Tuesday, January 20, 2015

FSTA Draft Recap 2015

Last week was the annual FSTA DRAFT in Las Vegas which is the first of many expert drafts that will begin to set the tone for 2015 Player ADP. With the likes of Steve Gardner, Ron Shandler and Ray Flowers, some of the greatest minds who cover the game are involved. However, they are not necessarily all that removed from you. Well maybe Ron Sandler. But their biggest advantage is that they cover the sport for a living. Every one of them have their own gut instincts on players, develop their own analysis and sometimes make the same mistakes. You see every league no matter how “EXPERT” has a loser, a cellar dweller, a last place team. Having played in many “expert” leagues myself over the years I can assure you my private home league I’ve run for over a decade can be much more competitive. Especially when people know your tendencies. Still, like every draft and mock draft, the 2015 FSTA offers a lot to learn from and apply to your upcoming drafts.

RD 1

1.       Steve Gardner, USA Today - Mike Trout

2.       Colton & The Wolfman - Andrew McCutchen

3.       Ron Shandler, Baseball HQ - Jose Abreu

4.       Charlie Wiegert, CDM Sports - Paul Goldschmidt

5.       Anthony Perri, Fantistics - Clayton Kershaw

6.       Greg Ambrosius & Tom Kessenich, Stats Inc/NFBC - Giancarlo Stanton

7.       Todd Zola, Master Ball - Anthony Rizzo

8.       Dr. Roto, Scout Fantasy - Carlos Gomez

9.       Christopher Liss, Rotowire - Miguel Cabrera

10.   Jeff Paur, RT Sports - Adam Jones

11.   Jeff Mans, Fantasy Alarm - Felix Hernandez

12.   Ray Flowers, Sirius/XM - Robinson Cano

13.   Mike Cardano, Roto Experts - Jose Bautista

The biggest surprise of the first round for me was Jose Abreu at #3 overall. Considering players in their second full season tend to experience an adjustment phase and that Paul Goldschmidt in a roto format (which is the style of format) has the ability to match Abreu’s power and drop 20+ steals is in my calculation a strange selection. Yes, Goldschmidt is coming off of an injury and Arizona isn’t the greatest lineup, but he’s still the better choice from my vantage point. I’m not smarter than Ron Shandler, but I do believe he had more to gain from Goldie. That might be the one and only time I disagreed with him the rest of the draft. In roto formats I'm also not a proponent of selecting a SP with a top five pick, even the great Kershaw. Although Kershaw is my overall #1 in points leagues as I discuss at length in the new Fantasy Black Book. But considering the lack of offense throughout the league, it's imperative to add elite offense early. Miguel Cabrera might not be 100% for the start of spring, but his falling to #9 is crazy. Even if he misses the start of the season, there are almost 6 months left of his elite production. For perspective, imagine he is healthy now and misses a week in June. Same thing, but it doesn’t make him less of a franchise player does it? Of course not!

I am as big an Anthony Rizzo fan as you will find, but there are other first basemen who offer similar profiles from an RPV standpoint and to pass on Gomez, Cabrera, Jones, Cano and Bautista who offer much higher RPV in this format. I think it’s a case of “over-drafting”. Felix Hernandez should also have lasted until the second round. Chris Sale and Max Scherzer are his statistical equal. Jeff was a tad lucky that Edwin Encarnacion fell to him the 2nd round and he was able to correct the path.

RD 2

1.       Mike Cardano, Roto Experts - Madison Bumgarner

2.       Ray Flowers, Sirius/XM - Anthony Rendon

3.       Jeff Mans, Fantasy Alarm – Edwin Encarnacion

4.       Jeff Paur, RT Sports – Troy Tulowitzki

5.       Christopher Liss, Rotowire – Yasiel Puig

6.       Dr. Roto, Scout Fantasy – Jose Altuve

7.       Todd Zola, Master Ball – Josh Donaldson

8.       Greg Ambrosius & Tom Kessenich, Stats Inc/NFBC – Chris Sale

9.       Anthony Perri, Fantistics – Hanley Ramirez

10.   Charlie Wiegert, CDM Sports – Ryan Braun

11.   Ron Shandler, Baseball HQ – Ian Desmond

12.   Colton & The Wolfman – Justin Upton

13.   Steve Gardner, USA Today – Buster Posey

Bumgarner is a great talent, but the 269 innings he logged last season give me pause enough to clearly draft Sale and Scherzer over him. I don’t know if I want to live in a world where Yasiel Puig get sdrafted head of Jose Altuve. Puig has yet to deliver anything above Hunter Pence-type production and Pence went 3 rounds later than this. You take potential, I’ll take production. Perri continued a downward trend for his team by selecting Hanley Ramirez to anchor his offense having drafted Kershaw in the first. You can see right away how that early SP selection came back to bite him. Hanley is rarely healthy, his production is sporadic when he is and he is switching leagues on top of it all. Braun or Upton would have been a better selection with the depth of OF needed in the format. Shandler begins a spectacular draft run from here on out proving the earlier mentioned fact he is MUCH smarter than me.

Some notable selections in the draft that may help you get a gauge on where some controversial players may be drafted:

Carlos Gonzalez went in the late 3rd round to Ray Flowers. Corey Kluber was selected in the early 4th by Shandler. Anthony Perri took Chris Davis in the 6th round. Masahiro Tanaka went in the 10th round to Christopher Liss which is a good risk/reward place for him. Javier Baez was selected in the 9th round by Colton and the Wolfman. Baez that early is a huge stretch considering his swing and miss rate and the fact he is not a lock to even start the year as the everyday second baseman in Chicago. Give me Josh Harrison a round later. But that wasn’t the worst pick of the day.

The worst pick in the draft in my opinion was Charlie Blackmon in the 4th round to Anthony Perri. His final counting stats belie the fact he was dreadful after the break and away from Coors. He doesn’t have the minor league track record (or major league track record for that matter) to maintain those numbers. With Matt Kemp and Hunter Pence still on the board, Blackmon was a huge reach. Never draft a team for "last year".

Whenever there is a worst, there has to be a best and that pick belonged to Ray Flowers who took Melky Cabrera in the 15th round. That’s a terrific value for a player with solid all around production who hits at the top of the order in a hitter’s park. Charlie Weigert made the best late round pick selecting Michael Saunders in the 25th round. Saunders has 20/20 potential albeit not yet fully realized. That makes him a great late round selection which is where you should leave upside players…the late rounds!

The elite closers predictably went in the 6th round including Kimbrel, Chapman, Holland and Jansen in that order. Closers in waiting went in the waning rounds along with young talent that will most likely not see the light of day until mid-June at the earliest, if all.

If you asked me who “won” this draft Ron Shandler stands out. With every pick he seems to find the best value and never seems to reach. His draft is a lesson in value and discipline that we can all learn from. His pitching staff is based on guys like Kluber and Arrieta building on successful breakout years, but he also drafted great underrated starters like Jose Quintana to back them up. Offensively, he leads the room in RPV and balanced his team with proven veterans (Lucroy and Desmond) and young studs with upside who came at exquisite value (Bogaerts, J.D. Martinez and Syndergaard all selected in the later rounds).

For full draft results click here.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

New Fantasy Black Book 2015 Edition Hits #1 in Fantasy Sports on the Amazon Kindle Store in ONE DAY!

The NEW Fantasy Baseball Black Book 2015 Edition is Available!

The NEW Fantasy Baseball Black Book 2015 Edition is now available on the Amazon Kindle Store for Kindle, PC and iPad with the Kindle for iPad App.

The #1 best-selling fantasy baseball guide on the Kindle Store for the last 3 years running is back for 2015!

"Pisapia's ideas and concepts on relative value are some of the smartest things I've read on this topic in all my years playing fantasy. -- Will Carroll, Lead Writer for Sports Medicine, Bleacher Report Member, BBWAA and PFWA

“Joe takes a complex problem fantasy owners have and comes up with an easy-to-understand solution. Better yet, his concept of Relative Position Value works for any fantasy format with any number of teams…With the Black Book, they get the full instruction manual.” Steve Gardner, Senior Fantasy Editor for USA Today Sports

“Reading Joe's work is sort of like being in on a great fantasy baseball secret…You'll go into the Black Book experience touting ADP, and leave it embracing RPV.” Nando DiFino, Executive Producer FNTSY Network

“Joe's insight into Relative Position Value is an eye opener and a tool we can all use to become better at studying the game. I personally use it as an indicator of future value as it relates to fantasy baseball and it is crucial to my broadcasts and analysis.” – Craig Mish, Host MLB Network Radio & Sirius/XM Fantasy

“RPV breaks down the position scarcity equation” -- Ray Guilfoyle Managing Edtior, Faketeams.com

“I was so impressed with Joe's work that I decided to ask him to join the "Dear Mr Fantasy" podcast as full-time co-host.” -- Chris McBrien Host, "Dear Mr. Fantasy" Podcast

Fantasy baseball expert Joe Pisapia is the creator of the revolutionary statistic Relative Position Value, host of The Fantasy Black Book Show on Sirius/XM Fantasy Sports Channel 210/87 and co-host of the award winning Dear Mr. Fantasy Podcast. His Fantasy Black Book is the fundamental alternative to the stale content, recycled player rankings and glossy photos that dominate so many fantasy baseball sites and magazines at half the price.
In 2015, he has returned with complete RPV percentages for all players in points and roto leagues, as well “RPV per Dollar” for DFS players and auction league drafts.

The NEW and expanded 2015 Fantasy Black Book features include:
*Over 400+ Player Profiles with complete Points and Roto League RPV
*2015 Draft Strategies for ALL formats including snake, auction and dynasty

* DFS Strategies and ALL NEW “RPV per Dollar” Analysis
*All Over/Underrated Team of 2015 & The 5 Biggest Questions in Fantasy 2015
*Impact Rookies and Top Prospects for 2015

* Black Book philosophies on roster management, making trades, being the “commish” and much more…

Pisapia outlines a comprehensive approach to planning, scouting, drafting and managing your fantasy team. He also introduces a revolutionary new statistical approach that helps simplify the measuring and comparison of fantasy player performance both within and across positions.

Whether you're new to fantasy baseball or a grizzled veteran looking for a leg up on the competition, the Fantasy Black Book is the place to start.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Joe Pisapia NEW Co-host of the Award Winning Dear Mr. Fantasy Podcast

Barrie, Ontario, December 22, 2014 — The “Dear Mr. Fantasy” baseball podcast has announced that Joe Pisapia has joined the show as the regular co-host, joining Chris McBrien on the weekly fantasy baseball podcast.
Pisapia is the best-selling author of the “Fantasy Baseball Black Book” series and also is the co-host of the Sirius Satellite Radio program of the same name.
The “Dear Mr. Fantasy” podcast began in January 2012 featuring radio and television personality Chris McBrien as host of the show. A permanent co-host was introduced in May 2012 with the addition of the ‘Fantasy Doctor’ and the show features different weekly guests from the fantasy baseball community. The podcast has continued to grow in popularity, culminating in a 2013 Podcast Awards nomination as well as a 2013 Fantasy Sports Writer’s Association award nomination as “Podcast of the Year”.
In addition to featuring some of the top names in the fantasy baseball industry as guests, the Fantasy Doctor will continue to make appearances on the podcast on a regular basis.
“We are very excited to make this announcement”, states McBrien. “Joe brings years of experience both in radio as well as from his writing. He will bring a strong element of fantasy analysis to the show. We’re glad that the Fantasy Doctor can still make appearances on the show as well. He has been a big part of the podcast over the past 3 seasons and leaves some big shoes to fill”.
With fantasy sports growing in popularity annually, there has been an increasing need for more information and services on the topic. Fantasy sports now account for approximately $4 billion in annual economic impact across the sports industry.
“I’m thrilled to be joining the Dear Mr. Fantasy Podcast.”, states Pisapia. “Not only do I hope to bring the philosophies of my successful Fantasy Baseball Black Book series to the show, including Relative Position Value (RPV), but also a continued sense of fun and passion for the game. We’re going to line up the best guests in the industry every week. We’ll continue to push the show to new heights this season, while maintaining the core of what made Dear Mr. Fantasy such a success in the first place and that’s the balance of great information and great entertainment.”
The RPV statistic was created by Pisapia and has been featured both in his book series as well as his satellite radio program. The statistic focuses on a player’s value in relation to others at his position as well as to the overall number of players in a league’s pool of potential picks.
The “Dear Mr. Fantasy” podcast is recorded weekly from February through October and is available through a wide range of channels including iTunes, Stitcher Radio, the Fantasy Sports Network cable television channel and the Armed Forces Radio Network, just to name a few.
For more on the “Dear Mr Fantasy” Podcast, please visit: http://www.dmfantasybaseball.com
“Dear Mr. Fantasy” podcast: We put the fan in fantasy baseball.
# # #

Friday, August 22, 2014


The term "expert" gets thrown out a lot when it comes to fantasy sports. I personally prefer the term analyst or author when people ask me what I do. Having played in many "expert" leagues over the years, I've found my private home based leagues to be equally, if not more challenging. However, the expert FLEX LEAGUE draft I had this week was full of some of the best minds in fantasy football and I believe examining this draft can be quite an effective tool in formulating your strategy.

First off, here are the competitors:
Jake Ciely of RotoExperts is the commissioner/organizer
Jody Smith Gridiron Experts
Drew Loftis New York Post
Will Carroll Bleacher Report
Jamey Eisenberg CBS Sports
John Halpin Fox Sports
Scott Pianowski Yahoo
Rich Hribar XN Sports
Dave Goons SI.com
Chris Burke SI.com
Andy Behrens Yahoo
John & Liz from the X's & Y's Podcast
Nick Mensio Rotoworld
And of course....ME, Joe Pisapia Fantasy Black Book
(a pretty great grouping!)

Here's the recap of the first 3 rounds of this 14 team/14 RD draft. I will also highlight some surprises, trends and observations that may be helpful regarding certain players and their status.

FLEX League is 1QB/2RB/3WR/1TE/1FLEX/1Def-ST. (1/2PPR) Looking at the scoring, the 2012 top player was Drew Brees. In 2013, obviously Manning with Brees right on his heels. My thinking at the bottom slot of the snake draft was try to come away with an elite QB (Breese, Manning or Rodgers) and then hopefully a legit RB 1. There are only four top RB's all of which would be long gone before it came to me, but I was surprised that even in a league of experts that mid-low level RB1's who are destined to score 220pts would be valued above a guy like Brees who scored 300+ consecutive years in this scoring system. You take the "potential", give me the points!
Now granted you only play one QB, but the RPV (Relative Position Value/the stat I created and core of the Fantasy Football Black Book) of low end RB1's is already in the negative pool. Not mention the fact so many guys like Montee Ball and Le'Veon Bell still have proven very little in this league. Brees RPV is +14% in this scoring and the RB's available (with the exception of Lynch and Bernard) were -6% to -12%. I would much rather take the ELITE player, and make of the difference in bulk. It's about staying in the "positive RPV" as often as you can. When you consider the pounding running backs take anyway, it seems even more logical. Giovanni Bernard was my target RB at 14th.  A guy on the rise, with little competition for carries or goal line touches and a strong pass catcher. Lynch was my second choice. If both were available I could also create an RPV advantage by owning two RB1's, but I figured this was a pipe dream and the Brees/RB combo would be where I'd end up.
Here's how round one went down:

1.011.Jody Smith: Gridiron Experts @JodySmith_NFLCharles, Jamaal KCC RB
1.022.Drew Loftis: New York Post @NYPost_LoftisMcCoy, LeSean PHI RB
1.033.Will Carroll: B/R @injuryexpertPeterson, Adrian MIN RB
1.044.Jake Ciely: RotoExperts.com Football.com @allinkidForte, Matt CHI RB
1.055.Jamey Eisenberg: CBS Sports @JameyEisenbergJohnson, Calvin DET WR
1.066.John Halpin: FOX Sports @jhalpin37Thomas, Demaryius DEN WR
1.077.Scott Pianowski: Yahoo @scott_pianowski Lacy, Eddie GBP RB
1.088.Rich Hribar: XNSports @LordReebsBryant, Dez DAL WR
1.099.David Gonos: SI.com SKYLLZONE.com @davidgonosBell, Le'Veon PIT RB
1.1010.Chris Burke: @ChrisBurke_SIGraham, Jimmy NOS TE
1.1111.Andy Behrens: Yahoo! @andybehrensGreen, A.J. CIN WR
1.1212.John and Liz: Xs & Ys Podcast @TheFFGirl @JohnF_EvansBernard, Giovani CIN RB
1.1313.Nick Mensio: Rotoworld @NickMensioJones, Julio ATL WR
1.1414.Joe Pisapia: Fantasy Black Book @JoePisapia17Brees, Drew NOS QB

JUST MISSED BERNARD! Clearly what happens when you are drafting in an "expert" league filled with writers for top website and media outlets. There are no sleepers! You will likely be a bit more fortunate in your league. The first round went without any real surprise. Bell is the one guy for me that I am not sold on especially with Blount in Pittsburgh. This was also before his new found legal trouble. Character, may not be a fantasy statistic, but I can guarantee you it can have a massive impact on a player's value.
In a 14 team league playing 3 WR it was not surprising to top wide outs fly off the board. Had it been full PPR I would have been tempted to also dip my toes in the water. To me it was a no brainer to select Brees. Manning is likely due for a market correction, he's another year older (as is Welker) and is also now minus Eric Decker. I think that is a bigger loss than people think, despite having plenty of other options. Rodgers was equally worthy, but coming off the injury I went for the consistency of Brees. To get the #1-2 point getter two years running at the 14th overall pick was an easy choice and I could care less if it turned heads. Now, it was time to comb the RB/WR ranks.

2.0115.Joe Pisapia: Fantasy Black Book @JoePisapia17Lynch, Marshawn SEA RB
2.0216.Nick Mensio: Rotoworld @NickMensioJeffery, Alshon CHI WR
2.0317.John and Liz: Xs & Ys Podcast @TheFFGirl @JohnF_EvansMurray, DeMarco DAL RB
2.0418.Andy Behrens: Yahoo! @andybehrensBall, Montee DEN RB
2.0519.Chris Burke: @ChrisBurke_SIMarshall, Brandon CHI WR
2.0620.David Gonos: SI.com SKYLLZONE.com @davidgonosBrown, Antonio PIT WR
2.0721.Rich Hribar: XNSports @LordReebsNelson, Jordy GBP WR
2.0822.Scott Pianowski: Yahoo @scott_pianowski Allen, Keenan SDC WR
2.0923.John Halpin: FOX Sports @jhalpin37Martin, Doug TBB RB
2.1024.Jamey Eisenberg: CBS Sports @JameyEisenbergStacy, Zac STL RB
2.1125.Jake Ciely: RotoExperts.com Football.com @allinkidCobb, Randall GBP WR
2.1226.Will Carroll: B/R @injuryexpertManning, Peyton DEN QB
2.1327.Drew Loftis: New York Post @NYPost_LoftisRodgers, Aaron GBP QB
2.1428.Jody Smith: Gridiron Experts @JodySmith_NFLGarcon, Pierre WAS WR

By process of elimination, I chose Lynch. He has been written off before by many fantasy writers only to repeatedly blow us away. Zach Stacy is a nice young back, but I am not sure he is a difference maker. Yes, he had some nice games, but also some real clunkers in 2013. I personally value consistency. That mantra also eliminated Doug Martin from my consideration. Montee Ball has potential, but he has yet to deliver on that promise. Perhaps he will in 2014, but I for one think track record and experience count. So, after being down to Demarco Murray and Marshawn Lynch, Murray's fragility gave out to the consistency of Lynch who also posted a career high in receiving yards last season. Brandon Marshall, Alshon Jeffrey, Antonio Brown and Keenan Allen were all tempting, but the RB pool was about to fall off a cliff. It was an easy decision. Will and Drew got great value in their QB's this round who should easily outscore every other player in this round. I was surprised Jeffrey went over Marshall. Martin to me was the riskiest pick after a disastrous 2013, especially with Stacy and the two elite QB's still on the board. If he was his second RB I would felt better about the selection. Allen and Cobb have the best chance to take a step to the next level.

3.0129.Jody Smith: Gridiron Experts @JodySmith_NFLFoster, Arian HOU RB
3.0230.Drew Loftis: New York Post @NYPost_LoftisEllington, Andre ARI RB
3.0331.Will Carroll: B/R @injuryexpertWelker, Wes DEN WR
3.0432.Jake Ciely: RotoExperts.com Football.com @allinkidJennings, Rashad NYG RB
3.0533.Jamey Eisenberg: CBS Sports @JameyEisenbergMorris, Alfred WAS RB
3.0634.John Halpin: FOX Sports @jhalpin37Gronkowski, Rob NEP TE
3.0735.Scott Pianowski: Yahoo @scott_pianowski Jackson, Vincent TBB WR
3.0836.Rich Hribar: XNSports @LordReebsThomas, Julius DEN TE
3.0937.David Gonos: SI.com SKYLLZONE.com @davidgonosVereen, Shane NEP RB
3.1038.Chris Burke: @ChrisBurke_SICruz, Victor NYG WR
3.1139.Andy Behrens: Yahoo! @andybehrensSpiller, C.J. BUF RB
3.1240.John and Liz: Xs & Ys Podcast @TheFFGirl @JohnF_EvansWhite, Roddy ATL WR
3.1341.Nick Mensio: Rotoworld @NickMensioFloyd, Michael ARI WR
3.1442.Joe Pisapia: Fantasy Black Book @JoePisapia17Hilton, T.Y. IND WR

And now personal preference and risk taking begin. Foster clearly has question marks but as a RB2 you can't blame Jody one bit for taking the chance. Welker does have track record, but also showed decline and wear last year. I would be concerned with him as  #1 WR at this point in his career. Gronkowski clearly a boom/bust player based on his ability to stay on the field, but a great calculated risk in this league depth by John. Incidentally after Thomas went in this round, I took Jordan Cameron with my wrap around pick as the only remaining TE I felt would be well above positive in RPV. The bottom of the TE position is dreadful. Shane Vereen is a sneaky good pick in PPR leagues and Dave was right on that. Jake was willing to go all in on Jennings and with good reasoning. The performance of that whole Giants offense in the new West Coast system will be interesting to see. Michael Floyd to me was the steal of this round for Nick. Everything is set for him to be an elite receiver after his growth in 2013.

So, when it came down to me I needed a WR1 and the choices were dwindling. Floyd or White would have been my preference, but both went right before me. Andre Johnson and Larry Fitzgerald are still useful, but I think both are on a bit of a decline. Edelman is a nice PPR choice, but to me still not a number one. This left me with Hilton and Reggie Wayne. As much as I adore Wayne, T.Y. became Andrew Luck's "go to" guy last year while Wayne was out and you can see the chemistry between the two. Quarterbacks that grow with receivers early on in their careers tend to have special relationships in fantasy and although there is some risk, I think Hilton had the most upside at that point in the draft.

Overall players with some miles on them were slightly undervalued in my opinion. Sure football is a young man's game, but that doesn't mean that experience should be ignored. Maurice Jones-Drew and Steve Smith for instance both fell quite late and considering they are healthy I had no problems scooping them up late in the game. I was also able to nab Ray Rice in the 5th round. Now, I know he will miss 2 games with the suspension and one week for a bye, but she looks to be in great shape and in an era where running back by committee reigns, he has potential to be a bell cow number one at a RB3 value.
Speaking of suspensions, Will took Josh Gordon in the 11th round. Another calculated risk. His reasoning was quite sound, "When I am out of players I like on the board, that's when I take Gordon." A very logical way to look at it without any clarity on the number of games he will miss at this stage.

Dovanta Freeman went 7.6, to John,  Brandin Cooks 6.1 to yours truly and Terrance West 7.10 to Chris were some of my favorite "young upside" picks, so be ready to reach for them in rounds 6-8 in most 12 team drafts.
Ryan Mathews sliding to the 5th round was the biggest ADP slide I saw so it seems folks are still not buying into his 2013 rebound. I for one still see him as a very legit RB2.

You can follow the twitter account @FLEX_Leagues and see the entire draft here: http://bit.ly/1w6EufA and see Jake Cecily's recap here: https://www.football.com/en-us/flex-fantasy-football-expert-draft/#create-oauth-overlay-

For more on RPV read the Free Preview Chapter on the Kindle store of THE FANTASY FOOTBALL BLACK BOOK 2014

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Football Black Book 2014

The new Fantasy Black Book Show on Sirius/XM radio had a tremendous first season and has already been renewed for next year! Thank you to all of you who have made both the show and the book series a wild success.
In the weeks ahead, I will be recapping all of the expert league drafts I am participating in as well as draft advice and RPV.
The one curse of the show was not having enough time to write for the blog, especially while working on the NEW FANTASY FOOTBALL BLACK BOOK available now on the Amazon Kindle Store for Kindle/iPad/PC

However, that will luckily be changing now!

Football is coming!