Fantasy 101: Fantasy Baseball Points Leagues Explained
While there are all kinds of hybrids and variations available today, fantasy baseball is generally played in one of two ways; Rotisserie Baseball, which is based on doing well in various statistical categories and H2H Points Leagues which award points for individual stats that are all added together to get one total score.
The very first fantasy baseball leagues were Rotisserie. But when fantasy football and a points system came along, many people liked the simplicity of scoring and adapted it to baseball.
Points leagues are very fun and provide the fantasy player with lots of options at the time of fielding a competitive roster. The team owner has several avenues to earn points and doesn’t necessarily have to fill all the categories listed in the league to have a chance to win it all.
Fantasy Baseball is year-round here at Fantrax with 2020 leagues already forming. So what are you waiting for? Join a league today!
The Basics of Fantasy Baseball Points Leagues
Scoring for Points Leagues
In points leagues, each stat will have a specific numeric value attached to it. Team owners will earn points in accordance with those stats.
For example, if your league awards 5 points for each home run, 1 each for runs and RBI, 1 for each total base and 1 for each stolen base, and one of your players go 4-2 with a home run, a double, a run scored, 2 RBI and a theft, that player would have netted you 15 points:
Home run = 5
Total bases = 6 (four with the home run and two with the double)
Runs = 1
RBI = 2 (the batter had 2 RBI)
Steals = 1
TOTAL = 15
These are the standard points values that Fantrax assigns to each hitting stat:
Walks = 1 point
Singles = 1 point
Doubles = 2 points
Triples = 3 points
Home runs = 4 points
Stolen bases = 2 points
Hit by pitches = 1 point
Runs scored = 1 point
Runs batted in (RBI) = 1 point
And here are the pitching stats:
Earned run = -1 point
Inning pitched = 1 point
Strikeout = 1 point
Win = 10 points
Loss = -5 points
Quality start = 3 points
Saves = 7 points
Differentiating points leagues from other head-to-head setups
Head-to-head (H2H) leagues can be divided into three sub-groups: each category, most categories, and points. All three are usually played in a weekly, face-off matchup style.
In head to head “most categories,” the team that collects the majority of stat categories will win the weekly matchup. For example: if there are ten stat categories and a squad wins seven of them, he will accumulate a win in the standings.
Head to head “each category” refers to a similar setup than the “most categories” one, but instead of earning a win, tie or loss, the team will accumulate all the stat category results in the standings. For example, if the weekly matchup finished 6-3-1, those same numbers will translate to the standings. A win, tie or loss is credited in each scoring category.
On the other hand, in points leagues, the players earn points over the previously stated accumulation period. When the period ends, the squad with the most points wins the matchup and the “W” column will increase by one.
Playing points leagues in Fantrax
Fantrax offers the most customizable experience for fantasy players. Those who like points leagues over roto formats or head-to-head can either create their own leagues with their preferred setup options or join public or private leagues. The sign-up process is quick and painless.
If you want to join a private league, just tap “Join League,” found in the Commissioner option. You will be prompted to enter the League ID and password provided by your commissioner.
To enter a public league, go to “Join Public League” and enter your preferences. You will see a list of available leagues, their drafting times, and their format. Look for a “points” league and join the fun! Fantrax offers free leagues and paid ones with premium traits.
Creating a points league is very easy. Go to “Create League” and choose whether you will use Fantrax’s default setup, move from another site or copy a league.
Using Fantrax default set up does half of the job for you. However, you can still customize the league to your preferences. If you are a beginner, we recommend choosing this alternative and then “Standard Points.”
After that, you will need to enter the basic settings: league and team name, the type of league (Fantrax offers re-draft, keeper and dynasty, and the tools and resources for all three are excellent) player pool, draft type, entry fee (the system allows free leagues and payments to enter that range from $5 to $1000, all managed by the Fantrax Treasurer) and others.
There you go! You have created your points league, and you will be able to invite your friends and customize the settings.
Typical rosters and positions
Most leagues have 22 active players, and the number of bench spots (BN) may vary. Here are the points leagues’ standard roster spots:
C, 1B, 2B, 3B, SS, MI (Middle Infielder) CI (Corner Infielder) OF (x5) UT;
Of course, Fantrax allows you to add or subtract roster spots as you wish. You can add a C spot and have a two-catcher league, for example. You can also take away the CI and MI spots, increase the UT spots, and so on.
How to acquire the players: draft types
Fantrax offers four types of draft: standard, auction, automated and offline.
Standard: the standard draft uses a live platform to host all the teams in the league. They gather in the platform and select the players they want for their squad using the “snake” method: the order of the first round is reversed in the second one. The third round will be the same as the first, and the fourth will be just like the second. The draft will be completed following that pattern.
Auction: in this exciting draft type, all teams have a shot at every player, unlike in the standard snake draft. Each player is nominated and an “auction” starts: the fantasy teams have a budget to fill their squad.
Automated: The name explains it all. This draft is automatic, and while every team can make and edit their pre-draft rankings to prompt the computer to choose or discard a specific player if available, there is no live draft. Teams enter their player rankings, and they will get the draft results soon thereafter.
Offline: In this draft, each team selects its players without the use of any digital drafting tools provided by Fantrax or any other platform. After the draft is done (it can be performed in a living room, café, restaurant, or even by email) the commissioner must enter each team selection manually in the platform.
After each draft is done, players can be acquired via trade, free agency, or waivers.
A Few Tips for Points Leagues
The mantra of points leagues (memorize it!) is that it doesn’t matter how you earn your points as long as you accumulate them. If your league gives 5 points for home runs and 5 for stolen bases, you can have a 40-homer player that doesn’t steal bases, a 20-20 threat or a 40-SB player that is a zero in the power department and there won’t be a difference (at least in those categories.)
The key is to find the categories that credit the most points and draft (or add) several players that excel in those categories. If you want more help, our very own Jorge Montanez (@roto_nino on Twitter) wrote a guide explaining how to value players in points leagues. Also, Dan Harris of Fantasy Pros has a very complete guide.
Truth be told, balance is not as important in points leagues than in roto formats. In rotisserie leagues, teams will be ranked from first to last in each category, and each rank receives a specific amount of points – in decreasing order. Naturally, the higher you finish in one category, the more points you will get. That’s why being very bad at one category has such an undesirable effect: the fewest possible points!
You won’t have that issue in points leagues. All you need to do is make sure your team scores the most possible points week in and week out, no matter how they come.
For more great rankings, strategy, and analysis check out the 2020 FantraxHQ Fantasy Baseball Draft Kit. We’ll be adding more content from now right up until Opening Day!
Fantrax was one of the fastest-growing fantasy sites of 2019 and we’re not letting our foot off the pedal now! With multi-team trades, designated commissioner/league managers, and drag/drop easy click methods, Fantrax is sure to excite the serious fantasy sports fan – sign up now for a free year at Fantrax.com.