Posted on: February 19, 2010 5:05 am
One day after participating in a 12-team mixed-league auction with representatives of various publications throughout the industry, I conducted one of our own here at CBSSports.com. This time, bids came more aggressively, forcing me to take a different approach that I think yielded a better team:
C - A.J. Pierzynski ($1)
C - Jeff Clement ($1)
1B - Joey Votto ($21)
2B - Chase Utley ($41)
3B - Pablo Sandoval ($25)
SS - Troy Tulowitzki ($36)
MI - Derek Jeter ($24)
CI - Billy Butler ($13)
OF - Justin Upton ($26)
OF - Adam Lind ($23)
OF - Jayson Werth ($17)
OF - Johnny Damon ($4)
OF - Julio Borbon ($4)
DH - Carlos Gonzalez ($1)
SP - John Danks ($4)
SP - Gavin Floyd ($4)
SP - Ricky Nolasco ($3)
SP - Brett Anderson ($3)
SP - Randy Wolf ($3)
SP - Aaron Harang ($1)
RP - Billy Wagner ($3)
RP - Leo Nunez ($1)
RP - Kerry Wood ($1)
In the earlier auction, the majority of my competitors chose to forego the big-dollar players, instead saving their money for the middle-round bargains. So naturally, I loaded up on the supposedly expensive types, landing Hanley Ramirez for $43, Ryan Howard for $38, Tulowitzki for $36, Joe Mauer for $29, Victor Martinez for $24 and Justin Morneau for $22. Hey, if nobody else wanted to bid on them, why should I let them go for cheap? Meanwhile, the supposed bargains ended up the more hotly contested players because everyone had stashed away money for them. Votto went for $30. Nelson R. Cruz went for $21. Adam LaRoche went for $11. It was a topsy-turvy auction.
In this auction, though, everybody went all out for the studs, shelling out $40-plus bids as if they had the Steinbrenner family purse at their disposal. With so much money flying off the board early, I realized some of that middle-round talent -- as well as the typical second-, third- and fourth-rounders -- would go for too cheap, so I eased up a bit, jumping in only on Utley and Tulowitzki and staying far, far away from the fistfight for Mauer and Martinez. Sure enough, I ended up with a deep arsenal of second-tier talent, with Upton, Sandoval, Jeter, Lind, Votto and Werth all plenty capable of putting up early-round numbers.
The one common thread between the two auctions was my approach to my pitching staff. I spent only $23 on this one, and I think you'd agree it looks pretty stout -- certainly better than my $22 staff one day earlier. Of course, in that auction, I never would have gotten Danks, Floyd, Nolasco and Anderson for the bargain prices I did here -- not with everyone saving up for sleepers.
If I could change anything, I'd rather have a $4 Andrew McCutchen and a $4 Nate McLouth than a $4 Damon and a $4 Borbon, but those are relatively minor mistakes for such a frenzied exercise. Overall, I think I did the best I could in each auction given the differing circumstances. Having them back-to-back underscores just how much an auction can vary based on the attitude of your competition.
Posted on: February 18, 2010 1:25 am
Edited on: February 20, 2010 1:27 pm
I just completed my first 12-team mixed-league auction for 2010, and though I came out of it with some of the usual regrets, I think my general plan worked out pretty well. Here's the rundown:
C - Joe Mauer ($29)
C - Victor Martinez ($24)
1B - Ryan Howard ($38)
2B - Ben Zobrist ($18)
3B - Chone Figgins ($14)
SS - Hanley Ramirez ($43)
MI - Troy Tulowitzki ($36)
CI - Justin Morneau ($22)
OF - Vernon Wells ($3)
OF - Chris Coghlan ($2)
OF - Nick Swisher ($2)
OF - Dexter Fowler ($1)
OF - Milton Bradley ($1)
DH - Hideki Matsui ($1)
SP - A.J. Burnett ($7)
SP - Edwin Jackson ($5)
SP - Ted Lilly ($1)
SP - Daisuke Matsuzaka ($1)
SP - J.A. Happ ($1)
SP - Ervin Santana ($1)
SP - Shaun Marcum ($1)
RP - Leo Nunez ($4)
RP - Jason Frasor ($1)
The first thing you should notice is I have both of the elite catchers. The second thing you should notice is I have both of the elite shortstops. I have a monopoly on two positions, meaning I have 100 percent assurance that nobody in the league will better me at either of them -- well, as much as you can have 100 percent assurance of anything in Fantasy.
That was one of my goals. The other was getting Albert Pujols, but when the bidding got up to $54, I had no choice but to back down.
Why was I willing to spend so much? Hey, it's a 12-team mixed league. In such formats, particularly ones that don't offer benches, the waiver wire is deep and the $1 bargains plentiful. Middle-dollar players won't take you very far with so many low-dollar players capable of rising up and outperforming them. I wanted studs, and with five first- or second-rounders -- six if you count Morneau -- I got them.
If I have one regret on spending, it's the $38 I devoted to Howard. If I knew I'd get Morneau for $22 a couple picks later, I would have let Howard go to someone else. Then again, the assurance he offers in home runs and RBI allowed me to target speedster Figgins as my starting third baseman, giving me potentially a more balanced offense.
As for those $1 bargains, most of them went toward my pitching staff. In fact, they comprised the majority of my pitching staff. With a $7 ace in Burnett -- who, for all his shortcomings, certainly does some things right -- I managed to spend only $22 on nine pitchers. That's $22 of $260, or 8.5 percent of my entire budget, on my entire pitching staff. For as much as I knock pitching, even I hadn't done anything that extreme before. I realize Lilly and Matsuzaka have injury concerns and Jackson, Happ, Santana and Marcum have risk factors of their own, but come on: If just three of those guys pan out, I'll have a good enough nucleus to survive with stopgaps off the waiver wire. And as for saves, someone will get a big enough advantage in the category to drop a closer sooner or later. That's how I got Andrew Bailey last year.
My biggest regret is leaving $4 on the table -- $4 that could have gotten me Gavin Floyd, a pitcher who could have conceivably become my ace. But again, I can't complain too much. As long as I'm willing to put a little work into my outfield and pitching staff -- two positions that always have talent emerging off the waiver wire -- this team should turn out a-OK.
Posted on: November 12, 2009 11:49 pm
Edited on: November 12, 2009 11:53 pm
I recently took part in a mock draft for another publication. Kind of early, I know, but at least it gives you some idea what to expect. It's a 15-team league, so don't take the specific rounds too much to heart (unless you play in a 15-team league, of course).
Here's the breakdown, with the rounds in parentheses. I picked eighth overall:
C - Joe Mauer (1)
C - Jesus Flores (20)
1B - Derrek Lee (7)
2B - Ben Zobrist (4)
3B - Pablo Sandoval (3)
SS - Troy Tulowitzki (2)
MI - Alcides Escobar (18)
CI - Garrett Jones (11)
OF - Shane Victorino (5)
OF - Michael Bourn (6)
OF - Nick Swisher (14)
OF - Seth Smith (22)
OF - Will Venable (23)
DH - Hideki Matsui (16)
SP - Tommy Hanson (8)
SP - Gavin Floyd (12)
SP - John Danks (13)
SP - Daisuke Matsuzaka (15)
SP - Wade Davis (19)
SP - Joel Pineiro (21)
RP - Brian Fuentes (9)
RP - David Aardsma (10)
RP - Kerry Wood (17)
For the most part, I like what I did. According to the tier approach -- where with each pick, I target the position most likely to see the biggest drop-off in talent before my next pick -- Joe Mauer in the first round and Troy Tulowitzki in the second seems like the ideal way to start a draft this year. That doesn't mean I'd take Mauer before Albert Pujols or even Hanley Ramirez, but if you pick third or later and have the good fortune of drafting Mauer, you should hold your breath and pray Tulowitzki slides to you in Round 2. That's the only realistic way you can come out of the draft with top-tier players at the two weakest positions in Fantasy. You can still get top-tier players at the deeper positions in the rounds that follow.
Going with Mauer and Tulowitzki does have its drawbacks, though. I don't have a sure 30 homers anywhere, and if Derrek Lee (who should go sooner than Round 7 even in 12-team leagues) regresses back to his usual numbers, I might fall behind in that category. Fortunately, drafting Mauer and Pablo Sandoval gave me the luxury of drafting power hitters who might drain my batting average, such as Garrett Jones and Nick Swisher. Michael Bourn should help me contend in stolen bases, though if I knew I'd end up with him and Alcides Escobar, I would have opted for Andre Ethier's homers instead of Shane Victorino's steals in Round 5.
I waited until the eighth round to draft a pitcher and still ended up with a competitive staff, which is always the plan. Daisuke Matsuzaka and Wade Davis have some potential for implosion, but I like their upside. I normally avoid non-strikeout pitchers like Joel Pineiro, but rarely do 15-game winners last so long in leagues so deep.
What do you guys think? I'm still forming my opinions at this early stage of the offseason, so any dissenting viewpoints can only help. Send an e-mail with the heading "15-team draft" to DMFantasyBaseball@cbs.com.
Posted on: April 9, 2009 11:39 pm
A pair of pitching performances caught my eye Thursday.
How long before he replaces David Murphy in the lineup?
Posted on: April 5, 2009 7:25 pm
I unfortunately won't get a chance to go into much detail, but I wanted to get my predictions on record so people can ridicule them and me and whatever else they want.
Posted on: April 3, 2009 2:37 am
Edited on: April 3, 2009 2:38 am
With most of the roster spots filled and starting pitchers making their final tuneup starts before the regular season, Thursday was a relatively quiet day in baseball.
Posted on: April 2, 2009 6:34 am
I missed a couple days of blogging, so forgive me if I touch on some outdated events.
Posted on: March 30, 2009 2:32 am
Edited on: March 30, 2009 2:46 am
I checked out the Mets at the Orioles on Sunday, which might have given me more to discuss if a rain delay in the first inning hadn't forced both starting pitchers out of the game.