I recently got a digital copy of “The Fantasy Baseball Guide 2013” magazine, and I have to say I’m thoroughly impressed. During my time at CBSSports.com, we churned out several Fantasy Baseball magazines over the five years I was a writer there. So I have a soft spot for this medium, as a writer, and I also very much enjoy buying them, as a reader. I think you’ll also enjoy what I’m so far considering the best Fantasy Baseball Guide 2013.
If you do decide to order this magazine, make sure you use the coupon code, “GONOS” and save $1 off the cover price!
Eric Mack (SI.com) and I wrote everything in our magazines. EVERYTHING. It was an incredibly large endeavor every winter, as we began working on it in November of the previous year. We had to write dozens of pieces, including position breakdowns, early rankings, rookie previews, strategy thoughts, and hundreds upon hundreds of Fantasy Baseball player updates.
My point is that I owe a great deal of my ability as a writer and a Fantasy Baseball player to the time I spent working on those magazines. The last article I wrote for the last magazine I worked on with CBS in 2008, earned me a FSWA nomination – and I ended up winning the 2008 Tout Wars Mixed League title that season.
Magazines = Championships.
Fantasy Baseball Guide 2013
First, it’s just a gorgeous magazine. As a guy that has seen Fantasy Baseball magazines dating back to 1995, I was duly impressed by the aesthetic beauty of this one. It’s well laid out, with great pictures, helpful charts and rankings, and a TON 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, Baseball Prospectus
- Doug Dennis, BaseballHQ.com
- Ray Flowers, BaseballGuys.com, Sirius/XM Radio “The Drive”
- Mike Gianella, Roto Think Tank
- Chris Liss, RotoWire.com
- Peter Kreutzer, AskRotoMan.com
- Gene McCaffrey, Wise Guys Baseball
- Lawr Michaels, CREATiVESPORTS
- Nick Minnix, KFFL.com
- Alex Patton, PattonandCo.com
- Scott Pianowski, Yahoo! Sports
- Cory Schwartz, MLB.com
- Ron Shandler, BaseballHQ.com
- Seth Trachtman, Sporting News
That’s just 14 of the 28 veteran Fantasy writers that contributed to this publication!!! THAT’S JUST HALF! This Fantasy Baseball Magazine has more Fantasy brains in it than most websites!
But again, you don’t buy the magazine for the beauty or the brains. You want to see how it can help you win your Fantasy Baseball league.
Fantasy Baseball Draft Prep
This magazine is chock full of great articles, including several strategy pieces. One of the most interesting pieces if one called, “Mythbusting,” which is a question and answer piece BaseballHQ’s Patrick Davitt, who did a four-part series for their website on understanding the MLB success rate of players listed in offseason Top 100 Prospects lists.
There’s also a roundtable piece, where three winners of major experts leagues discuss Fantasy Baseball preparation, execution and victory. Patton, Don Drooker and Larry Schechter take part in this effort.Schechter, you might remember, was my three-time nemesis in Mixed Tout Wars, when he won 2005, 2006 and 2007 titles, until I finally swiped the title from him in 2008. Then he graduated to the AL side, and won there in 2011 and 2012. Nando Di Fino of CBSSports.com has called him, “Possibly the best Fantasy Baseball player in the world.” (IN THE WORLD!!! That’s INCLUDING the jungles of Africa and the snowy tundras of Asia.
Speaking of Tout Wars, the magazine also had a recap from each of the winners (AL, NL and Mixed) from last season. MLB.com’s Schwartz wrote his recap about his Tout Mixed title he won last year, as I was one of his victims. The picture of him getting a Yoo-Hoo victory shower from his daughter is worth 10,000 Fantasy words.
There’s also a great piece by Drooker about the 12 guys you’ll meet in your Fantasy Baseball draft. As evidenced by my frequent purchases of Evan Longoria, I’m probably considered, “The Homer.” Here I come, Jose Molina!
Ranking the Rookies
You can tell these Fantasy Baseball experts have been drooling over some of these prospects for years – well before most of us have even heard of them. And I don’t mean like Fantasy Football rookie draft prep, where you talk about three quarterbacks, six running backs and six wide receivers and that’s about it. These guys dig deep into the baseball prospect well.
They have FIVE pages full of rookie discussion, ranking the top 25 rookies entering the 2013 Fantasy Baseball season. But they also dip five prospects deeper, as they review five guys they think just aren’t ready. And finally, they have a full page breaking down 10 prospects that they think are close to being ready for The Show, but they’re only “Almost There.”
2013 Fantasy Baseball Player Rankings
The magazine does a nice 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 “2012 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 Paul Konerko ($89) and Jose Valverde ($53) rank in the top five of their positions for their three-year averages?
Finally, this Fantasy Baseball magazine goes at least 50-deep on each of their position rankings (DH goes to just 11, though). And they rank over 110 players at both the outfield and starting pitcher spots.
My only complaint about this section, as well as the player profiles, is that the auction values listed are for AL- or NL-only leagues, and not mixed leagues. Writing for CBSSports.com for half a decade, I know that there are good amounts of people that play in single leagues, but they still are huge underdogs to the mixed leaguers. Actually, about 80 percent of Fantasy Baseball leagues on CBS were mixed leagues, with about an even split of the final 20 percent among AL- and NL-only leagues.
And that’s why it cracks me up that Tout Wars treats the Mixed League as the kids’ table, and veteran writers look at mixed leaguers as a secondary group sometimes.
There are over 1,400 player profiles in this thing! (I think they even profiled me! $-90 dollar value.) 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.
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.”
Did I mention that there was 1,400 of these 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.)
2013 Fantasy Baseball Mock Draft
Fifteen Fantasy Baseball writers, ranging from Nick Minnix of KFFL.com to Greg Ambrosius of NFBC.Stats.com to Zach Steinhorn of MLB.com, got together for this mock draft for your viewing pleasure. Each pick also has a little blurb about his 2013 outlook.
Finally, each of the experts reviews their team after the mock draft and discuss some of the good and bad. They share their plan going into the draft, whether it worked or not, their best and worst pick, and why.
Fantasy Baseball Guide 2013:
Is it worth $7.95?
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 28 different expert writers, in such a pleasing layout. You usually get one or the other in this world: looks or smarts.
And this magazine has both.
The digital copy is available for your iPad or computer now (it looks amazing on the iPad). The print magazine will be available on bookstands in early February, but you can order it online through this link. The cover price is between $7.95 and $9.95, depending on the format you want, but if you use use the coupon code, “GONOS” at checkout, you’ll get $1 off.
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!