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Thursday 19th Oct 2017

Zen Master says “Know your league.” RotoDerby teams have one unmodifiable lineup for the entire season with 6 infielders and 4 outfielders. Scoring is simple: 5 points per HR, 1 point for each RBI and minus 1 for a strikeout. That’s it.

RotoDerby has pre-assigned a salary to each player equal to the number of homers they hit last season. Teams cannot exceed a total of 220. The choice of players is limited to those hitting at least 13 long balls last season.

Let’s look at how to build a team i.e., at the RotoDerby strategy. First, since it is a single lineup cast in stone before the start of the season, I eliminated players who have a history of injuries. A perennial wishful thinking, I know. I stayed away from Matt Kemp, Albert Pujols and the likes.

Next step was to create a custom players ranking appropriate for RotoDerby. Since most rankings are roto 5x5 oriented, I modified Mastersball projections by adding a column having the formula ((HR*5)+RBI-K). Then I sorted the spreadsheet. Unsurprisingly, Miguel Cabrera and his 233 projected RotoDerby points came on top but Mike Trout, a jewel in the crown of the Roto 5x5 leagues, was 68th. Know your league!

My ideal team had Cabrera (my understanding is that last year’s injury was not significant) and Mark Trumbo, who in Arizona may impersonate last year’s Chris Davis. Unfortunately, there was no way to fit them both within the 220 budget. Technically, it was possible, but the team would not be ideal, with two expensive players using most of the allotted budget. Consequently, I chose to have two teams, one with Cabrera and the other with Trumbo.

I created my two teams using the custom spreadsheet. I wish that I had a computer program, say, an Excel formula, but that would have required entering RotoDerby values by hand. If this were Buffett’s billion-dollar bracket, I would have done it. But it is not. So I created the lineups by hand, going back and forth several times, adding and removing players until I found the ideal combination of productive players worth a total of 220.

The projected RotoDerby points of my two teams are a tad below 1,200. Will that be enough? Who knows, RotoDerby is new. What’s the projected total of your teams? Can you build a lineup that exceeds 1,200 points?


The staff at Mastersball is joining our colleagues at Fantasy Alarm in a private Rotoderby league. Over the next several days, those of us participating will write a blog discussing our strategy. A few of us are so enthralled that we're also playing for real. So if you've always wanted to be in a league with one of us, now's your chance. Just click on the logo below and sign up!


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