Last night was the draft for our fantasy league, which as you all know is something I will punish everyone with information about every week. This year we decided to make it a keeper league and we decided on keeping two players. Unfortunately, we did not have as many teams return and the league only has ten teams. I hope in the future we can gain a few more competitive teams.
Here is how the final teams shook out.
The K means that was the Keeper Player for that team. Game Changers (Don) did not keep anyone, for good reason, his team finished in dead last year and Offord’s team (Hoka Hey B*itches) only kept one.
I kept two players, Giancarlo Stanton and Buster Posey. I could not get Norton to allow Yahoo! permission to launch the page so I ended up joining late and my third pick ended up being Jose Bautista (not really sure if I would have picked differently, I may have taken Anthony Rizzo, who Ryan took next).
I next went with pitching, selecting Matt Cain and Adam Wainwright with my fourth and fifth picks. I knew I was not going to get one of the top tier first basemen, so I decided to just ignore that one for a bit. If things get dire enough, I could draft another catcher and move Posey to first. I picked Sandoval, Phillips, and Andrus next because I figured that would give me a very balanced infield.
My next pick was Desmond Jennings, I figured if Bautista is healthy, he should rack up enough home runs to count as two power hitters, so I would add another steals guy. I decided to go back to the pitchers and took Yovani Gallardo. I feel like that gives me three very good pitchers, who could rack me up some wins and strikeouts. I missed out on taking Mark Trumbo, so I decided to take Eric Hosmer as my first basemen. I was very high on him last year, but this year I am not so confident. I like the fact that he can provide steals as well, hopefully he can hit for a little higher average.
After that it became a mixture of taking bench guys who could provide me some value if I decide to make trades and whatnot. Honestly, many of those guys do not really matter, and most of the time, I end up dropping most of my bench guys to keep adding pitching. I did draft Adam LaRoche because I figured I better have a backup plan for Hosmer.
Relievers always scare me. You waste a draft pick on them, and then they get hurt and some no name comes out of nowhere to pick up forty saves. I went with Nathan, Perez, Axford, and Jansen. I am not sure if Ogando is going to be in relief, or in the starting role. Either way, I like him. Either grab me those holds or get me some wins.
I really liked being able to get Anibal Sanchez in the 14th round. I saw an article (either on fangraphs or MLBTR) about how his rate stats have been improving, while Greinke’s have been declining. There is some thought out there that Sanchez could be in store for a breakout year, which would be great for me. If not, I drafted him in a round, where if he wins 12 games, I would be quite happy.
There was some interesting discussion while we were drafting about this years pitching being very weak. I did not really understand where people were coming from. From a fantasy perspective, there were plenty of guys going in very late rounds who had 14-16 wins. I remember not so long ago, maybe 6-8 years ago, there being a draft where those kind of guys were considered the top-tier pitchers.
If you do not think the talent is deep, consider that Chris Sale went in the 7th round this year, he was 17-8 last year, and many people believe he could be even better this year. I am looking at this without actually doing any research, so maybe I am wrong, but I honestly doubt it.
I used to believe that starting pitching was not all that important in fantasy, and I still believe that to a certain point, however. If you remember last year, when I decided to get rid of all my great starters and try to win with just mediocre guys, that plan failed miserably. The idea of punting on any stat is actually pretty stupid. If you punt on steals, you probably miss out on someone with high OBP and who scores runs. Punt on saves, probably going to have a higher WHIP and maybe ERA.
The best teams are always the ones that combine all the stats. As much as we hate Ryan around here for always winning, look at his teams from year to year. Sometimes they are not flashy, but each player is consistent and he always has a nice balance. That is the important thing in a head-to-head league, it does not matter by how much you win each category, just that you win.
Anyways, good luck to everyone this season. And to you none fantasy baseball folks out there, I am sorry that you will be forced to read this stuff every week. And yes, I will come to your home and physically force you to read the results every Monday!