Beware the ides of March? More like beware the starting pitcher who threw too many innings last season, and will cripple your fantasy team if you draft him in 2011.
With opening day just around the corner, fantasy baseball players everywhere are about to roll the dice on their annual drafts, hoping against hope that this is the year it all comes together. With the help of the truly great Draft Kit 2011: Front Office Baseball app, it might just be your year.
One of Draft Kit 2011's best features is that it's not afraid to ask for help. Fantasy baseball has evolved so far from the standard 5x5 scoring method, and ranking systems rarely take this into account. Players in leagues that track stats like OPS or K/9 have always had to mentally readjust standard ranking systems themselves.
But Draft Kit 2011 allows you to important your league's settings if you have a CBS, Yahoo! or ESPN fantasy league. This re-calibrates the app's own ranking system to take your stats into account, giving you a much clearer picture of what round you really ought to draft your first pitcher in.
If Draft Kit 2011 did only that, it'd still probably be worth $1.99, but it also comes with numerous player ranking lists outside of the standard overall and positional rankings. Users can view lists of top sleepers, top busts, injured players, players who face a weaker schedule and players in the prime of their careers.
Additionally, clicking on a player's bio lets you see which of these additional categories he falls under. For instance, Albert Pujols is listed as a prime-age player who is in a contract year, but who was particularly unlucky last year. If you're on the fence about a particular player, Front Office 2011 will do all it can to talk you into or out of drafting him.
About the only questionable aspect of Draft Kit 2011 is in the sleepers and busts ranking categories. Calling Zach Greinke, a pitcher who won the Cy Young as recently as 2009 a "sleeper" seems like a stretch. Meanwhile, putting Gordon Beckham, who had a pretty average year last year in the "bust" list seems similarly misguided, unless the rankings are trying to say Beckham is going to have an even worse 2011, an idea which seems hard to fathom.
The sleepers/busts lists aside, the rest of the special categories seem well-informed, and should help both new and veteran players looking for an edge. Although you're probably already using one or two apps to look up info for your upcoming league, it'd be a wise move to add Draft Kit 2011 to your home screen. It could be the difference between first place and another disappointing finish.