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Opportunity: On Base Percentage (OBP %), Reasonable Predictability, and Setting an OBP % Baseline

As I’ve mentioned previously during the introduction, there’s no denying the fact that the home run is the crème de la crème of the statistical baseball world when it comes to DFS play; however, the stolen base is a close second in my world due to the overlooked value that some, if not most, dismiss. What about the triple, you say? Nah, it’s almost impossible to plan for a three-bagger when building a lineup.

I’m sure you would agree with me, without even arguing, that in order for a runner to steal a base he must actually get on base. Obvious, I know, but it needed to be stated. Correlating potential base-stealing thieves with on base percentage (OBP %) gives DFS owners some reasonable predictability. The stolen base accounts for the second-most fantasy points in a DFS lineup (tied with doubles), not including the unpredictable and whacky triple; however, keep in mind most base stealers give you the bonus of being able to stretch doubles into triples. So what does that mean? It means you can actually get away with targeting powerless speedsters at times in the right circumstances.

It’s true there are some base stealers that make you scratch your head (ahem, Billy Hamilton) when it comes to their horrific OBP, although most have a solid ratio that falls parallel with their stealing abilities.

So, what’s a good OBP level to target when considering one speedster over another? Let’s first look at total league OBP over the past five seasons:

These figures include ALL players – the good, the bad, and the ugly. Normally, however, I like to set my baseline OBP % target range at .350 when starting my research for the day on my cash lineups, and then I move down from there.

Look-y here:

You would have no issue at all rostering most of these players, right? Some more than others based on their tremendous power-hitting ability, but you catch my drift.

With this in mind you’ll be able to separate the high-level speedsters, but that doesn’t mean you’re going to ignore a player if he falls under my starting.350 mark.

For instance, take these base-stealing players that had their OBP fall between .335 and .349 in 2015 (15 SB or more):

I would consider each and every player here, especially Blackmon and Betts (expected increase in production in 2016 for Betts). Guys like Revere would normally take some extra self-convincing; it would take some fantastic salary value to get him into my cash lineups, mainly since he lacks power. Normally, I go with guys like Revere for GPP play, squeezing him into my lineup. I never build around a Revere-type. Having a set OBP baseline really helps with my research, and it will for you too.

As I’ve mentioned previously during the introduction, there’s no denying the fact that the home run is the crème de la crème of the statistical baseball world when it comes to DFS play; however, the stolen base is a close second in my world due to the overlooked value that some, if not most, dismiss. What about the triple, you say? Nah, it’s almost impossible to plan for a three-bagger when building a lineup.

I’m sure you would agree with me, without even arguing, that in order for a runner to steal a base he must actually get on base. Obvious, I know, but it needed to be stated. Correlating potential base-stealing thieves with on base percentage (OBP %) gives DFS owners some reasonable predictability. The stolen base accounts for the second-most fantasy points in a DFS lineup (tied with doubles), not including the unpredictable and whacky triple; however, keep in mind most base stealers give you the bonus of being able to stretch doubles into triples. So what does that mean? It means you can actually get away with targeting powerless speedsters at times in the right circumstances.

It’s true there are some base stealers that make you scratch your head (ahem, Billy Hamilton) when it comes to their horrific OBP, although most have a solid ratio that falls parallel with their stealing abilities.

So, what’s a good OBP level to target when considering one speedster over another? Let’s first look at total league OBP over the past five seasons:

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