I love fantasy football, but being from Europe I know next to nothing about baseball. However, I agreed to join a Fantasy Baseball league with some competitive friends who love it. I did as much research as I could in a short period of time. I'm in a 12-team head to head league, pretty standard scoring from my understanding. Here is the team I drafted. Any input & advice is much appreciated. Would help in return but not sure I'd be able to contribute anything valuable! C: Jonathan Lucroy 1B: Billy Butler 2B: Jose Altuve 3B: Evan Longoria SS: Erick Aybar OF: Ryan Braun OF: Bryce Harper OF: Alex Gordon UTIL: Hunter Pence UTIL: David Ortiz BN: Emilio Bonifacio BN: Domonic Brown BN: Dee Gordon
SP: Madison Bumgarner SP: Chris Sale RP: Aroldis Chapman RP: J.J. Putz P: Tim Lincecum P: A.J. Burnett P: Matt Garza P: Kenley Jansen BN: Rick Pocello BN: Justin Masterson
Pretty good. Starting pitching is a little risky after Bumgarner and Sale (though I have Lincecum, too *fingers crossed*) and I wouldn't bet on Dee Gordon seeing much playing time. You're good on stolen bases, anyway, so maybe think about upgrading him. Otherwise, your offense is certainly better than mine, and I actually think I know baseball.
I like your offense. It's very good. You have shaky options at SP after the big two. Perhaps you can trade later on. I see Garza bouncing back if he stays healthy though, and give you a quality third arm. So maybe you take a wait and see approach.
Baseball is a game where a curve is an optical illusion, a screwball can be a pitch or a person, stealing is legal and you can spit anywhere you like except in the umpire's eye or on the ball. ~Jim Murray
Tough to say anyone you have is expendable. I think Braun/Harper/Pence is going to a reliable outfield for all categories. MAYBE Gordon. He's pretty hyped, so you might be able to get Shields or Josh Johnson (depending on who holds them). Bonifacio is tempting because of the steals, but I'd keep him for the fact that he's on Toronto and he plays second and outfield. In my mind, for a pitcher, you should get close to a K an inning and/or low-ish WHIP/ERA on a good team. There're probably some promising pitchers on the FA list. Baltimore's got Tillman and (I like) Gonzalez. Maybe Detwiler on Washington. You'll have to look at them yourself. (Zito, maybe? I'm a Giants fan, so I'm biased, but it is a contract year.) But again, mostly wins on the FA list, pretty sure all the strikeout-an-inning guys are gone. Though you could wait it out an trade Ortiz when he's healthy.
Beginners luck is real. Nice draft. People love to poke holes in a pitching staff, and truth is there's so much variance in pitching performance from year to year that nobody really knows what's going to happen with even the most reliable arms. Health is a concern with Burnett, but in the NL, in a park that suppresses RH power a bit, AJ should have another season in line with what he did last year. He's always been talented and the NL is a weaker offensive league, he's in attack mode. Lincecum is a strike out monster, that isn't going to change. He maintained good K numbers in his slump last year and over the second half he really showed a nice adjustment and stopped yielding so many liners in 1-2, 0-2 counts. He used to be able to blow people away up in the zone and he's lost some velocity so it's on him to learn how to set people up for off-speed. He's a two time Cy winner with solid control and great secondary pitches. He rebounded in the second half and should keep that trend up into this year (contract year for him). Garza is in a contract year too, I believe, and he's never really dominated in the NL the way I thought he would. He's a solid option, should help you a bit with K's and not hurt you in ERA/WHIP. That's a pretty solid trio backing up your big two, you can't go out and spend early draft picks on pitching over and over again or you're screwed. There's so much variance in pitching from year to year and it's becoming more and more of a pitchers league in general that you can find must-start arms later in the draft and I think you did. Wouldn't shock me at all if AJ, Garza and Lincecum all struck out 200 guys. You'd be lucky, but it could happen. The goal is to have 5-6 starters come mid-season that you trust against almost every line up. You're on the way there for sure.
See if somebody is interested in Ortiz straight up for an underrated pitcher. Ortiz has achilles issues, he's old, he could be useless against lefties and he might not even be right all season long with this injury. Who knows. Clay Buchholz was nice in his last 100 innings last year, he's got pedigree and talent enough to be a good rebound candidate and he's been a Cy contender before. He won't help you in K's though. See if Kris Medlen is owned by somebody who might be enticed by Ortiz's power #'s, I doubt it, but throw an offer that way. Hiroki Kuroda, Wade Miley, and James Shields might be targets too.
Don't cast off Rick Porcello too early and if he winds up headed to an NL team with a nice infield via trade from the Tigers, definitely hang on to him. He's still young and has more potential than a lot of people realize.