hey guys, i'm in a league that is a 20-team 15x15 H2H league (literally, i think it's got every posssible stat category that yahoo offers) that allows for 16 keepers w/~30 man rosters, and as that time of the year approaches where you've gotta have your keepers in by 11:59PM PDT on monday night, i've got a few tricky decisions to make.
basic info: 16 keepers, no cash/time-limits/anything-of-the-sort involved in this league if you keep a player you keep a player period. also, being that it's a 15x15 H2H league, technically saves matter as much as holds do (each are merely one category, as pitchers are primarily racking up IP/W/L/K/ERA/WHIP/K-9/H-9/GIDP/etc so basically when you get to relivers closers are only better than setup men simply because there's more setup men, even though a hold counts just as much as a save.
HERE'S THE GUYS I'M GONNA KEEP WITH A FEW OF THE CHOICES I HAVE LISTED AND DENOTED
c - jesus montero
1b - miguel cabrera
2b - danny espinosa
ss - ian desmond
3b - brett lawrie
OF - mike trout
OF - dayan viciedo
the only other guy who i MIGHT even remotely consider keeping is brandon belt.
NOW HERE'S WHERE IT GETS TRICKY: PITCHING
SP - stephen strasburg
SP - madison bumgarner
SP - matt moore
SP - jeremy hellickson
RP - craig kimbrel
RP - jake mcgee
RP - vinnie pestano
RP - steve cishek
RP - mitchell boggs
--- OTHER GUYS I'M CONSIDERING KEEPING --
SP - hishashi iwakuma (dude from seattle who i believe is slated to be their #2 this year)
SP - brandon beachy (has consistently proven he has ML stuff and was off to a smashing 2.00/0.84 in ~80IP last year b4 tommy john surgery)
so basically, at the arse-end of my keeper list i've gotta decide if i wanna risk a brandon beachy type of player or if iwakuma is worth keeping over one of my setup guys (pestano, cishek and boggs). obviously, since it looks like cishek is slated to start off the season as the marlins' closer that gives him some sort of nice value because as i said, in a 20 team league closers aren't exactly the easiest thing to come by, so having two proper closers is generally a pretty good idea. you figure there MIGHT be one team out there with three, maybe a few with 2, and then for the most part everyone has one closer, if that.
but getting beyond the closing paradigm there comes the scenario of setup men. obviously last year going into this year i wasnt keeping jake mcgee and/or pestano and/or mitchell boggs, but after having a season last year where i was dominant with my pitching (~3.26/1.17 at the core, which is !!! considering we've got 20 teams in the league and giant 30 man rosters) and i was definitely helped by having ~3 setup men going at all times. furthermore, mcgee and pestano are no doubt closers of the future, as mcgee posted a sterling 1.75/0.80 last year with a K-rate well over 1k/IP, i mean, is it turned out even using the standard rankings from 5x5 mcgee ended up being #137 overall in fantasy baseball. pestano was in the low 200s himself, but with the perspective injury to chris perez not to mention this being the last year of his deal, it stands to reason that if the indians aren't in it come midseason, or maybe if they're a middling possible-wild-card-team with a strong bullpen, they'll move perez and make pestano the heir apparent, and like i said having closers in this league allows you to work from a position of strength.
the vexing problem is what to do with iwakuma and/or beachy. the former had a very nice season rather quietly, ranking 198 over all by posting a 9-5 3.16/1.28 line with 101k in ~125IP. the question here is do you value him and his potential to be a solid ~3.00-3.50/1.20-1.25ish starter who could very well win something like ~13-17 games with the mariners over a dirty setup man like mitchell boggs, who technically stepped up to have his best season in the bigs last year making a noticeable leap in ERA/WHIP/HOLDS? with mitchell being only 9% owned i've managed to talk myself into tentatively jumping on iwakuma in his stead, figuring another solid to potentially sleeper-type-good starter is something that's gonna be worth more.
and then there's brandon beachy.... obviously i'd be keeping him if he didn't get hurt, but then again his getting hurt last year is what compelled me to roll the dice and trade my anthony rizzo asset for matt moore (a guy whom i had targeted in late 2011 but due to league cutoffs i wasn't able to get via the cash waivers system) so i'm backed up.... but like, if beachy and comes back to show signs of being something even in between the 2.00/0.84 guy of last year to his career ~3.07/1.14 self, i mean, you definitely want that to be a part of your core going forward (even tho there's serious talk of the league scaling back to 12 keepers after this season, which of course, spells problems)
so in order to keep beachy, i'd have to give up on a guy like a vinnie pestano or even a danny espinosa or dayan viciedo, whcih i can't see myself doing with the offensive guys. naturally, i can always let beachy be unprotected and hope to get him again in the draft, figuring there might not necessarily be a huge rush to get a guy who is known to be out for half of the season no matter what happens.
so yeah, long story short.... do you keep a mitchell boggs or a hishashi iwakuma? everyone is for-sure keeping the jeremy hellicksons of the world and the danny espinosas, right? i won't die a thousnad painful deaths if i don't keep brandon belt, right? with the deadline being tonight, even if cishek isn't named the for-sure closer, with his obvious fallback plan being a setup man and his upside being closer you gotta keep cishek in a league where closers are hard to come by, right?
so many questions, so few answers. speaking of, if i didn't answer your question to compel you to come here, leave a link to your boggle here and i'll get right to it. forgive my verbosity here, i just... man, this is my de-facto flagship team and i love having 16 keepers in this league, but my trepidation for blowing my first 2 rounds of draft picks is catching up with me as last year i was a solid league-average/+ offense away from having a real chance.... as it was the eventual league champion smeared me like a queer int he semis (it was like 22-2 or 24-2 or something) after i managed to somehow get through ~14-11ish in the first round despite the fact my pitching hit a wall and my offense wasn't anything to write home about after all of the core guys i listed here.
this year i wanna be an actual contender for the league crown, and if i can manage a league average offense or something in the upper 1/2 of the league and my pitching by and large stays the same or, gasp, even gets better? well then, watch out below!