I've always thought of myself as a good fantasy player, but never had the chance to play against other good players. So I devised a way to get some of the top quality talent from the Cafe to join my league.
To entice some good competition, I offered to pay anyone who beat me in my own league a dollar for every single point they finish above me in the final standings.
In the end, we ended up with a 16-team 5x5 roto league including Cafe favorites such as,
New Zealand Fan
There are more Cafe members, but I still haven't figured out which team belongs to who. Maybe if you're in my league and reading this, you can enlighten us.
With 16-teams and some stiff competition, the chances of me losing some good money is pretty high. But it's all in good fun, right? I'm posting this diary for those people who want to see how some of the Cafe "experts" play and give you all a little peek into my fantasy baseball mind.
I'd like to do this throughout the season, but probably will only post once a week or even less than that. If there is little interest, I will cut it short.
It seems to me that the most common drafting strategy this year is best player available. I tried that last year and I ended up with Magglio and Manny in the first two rounds of our 16-team league. Those two guys combined for 66 HRs, 12 steals and 203 RBIs. Pretty disappointing from two guys who are perennialy considered "sure things." Drafting two OFs right away also wreaked havoc on the pool of players I had to choose from, as I scrambled to try to fill my infield positions the rest of the draft. My infield turned out to be Lieberthal, Bagwell, Hairston, Rollins, and Hinske. It was ugly the whole year.
So this year I thought I'd try something a little more old school. With the sting of back-to-back OFs from last year still fresh in my memory, I placed a greater importance on position scarcity this year. I wouldn't completely ignore the great OFs, but I'd rate players from the scarce positions a little bit higher.
Also, I wanted to draft players that I liked and not necessarily the players who I should draft. For example, I really like Todd Helton this year. So going into the draft, I knew I'd draft Helton over guys like Guerrero and Beltran. Obviously if a good player drops too far, I'd have no choice but to take him but I didn't worry about that because I knew this league would be full of knowledgeable owners.
Ok, before I post my draft, it would be smart to post our league setup. It's a 16-team 5x5 Roto league using OBP instead of .AVG. There are 23 roster spots and no DL spots. Everything else is set up exactly like your standard Yahoo league.
Round 1/11th overall pick - Nomar Garciaparra
The 11th draft slot is okay to me. I wanted to get somewhere inbetween 4th and 9th so I could get the type of player I could build my team around, but at least I didn't get 15th or 16th. So no complaints here. With the 11th pick I took Nomar. Of course, now it looks to be a bad pick, but at the time of the draft, Nomar was "unlikely" to be in the opening lineup but actively taking batting practice. That didn't sound so bad at the time plus Nomar fit in nicely with my position scarcity drafting strategy. Btw, Todd Helton went 3rd to Jivedude. Some people were surprised by that pick but not me. I would have done the same in that situation.
Round 2/22nd pick - Scott Rolen
I really wanted Giambi with this pick. His OBP last year was insane and if all he did was repeat last year's disappointing season he would be worth a round 2 pick. CBMGreatOne felt the same way as me and took him before I could get Giambi. I ended up with Rolen who is a solid pick and meets my position scarcity game plan.
Round 3/43rd pick - Jorge Posada
By far the best catcher in the game. A 30/100 season and a .400 OBP are very reasonable expectations and stats like those from the C position warrants a 2nd round pick. Very happy I got him here. I would have drafted Piazza here if Posada was not available.
Round 4/54th pick - Josh Beckett
I needed an ace to anchor my staff. I wanted Oswalt or Hudson here, but Oswalt was taken #40 and Hudson was taken #47. Beckett was the last of the elite pitchers I didn't mind having as my anchor.
Round 5/75th pick - Shawn Green
With my infield in good shape and an anchor picked, I wanted an outfielder but Green in round 5 is far from ideal and maybe I should have just waited some more. The 3 OFs who went after Green were Edmonds, Luis Gonzalez, and Sanders so it was getting to be slim pickings already in round 5!
Round 6/86th pick - Carlos Zambrano
Love this guy's attitude when he is on the mound.
Round 7/107th pick - Mike Sweeney
Very happy Sweeney drop this far for me. Seems other managers shied away from the often injured Sweeney but much like the Nomar pick, I didn't let the minor injuries stop me from drafting him.
Round 8/118th pick - Jose Contreras
I like my pitchers to be power pitchers who rack up the strikeouts and Jose Contreras has been high on my sleeper list for months.
Round 9/139th pick - Jorge Julio
I wanted an OF here and considered Bradley but I thought he'd last another round. So I drafted the best closer available. The OF's who went in this round were Burrell, Griffey, Baldelli, Bradley, Ibanez, Nixon and Winn.
Round 10/150th pick - Larry Walker
OFs who went this round include Guillen, Drew, Kearns, Klesko, Gibbons and Encarnacion. That makes 14 OFs who got drafted in rounds 9 and 10. I went with Walker because of his .422 OBP last year. The next highest OBP from this group of players is .374 from J.D. Drew. I just hope Walker's healthy enough to get 500 plate appearances.
Round 11/171st pick - Jeromy Burnitz
Payton and Preston nearly doubled their homerun totals when they moved to Coors. If Burnitz doubles his homerun totals, he'd hit 60 homers this year. Ok, I don't think he'll hit 60, but 40 is reasonable and his career OBP is .350 so he won't hurt me much there. I'm very happy with this pick.
Round 12/182nd pick - Danny Graves
My infield is almost done. My outfield is done. I have lots of deep pitching sleepers so I don't need my 4th starter right away so I picked the best reliever left on the board. Ok, maybe he wasn't the best reliever left, but I liked his SP eligibility which would allow me to do some Yahoo roster tricks.
Round 13/193rd pick - Edgar Martinez
Normally I wouldn't draft old guys but EDGAR IS THE MAN. His splits last year were almost identical and he's having a great spring. Seems to me that he still got his mojo working for him.
Round 14/214th pick - Junior Spivey
The only other 2B who I felt was undervalued was Marcus Giles. Since Giles was picked before my 5th round pick I just waited and waited until this spot to get my sleeper 2B. Here's to hoping he ends up in pinstrips by the end of the year!
Round 15/225th pick - Tim Redding
Clemens and Pettitte ought to have a positive effect on this guy who has the stuff but just needs the right attitude.
Round 16/246th pick - Tim Salmon
Walker and Edgar are going to be missing games left and right this year. And if I decide to only play Burnitz for home games, I'm going to need a lot of ABs from a 4th outfielder. Looks like Salmon is all that's left. DH'ing should keep him fresh and batting in that Angels lineup will bring many RBI opportunities.
Round 17/257th pick - Billy Koch
The only closers left were Koch and Mesa. Since I owned Mesa last year I wasn't going to get burned twice by the same bum.
Round 18/278th pick - K-Rod
My bullpen is looking pretty ugly. K-Rod is there to bring some respectability.
Round 19/289th pick - Justin Speier
He moves out of Coors so there is no way he does worse than last year's numbers which weren't all that bad. Maybe he'll get some saves too.
Round 20/310th pick - Wilson Alvarez
With constant rumors of the dodgers trading pitching for offense, I'm thinking Alvarez gets a starting gig very soon. It's nice that he's doing so well this spring unlike his competition. Worse comes to worse, he's a top notch MR who has SP eligibility.
Round 21/321st pick - Matt Lawton
Walker still has me worried and I wanted someone who can contribute should Walker go down permanently. Should have take Tike Redman instead since my team is very weak on steals. Screwed up.
Round 22/342nd pick - Chris Carpenter
Ack, all my deep pitching sleepers got taken. Would have loved to have gotten Lieber here but he was taken a round earlier. Heard good things about Carpenter but not sure I believe them.
Round 23/353rd pick - Adam Everett
Nomar is going to miss opening day? NP, I'll just pick up Everett to fill in for him for 3 games or so. He's got 3 things going for him... #1 he's opening up at Minute Maid, #2 it's against suspect Giant pitching, and #3 he's batting in front of Bagwell and Berkman (I hope).
What's that? Nomar is out at least 3 weeks? Oh boy!
To be continued...
Edit: Ooops, I didn't draft F-Rod.. I drafted K-ROD! Duh...
Last edited by bleach168 on Fri Apr 02, 2004 2:29 am, edited 1 time in total.
After reviewing how your draft went: I hope you have a lot of extra money lying around. I have a feeling you'll be running into the woodwork about a week or two before the season ends. At least you learned your lesson, I hope.
"Jack, will you call me, if you're able?"
"I've got your phone number written, in the back of my Bible."
Post a link to your draft results, Bleach so we can pick it apart.
One concern I had - drafting a 3b in the 2nd rd is not a position scarcity tactic. 3b is simply the deepest position this yr, and better value can be had later on. I would have liked to see you grab a bigger bat - possibly an OF or a better SP in the 2nd.