I admit, I'm a fantasy junkie. This year, I've got 4 fantasy baseball teams, 3 drafted and 1 auction for the upcoming season. The auction was particularly fun, since it was my first.
I've never read any strategies on auctions or even did a mock, so I enjoyed figuring that one out as it went. For this blog, I'd like to focus on my draft/auction results and provide a bit of a recap on what I wanted to do accomplish and who I was targeting.
Without further ado:
ESPN standard 10 team H2H (conducted March 10):
- Round 1, 1: Ryan Braun, LF Mil
- Round 2, 10: Dustin Pedroia, 2B Bos
- Round 3, 1: Felix Hernandez, SP Sea
- Round 4, 10: Michael Bourn, CF Atl
- Round 5, 1: Dan Haren, SP LAA
- Round 6, 10: Aramis Ramirez, 3B Mil
- Round 7, 1: Ian Kennedy, SP Ari
- Round 8, 10: Matt Weiters, C Bal
- Round 9, 1: Rickie Weeks, 2B Mil
- Round 10, 10: John Axford, RP Mil
- Round 11, 1: Adam Wainwright, SP Stl
- Round 12, 10: Ryan Madson, RP Cin
- Round 13, 1: Joel Hanrahan, RP Pit
- Round 14, 10: Adam Lind, 1B Tor
- Round 15, 1: Dee Gordon, SS LAD
- Round 16, 10: Carlos Lee, 1B Hou
- Round 17, 1: Jamie Garcia, SP Stl
- Round 18, 10: Logan Morrison, LF Mia
- Round 19, 1: Martin Prado, 3B/LF Atl
- Round 20, 10: Jeff Francouer, RF KC
- Round 21, 1: Daniel Murphy, 1B/2B/3B NYM
- Round 22, 10: Mike Minor, SP Atl
- Round 23, 1: Bud Norris, SP Hou
- Round 24, 10: Gavin Floyd, SP CWS
- Round 25, 1: John Danks, SP CWS
This gave me a lineup of:
- C- Weiters
- 1B- Lind
- 2B- Pedroia
- 3B- Ramirez
- SS- Gordon
- 2B/SS- Weeks
- 1B/3B- Lee
- OF- Braun
- OF- Bourn
- OF- Morrison
- OF- Prado
- OF- Francoeur
- UT- Murphy
- P- Hernandez
- P- Haren
- P- Kennedy
- P- Axford
- P- Wainwright
- P- Madson
- P- Hanrahan
- P- Garcia
- P- Minor
- BE- Norris
- BE- Floyd
- BE- Danks
*I have since dropped Madson for 1B Carlos Pena, Danks for C Jonathan Lucroy, and Floyd for RP Sean Marshall.*
Ok, to start, I was stoked to have the 1st pick so I could guarantee landing Ryan Braun. Braun at #1 was a bit of a stretch, but I'm a Brewers fan so I really wanted Braun in this spot.
The downside to drafting 1st in a snake draft, as we all know, is the long wait between picks. With the top 3 pitchers (Verlander, Halladay, and Kershaw) going 11th, 12th, and 15th and my 3 2nd round targets (Reyes, Gonzalez, H. Ramirez) literally going 17th, 18th, and 19th, I settled for Pedroia at #20. Not that I'm too upset, as Pedroia will add a great average, runs, and basestealing to my team.
Felix was the clear choice in the 3rd round (ahead of Lee, CC, and Big Time Timmy Jim), unless I wanted to completely miss landing a front line starter.
Midway through the 3rd round, I spotted my target for the 4th round in Michael Bourn. The more I looked at it, the more it made sense to lock up 1 category. Braun, Pedroia, and Bourn alone will give me a huge advantage in locking up SBs.
In the 5th round, I took an solid pitcher that ends up on my team nearly every year, Dan Haren. I like the pick. In the 6th, I reached a bit for Aramis, but I'm a Brewers homer, so who cares. For the 2nd pick of my back to back selections, I landed hard throwing Ian Kennedy. Now I have a SP that'll help Felix in the K category.
Towards the end of round 8, I still was undecided who I wanted to draft. The likes of Ryan Howard and Chase Utley were drafted 77th and 79th (hahahahahaha). I enjoyed seeing those guys go there. I settled on Matt Wieters as my catcher, since there are usually just a handful of guys that provide any fantasy value (Napoli - 6th round, McCann - 6th, Molina - 7th, and Santana - 8th) were already gone, so Weiters was one of the last catchers with any value.
Round 9, I went with another Brewers player (sensing a theme here?) and select Rickie Weeks. Weeks ADP (according to ESPN at the time) was in the mid 70s range, and his predraft rank was 85, so it wasn't much of a reach to land him 81st overall.
In rounds 10-13 I addressed my pitching, landing Axford, Wainwright (I'm hoping he bounces back), Madson, and Hanrahan. The 3 closers in 4 picks was my strategy to lock up solid closers, and try to gain an advantage in the saves category. Clearly the Madson injury has altered that, but I did pick up Madson's replacement, Sean Marshall, on waivers.
Rounds 14-16 were all about need, and I was pleased to see Adam Lind available. Lind has averaged 28 HR and 90 RBI over the last three seasons, making up for his low BA. Dee Gordon at SS was based purely on potential, as Yunel Escobar and Erick Aybar were also available. This also added to my SB advantage. Lee in the 16th. I didn't love the pick, but I needed a bit of power for my 1B/3B slot, and Lee fills that.
I landed Jamie Garcia in the 17th. It was just a pick I had to make.
Rounds 18-20 rounded out my suddenly thin OF. (How did I let that happen?) I think the Morrison and Francouer picks were solid, and I'm banking on a big bounce back year for Prado.
Nearly every year, I want a versatle bench player, so I picked Daniel Murphy, who is eligible for 1B, 2B, and 3B.
Round 22 was a mistake, as I was fiddling with my autobid queue and accidentally drafted Minor. I had intended on taking Bud Norris, then Carlos Quentin (who went 6 pick later...)
After the Norris pick, I turned on autopick, and ended up with Danks and Floyd, who I have already dropped.
To summarize, of my 4 teams, I like this one least. My need for power late came at the expense of my BA, and my pitchers are rather scattered. Some have good K potential, while others are better for WHIP and ERA. The Madson injury hurt, a little, but I didn't follow through with locking up more RPs.
ESPN standard 10 team roto (conducted March 11)
- Round 1, 3: Albert Pujols, 1B LAA
- Round 2, 8: Jose Reyes, SS Mia
- Round 3, 3: Mark Texiera, 1B NYY
- Round 4, 8: Michael Bourn, CF Atl
- Round 5, 3: Zack Grienke, SP Mil
- Round 6, 8: Brian McCann, C Atl
- Round 7, 3: Craig Kimbrel, RP Atl
- Round 8, 8: Jonathon Papelbo, RP Phi
- Round 9, 3: Ichiro Suzuki, RF Sea
- Round 10, 8: Michael Young, 1B/3B/DH Tex
- Round 11, 3: John Axford, RP Mil
- Round 12, 8: Ubaldo Jimenez, SP Cle
- Round 13, 3: Chris Young, CF Ari
- Round 14, 8: Rafeal Betancourt, RP Col
- Round 15, 3: Nick Swisher, RF NYY
- Round 16, 8: Ryan Roberts, 2B/3B
- Round 17, 3: Neftali Feliz, RP Tex
- Round 18, 8: Kelly Johnson, 2B Tor
- Round 19, 3: Carlos Quentin, RF SD
- Round 20, 8: Mike Minor, SP Atl
- Round 21, 3: Daniel Murphy, 1B/2B/3B NYM
- Round 22, 8: Mat Gamel, 3B Mil
- Round 23, 3: Jonathan Lucroy, C Mil
- Round 24, 8: Francisco Rodriguez, RP Mil
- Round 25, 3: Nyjer Morgan, CF Mil
My lineup for this team is:
- C- McCann
- 1B- Pujols
- 2B- Roberts
- 3B- M Young
- SS- Reyes
- 2B/SS- Johnson
- 1B/3B Texiera
- OF- Bourn
- OF- Ichiro
- OF- C Young
- OF- Swisher
- OF- Quentin
- UT- Murphy
- P- Grienke
- P- Kimbrel
- P- Papelbon
- P- Axford
- P- Jimenez
- P- Betancourt
- P- Feliz
- P- Minor
- P- Rodriguez
- BE- Gamel
- BE- Lucroy
- BE- Morgan
Starting at the top, Miguel Cabrera and Ryan Braun went 1-2, forcing me to chose between Pujols, Kemp, and Bautista. I decided to go with the greatest hitter of this era 3rd overall.
The 2nd round came down to Jose Reyes vs Curtis Granderson. Now, I personally don't care for Reyes, but he's going to a pretty good situation in Miami, along with Hanley Ramirez and Giancarlo Stanton. I figure a good BA, good numbers of steals, and lots of runs scored for Jose this year.
In the 3rd round, Kershaw was still available, but I had an opportunity to add another powerful bat that provides a good BA as well in Teixeira. Late in the 4th, I added another one of my favorite fantasy ball players, Michael Bourn.
In the 5th round, unknowing where I was going with my pitching staff, I took Zack Greinke. In the 6th, I landed the best C in the game, Brian McCann. (I swear I'm not a Braves fan, I just draft that way).
The 7th round was the beginning of an interesting experiment, with RPs Craig Kimbrel and Jonathon Papelbon in consectutive rounds. I didn't know at the time that I'd end up with 5 closers, but getting two of the best was a start.
In the 9th, I ended up with Ichiro. For some reason, against my better judgement, I always end up with Ichiro. I'm hoping he bounces back to his mid .300s BA with plenty of SBs to justify this pick.
Michael Young in the 10th round seemed like the right choice, not only to get another power bat, but load my team with power hitting firstbasemen. Since Young has position eligibility at 3B, it allowed me to stack my lineup after missing all the good true 3Bs.
Axford in the 11th round was when I began to hatch my plot of acquring tons of RPs. I added nearly every RP of note on my draft queue. For some reason, I waivered and took Ubaldo in the 12th, after Hanrahan and Madson were gobbled up.
My plot took another a backseat for one more pick, as I couldn't pass up adding rising star Chris Young in the 13th round.
Rafael was the 4th closer I drafted, at #138 overall of the 14th round.
Nick Swisher was my 15th round pick, giving me another quality OF, and Ryan Roberts versatility was too much for me to pass on in the 16th.
Round 17, Neftali Feliz, RP for Texas. Closer number 5.
Rounds 18-21 were pretty uneventful. Kelly Johnson has decent pop and is a career .260 hitter, Carlos Quentin, Mike Minor and Daniel Murphy round out my lineup.
In round 22, I needed 1 more pitcher and 3 bench spots. So I went completely and unabashedly homer, landing Prince Fielder's replacement Mat Gamel, personal favorite Jonathon Lucroy, K-Rod, and T-Plush (aka Nyjer Morgan).
In summary, I'm not sure what to make of this team. I'll probably be more active with this team than any other, as I envision myself playing the daily matchup card with Mike Minor's roster spot to add more starting pitching. I like the idea of Pujols, Tex, and Young, but I'm not too keen on relying too much on Ryan Roberts and Daniel Murphy.
If I stay up to date on my pitching matchups, this team's pitching could be hard to beat, despite the lack of an elite frontline starter.
Yahoo standard 12 team Roto (conducted March 25)
- Round 1, 11: Carlos Gonzalez, OF Col
- Round 2, 2: Prince Fielder, 1B Det
- Round 3, 11: Cole Hamels, SP Phi
- Round 4, 2: Zach Grienke, SP Mil
- Round 5, 11: Yovani Gallardo, SP Mil
- Round 6, 2: Aramis Ramirez, 3B Mil
- Round 7, 11: Rickie Weeks, 2B Mil
- Round 8, 2: John Axford, RP Mil
- Round 9, 11: Josh Johnson, SP Mia
- Round 10, 2: Joe Mauer, C Min
- Round 11, 11: Josh Beckett, SP Bos
- Round 12, 2: Rafael Betancourt, RP Col
- Round 13, 11: Billy Butler, 1B KC
- Round 14, 2: Jhonny Peralta, SS Det
- Round 15, 11: Colby Rasmus, OF Tor
- Round 16, 2: Jose Tabata, OF Pit
- Round 17, 11: Jair Jurrjens, SP Atl
- Round 18, 2: Gaby Sanchez, 1B Mia
- Round 19, 11: Sean Marshall, RP Cin
- Round 20, 2: Ryan Roberts, 2B/3B Ari
- Round 21, 11: Jonathan Lucroy, C Mil
- Round 22, 2: Nyjer Morgan, OF Mil
- Round 23, 11: Aroldis Chapman, RP Cin
My lineup is:
- C- Mauer
- 1B- Fielder
- 2B- Weeks
- 3B- Ramirez
- SS- Peralta
- OF- Gonzalez
- OF- Rasmus
- OF- Tabata
- UT- Butler
- UT- Sanchez
- SP- Grienke
- SP- Hamels
- RP- Axford
- RP- Betancourt
- P- Gallardo
- P- Johnson
- P- Beckett
- P- Jurrjens
- BN- Morgan
- BN- Lucroy
- BN- Roberts
- BN- Marshall
- BN- Chapman
There are major fundamental differences between Yahoo and ESPN regarding rosters. There are two less IF spots on Yahoo (no 2B/SS nor 1B/3B), one less OF spots and an extra UT. Yahoo also requires at least two RPs or SPs, with 4 other spots used however the team manager wishes, whereas ESPN leaves all 9 pitching positions open.
With all this in mind, I am less than thrilled with my first pick. Its hard enough picking late in the 1st round, but when its a 12 team format, its really leaves the cupboard bare. It came down to CarGo or Ellsbury. I flipped a coin, and went with CarGo.
Ellsbury went 11th, so I stuck with the former Brewer lefty, Prince Fielder.
If there was one area where my other teams lacked, it was in starting pitching. That all changed when I drafted Hamels, Grienke, and Gallardo in rounds 3-5.
I amused myself as I drafted Brewers players with 5 consecutive picks, starting with Grienke and Gallardo, and continuing with Ramirez, Weeks, and Axford. They each went around their ADP, so I didn't reach for any of them.
I figured I'd continue my trend towards better SPs, so I drafted Josh Johnson in the 9th.
Joe Mauer in the 10th (110 overall) was an interesting selection, as I'm not very high on him, but most drafts had him in the top 100. He didn't fall too far and I also have Lucroy on the bench if he struggles again this year.
Josh Beckett gave me another hard thowing pitcher in the 11th round. On a humorous sidenote, Ryan Madson was the pick right immediately in front of Beckett. This draft was done on March 25th, well after news of Madson's Tommy John surgery was announced...
Betancourt again found his way onto my team, so I'm hoping the Rockies can give him plenty of save opps.
I really like the Billy Butler pick up in the 13th round. He predraft ranking was roughly 115 or so, so I got him roughly 40+ picks later. Jhonny Peralta was also a nice pickup in the 14 round.
To be honest, I thought I really did well with this draft, as Colby Rasmus and Jose Tabata went in rounds 15-16 respectively.
Jair Jurrjens is a name that keeps popping up on my teams, and has potential to be really good if he stays healthy.
Gaby Sanchez adds pop to my final UT position in round 18. Solid pick, nothing more.
Round 19, I took Sean Marshall, who figures to take over the closing role in Cincinnati with Madson out for the year. I probably could've waited, but I know Marshall will get his share of save opps, and didn't want to chance missing out.
Another name that keeps popping up: Ryan Roberts. I can't shake this guy!
Lucroy and Morgan round out my position players, and I land the often overhyped Aroldis Chapman with the 2nd to last pick of the draft. Very low risk pick.
To summarize, I feel this is one of my more well rounded teams. It may be familiarity with Yahoo's roster configuration or simply the fact I focused on better SPs, but this team should contend for the league championship.
ESPN standard 10 team auction (conducted March 28)
- C- Brian McCann, Atl $11
- 1B- Adam Lind, Tor $9
- 2B- Rickie Weeks, Mil $10
- 3B- Jose Bautista, Tor $39
- SS- Starlin Castro, ChC $16
- 2B/SS- Jemile Weeks, Oak $3
- 1B/3B- Paul Goldschmidt, Ari $1
- OF- Ryan Braun, Mil $40
- OF- Giancarlo Stanton, Mia $27
- OF- Michale Bourn, Atl $22
- OF- Ichiro Suzuki, Sea $14
- OF- Brennan Boesch, Det $3
- UT- Melky Cabrera, KC $1
- P- Zack Grienke, Mil $17
- P- Jair Jurrjens, Atl $9
- P- Max Scherzer, Det $9
- P- Madison Bumgarner, SF $9
- P- Daniel Hudson, Ari $9
- P- Adam Wainwright, Stl $9
- P- Drew Storen, Was $3
- P- Tim Hudson, Atl $1
- P- Chris Sale, CWS $1
- BE- Tim Stauffer, SP SD $1
- BE- Danny Espinosa, 2B Was $1
- BE- Mike Minor, SP Atl $1
Boom, League Champs. This is my favorite team, and may just mark the end of drafts for me.
I was unsure of any strategy, as I mentioned before, so I didn't know if I should nominate all my targets early or what. I nominated Ryan Braun and paid a hefty price. I also jumped in the bidding for Bautista and surprisingly got him for $39.
After those picks, I slowed down considerably, nabbing Stanton for $27. I liked the price, and with Ramirez and Reyes, Stanton should have tons of RBI opportunities.
Each time my turn to nominate came up, I nominated a 3B and drove the price up, because I wanted to bleed my opponents for later on in the auction. Because I already had JoBau, I had no intention of getting any of these guys, I just wanted them to overspend so it made bidding against me for more difficult.
I really liked the prices I paid for McCann, Weeks, and Bourn.
And while I'm clearly a Brewers homer, I did show restraint by not overspending for Yovani Gallardo. My last bid for him was at $19, he eventually went for $21.
I'm really happy with my Jurrjens (there he is again...), Scherzer, Bumgarner, D Hudson, Wainwright group, all for $9 a piece.
Just a side note, Jemile Weeks was the last player I bid on for $3. Everyone else $3 or less was done by the autobid. Of those placed by autobid, I'd say Paul Goldschmidt is my favorite. He definitely has big league power.
I really like this team, and see myself making a couple moves to pick up more RPs.
And how the hell did I end up with Mike Effing Minor 4 times!
That is all I have to say. If you're interested, post your team below and let's get a discussion going.