SABRanalytics: Fantasy Baseball panel

Here are some highlights from the Fantasy Baseball panel on Friday, March 16 at the SABR Analytics Conference, which featured Derek Carty, Fantasy Manager at Baseball Prospectus; Craig Glaser, an Application Developer at Bloomberg Sports; and Eno Sarris, a writer for FanGraphs; with moderator Cory Schwartz, Vice President of Statistics for

Audio: Listen to the Fantasy Baseball panel in its entirety here

On how fantasy players and front offices evaluate players

  • Carty: “There’s really a lot of overlap. We’re all looking at the same thing: How is a player going to perform in the future and how do we value that contribution? I think a lot of our core concepts are similar between fantasy players and how front offices make decisions.”
  • Glaser: “As you’re evaluating, anything that’s applicable to the front office is also applicable to fantasy players. … One of the most influential things that sabermetrics has done, in my opinion, is attach a value to each outcome, so you can rank players more accurately according to each outcome. … In a way, we’re borrowing a lot of methods that sabermetrics has given front offices but we’re using it in way more varied environments.”

On the popularity of traditional 5×5 leagues when other metrics are available

  • Sarris: “It is interesting that we (still) play with these categories, especially RBI. Stolen bases, we’ve now sort of renegotiated the value of the stolen base, whereas in fantasy leagues it’s still a great outcome. … But when you play the games, someone wins. And you have to think about (how to get to) that outcome just as much as teams do.”

On the quality of analysis in fantasy baseball

  • Glaser: “There’s such a big pool of fantasy players compared to the pool of people who work for teams that to expect — with that big of a pool, that there wouldn’t be people who are doing things that teams aren’t doing is kind of silly. They may not have access to the same quality of data, but they can generate their own ideas and … bring new ideas to the table.”

For more coverage of the SABR Analytics Conference, visit

Originally published: March 26, 2012. Last Updated: March 26, 2012.