Friday, March 1, 2013

Fantasy Focus: How To Draft An Ace Starter For Practically Free

How much do you think a SP with the following numbers would cost in a typical fantasy auction draft?  Where do you think he would be drafted in a standard draft?  8 Wins, 2.49 ERA, 256 K's, 1.13 WHIP, 213.1 IP.

OK, the Wins might not be quite what you are looking for in an ace, but the other 3 categories are clearly ace level value.  For comparison sake, here are the numbers put up by Felix Hernandez last year:  13 Wins, 3.06 ERA, 223 K, 1.14 WHIP, 232 IP. Hernandez is being drafted on average at #19 overall and the 4'th pitcher in standard drafts and he's going for an average of $34 in Auction drafts.

I think it's fairly safe to say our hypothetical ace pitcher would go in the top 30 overall and for around $30 in an auction draft, maybe a bit more.  Now, what if I told you I could guarantee you could get that very pitcher for $3 in an auction draft and in the last 3 picks of a standard draft?  You'd be all ears, right?  Well, I'm going to do just that!

David Hernandez(D'Backs), David Robertson(Yankees) and Kelvin Herrera(Royals) are 3 setup RP's who are going for $1 each in auction drafts, if they are drafted at all.  Nobody wants them because they are not closers and therefore will not get you many Saves, if any.  They are also not starters, so they will not get you many W's.  Put them together on one fantasy team, though, and you get the composite line you see at the top of the post.

Let's say you find yourself on the bad end of a run on closers, or let's say you decided to spend your wad on a bunch of star hitters at the top of an auction draft and now you are faced with drafting some very risky closers who might well not keep their job or if they do, will periodically kill your ERA and WHIP for the week with yet another blown Save.  You may well be better off punting the Save category completely, drafting these 3 setup guys and putting them in your 3 RP slots.  Presto!  You just build yourself and ace starter at practically no cost!

In a H2H league like mine with 5 SP, 3 RP and 2 P slots plus 5 bench slots, you can draft 5 of these setup guys, say add in a Vinnie Pestano and Joel Peralta, and you've got close to 2 ace pitchers and you can still draft 10 SP's to use in a rotation plus your 2 aces built out of setup RP's.  If you draft your SP's with an eye on WHIP and ERA in addition to the usual K's, you have a great chance to dominate 4 of the 5 pitching categories while spending the lions share of your cap on offense or else drafting your offense early.

1 comment:

  1. This is a great idea. I also use this technique of picking up great relievers, but never tied it to being the equivalent of an ace starter, good analysis DrB!