Jeff Lippman, the newest of our Fantasy writers, pointed out that an owner in one of his leagues had 15 All-Stars on his team. I think just about anyone would call that an accomplishment -- I mean, he accumulated about one-fourth of every All-Star available -- but did it really make a difference to his team in the standings?
You'd think it would. You'd think he'd reign supreme over every man, woman and child who dared oppose him. But he hasn't. He ranks third among 10 teams -- certainly good, but by no means dominant.
So that got me thinking. Does All-Star representation have anything to do with a Fantasy team's success? Let's take a look at a couple of my own leagues.
First, let's look at a 10-team Head-to-Head mixed league. I rank sixth and have nine All-Stars:
1st place - 8 All-Stars
2nd - 3
3rd - 5
4th - 10
5th - 5
6th - 9
7th - 7
8th - 4
9th - 5
10th - 7
I don't see any kind of correlation; do you? The first-place team looks solid with eight All-Stars, but the second place team has the fewest with three. Meanwhile, the last-place team has more than twice as many with seven. Does looking at this distribution tell us anything?
To be honest, I kind of expected the mixed league to break down this way. With so many players divided between so few teams, each owner will get his share of studs. In shallow leagues like this one, with every roster composed almost entirely of studs anyway, the strength of the studs matters more than number of them. The best of the best wins, not the most of the best.
Now, let's look at a 10-team Head-to-Head AL-only league. I rank first and have six All-Stars:
1st place - 6 All-Stars
2nd - 3
3rd - 3
4th - 5
5th - 2
6th - 4
7th - 3
8th - 3
9th - 2
10th - 2
Here, we see a bit more of a correlation as, with the exception of the fourth, fifth and sixth slots, the number of All-Stars decreases as we move down the standings. Quite honestly, though, I expected an even stronger correlation. Leaving room for margin of error, the distribution looks virtually even between the 10 teams.
Why did I expect a stronger correlation? Well, in a deeper league like this one, each team gets only a certain number of studs and has to fill out the rest of its roster with placeholders -- everyday players or starting pitchers who typically don't perform better than league average. The team, then, that manages to sneak away with the most studs with so few available would have a significant enough advantage for the standings to reflect it.
And for the most part, these do. The first-place team has twice as many All-Stars as just about all the others, and the team with five that ranks only fourth has closers Joe Nathan and Mariano Rivera among its five -- not that much of an advantage in a scoring format that rewards saves half as much as wins.
So there you have it. I wouldn't call this study the end-all, be-all on the matter because I'd obviously have to look at far more leagues to come to any real conclusions, but I think we can agree that the correlation of All-Stars to standing in Fantasy isn't as strong as some people might think. The deeper the league, though, the stronger it gets.
That's all for now.