Top 31 (+3) FREE Fantasy Baseball Tools to Use In-Season
About a month ago, I posted the top Free Fantasy Baseball Draft Tools, so now that we’re over four weeks into the season, I thought I’d share some of the top Free Fantasy Baseball tools to use after the draft! (And don’t forget to check out last year’s Top Free Fantasy Football Draft Tools!)
As I’ve mentioned before, these lists are liquid because I’m always adding (and in some cases subtracting) because there are new sites popping up all the time, new apps, new tools, etc.
So if you have great free Fantasy Baseball tools you think I should add to this list – the best thing would be to shoot me an email through my contact page. You can also comment on this page, but I’m guessing you’d rather ME talk about what I like about your free Fantasy Baseball tools, rather than you. (Readers would probably prefer a subjective voice, also.)
When I do post a new tool, I’ll indicate it’s new by calling it a “BONUS TOOL” and adding to the article’s headline. Seems easy enough.
Feel free to comment on any of these free Fantasy Baseball tools or sites and mention how they have helped you, or a specific way you’ve used them to help you dominate your league.
Top 31(+3) FREE Fantasy Baseball Tools
As I mentioned, these are tools you would use in-season, not for your draft. That’s from another post, but even so, a lot of these tools you can still use for your next Fantasy Baseball draft.
This site has been around for a few years now, and they painstakingly go through all of the Fantasy Baseball and Fantasy Football articles – every day, several times a day – to pick out the best articles for their users to check out. Writers love Fantasy Rundown because they highlight only really good content. Websites love Fantasy Rundown because they reward good content with a ton of readers. And users love Fantasy Rundown because they save tons of time by not having to scour through dozens of websites.
BONUS TOOL No. 1: Start/Sit Tool from FantasySP.com
You can finally stop tweeting the same “Who Should I Start” question to two dozen writers! This tool is fantastic! Go here, insert the two players you are debating for the coming scoring period, and you’ll get the following:
- Most recent player news bite for each player from several sources, including CBSSports, RotoWire and Rotoworld.
- Performance trend graphs showing how consistent each player has been over the past several weeks.
- Own/Start Breakdown over thousands of leagues (not sure which league services this comes from, however.
- Expert Consensus, with rankings.
- Player breakdown, with stats, an overview broken down in a bullet-list, and trending hitting stats for each player.
I piddled a little bit when I found this page.
Well, if you’re still hungry for even more content, you can check out this site, where they aggregate RSS feeds of articles, blogs, podcasts and other such items. They also have a great Twitter feed that runs the links to these articles as they come through. Great tool, great help.
BONUS TOOL No. 2: TradeDebate.com Community Trade Rater
This allows the online community to vote on your proposed player trades. You can tell it what league type you are using and the amount of owners, so the voters know exactly what they’re dealing with. And then, the voters can choose a trade winner — or they can vote the trade as completely fair! It really is a great tool and one you should give a chance before blindly making a big trade.
I cut my teeth as a Fantasy Baseball player update writer in the summer of 2003 (10 YEARS AGO!!!) with the CBSSports.com Fantasy content staff. And I understand the importance of quick, well-written, intelligent Fantasy Baseball player updates.
Recently, CBSSports.com changed the style of their Fantasy player updates, having the columnists post mini-articles on players and news of note. Some players that don’t deserve a longer update still get a news update, however.
I asked Peter Madden, Editorial Director for Fantasy Sports, why they made the change in style, and here are the five reasons he gave me:
- “We wanted to give the site more personality and highlight our writers more. “
- “It allows us to focus more on aggregating as much news as possible.”
- “Previously our writers had to force generic Fantasy analysis along with every piece of news. Now, if the news doesn’t warrant a deep dive, we don’t spend time doing it.”
- “We wanted to build the brand of our writers. If you like Scott White’s advice and philosophies, you can now clearly read his points of view on your players. “
- “It allows us to provide mulitple points of view. Now, two to three writers can offer their own unique opinion on a player.”
Of course, the guys at RotoWorld.com also still do a really good job. When I worked at OPENSports.com, we designed our page to have Fantasy Headlines much like theirs. After all, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery! Starting your day by checking the Fantasy MLB Headlines section is always a good idea.
Now that the minor leagues are in full swing, you can track your favorite prospects and the top minor leaguers. I like how they give you a quick look at the last 10 games for a player. Very useful.
… or What I Like to Call – GAMECHANGER!
The thing about Fantasy Baseball owners is – they like to read a lot of content – usually from a lot of sites. They might read the articles on the site where their league is hosted – but so are their opponents. So they’ll read articles on other sites, and then go back and forth between the article on some other site and their league page to see which players are available.
This app, which you can add to your Chrome or FireFox browser, will connect to your league, and then you can see which players in that article are available in your league, which ones you already own, and which ones other people already own. Basically, you just connected RotoWorld, RotoWire, KFFL, SI.com and any other site that’s one of your favorites – directly to your league. If I were any of those sites I just mentioned, I would try to buy this company. No brainer.
I will now take credit for introducing you to this amazing product. (I’m now almost as important as the guys that invented it!)
Again, another gamechanger in the Fantasy Baseball world from a site that is slowly becoming a hub of great tools and content from around the web.
Connect “My Playbook” with one of your teams on CBS, ESPN or Yahoo!, and then you’ll get a dashboard for your team. On that dashboard, you’ll get Player News & Advice, which can be broken down by recent news, articles or player notes from several websites, including CBSSports.com, KFFL.com, Sports Illustrated, RotoWorld, Beast Dome, and MLB Soup. You can also look at the Rankings tab to see where your players rank for the rest of the season, as well as where free agents are ranked.
Obviously, the Player Rankings at FantasyPros.com is a great free tool all on its own.
The fine folks at MLBDepthCharts.com are now supplying the depth charts for BP, which is great news for all – especially because it has remained free for everyone. You’ll find the updated 40-man roster for every team, each team’s “Go-To Starting Lineup,” their bench on the 25-man roster, their rotation and bullpen setup, their disabled list with injury news, notable minor leaguers with their current level of play, and a pretty awesome chart that shows how the team was assembled (where each player came from and when).
While the previous tool shows the depth charts by team, this tool separates it by position, so you can immediately look and see what the backup catcher is for each team, etc.
BONUS TOOL No. 3: Trade Analyzer from BaseballMonster.com
While you need to be a member to see their projections, the Trade Analysis Tool is quite powerful. You can choose more than one player at a time, and sort the stats over a certain time period. It shows you stat breakdowns to explain which players are better than the others, as opposed to just a thumbs up or thumbs down on the possible trade.
This is another one of the more useful free Fantasy Baseball tools. See what this site thinks about your possible one-for-one or two-for-two trades. It’s fun to poke around with when you’re thinking about making some moves.
Call me partial, but I like to check out CBSSports.com’s rankings – mostly because I was the guy that spurred them into creating this page in the first place, back in 2006. Granted, the setup is a little outdated right now, but I think the green arrows up and red arrows down are helpful touches.
I just broke my arm patting myself on the back.
I didn’t “build” this tool, however. That takes a MUCH smarter guy than myself, and that credit goes to Blue Jays fan Jake Payton. Plus, you get to see Nando Di Fino’s rankings here! That guy’s good people! (I’m also partial to what my old writing partners, Eric Mack and Tristan Cockcroft have to say.)
As the trade deadline gets closer, no website does a better job of tracking who might go where and who would benefit or not benefit from it.
The Lite version is free, with advertising, but they’ll send you an updated immediately when it’s known that one of your players is not in that day’s lineup (usually known about 60 to 90 minutes before first pitch). You’ll also get an email notifying you if your player lands on the disabled list, involved in a rainout or any other breaking news surrounding him.
I think the guys at RotoWorld do the best job of laying out their injury list table, giving readers a good idea of who’s hurt for each team, what the injury is, when it happened and when they’re expected to return.
They have an easy-to-sort table loaded with Dan Szymborski’s ZiPS Projections to determine what a player might hit for the remainder of the season. (They like Miguel Cabrera to knock in 100 RBI over the last five months of the season!)
This is quite possibly the most encompassing group of articles for Fantasy Baseball owners interested in maturing into Fantasy Baseball superstar owners. The site itself appears to be near death (Justin Verlander won the 2011 Cy Young, from what their latest article tells me on their home page), but these articles are superb and should be read by all rookies and veterans alike. (I originally had this in my best Free Fantasy Baseball Draft Tools, but the page wasn’t working then.)
- This syllabus has seven articles laying out the very basics of Fantasy Baseball, including how to play, setting up a league and Roto vs. H2H Scoring Basics in the “Freshman Courses.”
- In the “Sophomore Courses,” you can learn Basic Auction Principles, Trading Etiquette and Free Agency Basics, among other pieces.
- Then, in “Junior Courses,” there are seven more pieces, including Calculating Inflation. The “Senior Courses” are five deep, headlined by Sabermetric Principles.
- And finally, you can get your Masters in Fantasy Baseball, as you learn Advanced Sabermetrics, Minor League Research and Analysis and a few more articles.
YOU WILL NOT SKIP THESE CLASSES!
Get emails during the season, like the Baseball America Prospect Report, which gives you daily stats on dozens of prospects from the previous night’s box scores. It will also highlight a few of the best performances of the day. They also have a Draft Update email, a College Update and a High School Update.
Well, this seemed like one of the better free Fantasy Baseball tools, but it doesn’t seem like it’s being updated regularly now. The last updated was from October of 2012. But still … cool idea! If it makes you feel any better, they also have a “Designated For Assignment Tracker” that appears only two months old.
Want to keep a close eye on the closer situation on every ballclub? The guys at ESPN do a nice job of it, showing you who the current closer is, who is next in line, who might be a dark-horse candidate and who is “looming” with possible saves in the future. (Run that PickemFirst app on this page and life is good!)
While the chart above is helpful, I really like what CloserMonkey.com does with their daily wrap-ups of the situations from the previous day’s games. While you’re scurrying around for the newest stopper, those that read CloserMonkey.com have known about him for days.
CBSSports.com has a two-start pitcher tool that shows the pitchers set for two starts in the coming Fantasy scoring period. You also see which teams and pitchers they’ll go up against in each matchup, as well as the venue. Finally, they are ranked in order of CBSSports.com ownership percentages, so you can easily sift out the potential free agents from your league.
Updated hourly, up until game time, these guys use the current weather and updated ballpark factors to determine how good or bad a park will play for a hitter on a given day. It also shows where the wind is blowing out – and how hard. Got some money on the line? Check this place out first!
They have the hourly weather forecasts for every game going on in a given day. This is especially helpful for Daily Fantasy League players.
This is another one of those no-brainers, but one I need to mention. This site has a ton of useful things on it, but I mostly use it to look up past players or the stats for current players, like Matt Holliday. One thing I like, unlike many sites, is they break down a player’s stat line by the two teams he played for in a given year if he was traded midseason, and then they also give the total for that year. Want to see something else cool? Click on the 2010 row, and then click on 2006. Boom. The stats for all of those years are combined and broken out into a separate window. It’s awesome.
Other reasons this site is awesome? They show player nicknames, Twitter accounts, all the transactions he’s been involved in, his contract status and the jersey numbers he has worn.
Along with the Baseball-Reference.com stats, I like to use Yahoo!’s player pages to look through splits and situational stats. Did you know Matt Holliday is hitting three points higher hitting cleanup than he has batting third? Also, the Giants and Phillies are the only two NL teams to keep him hitting below .280.
Every now and then, you’re bound to come across a stat acronym you just aren’t familiar with. These guys do such a great job of explaining what it means, why it’s beneficial and what is usually considered average, good or bad for each stat that warrants it.
They look at the player salaries at several of the top Daily Fantasy Baseball services, and they measure the difference in salary from this week to last week at each position. So you can see which hot players are still a bargain on some sites, and which faltering players still cost too much on other sites.
This site actually has several good tools on it, but their top prospects list has some good write-ups and is easy to sort through. The list is actually a combined list of the prospect rankings of several sites, including Baseball America, Baseball Prospectus and MLB.com.
Audio You Should Listen To:
I like to listen to podcasts and SiriusXM Radio when I’m at work, and it’s a great way to keep up to date with news and injuries.
- CBSSports.com’s Fantasy Baseball Podcast with Adam Aizer, Nando Di Fino, Al Melchior and Scott White
- CBSSports.com’s Fantasy Baseball Today daily videos with the same assortment of characters. Live every day at noon.
- Fantasy411 from MLB.com with Cory Schwartz and Mike Siano. These guys are total characters and they do a great job of being entertaining and interesting.
- ESPN Fantasy Focus podcast with Matthew Berry, Nate Ravitz and Stefania Bell
- RotoAnalysis.com’s podcast with Moe Koltun and Matt Schwimmer.
- BaseballHQ.com’s HQ Radio podcast with Patrick Davitt
- SiriusXM’s Fantasy Sports Channel with these great shows:
- The RotoExperts with Scott Engel and Adam Ronis
- RotoExperts Daily Fantasy Baseball with Ronis and Dr. Roto
- RotoWire Fantasy Sports Today with Jeff Erickson and Chris Liss
- SiriusXM Fantasy Drive with Ray Flowers and Kyle Elfrink
- Fantasy Alarm with Jeff Mans
Standout Twitter Feeds
A couple month ago, I posted the “99 Fantasy Baseball Twitter Accounts You Must Follow,” which were based mostly on writers and not just websites. So here are a handful of other Twitter accounts you should subscribe to:
- @MLBDailyLineups – They post the lineups for every team for every game for every day … for real. They’re also posted all on one page at RotoInfo.com.
- @MLBDailyBullpen – Any news on changes for any team’s bullpen gets posted here.
- @CloserNews – Another great Twitter account that tracks closer situations across the league. This one is powered by RotoAuthority.com.
Don’t forget to check out last year’s Top Free Fantasy Football Draft Tools also. I’m sure I will be adding more FREE Fantasy Baseball tools to this page throughout the week! So check back often.