2024 Special Blend Projections for Fantasy Baseball

When I was playing tee ball as a youngster, I didn’t know then that I was starting to learn a game that had a rich opportunity for statistical research. Back then, I was just worried about hitting the ball past the infield. I’ve grown up since then and I’ve found that baseball is a beautiful game, but it’s also so much more. It’s a game that can be studied. It’s a game that offers singular independent events on every pitch and those events give plenty of opportunity for analysis and insight.

I then learned about fantasy baseball and found that to be a beautiful game too that benefits greatly from the type of data investigation that this game allows for. Then, of course, I found out about baseball projections and learned as much as I could about them. I found that I was not savvy enough to create a baseball projection system from scratch myself, but I was capable of something even more valuable for fantasy baseball: stealing from other projections in a creative, intelligent, and purposeful way. That’s what led me to create the Special Blend projections back in 2013.

So, I’ll tell you a little bit about the Special Blend projections first and then we’ll sit back and gawk at the 2024 edition together.

What Is This “Special Blend”?

The name isn’t an accident; I am blending together existing projections each year in a special way. Once we got to a point in baseball history where multiple people were producing high-quality baseball projection models each year, the obvious next step was to combine them to reduce errors and maximize accuracy.

At first, simply averaging together all of the projections seemed like the best idea and it does work quite well. In my research of analyzing which projections were the best each year, I found that certain projections consistently performed better at certain stats than other projections. So, instead of just creating an even mix of every projection system for every stat, I decided to look at each stat individually and decide how I’d want to blend the projections for that stat. For instance, when I’m projecting stolen bases, my research may have found to take 50% of Steamer’s projection, 25% of Clay Davenport’s projection, and 25% of ZiPS to create the best blend for that statistic. I know if I looked at the best blending for each statistic then I would be on my way to creating something truly special.

As I dove further into the project, I found that projections themselves need a little bit of help too. For instance, my research found that some of the projections improved by including last year’s season stats or the next season’s xStats that I calculated. So, over time, the projections grew to blend in more sources for more success.

That’s basically how a special blend is made.

Combining Projections In A Thoughtful Way

If you read the stuff above then you understand that I’m not doing my “own” projections here. I stand on the shoulders of the giants who created wonderful projection systems like Steamer and ZiPS. I’ve just figured out a way to use those projections intentionally for fantasy baseball. The projection sources that I use in my special blend are:

The people who created those are all kind and intelligent people, from Jared Cross to Derek Carty to Dan Szymborski. Truly, this work would be nothing without any of them.

The 2024 Projections

Okay, yes, the projections themselves! You can find them in my cheatsheets, of course. But, for those that don’t want a fancy cheatsheet, you can just enjoy the projections themselves by viewing them on this Google Sheet. Within the Google Sheet, you can make a copy or download the projections to use as you please. You’ll see in the projections that I also included the players’ projected WERTH value for a standard league format. The WERTH value is the combined z-score in the five standard roto categories for that player (it’s a way of showing how valuable a player is in a rotisserie league).

Happy draft season!

Projections last updated on 03/23/2024
Link to Google Sheet

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