Friday, February 20, 2015

Fantasy Focus: The Bargain Bin Team

Whether you are in a standard snake draft or an auction draft, you always want a fallback option at every position, or know which positions there may not be a safety net for.  In a snake draft, you want to know who might be left after a run on a certain position and whether you can afford to wait it out vs jumping into the run and grabbing what you can.  In an auction, you want to know how much of your allotted money you can spend at the top of your draft and which positions you might have to overspend on in order to not end up with an unacceptable option at the end.  Since I play in an auction league, I decided to try to make a team where every position is filled with players who cost $5 or less based on average costs in Yahoo drafts rounded up to the nearest whole number.  Here is what I ended up with:

Catcher:  Brian McCann $4.  #5 in Steamer projected SLG% among likely starting catchers.  Other nice late targets include Wilson Ramos, $2, #6 and Travis D'Arnaud $2, #9.

1B:  Justin Morneau $3.  #6 in Steamer projected SLG% among likely starting 1B.  Other late targets include Adam Lind $1.0 #19, Mike Napoli $1, #20 and Lucas Duda, $5.  Duda is ranked #28, but hit 30 HR's last year and is projected to his 24 this year.

2B:  Neil Walker $3.  #3 in Steamer projected SLG% among likely starting 2B.  Other late targets include Ben Zobrist $5, #6 with multiple position eligibility, Marcus Semien $1, #12, Aaron Hill $2, #16.  Don't forget Roughned Odor at $1 who doesn't have to worry about Jurickson Profar now.  Odor is projected to hit 18 HR's and steal 16 bases in a full season's worth of PA's.

3B: This is the one position I was not able to find an acceptable option for $5 or less.  This is one position where you definitely want to spend and spend early to fill it.

SS:  Xander Bogaerts $2.  #5 in Steamer projected SLG% among likely starting SS's.  If taking a risk on the health of Troy Tulowitzki and Hanley Ramirez is not your cup of tea nor is overpaying Ian Desmond, why not take a chance on Bogaerts' upside?  Even his projection, which is generally quite conservative, gives you average production for the position.  His upside is a lot higher than that.  Other options include Zobrist $5, #9 and don't forget Marcus Semien $1 will likely be Oakland's starting SS and gain position eligibility within a few games.  His projected SLG% would be #9 bumping Zobrist down a notch if he currently had eligibility.

OF:  1.  Oswaldo Arcia $1.  #16 in Steamer projected SLG% for likely starting OF's.  2.  Travis Snider $1.  #27 in Steamer projected SLG% for likely starting OF's.  Will likely have a full time starting OF gig in Baltimore which is more hitter-friendly than Pittsburgh.  3.  Steven Souza $2.  #54 in Steamer Projected SLG% for likely starting OF's.  Souza is projected to approach 20/20 status with 18 HR's and 19 SB's.  One problem is he is now everybody's favorite sleeper, which makes him a non-sleeper!

SP:  1.  Ian Kennedy $3.  #10 in Steamer projected K's in SP's with a projected WHIP under 1.30.  2. Mike Fiers $2, #20.  3. Marcus Stroman $2, #23.  4. Drew Hutchison $2, #24.  5. Scott Kazmir $2, #32.  6.  Brandon McCarthy $2, #63.

RP:  1.  Zach Britton $5.  Tied for first in Steamer projected Saves with 35.  2. Hector Rondon $3, 30 Saves.  3.  Luke Gregorson $2, 24 Saves.  Don't forget setup guys who are one popped elbow or 1 trade away from Saves and who will also help you in ERA and WHIP while waiting their turn:  Wade Davis $2, Sergio Romo $1, Ken Giles $2.

Write these names down and keep them handy for draft day.  When you feel your butt cheeks tightening as you watch your targeted SS go off the board in a run or watch your favorite 2B target get overpriced in a bidding war, you can relax and know you have a fallback plan that will keep you competitive.

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