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A question about draft strategy

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A question about draft strategy

Postby CBV » Mon Feb 28, 2005 6:27 pm

Hello all!

Although this is my first post here at the cafe, i have been actively browsing the forums since early january. Also, i just have to say, that those rankings that lofonzo did were outstanding! ;-D

What i wanted to ask you guys is what do you think the best strategy is for drafting? i am in a 16 team h2h league, and after viewing february's mock draft i came across something interesting. i broke down all twelve managers picks into position. rico and dog were the first and last picks overall....

rico had 1B (Pujols), 3B, SP, 3B, C, SP, OF, RP, OF, OF, SS/2B, SP, SS, SP, RP.

dog had SP (Santana), SP, OF, 2B, SS, OF, 1B/OF, OF, 3B, RP, RP, C, OF, SP, SP.

if i am given first or last pick, the order will then have me doubling up picks each subsequent round. i noticed that dog went 1-2 with the two top pitchers in baseball (arguably). which i think was brilliant, because most of the superstar sluggers were gone already.

i guess what i am really asking is do you guys play it by ear? or do you have a set positional draft order based off of who you take in round 1? i might be over analyzing here 8-o my draft is wednesday, so i am in full gear here :)

thats it for now, its great to finally be in the cafe!

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Postby Absolutely Adequate » Mon Feb 28, 2005 6:30 pm

I think the standard answer is that you should go for the best player available, weighting it slightly to hitters (who are more predictable).


But yeah, play it by ear. You never know if you're playing with all schmucks and Pujols will fall to #4 overall...
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Postby CBV » Mon Feb 28, 2005 6:34 pm

yeah, thats what i am sort of doing. i have approximately 60 guys for each position ranked in the tier system...and i plan to cross off the guys who have been picked and go with the next best one down the tier.

however, i am still unsure on which positions to go for in which rounds. this is always a noodle scratcher for me every year :-?
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Postby Spartans Rule » Mon Feb 28, 2005 7:03 pm

I definitely don't plan on taking certain positions in certain rounds. You have to let the draft come to you and take value where it comes.

I've found that if you make a list at each position, and either break it in to tiers or at least be cognizant of where dropoffs are, you will be able to see where you need to strike.

I think the biggest key for me is to remember that not every pick has to be a homerun. It's often more important to pick the last guy in a tier, even if he doesn't seem like good value, then a better overall player at a position where there are 3 good players. Sometimes what seems like a bad pick is actually a great pick, because it will make the draft much easier for you in the next few rounds.

What I do plan to do in each draft though is have a balance by round 12. I shoot for an 8/2/2 distribution - 8 bats, 2 SP, 2 RP. 7/3/2 would also be acceptable if I'm getting good SP values. But I think 12 rounds is a point where your team should be starting to take shape.
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Postby RAmst23 » Mon Feb 28, 2005 7:13 pm

I'm a big fan of the tier system. If I need a 1B and according to my cheat sheet there's about 4 comparably 1B out there, I'll wait another round to draft one. I also usually highlight a couple guys in each tier that I'm willing to maybe overreach a tad for... For instance I want Jimmy Rollins this year, so I might draft him a little bit earlier than most mocks put him..
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Postby CBV » Mon Feb 28, 2005 9:34 pm

thanks for the info guys. spartan thats a good insight, thanks for sharing that tip. i will incorporate that into my strategy now. i like your round 12 balance idea.

any other replies would be great! ;-D
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Postby bleach168 » Mon Feb 28, 2005 9:44 pm

Good advice so far.

My advice for you would be to remain flexible during the draft. Don't lock yourself into any set strategy. When everyone else zigs, you need to zag. If there is a closer run and you miss out on all the top tier closers, don't reach for a second tier closer. If there are SS runs early, don't be afraid to just tank that position. Do not reach for a player just because you are afraid you are going to miss out. In a 16-team league, everyone is going to have holes in their lineup. Focus on making smart picks. You don't need a perfect team to win.

Also, you do need to pay close attention to the positions you are filling early on. Be careful of drafting 3 OFs in the first three rounds. They may be the best players available, but you lose a lot of flexibility later in the draft. It's ok to underfill a position like only having 1 SP by round 10, but it's not ok to overfill a position like having 5 SP by round 10. You want the option to pick up potentially good SPs that fall too far in the second half of the draft.
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Postby CBV » Mon Feb 28, 2005 9:48 pm

bleach168 wrote:Good advice so far.

My advice for you would be to remain flexible during the draft. Don't lock yourself into any set strategy. When everyone else zigs, you need to zag. If there is a closer run and you miss out on all the top tier closers, don't reach for a second tier closer. If there are SS runs early, don't be afraid to just tank that position. Do not reach for a player just because you are afraid you are going to miss out. In a 16-team league, everyone is going to have holes in their lineup. Focus on making smart picks. You don't need a perfect team to win.

Also, you do need to pay close attention to the positions you are filling early on. Be careful of drafting 3 OFs in the first three rounds. They may be the best players available, but you lose a lot of flexibility later in the draft. It's ok to underfill a position like only having 1 SP by round 10, but it's not ok to overfill a position like having 5 SP by round 10. You want the option to pick up potentially good SPs that fall too far in the second half of the draft.


thanks man! great post, good stuff :-)
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Postby AcidRock23 » Mon Feb 28, 2005 9:55 pm

RAmst23 wrote:I'm a big fan of the tier system. If I need a 1B and according to my cheat sheet there's about 4 comparably 1B out there, I'll wait another round to draft one. I also usually highlight a couple guys in each tier that I'm willing to maybe overreach a tad for... For instance I want Jimmy Rollins this year, so I might draft him a little bit earlier than most mocks put him..


I like doing this too. Most of the time, it doesn't really matter if you get one guy or the other and I think that it is especially important to avoid inflating the value of guys who are at weaker positions. I make a chart w/ A/B/C/D at each spot and list the bottom #s for each tier so, when it's my turn, I can see who the best player is and where he stands in HIS position and how he matches up w/ the best players at other positions very quickly and usually pick quickly. Plus, of course, any sort of goofy, unintelligible chart will serve to intimidate the guys sitting next to you...hee hee. :-D


The other thing I do which I've not really seen that much is not pull the best guys out of the first tier but just 'asterisk' them and figure they'll be gone quickly and put what most people would put in the first two tiers into the first tier w/ a bunch of asterisk dudes (Bonds/ Manny/ Sheff for OF, Helton/ Pujols 1B, Soriano/ Giles at 2B, Arod/ Beltré at 3B) and not worry about grabbing a particular spot, just the best players the first couple of rounds. Then I fill in the blanks in my lineup farther down the draft.

Most of the 'A' players are going to be gone but to me, a guy like Thome, Teixera or perhaps even Konerko can be considered an "A" 1B as they are likely to put up 30 Hr, batting perhaps .260-.280 at a price WAY below the "asterisked" 1B Helton/ Pujols. That gives Tejada and perhaps Manny a very slight edge over Helton at the end of the first round and, if the Cub fans in our league snap at Prior right at the end of the first round, Helton MAY slide back to me or perhaps Soriano w/ my second pick which gives me a good shot at two "asterisk" guys in the lineup. I dunno about ARam getting back to me in the 3rd (picking 9/12 although one guy quit after we picked so we may repick the order...) so maybe then hold off and 'punt' 3B a bit more. This is all very iffy and depends on what other guys take but you kind of get the idea I hope...
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Postby gtabaplayr1 » Mon Feb 28, 2005 10:02 pm

Yeah being flexible is the key. You definitely need to pick based on value over the first few rounds especially in a big league like that, you can always trade later on. In a 16 team league guys I consider guys who play multiple positions to have a little more value, guys like Huff who have eligibility at 1st, 3rd, and OF it makes the rest of your draft that much easier. I had a choice between Blaylock and Huff who I see has relatively similar, but, Huff's position eligibility gave him the edge IMO. I did get Blaylock then next round so it worked out anyway.
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