In fantasy sports, the key to success, above all else, is proper evaluation. Evaluation of your players, your team, other players, other teams, etc. Making the right draft picks is based on evaluation, making the right trades is based on evaluation, and picking the right matchups is based on evaluation. The biggest evaluation mistake you can make is on your own players and your own team. Sure, it's important to correctly predict the future of a player you're targeting in a trade, but it's more important to correctly evaluate the players you're replacing or trading. If you can take all the information you're given about a player and correctly predict his future production for a given time period, then all the rest will fall into place.
I started using a very rudimentary system to evaluate my own team's likely future performance last year during the fantasy football season, and this year I've adapted it to baseball. I personally think it's extremely useful and insightful, so I wanted to throw it out to all you faketeamers for further discussion/analysis/criticism, etc.
What I do, in a nutshell, is take every important player on my team (not only starters, but any player that sees a decent amount of at-bats as a result of platoons), and assign him a number between -2 and +2. I look at the player's projection for the current season on espn.com, and decide whether he will outproduce that projection, or underproduce it. -2 means I think he will fall substantially short, +2 means I think he'll perform substantially better. I think you can figure out what -1, 0, and +1 mean.
As an example, I'll post the results of this exercise performed on my team in one of my bigger leagues:
Soto 0, Konerko -1, Prado 0, Arod +2, S. Drew +1, Bruce +1, Granderson +1, G. Jones 0, A. Soriano 0, Crawford 0, Heyward 0, F. Hernandez 0, Ubaldo -1, C. Lee 0, Romero -1, E. Santana 0, R. Soriano 0, Broxton 0.
That all adds up to +2. Assuming judgement error, one can reasonably assume my team will perform at about its current level for the remainder of the season, with the opportunity to get slightly better. This team is currently in 2nd place, 19 points up on 3rd. Now, to put this info to use, I can now decide what sort of trade I need to pursue (if any) to set myself up for the remainder of the season. Any trade I make would involve draft picks for next year. I'm already down a pick that was used to acquire Cliff Lee earlier in the season. Given the outcome of the team evaluation, I'll likely stand pat at this point and just try to ride this roster out. Hopefully Arod will get hot at some point and carry whichever players end up slumping and underperform my expectations (his current projection is 23 HR and 5 SB. I can't see that happening).
What do you all feel about this? Am I crazy? Is this useless? Or am I a genius?