sorry this post is so long don't let it discourage you from reading it!
First off i'll give you a short background on the fantasy league i belong to. It is a highly competetive 11 team NL only auction style 5X5 league. With 23 total active players 13 position 10 pitchers and the such.
The league has been together for 4 years now but last season was our first year using the auction styled formate (which i highly recomend to anyone who hasn't tried it), as well every owners first time experiencing an auction style league.
I entered the draft with the strategy of punting starting pitchers all together and going with a strong core of 3-4 decently valued closers and then filling the remaining of my pitching slots with middle relievers and set up men. My theory was extremely had to predict pitchers whom do not fit the distinction as beint elite and being only an NL league the list is even smaller, because of this i decided to try a rarely discussed strategy of punting wins and K's. By using all closers and middle relievers the idea is that you'll have an aboundance of Saves (its suggested that you draft at least 3 closers to insure finnishing at the top of pack) making yoru team virtually untouchable in that catagory. Since non of your pitchers are kept in teh game for longer than 3 innings (for the most part) there is a far less chance that they will be left high and dry thus your overall team ERA and WHIP will easily be within the top 3 of the league if not the best overall.
If your league employs a minium innings pitched rule to counter such a tatic, you can still use this strategy by simply drafting 3 A or B grade pitchers and then gambling on some lower profile closers or top set up men that have a chance at the closer job during the season.
If you happen to play in a 4X4 league this strategy will easily win you the pitching title for your only punting one catagory, Wins. Most people would argue that if you punt any catagory it should be saved for closers are one dimensional and thus not worth the money spent on them, or a high draft pick in straight pick styled leagues. But i argue that esspecially in a 4X4 league it is easier to amount a large number of saves, that it is to predict starting pitchers and wins, with a core of 3 or so strong closers and then filling your roster will players who will pick up a few scraps here and there throughout the season.
By the end of the draft my pitching staff was as fallowed:
Jason Isringhausen - $25
Byung Hyung-Kim - $19
John Smoltz - $18
Mike Williams - $3
Octavio Dotel - $6
Jose Jimenez - $3
Eric Gagne - $1 (best catch of entire draft)
Giovanni Carrera - $1
Scott Sullivan - $1
Matt Herges - $
although i over spen on Isringhausen i was smart in drafting Herges, Carrera and Gange who at the time where all a core part of the Dodgers bullpen expecting one to win out the closer job. Williams and Jimenez where also at a great price due to lack of respect for closers in my league.
The plan is not fool proof by any means, and inorder for it to work you must have a well balanced offense which is in the top of every catagory to make up for being last in 2 pitching catagories. I made up for some holes in my offense during teh season by eventually trading Isringhausen, Kim and Jimenez and replacing them with middle relievers since i was already well ahead in teh saves catagory. By the end of the season i had one my league by 3 points and had the 2nd best pitching staff overall with an amazing total of 167 saves!
Let me know your comments and ideas are of this strategy. I'm interested in your imput because i am still trying to decide it the method is good enough to attempt two years in a row when the league already knows about it.
A Jose Canseco bat?! Hope you didn't pay money for this