Friday, March 7, 2008

Fantasy Baseball Draft App - Walrus!

I've been playing fantasy baseball for a few years, and as I've said before, the draft is my weakest link. I've tried giving myself a cheat sheet with a clear one-value system for evaluating players. I've also tried providing myself with tons of information. Yet I always fall too far to one side of the information-overload/lack of info problem.

Enter Fantasy Baseball Draft App, codenamed Walrus (I just made up that code name because I didn't want to call it "Fantasy Baseball Draft App" or "FBDA"). I've started writing a windows application (in C#.NET w/ VS 2005) to help me with my draft. Basically I want a way to display to me "The One True List" (whatever ranking list you have) but with all/any set of analysis that I want as needed. For example, I could provide information about position scarcity compared to all teams' rosters (let's say there are only four tier three shortstops left, but only three teams don't have a SS already; that's valuable information). Or I could show fantasy-team-average stats compared to what I (or my opponents) have already drafted (and how a given player would impact them). These are just a few of the things I want to do.

Here's a basic feature list:

  • Import projections/rankings from Excel files. This is tricky; first of all, importing from Excel is never straightforward. Secondly, what formats do I support? ESPN, Rotoworld, Rotowire, Baseball Prospectus? Likely I'll start with one format and go from there.
  • Format projections to match league settings. Depends on how I set league settings...
  • Set league settings. Yeah, I know.
  • Set stat goals. Obvious and simple.
  • Display "The One True List" with sorting and filter options. Easy.
  • Display my roster and other rosters. Pretty simple.
  • Allow a player to be drafted to my team or another team with a button click. This part requires some design decisions; do I have 1 or 2 buttons? How do I correct mistakes?
  • Input total roster count and draft order. Simple.
  • Provide a variety of calculations: ADP, position scarcity, etc. Depends on what I actually do.

That's just off the top of my head. I'll see how far I get with "Walrus Mark I".

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