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Drafting Upside vs. Drafting Safe

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Drafting Upside vs. Drafting Safe

Postby MashinSpuds » Thu Mar 01, 2012 11:29 am

Every year I run into this personal problem of mine in that I always tend to draft the safe guys. Guys on my roster tend to be the non-injured, predictable statistic guys that I can count on with a little bit of risk thrown in if I'm lucky. I usually end up competitive, but I wonder if it's necessary to get a little more risky/reckless with some of my choices.

What draft strategy do you usually follow in a 1) re-draft league and a 2) keeper league? Is there a difference? Do you draft mostly upside, mostly safety, or a split of both?
Last edited by MashinSpuds on Thu Mar 01, 2012 3:36 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Drafting Upside vs. Drafting Safe

Postby HOOTIE » Thu Mar 01, 2012 11:41 am

I play mostly keepers.
i draft upside pretty much all the time.
You can always find safe guys, as in keepers, upside guys go faster.
Plus the return is greater if you hit a few big ones.
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Re: Drafting Upside vs. Drafting Safe

Postby Tavish » Thu Mar 01, 2012 11:43 am

Early in the draft I tend to draft with my projected floor for a player in mind. The first 3-4 rounds at least is no place for me to be going for the glory. In the mid rounds when the players start bunching together real tightly I start to look at the midpoint projections and try to avoid injury prone guys. The late rounds is about the only point I start looking at ceiling projections and taking bigger gambles on health issues.
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Re: Drafting Upside vs. Drafting Safe

Postby MasterX1918 » Thu Mar 01, 2012 11:46 am

I like to keep a balance, if I take a guy like Michael Young whom I can rely on i'm more likely to take someone like Pedro Alvarez later. I think diversifying your team is a good adage, and drafting risk in the later rounds is always a nice thing to do since those players can be easily displaced with players on the waiver wire. For instance i'd rather have Gordan Beckham in the late rounds than Omar Infante since Beckham still has that upside whereas we all know what Infante will do, and it's nothing magnificent.
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Re: Drafting Upside vs. Drafting Safe

Postby Grounded Polo » Thu Mar 01, 2012 11:51 am

Tavish wrote:Early in the draft I tend to draft with my projected floor for a player in mind. The first 3-4 rounds at least is no place for me to be going for the glory. In the mid rounds when the players start bunching together real tightly I start to look at the midpoint projections and try to avoid injury prone guys. The late rounds is about the only point I start looking at ceiling projections and taking bigger gambles on health issues.


Exactly this for me too. Keep it safe early, then starting around the 5-7 round range, I'll weigh upside vs floor. In the late rounds, I'm shooting for home runs every time.
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Re: Drafting Upside vs. Drafting Safe

Postby Ender » Thu Mar 01, 2012 12:07 pm

It really depends on how the rest of your league drafts. I don't go into drafts with one or the other in mind. Some drafts have people grabbing name recognition, some just love their upside guys so it is just sort of random which type falls for value. In general I go pretty safe for the first part of draft and more upside later but it isn't really very clear cut. I draft a lot of sneaky upside guys too. Injury rebound guys, older guys with only one bad year but still showing decent skills, guys who had a change in team/role that should inflate value. The young upside guys usually fly off too early for me but the sneaky upside guys usually get looked over. That is how I got guys like Asdrubal and Ellsbury on my teams last year.
Last edited by Ender on Thu Mar 01, 2012 12:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Drafting Upside vs. Drafting Safe

Postby kab21 » Thu Mar 01, 2012 12:17 pm

Grounded Polo wrote:
Tavish wrote:Early in the draft I tend to draft with my projected floor for a player in mind. The first 3-4 rounds at least is no place for me to be going for the glory. In the mid rounds when the players start bunching together real tightly I start to look at the midpoint projections and try to avoid injury prone guys. The late rounds is about the only point I start looking at ceiling projections and taking bigger gambles on health issues.


Exactly this for me too. Keep it safe early, then starting around the 5-7 round range, I'll weigh upside vs floor. In the late rounds, I'm shooting for home runs every time.


I'll play it safe up until rd 10 and then take some upside guys. Usually rds 5-7 I draft my first two starters and I want solid ace-lites instead of pure upside. Overall I'm a value drafter. I won't ignore upside if it is falling.
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Re: Drafting Upside vs. Drafting Safe

Postby Grounded Polo » Thu Mar 01, 2012 12:26 pm

kab21 wrote:
Grounded Polo wrote:
Tavish wrote:Early in the draft I tend to draft with my projected floor for a player in mind. The first 3-4 rounds at least is no place for me to be going for the glory. In the mid rounds when the players start bunching together real tightly I start to look at the midpoint projections and try to avoid injury prone guys. The late rounds is about the only point I start looking at ceiling projections and taking bigger gambles on health issues.


Exactly this for me too. Keep it safe early, then starting around the 5-7 round range, I'll weigh upside vs floor. In the late rounds, I'm shooting for home runs every time.


I'll play it safe up until rd 10 and then take some upside guys. Usually rds 5-7 I draft my first two starters and I want solid ace-lites instead of pure upside. Overall I'm a value drafter. I won't ignore upside if it is falling.


I'm drafting guys like Bumgarner there, who I feel are undervalued, over guys like Strasburg, who I'm not drafting him in Round 5.
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Re: Drafting Upside vs. Drafting Safe

Postby MasterX1918 » Thu Mar 01, 2012 12:31 pm

round 5 is way too early for a guy who will only start 20-25 games
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Re: Drafting Upside vs. Drafting Safe

Postby GardnerRunsRampant » Thu Mar 01, 2012 1:07 pm

Something no one has mentioned yet that I find extremely useful sometimes, especially for pitchers, is the information coming out of spring training or winter leagues (if it reaches you before the draft). Is a guy showing increased velocity, improved command, aches or pains, etc? Also, contract year players or players with something to prove. For batters, I love to hear where managers intend to hit players in the lineup. That tells you a lot about how the organization feels about the player, and obviously they have more data to analyze than us. The point I'm trying to make is that some high upside picks can become less risky than others.

With that said, I tend to draft based on pretty conservative projections, and the players with upside that I target are the ones who fall to me at their conservative line. That way my team is not hurt by their lackluster season, but becomes even better if they reach it.
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