The fantasy baseball season drew to a close on Sunday 1 October and here is the round-up from the 2023 edition of Fantasy Baseball UK. In particular, a closely-fought championship in the FBUK League saw Kevan White take first place on the final day in the standard draft league. Congratulations also go to the overall champions in each of the other league formats: Tony Fellows (FBUK LTD – limited trade game); Matt Farley (FBUK Classic – salary cap game); René Becker (FBUK $5m Game – limited budget salary cap).
This year’s four different games provided the widest choice of league formats ever offered by FBUK. In total, 130 managers registered across the various league formats, which is the highest number since FBUK relaunched in 2020. As well as the regulars, it was encouraging to see some managers returning after a few years away, plus some newcomers.
Scroll down for the full round-up!
Here are the overall champions of each of the leagues as well as the division winners within each league format. Beside their points tallies is the gap (in red) between them and the second-placed team in that competition:
FBUK League Champion: Urban Jays (Kevan White) – 12758 (+76)
South: Mookie the Cat (Richard Smalley) – 12682 (+744)
South East: This is Making Me Mervis (Ed Jefferies) – 11755 (+166)
South West: Urban Jays (Kevan White) – 12758 (+445)
East: TheUmpireStrikesOut (Dave Perrin) – 11994 (+321)
West: Heathens (David Herrington) – 12132 (+79)
Central: beat gould&lengl (John Steele) – 12337 (+20)
North: It’s Shohei Time (Simon Middleton) – 12603 (+120)
North East: Hartlepool A’s (Liam Tweddle) – 12201 (+294)
North West: Weebles (Jonathan Tugwood) – 12251 (+312)
FBUK LTD Champion: Coldfield Cardinals (Tony Fellows) – 10833 (+88)
LTD South: Moneyballers (Greg Cessford) – 10289 (+53)
LTD North: Masters of Merriment (Blythe Robertson) – 10745 (+491)
LTD Central: Coldfield Cardinals (Tony Fellowes) – 10833 (+265)
FBUK Classic Champion: tiggerrrrr (Matt Farley) – 13497 (+173)
Channel Conference: Dunedin Dingers (Matthew Sutton) – 12773 (+592)
Metro Conference: tiggerrrrr (Matt Farley) – 13497 (+206)
Mountain Conference: Secret Agents Too (René Becker) – 13324 (+553)
FBUK $5m Game Champion: Jose Abreu Bombers (René Becker) – 11225 (+405)
All the divisional and overall standings from the various leagues can be viewed in the Standings section of the website. It also includes an area for archived season standings since FBUK relaunched in 2020.
FBUK All-Star Team of the Season
Based on fantasy points accumulated between 30 March and 1 October, here are the top performers at each position during the 2023 regular season:
|OF||Ronald Acuña Jr.||ATL||1328|
Like in 2022, this season Matt Olson played in all 162 regular season games at first base for the Atlanta Braves. He led all of baseball in home runs (54) and RBI (139).
New York Mets’ shortstop Francisco Lindor recorded his first career 30-30 campaign, finishing the season with 31 home runs and 31 stolen bases. He was two short of reaching 100 RBI.
Ronald Acuña Jr. (Atlanta Braves) racked up a huge tally of 1328 fantasy points, almost 300 more than the next highest-scoring batter, Matt Olson. He became the first player in MLB history to reach 40 home runs and 70 steals in a season. He also finished runner-up in the National League batting title with a .337 batting average, behind Luis Arraez of the Miami Marlins (.354).
In his second season with the Los Angeles Dodgers (after more than a decade with the Braves), first baseman Freddie Freeman topped 1000 fantasy points off the back of a .331 average, 29 home runs, 102 RBI and a career-high 23 stolen bases. He was third in the National League batting title race.
Among starting pitchers, Gerrit Cole (New York Yankees) finished the year with a 2.63 ERA, 0.98 WHIP and 222 strikeouts across 33 starts, including two complete–game shutouts during the season.
Notes: Points and position eligibility is based on Fantrax, where the salary cap league is run. Although the Fantrax and Yahoo leagues use the same scoring system, position eligibility might vary slightly for some MLB players. The Utility spot is the highest-scoring hitter who didn’t top a position category. Here, the Relief Pitcher spot is reserved for true relievers/closers rather than starting pitchers who happen to also be eligible at the RP spot.
Fantasy League Standings (top): Final
In all formats except the $5m Game, fantasy teams are grouped into roughly regional divisions that are also combined to give overall standings. As the $5m Game is a smaller group of teams, they are all in one division. Here is the overall Top 10 in each league at the conclusion of the 2023 season.
|2||Mookie the Cat||12682|
|3||It’s Shohei Time||12603|
|7||Bham Beer Monsters||12313|
|10||Year of the Cub||12187|
The top two teams at the All-Star Break in July — Jevinder’s Giants 2 and Lydney Pirates — fell away in the second half as each hit the limit of 1400 innings pitched (IP) early so stopped scoring points from the pitching side of their rosters. Giants 2 had reached the limit by 19 July, which has got to be the earliest point in the season that a team has hit it since we started using IP limits in 2020.
During most of September, It’s Shohei Time led Bonty Moomers, with Mookie The Cat, Urban Jays and beat gould&lengl making up the rest of a cluster of five teams in contention for the overall title, each juggling their remaining IP allowance. There is a known loophole that on the day a fantasy team exceeds its 1400 IP limit, all of the points scored by pitchers on its roster that day will still count (the ban on pitcher scoring comes into effect the next day). Savvy managers will aim to line up their pitching rotation to maximise the points return on the day they exceed the limit. The last few days of the season saw the lead change a number of times as teams threw the dice on hitting the IP limit.
With five days to go, It’s Shohei Time had extended the lead to 189 points but reached the IP limit and the gap would be gradually erased. Beginning the final day, Mookie the Cat was in first place with a slender lead of 22 points over Urban Jays, and It’s Shohei Time in third, just 30 points behind the leader. Of those three, only Urban Jays had pitching left to play with and made the most of it with a tally of 150 points on Sunday to finish in first place.
In the regional divisions, the closest finishes were in FBUK West and FBUK Central. In the West, Heathens and British Redbirds were tussling in the final days. In the Central, beat gould&lengl had a 500-point lead at the All-Star Break, which was diminished to just 20 points by Eagle Fang at the end.
|2||Masters of Merriment||10745|
|4||Cradley Red Sox||10567|
|7||Steven’s Expert Team||10250|
|8||Science Maniacs UK Ltd||10236|
|10||Mookie the Cat||10084|
In FBUK LTD, where the number of player trades and acquisitions is limited, Coldfield Cardinals held first place relatively comfortably for a large chunk of the season. Masters of Merriment gradually closed the gap behind the Cardinals from over 200 points at the All-Star Break to 49pts heading into final day (they were the highest-scoring team in FBUK LTD in September). However, the Masters had to settle for the overall runner-up spot and FBUK LTD North division title, as was the case in 2021.
|2||Secret Agents Too||13324|
|3||Ready Eddie Go||13291|
|8||RBI or Rump?||12700|
In the salary cap league — where managers build a roster within a budget for player salaries — Secret Agents Too, managed by last year’s champion manager, René Becker, gradually chipped away at Tiggerrrrr‘s lead down from around 300 points early in September. While taking runner-up spot in FBUK Classic, René’s other team, Jose Abreu Bombers, won the $5m Game comfortably, having established a commanding lead in the limited budget version of the salary cap league.
|1||Jose Abreu Bombers||11225|
|3||Cano Money Mo Problems||10316|
|6||Sultans of Swat||8325|
Fantasy Baseball UK will return in 2024, which will mark FBUK’s 20th anniversary. In the meantime, the forums on the FBUK website will remain open during the offseason. You can also follow Fantasy Baseball UK on Facebook, X (formerly Twitter) and Instagram.
Finally, if you enjoyed the game this year and feel like supporting it with a financial donation, you are welcome to do so via the link below or the Support Us page. Fantasy Baseball UK is volunteer-run and donations are gratefully received to help towards covering the costs of running the game, such as maintaining the FBUK website.
Thanks for playing, and hopefully see you next season!
Fantasy Baseball UK