Sunday, April 5, 2015

Fantasy Focus: Your 2015 Savvy Vets!

By popular demand, I present to you the 2015 Savvy Vets fantasy baseball team.  I play in a 10 team private league on Yahoo.  We have 26 rosters spots and draft by auction with a $260 budget, full redraft, no keepers.  I have played in this league for 8 years now.  I have won 2 championships and have also finished as low as 8'th and 9'th, so it is quite a competitive league. Last year was a down year and I finished 8'th.

Last year I completely punted Saves, drafted and maintained only SP's on my team trying to maximize W's and K's.  I also tried to draft batters who would help me in both HR's and steals.  I ended up with 3 of the 5 20/20 hitters in all of MLB.  As you can see from how I finished, that didn't work out so well!

This year, I prepped by participating in several mock drafts.  I settled on a 6 pronged strategy:

1.  Draft as many RP's as I could use, which is 5 in my league(3 RP's + 2 P's).  I roster only SP's for my bench and use it as an extended starting rotation since we can re-set our lineups daily.  I determined to not spend more than $5 on any single RP.  RP's are highly valued by several managers in my league, so the RP budget was not a given.  I was willing to go with setup men and long relievers if necessary to stay within budget.

2.  Since 20/20 players have pretty much disappeared, if you want to compete in SB's, you have to sacrifice power to do it.  There are two players who project to have significantly more SB's than the field, Billy Hamilton and Dee Gordon.  I wanted both so I could maximize SB's out of just 2 positions.

3.  Go for power at all positions not manned by Billy Hamilton or Dee Gordon if I was successful in landing both.

4.  I wanted to stay under $40 for any single player, preferably under $25.

5.  I targeted Troy Tulowitzki for under $40 because he gives the biggest projected positional advantage by a wide margin and his price was down due to the obvious injury risk.  Since my alternative as SS was to take a $1-2 player at the end of the draft anyway, I felt it was worth the risk to go for Tulo.

6.  I nominated only closers hoping the enthusiasm for them in my league would cause some early overbidding before budgets were depleted.

With that setup, here is the 2015 Savvy Vets roster with comments after each player:

Catcher  Evan Gattis $4- I think this is a steal.  Possibly the best value in my draft.  Projected to hit 28 HR and will mostly DH and play OF for Houston with Catcher eligibility in fantasy leagues.

1B  Albert Pujols $26.  Pujols appears to be healthy, had a great spring and hits in a  good lineup.  Great value for under $30.

2B  Dee Gordon $29.  Yes it is a big overpay, but by the time he was nominated, I had plenty of budget and was actually worried about leaving money on the table, so I won the bidding war.

3B Evan Longoria $17.  I  wanted Nolan Arenado, but he got bid up to $30 and I felt that was too much even though I like him a lot.  Longoria quietly had a pretty good season last year and should be solid this year.

SS  Troy Tulowitzki $35.  As I said, I wanted him if I could get him for under $40.  $35 is not a steal but a very solid investment.  Now I have to hope he stays healthy.

IF  David Wright $6.  David Wright had a great spring and finally looks fully healthy.  He may be one of the most undervalued players in fantasy baseball right now.  I am hoping for a big  bounceback season from him.  If not, $6 does not break the bank.

OF  Jorge Soler $19.  Soler was my first position player drafted.  He got nominated early.  I think he might have gone higher if he had been nominated later.  Kris Bryant was nominated way later and went for over $20.  I think Soler may have the better season.  If the price had gone to $20, I would have dropped out of the bidding.

OF  Billy Hamilton $16.  I was expecting to have to pay over $20 for Hamilton.  This price enabled me to overpay for Dee Gordon later.

OF  Matt Kemp $14.  Injury risk, but Matt Kemp was one of the best hitters in baseball in the second half last year.  He's also had a great spring.  $14 is a steal, IMO.  I was willing to go into the mid $20's. Also part of why I could overpay for Gordon.

UT  Matt Holiday $12.  I am not a Matt Holiday fan, but the numbers are undeniable.  He's a very reliable offensive producer in a good lineup.

UT  Brandon Belt $2.  Solid breakout candidate.  If you simply project last year's HR's to 600 PA's, you get 30.  Definitely worth the flyer price here.

SP  Johnny Cueto $22.  I thought Cueto would go for close to $30.  He as nominated before a lot of the higher ranked pitchers.  I pounced when the bidding stalled.

SP  Hisashi Iwakuma $7.  Average K's with a great WHIP and a much improved lineup behind him in Seattle.

SP  Jake DeGrom $8.  Good bet to build on last year's success.

SP  Matt Garza $2.  Good for some K's and a solid WHIP.  I am not wild about him.  I actually dropped him to stream Josh Collmenter as a 2-start pitcher for this week.

SP  Michael Wacha $6.  Wacha was hurt at the end of last season.  He has shown no signs of injury this spring with terrific numbers.  A Cardinals fan in my league has offered me two different trades for him and Billy Hamilton. I said no to both.

RP  Jenrry Mejia $5  May be a bit shaky as closer in New York, but I think he will weather the storm.  If not, it's just $5.

RP  Jonathan Papelbon $5.  Trade candidate, but likely to close for whoever he gets traded to.

RP  Hector Rondon $5.  Stabilized the bullpen for the Cubs last year.  I'm thinking he will stick at closer.

P   Joe Nathan $2.  Very shaky in Detroit but very inexpensive here.

P  Neftali Feliz $2.   Also a bit shaky, but I think he will stick at closer.  His velocity seems to be back up.

BN  Brandon McCarthy $2.  Hate rostering Dodgers, but he comes with a very low projected WHIP and has that lineup behind him.   Big injury risk, but $2 is not a big risk.

BN  Carlos Carrasco $4.  Consensus breakout candidate.  Again, $4 is not much of a risk.

BN  Doug Fister $3.  Not a lot of K's but a great WHIP and pitches in front of a great team.

BN  Ian Kennedy $1.  10'th highest projected K's among pitchers with a projected WHIP of under 1.30.

BN  Carlos Rodon $5.  I could have had him for $1 but I had $5 at the end of my draft, so no reason not to bid all of what I had left.  I'll stash him on my bench until he is called up.

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