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Custom Draft Rankings for Fantasy Baseball Leagues in 2023

Our fantasy baseball Custom Rankings Service has been expanded for 2023 and now accommodates Points Leagues, Head-To-Head Leagues, Roto Leagues and Category Leagues. Your leagues have their own custom rules and scoring settings. Let us know those details, and we'll generate custom rankings and projections for your specific settings, all powered by ATC Projections.

Playing fantasy baseball can seem overwhelming sometimes, as there are myriad ways to play and every format requires a different way to best evaluate player values and guide your strategies. Points or Roto? Overall or Head-to-Head? If it's points, what are the scoring rules? If it's roto, what are the categories? Each different answer can bring seismic swings to how you should be drafting. And the above is saying nothing about all of the different roster limits each league may use. Two leagues can have the exact same format but if one is on Yahoo (no swing positions, three outfielders, and two UT) and one is on Fantax (MI and CI, five outfielders, and one UT), not only will individual values be massively different on draft day but so will the quality of the waiver wire during the season.

Even though small and large differences in format can turn relative player values on their heads, fantasy managers are often left fumbling to figure out those value swings on their own, taking one-size-fits-all content and trying to shoehorn it into their specific league. Not only can this lead to being behind the eight-ball before the season begins but the disconnect between perceived and actual value can turn fantasy baseball into a very frustrating experience.

Those dark days are past - because fantasy baseball is supposed to be fun, not frustrating, and we have the answers for getting you there. The RotoBaller Custom Rankings Service is here for both Points Leagues (H2H or Overall) and Roto Leagues (Classic or H2H) to help you step out of the dark and into the warm light of setting your team up for success.

For a more in-depth review of our custom rankings, check out our Custom Rankings User Guide. An MLB premium subscription is required to use this service. 


The Process: The RotoBaller Team Goes to Work For You

The easy part is getting your league information to our experts, who will then review all the parameters in detail before getting started on the assembly process. You just have to fill out a simple questionnaire about your league settings and then the RotoBaller team gets to work on constructing the perfect set of rankings for your draft, regardless of format.

The process is simple for the user because our experts do all of the hard work to provide a tailored set of rankings designed exactly for your league specifications.

There are just three simple steps to fantasy baseball dominance:

  • Step 1: Fill out our questionnaire  in 1 minute with your league settings (for Points or Roto)
  • Step 2: 🤷‍♂️
  • Step 3: Profit

Once we have your information, our magical point elves go to work, using all of your provided league information to calculate total values and arrange them in a way that is easy for you to digest - and easier for you to dominate the competition.

That's all it takes because within 48 hours you'll have custom ranks for your specific league that are formatted for ease of use and delivered right to your inbox, including the projected value in dollars and points, the latest ATC projections, as well as a few bells and whistles for getting the most of the information.

Whether you're playing points:

Or Roto:

With our rankings in your hands, you'll never again go into a draft worrying about your preparedness.


Behind the Scenes: The Making of Your Custom Rankings

We know you may have (understandable!) trust issues, so as the man behind the curtain, allow me to pull it back some and go behind the scenes of the RotoBaller Custom Rankings Factory so you see some of what goes into the actual, thorough process of creating a set of rankings just for you.

Everything starts with the projections and the RotoBaller Rankings machine only runs on premium fuel. This is why our custom ranks in 2023 are again powered by the award-winning ATC projections from RotoBaller's own Ariel Cohen.

Since debuting, Ariel's "Average Total Cost" projections are one of the industry's best, year in and year out. And I personally believe that the way they are produced makes them particularly suited for the advantages we're trying to press with the custom ranks. ATC is an aggregated projection system that uses different weighted averages from other projection systems (Steamer, The BATx, etc), setting the weights according to historical performances from the systems used. In other words, it's a "smart" average of the systems, accounting for which system does best projecting each individual statistic, and weighting the average accordingly.

Other systems might beat ATC in a given year but I'm a firm believer that Ariel's method is so sound that it's (almost necessarily) always going to be one of the best available. Or, in fantasy terms, ATC's floor is incredibly high. Putting projection systems aside, just the act of turning projected stats into dollar-based values that account for your league's particular rosters and positional replacement levels is enough to give you a monster advantage in your valuations compared to someone doing otherwise. I don't care what projection system you use and it can't be overstated; using properly calculated dollar values is an overwhelming difference. Full stop.

With that big of an advantage already, we don't want any of it to get siphoned away because another projection system (say, BAT X, for example) has an off year, for whatever reason. Don't take that as a knock against Derek Carty; his projections are excellent and continue to improve yearly - which is exactly why ATC incorporates them! But the "smart-average" underpinnings of ATC will just generally make it really, really hard to have a no-good, rotten year of projections. And this high-floor profile makes it the perfect pairing for the hammer of our valuation system.


Custom Fantasy Baseball Draft Rankings - Points Leagues

The greatest trick rotisserie baseball ever played was convincing the world that point players don't exist. Sounds melodramatic but an overwhelming majority of the quality fantasy baseball content available is geared towards classic roto leagues even though the share of people that play H2H points on ESPN, Yahoo, CBS, and Fantrax is large and continues to grow. When (or if) you do find points content, the chances it will accurately reflect the myriad of scoring options that your league might have and give actionable advice for your specific league settings are slim to none.

No longer, friends. You're safe now. I know you're hesitant; you've been hurt so many times before – so have I. But the days of relying on basic cheat sheets and rankings that don't align with your league's settings are over. To get the biggest advantage in your H2H Points league, you need values precisely machined to your exact settings. Aaron Judge doesn't just buy his bat off the rack, does he? No, he gets specialty equipment made just for him, with the specifications that will best set him up for success – and so should you. Think of these custom point ranks in the same way, getting draft prep designed just for you, with values that most accurately reflect the reality of your system.

The more precise you are in points, the better set up for success you'll be. And precision is what RotoBaller is offering.

This service is free for RotoBaller Premium Season Pass subscribers (enter promo code NOTBURT at checkout for an additional discount).


Turning Points Into PAR, Spinning PAR Into Gold

Championship gold, that is. With ATC projections in hand, it's time to turn all of those stats into the dollar values that will give you the most comprehensive understanding of how each individual is projected to perform in 2023.

ATC projections are first converted into projected points using the specific score settings from your league - but how many points a player will score is only half the story. We also need to know how valuable those points are compared to the rest of the player pool. This is accomplished by finding the player's "points above replacement," or PAR, which is calculated by using your league's size and roster limits to determine which players at each position are projected to be starter-worthy (above-replacement) or waiver-wire fodder (below-replacement). And with PAR in hand, we can then calculate the dollar values that put a player's projected worth into a more familiar form.

To better picture how this concept works, let's imagine a 12-team league in which each team starts two outfielders and two infielders, with no bench. Let's say that under this league's scoring system, both Ronald Acuna Jr. and Trea Turner are projected to score 500 points, which is tied for first in the league.

So, who is more valuable?*

*Sidebar:  Just by asking this question, you're likely already way ahead of many of your opponents, most of whom will be using total points as their primary source of valuation. This edge cannot be understated.

To answer that question, we need more than the projected points of Acuna Jr. and Turner, we also need to know how the quality of the rest of the player pool at their respective positions. In our hypothetical league, there are 24 "starting" outfielders (12 teams x 2 OF) and 24 "starting" infielders (12 teams x 2 IF). This means that the 25th-highest scoring outfielder and infielder will function as each position's "replacement-level player" - that is, the best of those players who aren't good enough to be a starter. Continuing the example, let's say that Seth Brown and Jeremy Pena are our replacement players, with Brown being projected for 300 points and Pena for 100 points.

Now we can easily calculate PAR and compare. Acuna Jr. would have a 200 PAR (his 500 points - 300 points of Brown), while Turner would have a 400 PAR (his 500 points - 100 points of Pena). With this extremely large discrepancy in PAR, Trea Turner would be an easy first choice.

The above hypothetical is very limited but these same concepts are expanded and will be applied to your particular league settings, with PAR being calculated for each individual player according to their position (or in case of multiple eligibilities, using their most valuable fantasy position according to the hierarchy of C > 2B > OF > 3B > 1B > SS). And once you have everyone's PAR scores, players can best be evaluated for all your fantasy needs.

But while PAR tells you how valuable a player is compared to his peers, it doesn't do so in a very user-friendly manner. Because PAR are just points and it's kind of hard to instinctively grasp the relative worth of a group of players in specific scoring environments when using just point totals. So, we need one final step. We'll skip the mathematical nitty-gritty but we put things on a more approachable scale, converting PAR into a dollar value structure that will feel more intuitive - once again use your specific league settings to calculate accurate values.

With points, PARs, and dollars calculated, we now have everything needed to build out your custom ranks and help you dominate your poor, unsuspecting league in 2023, regardless of size or settings:


Custom Fantasy Baseball Draft Rankings - Roto Leagues

The process is similar to what was described above but obviously also totally different, as there are no points, and without points, there is not PAR to turn into the dollar values that will drive your rankings. But that's okay! Instead of PAR we'll be using an adjusted z-score methodology to turn all of a player's different categorical into one simple number - I suppose we can call this RAR (roto above replacement) but let's workshop it later.

This "RAR" is (again, skipping the mathematical grits and nits) the end result of taking a player's total roto line and breaking it down into number that represents how their HR or Runs (and every other category) compares to all of the other players in the pool. After the mathematical dust is settled, each player has their RAR score from each category combined into their total RAR. And RAR then works similarly to how PAR did with points, being converted into a dollar value that accounts for positional and roster settings adjustments.

The end result is the same, though. A custom set of easy-to-use rankings that breakdown exactly how good players are projected to perform in your specific league. For example, the values in the below example might seem off but that's what happens when rankings are league-specific; in this case, a Saves+Holds format. While the competition is making rough "ballpark" adjustments for non-closing RPs, you'll know exactly how valuable they can be:


Arrival Day

After your custom rankings are meticulously created and reviewed, they will arrive in your inbox within 48 hours. Let's take a quick look at some of what you will get.

Whether for points or roto formats, each custom rankings set comes included with individual tabs for each position, as well as overall tabs for all hitters and pitchers. Along with the ATC projections in a number of categories, each tab also includes the relative values in dollars and/or points.

Also included for point leagues are the scoring rates (pts per PA/IP). These are most useful when comparing hitter to hitter, starter to starter, and reliever to reliever. They are the best way of judging a player's system scoring profile; that is, how a player's projected skill set fits into your given scoring system. Scoring rates can help you find sleepers and values but also help you avoid landmines. Like knowing when there is a large gap between the public's perception of a popular player and how that player performs under your scoring system.

Avoiding big misses is obviously important in any format, and if it were easy, everyone would do it. But point-based systems allow you to see when there are more direct (and predictable) lines to these value bombs, and with the right tools, you can more easily step around them. Luckily, your new custom ranks will give you those tools.

Playing in a league that punishes hitters for strikeouts? Or punishes a pitcher for earned runs but not hits and walks? These differences will show up in the different value estimators (dollar values, points scored, point scoring rates) and allow you to gracefully step over any tripwires by eschewing names that might be more popular in favor of the players that perform best in your specific league.

With this sample league's settings, would it be helpful to know that Adolis Garcia and Luis Robert are both being drafted as top 40 hitters but are projected by ATC to be in the #75 to #85 range? I'd say so!

Remember, many of your opponents will have a hard time separating a player's actual point value from the general reputation that they currently carry in the roto content community. This is something to be leveraged. Over and over and over again.

The lines to finding bargains and busts may not seem as direct in roto leagues compared to points but they certainly exist, with each category divergence from a "classic" 5x5 setup resulting in big-time changes that can't just be spitballed on the back of a napkin.

For just one illustration of how using slightly different categories can bring a whirlwind to actual values, let's compare a 12-team league with a classic 5x5 Roto setup for starting pitchers (W-SV-SO-ERA-WHIP):

To one that simply swaps out total strikeouts for K per 9 IP:

Notice anything? As you can see, some pitchers change just a negligible amount but others reap giant swings, whether for good or bad. But while others are guestimating those swings, you'll be dialed in on exactness, ready to exploit every edge. And the above examples are just for the top level of players, all of whom are, generally, really good players. But as you go deeper and deeper into more questionable skill profiles, the gaps in value under different formats become bigger and bigger. Bigger differences mean bigger edges and with our custom rankings, you'll be able to find them all.


The Extras

We've also included a few extra ways to help with your preparation. Your  customized rankings now come included with:

Draft Results: Each set of rankings includes a "Draft Results" tab where you can enter draft picks as they happen. Information from the tab will then populate every other sheet in your rankings set.

Keeper Results: Custom rankings also include a "Keeper Results" tab where you can enter any league keepers. Like with the draft results, the keeper information when then populate across your rankings.

What If?: These columns allow you to input new plate-appearance projections and see how it affects overall point totals. This may seem contradictory after preaching above that points must be turned into PAR in order to get accurate values. This is still very true! But turning this product into one which had the ability to recalculate dollar values would require turning it into a whole other animal and one that would be large, complicated, and CPU-intensive.

However, changing projected points is relatively easy and can still be useful, IF used properly. So, along with your custom ranks, you'll also receive an expanded version of this article that goes over how to best use "What If?" as well as some other information of note.

Mystic Secrets: Finally, the User Guide included with your custom ranks will also go over the mystic secrets involved with properly valuing pitchers in a points-based system. Okay, so they're not that mystic but what they will do is give you insight into the most overlooked part of player evaluations for H2H points, as well as other tips and tricks for getting the most out of your custom ranks when preparing to draft.


Get Your Custom Fantasy Baseball Rankings

Get your personal custom rankings for 2023 with this exclusive one-of-a-kind service for both Points Leagues and Category Leagues (H2H or Roto). You can sign up for the RotoBaller Fantasy Baseball Season Pass here, using promo code NOTBURT at checkout for an additional discount.

We know you've been long neglected, my fantasy-playing brethren, left to fend for yourself. You're given few tools and the ones that are offered are often the wrong ones, calibrated to doing jobs that don't always fit what will actually work in your league. But no more, I say, my friends...No more.

Trust the process. Break your league. Try not to be smug.

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