March 29, 2012

Headlines

It’s been a long layoff for me. I’d like to call it a vacation but it wasn’t. A vacation includes endless amounts of alcoholic beverages with funny names like Miami Vice, Sex On The Beach, and Corona. It has a wide array of hotties that I have to make every effort not to pull a 1980’s sunglass pull-down. I do anyway, and my wife promptly says, “seriously…that obvious?!” It should have activities I thoroughly enjoy like sleeping, wading in a pool, and/or eating extravagant foods (nachos piled a mile high!).  No, my “vacation” included drinks named Similac and Enfamil.  Hotties named Colleen, who is amazing with children, but is by no means Kate Upton. Activities that included changing poopy diapers, emptying Diaper Genies, and trying to figure out why a kid would cry for 30 minutes for absolutely no reason.  It’s all good though, wouldn’t change anything, and give much kudos to my amazing wife.
In this “vacation” a lot has happened in the world of fantasy baseball. I’d like to highlight some of the larger impacts:
  • Ryan Madson goes down for the year
    • Pick up Sean Marshall but don’t be surprised if the “Closer by Committee” takes over
  • Mike Aviles is named starting SS for Boston.
    • In deep leagues/AL only he’s a solid play. He has some pop and can steal some bags. I like him more than Yunel Escobar
  • Johan Santana named Opening Day starter
    • I’m all in!
  • Eric Thames gets the job over Travis Snider
    • Snider is still in play for AL only leagues, but in mixed I wouldn’t even look at him. Eric Thames is interesting, but only in deep leagues would I consider him.
  • Drew Storen likely to start the year on the DL
    • Brad Lidge is the handcuff here. I don’t pick him up, but any Storen owner should.
  • Lorenzo Cain gets the starting gig in KC
    • He’s got the skills, but there are going to be some serious growing pains. I wouldn’t pick him up just yet unless you’re in keeper leagues.
That’s all I got now, but I’ll periodically (once a week?) be posting about the headlines.

March 20, 2012

15 Players I Wouldn't Draft at their Current ADPs

Well it's mid March and Fantasy Baseball drafts are in full swing.  Two of my leagues have completed their drafts and the third is about halfway done (slow auction draft).  I've also participated in many mock drafts, put together my own rankings and projections (the ClubhouseGM Draft Kit can be found here ClubhouseGM 2012 Draft Kit) and read countless articles across the web over the past couple weeks and months.  Needless to say we now have a good sense of where players are being drafted, who the 'must have' sleepers are and which players are being avoided like the plaque.  Below I take a look at 15 players taken in the first 10 rounds that I believe are still being drafted too high.  For the ADP's I took the average from a couple different sites over the past 2 weeks. 

Here they are, the 15 players I feel are being drafted too high (and why)....


Player- Ryan Braun
Average Draft Position (ADP)- 7
Round- 1
Reason; Prior to the drug testing fiasco I would have had Braun in the 3-5 range.  After losing Price and with the possibility that last year was aided by performance enhancing substances I'm dropping him more than a couple spots.  If he falls in to the mid-late 2nd I'd think about it, but not in the 1st round, too much risk for my #1 pick.
Three players typically drafted later I'd rather have; Joey Votto, Adrian Gonzalez, Evan Longoria
Three players at same position I'd be ok  getting later; Jacoby Ellsbury, Justin Upton, Andrew McCutchen

March 14, 2012

Why I Love Auction Drafts

$25! $30! $55! $68!
Silence
Only muffled whispers could be heard amongst the crowd. “Did he just spend what I think he just spent?” “I’d never spend that much.”  Being in a keeper league based in Michigan, I guess we kind of expected Cabrera’s price tag to reach that high, but then again, hearing the price of $68 for 1 player, when the total amount every team has to spent on their respective team is $260 and there are 25 spots to fill (11 hitters, 8 pitchers, and 6 bench spots) was voice-grabbing. Going once…going twice…SOLD! That set the tone. Once Miggy went for that much the floodgates were open. Money started flying like we were bank owners eagerly awaiting our government bailout. Kemp for $57, Tulowitzki for another $57, Albert Pujols for $62 and many more followed. The big boys were out, and they wanted to play.
Even though I, and most others in the league, calculated the players above to go for a lot more (around $70) using the inflation formula (which can be found by Googleing “How to calculate draft inflation”), it was still a shocker to hear $68. In the past managers were more reserved when doling out the cash or moola if you’ve just arrived from the 80’s. Managers in the past wanted to fill their roster throughout with “solid” players, but I guess in 2012, the big hitting, flashy names, and bright lights attracted all the kiddies. Either that or the complete unpredictability later in the draft.
That right there is why I love auction drafts, the unpredictability. To me, it’s the only way to draft.  If Snake Drafts are a Toyota Corolla, Auction Drafts are the Mercedes Benz E Class. The giddiness I feel before drafts is like none other.  I think while I was drafting a let out a few schoolgirl giggles –Tee-Hee! The ability to get any player I want is great. Wherein Snake Drafts it’s totally planned out. If I get the #8 pick I know I’m not getting these guys, but will get these. Auctions are utter chaos! If I want Troy Tulowitzki, I get him! If someone starts a bidding war I can just slap my Mike & Ikes on the table and say “Let’s Go! Troy is mine!”
Which brings me to the next best thing about auction drafts, price enforcing. Is there anything better than making someone pay an extra premium for a guy they want? It’s like what ballparks do with beer. They know you have to drink at a baseball game. They know you’ll bitch about paying $8.00 for a beer that would cost you $1.00 anywhere else. They also know you’ll fork over that $8.00 and sit your ass down and watch your game. Just like in auctions, when you see a guy going someone they want it’s great…nah..fabulous to jump in and start a bidding war. Making that dude pay an extra few bucks is priceless. Suck it big boy! You just dropped $25 on Bobby Abreu…oh wait that was me. Sad face.
I recently finished up with 2 auction drafts in 2 long running, phenomenal leagues. This article is more about my excitement for the fantasy baseball season (Christmas in March) than anything else. However, if this does sway you into changing the format of your league from Snake to Auction then good, I’ve done my part.

March 6, 2012

Foolhardy Fantasy Baseball Picks

One of my favorite fantasy writers is Mathew Berry, TMR. He combines humor, and self-deprecating stories with fantasy baseball.  He’s a legend! That is why I am paying him the greatest honor I can bestow upon him…copying him. Now if I can just get him to unblock me from Twitter. Anyway, here is my version of one of his famous yearly articles, “You Heard Me” / “Bold Predictions”. Now these are predictions based mostly on gut calls from me, some research to back it up, and a couple dreams I had a few nights ago. These predictions are most likely NOT to happen, but if everything goes right, and I mean everything, then these COULD happen. These predictions are mostly to highlight whom I think will have a good/bad season. Some examples to show that bold predictions and random acts of “Quality Fantasy Baseball” can happen are Ian Kennedy winning 21 games and having an ERA under 3.00, Emilio Bonifacio being a quality fantasy player, Jacoby Ellsbury hitting 32 homeruns, and countless other cases out there.

  • Mike Trout is the highest rated outfielder on the Angels by the end of the year
    • With the likes of Hunter, Wells, and Abreu in the mix this isn’t the “boldest prediction, but Trout is expected to start the year in the minors so, LAY OFF ME! I just started getting warmed up
  • Mark Trumbo doesn’t eclipse 25 homeruns
    • This has a little to do with the fact he doesn’t have a natural, fulltime position right now, and more to do with his 4.4% walk rate and 20.9% K%
  • Grant Balfour end the year with 15 saves
    • The A’s bullpen is up in the air, and they’ll be starting the year with a “Closer by Committee”. Balfour is the best of the bunch and I think he wins out eventually.