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So I participated in a 20 team, 5×5 draft (C, 1B, 2B, 3B, SS, 3 OFs, UTIL, 2 SPs, 2 RPs, 3 Ps, 4 Bench slots) recently because Grey was watching the Oscars instead (Um, Tivo?). I came away hating the time I had to wait between picks but also that my queue was being raided worse than an adventure with Short Round. I picked 9th overall and wanted to come away with three big bats in a row regardless of position without having to reach too far for star power or “man-crushes.” It’s almost impossible not to reach slightly with the time in between picks — 16 in one direction and then a whopping 22 the other way. So I set my sights on huge power potential guys and was basically punting SS and Catcher. I took chances on guys like Bay and Byrd based on the fact they will pretty much play every day and given their position in the lineup helping their fantasy potential. Starting pitching-wise, I am pretty decent (4 top 70 guys) as there were several huge runs on SP in the draft.  Also, huge runs on closers, but I refused to overpay for SAGNOF. Biggest needs for my team seem to be batting average and steals, but everyone has holes in a 20 team league. So take a gander at the results, criticism is always welcome.

2011 Fantasy Baseball Team

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  1. Jason says:
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    I like it, WHIP might be an issue, but it’s 20 teams so who cares. Godspeed Smokey!

  2. The Gig says:
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    I like your team – especially your pitching. I don’t see much speed, Tabata aside, though. I wouldn’t count on Braun or Bay for enough steals for you to compete in that category. Dunn, Bay and Uggla put your BA at risk but Braun et al can help balance that out. Besides, BA is wonky.

    Basically, I like a lot of your picks but without more speed or any closers it is going to be tough to win.

  3. The Gig says:
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    Closers – aside from Kimbrel I mean….and he will lose some saves to Venters.

  4. Eddy says:
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    Wow, I really like this squad for a 20-team league. Very nice, Smokey.

    You can probably even run with this in a 16-team league!

  5. Stephen

    Stephen says:
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    For a 20 team league, something I’ve always played in since I started playing Fantasy Baseball, this team looks solid and should compete. I think you took pitching one round too early. The power is there but I could see steals and average being a constant struggle as you already mentioned. Nice draft Smokey.

  6. longbeachyo says:
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    Wow, can’t say I like this team one bit. Hanson and Gallardo are good but not great. I agree with Thegig on your BA… I hope the other teams are just as thin. One thing sticks out to me though…. Kimbrel in the ninth round??? Thats a big risk for one stat, essentially. I’d like to see what Greigh thinks…

  7. MKEeast says:
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    I like it. I think you punted the two postions you’d want to punt – C and SS. After a while, what is the difference? I can’t believe I’m about to say this but Yuni might not be so bad. Plays every day and should have a lot of ducks on the pond when he comes up after Fielder, Braun, Hart and McGehee (or however you spell his name).

  8. little bunny foofoo says:
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    crazy value there on Bay and Young

    Nice draft overall

  9. Tom Thumb says:
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    Elliot Johnson now holds Rays club record for steals in a spring (11), passing Crawford, who had nine in 2003

  10. Smokey

    Smokey says:
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    @Jason: Thx
    @The Gig: Yea agree on steals, tough to warrant an overspend on Pierre or Bourn.
    @The Gig: Crazy run on RP, it was either Kimbrel or get shut out.
    @Stephen: Thx.
    @longbeachyo: He thinks the same as being discussed, steals saves and whip to a small degree.
    @MKEeast: Agree.
    @little bunny foofoo: Agree, Thx.

  11. Stephen

    Stephen says:
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    @longbeachyo: 20 team leagues are super thin. You usually have three to four solid contributors and then the waiver wire studs are typically throw-aways. As for Kimbrel, in my league’s past, we’ve had the first Closers taken in rounds 3 to 5. Losing out on one of those hitters and/or starting pitchers for a closer is costly, especially when you consider Papalbon and Broxton struggled and they were taken in 3 to 4 before in the past. Is Broxton’s saves better than a bat like Dunn? Not in a 20 team league.

  12. ichirosan says:
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    I absolutely love 20 man leagues… after drafting one or two, you kind of value the talent on the waiver wire in 12 and 16 man leagues, and are always one of the first to pounce in those leagues wheneve someone starts doing something.

    As for your team, I like your pitching, and actually think you could have gone with one more good SP instead of Francisco. Streaming is never an option in this kind of leagues, and saves are such a expensive stat that I often end up punting it by July.

  13. LMack says:
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    ESPN reporting that Neftali Feliz will remain the Rangers closer

  14. Smokey

    Smokey says:
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    @Tom Thumb: Is he the kid from ET.
    @ichirosan: I like 20 teamers, and i love looking athe waiver wire and saying damn thats all thats left. Hindsight another SP would have been ideal. Frank Frank was healthy than and all this pec muscle stuff never existed.

  15. Chiefroy says:
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    I’m in a 20 team league as well. 6X6 counting holds and total bases.
    Picked 9th. 22 rounds.

    1. Adrian Gonzalez
    2. Adam Dunn (32nd)
    3. Jered Weaver
    4. Carlos Santana
    5. Matt Cain
    6. Corey Hart
    7. Chris Perez
    8. Brett Anderson
    9. Manny Ramirez
    10. Joel Hanrahan
    11. Chris Johnson
    12. Asdrubal Cabrera
    13. Nate McLouth
    14. Daniel Bard
    15. Tim Stauffer
    16. Danny Espinosa
    17. Mike Adams
    18. Fausto Carmona
    19. Travis Hafner
    20. Carlos Carrasco
    21. Skip Shumacher
    22. Tommy Hunter (waived for Mike Moustakas)

    Too many Indians, I know. Oh well. Punted steals with the extra category and went for power. Hope Manny stays motivated and McLouth is for real.

  16. Smokey

    Smokey says:
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    @LMack: Finally, let the Ogando freefall to waivers being.
    @Chiefroy: Good team.

  17. Matt B says:
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    Smokey, do you have any links or suggested resources for drafting in a 5×5 OBP instead of AVG?

  18. Mr2Bits says:
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    News: The Rangers named their starting rotation for the start of the season on Thursday, and Neftali Feliz was not a part of it. With Tommy Hunter, Derek Holland and Matt Harrison filling out the spots behind C.J. Wilson and Colby Lewis, Feliz will return to the closer’s role that he filled last year, according to MLB.com. Feliz had been a potential rotation candidate all spring, but ultimately, the team wants him to begin the year in his familiar role.

  19. A Hill O' Beans says:
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    Team looks pretty good for a 20 teamer.

    I’m doing my first 20 team league this year, although mine is crazy deep with CI, MI and 5 OF, so a total of 540 guys drafted (440 of which are starting!). I’m just happy to have gotten enough real starters to fill out my lineup. Although I’m finding it tough already as there’s talk that Borbon could lose his starting gig and I’ve already been burned on my 16th round pick Minor. It should be an interesting season anyways.

  20. Long Bawls says:
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    Wowser. Various critiques possible, but it looks like you made out like a bandit overall.

  21. Smokey

    Smokey says:
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    @Matt B: Rotoprofessor is decent just search obp. tehy break it down by position. OBP is kind of wonky, use regular rankings to some degree with deviation here and there.
    @A Hill O’ Beans:Good luck
    @p0rk burn: He has some tweener good/bad OF’s with Abreu being the best of the bunch if thats a positive. I secretly like Lilly this year so i would hold onto Lilly/ Dunn.

  22. p0rk burn says:
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    @Smokey: Yeah, I like Lilly outside of breezy Wrigley in general. Moving Andrus would have made it a lot easier since I don’t need the speed and SAGNOF, but Dunn is definitely harder to give up. Hope the lack of #1 SP doesn’t kill me.

  23. Chiefroy says:
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    @p0rk burn:

    Agree w/Smokey.
    I like your rotation as it is w/Lilly. I look for Dunn to have a GREAT year and would hold what you have.

  24. chris says:
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    Dynasty Keeper Question:

    Is Kyle Blanks worth holding onto? His stadium plays against him and I have no idea how hitters react from TJ surgery. He’s still young and has awesome power, just wondering what your thoughts were.

  25. Garvey's Illegitimate child says:
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    Nice draft smoke, I agree with Stephen laying it down for LBCyo. Byrd and Richard are great values and I LIKE the upside pick of Krimbel. Could be a monster closer for one of the top three teams in the NL.

    But smokey……..whats up with the Holland pick? There has to be a better option out there?

  26. Chiefroy says:
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    @chris:

    His suckage plays against him also.

    Dump.

  27. Matthole says:
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    Why is being in a 20 team league impressive…if you start half the players in a 12 team league…ie 3 OFs vs 5, no CI/MI, 2 SP

    Team looks weak: focused too much on pitching early

  28. Ubaldo is beautiful says:
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    I’m doing a 20-team league this year, too. Standard 5×5 scoring, standard ESPN roster (25 per team!), 7th pick. Here’s the kicker: it was autodraft. I’ve made a few moves since the draft, and I really like my team.

    A.J. Pierzynski, C
    Billy Butler 1B
    Alexi Casilla 2B
    Pedro Alvarez 3B
    Troy Tulowitzki SS
    Dustin Ackley 2B
    Lyle Overbay 1B
    Justin Upton OF
    Jason Kubel OF
    Nate McLouth OF
    Julio Borbon OF
    Josh Willingham OF
    David Ortiz DH
    Ubaldo Jimenez SP
    Shaun Marcum SP
    Jhoulys Chacin SP
    Jorge De La Rosa SP
    Derek Lowe SP
    Huston Street RP
    Matt Thornton RP
    Joel Hanrahan RP
    James McDonald SP
    Jason Hammel SP
    Takashi Saito RP
    Mike Adams RP

  29. Smokey

    Smokey says:
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    @chris: Depends on depth of league but i would be safe in drpping him no matter what.
    @Garvey’s Illegitimate child: went for upside, nice K numbers and with todays news about Feliz he has a rotation spot unless Ron’s hitting the sauce again.

  30. Stephen

    Stephen says:
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    @Chris: Xavier Nady had TJ for a hitter, as did Larry Walker.

  31. Buddo Chezuski says:
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    wow Kyle Blanks, haven’t heard that name in a while. I picked him late in a keeper last year hoping for some cheap HRs and upside for future years. ROUGH year for him to say the least. Still pretty young though

  32. GopherDay says:
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    Smokey, what draft was this for? Like what site hosted it?

  33. Cole says:
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    Does anyone think that Ogando is draftable as a MR for daily lineup leagues. His peripherals look good.

  34. BryanK says:
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    @Cole: Personally I try not to draft MRs (unless this league has huge benches or is large). If they aren’t saving games, you will find them on the wire once they prove their worth. Just my two cents though.

  35. Cole says:
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    @BryanK: I usually carry three MR/vulture save candidates to boost my whip and k’s. It’s not like I’ll hang on to one who is struggling though. In my league most all closer handcuffs are owned even though we only have 3 bench spots.

  36. Smokey

    Smokey says:
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    @GopherDay: yahoo
    @Cole: sure depends on roster size
    @Cole: I usually get at least one, usually from the group of Gregerson, Adams, Bard

  37. Scout says:
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    12 team H2H league, lineups lock weekly, OBP, CI, MI, 5 OF, 2 C, auction was last night.

    Napoli, C
    C. Santana, C
    Dunn, 1B
    Pedroia, 2B
    A. Escobar, SS
    Longoria, 3B
    Ian Stewart, CI
    Sean Rodriguez, MI
    Braun, OF
    J. Upton, OF
    Crispy Young, OF
    J. Tabata, OF
    T. Snider, OF
    R. Raburn, UTIL
    Y. Gallardo, SP
    Billingsley, SP
    I. Kennedy, SP
    J. Chacin, SP
    G. Gonzalez, SP
    Valverde, RP
    Hanrahan, RP
    Thornton, RP
    Add’l bench players: T. Colvin, J. Zimmerman, J. Hellickson, Bumgarner, B. Beachy.

    With lineups locking weekly I’m more concerned about playing time for Ian Stewart and Sean Rodriguez. Clearly I punted SS. I like that I have some speed spread around a bit. Almost all bench players are SPs so I should probably try to trade for some offensive depth (T. Colvin is all I got). Pitching is also very young. I took control near the end of the auction and started throwing out $1 bids on young SPs and no one could make a $2 bid so I just kept going. I couldn’t help myself.

    Any glaring deficiencies or suggestions?

  38. Smokey

    Smokey says:
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    @Scout: looks good to me

  39. Captain Yesterday says:
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    @chris: Matt Holliday had TJ surgery too, but Blanks is no Holliday

  40. chris says:
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    change the skin color and drop 100 lbs and hes on his way.

  41. GopherDay says:
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    **Opening in Razzball League #2**

    I’ve had to drop out of the Razzball league (Draft the worst players), so there is an opening in league #2.

    The draft is Tuesday March 29 at 6:30pm PDT

    League ID#: 140826
    League Name: Razzball 2
    Password: razz2

  42. Black Beard says:
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    6×5 keeper including OPS:

    Stanton and Haren for Alvarez and CC

  43. Smokey

    Smokey says:
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    @Black Beard: Thats a good one, I’ll take CC.

  44. royce! says:
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    I’m doing a mock in about 10 minutes on ESPN- it’s the Baltimore 12-Team Mock 201611 at 8:30 EST if anyone wants to mock against a like-minded individual.

  45. Jad says:
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    im debating whether i should trade heyward for a good pitcher and another piece (2 things im considering – oswalt + papelbon or marcum + gio gonzalez). my hitting is very strong (tulo, longoria, braun), and i have ryan raburn on my bench so i could slot him in the outfield. and my pitching is real weak (hamels, scherzer, several unproven starters, and my only real closer is kimbrel who is sharing saves). also, the league has OPS and K/BB, so marcum is much more valuable. Should i pull the trigger? Thanks

  46. Smokey

    Smokey says:
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    @Jad: scoring?Keeper?

  47. Jad says:
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    @smokey scoring is 6×6 (standard 5×5 + OPS and K/BB) and it is a keeper league. i overpaid for heyward at $25 though, so I don’t think he’s the best value… i realized he could be kind of disappointing this year. Raburn’s full season projections are really not that much worse.

  48. Matt says:
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    Love 20 team leagues. Somewhere around the midway point, I always start looking at the player pool and hear the voice inside my head: “Who are these $&*@#! guys??”. (Oh wait, no, that’s Major League playing in the background).

    I’m in a 5×5 keeper league that skews the values a bit. Like some auction-keeper setups, players are kept based on an upgrade of where they were drafted last year, so there are always a few keepers that blow your mind (one team got to hold onto CarGo in the 8th round this year, for example).

    This year I had strong pitching to hold onto (Price, Hudson, Morrow, in the 5th, 9th, 10th rounds) along with hitters Chris Young in the 6th and Ian Stewart in the 8th; so my strategy ended up similar to yours – punted SS and C, while going for power/speed combos with my first 4 picks. The kicker is that I was drafting 19th, so I had no shot at a stud 1B (for perspective: Fielder went 18th overall, Dunn 34th, Konerko was a 5th round keeper).

    Trouble with the 19th spot is I really had to reach if I wanted someone. 40 picks can decimate even the best of queues.

    Here’s how it ended up:
    1 (19th) Matt Kemp
    2 (22) Dan Uggla — a reach, but with no top options at 1B, I’ll take 30+ HR at 2B instead.
    3 (59) BJ Upton — Kemp, Upton, and Young could be a fearsome OF – emphasis on Could Be.
    4 (62) Billy Butler — Wasn’t willing to reach for Dunn or Morneau (concussion) earlier; Butler won’t hurt me at the very least.

    Later on, I hedged my bets with Wigginton and Ka’aihue late in the draft, and at SS and C, ended up with Brignac and Saltamacchia. Rounded out my pitching staff with value picks Edwin Jackson (299) and Mike Minor (379), and went for high-K closers in waiting instead of saves.

    A lot of if’s, but that’s par for the course in any 20-team draft. Definitely the most satisfying draft for me each year.

  49. Smokey

    Smokey says:
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    @Jad: how about gio and paps

  50. BigRedLatrine says:
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    @Smokey:

    I think you did rather well Smokes. I’m kicking myself for not having Dunn on more teams; in a 20 teamer, taking those 40ish homers to the bank has got to feel really good.

    I like the catcher and SS punt a lot, though I agree with Stephen that you may have went for pitchers a round early.

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