FB102 – Fantasy Baseball Terminology

05/20/2007 12:00 PM - 

FantasyBaseball.com University Series
Contributed By: Aaron Johnson

For those of you new to Fantasy Baseball, below is a list of some basic fantasy baseball terms.  This is just a general overview of terms and commonly used abbreviations – many of them will be discussed in much greater detail as Fantasy University moves forward. 

4×4 Scoring
A Roto Scoring System that tracks 4 statistical categories each for hitters and pitchers. The categories are as follows:
Hitters:
Composite Batting Average (AVG), Total Home Runs (HR), Runs Batted In (RBI), Stolen Bases (SB) 
Pitchers:
Total Wins (W), Total Saves (S), Earned Run Average (ERA), Walks + Hits per Inning Pitched (WHIP)

5×5 Scoring
A Roto Scoring System that tracks 5 statistical categories each for hitters and pitchers. The categories are as follows:
Hitters:
Composite Batting Average (AVG), Total Home Runs (HR), Runs Batted In (RBI), Stolen Bases (SB), Total Runs (R)
Pitchers:
Total Wins (W), Total Saves (S), Earned Run Average (ERA), Walks + Hits per Inning Pitched (WHIP), Total Strikeouts (K)

10×10 Scoring
A Roto Scoring System that tracks 5 statistical categories each for hitters and pitchers. The categories are as follows:
Hitters:
Batting Average (AVG), Total Home Runs (HR), Runs Batted In (RBI), Stolen Bases (SB), Total Runs (R), Total Hits (H), Total Doubles (2B), Total Triples (3B), Strikeouts (K), On Base Percentage (OBP).
Pitchers:
Wins (W), Saves (S), Walks + Hits per Inning Pitched (WHIP), Strikeouts (K), Earned Run Average (ERA), Losses (L), Holds (H), Innings Pitched (IP), Shutouts (SH), Strikeout to Walk Ratio (K/BB).

Bench
Depending upon the league’s configuration, a manager may be able to place some number of players from his roster on the bench each day. These players do not accumulate any fantasy points for that day’s games, but neither do they count against any game or inning limits that the league’s rules might enforce. A benched player can be moved into the starting lineup any time before his game-time roster freeze for that day (assuming the position he’s being moved into is either vacant or occupied by a player who is also not frozen).

Collusion
A form of cheating where two or more managers agree to work together to unfairly improve one manager’s place in the standings. A frequently occuring example of collusion is unfair trades, although there are many other ways for two or more managers to cheat the system. We do not tolerate collusion and any managers found to be involved in it may lose access to their teams or lose their registration with our site. Managers suspecting collusion should notify Member Services immediately. One mechanism we employ to curtail collusion is league voting of trades. Another is a minimum on the number of players a manager must have on his team at any time.

Commissioner (Commish)
The Commish is the manager who created and configured the league. The Commish has access to online tools that allow him to manage his league throughout the season. Below is a sample of the controls the Commish has. Many In-Season controls are all optional – he can either grant himself the power to perform these or not when he configures the league. The Commish may not leave the league as long as there are any teams in the league.

Cumulative Scoring
A type of scoring system that assigns points for each event that is associated with a statistical category that the league tracks.

For instance, a league’s settings may assign 2 points for each RBI a player records. If, on a given day, a team records 15 RBIs total, that manager gains 30 points (2×15). Similarly, points are calculated for other stat categories the league tracks. A team’s daily points total is calculated by summing up all the points gained for every player on a team’s roster across all the stat categories his league tracks for that day. A team’s overall points total is the sum of all his daily scores. The team with the highest overall point total is the first place team, etc.

The major difference between Cumulative Scoring and Roto Scoring is the method used to arrive at the manager’s overall score. Cumulative leagues assign a point value to each statistical event (e.g. RBIs), whereas Roto managers are rewarded for their rank in each stat category relative to the other managers in the league.

Disabled List (DL)
Nearly every manager will have at least one player who gets injured throughout the course of the season. Without a DL spot, a manager would have to make the hard choice of whether to keep the player and potentially lose ground to his rivals or drop the player and try to find a suitable replacement. A DL spot allows the manager to hold onto a player who would otherwise have to be dropped from his roster.  The types of injuries that qualify for a DL spot often vary greatly for each league, depending on league rules.

Draft
Most Fantasy Baseball leagues enforce unique ownership of players, meaning that each player can only be owned by one team in each league. The draft is the mechanism by which players are assigned to a team in the league. A draft typically takes place before or very early in the season and will involve selecting exactly the number of players the league’s roster requirements allow.

Draft Order
The order in which teams will select a player in their draft. The draft order is typically random, yet is inverted every other round after the first, which is sometimes referred to as "snaking".

Fallacy Scoring
A Cumulative scoring system that rewards a manager for a roster that performs poorly. For instance, in Fallacy Scoring, a home run is bad for a manager’s team and will cost him points, and a strikeout is good for a manager’s team and will earn him points.

Free Agent
Any player who is not on a manager’s roster and is not on waivers. Free agents are available to be placed on a manager’s roster with no limitations other than the manager have room on his roster. In daily leagues, free agents picked up before the start of any of the day’s games (not just the free agent’s game) are typically available to be placed in the manager’s starting lineup for that day.

Frozen Player
Refers to the state of a player once his day’s game has started. Frozen players cannot have their position updated, whether to be moved from the starting lineup to the bench, moved from the bench to the starting lineup, or moved from one position in the starting lineup to another. The player will typically be unfrozen following his day’s game.

League
Groups of 2 to 20 managers who all compete against each other. As in a professional league, a Fantasy Baseball league will adhere to certain rules, and each player may be owned by a single manager at a time. A manager can choose to join a league with managers he already knows or be randomly placed in a league of managers. In either case, any manager joining a league should pay particular attention to the league’s rules as the rules can often make or break the season.

List Draft
A type of league draft that takes place without any of the league’s managers being present during the draft, as opposed to Live Drafts where most managers are present to make their own picks. Since the manager is not present, all managers set their prerankings, which select the players for each team.  

Live Draft
A type of league draft that takes place online on in person.  Live Draft participants are given a certain amount of time to draft a player. Most managers typically prefer the Live Draft to the List Draft because it gives them more control over their picks.

Pending Trade
When both parties agree to a player trade, the trade is said to be pending. Depending upon the league’s settings, other managers may then vote to allow a trade if it seems fair or veto the trade if it seems unfair. In other leagues, the Commish is the only person who can veto the trade. In almost all leagues, if the trade isn’t vetoed in a certain span of time it is implicitly agreed upon and will be processed.  Once the trade is processed the transaction is considered final.

Pickup Player
A type of transaction where a player is added to a manager’s roster. Any player that is on waivers or is a free agent is available for pickup.

Position Assignment
The act of placing a player in a particular starting lineup spot for that day’s games. Players can only be assigned positions that they are eligible to play.  Every league differs in the number of required games a player must play at a given position in order to be eligible.  Some players can be eligible for multiple positions, depending on league rules.  Keep in mind that position eligibility plays an important role in Fantasy Baseball. A hard-hitting third baseman who suddenly become available at second base is much more valuable because second base is not considered a slugging position.

Private Leagues
Any user-created league that requires a password in order to join.

Public Leagues
A user-created league that is open to any manager who is looking to join the league. Public leagues are typically set up for managers who are looking to compete against a new group of people.

Roster
The list of players that a manager owns. The roster includes both the starting lineup player and the bench players. A manager’s roster changes throughout the year as the he makes trades, picks up player, or drops players.

Roster Requirements
Limitations set by the league’s creator that restricts the number of players the manager can have on his roster. The requirements define limits at each position, the number of bench spots, and the number of DL spots each team is allowed.

Rotisserie Scoring (Roto)
A type of scoring system that assigns points depending upon a manager’s rank in each statistical category that the league tracks relative to other managers in his league.

For instance, consider a league with 12 managers. If a manager is leading the league in RBIs, he is granted 12 points. If he is ranked second in RBIs, he is granted 11 points, etc. down to 1 point for the manager who has the least RBIs. This is then done for all the other stat categories the league tracks. The manager’s overall score is determined by summing up the manager’s points in each statistical category. The manager with the highest overall score is in first place, etc.

The major difference between Cumulative Scoring and Roto Scoring is the method used to arrive at the manager’s overall score. Cumulative leagues assign a point value to each statistical event (e.g. RBIs), whereas Roto managers are rewarded for their rank in each stat category relative to the other managers in the league.

Fantasy Baseball typically uses four types of pre-configured Roto Scoring systems: 4×4, 5×5, 10×10, and Sabermetrics.

Sabermetrics
Scoring A Roto Scoring System that tracks 4 statistical categories each for hitters and pitchers. The categories are as follows:
Hitters:
On Base Percentage (OBP), Total Runs (R), Runs Batted In (RBI), Slugging Percentage (SLG)
Pitchers:
Wins (W), Saves (S), Earned Run Average (ERA), Walks + Hits per Inning Pitched (WHIP)

Scoring System
The set of rules that is used to determine a managers fantasy points.

Snaking Rounds
Term used to describe the order in which teams select their picks during a draft. Assuming that team A picks first in the first round and team Z picks last, in the second round team Z will pick first and team A last. This ensures that every manager has a fair chance to get the players he’s got his eye on. When graphed, the sequence appears to snake back and forth across the managers.

Starting Lineup
The set of players on a manager’s team that include any player not on the bench or on the disabled list. Players in the starting lineup earn a manager points for their performances in that day’s games. A manager does not necessarily need to fill every starting spot for any given day. In some cases a manager may actually decide not to fill any players into certain starting positions, such as when his typical starter is injured or has a tough opponent for that day.

Trade
A type of transaction where two managers agree to swap players. A manager may agree to a trade where he receives more players than he gives up, in which case he may be forced to drop some number of players before the trade can be processed.

Trade Deadline
The date by which all trade offers must be accepted by both parties (i.e. pending) in order for it to be processed. Any trades that are not in the pending state on or before the trade deadline are canceled. A trade pending on or before the deadline may still be vetoed by the Commish or other league members (depending upon league rules). Deadlines are often imposed towards the end of the season to mirror the similar deadline imposed by Major League Baseball.

Trade Offer
The process of proposing a trade to another manager in the same league. A trade offer can either be accepted as is (it then becomes pending), rejected outright, or can generate a counter offer. Any number of trades involving the same players can be offered to the same manager. trade veto A power granted to league managers or the league Commish (or both, or neither) that allows them to cancel a pending trade because it is perceived as being unfair. This power itself can be abused, so a minimum number of votes to veto must be recorded before the trade is vetoed. This is one way that our Fantasy Baseball game protects against collusion.

Transaction
Any one of the various actions that add or remove players from a manager’s roster. Examples are pickups, drops, trades, and wavier claims.

Utility Player
Some leagues may be configured with one or more utility spots for each manager’s starting lineup. The utility spot can be filled with any batter and acts similar to the DH spot on a major league team.

User-Created League
Refers to any league that is not an auto league. User-created leagues can be either private or public. The league creator is the Commish of the league by default.

Waivers
Describes the availability of a player after the draft or after being dropped from another manager’s roster. A player on waivers cannot be picked up immediately. Instead, he will remain on waivers for some duration of time and any manager interested in acquiring him must put in a waiver claim for him.

On the night the player is due to come off waivers, each of the claims on the player is considered. The manager who has the highest waiver priority wins the claim (and therefore the player) and the manager then moved to the bottom of the priority chain (i.e. he has the lowest waiver priority). If the player is not claimed by any team, he becomes a free agent and can be picked up at any time by any team. The waiver period therefore gives all managers a fair chance to acquire any given player.

Waiver Claim
A result of a manager declaring his desire to acquire a player who is on waivers. Waiver claims can be canceled at any time. The manager with the highest waiver priority at the time the player comes off of waivers wins the claim and gets the player. waivers duration The amount of time a player remains on waivers. This is automatically configured by for Auto Leagues or the league Commish for user-created leagues.

Waiver Priority
Indirectly describes how likely a manager is to win a waiver claim. A manager with the highest waiver priority will win any waiver claim he places, but will then be placed at the end of the waiver priority list. A manager with a low priority can still win a claim, though, as long as no other manager with a higher priority has placed a claim on the same player.

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