For the first several rounds (differing opinions on the exact number but I say seven in a ten team league) I would not pay attention to position scarcity and draft the best available player instead.
If you're smart, you will go into the draft with a "cheat sheet" that ranks all the players from best to worst. If you don't have the time/energy to make one yourself, there are several credible ones out there offered by ESPN, fantasy mags, and other sources. DO NOT go by Yahoo rankings.
Also, "mock drafts" which you will see mentioned around these parts will give you a good idea of where the players are going in other drafts.
After round seven or so, start customizing your draft strategy a little depending on how it's gone so far. If there's a non-filled position with slim pickings left, this is the time to get one of the few producers remaining. But don't panic and sell yourself short. If you're fairly confident you can pick up a solid player at that position later in the draft, wait for him. For example, 3B Joe Crede should be available well after the eigth round comes and go and projects to be a decent man for the spot if you're desperate late in the draft.
I can't re-iterate the importance of a cheat sheet. With one, it will be much easier to make positional decisions when the time comes. Without one, you will wind up with really weak positions or waste draft picks on mediocre position players and miss out on a lot of talent - both are bad situations to be in to start a new season. I hope I didn't teach down to you or anything, I'm not sure how much fantasy experience you have.
That's awesome that you go to meet Bench and Rose. I got to meet David Justice and Ricky Ledee during their playing days. I mean...uhh...
I forgot to log in with my initial post...heh heh.
Anyway, you don't recommend positional scarcity strategy, eh? That kinda blows my whole plan. I think Yahoo! gets their ranking from the Sporting News if I'm not mistaken.
Are cheat sheets different that regular ranking? I looked at ESPN and didn't find anything about cheat sheets.
This will be only my 2nd time in a live Yahoo! draft. My first was a total disaster even though I thought it went well. This is my 3rd year playing free Yahoo! fantasy baseball and I've managed to win my league each year out of 3 teams per year. Btw, the leagues have 12 teams.
yeah, im sorry, but i cant reccomend a position scarcity strategy starting at pick 1. if successful, you would have a great team. but the chances of getting solid players at every position and all at reasonable rounds in the draft are too low that i dont think it's worth it. this is not to say that position scarcity should be completely ignored early in the draft, i may have sounded like that's my opinion but i have to slightly disagree with those who say so. for example, i had Soriano and Bonds both ranked as #4 overall in the draft. i gave Soriano the nudge because of his 2B eligibility. unless last year was a fluke season for Soriano, you have just filled arguably the shallowest position with a 40-40 threat in not-so-arguably the best lineup in baseball. if you pass on Bonds, you can probably still get a premiere outfielder in the second round. so in certain cases, early picks are influenced by position scarcity. but as a strategy for your entire draft, i think it is unwise.
Yeah, I think you're right about Yahoo using TSN's rankings but TSN seems to overlook sleepers and injury threats. I think this is sort of a good thing because it gives an advantage to managers who research pre-draft and make themselves aware of the guys misrepresented in the rankings. I hope you have as much success this year as you've had in the past!
Yeah, don't worry about position scarcity ih the early rounds. In the first fantasy league I ever entered (2000), I took Pudge and Tejada first, when I could have had Sosa and some other big hitter then. I came in sixth (out of 10) only because I made a good trade and got Cliff Floyd during his big year. Otherwise, I should have come in last. Oh yeah, I took Esteban Loiza as a free agent. Oh well. The next year, I joined a better league and came in 3rd.
Actually, I think positional scarcity works right from the start. Why else is A-Rod the consensus #1 choice over Vlad, when Vlad's '02 stats - taken by themselves - were slightly ahead of A-Rod's in 5x5 scoring? Just by picking A-Rod first, you're already using positional scarcity...
The one caveat to positional scarcity is that it works best the more accurate your projections are and the more competitive your league is. As to the best available player method, I feel that to make this work, you have to be one of the best at your league at spotting sleepers.
i'm taking a best available strategy early in my draft, but you have to be careful.....three picks in I and have 2 OF.....and no pitchers....now I've re-ranked what's left in the scarce positions.....at some point you do need to look at what's left....
I put every position into tiers: top tier, middle tier and everybody else......you have to grab as few "everybody else" guys to win....so see what's left and where you can wait on a position
Take a look at the "Point of View" section of this site, and the article entitled "Tiers of a Crown". That's an excellent guide for drafting with positional scarcity kept in mind. A lot of people on this site are very against any notion of positional scarcity (which technically should mean that they'd pick Vlad first rather than ARod), but there is a less vocal minority that disagrees. That's a good way to end up with a Brian Schnieder as your starting catcher and then wonder why you can't win your league with one less contributing position.
Here are some things to remember:
-There is essentially one top-tier catcher (Piazza), and two or three 2nd-tier catchers (Posada, IRod, and possibly Lo Duca). Make sure to get one of them, but don't take Piazza before the 2nd or 3rd round (a mistake I made in this year's mock draft).
-There is one top-tier SS (ARod), and three 2nd-tier SS's (Nomar, Tejada, and Jeter). It helps a lot if you can get one of those 4, but it is not absolutely essential. SS isn't as scarce as C, and the 3rd-tier SS's are not terrible. SS is no longer an extremely scarce position, but it's always nice to get one of the big 4.
-There are two top-tier 2B (Soriano and Kent). If you can get one of them, you'll be a lot better off, but it'll be tough. Bret Boone and Roberto Alomar should be available a little bit later in the draft, and both will probably be better than last year. Junior Spivey and Mark Bellhorn are decent later-round replacements.
-3B is definitely deeper than catcher, but it's not as deep as you'd think. Which makes Pujols one of the kings of positional scarcity (after ARod and Soriano). I have only eight 3B ranked in the top 3 tiers. And you really don't want a 4th tier 3B. If you must take a lower ranked 3B, or when considering backups, Adrian Beltre looks pretty good this year as a late-round alternative.
-OF is one of the deepest positions, but it's not as deep as usual this year. I have 23 OF's in the top 3 tiers. After that, the pickings are somewhat slim. There's no shame in picking an OF in the first round of a draft, as that's where most of the best hitters in baseball play, and you need 3 of them on your team.
-1B is the deepest position, by far. Giambi and Helton are both great. If you find yourself in a position in the first few rounds where no one else seems worth drafting, you can pick up either one for some massive production. But there are easily 12 respectable 1B that you can pick up, so don't go crazy here.
-Pitchers are tough to fit into the positional scarcity model. When I made my own cheat sheet, I ranked 7 tiers of SP's, as opposed to 5 tiers of everything else. I also ranked 5 tiers of RP's, with the 5th tier composed entirely of non-closers and pitchers who *might* become closers during the season. Remember that you'll need at least 4 quality starters and 2 solid closers to compete in 5x5.
Personally i don't like using the positional scarcity method until later on in the draft, I believe it doesn't matter where you get your power as long as you get it. You should do some research before your draft and check a number of cheat sheets to be prepared. I would also suggest not to use this year's espn mock draft as a guide, I think they made a number of questionable picks. good luck