Project G.O.A.T.: Assemble the greatest fantasy baseball team of all time

Ivan Rodriguez, Mike Trout and Dwight Gooden ESPN

The Project G.O.A.T. challenge was devised to celebrate the 40 years since Dan Okrent and his gang invented rotisserie baseball -- as baseball has never been the same. The challenge pitted 12 fantasy analysts and baseball writers against one another to create the ultimate roster using seasons of the past 40 years, based on the rotisserie scoring system devised by Okrent.

You can read about the original Project G.O.A.T. here. Now, it's your turn to take a shot at the top spot. Download the Excel-based worksheet here. Your mission is to assemble a roster that will finish in first place against the numbers already posted by the other 11 teams. (Editor's Note: The newest worksheet and updated Project GOAT Standings are available here.)

The game

Put together a 23-man roster to be scored 5x5, rotisserie-style. You may use any single regular-season stats accumulated by an individual player in the past 40 years, from 1980 -- the first roto season played by Okrent and his league -- to 2019. However, any good fantasy draft exercise demands some decision-making. Therefore, you will be constrained by these four selection rules.

  1. You may not use a player more than once, regardless of the position. If you use A-Rod at shortstop, you can't use any of his other seasons anywhere else.

  2. No more than one player per franchise. Washington and Montreal are considered the same franchise. (In the sheet, you need use only "Nationals" or "Expos," not Nationals/Expos). Name changes don't change the franchise, either. Rays are the Devil Rays. Miami is Florida. Whatever the team based in Anaheim called itself that year, it is the Angels. The naming convention is included in column O of the worksheet.

  3. No more than one season per year. You want Pedro Martinez 1999? That means no Pudge 1999. Want to take Pedro 2K instead? No Todd Helton 147-RBI season for you.

  4. No more than six seasons per decade. There are 23 slots to fill, and you'll have to spread the wealth through all four decades, defined as 1980-1989, 1990-1999, 2000-2009 and 2010-2019.

The rules

Position eligibility: A player is eligible for all positions he qualified for at the completion of the season you are using, using the 20-game previous season and 10-game in-season eligibility bar. DH is UT-eligible only, but any hitter can be used at UT.

Franchise affiliation: If a player was traded midseason, use the team with which he played his first game of the season. So 1998 Mike Piazza is a Los Angeles Dodger only, not a Marlin or a Met.

There is no minimum IP or AB. Not officially, anyway. Want to try to game the system with some fancy all-LOOGY WHIP-maximizing strategy? Go nuts. Must be nice not to have to worry about wins or strikeouts.

No algorithms allowed! This is going to have to be on the honor system, but the point of this exercise is to focus on how you personally assessed the players and made choices when confronted by them, not by whom could build the most efficient code to go through all the permutations. You're free to use whatever research methods you wish and to take advantage of spreadsheets or whatever else approximates draft prep, but the selection work must be done by you.

To complete the spreadsheet

Enter all the data (Player, franchise, year and the necessary statistics) required in the columns highlighted in light blue header. The columns in dark blue header will auto-populate the batting average, ERA and WHIP..

The franchise/seasons/decades checklists will auto-populate as you enter franchises and years. If you go over your allotment, a red indicator will flag you to that fact. Please use the franchise names as shown in the franchise column.

And finally ... there's a spot in there for a team name. It ain't a great team if it doesn't have a great name!

To submit your work

Send your completed worksheet to ProjectRotoGoat@gmail.com. The subject line must read like this: "GOAT Worksheet: X Points" with X being the number of points you achieved in the standings. Submissions that do not follow this format may be ignored/passed over.

After the first day of each month during baseball season and concluding on Nov. 1, the entry with the highest achieved points total will be the new GOAT and the standings will be updated. The team that drops to last place will then be relegated, and a new challenge will open. In case of a tie, the submission with the earliest time stamp as per the ProjectRotoGoat inbox will be deemed the eligible entry.

Good luck!

Any entry submitted becomes part of Project GOAT and may be used as such with no compensation or promise of publicity. Any entry submitted becomes part of Project GOAT and may be used as such with no compensation or promise of publicity. Completed entry will be published, including team name, at the author's discretion. No attempt to circumvent the rules or the spirit of the rules of this game will be tolerated, and the author reserves the right to ignore or disqualify any entry, to amend the rules or otherwise terminate the project at any time.