it's constantly evolving. When I first started writing this column, I avoided minor leaguers completely because there was no worthwhile data. Metrics like BABIP and FIP became available, allowing me to take a cursory look at a few. Last year, batted ball distribution made... Read More

A slow week might not even get noticed in August, but right now it is all of the data you have to work with. That forces you into a balancing act, as you need to determine if a hot guy on waivers is worth giving up somebody you believed in on draft day. As always,... Read More

One of the biggest differences between daily and weekly fantasy formats is that sinking feeling you get when one of your studs has a day off. It happens to everyone in weekly formats, but your rivals are getting a game advantage over you in daily settings. You can't carry a backup on your bench for... Read More

Baseball games that count are once again upon us! Now that baseball is back and you're looking over your fantasy squads, you're probably a little light on pitching. If your format has an innings cap, it'll probably be harder to reach than you realize. If it doesn't, volume becomes the best way to accumulate more... Read More

Most fantasy owners have already drafted their squads by this point in March, but there are a handful of leagues that wait until after the season has started to populate their rosters. It seems bizarre, but we're not judging. This column will continue with its current format (citing ADP data) until a few weeks into... Read More

"Sometimes, a little bit of knowledge is worse than having none at all." Most fantasy owners are now savvy enough to perform basic BABIP regressions, but blindly regressing everything to the league average or even a given player's career work is a great way to set yourself up for disappointment. For example, Trevor Story is... Read More

Once you've grown accustomed to having advanced tools to help make fantasy decisions, it can feel disorientating to be without them. Prospects are increasingly becoming a focal point in both real and fantasy baseball, but the minors simply do not have all of the data available for MLB players. For example, advanced plate discipline stats,... Read More

A player's ADP often has little to do with how good he is and everything to do with how good other people think he is. In an age when young studs are favored over more established veterans, Manny Margot has still escaped notice by playing his home games in San Diego. Likewise, the narrative that... Read More

Several of my colleagues have already announced their Bold Predictions for the 2018 fantasy baseball season, and now it's my turn. This is my third year participating in this exercise. The first one was great, as I correctly predicted Steven Wright would matter in 2016 fantasy leagues. The second one wasn't, as I had a... Read More

This may shock you, but fantasy baseball writers are not infallible. Sometimes we're incredibly wrong on a guy, and there's a written record to prove it. We also make the same mistakes everyone else makes. For example, I recently had to fill a Util-slot at the end of a draft. I needed power, so I... Read More

You can't win your league during the draft, but you can lose it. Therefore, your primary goal should be to walk out of the draft with a realistic shot to win the league. You'll need a few unexpected things to go right for you, but the late rounds and waiver wire are the places to... Read More

Previously, we looked at Barrels, a stat combining exit velocity and launch angle to measure how often a batter makes quality hard contact. As much as batters want to hit a Barrel every time, pitchers want to avoid them at all costs. Yet there is some evidence that pitchers do not have the same influence... Read More

Many fantasy owners avoid players such as Billy Hamilton because his lopsided production puts you at a disadvantage in four out of five categories. The obvious solution is to roster balanced players who contribute in all of the categories, but players who can realistically do that are often expensive. Heck, Alex Bregman is commanding a... Read More

Spin rate has become one of the most recognizable Statcast metrics, with supporters of a given pitcher highlighting his spin rates to make their case. Unfortunately, the baseball world has done a lousy job conveying what spin rate really means. The result has been a ton of owners who know that spin rate exists, but... Read More

This column usually places a strong emphasis on regression, or why you shouldn't expect last year's production from a given player. Sometimes a player breaks out in a sustainable manner, however, making them a good investment even if you need to pay a premium based on the previous year's performance. Robbie Ray provides an excellent... Read More

One of the most fundamental questions in fantasy sports is if a player's current performance is sustainable. More than any other sport, baseball has a slew of statistical measures that can be dissected numerous ways to analyze player performance. Pitch Info is a publicly available pitch tracking system that provides a lot of different data... Read More

Some fantasy owners prioritize upside over everything else in their draft. Upside wins leagues! Upside makes your team more exciting to follow! Upside encourages you to draft Byron Buxton and hold onto him until his lack of production has doomed you to the second division of your league! Upside doesn't win leagues, profit potential does.... Read More

The league average batted ball distribution in 2017 was 20.3% liners, 44.2% grounders and 35.5% flies. We have previously seen how pitchers may specialize in either grounders or fly balls. Fly ball pitchers have a BABIP advantage over their ground ball-inducing counterparts, since fly balls (.130 BABIP in 2017) consistently have lower BABIPs than worm... Read More

Sometimes, you look at fantasy baseball ADP data and ask yourself, "why?" A deeper dive might reveal that your opinion on a given player has become outdated, or maybe you can see an argument that fails to convince you but might move the needle for somebody else. In either case, the price is justifiable. However,... Read More

Our friends at FantasyPros have added ESPN and CBS to their composite ADP rankings, drawing from a total of six sources (those two plus Yahoo!, Fantrax, NFBC, and RT Sports). The vast majority of you probably use at least one of those services, making the compiled ADP data a fairly reliable predictor of what might... Read More

As promised, it's time to take a closer look at the players Tampa Bay brought in to replace those that the team shipped out of town. C.J. Cron has been buried behind uninspiring fantasy options such as Albert Pujols in recent years, but his underlying power metrics suggest a 30-HR campaign if given regular PAs.... Read More

If you have ever selected a streamable pitcher based on home park or benched an otherwise must-start arm at Coors Field, you already know how much a stadium can impact a player's bottom line. Ballpark Factors quantify the influence each stadium has, allowing you to make the most of your fantasy team's real life schedule.... Read More

Traditionally, the Tampa Bay Rays operate in relative obscurity. That has changed this offseason, as trading away Evan Longoria, Jake Odorizzi, Corey Dickerson, and Steven Souza Jr. has led to allegations of "tanking" comparable to the Miami Marlins. The news that Brent Honeywell may require Tommy John surgery certainly doesn't help either. Despite appearances, the... Read More

While FIP is a useful tool to predict a pitcher's future ERA performance, fantasy owners should remember that ERA, not FIP, is what really matters in most formats. This means that we are interested in the "luck" that separates the two statistics. While some of this luck is unpredictable, we can and should predict some... Read More

Major League GMs are making up for lost time, as the moves have been fast and furious over the past few days. The Arizona Diamondbacks completely remodeled their outfield by signing free agent Jarrod Dyson and trading for Steven Souza Jr. Dyson is discussed below, and Souza's fantasy prospects will be considered in a future... Read More

It took the better part of four months, but baseball's offseason is finally starting! Eric Hosmer signed a massive contract to vacation play baseball in San Diego, while Jake Odorizzi was traded to the Minnesota Twins for a ham sandwich and a few extra baseballs. One of these players is capable of turning a substantial... Read More

The first advanced pitching stat most fantasy owners encounter is FIP. FIP stands for Fielding Independent Pitching, and attempts to measure a pitcher's actual skill instead of the effects of luck or his supporting cast. According to the DIPS theory that the metric is based upon, pitchers control only Ks, BBs (and HBP) and home... Read More

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