i've enjoyed this season immensely so far. you're getting rewarded for drafting with balls (prior, jose valentin, vernon wells, randy wolf, woody williams, raul mondesi, anyone from the marlins for steals)
while sitting on your laurels and going for the giant names hasn't been as productive.
pop quiz, who's got more fantasy value right now, austin kearns or barry bonds? runlevys hernandez or randy johnson? preston wilson or bobby abreu? hee seop choi or paul konerko?
i think in fantasy baseball you have to stay ahead of the obvious picks and shoot for people who weren't necessarily studs the year before, but people who have good intangibles (low K numbers, people who aim for RBIs before home runs, younger pitchers without the lustre of the big names)
i have 3 fantasy teams, and i did a lot of overlapping wherever possible, here are some names that i took initiative to draft and ended up on multiple squads:
vladimir guerrero, 2/3 teams... traded bonds for him in one league, drafted w/#2 pick in the other (behind randy johnson)
luis castillo, 3/3 teams... perennial .300 hitter with 30 SB potential @ 2B.. cheap as well, ~8-12th round draft pick.
joe crede, 3/3 teams (cheap, but unproductive. dropped for hot players and will be re-nabbed with certain vets [ahem, manny] start putting up #s that dont require me having to shoot for the carlos lees of the world)
manny ramirez 3/3 teams. drafted in the 2nd round of all 3 drafts
mark prior 2/3 teams. drafted in the 3rd round of two drafts, and would have been my third round pick in the third draft if i hadn't told my friend's GF's little brother how i was drafting. he knew who i would take and when.
jose valentin. 2/3 teams. dirt cheap SS who is a veritable lock for 20 hrs, and i perceive him to have upside. he's the soul of the white sox and i think can go 30/100 in a good career year, which he hasn't had yet, unless you consider 2000's 25/92 a career year.
mark buehrle. 2/3 teams
bartolo colon. 2/3 teams
randy wolf. 2/3 teams
mark mulder 2/3 teams.
billy koch and jose mesa, 2/3 teams (comeon, guys)
tony armas jr, 3/3 teams
raul ibanez, 3/3 teams
my general strategy was to take bets with players who don't have the gaudy #s.. for example, why spend high on miguel tejada when jose valentin can get me within 10-15 HR and likely 25-30 RBIs of miggy? i figured cores of vlad/manny and bonds/manny would cover me there. instead of going after big names in pitching, like schilling, johnson, maddux, matt morris, roy oswalt... i went straight for prior. i figured that buehrle and colon are 15-20 wins with decent #s, wolf slightly better.. and tony armas had a killer spring, like a 17/4 BB/K ratio and 1.6something era. until his slugfest last outing, he was awesome. i still think he's 12-15 wins with a 3.5ish era and 180-200k. luis castillo was considered automatic for steals. and i figured that having an excess of OF and pitching depth could land me a juan pierre type if he took off. i love the game of raul ibanez. i think he's getting better with age, and not only that, barring playing injured, i don't see a big slump in him. last season, for the 2/3 of the season i had him, i don't remember a week going by where he went like 2/23 or anything. he'd knock in 1 here, two there, maybe go 1/3 or 2/4... and he ended up with 24 HR and 103 rbi. this season, he looks to be hitting the longball better, hitting for a better .avg, and i think the royals will be a .500 team, esp when beltran gets going. if sweeney can hit .330 again in front of raul, 120 or 130 rbis isnt out of the question.
so yeah, while the easy route with big names isn't doing well, it's fun to pick a bunch of 20-25 HR guys, young 10 win pitchers with ERAs in the 3s, and of course, nifty guys like raul ibanez to plug in at 1b or the OF.
it's a skilled crapshoot. have fun