I was thinking of some things I want to avoid in drafting this year (feel free to edit this post and add to it):
Avoid drafting early speed, especially in roto leagues
Tired of following rankings too much; this year I will go with my gut and take a guy where I feel he fits best....not the round closest to his MDP.
Try to avoid waiting too long to draft a solid closer. It's almost been thrown too far the other way where drafters are waiting too long to find closers while savvy drafters are getting them at good values.
I, MTUCache, vow that for the entirety of the 2011 Fantasy Baseball Season I: 1.) Will not trade away Josh Hamilton after a good first half (again, and again, and again). 2.) Will not own Chone Figgins, no matter how many positions he (was) eligible for, no matter how many SB he should get this year, and no matter how strongly I believe that there's NO way Seattle can be as bad as they were in 2010. 3.) Will not draft a closer until at least three others are off the board. 4.) Will not draft a player who is only eligible at UT. 5.) Will not be surprised when half of my team is injured within the first month of the season.
1) Not price oversimplified projected growth into my draft rankings. Just b/c Player X hit 20 homers in half a year doesn't mean he'll hit 40 in a full season. I will draft such a player as a 20-25 players and enjoy the potential profit while minimizing my risk.
2) I will draft the players I want, when I want them, and not worry about it being "too early" based on averages or medians. It only takes one other owner to take that player out from under your noise.
3) I will not overreact to one season (ie last season) in evaluations, particularly if that player was on my team last year. I am not objective enough, and as the Million Dollar Man said, "Everyone has a price." Even douchebags like Matt Kemp that hampered my season last year.
4) I will be flexible in my strategies. While going into the draft with a strategy is important imo, I will not be afraid to depart from my strategy. If players from w/e position begin to fall further than they should, they will end up on my team more likely than not.
5) I will start the catcher and relief pitcher runs, not get caught in the middle of them. Or worse on the outside.
6) I will try my hardest not to finish 2nd for the fourth year in a row. It's starting to get annoying. >.>
1) not own Nick Markakis. a player with 8 steals and 17 hr's is not a valuable asset. 2) not refuse to pay for pitching. It may be deep, but you need an Ace or two. Jonathon Sanchez and Chad Billingsley cannot anchor a staff. 3) Not take old outfielders becasue you know what they are capable of. I'm looking at you Alfonso Soriano and Manny Ramirez. 4) not get caught up in the fact that a productive catcher is a huge positional advantage. They all suck. 5) not even think about trading Jason Heyward. no matter how high the offers are when he has 20 pre-all-star break hr's.
I can't really express myself in terms of concrete vows, but I took some lessons from football this year that I think translate well to baseball.
Don't get caught up in the need to fill every position with what you consider to be a viable top option. In any fantasy sport, there are much fewer players that are significantly above replacement level than there are players who hover around the 100-200 mark on the player rater. That is to say that the majority of players are interchangeable. For example: If I don't get Hanley or Tulo, I'm not going to be overly interested in making sure I get one of the next couple of shortstops. Chances are that the difference between a guy like Stephen Drew and the 12th player at his position--- let's just say Ian Desmond or Asdrubal Cabrera is going to be minimal. If I don't get a special player at a position, I wait.
By extension, the goal of my draft should be to find star players. In football this year, I ended up with only a handful of players who were significantly better than replacement level. I squandered a huge % of my auction budget on guys like DeAngelo Williams, Randy Moss, Matt Schaub, Steve Smith and Jonathan Stewart only to get the kind of production I probably could have gotten by playing the waiver wire.
If there is a place to go "safe" it is in the first few rounds. By all means take MCab in round 1, Halladay in round 2, and Holliday in round 3. These are guys who are very likely to produce way more than the ones you'd be replacing them with if they got hurt, and that's where value comes from. I absolutely will NOT be taking "safe" players in the mid rounds however. In round 8, why blow a pick on Bobby Abreu, who is essentially guaranteed mediocrity at the expense of a guy like Drew Stubbs, who is a candidate to be this year's Carlos Gonzalez in terms of draft value?
In the above case, we're talking about an OF2. How many of you that have played fantasy baseball for more than a year or so have had trouble finding a decent OF2 to start for you? If you play the waiver wire at all, you can find this year's version of 2010's Angel Pagan. What you can't find is this year's version of Carlos Gonzalez.
In summary, I am content to swing and miss on my mid and late round picks. The whole idea is to find those players who will significantly outperform the top players likely to be residing on the waiver wire for much of the year. Like I said, if I miss, I can approximate the production of a veteran in regression just by being active on the wire, but I likely can't find those true breakout gems anywhere but the draft.
CBMGreatOne wrote:In round 8, why blow a pick on Bobby Abreu, who is essentially guaranteed mediocrity at the expense of a guy like Drew Stubbs, who is a candidate to be this year's Carlos Gonzalez in terms of draft value?
1. I vow not to scoff at a statistic during a draft and think I can just deal with it later or gamble on the wire. Er, last in steals.
2. I vow not to fall in love with too many veterans by recalling the good old days. Leave Bobby Abreu alone (unless left alone too long).
3. Speaking of which, I vow not to utterly ignore veterans who fall much too far, if only to add depth. Didn't have a lot of faith in Rafael Furcal and there ya go.
4. I vow to add one or two more things that I didn't research last year to this year's mental experience. Someday it will all come together so that I'll be a draft day mastermind of strategic complexity!