Last week, I got a digital copy of my favorite Fantasy Baseball magazine, “The Fantasy Baseball Guide 2014″ and once again, I come away incredibly impressed. As I’ve mentioned in the past, like an old character actor dropping names at a party, I worked on several Fantasy Baseball magazines in my 14 years writing about Fantasy Sports.
This is the magazine talked about by six-time Tout Wars winner, Larry Schechter, in the book, “Winning Fantasy Baseball,” as one of his favorites to grab dollar values from every season to compare to his own.
Between my five years at CBSSports.com, and my years at OPENSports.com, and since DavidGonos.com began a few years ago, I know how involved and painstaking it is to work on a billion player profiles, detailed projections and rankings.
And then, just before print, a new item drops and screws everything up!
So I have a soft spot for this medium, as a writer and as a Fantasy Baseball player dating back to 1995, when magazines were much more prolific.
If you do decide to order this magazine (PDF or digital copy), make sure you use the coupon code, “gonos14” and save $1 off the magazine cover price!
Eric Mack (BleacherReport.com) and I wrote everything in our CBS magazines. EVERYTHING. It was an incredibly large endeavor every winter, as we began working on it in November of the previous year.
Dating back to when I bought my very first magazine to the time I spent writing them, it helped build me into the fat Fantasy player I am today! (Well, the fat part is more the fault of chicken wings and carrot cake.) But I digress …
Fantasy Baseball Magazines = Championships.
“The Fantasy Baseball Guide 2014”
The first thing I want to mention about this magazine is that it’s just flat-out beautiful. I’m a writer, not a design guy, so I’m always impressed at how nice their magazines look. It’s perfectly laid out, with a ton of pictures, very useful charts and in-depth player rankings. It’s just a lot of information squeezed into limited space.
But that’s not why you buy a Fantasy Baseball magazine.
Let me give you a rundown of SOME of the contributors to this piece.
- Jason Collette, RotoWire.com (FSWA’s 2014 Fantasy Baseball Writer of the Year)
- Nando Di Fino, CBSSports.com (He’s Nando-riffic!)
- Ron Shandler, BaseballHQ.com (one of the Tout Wars founders)
- Doug Dennis, BaseballHQ.com
- Ray Flowers, BaseballGuys.com, Sirius/XM Radio “The Drive”
- Mike Gianella, Roto Think Tank
- Chris Liss, RotoWire.com, Sirius/XM Radio (former Tout Wars champ)
- Peter Kreutzer, AskRotoMan.com
- Lawr Michaels, Mastersball.com
- Nick Minnix, KFFL.com
- Alex Patton, PattonandCo.com
- Mike Podhorzer, FanGraphs.com
- Scott Pianowski, Yahoo! Sports
- Eno Sarris, FanGraphs.com
- Todd Zola, Mastersball.com
That’s just 16 of the 30 veteran writers that contributed to this Fantasy Baseball magazine!!! THAT’S JUST HALF! This magazine has more Fantasy Baseball talent than most Fantasy Baseball sites! Exclamation points!
Even so, you want to know how it can help you win your Fantasy Baseball league, so let’s discuss!
Fantasy Baseball Draft Prep
This magazine is chock full of great articles, including several strategy pieces. Here are some of my favorite articles that I think you’ll enjoy.
“2014 Rookie Rondelay”
Several of the writers dish on the top 25 rookies entering this season. They even point out where the rookies got drafted in the magazine’s mock draft. Very helpful! (Spoiler alert: Red Sox SS Xander Bogaerts was drafted!) Buck Davidson believes Miguel Sano could become an elite power hitter in the majors by this season.
They also list “5IVE MORE” prospects that might be more long-term investments. Think that’s cool? How about the fact that they actually list SIX more, instead of five! (Apparently, when you spell “five” with a number instead of an “f,” it means six.) My man Jake Odorizzi makes the list!
This article is actually a great excerpt from Schechter’s book, “Winning Fantasy Baseball,” in which he discusses what his goals are during an auction. Nando calls Schechter, “Possibly the best Fantasy Baseball player in the world.” (IN THE WORLD!!!)
Schechter explains what he does with his dollar values, when he compares them with dollar values from other sources, in order to find players he believes he can buy on the cheap.
“Strategies of Champions”
Speaking of Tout Wars champions, this Fantasy Baseball Magazine is famous for posting write-ups from all four of the Tout Wars winners of the previous seasons (Mixed auction, Mixed draft, AL-Only auction and NL-Only auction).
Fred Zinkie of MLB.com discusses his strategy and how he won his second Tout Wars Mixed auction title. You’ll get to see what he did to beat me by half a point this season, keeping me from winning my second Tout Wars title. (My tears still haven’t dried, after realizing I was just one home run short of winning it all. ONE HOME RUN! SERENITY NOW!)
“I Heart Fantasy Baseball”
Speaking of me (I do love me some me), I have a short write-up in this piece entitled, “Why I Love to Play Daily Games!” Hey, go figure, I end up complaining about losing Tout Wars by one home run in this piece, too!
Lawr Michaels talks about his love for Strat-o-Matic, and Tim McLeod of RotoRob.com discusses his love for mixed drafts. There are nine different authors that make their pitch about their favorite games in this article.
2014 Fantasy Baseball Player Rankings
The magazine does a great job of breaking down each position in several categories: Top Tiers, The Teens (middle-of-the-road Fantasy starters), Breakouts and The Barrel Bottom (the guys picked near the end of your drafts).
One of my favorite features is the “2013 Fast Facts” section, which points out which player cost the most last year, which one earned the least by season’s end, which one earned the most, the biggest loss and the biggest profit.
They even do a “Historical Top 20” for each position, which shows a ranking in total Fantasy dollar value of what players have earned at their position in each of the past three years. Did you know Ben Zobrist ($69) ranks in the top five among both second basemen and shortstops for his three-year averages?
Finally, this Fantasy Baseball magazine goes at least 50-deep on each of their position rankings (DH goes to just 12, obviously). And they rank over 110 players at both the outfield and starting pitcher spots.
1,400 Player Profiles
There are over 1,400 player profiles in this Fantasy Baseball magazine! I think they even profiled the grounds crews! Each profile has a player outlook, a projected dollar value for single leagues, stats and a cost scan from the previous four seasons, his projected stats and an expert opinion (“Picks and Pans”).
Another cool aspect about these profiles is that in place of dollar values of some players, a relatively self-explanatory letter code is used, “R=Reserve,” “C=Claim,” “F=Future,” “S=Sleeper,” and “I=Injured.” The hitters and pitchers are separated.
Did I mention that there were 1,400 player profiles? Fantasy Baseball writers have it WAAAAAAY tougher than Fantasy Football writers. (Which is like saying, hot blondes have it way better than hot brunettes, I know.)
2014 Fantasy Baseball Mock Draft
Fifteen Fantasy Baseball writers, ranging from Jeff Erickson of RotoWire.com to Steve Gardner of USAToday.com to Nicholas Minnix of KFFL.com, got together for this mock draft for your reading pleasure. Each pick also has a little blurb about his 2014 outlook.
Finally, each of the experts reviews their team after the mock draft and they discuss some of the good and bad picks in the draft. They share their plan going into the mock draft, whether it worked or not and why.
The Fantasy Baseball Guide 2014: Is it worth $7.99?
I understand that there’s a lot of information available online for free. But I know for a fact that there’s no free site that has this amount of great content from these 30 different expert writers, in such a pleasing layout.
The cover price for the magazine is $7.99, but if you use use the coupon code, “gonos14” at checkout, you’ll get $1 off! The PDF copy is also available for download.
In full disclosure, I’m happy to be a paid affiliate of this Fantasy Baseball magazine because of the people involved, the professional look and the quality content. And I think you’ll agree!