Fantasy Baseball

SportsVault King of the Dish Draft Recap

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Wednesday night I was up late, 1:30 AM, finishing up my last draft of the fantasy baseball season. The league included plenty of heavy hitters in the industry including Yahoo, RotoWire, FanGraphs, Razzball, Fantasy Couch, RotoBaller and SonsOfRoto. Below is a list with their names/site affiliation and twitter handles, in case you want to follow any of them, I know I follow all of them so you should too.

Aaron Levy – @Batting_Leadoff, @FVARbaseball
Matt Strachman – @HisDudenessOfNY
Bryan – BaseballProf – @BaseballProf
Clay – RotoWire – @claywlink
Andrew Eggers – Fantasy Couch – @AndrewEggers
Joe Bond/Scott McCloy – @FantasySixPack, @McCloy24
Josh O – Razzball – @josh_razzball
Nick Capozzi – Razzball Radio – @NickCapozzi
Razzballin’ Guru – @TheGuruGS
Scott – RotoGraphs – @ScottStrandberg
Ari Berkowitz – Sexual Baseball Pun – @WildPitches
SonsOfRoto – @Starbonell
Uncle Leo -RotoBaller – @Uncle__Leo
Frank Schwab- @YahooSchwab

The format of this league is 14 team, 5X5 rotisserie league, with OBP instead of batting average and saves + holds instead of just saves. It was a great draft, lots of spending early, which I’m sure changed the strategy for a lot of teams quickly. Click the picture below for the full results by pick order or by team.

draft_results

I can’t speak on everybody else’s strategy, but I will take you through the draft and comment on our (Scott and I) picks. I’ll add some comments on how I felt about some of the other spending along the way, but this will mainly be focused on us.

Mike TroutWe would have loved to get Miguel Cabrera, Mike Trout, Paul Goldschmidt, Andrew McCutchen, or any of the consensus first rounders, but we were not going to spend $60/$59 on Miggy or Trout. In fact we didn’t spend for a while, because prices were in our opinion were inflated to the point that they weren’t worth it. Our first players taken were Giancarlo Stanton and Carlos Gomez for $28 and $26. Those two combined are cheaper than Trout and while yes we realize Trout is the better player, is he really worth double or more than those two? Our third pick was one, at the time we really regretted, Yan Gomes for $9. We thought we really overpaid for him, but later we saw other catchers go for much more than we would have been comfortable spending. Brian McCann for $18, Matt Wieters for $14 and probably the biggest surprise Wilson Ramos at $18. In the early part of the draft we took two more outfielders Alex Rios, Desmond Jennings for $19 and $14. Their speed potential combined with Gomez puts us in a good spot for steals so we feel we are set there at this point.

Our first pitchers taken were Madison Bumgarner and Anibal Sanchez for $24 and $19. Both good values to us. Both of these guys went for just about what they should have gone for and with a lot of the other top guys gone we felt we had to finally get a couple pitchers so we didn’t fall too far behind the 8-ball. The third pitcher taken for us wasn’t planned at all, but Matt Moore for $10 was a steal in our opinion. A guy who can provide a sneaky amount of wins playing for a good team and will provide 180+ strikeouts.

After the first 10 picks for us we started to realize we didn’t have a ton of power. Obviously Stanton is elite, but nobody really knows if Gomez is going to hit 24 again. Allen Craig and Pablo Sandoval have had good seasons in the past, but aren’t locks to hit 20+. With that in mind we targeted Brandon Moss for some raw power and got him for $12. Some might say it’s a high price for a possible platoon player, but I’ll be OK paying $12 for 30+ home runs. Much later in the draft we backed that up with a player that most forget about, but shouldn’t in OBP leagues, Adam Dunn for $3. His .320 OBP is league average so he doesn’t kill you like he does in batting average leagues, and we all know he has 30+ home run power. For power we are going to be competitive with Stanton, Moss and Dunn, but we can be near the top if Sandoval and Craig can return to their 20+ home run days.

Our middle infield isn’t the best, but we felt like the top 2B/SS were going for way too much, notice a trend yet? Jason Kipnis for $34 and Ian Desmond for $23 are just two examples. After a few more guys like Aaron Hill went for more than we liked, we were confident knowing that we could land our guys for our price, especially since we had saved money early on. The guys we got were Brian Dozier for $6 and Jed Lowrie for $8, along with Johnny Peralta for $4. Dozier and Lowrie are forgotten sources of power from the 2B and SS positions, and as mentioned before that was a weak spot for our team, so this only helps.

clippardThe last thing I want to point out for our team, was a strategy we used all draft long: Don’t over pay for saves. The reason for this is because it is a saves + holds league. This is exactly why we let most closers go without even bidding on them, and only landed one in John Axford who we weren’t targeting, but weren’t going to let somebody take him for $2 (we got him for $3). Knowing that most would overpay for saves, we actually nominated a lot of them and watched them go just as we thought. Instead we took a a few of the elite holds guys. Rex Brothers for $5, Edward Mujica for $3 and Tyler Clippard for $4. All three of them have good K/9 rates and great ratios. The other advantage to having the hold guys instead of closers, is they will give us an occasional win, way more than a closer would. Also when a closer does get you a win, it usually comes when they have blown a save, thus meaning they turned in a bad ERA/WHIP outing for you.


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That was an overview of our picks and our thinking behind them, but also wanted to give you a few other thoughts on the draft:

– Most of the top 20 guys were overpaid for. They all seemed to go for $5-$10 more than they should have. We didn’t bite on the super overpriced players and I think this made a huge difference in the draft for us by giving us a lot of flexibility/bidding power later. As you see, the teams that spent a lot early were forced to take many $1 players, some as many as 13. I love Trout and Cabrera as much as the rest, but I’m not going to spend almost a quarter of my budget on one player.

– The spending didn’t just stop with the top 20 guys, which is another reason why some teams had to buy so many $1 players. Catchers were going for a lot, I suppose it makes some sense in a two catcher league for slight inflation but Yadier Molina ($21), Miguel Montero ($11) are just two examples of really high priced catchers. Even our Yan Gomes is probably too high at $9.

Matt-Cain– My under-rated pitchers weren’t under-rated in this draft. Matt Cain went for $15 and Johnny Cueto went for $11. Still good prices, but I was hoping to get them cheaper.

– The dreaded “double-bid” got us a few times. What I mean by this is there are 2 seconds left in the bidding time for a player, you go to hit the button to bid him up $1 more, but somebody beats you to it by a fraction of a second. You are already in the process of clicking the button, so you now just bid up that player by $2. I can’t remember who else this happened to us with, but Zack Wheeler was one. We were going to bid him up to $4 and instead got him for $5. I know we weren’t the only ones to have this happen to.

– I’m pretty sure the draft room fell asleep when John Lackey was nominated. I know I wasn’t paying attention and saw with one second remaining that he was still up there for $1. C.J. Wilson for $1 was another great grab too. We would have gotten him if we didn’t have six starters already at that point with only a few bucks to spend to fill out the rest of our team.

– The young, sleeper hitters, A.J. Pollock, Justin Ruggiano, Nick Castellanos went for the ultimate sleeper prices: $1-$2. We only paid $2 for Castellanos because we had the money at the end and somebody else nominated him, so in order to get him we had to pay $2. The other two went for $1.


– Spring training/Pre-season story line players draft value to note:
Billy Hamilton – $17
Masahiro Tanaka – $17
Cole Hamels – $10 (steal of the draft?)
Yu Darvish – $26
Aroldis Chapman – $7
Mike Moustakas – $3
Jose Abreu – $25
Yasiel Puig – $25 (shocked that Puig and Abreu went for the same price)

You can follow me on Twitter @FantasySixPack for more fantasy basketball news and advice. Also be sure to like us on Facebook, and Google+ for all updates from Fantasy Six Pack.

About Joe Bond

Not just another "Average Joe" when it comes to Fantasy Sports, he is the fantasy brain trust behind the FantasySixPack.net website. Joe is one of the Experts included in the FantasyPros Consensus Rankings for Football, Baseball and Basketball and finished well each year. You can find him on Twitter, @F6P_Joe, where he is waiting by the keyboard for your question.

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