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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 364 articles so far, you can find them below.


Champ or Chump: Josh Rojas and Aristides Aquino

While the top prospects likely to debut in 2019 have largely dried up, players coming up from the minors are probably still the best way to add a new dimension to your roster. The Arizona Diamondbacks have summoned Josh Rojas from the minors to play a utility role, and he has a chance to be... Read More

6 days ago

Champ or Chump: Trent Grisham and Anthony Santander

With NFL training camps getting started, it can be easy to abandon an underperforming fantasy baseball roster and start looking toward different sports. Your rivals might also fall into this trap, giving you an opportunity to charge up the standings and salvage your fantasy baseball season. Owners who stopped paying attention are unlikely to have... Read More

2 weeks ago

Champ or Chump: Bo Bichette and Yasiel Puig

The Trade Deadline has come and gone, leaving chaos in its wake. The Mets continue to prove why player agents should not be general managers, as Marcus Stroman's 2.96 ERA looks primed for regression (4.06 xFIP) and he never gets strikeouts (19.3 K% this season). While the Blue Jays appear to be on the rise... Read More

3 weeks ago

Champ or Chump: Tyler O'Neill and Ramon Laureano

This time of year, a lot of fantasy analysis is a simple reminder to look at your standings page. Trading Max Scherzer for Whit Merrifield and Mallex Smith is a terrible idea in terms of overall value, but if you stand to gain a lot of points in SB it could make sense for you.... Read More

4 weeks ago

Champ or Chump: Lourdes Gurriel Jr. and Lorenzo Cain

The trade deadline is rapidly approaching, both for real MLB clubs and most fantasy rosters. At this point, it can be a good idea to take a deep breath and assess what you currently have on your roster and what you might need to pursue your goals. Part of this process is evaluating whether the... Read More

1 month ago


Champ or Chump: David Dahl and Vladimir Guerrero Jr.

With most of the All-Star festivities in the books, it's time to get back to managing our virtual fantasy baseball teams. While some owners may be starting to tune out, that only means that you can leverage their lack of focus to your own benefit. For example, maybe you can get a haul for "All-Star"... Read More

1 month ago

Champ or Chump: Brendan McKay

Major League Baseball has nearly a century and a half of games in the book, but we still see new things on a fairly regular basis. Shohei Ohtani's ability to both hit and pitch at an MLB standard is among the most amazing things that this author has ever seen, and Tampa Bay Rays prospect... Read More

2 months ago

Champ or Chump: Bobby Bradley and Jordan Yamamoto

Last week, we looked at a couple of players who are likely to be on first division fantasy teams. This week, we're taking a closer look at players likely to appear toward the bottom of your league's standings. Bobby Bradley is a former third-round draft pick summoned by the Cleveland Indians in an effort to... Read More

2 months ago

Champ or Chump: Max Kepler and Josh Bell

If you're in the top third or so of your league's standings, you've probably had more than a couple sleeper picks work out well. Good for you! Of course, sorting through all of those 2019 breakouts represents something of a first-world problem: who's for real, and who's extended hot streak is about to end in... Read More

2 months ago

Champ or Chump: Dallas Keuchel and Yordan Alvarez

If you've been following baseball news at all, you probably know that free agents Dallas Keuchel and Craig Kimbrel have finally signed with teams (the Braves and Cubs, respectively). You may have read a variety of conspiracy theories about how MLB owners were "cheap" or otherwise unscrupulous in dealing with each pitcher. In truth, teams... Read More

2 months ago


Champ or Chump: Zach Plesac and Mallex Smith

The calendar has officially flipped to June, which means that your league's standings page now contains useful information. No, it's not time to give up on your sixth-place team. Instead, it's time to pinpoint your unique areas of need and then make trade proposals and waiver wire acquisitions accordingly. For example, maybe the league-wide dearth... Read More

3 months ago

Champ or Chump: Bryan Reynolds and Cavan Biggio

Prospects continue to be called up faster than we can look at them, so we have two more on the docket this week. Bryan Reynolds was a second-round pick by the San Francisco Giants in 2016, but nobody seems to have noticed him raking for the Pirates. Cavan Biggio has big league bloodlines, and his... Read More

3 months ago

Champ or Chump: Brendan Rodgers and Austin Riley

The top prospects have been getting called up quickly of late, giving us plenty of options who warrant a closer look. Let's go with 22-year-old kids who took a big step forward at Triple-A this season, are infielders technically playing out of position at the big league level, and were drafted in 2015. Those criteria... Read More

3 months ago

Champ or Chump: Keston Hiura and Jose Ramirez

The Brewers have summoned top prospect Keston Hiura to replace the injured (and struggling) Travis Shaw on their roster, giving fantasy owners another hyped toy to play with. Unfortunately, it appears as though the excitement surrounding the 22-year-old's big league debut far outpaces his realistic output, potentially driving many owners to waste FAAB or waiver... Read More

3 months ago

Champ or Chump: Spencer Turnbull and Joey Votto

If April is the month of churning through sleeper candidates to figure out who can stick on your roster, May is the month where you start to look at disappointing performers to see if it's a simple slump or something more. There are still plenty of intriguing players on most waiver wires, but the fact... Read More

3 months ago


Champ or Chump: Michael Chavis and Mike Soroka

The topic of the day is former first-round picks with the first name "Michael" currently owned in approximately 50% of fantasy leagues. In truth, the fact that both of the players discussed below fit all of those criteria is nothing more than happy circumstance, but both players deserve more fantasy attention than they're currently getting.... Read More

4 months ago

Champ or Chump - Hunter Dozier and Christian Walker

Every season seems to have a couple of players emerge from nowhere to post fantasy-relevant lines in April. Most of them fade back into the abyss, but a few of them stick around to produce value for the entire season and beyond. In 2019, Hunter Dozier and Christian Walker are surely among the names who... Read More

4 months ago

Champ or Chump - Fernando Tatis Jr. and Yoan Moncada

It can be incredibly easy to overreact to your team's performance thus far, but remember that it is still very early. You shouldn't even be thinking about dropping big names like Aaron Nola or Mookie Betts, nor should you count on Daniel Vogelbach or Jay Bruce continuing their home run binge. That said, you don't... Read More

4 months ago

Champ or Chump - Corbin Burnes and Trent Thornton

By this point of the season, you probably have some injuries, under-performances, or squandered sleeper picks cluttering your roster. You're also probably intrigued by a few potential breakouts on the waiver wire. Who should you keep moving forward, and who should you pick up with any newfound roster spots? This column seeks to answer that... Read More

4 months ago

Using Sabermetrics For Fantasy Baseball Part 16 - Interpreting Minor League Stats

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

5 months ago


Using Sabermetrics For Fantasy Baseball Part 15 - Ballpark Factors

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. Today,... Read More

5 months ago

Using Sabermetrics for Fantasy Baseball Part 14 - Statcast Expected Stats

Statcast is a valuable tool for fantasy analysis, and it can be easy to look at a stat called "Expected Batting Average" and blindly use it as your projection moving forward. Of course, proper use of these metrics is a little bit more nuanced than that. Our series on how to make sabermetrics more accessible... Read More

5 months ago

Rick Lucks' Bold Predictions for 2019

Our series of Bold Predictions continue with my piece. I've had success with this exercise in the past, but last year was easily my worst performance to date. That said, I am traditionally one of the boldest authors on this series, and I think you'll agree that the predictions below will at least let me... Read More

5 months ago

ADP Champ or Chump - Jackie Bradley Jr. and Juan Soto

You've probably heard people say that position scarcity is dead, as there is plenty of talent available at every offensive position save catcher and all catchers are about the same level of blech. This is true in standard 12-team leagues and some deeper formats, but it's not the case in the deepest leagues (20+ teams)... Read More

5 months ago

Using Sabermetrics for Fantasy Baseball Part 13 - Statcast for Pitchers

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

5 months ago


ADP Champ or Chump - C.J. Cron and Robbie Ray

No matter how much you prepare for a draft, what you do in the heat of the moment can reveal who you like and who you don't. I recently completed two Rotoballer Challenge drafts (there's still time to sign up if you haven't yet) and decided that any player I took in both of them... Read More

5 months ago

Using Sabermetrics for Fantasy Baseball Part 12 - Spin Rate

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

5 months ago

Using Sabermetrics for Fantasy Baseball Part 11 - Pitch Info

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 in numerous ways to analyze player performance. Pitch Info is a publicly available pitch tracking system that provides a lot of different data... Read More

6 months ago

ADP Champ or Chump - Garrett Hampson and Rougned Odor

Traditionally, fantasy talent is evenly distributed between the keystone and shortstop positions, but shortstop looks considerably stronger heading into 2019. As such, you should probably plan to draft at least two SS-eligible players to cover your SS and MI slots. That said, you still need at least one second baseman to fill out your roster.... Read More

6 months ago

Using Sabermetrics for Fantasy Baseball Part 10 - Pitcher Batted Ball Distribution

The league average batted ball distribution in 2018 was 21.5% liners, 43.2% grounders and 35.4% 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 (.117 BABIP in 2018) consistently have lower BABIPs than worm... Read More

6 months ago


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