A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from July 11, 2014
Stars and Scrubs (player acquisition strategy)

"Stars and scrubs” is a player acquisition strategy that is especially popular in constructing fantasy sports teams. A few high-priced “stars” are acquired, and then low-priced “scrubs” fill out the roster. The theory is that the stars will play well and elevate the level of the scrubs, who play limited minutes and backup positions.

“Stars and Scrubs strategy” was cited in Google Groups: rec.sport.baseball.fantasy on March 21, 2000. “Studs and duds” is another name for the same strategy.


Google Groups: rec.sport.baseball.fantasy
Stars and Scrubs strategy.
Marc Shiman
3/21/00
(...)
In support of my stars and scrubs theory of drafting (overpay for Pedro and Randy, draft a bunch of scrubbinies to go with them - drop the scrubbinies during the year as good pitchers emerge):

Google Books
Ron Shandler’s Baseball Forecaster 2005
By Ron Shandler
Roanoke, VA: Shandler Enterprises, LLC
2004
Pg. 214:
But some recent cogent arguments state that there is upside to a “Stars and Scrubs strategy” (more on that later). High- priced players offer at least some stability, and valuation experts have often written how there may be more profit built into a $40 Alex Rodriguez than a $5 Bobby Crosby.

Google Books
Fantasyland:
A Season on Baseball’s Lunatic Fringe

By Sam Walker
New York, NY: Viking, 2006.
Pg. 120:
In addition to Shandler’s classic LIMA Plan, any serious player has heard of Stars and Scrubs, where you compensate for a shortage of medium talent by splitting your roster between expensive players and dollar specials.

Google Books
Fantasy Football For Dummies
By Martin Signore
Hoboken, NJ: Wiley Publishing, Inc.
2007
Pg. 134:
Acquiring a few expensive players and many cheap ones: The stars-and-scrubs strategy
The stars-and-scrubs strategy believes that elite players win fantasy championships, so you should spend what it takes to get the best and then fill in your roster with underrated players who are fantasy worthy at a bargain price—not with decent playersat fair market value.

Google Books
Baseball Prospectus 2011:
The Essential Guide to the 2011 Baseball Season

BY Tommy Bennett, Colin Wyers, et al.
Hoboken, NJ: Wiley Publishing, Inc.
2011
Pg. 403:
St. Louis has recently come to be known as a poster child for the “stars and scrubs” approach to roster construction, but just how stars-y and scrubs-y are they, and how likely is it that they could go too far, assembling a collection of talent too top-heavy to contend?

Advanced Fantasy Baseball
SUNDAY, MARCH 13, 2011
How to Win: The Stars and Scrubs Strategy
posted by Jon Williams
Stars and Scrubs is a strategy that a lot of owners use. Essentially an owner will use his available budget to acquire as many star level players as possible. It make s some sense, these arew the players that can often carry a fantasy team for long stretches. The remaining players are the scrubs, very low cost players, the idea is to embrace risk and draft a lot of high upside scubs.

Jiveballer: Fantasy Baseball Strategy and Advice
Draft Strategy: Stars & Scrubs vs Value Balanced
Posted 8th March 2013 by Jared E.
(...)
Studs and Duds, Stars and Scrubs, or whatever you want to call it.
In theory, you have as many $1 players as possible and load the roster with first and second round type players.  Imagine scoring four first rounders at an average of about $36 each and four second rounders at roughly $25 apiece.  That’s $244 out of a $260 budget for eight of the 20 best players out there, leaving a dollar for the remaining players.  That takes guts, and a lot of effort to get the right assortment of $1 scrubs to complement your studs.

New York (NY) TImes—Bats blog
Fantasy Focus: Stars and Scrubs, and How
By DEREK VANRIPER MARCH 27, 2012 6:00 AM
(...)
Entering Saturday’s auction in mixed-league Tout Wars, an elite industry competition, I was primed to use a “stars and scrubs” strategy to stockpile the strongest bats and take advantage of the excellent depth in the pitching pool on the cheap.

FanGraphs
The Orioles Stars and Scrubs Problem
by Dave Cameron - January 6, 2014
(...)
The theory behind the Stars and Scrubs approach essentially boils down to the belief that “scrubs” are easily replaced with moderately useful role players, and because there is a greater supply of +1 to +2 WAR players hanging around, finding a few useful players to fill the gaps shouldn’t be particularly hard. It’s not so much that people believe that a few stars and a handful of terrible players will make a good team, but that those terrible players can be easily replaced by not terrible players and then you can have a roster stars-and-solids, which would make for a good team.

FiveThirtyEight Sports
A BALANCING ACT 4:05 PM APR 25, 2014
What’s The Best Way To Build a Major League Baseball Team?
By JONAH KERI and NEIL PAINE
(...)
If you want to build a winning baseball team, which strategy works best — a balanced roster, or one made up of stars and scrubs?
(...)
Really, it comes down to this: There are advantages and disadvantages to both roster-building approaches. Assembling a deep and balanced group of players insulates you against one injury torpedoing your entire team. But there are still legitimate reasons to pay the best players $25 million a year or more; an elite baseball player might not be worth 20-plus wins the way the top NBA superstars are, but tacking seven, eight or more wins onto your team’s ledger can make a big difference.

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CitySports/Games • Friday, July 11, 2014 • Permalink