1. What was your overall draft strategy, and who are the keys to your success?
I generally approach most of my drafts the same way - go big or go home. I try not to draft "safe" players because they just aren't exciting. When playing fantasy for fun (rather than for real jelly beans), I want my team to be filled with those that I consider "my guys" so that the season is entertaining. This can sometimes mean that I end up with way more busts than booms and wind up towards the bottom of the standings, but at least it will be fun, right?
Plus, having Prince, Miggy, JUp, and CSantana as keepers allows me to take a few more liberties.
So with that in mind, for my offense I concentrated on young players (this is a keeper league afterall) who I believe are poised for breakouts (Belt, Cain, Marte) or who are working towards proving their breakouts were genuine (Espinosa, Seager, Altuve, Moss). I also sprinkled in a few proven veterans coming off of injury who I believe can recapture some of their past luster (Crawford, Youk, McCann). I also wanted to make sure that I was not dependent on any 1-2 persons for steals and instead picked dual threats - almost every offensive pick I made fit this mold. Despite not having 1 player projected for more than around 30 steals, I'm still projected to be top 2 in the category.
My pitching is my biggest question mark and key to my success. I tried to take the same approach that I did above, albeit with less young players and more injured veterans. I'm banking hard on strong bouncebacks form by Waino , CJ, and last year's Cafe darling - McCarthy. Throw in a very scary closer lineup and the uncertain role for Chapman, it may get hairy.2. What are the best and/or worst picks that you made?
My favorite pick is Brandon Moss in Rd25. I'm a believer. There is a BA regression coming, but I don't mind playing his splits if need be. After that, I think Youkilis will provide a lot of value in Rd19, especially as he bats cleanup for the first month or two while Granderson and Teix are on the mend.
I think my worst pick was Carl Crawford. It's not that I don't think he'll rebound nicely, but that I think I may have been able to get him a round or 2 later. At least he fits my draft strategy though.3. Who were the steals and/or reaches of the draft?
This is somewhat hard to evaluate when you have 70 players kept and littered all throughout the draft results, but there were a few picks that stood out to me.
For reaches, I remember thinking Red taking Jean Segura in Round 10 was interesting considering his general ranking and ADP. I also was surprised Ender picked Papelbon in Round 3. I pegged him as a "don't pay for saves" kinda guy, so taking Paps over some of the players taken after him until his next selection in Round 5 threw me a bit.
For steals, someone I really like this year is Andrew Cashner. When my pick came around in Rd18, there were two SP I had way above the rest available. I went for McCarthy, hoping Cashner would make it back. Squints was able to grab him in Rd19. Pretty tough to find a pitcher that late who can throw 100 and plays in that cavernous park.
Other picks I really liked - Lincecum Rd 7 (Ender), Aoki Rd 9 (Zepfan), Morneau Rd11 (ggs), Estrada Rd15 (BigLebowski), Carpenter Rd 24 (ggs)4. Who do you think will finish in the top 3?
RedBullVodka - He may be the team to beat again this year. Keeping Trout and McCutch for as cheap as he did is a very nice starting point. Offense looks strong in practically all categories, although if Trout doesn't run as much as he did last season, SB may be lacking (pretty easy thing to fix, however). Pitching looks great as well, but may be light on SV. Again, this is maybe the easiest pitching category to fix and may be no problem with some active managing throughout the year.
Ayebatter - Maybe the strongest pitching team in the league. He has two of the top 3 SP and 3 CL that I expect to stick all year long. Obviously there are questions considering he probably also has the oldest offense in the league, but he doesn't have to finish with a top offense if his pitching turns out as dominant as it appears on paper.
Zepfan - From one of the worst to first? He had some very strong keepers coming into the draft which has allowed him to build arguably has the most well-rounded offense. He's got maybe the two best SS, the likely HR king, and a lot of young players that I really like. His pitching looks solid enough.
Honorable mention: Ender - I feel like we have very similar philosophies on evaluating talent. I found myself cursing a few times when you sniped a target of mine a few picks before me. j24jags - Teix injury is tough, but had great keepers coming in. Me - I like my team. 5. Who do you think will finish in the bottom 3?
Amazing Oopah - Oopah came in with a pretty tough keeper situation, and although I doubt he makes much of an impact this season, I do at least give him props on his draft strategy. What this league has shown is that a few good keepers can turn a team all the way around. He's taking advantage of this by drafting young almost across the board. I think it is a good strategy given his situation.
Third Day - Ditto to the above, although I actually think that you have a chance to finish much higher. I think you did well to achieve what Oopah also set out to do - but I think that you executed it even better. So although you may finish towards the bottom this year, I think you'll improve tremendously over the next few seasons.
RedHopeful - Knowing how active Red is on the WW, I doubt his team looks the same by season's end. But regardless, I think it'll be tough to replace the power that is missing in that offense. You have some HR hitters, but beyond Pujols, they're high K, low BA, lower batting order guys. Although BA can vary wildly, I think it may be hard to recover from those BA liabilities. Now there is also a lot of upside here with Machado, Harper, and those young arms, so it also wouldn't surprise me if things broke for you and you finish much higher.6. Any other thoughts?
I just wanted to also say, as others have stated, that it was nice to have everyone working together to keep up a nice pace to the draft. We only had a few skips, and we were able to finish almost 2 weeks before the start of the season. Well done!
Also, I'll be doing my best throughout the season to stay active and talk some shiz. Please do what you can to do the same. Good luck everyone!