This coming week, I have the start of my first slow draft on a ProBoards site. With only 3 real football games left (the pro bowl is not real football, no blitzing my ass), it's time to start thinking about getting prepared for your Fantasy Baseball season.
The good news is that there are a host of places you can get rankings, and most of these have an algorithm that gives them statistical backing to their rankings. The projection world did take a huge hit when the proprietor of Baseballprojection.com Sean Smith got a job for an MLB Team. I don't know which team. No matter, we don't have them this year.
There are still some options, some free, some you have to pay. Here's some options for you:
FakeTeams: These rankings are put together by Ray Guilfoyle are part of the SB Nation (why not lead off with a site in the same group as BCB. It's called synergy, people!). I have a few issues, but it's a great way for position ranks. Only issues I have with it are there are no top 100-200 sheet to use, and not a lot of depth in the ranks (only 12 spots in each position, 24 outfielders, and 36 starters).
TheFantasyMan.com: Mike Chuchera took the same route most fantasy gurus take: He claimed himself a Fantasy Expert, and put out rankings and a website to make it so. His rankings are very comprehensive, and he has partaken in many "expert" leagues as well. He puts out THE top fantasy podcast in my opinion every week. It's a must listen for preparing for your drafts. Though very Yankee-centric, he is a fanatic of fantasy like myself, a kindred spirit.
FantasyRundown- This place, which I honestly discovered today, has TWO projection systems. I've previously heard of CAIRO, and there's one done by RotoChamp. The CAIRO is just positional, and RotoChamp has a top 300 ranking. Not only that, you can find ZiPS (Dave Symborski's), Bill James, CBSSports.com, FantasyBaseball365.com, and DeepLeague.com's.
FanGraphs Projections- Fangraphs has what the commoners think, as well as it will have ZiPS and Tom Tango's MARCEL in a full rankings. Each player page features Bill James projections. If you don't know about FanGraphs, 1) put down your computer, 2) go outside, 3) find a large stick, 4) hit yourself in the head, 5) repeat step 4. It is a daily must read.
TheHardballTimes Projections- THT has come out with (or is publicizing) a projection system put together by Brian Cartwright. According to this article on FanGraphs, it heavily favors catchers, but may be worthwhile.
BaseballProspectus' PECOTA- Yes, these cost a pretty penny, but hey you get Kevin Goldstein's Future Shock articles, so that's something... I am no longer a subscriber there, but I'm sure they have some great content. PECOTA did get me Jose Bautista last year, and Kelvim Escobar in his breakout year, so they do hit a lot, but Markakis did kill me last year.
Now I read Tom Tango's yearly projection comparison, and it seems to be that for the past two years, John Eric Hanson has dominated the competition. Unfortunately, I have had little success (in the past 15 minutes) on finding his projections called "SlapShot." They are rumored to be coming to FanGraphs, but who knows. If you find SlapShot rankings, let me know. I wouldn't mind checking them out.
If you know of any others, feel free to leave them in the comments.