A Shortcut to Projecting Hitters in Ottoneu

One of the better features of Ottoneu fantasy baseball is the linear weights-based scoring system for FGPTS and SABR.  These advanced, non-roto scoring options are well tuned to sabermetric-minded baseball fans, but they are not inherently intuitive until you get a feel for how a full season Ottoneu plays out.  Failure to quickly understand how player production and linear weights scoring are linked can put new Ottoneu owners at a disadvantage when entering an existing league of experienced game players.  In revisiting a RotoGraphs article by Justin Merry on how hitting is scored in Ottoneu (FGPTS and SABR), I was drawn to this statement:

If you total up a player’s fantasy points using this system, you will get a number that is going to be very close to ten times a player’s wRC.

Is this true? If so, wRC may serve as a nice “shortcut” to converting player production (and more importantly, projections), into actual FGPTS/SABR points for hitters, which can be helpful for owners new to the Ottoneu core scoring system.

Since this article is about taking shortcuts, I’ll take one myself and skip over all the statistical explanations for correlating FGPTS (hitters) to wRC and just give you the bottom line up front:

Over the small sample reviewed (2013 – 2015), the “wRC x 10” formula is a bit too generous, but if you adjust to “(wRC x 10)*.93” you can get pretty darn close to actual points scored, by player.

Let’s call this shorthand point calculation “wRCPTS”.  Here’s a quick graph (full version) showing the correlation of “wRCPTS” to Ottoneu scoring (FGPTS/SABR) for the top 100 hitters over the past three seasons:

2013 - 2015 FGPTS vs. wRCPTS vs. wRCx10

Top 100 hitters from 2013 – 2015 showing correlation of actual FGPTS (blue) scoring to wRC x 10 (red) and shorthand “wRCPTS” scoring (yellow).

In other words, a player’s “(wRC x 10)*.93” looks to be a viable but very general rule of thumb for quickly estimating how many points they have scored in a given season.  It isn’t perfect (speedier, low power hitters tend to have a greater correlation to wRC x 10, for example), but that’s the point: it’s just a shortcut designed to quickly get you to an estimated point total, by hitter, for linear weights. You can find the full three year comparison here.

Where could this shortcut help owners new to the Ottoneu game? Projections.

If you’re reading this article there’s a good chance you’re already comfortable converting projection data into linear weights scoring for FGPTS and SABR (Steamer projections, for example), but there are plenty of others who might benefit from a simplified version of a player-to-points calculation, which is what “wRCPTS” offers you.  It’s just a estimate (which can be quickly eye-balled by locating wRC on FanGraphs player pages), but sometimes that estimate is all you need to make an evaluation between comparable players.

Just for fun, let’s compare the “wRCPTS” shortcut calculation to the full scale calculation of FGPTS for 12 players using 2016 Steamer projections:

In graph form:

2016 Steamer Proj. by wRCPTS

In chart form:

2016 Steamer Proj. by wRCPTS Chart 2

2016 projected wRC and FGPTS by Steamer

Interesting? Helpful? “wRCPTS” seems to at least pass the eye test for viability, so if you’re new to Ottoneu and are having some trouble visualizing what player production might look like in a linear weights-based scoring system like FGPTS or SABR, give it a try.

Questions? Comments? Let us know.

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