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Drafting for categories rather than best available

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Drafting for categories rather than best available

Postby st3v3k4hn » Sat Mar 02, 2013 6:08 pm

I've done a fair amount of work this year looking at different projections and rankings and trying to decide who I think goes where. But honestly, by the middle of the draft (maybe sooner) I'm not really interested in who is "best available"; I am interested in who fills a roster position and what strengths and weaknesses does he have. For example, if I need a 2B and my team needs steals, runs and AVG I will go Altuve; if I need more HRs and RBIs I might go Uggla. Now I have Altuve ranked higher but so what, you gotta take what you need, right? So I am just wondering, when you guys get down to a point where you need to pump up certain categories, how do you do it? I have a color coded list but honestly I can't sort it all out fast enough in a real time draft (ie if I want a 2B that steals and scores runs and hits for AVG). Or do you just stick to best available and hope it balances out?
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Re: Drafting for categories rather than best available

Postby jfg » Sat Mar 02, 2013 6:16 pm

If you draft best available throughout the entire draft you're not going to do well. It's ok to do it for the first few rounds, but even then you need to have some kind of plan in place once you have an idea where your team is going. If you are killing it in HR, it doesn't make sense to draft Adam Dunn because he's best available in round 15. It's best to use some kind of tracker that shows where other teams are at so you know where you're at because even if you feel you have a lot of SB it doesn't mean much if five other teams are piling them up too.
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Re: Drafting for categories rather than best available

Postby j24jags » Sat Mar 02, 2013 8:34 pm

jfg wrote:If you draft best available throughout the entire draft you're not going to do well. It's ok to do it for the first few rounds, but even then you need to have some kind of plan in place once you have an idea where your team is going. If you are killing it in HR, it doesn't make sense to draft Adam Dunn because he's best available in round 15. It's best to use some kind of tracker that shows where other teams are at so you know where you're at because even if you feel you have a lot of SB it doesn't mean much if five other teams are piling them up too.

Ditto. Early on, it's all about best available. Once you have about half of your lineup filled out, you will get a sense of where to focus for the rest of the draft.
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Re: Drafting for categories rather than best available

Postby Ender » Sat Mar 02, 2013 9:18 pm

I always draft the best available. Keep in mind the best available is a very wide range though so it is usually a choice between 10 to 30 players and not just 1 or 2. But if I have a clear need and someone has fallen way farther than I think they should have I will skip the need and take the value every time. I'm more of a tier based drafter though since this concept of player value is a sham in the first place. Your dollar values should be +/- $5 at the very least so someone has to fall multiple rounds to really be a good value. If you are at say pick 120 of the draft the next 30 players in your queue probably have the same value realistically.
Last edited by Ender on Sun Mar 03, 2013 8:18 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Drafting for categories rather than best available

Postby st3v3k4hn » Sun Mar 03, 2013 3:28 am

jfg wrote:It's best to use some kind of tracker that shows where other teams are at so you know where you're at because even if you feel you have a lot of SB it doesn't mean much if five other teams are piling them up too.

I am actually doing that this year (for the 1st time - I just bought the FantasyPros Draft Tool). So I will have a better idea of how I am doing in categories and I will have access to some projections as well. My question really is how to track the categories and projections?

It should be fairly easy to find the best guy If you only track 1 category at a time. If the tracker says you need AVG you find the best AVG guy at the position you need. But, in the mock drafts I am doing I find I frequently want to improve more than 1 category. What if the tracker says I need AVG and HRs? Or Runs, SBs and AVG? That a lot to try and figure out in real-time. To make this easier i am thinking about grouping power stats (HRs & RBIs) vs speed stats (SBs & Runs). That way when I need power I dont accidentally get a guy like Josh Reddick (who hits plenty of HRs but somehow doesn't get nearly as many RBIs as other power guys). That doesn't handle all situations but it brings it down to the 3 most likely (power, speed, or AVG).

Does that make sense or is that overkill? Is it better to only worry about 1 stat at a time - figuring that grabbing HRs generally also gets you RBIs, and grabbing SBs generally also gets you Runs?

Thanks!

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Re: Drafting for categories rather than best available

Postby Kimbos Beard » Sun Mar 03, 2013 8:06 am

I would say that there is no right way to do it. Best available is the way to go for a portion of the draft, but you can't do it all draft, and if you are just targeting certain categories you may start overlooking players you should be taking. Be prepared and be flexible.

I can tell you I generally go to my league standings from last year and see what it took to win each category. Then I use it as a cheat sheet/guide when planning my draft. If it took 250HR's to win that category last year I'll keep that in mind when I am drafting and see how my team is shaping up.

All this is great now, but if you are doing a live draft its never as easy to do this as it sounds. That 1:30 between picks or whatever you use, flies by when you are sitting there trying to add up the projected stats of your team. When you do mocks take notes of what you do if your team is weak in SB or HR in the later rounds. That way when its your real draft you can glance at your team, see its weak in SB, and know you should target say Ichiro in the next round or two.
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Re: Drafting for categories rather than best available

Postby st3v3k4hn » Mon Mar 04, 2013 7:17 pm

Kimbos Beard wrote:I would say that there is no right way to do it. Best available is the way to go for a portion of the draft, but you can't do it all draft, and if you are just targeting certain categories you may start overlooking players you should be taking. Be prepared and be flexible.

Ok, what about if you are drafting early on and the best available is a position you have already covered? This just happened in a mock draft - I was drafting 3rd and Braun and Trout went 1-2 so I got Miggy. I got Strasburg in the 2nd. When round 3 rolled around the top 3 choices were all also 3Bs (Beltre, Longo and Wright all lasted), and 2 of the other top choices were SPs (Price and Felix). The 3Bs were all a value at that point, but I ended up stretching to fill a scarce position and grabbed Reyes instead. Would you go ahead and draft a 3B here knowing you could use him at a Util spot (we actually have 2 Util spots). Or is it better to fill the needed position?
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Re: Drafting for categories rather than best available

Postby Izenhart » Mon Mar 04, 2013 7:25 pm

In round three I'm going for value and would take a 3B and put him at UT. Now if Aramis Ramirez falls to the end of round 4 I may pass but of he's there in round 5 I may make him my 2nd DH. I did this successfully last year in my main league, taking Longoria, Aram and Sandoval. When Longo went down I had a super backup option and filled my UT spot with SB needs.
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Re: Drafting for categories rather than best available

Postby J35J » Tue Mar 05, 2013 10:30 am

Izenhart wrote:In round three I'm going for value and would take a 3B and put him at UT. Now if Aramis Ramirez falls to the end of round 4 I may pass but of he's there in round 5 I may make him my 2nd DH. I did this successfully last year in my main league, taking Longoria, Aram and Sandoval. When Longo went down I had a super backup option and filled my UT spot with SB needs.


Yup, I did this in a recent mock...don't remember what rounds they were but they were good value and ended up taking Butler and Goldschmidt back to back. That draft turned out fine.
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Re: Drafting for categories rather than best available

Postby AHF » Tue Mar 05, 2013 1:04 pm

Ender wrote:I always draft the best available. Keep in mind the best available is a very wide range though so it is usually a choice between 10 to 30 players and not just 1 or 2. But if I have a clear need and someone has fallen way farther than I think they should have I will skip the need and take the value every time. I'm more of a tier based drafter though since this concept of player value is a sham in the first place. Your dollar values should be +/- $5 at the very least so someone has to fall multiple rounds to really be a good value. If you are at say pick 120 of the draft the next 30 players in your queue probably have the same value realistically.


I agree with Ender's approach. Using a tier system and sticking to it works. Using a list of 300 names and always taking the guy at the top of the list doesn't. Don't pass on a real difference in value to draft for a specific category and within that tier take the guy who fits your needs later in the draft. Taking a specific category over a superior value pick is just as much of a problem as taking a $10 low AVG, high HR guy over a $9 high AVG, high steals guy when you are bursting with power hitters and need steals.
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