Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Fantasy Focus: 2016 Savvy Vets

OK, I know nobody wants to hear about my fantasy team, but Fantasy Draft Day is such a big day in my life every year, I think it ought to be declared a national holiday, so I'm going to bug you with it anyway.  I play in a 10 team league standard 5X5 scoring H2H.  We carry 26 rosters spots.  Full redraft each year, so no Keepers.  Rosters can be re-set daily and we get up to 40 Adds from the free agent list during the season.  Our commissioner allows unlimited Adds between draft day and the start of the season.  The draft is auction with $260 of imaginary money to spend on the 26 roster spots.

With that bit of housekeeping out of the way, I present to you the 2016 Savvy Vets(players are listed by position followed by the number of auction dollars spent on each one):

C   JT Realmuto(Marlins) 2
1B Paul Goldschmidt(D'Backs) 54
2B Cesar Hernandez(Phillies) 4
3B Mike Moustakas(Royals) 1
SS Addison Russell(Cubs) 2
IF  Brandon Belt(Giants) 3
OF Bryce Harper(Nationals) 52
OF Justin Upton(Tigers) 20
OF Carlos Gomez(Astros) 18
UT Ben Revere(Nationals) 3
UT Billy Burns(A's) 2
SP  Stephen Strasburg(Nationals) 26
SP  Cole Hamels(Rangers) 16
SP  Danny Salazar(Indians) 9
SP  Garrett Richards(Angels) 14
SP  Marcus Stroman(Blue Jays) 6
RP  Sean Doolittle(A's) 2
RP  Robert Osuna(Blue Jays) 2
RP  Dellin Betances(Yankees) 1
P     Drew Storen(Blue Jays) 1
P     Jason Grilli(Braves) 1
B    Arodys Vizcaino 1
B     Raisel Iglesias(Reds) 2
B     Carlos Rodon(White Sox) 2
B    Aaron Sanchez(Blue Jays) 2
B    Cody Anderson(Indians) 1


I entered this draft determined to be more aggressive in drafting elite talent a the top of the draft.  In all of my prior auction drafts, never went above $50 and ended up with more evenly balanced talent, but I always ended up feeling like I could have gotten close to $20 value out of players near the end of the draft that cost under $5.  So I went for more of a Stars and Scrubs approach this time.  When I drew up my pre-draft budget, I was willing to spend half of my $260 or $130 for 2 of the top 3 players who, IMO, were Mike Trout, Bryce Harper and Paul Goldschmidt(approximately $65 each).  I was happily surprised to land Harper and Goldy for a total of $106 which still left me with $154 to spend.

I ended up leaving $13 on the table, which is not a good thing although there were extenuating circumstances in this case.  My goal was to have approximately $50 for the last 20 roster spots and $20 for the last 10.  Having that extra dollar per player allows you go poach pretty much whoever you want when most teams are down to $1 per roster spot.  The problem in this draft was one guy didn't start spending until bid were down into the $15 range.  Every time I bid on a player he would jump in and outbid me.  Not only did I lose out on the player, but I didn't spend any money in they process.  I had no choice but to wait until he filled his roster.  By that time, everybody else was out of money or had filled their roster so I had nobody to bid against which meant I could not spend all  of my money.

I am fairly happy with my roster.  I had originally intended to spend more on SP's and fill out my offensive roster after drafting Harper and Goldschmidt with sub-$10 players but after much analysis, I concluded that there was enough good, cheap pitching that the money would be better spent on a couple of mid-level offensive players.  I am quite satisfied that Upton and Gomez will prove to be good investments.

You will notice my bench is only pitchers.  With 40 adds allowed in-season, I can replace offensive players from the FA list.  With daily roster re-sets, you can double the effective size of your starting rotation by filling your bench with SP's and shuttling them in and out depending on when they are starting.

The bidding scenario I described above prevented me from spending more on closers so I had to scrounge at the end.  I handcuffed Osuna/Storen and Grilli/Vizcaino so I would get at least 2 closers out of those 4.  When the Blue Jays and Braves announce their closers, I will drop the losers and pick up a couple more SP's from the FA list.  Hopefully that will happen before Opening Day so I don't get charge with the Adds.

I will obviously need healthy seasons from Harper, Goldy and Strasburg, which might be a tall order.

I am hoping for breakouts from Addison Russell and several pitchers.  My sleeper picks were Hernandez(although another guy obviously knew about him and I had to bid $4 to get him) and Cody Anderson.


  1. Our league has smaller. And were not a bidding league. I drafted 6 in a 12-man league. My current roster (I've made 3 changes since the draft ended) is:

    C -- McCann NYY
    1B -- Ortiz, Bos
    2B -- Dozier, Min
    3B -- Sano, Min
    SS -- Crawford, SF
    OF -- Bautista, Tor
    OF -- Davis, Oak
    OF -- Trumbo, Bal

    Bench -- OF Werth, Was; C Castillo, Ari; UTL Escobar, Min; OF Markakis, Atl; 2B Panik (our scoring tends to favor HR hitters)

    SP -- Scherzer, Was
    SP -- Strasburg, Was
    SP -- Samardzija, SF
    RP -- Papelbon, Was
    RP -- Perkins, Min

    Bullpen: SP Kazmir, LA; RP Drew Storen, Tor; RP Osuna, Tor.

    Even though I made three changes, I'm still tweaking it. The draft was really late and I was tired and faded out toward the end. Plus I hadn't done fantasy baseball since college in the 80 so I really didn't have much of plan besides power & pitching.

    1. I always tell people who are just getting into fantasy baseball to go for HR's and not worry about anything else on offense. Love your 1-2 or Scherzer and Strasburg. That was exactly the two I wanted at the top of my rotation but when the bidding for Scherzer got to $35, I let it go.

  2. The Blue Jays announced this morning that Osuna will be their closer, so I dropped Storen and picked up Vince Velasquez of the Phillies who I think is a major SP sleeper.

  3. Picked 10th in a ten person league; I feel like I often get the flip pick, when I end up having to draft two at a time. 6x6 with OBP, SLG, R, RBIs, S, HRs X SV, K, ERA, WHIP, K/9, QS. The league commissioner hate Wins and AVG so we get some different categories, which I tried to adjust my strategy and rankings to account for OBP - especially catcher where AVG and SLG are sometimes accompanied by zippo walks. I also targeted relievers with high K/9s, even if they won't help much on saves; I ended up with a Giants heavy Strickland and Romo. Some other Giants fan grabbed Posey and Bum very early. I also tried to target 20-20 players that could help partnered Steals, OBP, and Runs, with 15+ HRs and ended up chasing homers later in the draft.

    C Devin Mesoraco Cin - C
    1B David Ortiz Bos - 1B
    2B Joe Panik SF - 2B
    3B Kyle Seager Sea - 3B
    SS Manny Machado Bal - 3B,SS
    OF Andrew McCutchen Pit - OF
    OF A.J. Pollock Ari - OF
    OF Charlie Blackmon Col - OF
    U Brandon Belt SF - 1B,OF
    U Kendrys Morales KC - 1B

    David Wright NYM - 3B
    Yasmani Grandal LAD - C

    Pitchers, 2 SP, 2 RP, 3 P, and then 3 on my bench.
    Gerrit Cole Pit - SP
    Johnny Cueto SF - SP
    Garrett Richards LAA - SP

    Wade Davis KC - RP
    Craig Kimbrel Bos - RP
    Sergio Romo SF - RP
    Hunter Strickland SF - RP
    Huston Street LAA - RP
    J.J. Hoover Cin - RP
    Michael Pineda NYY - SP
    Jeff Samardzija SF - SP

  4. My fantasy snake draft was today. 25 man draft. How do you think I did?
    C-Brian McCann(NYY)
    1B-Edwin Encarcion(TOR)
    2B-Kolten Wong(STL)
    3B-Adrian Belre(TEX)
    SS-Francisco Lindor(CLE)
    2B/SS-Neil Walker(NYM)
    1B/3B-Matt Duffy(SFG)
    OF-Bryce Harper(WAS)
    OF-Charlie Blackmon(COL)
    OF-Carlos Gonzalez(COL)
    OF-David Peralta(AZ)
    OF-Gregory Polanco(PIT)
    UTIL/Bench - Brett Gardner, Justin Bour, Wil Myers, Brandon Phillips

    P-Madison Bumgarner(SFG)
    P-Jacob de Grom(NYM)
    P-Drew Smyly(TB)
    P-Jordan Zimmerman(DET)
    P-Francisco Liriano(PIT)
    P-Julio Teheran(ATL)
    P-Luke Gregerson(HOU)
    P-Andrew Miller(NYY)
    P-Lance McCullers(HOU)(on the DL)

    1. Does your league re-set lineups daily or weekly?

  5. Thanks for posting this. Going to be drafting my first fantasy baseball team on Saturday and have been following your fantasy series.

  6. I'm thinking of playing fantasy for the first time this year (getting it in under the gun, I know), but I have no idea what the good sites to play on are. I'm also thinking about playing for some real money, are there some known sites that offer that? (Love your blog by the way!)

    1. My league is on Yahoo. That seems to be an easy site to navigate. I have no idea about playing for real money. I have never done that and don't intend to.

  7. I have been waiting for your fantasy insights. Don't feel that no one wants to read them. Any sleeper thoughts?

    1. I did a series earlier in the offseason on my fantasy breakout and sleeper picks. You can find those in the index to the left. Immediate sleeper thoughts are pitchers Vince Velasquez of the Phillies and Cody Anderson of the Indians, both very hard throwers. Feel Marcus Stroman and Garrett Richards are being undervalued. On the offense side, I'd be looking for Cesar Hernandez of the Phillies for cheap steals and Jonathan Schoop of the O's for a sleeper HR hitter.