DFS Primer: OBP, Or ‘Oh Boy, Points!’
March 30, 2016 | Jason Bales
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Welcome to Spring Training, rookie! This article is intended for novice daily fantasy baseball players. If this does not describe you, this article will probably not be very useful. The information presented throughout this series may be rather obvious for the experienced fantasy player, but, again, this is not the target audience. If you are experienced, feel free to read through this article as a refresher prior to that start of the season, or to hear some opposing opinions regarding previously held game strategy. Now, let’s get you in shape for this fantasy season!
This article is going to be very similar to the most recent article about stacking. Today, we are going to focus on OBP, or on-base percentage. This statistic is possibly the simplest way to win at daily fantasy baseball. There are multiple reasons for this, and we are going to get into those reason right now.
How important is OBP in 50/50 contests?
OBP, or on-base percentage, is the most important low-level, or easy, statistic to use when constructing a 50/50 contest lineup. The concept behind this is not very advanced. How does a hitter score fantasy points? They either get on base or put the ball into play, which allows other things to happen, like RBIs, that increase their overall fantasy production. So, which hitters are going to score the most fantasy points? The ones with the best OBP. Everyone gets all caught up in whether or not their players hit singles, doubles, or home runs, but walks are just as good. Granted, walks will generally not produce RBIs. However, walks can produce runs and steals, which will greatly increase the fantasy production of a specific player. Plus, the player gets points for walking! Walks are taken into consideration with the OBP statistic. They are not taken into considering with a player’s batting average. As Matt points out below, also avoid hitters that tend to strike out. This is the worst thing that can possibly happen in fantasy baseball, as nothing can happen unless the ball is in play. When talking about tournaments, ISO power and lefty-righty splits are very important (possibly more important than OBP), but this is a beginner’s article, so I won’t try to steal second here.
I think OBP needs to be one of the first stats you consider when looking at hitters for cash games. It’s a simple concept, but hitters can’t score fantasy points if they aren’t on base, and the more often a hitter reaches base, the more likely he is to make something good happen for your fantasy lineups. For cash games, you will want to avoid hitters with high strikeout rates, as they are less likely to put the ball in play.
I agree that OBP is an important stat to look at, and I also believe that you should be looking at strikeout rates for cash games. Matt said it perfectly that a player can’t score fantasy points if he doesn’t put the ball in play. Walks are an important aspect of fantasy baseball, as those couple fantasy points could be the different between you cashing and losing all of your money. Now, they aren’t as important as home runs, but generally home run hitters tend to strikeout more, which really hurts their floor in cash games. You should certainly be looking at OBP when playing cash games.