Thank you all for your perspectives and opinions. I love the discussion on the thread.
With Carpenter, the challenging thing is, can he really sustain what he did last year? 717PAs and 126 runs scored. Plus, he doesn't offer much in the way of Steals or HRs. In a 6x6, that makes him a 4 category guy (if you're OK with 70RBIs, and assume he keeps up his average). Not bad for $3.
With Kipnis, someone made the point about him easily falling back in the territory of a .250 avg. I agree, that's a distinct possibility. So, worse case, what if he did fall back to 2012 numbers. Would a line of 14hr/86r/76rbi/31sb/.257avb/.335obp. I'm not sure if he'd fall back that far. I tend to interpret his 2nd full year in the majors as a step forward, rather than an outlier in the making. even so, that's 3 solid categories, with a little help with HRs.
What I've been seriously mulling over, is the guy seriously overlooked in the conversation so far: Donaldson. $10 for him is equally tempting. Its hard to trust he can do it again, esp given AL pitchers now have a year's worth of film to plan and adjust....still, last years line of 24/89/93/5/.301/.384 is one of the reasons I won my league. Oh, and on the WAR leaderboards, he was #3 overall. Maybe I should roll the dice and take a chance on him???
At the end of the day, what I'm most interested in this year is OBP. IMO, in a 6x6 roto, its even harder to recover from a low OBP, than it is from a low average. I think what I want to try this year, is start with the 3 most solid OBP anchors possible.
Equally important is maximizing value. What's hard is figuring out which player is the best value so early on. Last year I kept McCutcheon because even at $26, he was a $20 value (draft average was in the 40's, and he might've even gone for more in my crazy league).
This year, I don't know who's gonna be the greatest value, which I simplistically calculate as (how much I think a player will go for at auction) - (how much it will cost me to keep him).
If McCutcheon is a $16 savings ($42-$26), and Carpenter is a $13 savings ($16-$3), then McCutcheon is still the greater value, though, not by much. HOWEVER, Carpenter at $3 (vs. McCutcheon at $26)....that gives me an extra $23 in my draft budget. I could do some damage with that, but it wouldn't be a 6-category guy like McCutcheon....
So...do I take the 4category guy and the extra $23 of draft budget? Or the 6 category guy, who is still a huge value...
16 team, roto 6x6
1B-Goldschmidt, Rizzo, Butler
OFs-McCutchen, Werth, Brown, Swisher, Span, Castellanos
SPs-Wacha, Ryu, Wheeler, Ventura
RPs-Reed, Hunter, Soria, Clippard, Lindstrom, Fields