If you’re getting ready to play fantasy baseball, ESPN has you covered. We have leaderboards, salary cap values, and cheat sheets for Rotisserie, Head-to-Head Categories, Head-to-Head Leagues, and Seasonal Points. But what if you play in a league with different settings than these most popular offers?
In this sabermetric era, it’s not uncommon to find a league that uses on-base percentage instead of batting average, quality starts in place of wins, or even includes up to 10 categories on either side of the ball. For any of these custom formats, there’s no easier way to create a set of ratings yourself than by using ESPN’s Fantasy Baseball Custom Values Generator.
Let’s illustrate, using the 6×6 rotisserie format I’ve talked about many times in these pages. In this format, I took the traditional 5×5 categories, added a sixth to each of the hitting and pitching sides, and made some categorical adjustments to keep up with the sabermetric times. Batting average, for example, was replaced with on-base percentage, and stolen bases were replaced with stolen clean bases, with slugging percentage added as a sixth hitting category. On the pitching side, wins were replaced with quality starts and strikeouts over K/9, with innings pitched added as the sixth pitching category.
To generate a quick set of rankings for the 6×6 format, select your settings in the generator and click submit. The league I run that uses these categories is a 12-team league. I always calculate values using a $260 salary cap and using pennies, and find 68% to be the ideal percentage spent hitting. If your league traditionally invests more in hitting or throwing, you can adjust this percentage to suit your needs.
As you can see, the three most valuable players in the 6×6 score are Juan Soto ($44.35), Bryce Harper ($39.82) and Jose Ramirez ($37.72), Corbin Burnes ($33.12 $) being the highest rated pitcher and eighth overall. This differs considerably from traditional 5×5 – even using the same 12 teams and 68% strike distribution – because in this format, Fernando Tatis Jr. ($37.52), Ramirez ($36.89) and Soto (35, $35) are the three most valuable players. . Burnes ($30.11), again, is the No. 1 pitcher.
Note that this is a different order than shown in the head-to-head category ranking, published by the wise Eric Karabell, and it would be different from mine as well. It highlights an important wrinkle for the generator: It only uses ESPN projections and the Rotowire.com Player Rating Formula to rate players. It doesn’t weigh things like the author’s opinions – or a player’s statistical ceiling and/or floor, or how far their median projection lies from either – instead, it is based strictly on numbers.
So how could someone quickly adapt the output of the generator to accommodate their player opinions?
One way to do this is to run my league specs through the generator and then pull the results into an excel sheet for easy adjustments. To do this, select the “Print” button on each of the batting and pitching pages, copy and paste the data into your spreadsheet. Then do the same for your traditional 5×5 rankings – in this case, you can use Eric’s top 300 roto category rankings. Then, using a series of VLOOKUP or SUMIF formulas, compare the ratings between 5×5 and your chosen format.
Among the players who benefit the most from the transition from 5×5 to 6×6: Mike Trout (+$9.16), Soto (+$9.00), Robbie Ray (+$7.68), Harper (+$7.14 ), Yasmani Grandal (+$7.12), Joey Gallo (+$5.35), Dylan Cease (+$5.23) and Brandon Belt (+$4.94). Among those who suffered the biggest drop in value: Emmanuel Clase (-$7.48), Blake Treinen (-$7.22), Adolis Garcia (-$7.15), Javier Baez (-$6.67) , Ryan Pressly (-$6.64), Ryan Yarbrough (-$5.25), Eddie Rosario (-$5.03) and Tim Anderson (-$4.94). Walkers and high-hit arms naturally enjoy the greatest advantage, while speedsters with modest and closest slugging percentages are the most negatively affected.
By using these value comparisons, you can then more easily manually adjust your own rankings to account for the new scoring system. For those interested in how these 6×6 comparisons impact mine, you can skip to the end of the column to see my top 150 players overall for 6×6 formats.
Now let’s look at players who benefit from two other common formats:
On-base percentage in place of batting average: This is the main All Wars format, with the change made to reward hitters for walks, a flaw in the original 5×5 scoring system. One thing to know about this particular switch is that due to the wider up and down range of on-base percentage versus batting average. The major league leader hit a .465 mark in OBP compared to the trailer’s .265, in 2021. As for batting average, the gap was .328 from the leader and .198 from the trailer. announcement. In other words, hitters with better on-base percentages tend to get a more noticeable boost.
Sure enough, Soto (+$16.77), Trout (+$9.88), Grandal (+$9.81), Harper (+$8.96), Gallo (+$7.62), Brandon Nimmo ( +$6.64), Carlos Santana (+$6.13) and Alex Bregman (+$5.97) get the biggest boost in this format, noting that those numbers reflect comparisons of 12 teams (with average at bat over on-base percentage). Garcia (-$8.66), Adalberto Mondesi (-$7.15), Baez (-$7.07), Salvador Perez (-$6.79), Rosario (-$5.74), Anderson (-$5.55), Jonathan Schoop (-$5.51) and Randal Grichuk (-$5.17), meanwhile, are the hitters who lose the most value by changing these two hitting categories.
Holds the sixth category, with on-base percentage and slugging percentage replacing batting average in a 6×6: Naturally, it’s the middle relievers who are holding out who are benefiting the most from this format, in addition to some of the names boosted by the aforementioned 6×6, like Trout, Grandal and Gallo. Tyler Rogers (+$22.25), Luke Jackson (+$17.47), Tyler Matzek (+$16.49), Genesis Cabrera (+$14.70) and Devin Williams (+$14.67) are the five most boosted players.
Now try your own league settings! There are 23 shot categories and 21 pitch categories to choose from, which means that most combinations used by your league are likely to be an option.