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Grey and I were invited back for Yahoo’s most prestigious expert league – the Yahoo! Friends & Family League (the other Yahoo!-sponsored leagues we’re in include acquaintances and hoi polloi).  The league has 14 teams consisting of 7 Yahooligans, 3 guys from Rotowire.com, 2 from Hardball Times, and one from Wall Street Journal and Razzball (two sites with a ton of audience overlap).

The format is 14 team, MLB, 5×5, 1250 IP cap, Roto, Snake Draft with the following roster format:  C/1B/2B/SS/3B/4 OF/CI/MI/2 UTIL/9 P/3 Bench.

The four differences  vs. our other expert leagues are:  1) Only one catcher, 2) 4 OF and 2 UTIL vs. 5 OF/1 UTIL, 3) Snake draft vs. auction draft, and 4) 1250 IP cap.

The roster differences are minor as we generally don’t spend a lot on catcher anyway and we planned to draft a 5th OF as one of our UTIL spots.  The snake draft was a somewhat welcome departure vs. auctions as they tend to take less time and keep us sharp for snake draft commenter questions.

The IP cap was a factor in our decision making.  It requires that teams use the equivalent of roughly 5.5 full-time starters (180 IP each = 990 IP) and 3.5 relievers (60 IP each = 210 IP).  So our plan was to draft only 4 quality starters and we’ll play matchups for the rest.

Otherwise, our strategy going in was just to draft as good a team as possible.  See below for our roster.  You can see the other rosters here and post-draft comments here.

Position Name Round Pick
C Jorge Posada 16 220
1B Miguel Cabrera 1 5
2B Tsuyoshi Nishioka 14 192
SS Starlin Castro 8 108
3B Pedro Alvarez 6 80
OF Nelson Cruz 3 33
OF Hunter Pence 4 52
OF Torii Hunter 11 145
OF Will Venable 17 229
CI Justin Morneau 5 61
MI Jason Bartlett 22 304
UTIL Seth Smith 18 248
UTIL Marlon Byrd 20 276
SP Felix Hernandez 2 24
SP Daniel Hudson 9 117
SP Ted Lilly 10 136
SP Matt Garza 13 173
SP Tim Stauffer 19 257
SP Clayton Richard 21 285
RP Neftali Feliz 7 89
RP Brandon Lyon 12 164
RP Fernando Rodney 15 201
Bench Tyler Clippard 23 313
Bench Clay Hensley 24 322
Bench Daric Barton 25 341

Overall, I think we succeeded on drafting a team that has a shot to win.  We got what we think are 4 solid SPs (F-Her, D. Hudson, Lilly, Garza) and two Hodgepadres (Stauffer, Richard) which we can start at home.  The offense has a solid mix of upside plays (Cruz, Castro, Alvarez, Nishioka) and reliable vets (Posada, Miggy, Morneau, Torii).  I ran the rosters against our projections and our team came out on top with our biggest strengths in HR/RBI/AVG/Saves and our biggest weaknesses in SB/Wins/Ks.  But everything’s so close (e.g., 6 teams within 6 SBs of each other) that you have to take it with a grain of salt.  As I mentioned in the NL LABR post, I don’t think you can win a league at the draft (assuming you draft against peers) but you can certainly lose it.  And we didn’t lose it.

A couple of other notes:

1) I’ve found that our post-draft projected AVG is looking better across a number of our teams.  I think the improvement I made in calculating the impact of AVG in Point Shares has helped.

2) I found that our rankings – based on Point Shares – had a number of outfielders at the top of our draft boards for a lot of the draft.  This is either because I’m smarter than everyone else and value OFs correctly or I’m dumber than everyone else and value OFs incorrectly.  Either way, we stuck to a strategy where we wouldn’t draft more than 2 OFs in the first 9-10 rounds and felt comfortable with our two top OF choices (Cruz, Pence) who were also near the top of the Yahoo! default rankings by the time we picked them.

3) Several teams stocked up on Middle Relievers in response to the 1250 IP cap – conceivably because the best middle relievers will deliver better ERA/WHIP/K per inning than lower-level starters (I think starters still provide a better W/IP ratio).  The only flaw I see in the logic is that determining quality Middle Relievers in the preseason is a fool’s errand.  There just aren’t a lot of ‘dependable’ middle relievers.  So we were more than happy to fill out the rest of our hitting slots and grab Stauffer/Richard vs. speculate on Middle Relievers.  They’ll be plenty of opportunities to go MR fishing during the year if we want to go that route.

Let us know what you think of the team….

  1. Long Bawls says:
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    They say about Brazil that “It’s the country of the future…and always will be.” I wonder if the “will” they’re talking about is Will Venable. He seems to have so much potential but never pushes beyond modestly better than replacement value. I realize this is not a very statsy question–and there are split and playing time issues–but do you foresee more from him?

  2. Love Posada DHing, am very optimistic on Starlin, got good value on Pence, great value on Morneau, and pretty much a no-risk/high-reward grab of Tsuyoshi. Good job.

  3. @Long Bawls: I think Venable has little upside but can hit 15 HRs and 25 SBs this year.

  4. Brandon says:
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    I see quite a bit of similarities in our squad. Absolutley nothing to do with the fact that I’m a daily reader of the site… One thing that is a little disconcerting is the fact that I auctioned for a 12 team league, and your league is a 14 team ‘pert. Your thoughts on my team?

    12 team, 5×5, h2h. $260.

    c,1b,2b,ss,3b,mi,ci,of,of,of,of,of,util
    Sp,Sp,Sp,Rp,Rp,Rp,P,P,P 3 Bench spots.

    C Jorge Posada (NYY – C) $2
    1b Justin Morneau (Min – 1B) $23
    2b Dan Uggla (Atl – 2B) $18 (keeper)
    3b José Bautista (Tor – 3B,OF) $10 (keeper)
    ss Starlin Castro (ChC – SS) $12
    CI Pedro Alvarez (Pit – 3B) $10 (keeper)
    MI Danny Espinosa (Was – 2B) $4
    OF Jayson Werth (Was – OF) $13 (keeper)
    OF Ichiro Suzuki (Sea – OF) $19
    OF Jose Tabata (Pit – OF) $10
    OF Torii Hunter (LAA – OF) $13
    Of Denard Span (Min – OF) $8
    Util David Wright (NYM – 3B) $37

    SP Jon Lester (Bos – SP) $17 (keeper)
    SP Tommy Hanson (Atl – SP) $20
    SP Ricky Romero (Tor – SP) $6
    RP Matt Thornton (CWS – RP) $9
    RP Ryan Madson (Phi – RP) $1
    RP Jon Rauch (Tor – RP) $1
    P Daniel Hudson (Ari – SP) $13
    P Jorge De La Rosa (Col – SP) $6
    P Gavin Floyd (CWS – SP) $3

    Bench Brandon Beachy (Atl – SP) $3
    Bench Matt Capps (Min – RP) $1
    Bench Cliff Pennington (Oak – SS) $1

    I know I need saves, but what other weaknesses do you see? I’m hoping to be able to move a little excess power (if you think I have it) for an upgrade at RP. OR… hope that I can finagle the Waiver Wire to my RP advantage.

  5. marky says:
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    @teamrazzball not bad, but your infield looks pretty weak and it doesnt get madeup in the outfield… think you guys over valued outfielders. a little more adjustment for positional scarcity or tiering might help.

    question please rank sp best to worst: travis wood, tim stauffer, brian duensing, kyle mcclellan, jorge de la rosa, wade davis

    typical stats: win. era. whip. so (innings cap 1250)

  6. Jackie says:
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    Looking for some outfield help. Can you please rank the following in order?

    Kubel, Morse, Alex Gordon, Fowler…

    Also, who do you like better between Beddard, Garza and Burnett?

    Thanks!

  7. Brandon says:
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    @Jackie: Garza.

  8. @Eric Yeomans: Thanks! I agree with all your compliments!

    @Brandon: The team looks pretty good. Very good power in infield and UTIL that’s balanced out by speed/AVG in OF. should be solid. the pitching staff is pretty good. only real weaknesses right not are Saves (you’ll be SAGNOFFing) and potentially AVG (even with Ichiro, an Uggla, Bautista, Alvarez, Espinosa quinella is tough to overcome)

  9. @Jackie: Fowler, Gordon, Morse, Kubel (based mainly on playing time certainty). And Garza.

  10. Brandon says:
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    @Rudy Gamble: With my above squad, do I roll the dice with Espinosa or do I try and pick up one of these fools:

    Bartlett
    Brignac
    Scutaro
    Casilla

    Also, how do you feel about me trying to pick up Stauffer/McClellan for Madson?

  11. Can we keep playing ‘Rate My Team’?

    13 teams, 5×5 roto with OPS instead of AVG and QS instead of W. Pick # in parentheses.

    C: Jorge Posada (213)
    1B: Mark Teixeira (22)
    2B: Reid Brignac (291)
    SS: Ian Desmond (135)
    3B: Evan Longoria (5)
    CI: Justin Morneau (48)
    MI: Cliff Pennington (343) / Alexi Casilla (239)
    OF: Hunter Pence (57)
    OF: Krispie Young (83)
    OF: Shane Victorino (100)
    OF: Jose Tabata (187)
    UTIL: Grady Sizemore (178)

    BN: Peter Bourjos (308)
    BN: Cliff Pennington (343) / Alexi Casilla (239)

    SP: Cliff Lee (31)
    SP: Francisco Liriano (74)
    SP: Brett Anderson (126)
    SP: Clay Buchholz (161)
    SP: Edison Volquez (204)
    SP: Carlos Zambrano (230)
    RP: Carlos Marmol (109)
    RP: JJ Putz (152)
    P: Kyle Farnsworth (334) (or a starter in a good matchup)

    BN: Bud Norris (265)
    BN: Homer Bailey (282)
    BN: Felipe Paulino (360)
    BN: Andrew Cashner (IDK)

    13 teams and 27 rounds stretches the talent. I feel pretty good but only slightly concerned about HR/RBI. Obviously punted MI, hoping that doesn’t bite me too hard. Thoughts?

  12. @Brandon: Stick with Espinosa. Nice speed/power. Might even sneak up to leadoff at some point this year.

    Eh, I’d hold onto Madson for now. You need all the saves you can get.

  13. OaktownSteve

    OaktownSteve says:
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    @Rudy: Razz Lemonade leagues all full and put to bed? Or should late entries still be on the look out?

  14. CT Old School says:
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    Was Grey workin’ a deuce when you grabbed F-Her with your 2nd pick?

  15. OaktownSteve

    OaktownSteve says:
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    @Rudy: like your team in that league by the way. I do kind of like Erickson’s team a lot too, upon looking them all over.

  16. OaktownSteve

    OaktownSteve says:
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    @Rudy: like your team in that league by the way. I do kind of like Erickson’s team a lot too, upon looking them all over.

  17. I wouldn’t have taken Felix in the 2nd (how can you invest so heavily on a 1 SP who has no shot at winning 20?) and I think Hudson in the 9th is too pricey for a young kid calling Chase Field home but I like the rest of your pitching staff.

    I LOVE Morneau in the 5th as your CI. Nishioka lasted until the 14th??? Wow – nice grab there. Cruz’s health scares me but you have nice OF depth.

    Good luck with the F&F league, pulling for you guys!

  18. Eng says:
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    Rudy, would you take JoseLopez, Tejada or SeanRod for your one and only outfield bench spot? Thanks in advance.

  19. @OaktownSteve: Almost confirmed we’re all full. Still a good chance i’ll create an 11th league that drafts next week.

    @CT Old School: Yeah, he was less than enthusiastic about that pick. But there was no position player that was jumping out at us (knew we could get a solid OF with 3rd pick and had an 1B from first pick) and there were 2 SPs already off the board – meaning F-Her and Kershaw probably wouldn’t be there for our 3rd pick. Plus, it’s a 1250 IP cap so an ‘ace’ is more valuable. I think it worked out well….

    @OaktownSteve: Thx. I have Erickson’s team as a preseason top 3 as well. He’s on a mission to redeem himself after his next to last place finish last year.

  20. @Rudy: When was this draft held? Is Derrek Carty aware that it’s 2011? He’s got the all injury team.

  21. John says:
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    I guess SP isnt valued that much with the IP cap? I’m shocked Cueto wasn’t drafted and that you got him on the wire after the draft. could be a real nice pickup come the summer time when he turns it on.

  22. @3FingersBrown: Thanks. Fair point on F-Her being less of a 20 win threat than, say, Lester or Sabathia. But F-Her’s ERA/WHIP/Ks are better and more reliable. We’ll see on Hudson – we’re ‘all-in’ on him this year. It is a risk that he’s more of a Fly Ball pitcher (0.77 GB/FB ratio).

    @Eng: i’d gamble on Jose Lopez.

  23. @3FingersBrown: Carty is unconventional. Seems to take more risks than the average ‘expert’. He’s had some success in expert leagues. But I’d be lying if I said that I (or my projections) like his team in F&F.

    @John: It’s not that pitching is less valued – it’s that you really don’t need more than 5 SPs out of the draft vs. 6-7. I think people were scared off by Cueto’s pre-season injuries. I’m not sold on him for 2011 but he’s worth the gamble to keep on the bench for now.

  24. Dingo says:
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    Good-looking team overall. I definitely agree on the strategy of waiting to grab stud relievers once they identify themselves during the season. The one pick that had me scratching my head was taking Cruz in the third round when Justin Upton was available. Was that a Rudy vs. Grey moment, since point shares likes Cruz more than Upton?

  25. @Dingo: I don’t think either of us have strong opinions on Cruz vs. Upton (we drafted Upton in last night’s Blog Wars draft). Cruz’s projected ratios (HR/AB, SB/AB, etc.) are fantastic and, if he can stay healthy, should have a huge season. J-Upton can certainly do the same but I don’t think he’s shown the same power or ability to hit for AVG that Cruz has.

  26. OaktownSteve

    OaktownSteve says:
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    @Rudy: Felix did win 19 in 2009. Betcha he wins 19+ this year even if Seattle is still just as bad. If I were taking a pitcher to start a real MLB team, he’d be my pick. He’s absolutely filthy. I go see him whenever he starts against the A’s. You could argue that he’s got 5 plus pitches if you count the 2 and 4 seamer separately.

    Carty explains his middle reliever strategy at THT today. I like the thought, but pretty sure it’s not going to work all that well. Pretty sure if you wanted to try it, you’d have to try to find guys filling the right role in season rather than draft them and even still pretty sure wins still too arbitrary.

  27. rar says:
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    Allow a dissenting voice. I don’t like risk in my top 3 picks – Cruz at 33 obviously qualifies as risky. Reached on Castro – curious how he’ll compare at the end of the season to the likes of Asdrubal or Aybar. Lyon and Rodney are horrors, why bother? Neftali in round 7 also seems like a poor decision – had you gone hitter here, you wouldn’t have Seth Platoon Smith in your UTIL. With Neftali/Lyon/Rodney as your closing corps, you’re almost punting the category anyway.

  28. JMonte says:
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    At first glance i wondered what you had to do to convince Grey to draft F-Her @ 24 AND Feliz @ 89… than i had a gay moment and brushed that though aside… Then considering the IP cap wouldnt you say that the quality of IP is more important in this format than in a league where there is no cap? You really need a studd SP and as close to a $12 salad as possible to help on the ratios.

    I think you guys will get great value from Smith and Byrd where you landed them.

    Best of health this year!

  29. mets fan says:
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    rudy in a 12 team h2h who would you rather have bud norris or michael pineda?

  30. joe from point pleasant says:
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    @Rudy:

    Nice team! Like the Felix Castro Posada and Barton picks.

    Anyways, I was wondering what your take was on Alexi Ogando. Does he make the rotation, and if so, how well does he do in a SP role?

  31. Lazar says:
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    1 too many OF’s & not enough innings…otherwise seems like a fun league. Good luck, ladies.

  32. @OaktownSteve: Yeah, Carty has some interesting thoughts. If I was doing the MR strategy, though, I’d be focused on ERA/WHIP/Ks with the assumption that the Wins will more likely come to those who excel at those three categories.

    @rar: Thanks rar. You realize this is a 14-team league, right? If you assume that only about half the closers are solid, then the average team has one solid closer and one SAGNOF closer. I think Feliz qualifies as solid and we have two SAGNOFs. we’re actually in good position for saves. I think you can argue that Soria or Wilson may have been better choices than Feliz but, given that 4 closers were taken b/w Feliz and our next pick, I’d say we timed the ‘closer run’ very well (I completely blew the second closer run and ended up with Lyon – worst move of the night). You may be right on Cruz. Shin-Soo Choo went next and definitely comes with less risk. (J-Up, Bautista, Heyward, and Ellsbury followed…not sure you can say they are less risky than Cruz). We’ll see on Seth Smith (not saying that in a d**k way…just we’ll see…i have a feeling he won’t be platooned as much this year).

    @JMonte: Yeah, I’m not sure if Grey makes the F-Her and Feliz calls there. Tough to say. That said, this was probably our only chance to have an Ace. We have something like 6 teams drafted so far and the best starter among the other 5 is Gallardo. Thx on Smith and Byrd. Hopefully they play every day and put up solid stats.

  33. @mets fan: I’d gamble on Pineda. Maybe it’s just b/c I think Norris won’t make it through the year without missing time (#2 on risky pitcher list).

    @joe from point pleasant: Thanks! Ogando may sneak onto the Rangers rotation with the Tommy Hunter injury. Not expecting much though. Probably wouldn’t even bid a 2nd dollar in AL-only for him.

    @Lazar: It’s a 1250 IP cap so no point in having more than 6 SPs (with the last two being used for matchups). Maybe on OFs but, b/c it was 4 OF, there was more depth there for the UTIL spots.

  34. Lazar says:
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    Sorry I should have clarified, I didn’t mean it that way. I think you had a good balance, with just starting the guys at PetCo. I meant the league would have been more fun if it had 1 less spot for an OF and increased innings. (Just my opinion, not that it matters)…And again good luck, I’ll be rooting for you guys when I check my Yahoo Roto leagues daily.

  35. brad says:
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    Rudy, i like the team a lot actually, i think your decision to go bpa in the early rounds worked out a lot better than the teams that grabbed 2bs too early. (looking at uggla with the 31st pick here.)

    i put the following team in the last post’s comments too, i’m hoping for the rare grey/rudy tag team comment. Poor form?

    anyway, it’s a 10 team 5×5 roto league, thoughts?

    C Mike Napoli
    1B Albert Pujols
    2B Kelly Johnson
    3B Ryan Zimmerman
    SS Elvis Andrus
    CI Justin Morneau
    MI Ian Desmond
    OF Matt Kemp
    OF Jason Heyward
    OF Shane Victorino
    OF Brett Gardner
    Util Carlos Beltrán
    BN Ryan Raburn
    BN Austin Jackson

    SP Jon Lester
    SP CC Sabathia
    RP J.J. Putz
    RP Chris Pérez
    P Matt Thornton
    P Joel Hanrahan
    P Brandon League
    BN Jered Weaver
    BN Madison Bumgarner
    BN Jonathan Sánchez
    BN Jhoulys Chacin

  36. @Lazar: Ah…well, i don’t recommend strict IP caps but it made for some interesting strategies. when you play as many leagues as we do, a wrinkle or two isn’t bad (as long as it’s 5×5 because i’ve got Point Shares all set up for it :))

    @brad: Thanks. Yeah, Grey and I are both BPA guys…always laugh at the guys who reach for middle infielders. Your team is pretty stacked as one would expect in a 5×5 league. I think you overdid it in speed. I’d look to trade Gardner for a bigger bat. Your HR are probably strong anyway but power impacts HR/RBI vs. speed is just SB. The pitching staff is solid. Sabathia is a very good #2. Looks like you got pretty good value on closers. So seems like a strong team that probably could use an upgrade at 4th OF and UTIL.

  37. rar says:
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    Yea, I empathize on the depth to which you had to plumb to find some beating hearts and live arms.

    Choo over Cruz would be a no-brainer to me, but then again I am a Choo owner.

  38. Jake says:
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    Just out of curiosity, where did Tabata end up going? As you mentioned steals appear to be your team’s weakest point, and Grey ranks Tabata roughly 50 spots higher than his Yahoo ADP. Did another believer grab him early?

  39. @marky: hey marky – sorry had missed your comment. Not sure I agree with your comment that our infield is weak – is anyone except Nishioka below average in a 14 team league (Miggy, Castro, and Alvarez the others)? Maybe I’m just higher on Castro and Alvarez than you. I adjust for position scarcity – I think people tend to reach too much on 2B/SS/3B. But we’ll see if it pans out…

    As for ranking:
    Tim Stauffer (home starts only)
    DLR
    Wood
    Tim Stauffer (if all starts)
    McClellan
    Davis
    Duensing

  40. papasmurf says:
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    Interesting, not one single player overlap with my own team. Considering that my team is falling apart already with injuries, that’s a good thing. My league’s offense only runs 9 deep so it feels like my offense might be stronger despite the lg being 16 team deep. But again, your offense is 13 deep.

  41. @rar: I go Choo over Cruz there too, too much risk. Choo went first in both snake drafts I took part in this spring, while Cruz was $32 and Choo $30 in my auction.

  42. @rar: I like Choo as well. Just something to think about though…Choo has hit 20/20 the last two years but it’s required 650-690 plate appearances. And he’s yet to clear more than 90 Runs or RBIs.

    Cruz came close to putting up those stats in 450 plate appearances last year.

    So Choo’s best case is probably a repeat (where his worst case – an injury – will likely mean 15/15) whereas Cruz has a real chance at 30/30 with 190+ R/RBI if he can manage 140 games.

  43. longbeachyo says:
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    Very nice team, Rudy. Smash those Yahoo goons!
    Quick question. Who produces more this year. A. Gordon, K. Ka’aihue, or M. Morse??? I didn’t see any of them in Grey’s top 300…

  44. Eddy says:
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    @Rudy Gamble:

    Pretty solid team, Rudy. Though for some reason I have trouble labeling Garza and Lilly as solid. But in a 15-team league with guys that know what they’re doing, they’re vital.

    Can you take a look at my RCL that I finished last night? Grey mentioned that power and average would be a problem. I think it caters more to your style (strong infield, strong SP).

    C-Mike Napoli
    1B- Prince Fielder
    2B- Aaron Hill
    3B- David Wright
    SS-Elvis Andrus
    CI-Lyle Overbay
    MI-Danny Espinosa
    OF- Jacoby Ellsbury
    OF- Delmon Young
    OF- Vernon Wells
    OF- Carlos Quentin
    OF- Michael Morse
    Util-Peter Bourjos

    SP-Tim Lincecum
    SP-Clayton Kershaw
    SP-Brandon Morrow
    SP-Phil Hughes
    SP-Javier Vazquez
    SP-Kyle McClellan

    RP-Jose Valverde
    RP-John Axford
    RP-Fernando Rodney
    RP-Rafael Soriano
    RP-Joaquin Benoit
    RP-Sergio Romo

  45. chata says:
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    @Rudy Gamble:

    which team won this league last year , and ,
    where did your team finish ?

  46. Black Beard says:
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    Keeper, 6×5 (+ OPS):

    Haren and Stanton for CC and Alvarez?

  47. @longbeachyo: All three of those guys (Gordon, Ka’aihue, and Morse) really came on this spring and solidified playing time. I’m hesitant to bet on any of them but I guess I’d rank them Ka’aihue, Morse, Gordon. I think they all will be bad on AVG. Ka’aihue will probably have a longer leash than Morse (with Bernadina in the wings), and Gordon has failed a couple times already.

    @Eddy: Hey Eddy – wow, you really punted OF. But i can see that you nabbed excellent corners + a MONSTER top 2 starters. The rest of the SPs are okay if perhaps a bit too focused on Ks vs. WHIP. Closers are fine. i agree your AVG is eh. You’re set on speed with Andrus + Ellsbury – to the point that benching Bourjos for a power bat is definitely an option. If you can get 80/20/80 or better years out of 3 of your OFs, you’ll be okay. But there’s a lot of risk in Delmon/Vernon/Quentin….I’d drop Benoit for a 20 HR potential guy (maybe Trumbo?) and bench Bourjos initially.

  48. Black Beard says:
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    @Rudy Gamble: Have you checked out the ZIPS projections for each of them? Are these pie in the sky projections for Alvarez?

    Pedro: 89/28/116/.262
    Giancarlo: 79/36/98/.246

  49. @Black Beard: I use ZIPS as part of Point Shares. I wouldn’t put much credence in their R/RBI for these two. I’d assume that R/RBI will be about equal since they’ll both be hitting 4th and their lineups are about equal. So you’re trading Stanton’s bad AVG for more power and more steals.

  50. Black Beard says:
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    @Rudy Gamble: My bad, I thought ZIPS just came out.

    I think Alvarez is hitting fifth behind Overbay to start the year. That means Robot Jones and whoever he is platooning with will be protecting him. But I assume that probably changes little?

  51. Arod Loves Frost says:
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    Rudy:

    Can I get your thoughts on my team? 12 man roto, 7×6 (with hits, average, and OPS)

    C: Napoli
    1b. Teixiera
    2b. Hill
    3b. Wright
    SS. Andrus
    OF: J Upton
    OF: Heyward
    OF: Snider
    UTIL: Morneau

    SP: Hanson
    SP: B. Anderson
    SP: D Hudson
    SP: Chacin
    SP: Volquez
    SP: Baumgartner

    Relief was booted – I’ll probably pick up a couple as they emerge throughout the year.

    I’m concerned with average so I drafted Panda as a possible answer if I’m having an average problem.

    Thoughts?

  52. brad says:
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    @Rudy Gamble: yeah once i grabbed austin jackson gardner became expendable. plus he’s a yankee. . .

  53. @Black Beard: ZIPS just came out on FanGraphs. It was available for a couple weeks via Baseball Think Factory. Yeah, I’d just assume Alvarez and Stanton will be roughly the same for R/RBI unless one get hurt.

    @Arod Loves Frost: The AVG will likely be an issue. Your lineup is too small for one hitter to really correct your AVG. I really don’t like Snider in such a shallow league where average is really counted twice since hits are a category. I like his upside but would prefer less risk there. I’m also not a big fan of Aaron Hill for the same reason. I’d prefer a Logan Morrison type at OF (solid average, plenty of runs, even if 15 HRs is probably best case) over Snider but that’s me.

    The SPs are solid. SAGNOF isn’t a bad strategy when there’s a 6th pitching category (assuming it favors starting pitching)

  54. Eng says:
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    Thanks, Rudy. Hope you guys do well. F-Her was quite early but, wins excepted, he’s at the very top for fantasy and I can’t see Pianowski lucking another W.

    BTW, Grey hates Niemann but I kinda want him for my 5th starter. What order would you rate him, Webb, Niese or Beachy in this role?

  55. @Eng: I can’t begrudge Pianowski – beat us fair and square. I think he might’ve beat us in another league too (his ‘hero sandwich’ league). so we really want to beat him this year. I’d rank those SPs: Beachy, Niemann, Niese, Webb. Just have no faith Webb will stay healthy. Niemann would be #1 if it wasn’t he pitches in the AL East. If you sit him against NYY and BOS, i’d put him at #1.

  56. Eng says:
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    Thanks very much, Rudy. That’s the affirmation I required to add a kind of pet-player of mine. The K’s are low but he’s never let me down (I traded him just prior to his shoulder issues last year) and my first four are very solid. For sure good luck in your leagues, and yup you’re right that there are far worse people in the industry to lose to than the Pianoman.

  57. TheBravesWearPrado says:
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    Would appreciate thoughts from anyone on my team. It’s 12 team H2H mixed with R, RBI, TB, NSB, and OBP for offense and QS, K, ERA, WHIP and S for the pitching.

    C: Iannetta
    1B: Dunn
    2B: Uggla
    SS: Rollins
    3B: Reynolds
    OF: Kemp
    OF: Swisher
    OF: Torres
    UTIL: Morneau
    UTIL: Ortiz
    Bench: Scott
    Bench: Fowler

    SP: Carpenter
    SP: Hansen
    RP: Storen
    RP: Bailey
    P: Dempster
    P: Kuroda
    P: Chacin
    Bench: Fuentes
    Bench: Beachy
    Bench: Baker

    Thanks in advance.

  58. Del Abbot says:
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    Rudy, would appreciate your assessment of my team. Standard 12-team roto 5×5. I’m guessing I overdrafted speed and not enough power? I think I also lack another top-tier SP, do you think so too?
    Also who is the most droppable? Soriano?

    C Jorge Posada
    1B Albert Pujols
    2B Ben Zobrist
    3B Pedro Alvarez
    SS Elvis Andrus
    OF Matt Holliday
    OF Matt Kemp
    OF Hunter Pence
    Util Rajai Davis
    Util Carlos Peña
    BN Jose Tabata
    BN Kila Ka’aihue

    SP Cole Hamels
    SP Tommy Hanson
    SP Ted Lilly
    SP Ricky Nolasco
    RP Jonathan Broxton
    RP Matt Thornton
    P Fernando Rodney
    P Brandon League
    P Brian Fuentes
    P Kyle Farnsworth
    BN Rafael Soriano

    Thanks in advance.

  59. Jake says:
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    @Rudy Love the team. Surprised you got Grey to let you take a pitcher so early. Quick question. League scores total bases plus RBIs, could you rank these 6:

    Stanton
    Kemp
    Cruz
    Pence
    Beltre
    Uggla

  60. Dave says:
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    Rudy
    my league has a 1200 innings cap…I have Kershaw, Gallardo, Brett Anderson, Dan Hudson and Stauffer

    I’m a little light on speed, would you deal Gallardo for Rios straight up?
    My league has a lot of quality starters on waivers along with solid middle relievers

  61. pepe_silvia says:
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    @rudy or grey, Im in a 10 team roto 5×5 espn league, my is heavy on pitching, and very heavy on steals, as a result I’m light on middle of the order guys. Would you guys consider trading reyes,figgins,liriano for h.ram and aaron hill? Am I giving up to much? I figure I can just use the empty roster spot to play matchups.

  62. AL KOHOLIC says:
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    ogando,what do you expect from him?even if it is temporary

  63. Iceman says:
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    I’m a fan of the Stauffer pick. Especially if Latos has really blowed up his arm.

    CF spot in a 12 team H2H league. Normal stuff plus BBs.

    Choices:

    Whatever is left of Nate Mclouth’s upside, or,

    Marlon Byrd

    Thoughts?

  64. Seattle Zen says:
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    I like your Clayton Richard pick, but don’t feel like you should only start him at home. He was great on the road except at Coors. Take out his three Coors starts and he had a 3.25 era!

  65. Chris Rite says:
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    Ok, so before you claim, thats impossible, this is an 8 team league. As your reading, your probably giggling to yourself, but its a legit money league with experienced and active owners we just couldnt get 2-4 more in time. 6 X 6 H2H, i plan on ignoring ratios (NOT PUNTING, just disregarding) and punting steals. I have pick 6.

    C- Mike Napoli (134)
    1st- Cabrera or Votto (6)
    2nd- Dan Uggla (28)
    SS- Ian Desmond (111 or 118)
    3B- Mark Reynolds (86)
    CI- Adrian Gonzalez (11)
    MI- Aaron Hill (107)
    OF- Matt Holliday (22)
    OF- Andre Eithier (54) (Hes a schmohawk, i know, but he has good trade value and 30/100/100 upside)
    OF- Jay Bruce (70)
    OF- Mike Stanton (75)
    OF- Curtis Granderson (102)
    UTL- Mark Teixeria (18)
    UTL- Justin Mornaeu (43)

    From there i grab 4 closers (cordero, perez, thornton, axford or something like that) and 10 starters with 5 streams per week.

    Will it work? I should win HR’s, rbis, and total bases for sure, runs a lot of the time, and average 33% of the time. K’s, wins, QS’s, Saves all the time.

  66. Black Beard says:
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    Latos is going to start the season on the DL.

  67. Atomic says:
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    @Chris Rite: Wow, thats the most thought out theoretical draft I have ever seen. Or half-draft anyway. I am not sure that you need to get so crazy with the hitting, even with only 8 teams you are going to want some top pitchers. How many relievers can you start? Is it weekly transactions? If you start 4 closers, I doubt the guys you mention will be around in the late rounds. I would lay off C, MI and a couple OF until later and get some better starters.

  68. PureBwa says:
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    @Rudy Gamble: Any chance you can take a look at my team? Post #11 up above. Thanks in advance.

  69. Chris Rite says:
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    @Atomic:

    My thoughts are, while i can probably afford to get a Kershaw and still have elite hitting, why do it if im going to cancel him out with 5 streamers per week? We start 2 RP and 2 SP with 5 Open pitching spots, i plan on using all 5 bench spots for pitching and streaming 5 starters a week.

    thanks for the input..

    Rudy, your thoughts?

  70. @Jake: Tabata went in the 12th round (pick #158). we ended up taking Torii Hunter the round earlier. should be better than Tabata in all categories except SBs.

    @TheBravesWearPrado: Honestly, I’m not feeling your team. Torres isn’t worth owning in that format. Drafting Uggla and Reynolds is going to hurt OBP. Swisher is a weak 2nd OF. And I like the pitching staff except Carpenter is too risky as a SP1 for me. But the pitching should keep you competitive and I like Morneau at UTIL. With a few career years, it could maybe work.

    @Del Abbot: The team looks pretty good. I don’t like going into a season with just 4 SPs. I’d definitely drop Soriano for an SP with some level of upside or consistency. The power/speed mix seems fine. I can see trading Andrus or Rajai if both are stealing at a high enough clip.

    @Jake: I have a feeling if F-Her doesn’t have a great year, he’ll rub that pick in my face :)

    Kemp
    Cruz
    Pence
    Stanton
    Uggla
    Beltre

    @Dave: Gallardo for Rios is definitely a fair trade. I take it that Rajai or Tabata aren’t available on waivers?

    @pepe_silvia: I think Figgins is worth nothing in a shallow league so now its Reyes/Liriano for H-Ram/Aaron Hill. I don’t like Aaron Hill much. Liriano is good but probably tops out at 150 IP. Han-Ram definitely provides more HR/RBI than Reyes. I’d do the trade even though the devil’s advocate would say that Reyes and Liriano are primed for big years.

    @AL KOHOLIC: Grey is writing up Ogando tonight. I expect solid K’s and a lot of BBs.

    @Iceman: Go with Marlon Byrd. He’ll be sneaky good for AVG/R/RBI.

    @Seattle Zen: In this league, I don’t think we’ll ever start Clayton Richard outside Petco. I sit most SPs at Coors Field – especially my lesser SPs.

    @Chris Rite: Even in 8 team that’s overkill on HR/RBI. I’d trade Reynolds or Hill for a more dependable hitter (it’s less about AVG and more about them just being crap for a week or two at a time).

    @PureBwa: Sorry I missed your comment initially. The team looks good. With OPS vs. AVG, I’d avoid guys whose best category is SB. But Tabata was good value at that pick and Victorino has some balance. That said, if you can get an upgrade in power for either in trade, I’d do it. I’d also consider dropping Casilla for power potential (Moreland? Ki’ihue?)

  71. mauledbypandas says:
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    ugh, watching Dodgers ST game and Lilly can’t find the strike zone. Hopefully he is just working some things out because it’s scary bad.

  72. @Chris Rite: If your league is competitive, isn’t it tough to stream 5 pitchers with advantageous matchups?

  73. GTG says:
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    Would appreciate any comments on this 10-team, AL-only 5×5 league:

    C A.J. Pierzynski,
    1B Adrian Gonzalez
    2B Mark Ellis, Oak
    3B Mark Reynolds
    SS Elvis Andrus
    2B/SS Will Rhymes
    1B/3B Justin Morneau
    OF Shin-Soo Choo
    OF Grady Sizemore
    OF Manny Ramirez
    OF Michael Cuddyer
    OF David Murphy
    UTIL Vladimir Guerrero
    Bench Jake Fox, Bal
    Bench Mark Trumbo
    DL Carlos Guillen*

    P Neftali Feliz
    P Trevor Cahill
    P Gio Gonzalez
    P Michael Pineda
    P Daniel Bard
    P Edwin Jackson
    P Ervin Santana
    P Fausto Carmona
    P Darren Oliver
    Bench Darren O’Day

    Clearly, I have too many starters and need to move at least one for a closer if possible.

  74. Chris Rite says:
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    @Rudy Gamble:

    Stream? no. Advantageous matchups, to a degree but if im ignoring whip/era i dont think it plays a huge part. By the way, i forgot to tell u the extra categories in my 6 by 6 league, total bases and quality starts. If it makes any difference, i figured with these 2 being the extra categories, big homerun hitters (4 total bases per homerun) and streaming pitching made sense. You gotta figure, there are 8 teams, maybe 9 SP’s or so per team, 72 owned starters. 150 starters in the MLB give or take, should be 75 starters with a 1/5th chance of starting that day or 15 starters avalible a day. I should be able to consistently find guys with okay matchups imo.

  75. Hans says:
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    I wouldn’t consider Morneau a “reliable vet” is he relied on to get hurt nowadays…I mean I don’t hate the pick his upside is tremendous. Also thought you definitely reached on Daniel Hudson and Starlin Castro…..very early on both of those guys….I guess you guys really like them?

  76. Asdrubal Bastardo says:
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    Just curious, who were the RotoWire.com guys? I work for them covering the Sacramento Kings.

  77. Beau says:
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    I did a draft the other day and wondered if you could give me feedback.
    10 man league

    1. (8) Ryan Howard 1B
    2. (13) Roy Halladay SP
    3. (28) CC Sabathia SP
    4. (33) Andrew McCutchen OF
    5. (48) Derek Jeter SS
    6. (53) Hunter Pence OF
    7. (68) Shane Victorino OF
    8. (73) Martín Prado 2B,3B
    9. (88) David Ortiz Util
    10. (93) Carlos Mármol RP
    11. (108) Ryan Dempster SP
    12. (113) Zack Greinke SP
    13. (128) Torii Hunter OF
    14. (133) Hiroki Kuroda SP
    15. (148) Kelly Johnson 2B
    16. (153) Brett Myers SP
    17. (168) Ryan Franklin RP
    18. (173) Ryan Madson RP
    19. (188) Trevor Cahill SP
    20. (193) Scott Rolen 3B
    21. (208) Carl Pavano SP
    22. (213) Kurt Suzuki C
    23. (228) Asdrubal Cabrera SS

    I have an open spot since Greinke on DL. Top FA’s as of Yahoo are

    Figgins, Y.Escobar, Freese, Rayburn…Suggestions on lineup/rotation/ any pickups? Thanks

  78. FYI, here are comments from the draft participants. We evidently drafted predictably since we accounted for none of the ‘reaches’ or ‘steals’ of the draft: http://sports.yahoo.com/fantasy/mlb/news?slug=bf-funston_friends_family_draft_qanda_032511

    @GTG: The team looks solid! The lineup has a great core (A-Gonz, Choo, Morneau) and depth that should deliver a high amount of (relatively) quality ABs. Trumbo is a great bench pick. The pitching staff has good depth (if no ace). You’re not going to be able to trade SP for a closer but forget about that. Your team isn’t going to do fantastic in ERA/WHIP but your depth can keep it competitive in W/K. Feliz is a great closer and hopefully you can snag some saves via the waiver wire.

    @Chris Rite: Okay. Makes sense on TBs but I imagine other teams will be streaming SPs as well. It can work but its success is harder if more than one team is streaming.

    @Hans: The concussion was a fluke. He managed 135+ games the last 5 years with 30/100 in three of them. To get him in the same round as Billy “No Power” Butler. We’ll take it. Re: Hudson, yeah, it does seem we like him more than most. I bought into the MARCEL/WHIP projections of 3.50/1.20 with 8 K/9IP and was the top SP on our board when we took him. But he definitely has risk. Re: Castro, I had his Point Shares at #132 and we drafted him at #108. Given the inflation of SS in a draft like this, that’s as close to ‘market price’ you can get for a SS. I think he earns this pick before factoring in upside potential (if he combines .300 + 15 HRs, he’ll be picked 5 rounds earlier next year).

    @Asdrubal Bastardo: Jeff Erickson, Dalton Del Don, Christopher Liss. I got to talk a bunch with Jeff and Dalton at the LABR drafts in Phoenix. Good guys.

  79. 2`@Beau: So I’m assuming this is 10 team 5×5, right? I have to be honest – not a big fan of this draft. I’m not a fan of drafting SPs in 2nd/3rd round or three OFs in first 7 rounds. But, tactics aside, where’s the power? Only one of your top 5 and maybe 3 of your top 12 have 20 HR power (Howard, Pence, Ortiz). I’d see this team as potentially bottom two in HR/RBI and generally weak across the board on offense. The starting pitching is very good (Greinke in 12th round, wow!) and should put you near the top in W/K/ERA/WHIP. But you’ll be bottom third potentially in Saves unless you have a lot of SAGNOF luck. I think you would’ve been better off drafting a big bat instead of either Halladay or Sabathia and drafted power instead of Jeter and Prado. Just my two cents…

  80. Chad says:
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    I agree with you on your Cruz vs. Choo decision as Choo was a very good pick last year when he came a few rounds cheaper as he gave you solid production but he just doesn’t have any upside that I can see other than perhaps getting a few more runs/RBI’s if their lineup produces better with Santana healthy and Brantley giving them a bit more upside from their leadoff. Cruz has 30-30 upside while Choo has 20-20 upside and is in a much, much more potent lineup. A Choo pick won’t lose someone a league but not likely to be a difference maker in winning one either.

    Also, to those criticizing your RP’s, they are really not taking league size into consideration at all. With 14 teams even having 3 of them with jobs currently is a major luxury, not to mention having one of them a top 5 guy. They are also discounting Lyons way too much because of where he plays since he did very well last year when Lindstrom was out and has absolutely nobody of any significance whatsoever behind him. As for Rodney, he went 37 of 38 in save chances two years ago so anything is possible. He’s a risk and won’t help you anywhere in the ratios but he comes cheaper than many of the setup men and has a closing gig. He seemed to sit around forever in my draft after some major closer runs until I finally nabbed him. Glad I did now to make up for losing Lidge for a while (grabbing Lidge is where my true regrets lie).

  81. TheBravesWearPrado says:
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    @Rudy I appreciate the honesty. I’m not a fan of this team either. It was actually my first auction draft ever and I was hesitant to spend money at first which explains the lack of an elite player on my offense.

  82. @Chad: Thx. Yeah, I’m on the same page obviously re: Cruz vs. Choo. I have an AL-only draft tomorrow – will be interesting to see what prices they go for.

    @TheBravesWearPrado: Ah…an auction draft. Yeah, it takes a couple drafts to feel comfortable with it. I recommend going in w/ my dollar values! :0

  83. GTG says:
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    Grey — Razzball and WSJ are probably the only two things I read every day…

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