Know your targets!!
Whether you are a long time player in the high-stakes market, or are venturing into the game for the first time, you need to know what it takes to compete for the overall title.
The NFBC Main Event is widely considered to be the toughest overall title to win in the fantasy realm. The competition just to finish atop your 15-team league is fierce. To best 390+ teams in the overall as well takes raw skill, determination, endurance and also a bit of luck.
To put yourself into contention for the overall title, history has shown that you need to accumulate upwards of 3120 points overall (80% of total). The simplest way to accomplish this is striving to finish in the top 20% of every category.
These numbers can fluctuate somewhat yearly, but drawing off of last yearâ€™s numbers can at least give us a great starting point.
Average: For the second consecutive year, overall offense was down across the league in 2011. In the past, you needed a team average of .280 to finish in the top 20% of the category. I lowered my target last year to .275, but in reality you only needed to hit .2712 to hit the mark.
For 2012, I think that .275 is still a good target to shoot for. It is better to set the mark a little bit high, as opposed to under shooting it.
Runs: The generally accepted target in this category the past few seasons has been 1100. In 2011, you only needed 1027 runs to finish in the top 20%.
This year, the mark should be set at 1075. You need to average over 41 runs/week over the season to hit this target.
HR: The popular target in years past has been 280 HR. With the declining offense in the post-steroid era this number needs to be adjusted. Last year you needed 258 HR to achieve the top 20%.
For 2012, the target should be 270 HR. You need to average more than 10 HR/week to achieve that number.
RBI: There are fewer RBI across the league than runs scored, due to some scoring plays not being credited with an RBI. This number is usually estimated at 25 less than your runs target. Last year, you needed 1011 RBI to finish in the top 20%.
Following the rule mentioned above, the RBI target for 2012 should be 1050. That equates to more than 40 RBI/week on average.
SB: With offense down around the league, there has actually been a slight uptick in stolen bases the past two seasons. The target heading into 2011 was 175 SB, and you needed 181 to finish in the top 20%.
Expect the upward trend in this category to continue in 2012. The mark should be set at 180 SB. To hit that target, you need to average just over 7 stolen bases per week.
Wins: This is a very fickle category and can be difficult to accurately predict. Last year I set the mark higher than usual at 115, due to a change in the rules that allowed streaming of pitchers for the final few weeks of the season. To finish in the top 20% last year you needed 101 wins.
The streaming pitcher rule for the final two weeks has been eliminated for 2012, so we can go back to the tried and true target of 100 wins. You need to win just over 4 wins per week to hit that number.
Kâ€™s: Again, this mark was set slightly higher last year due to the streaming rule. My target last year was 1350 Kâ€™s, and you actually needed 1339 to finish in that top 20%. (Personal plug, my mark of 1496 Kâ€™s last year set a new all-time NFBC record).
Looking over the historical data, 1275 Kâ€™s looks to be an acceptable target. An average of just under 50 strikeouts per week are necessary to hit that goal.
SV: The widely accepted target heading into 2011 seemed to be 90 saves. To finish in the top 20% last year you needed 88.
Nothing wrong with this goal, 90 saves is the target. Your closers must average 3 Â½ saves a week to put you in the top 20%.
ERA: With the decreased offense in the league, pitching numbers have obviously improved. Will this trend continue, and to what extent? Last year the target heading into the season was a 3.65 ERA. In reality, you needed a 3.561 to finish in the top 20%.
For 2012, set the mark at last seasonâ€™s final number of 3.56. This estimate may seem low, but we would rather set the bar too high and overachieve. If your ratios get away from you early in the season, they can be very difficult to make up.
WHIP: For 2011, my target was 1.25. To finish in the top 20%, you needed a 1.225.
It looks like last yearâ€™s final number is an acceptable target for this year again. Iâ€™ll set the mark at 1.225.
There you have it folks! You now are armed with the targets that your team must hit in order to compete for the NFBC Main Event title in 2012. Now all you have to do is assemble a team that can hit all of those lofty goals. Piece of cake, right?