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CBS H2H Points League Primer for Fantasy Baseball Drafts

Our very own Nicklaus Gaut already told you: "ESPN now has point rankings that more accurately reflect how players perform under their standard point scoring system. And not just rankings but dollar values too!" As he's often said, us points-league players need the proper content from different platforms to align with their particular systems. It should not be that hard, come on!

Because the more accurate the points content, the more fun people will actually have playing fantasy baseball... the more fun people have playing, the more they will play and the more people they'll convince to play along with them. The more people that play fantasy, the more they will love baseball. Life's a cycle.

So here I am, taking Nick's baton and advancing toward new horizons. And those horizons, today, go by the name of CBS. In the fantastic world of CBS Points Baseball, you must know three very important things: Mondesis should have some value, Gallos could have it too, Wheelers might tank your team. That's it. Thank me later.

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CBS H2H Points Standard League Overview

League Size: 10-Team leagues are the oft-used format in the CBS platform

Hitting Roster: C, 1B, 2B, 3B, SS, OF, OF, OF, UT -- Max. 6 players drafted per position except 8 labeled OF

Pitching Roster: SP, SP, SP, SP, SP, RP, RP -- Max. 10 SP and 7 RP on the roster

Standard Scoring:

Hitter Event Points Pitcher Event Points
AB 0 IP 3
H 0 W 7
1B 1 L -5
2B 2 SV 7
3B 3 K 0.5
HR 4 ER -1
R 1 HA -1
RBI 1 BB -1
SB 2 QS 3
CS -1
K -0.5
BB 1
HBP 1

Hitter Scoring Notes

  • There is a full (-1) point penalty for getting caught stealing a base. No other platform (with the exception of Fangraphs' Ottoneau) takes this category into account, so watch out for it in CBS. At the end of the day, not many players (14 in the latest ATC projections as I'm writing this) project to more than five CS over the full season, but on borderline-viable players such as Adalberto Mondesi/Starling Marte, this CS-hit would take some value off them.
  • CBS awards two points for every Stolen Base compared to one in other non-fractional (Yahoo, Fangraphs) platforms. This fixes the problem with the point above, softening the blow and pretty much rendering it moot all things considered. Welcome back, Mondesi! Value quick and speedy guys more in CBS than you'd do in platforms such as ESPN and NFBC.
  • Strikeouts come with a negative -0.5 points per SO. CBS and ESPN (-1) are the only platforms knocking players because of this. The consensus in points leagues is to fade high-K% players while chasing high-BB% hitters, so it makes even more sense to apply that strategy in both ESPN and CBS formats.
  • A tiny peripheral bonus in CBS: the platform awards a full point for getting Hit By Pitch. Nothing incredibly remarkable, but still a nice wrinkle knowing studies have proved HBP to be player-driven by their skill sets. I wouldn't advise relying on HBP a lot because of its capped ceiling, but just check it in case you can get an edge to limit the negative impact of other cats such as CS or SO.

If anything is important in point leagues, well, that's not the name of the player but rather his game and how it translates to the scoring system in place. Speedsters in a format that just awards one point per base stolen? Not great. Same player on a 2+ point-per-steal? Fantastic value. And so on.

That is why in CBS particularly, the likes of Adalberto Mondesi and other true speedsters are ranked a bit higher by ATC projections (translating stats to fantasy points, that is). The top-36 CBS players have an average projection of 10.3 SB. In other platforms such as ESPN, that average goes down to a lower 8.6, almost two full steals below the former group.

Don't worry that much about the negative impact of being Caught Stealing (-1). More steals mean more chances of getting caught, but CS figures are heavily capped and won't go past seven or eight CS over the year even for the likes of heavy stealers such as Mondesi and Trea Turner.

Pitcher Scoring Notes

  • Wins (+7) trump Losses (-5) in absolute value by two full points, which is fantastic and tells you all you need to know about how to approach pitch drafting. Even if you get someone with a slightly higher L projection, you can probably afford that as a couple of wins would make up for the difference in the standings.
  • Same value for W and SV, so we're chasing SP with large workload projections more often than not.
  • CBS punishes a ton of cats, but it's not the harshest at it. You're going to endure a full point (-1) penalty on all ER, HA, and BB. That, though, compares to a heavier penalty for every ER in ESPN (-2) and all three categories in Yahoo (-3, -1.3, -1.3 respectively). If you don't want to deal with any of this negative stuff, then you should rush to Fantrax where ER is the only stat getting penalized.
  • CBS and Fantrax are the only two platforms giving points per Quality Starts (+3). In case you don't know, QS is based more on pitchers' performance than just the whole baseball team putting on an effort (which is something Ws depend on heavily). A QS means a pitcher got to pitch at least six innings with no more than three earned runs. No goodies for RP here, folks, just in case the name of the stat alone didn't make it obvious.
  • Now, for data: 213 pitchers got at least one QS last year. The average tally was 7.5 QS per player, ranging from 27 (most) to 1 (fewest). That's no joke, considering the +3 bonus (in the case of Walker Buehler, the 27 QS gave him a monster 81 extra FP over the year). QS correlates best with K, W, HA, BB, and around 81% of wins went for QS last year.

 

Hitting Strategy for CBS H2H Point Leagues

It's all about hunting bargains by taking advantage of your competition improperly valuing players. In CBS, there might be folks out there putting an unreasonable weight on the CS penalty with it being larger (-1 per) than that of K (-0.5 per). Don't fall for that because it's a good old trap. Nobody is getting caught more than 10 times, while tons of guys are going to K up to 150+ times over the year, and that means a negative-75 points penalty--or worse.

Also, don't forget those tasty Stolen Bases! We're not talking Yahoo-level bargains (4.2 per SB in Yahoo leagues) but the +2 per SB in CBS are good enough to bump speedsters up a bit in CBS leagues.

Let's take a look at some potential bargains and busts for CBS considering how the platform is structured in terms of points awarded and subtracted at each category, so things get a bit easier to understand.

 

Hitters Boosted and Penalized in CBS H2H Point Leagues

CBS Boosted Hitters

Adalberto Mondesi, KC, 3B

I told you above. Mondesi might be good for those in roto leagues and such, but he's often an afterthought in points formats. Not quite the case in CBS, though, mostly because of the +2 FP bonus for every stolen base. Of course, Mondesi is projected to 42 on the latest run of ATC numbers, so that's 84 fantasy points right off the bat. The CS projection of eight, though the highest in the league, shouldn't keep you from snatching that bag-stealing value: at the end of the day, the two stats combined would yield north of 75 fantasy points on pure baserunning. Not the greatest BB/K ratio but he makes up for it with all of the above.

Myles Straw, CLE, OF

Breakout campaign for Myles Straw in 2021 when he went on to finish as a top-100 player for the first time in his career. Of course, it was his first full-time season, but the 0.55 BB/K (10.5% walk rate, 19% strikeout rate) was pleasurable enough to roster. Straw has the highest boost among top-150 in ADP hitters in CBS compared to other platforms with a projected 128th-best season compared to a borderline 150 in all formats averaged. Gotta take advantage of the 31 SB and 0.53 BB/K ratio Straw is projected to log in his second real season in the Guardians outfield.

Alex Bregman, 3B, HOU

While not the biggest gainer among hitters in CBS final rankings (based on ATC projections) compared to other platforms, Bregman is still nine OVR positions better in CBS than other places. That's mostly because of his great 77-BB, 79-K projection over 607 PA. The thing is, Bregman won't give you tons of SB (two) but he won't get penalized for getting caught either (one), nullifying any possible negative in his line. The .367 OBP and .839 OPS help his case too, as it's hella hard for Bregman not to reach base almost four every 10 times he steps up to the plate.

CBS Penalized Hitters

Eloy Jimenez, OF, CHW

Jimenez is surely coming off his best season in terms of limiting strikeouts (24.7%) while walking at a higher clip (6.9%) but the truth is that those numbers still suck. Plain and simple. The BABIP went below .300 for him for the first time in his three-year career, but Jimenez was horrid on the BB/K front while not really mashing balls out of the building with 10 HRs (he had 14 homers in 2020 in virtually the same number of PA--231 last year). With zero stolen bases career-wise, a measly projection of one SB (I guess ATC is a  benevolent system), and another bad BB/K (currently at 37/142 for a stupid 0.26 ratio) season, things are not looking good for Jimenez's GMs in CBS.

Giancarlo Stanton, OF, NYY

CBS is definitely not where Stanton will post his best fantasy outings. If you are enamored of the fake Italoamerican, go play ball in Fantrax or NFBC. Stanton has gaudy projections, don't get it wrong: 134 H, 34 HR, and 63 BB are not a joke. The problem comes when looking at how all of Stanton's numbers score in this system, and that's when the flop happens. Gianno comes with a monster 161-K projection which will kill half of his upside because that'd mean he'd be starting the year with a -80 FP mountain to climb. Yes, that's only 20 HR worth and Stanton will murder that mark, but all things considered, you'd be drafting Rizzo (ADP 200+) at the prize of Giancarlo (ADP <100).

Salvador Perez, C, KCR

This is going to be controversial, but here we are. Remember I'm not highlighting straight busts, but just players who will get penalized a bit given the scoring system in place over CBS. Perez still projects to a top-60 overall finish in the platform among hitters, which is fantastic, but has a five-position hit in CBS projected rankings. Considering he won't give you any steals, not a lot of walks, but tons of strikeouts, it all makes sense and he won't benefit from how the scoring is organized here. All of that and a more than expected regressing campaign after a career year last season surely hurt Salvy's upside. Perez's projected 25 BB rank as the lowest mark among hitters losing value in CBS compared to other platforms.

 

Pitching Strategy for CBS H2H Point Leagues

First of all, keep in mind that CBS will force you into starting a couple of RP no matter what. You don't want to leave the top-dogs escaping your lineup, though you should also keep in mind that with a measly +0.5 bonus per strikeout, RP pitchers have a depressed value overall, plus come without the QS bonus potential that SP will give you over the full season. In other words: get a bunch of reliable/top-notch SP, then move onto your relieving corps because nobody is going to take his RP1 in the first three rounds and you'd look like a fool.

So, getting back to the whole QS thing, you gotta chase those incredibly high bonus points. If you read the text in the sections above, you already know about it. Per ATC projections, nobody is expected to break the 20-QS barrier next season. That said, though, the difference between two comparable players, one getting the QS and the other not, can be substantial. Again, we're talking +3 fantasy points per QS, and that can be akin to a make-it-or-break-it move in CBS fantasy leagues.

The only two viable RP to chase early in CBS drafts might be Josh Hader and Liam Hendricks. Outside of them, though, there is a rather large gap in both projected fantasy points and ADP from the trio of Raisel Iglesias (fade), Ryan Pressly (consider), and Will Smith (chase). I'd go 4-to-1 in terms of selecting SP and RP through the draft and I don't think I'd either be 1) overpaying for RP or 2) missing on good/unreplaceable RP talent.

Let's take a look at some potential bargains and busts for CBS considering how the platform is structured in terms of points awarded and subtracted at each category, so things get a bit easier to understand.

 

Pitchers Boosted and Penalized in CBS H2H Point Leagues

CBS Boosted Pitchers

Adam Wainwright, SP, STL

Our boy Adam projects to the highest boost in CBS formats compared to the rest of the platforms, going from an average top-55 finish to a way higher top-40 one in CBS (fantasy numbers calculated from ATC projections as always). That's because Wainwright is a borderline top-tier SP with projections of 11 W, 14 QS, and 169 IP over 28 games. The K/9 of 7.2 sucks... but it's not that we must get a bulky number on that front when it comes to CBS games. The walks aren't limited at elite levels but are good enough at 2.6 BB/9. The best thing about Adam, I already mentioned: 14 QS for a bonus 42 fantasy points are no joke and worth a lot--in fact, Wainwright is the cheapest SP projected to 14+ QS in the last run of ATC.

Marcus Stroman, SP, CHC

Stroman is pretty much a carbon copy of Wainwright. Both have eerily similar projections all across the board but seems to be a booster of their talents given 1) they have low strikeout rates but CBS doesn't give much of a damn about that, 2) they suppress walks (2.6 BB/9), and they are Quality Start machines (14 each). Stroman didn't play in 2020 but came back roaring last season for a 10-13 record with 179 IP under his belly for a top-45 fantasy finish. CBS has him at a borderline top-50 finish next year.

CBS Penalized Pitchers

Craig Kimbrel, RP, CHW

With CBS handing the same FP for both Wins and Saves, and with strikeouts worth just 0.5 FP a pop, relievers are clearly the most heavily-hit type of pitcher in the platform unless they steadily put up shutdown SV with impeccable efficiency on the K/BB front. That's why among pitchers with an ADP <200, the top-14 most-penalized pitchers are relievers--in fact, 19 of 26 are at the top of that leaderboard. Yikes.

Craig Kimbrel is knocked down 20 overall positions in the projections for the 2022 season while having the most expensive ADP (151) among pitchers with such a heavy penalty in the platform. Nothing to really hate from his line, though, as he still boasts projections to 92 Ks, only 27 BB, a phenomenal 13.6 K/9, and only a little worrying 4.0 BB/9. But with a low SV projection of 11 and the suppressed value of strikeouts, he's just not worth the big paycheck in CBS.

Shane Baz, SP, TBR

Baz is a clear-cut example of what CBS penalizes (or at least doesn't boost) the most. Baz has good across-the-board projections with 133 K, only 36 BB (3.70 K/BB), rates of 10.0 K/9 and 2.7 BB/9, and a good-not-great 3.63 ERA. The problem is that the 120 IP are sort of low and even though Baz projects to start 23 games next year, he only qualifies for a low 8-6 record with six QS. That's a ton of fantasy points you're surrendering because of the measly projection on the QS front compared to other studs at the position. Same player, but only with 12 Ws and 11 QS, and we're talking about a top-70 pitcher instead of a borderline top-100 overall option.



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