Fantasy sports is something I’m passionate about because it lies in the intersection of two things I love: sports and analytics. Daily fantasy sports has become a major element to fantasy sports over the last few years, and I’ve enjoyed getting a chance to test my knowledge on a daily basis and have a chance to win some money. There’s one problem I have with daily fantasy sports though. It takes an incredible amount of time to do the kind of research I feel is necessary to have confidence on a day-to-day basis in my lineup selection. I know the best players in the game are spending hours each day researching trends, reading news, and analyzing stats. With a full-time job, a 2 year old, and other commitments I don’t have hours in my day that I can devote to researching for my daily fantasy lineups.
My limited time to devote to fantasy sports was the motivation behind building the Spreadsheet-Sports MLB Custom Projection Tool. My goal was to bring as many relevant stats that I could into a spreadsheet that I could use suggest the best possible lineup. There are so many great sites out there for fantasy recommendations and different stats you can use to build your team. The problem I have with those tools is that everything is disconnected. You often get contradictory information depending on what metric you decide to look at. You end up having to make a gut decision between 3 great players who are all expected to have plus matchups. I wanted a tool that was going to take all of that information into account and then give me a final recommendation. The tool is not designed to guarantee that you’ll consistently win money in the big GPP contests, but it will give you all of the relevant stats in one place. It will give you all the raw data the best players in the industry are using to consistently win money – it’s then up to you to add your own intuition as the final piece of the puzzle. If you’re looking for a tool that will minimize the time you need to spend on research and maximize the amount of historical data you’re able to take into account to set the best possible lineup – I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.
To give you an idea of some of the features of the MLB Custom Projection Tool, there are 3 main components:
- Automated Starting Lineup Identification
- Custom Projection Engine
- Optimal Lineup Generator
Automated Starting Lineup Identification
The Custom Projection spreadsheet contains a live connection to official lineups posted online before every game. For later games for which official lineups are not yet released you can manually set the lineups based on your own knowledge or allow the tool to assume the regular starters will play. Here’s the Lineup interface:
You have the ability to exclude teams if you’re playing in early-only or late-only contests or if games are expected to be postponed due to weather. In addition, you can exclude players that you know you don’t want included in your optimal lineup or add projected points to players if you just have a hunch that a certain player is going to have a big game and you want to guarantee they’re included in your lineup.
Custom Projection Engine
With the Custom Projection Tool you’ll create your baseline projections for players by using a weighted average (where you have the flexibility to choose the weights) of fantasy points per game over the batters’
- Current Season
- Last 30 Days
- Last 14 Days
- Last 7 Days
For Pitchers you will be able to choose Career or Current Season.
You’ll then be able to adjust your projections based on each player’s historical performance data on some of the most important factors in baseball including:
- Opposing Pitcher Overall Ability
- Opposing Pitcher Throwing Hand
- Opposing Pitcher Flyball/Groundball tendency
- Opposing Pitcher Power vs. Finesse
- Vegas Betting Line
- Vegas Betting Total
For more on the way these adjustments are calculated you can refer to the MLB Custom Projection Tool User Guide.
Optimal Lineup Generator (and stack settings)
The final step is to run your projections through Excel Solver to get a lineup that maximizes your projected points while staying within the salary cap requirements and stipulation that you have a maximum of 4 players from a single team. You will also be able to indicate a particular team that you’d like to stack players from if you think a team has a favorable matchup. You can choose up to 3 teams from which to stack players and the number of players you’d like to stack.
Once you get a recommended lineup you will be able to go back to any previous step and tweak your settings until you settle on a lineup you like.