The BABS Summary Page

What is the Broad Assessment Balance Sheet (BABS)?

BABS is a roster construction process for fantasy baseball drafts. Its core concepts:


Player skill needs to be expressed in broad terms because we can’t project statistics with enough precision for them to be useful.

2017 BHQ Proj        IP       W      K     ERA     WHIP     ADP
===============     ===      ==    ===    ======  ======    ===
Carlos Martinez     189      14    175     3.19     1.28     67
Jacob deGrom        181      14    173     3.08     1.19     68
Alex Wood           116       6    112     3.26     1.25    389

Despite the variance in the 2017 projections for these three pitchers, they all have essentially the same underlying skills. BABS classifies them as (ER,k), or Significant Pitching Effectiveness and Moderate Strikeout Ability. All above-average skills are expressed as Extreme, Significant or Moderate.


Player skills and risk factors (health, experience, etc.) need to be expressed separately.

The innings projection for Wood above was reduced due to health uncertainty, but the amount of the discount was subjective. BABS provides separate indicators that capture risk factors without having to guess about the impact.

2017 BABS Ratings     PT      Assets    Liabilities     ADP
=================    ===      =======   ===========     ===
Carlos Martinez       M        ER,k                      67
Jacob deGrom          M        ER,k       INJ            68
Alex Wood             M        ER,k       INJ           389

The result is a balance sheet of assets and liabilities. Each player has his own profile.


Players with the same asset profile are assembled into groups like above. These groups are then ranked. Players within each group are essentially interchangeable, but are listed based on their ADP or proj. dollar value. 

Uncovering potential draft profit or loss is the power of BABS. For the above (ER,k) group, you could have invested early in Martinez or deGrom, or waited on Alex Wood. Their skills were the same. The difference was the risk, reflected by their ADPs. BABS provides a risk budget. If you were willing to fit Wood into that budget could have rostered the same basic skill set at much lower cost.

2017 Actuals        IP      W     K    ERA    WHIP
===============     ===     ==   ===   ====== ======
Carlos Martinez    205     12   217    3.64   1.22   Returned fair value
Jacob deGrom       201.3   15   239    3.53   1.19   Returned value despite risk
Alex Wood          152.3   16   151    2.72   1.06   Overcame risk, returned (ER,k)


Complete details about the BABS concept can be found in The BABS Project: Uncovering the Truth About Winning at Fantasy Baseball



The goal is to create a league format that:
1. Captures the skill and risk categories of BABS
2. Offers the best end-of-season report card on how well we did at assessing and projecting performance.


  • 4×4 Rotisserie draft & hold
  • Standard snake draft
  • 10 teams, both leagues
  • 50-player roster: 23 active, standard positional configuration, 27 reserves
  • Weekly transactions – active-reserve-active moves only
  • No free agent access
  • Even player-for-player trades allowed

A deep, draft & hold league with a small number of teams provides intra-roster flexibility to weather baseball’s skyrocketing DL moves and performance volatility. By restricting free agent access, the draft is everything; it has to be a carefully planned exercise in full-season roster construction.

The categories were chosen with an eye towards BABS assets/liabilities as well as maintaining accessibility by sticking to familiar boxscore stats.


HOME RUNS             Power skill
STOLEN BASES          Speed skill
BATTING AVERAGE       Core batting skill (and only ratio category)
PLATE APPEARANCES     Captures playing time risk


STRIKEOUTS            Dominance
SAVES + HOLDS         Value for all relief pitchers
EARNED RUN AVG        Core pitching skill (and only ratio category)
INNINGS PITCHED       Captures playing time risk

What are the reasons behind these rules?

Fewer teams means

  • It’s easier to get a private league together
  • You get to roster at least a few more good players that you like
  • Tighter standings races

Deeper rosters means

  • More roster flexibility to keep the best players active
  • Less scrounging for injury replacements
  • More players with which to construct equitable trades
  • There will be more potential to grab outliers in your draft before they are left over in the free agent pool.

No free agents means

  • The league is a truer test of your forecasting and roster construction ability
  • Someone is not going to win your league by backing into a lucky FAAB bid for Aaron Judge

A complete discussion about the BABL concept and its implications appears at