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The odds of the AL MVP coming from the American League are looking pretty good.
reenum wrote:The draft is finally in the book, and for the first time in 3 years, I am pretty happy with where I stand right now. Over the winter, I began reading up on fantasy baseball strategy. Whatever I had been doing up to this point just was not working. My first year, I just missed finishing second. I harkened back to that time, and realized that year, I really didn't do the excessive preparation that I had been doing over the past couple of seasons. I think I was just psyching myself out to a great extent, trying to find the next rookie sensation and the sleepers. This season, I'd make my gambles late in the draft, rather than reach for guys and miss out on more consistent and established talent.
Second, I remember being really hurried when making picks in the last couple of drafts. So, this year, I decided the best thing to do would be to concentrate the first half of the draft on hitters, and then go for pitching in the later rounds. The reason for this is simple: with the steroids era now behind us, true premier offensive talent is much scarcer than pitching. So, if I can get some big bats, then I can basically concentrate on building a pitching staff over the course of the season. This cuts my work during the season pretty much in half. I remember seeing the other folks feverishly checking their draft sheets with each pick and trying to make a quick decision. I just sat back, and used the rankings from Sporting News and ESPN Magazine. Those guys dedicate their life to ranking fantasy players and being in the know, so why not trust their expertise?
So, I began and got Vlad, David Wright, Soriano, and Berkman in the first 4 rounds. Not a bad start. The next few rounds were good too, as I got Sizemore, Damon, Sexson and Podsednik. More power and steals, and I was particularly happy to get Pods this low. I think he'll be comparable to Figgins, Reyes, and Pierre and comes at a much lower price. I deviated from my strategy in Round 9 and picked Isringhausen. I needed at least one good closer to keep me respectable in saves. After that, I was able to get Vernon Wells, who is another good sleeper. The last two seasons, he's basically had no lineup protection. He should do much better with Glaus and Overbay hitting in front of and behind him.
So, from Round 11, I began concentrating on pitching. At this point, I just wanted the best value pitchers I could get. I also had holes at SS and C, and needed to fill those. So, I took Cliff Lee, who should be decent this year, and then Barmes, who would have been the NL ROY if not for that unfortunate accident. Next came Valverde, Brandon Webb, Haren, and Yorvit Torrealba. I was hoping to get Michael Barrett, but I think that Torrealba is still a good bet to hit some HRs in Coors. He was a bit of a reach in Round 16, but I didn't want to end the draft without a C. People around me were saying I should have taken Ramon Hernandez, but I differ. I think he'll put up mediocre stats in Baltimore, since he really hasn't done all that much in Oakland and SD. Round 17 brought Aaron Harang, who should be solid in all categories except wins. Round 18 netted Garrett Atkins, who should be a good fantasy 3B, since he plays in Coors and isn't in a platoon. Round 19 got me Oliver Perez. If he's even halfway back to his 2004 season, I should do pretty well on K's. He had 239 K's in 200 IPs that year. I finished things out with Joe Blanton in Round 20. I'll probably end up dropping him.
So, I have one of the best, if not the best, lineups in the league this year. Now, I just have to build up my pitching staff. It should be a much better season than the past two.
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