2015

Fantasy Baseball Magazine Review: “The Fantasy Baseball Guide 2015”

Fantasy Baseball Magazine, Guide 2015 Cover

Over the past three or four years, on Fantasy Baseball magazine has stood out above the rest – and I really don’t think it’s close. I got my digital copy of “The Fantasy Baseball Guide 2015” this week, and once again, I’m supremely impressed by the people involved, the design and – most of all – the content.

While I’ve worked with several of these writers in the past, which has only increased my admiration for their knowledge and work ethic.

Even Larry Schechter, the six-time Tout Wars champion who wrote “Winning Fantasy Baseball” last year, said this is one of his favorite magazines to grab every offseason for the dollar values. He likes to compare them to his own to help him gauge value plays.

I was involved in the CBSSports.com Fantasy Baseball Magazine in every year of its existence, from 2004 to 2008, as a writer and an associate editor. I know how much work goes into the construction, design, analysis, writing, and distribution. This magazine blows our magazine – which I am extremely proud of – away.

I have a real soft spot for magazines because I had worked on them during my tenure at CBS. Eric Mack and I would write like 900 player profiles, then a January trade would happen and screw up everything! Can you imagine how the past Hot Stove League, one of the most active offseasons in baseball history, affected this magazine!?! But they’re on top of it – because they’re pros.

If you decide to order this magazine (PDF or digital copy for your iPad or tablet), make sure you use the coupon code, “gonos15” and save $1 off the magazine cover price!

Fantasy Baseball Magazines = Championships. Why? Because you’re deep-dive researching on-the-go. Everywhere you can take your iPad or iPhone, you’ll be doing some research for your Fantasy teams.

“The Fantasy Baseball Guide 2015” Magazine

As always, the magazine is just a really beautiful publication. These guys – every season – always put out a great-looking magazine. This is a well-constructed and laid out magazine. They’ve been making these magazines for a while now, and they’ve figured out how to do it early – and they keep doing it right. Lots of action pictures, bold fonts, easy to read, and just a ton of helpful charts and tables. When you look at how detailed and in-depth the player rankings pages are, you’ll see just how good they are at squeezing a ton of information in limited spaces on each page.

Here are some of the contributors to the magazine – I guarantee you’ll come away happy with their choices of writers:

  • Ron Shandler, BaseballHQ.com (one of the Tout Wars founders)
  • Jason Collette, RotoWire.com (FSWA’s 2014 Fantasy Baseball Writer of the Year)
  • Doug “Rotodaddy” Anderson (One of those com!)
  • Lawr Michaels, Mastersball.com
  • Ray Flowers, FantasyAlarm.com, Sirius/XM Radio
  • Mike Gianella, Baseball Prospectus
  • Chris Liss, RotoWire.com, Sirius/XM Radio (former Tout Wars champ)
  • Alex Patton, PattonandCo.com
  • Phil Hertz, BaseballHQ.com
  • Zach Steinhorn, MLB.com
  • Doug Dennis, BaseballHQ.com
  • Mike Podhorzer, FanGraphs.com
  • Buck Davidson (One of those com!)
  • Todd Zola, Mastersball.com
  • Peter Kreutzer, AskRotoman.com (he’s the editor-in-chief!)

That’s 14 of the 27 veteran Fantasy writers that took part in this Fantasy Baseball magazine!!! I only mentioned about half of them! Most Fantasy Baseball sites, including my sites, would love to have one-third of this talent, much less 27 of these guys.

Fantasy Baseball Draft Prep

This magazine has several great features and articles, including strategy pieces and even some Daily Fantasy Baseball talk. Below are a few of what I think are the most interesting articles.

“We Have a Winner: The 2015 Rookie of the Year Award”

A few handfuls of the experts were polled to see who their top-five rookies candidates were for the 2015 season. In other words, which first-year players were going to have the biggest Fantasy impact in 2015? Then the editors took those separate lists and combined them into one composite list.

Fantasy Baseball Magazine, Guide 2015 CoverI won’t spoil who the combined lists ended up deciding who would be the top Fantasy Baseball rookie for 2015, but I will tell you this – he’s from the National League – and I want him on my team. “Prodigous power coupled with an advanced approach means that he legitimately has superstar potential.” Yes, please, may I have another!?!

The entire list goes 20 deep, with in-depth discussions for each. Then, at the bottom of the page, they showed where all of the rookies got drafted in the magazine’s mock draft … that I wasn’t invited to. WHAT!?!

Another great nugget from this section comes from the sidebar entitled, “The 2016 Crop”! They look ahead one entire season to see who they think will be the top rookies for 2016.

Strategies of Champions

Every year, this Fantasy Baseball Magazine posts 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), and they did the same again this year.

Along with those strategy pieces, Doug Anderson explains “How to Succeed at the Daily Games: It Will Take Trying.” Excellent piece that deserves a look before you start tossing out money in Daily Fantasy Baseball lineups in 2015.

2015 Fantasy Baseball Player Rankings: Position by Position

They break down each position in several categories, including: Top Tiers, The Teens (middle-of-the-road Fantasy starters), Breakouts and The Barrel Bottom (the guys picked in the later rounds).

One of my favorite features is the “2014 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 also 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 Daniel Murphy ($69) ranks in the top five among second basemen 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 11, obviously). And they rank over 110 players at both the outfield and starting pitcher spots.

Player Profiles

There are over 1,400 player profiles in this Fantasy Baseball magazine. Each profile has a player outlook, a projected dollar value for single leagues, stats, and cost and earnings scans 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.”

Fantasy Baseball Magazine Player Outlook

2015 Fantasy Baseball Mock Draft

Fifteen Fantasy Baseball writers, ranging from Doug Anderson of SoCalledFantasyExperts.com to Joe Sheehan of Sports Illustrated to Derek VanRiper of RotoWire.com, got together for this mock draft for your reading pleasure. Each pick also has a little blurb about his 2015 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.

Fantasy Baseball Guide 2015: Is it worth $7.99 for the Digital Copy?

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 digital copy is available for your iPad, tablet or computer now (it looks amazing on the iPad) for just $7.99, but you have to be online to access it.

The PDF version is a file you can take with you anywhere, and you don’t have to be online to use it. The cover price for the PDF magazine is $9.99 because of the bandwidth/hosting fees necessary to have the file available for download.

But use use the coupon code, “gonos15” at checkout, you’ll get $1 off either price! For $6.99, this is a great deal for easily the best Fantasy Baseball magazine around.

In full disclosure, I’m happy to be a paid affiliate of this magazine because of the people involved, the professional look and the quality content. And I think you’ll agree!

David Gonos spent 5 years as a CBSSports.com Senior Fantasy Writer and three more years writing with SI.com. Over the past 17 years, his work has been published on NFL.com, MLB.com, FanDuel, FoxSports.com and USA Today. Since 2001, he has been tracking down the Top 50-plus Free Fantasy Football Draft Tools online. You can contact David Gonos here.

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