2014 Price Guide at DraftBuddy.com

Several people have asked about a version of the Price Guide updated for 2014. Mike from DraftBuddy.com left a note in the comments here that he has added the Price Guide tool to the DraftBuddy site:


Not everything may be functional, but I appreciate his work in getting things going for this year.


Price Guide Source Code Now on GitHub

A commenter suggested that it would be nice to have the source code for the Price Guide available. I’ve thought about that a bit as I find myself with fewer resources to devote to this site. The more I’ve considered it, I’ve decided that it’s a pretty good idea. So the Price Guide source is now available on GitHub:


I have always tried to be very transparent about how the Price Guide works — writing up a lengthy explanation of the full details on the old site. So I view this in that same spirit. Most of the Price Guide ideas aren’t mine, so I feel like I don’t have a claim for keeping them a secret. So now both the concepts and the implementation are out there for everyone to see.

I’ve put the code out under a Creative Commons license that reflects my desire for the Price Guide to continue to be free (that’s gratis, not libre). That means it’s only available for non-commercial use. I’ve always offered the Price Guide as a free tool, and I would like for it to stay that way.

With the limited functionality of its current parking spot, I hope that someone is at least interested in putting the Price Guide up somewhere that restores the ability to enter keepers, upload projections, and run in-season stat updates. (Of course, that might also involve some maintenance of player IDs and formatting projections.) I’d still be willing to help out a bit.

Even better would be if someone had the desire to take this to the next level. I’m sure lots of people could top the design of my current interface. I’m sure there are features that would make the Price Guide much better. (I’ve always had a plan for adding rest-of-season projections — let me know if you want the details.) If that’s you, here’s your chance to to do it.

I’ll keep the site up-and-running in the meantime. But it will probably be similar to the way it has been for the past couple of seasons with limited updates.

The Red Sox and Fantasy Baseball

Has the Red Sox GM been playing too much fantasy baseball? Consider this:

In 2011, the Boston Red Sox signed two new major contracts:

Adrian Gonzalez $22 million per year (inked near the start of the 2011 season)
Carl Crawford $20.3 million

The 2011 season, however, ended with the Sox’s epic September collapse. And 2012 was even worse, despite a similar cast of characters. Crawford missed most of the year with injuries, and Gonzalez had a bit of a down year (15 HR). The Sox finished 2012 in last place in the East with a 69-93 record. Both Crawford and Gonzalez (and their huge contracts) were shipped to LA when it was clear the Sox’s season was hopeless.

This appears to me to be one of those strange times of real baseball imitating fantasy. In 2012, the Red Sox tried a stars and scrubs approach. Grab a couple of top-tier guys, even if it means leaving some gaps on your roster (Mike Aviles as your starting SS? Felix Doubront in the rotation?).

But when the Red Sox’s big-money stars didn’t pan out, they weren’t able to contend. It can happen in fantasy baseball, too. That’s the risk you run when you have so many eggs in so few baskets.

In 2013, the Red Sox’s acquisitions have looked different:

Mike Napoli $13 million per year
Shane Victorino $13 million
Ryan Dempster $13.3 million

Gone are the big, $20+ million per annum deals, despite opportunities to get someone like Hamilton or Greinke. After getting burned by big deals in 2011-12, the Red Sox wiped the slate clean and took a new tact in 2013: Short-term deals to mid-tier players.

In fantasy baseball terms, they’ve given up on a stars and scrubs strategy; now they are playing spread-the wealth. Field an entire team of good-not-great players, and no single injury can cripple the team. Plus, Napoli and Victorino are coming off down years — a perfect chance to try to get some surplus value if they can bounceback.

I write this post before seeing how 2013 plays out, because I don’t want this team’s success or failure to be viewed as a case for or against either plan. In fantasy, sometimes stars and scrubs doesn’t work out. And sometimes it does. Spreading the wealth can build a successful team, and it can create a cellar-dweller.

With baseball — real or fantasy — there’s much more to success than how good your roster looks on Opening Day.