After fourteen drafts/auctions I am finally done selecting players. It was a long (and tiring) stretch of two weeks, but I don’t regret one thing. Although give me a few more days of watching my pitchers get knocked around and I might have a change of heart. The aforementioned drafts consisted of four points league auctions, one points league snake draft, five various mock drafts with the fantasy baseball gurus over at CBS, and four Razzball Commentator Leagues, concluding with the Razzball Experts league. Towards the end, my selections almost began to feel robotic. Something akin to a human auto-drafter. And while we’re discussing auto-drafting, I’d like to announce that I hate auto-drafters. Not the actual person, but the act of auto-drafting. Unless you’ve actually taken the time to legitimately rank your players, your presence (or lack there of) at our draft annoys me. And if you end up with two or more catchers or a handful of middle relievers/closers I’m talking about you.

Of all the drafts/auctions I participated in the one I’d like to discuss is the experts points league auction for the league known as The Points League. I’ve accepted that points leagues are the red-headed step child of fantasy baseball, but the bottom line is that many do play the format. Despite this fact most “experts” refuse to give points leagues much, if any, attention. And if they are in a points leagues, they generally don’t publicize as much. I bet the number of closet points league players is staggering. It’s 2017 people, you can come out of the closet.

A few weeks back I decided I was going to attempt to organize an experts points leagues by inviting some very smart, and mostly respected, fantasy baseball analysts/writers from across the online world of fantasy baseball. When all was said and done, and the league was filled, here are the fierce competitors vying to be the champion of The Points League:

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Draft season is done and over.  Did that seem to drag or what?  I’m pretty sure I had a draft every night for about 11 straight days there.  I’m ready for real baseball.  You can close out of your cheat sheets now.  Take a breathe….OK stop….time to get on the RCL grind!  Grab your caffeine vessel of choice and start researching tomorrow’s batty calls.  

We’ll be looking at all the draft data that all of you contributed from the evening of February 22nd all the way until this past Sunday night.  That’s just over a month of draft data to break down, dissect and tear apart.  Next week, we’ll be able to dig into all those RCL teams a bit, but this week, it’s all about those drafts.  Without further ado, let’s dig into how the RCLers drafted this year.

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Long ago, when I was but a young boy, I would decipher Matthew Berry articles on ESPN, strategizing for my fantasy baseball draft with all my closest associates, writhing in anticipation. Soaked like I was just urinated on by a large pack of giraffes, waking up from dreams soaked in sweat, I wasn’t sure if this was all real or not. Did I really help cover up the murder of a stripper last night? Did I sleep with Anna-Nicole Smith? Isn’t she dead? I just adored fantasy baseball! Anyway, this went on for a few years until a grand man by the name of Josephine Morris told me of a certain gentleman, a mustached little man who curiously resembled Don Mattingly. Josephine told me:

“You, Tehol, my closest and must trusted friend, have mastered fantasy baseball. That is, mastered it against peasants like our peanut-brained friends… but if you want to go to another level of metaphysical wizardry, well, then you must go to a a little place where the beer flows like wine and the seagulls flock like the salmon of Capistrano… a little place called… Razzball.com…”

The rest is history. But now you know there was a man named Grey Albright and he saved me… in every way a person can be saved.

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I’m trying an experiment.  I’m writing this opening lede before the actual draft.  I wish there was some way to timestamp this, but you’ll have to take my word for it.  *cracks knuckles*  Here we go!  Ooh, Tehol grabbed Dominic Brown!  Wow, he must be expecting a bounce back, or Dominic Brown is his daddy.  Like a teamster painter, I’m leaning on the latter.  Damn, Rappin’ Ralph grabbed Benintendi, Manuel Margot, and Roman Quinn?  Rookies are his ‘Bud Fox’s Bluestar.’  Oh my God, Rudy grabbed three catchers!  (I had an advantage predicting this one, because I knew Rudy was autodrafting due to a family obligation.)  Jay grabbed Chase Headley with the 5th round pick and R.A. Dickey in the 7th!  In the chatroom, Malamoney asked how many points a home run gets in this league?  Yes, of course, he did!  JB drafted Joe Ross, then called me on speakerphone from an internet cafe where WHERE ARE YOU NOW?! is playing.  MattTruss drafted…Actually I don’t know what Truss will do, which has me worried.  Stupid wild cards!  And, of course, I drafted Rougned Odor.  Boy, that was a fun draft, and Tehol only timed out on his picks three times trying to get his Periscope thing to work.  *reading back what I wrote after the draft*  Well, I got the Odor part right.  Anyway, here’s my thoughts on our RCL draft, it’s a 12-team, mixed league:

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This draft is a crock pot vs. a microwave.  A love sesh vs. a ‘hold the moan.’  A nature hike vs. “I’m gonna sit in the car as we drive past some mountains.”  Guys and five girl readers, it’s a slow draft.  This slow draft took about twenty-three days, 18 hours, four minutes and–okay, only a lunatic counts seconds.  Not almost 24 days of straight drafting, mind you.  I don’t need to ice my clicky finger.  It’s five minutes of drafting, twelve hours of waiting.  It does allow you to second-guess your picks.  Actually, more like triple-guess.  (Who are we kidding, you quadruple-guess, fiveruple-guess, sextruple-guess, ochocinco-guess your picks.)  And, still, of course, I drafted Rougned Odor.  *takes a long inhale*  Damn, that smells good!  For those not in the know, it’s a weekly, 15-team, two-catcher league that lasts for 50 rounds and there’s no waivers.  Anyway, here’s my NFBC draft recap:

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We’ve called off the animals and what’s left standing are 74 Razzball Commenter Leagues.  That’s down from 85 in 2016.  We didn’t have VinWins creating 15 leagues all of his own this year though.  All in all, not too shabby.  If you missed the boat on joining, what took you so long?  If you’re really hankering for a league though, post below and if we get enough interest maybe we can get one last league brewing for all the procrastinators out there.  It will have to be a popular draft time (likely night, think ~9 PM EST) and it should give everyone plenty of time to join (Thursday/Friday/Saturday).  Let me know in the comments and we’ll get you hooked up.

Of our 74 RCLs, 46 of them have drafted.  Simple math tells us that we’ve got a lot of drafts going off this week.  Which means a lot more ADP data to look at.  The RCL ADP sheet has been getting lots of love.  There’s anonymous animals all over that thing from 7-10 PM every night.  I’m glad you’re all finding that useful.  We’ll be going over some more of that data today as well as some early trades that have taken place in the RCLs.  Let’s get to it!

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True story:  I was walking through the mall in spandex shorts and a headband, strutting really.  The year was 1981.  I was perhaps the most handsome, well-groomed five-year-old the planet had seen.  Okay, a seven-year-old pretending to be a five-year-old.  Who wants to be older?  Not me, Cousin Sweatpants.  So, I’m cruising for chicks, crushing the scenario, when I see this total fox.  I stop her and ask for a name.  She says, “Jennifer Beals,” and I say, “You’re gonna be a star, kid,” then covering my mouth I say how her fame will be short-lived but how she will get some decent character work later in life.  I spotted her sex appeal two years prior to her breakout role in Flashdance.  I can always spot sex appeal.  It’s my cross to bear.  Speaking of crosses to bear, holy Jesus Harry Christ my Tout Wars team is sexy!  The league is 12-team, two-catcher, NL-Only and perhaps the most respected fantasy league in the country.  Sure, we’re still mocked by 99.9% of the world, but a solid chunk of other fantasy baseballers respect the Tout!  Anyway, here’s my Tout Wars team and some thoughts:

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Chris Davis is barely a replacement player in most standard points leagues. Some might find it hard to believe that a guy that is nearly a lock for close to 40 home runs almost deserves to go undrafted, but it’s the truth. In auction leagues I love to nominate him and let people throw away their valuable auction dollars on Davis. According to my valuations, he is worth one dollar. Yes, to no surprise here are his sale prices in my last few auctions: $13, $3, $12 and $6. That should read $1, $1, $1 and $1. I am very glad it does not because that means that one team in my league now has that many less dollars to spend on players and they spent it foolishly.

Razzball Commenter Leagues are open! Play against our contributors and your fellow readers for prizes. Join here!

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It’s been a long tradition here at Razzball, passed on from generation to generation by word of…keyboard; don’t draft a starter in the first round.  There always seems to be those faces in the crowd that will argue until they are blue in the face that Kershaw is worth a top 2 pick.  All leagues are different, of course.  There are leagues, such as NFBC leagues or other leagues with limited moves where quality innings are hard to come by that top pitchers make more sense.  However, we tend to focus on the ESPN 12 team leagues we know and love, the RCLs.  In this format, you’re doing yourself a disservice drafting a first round pitcher.  I’ve said it, “I’m not here to suggest that if you draft a pitcher in the first round, you’ll lose the league, but you’re not doing yourself any favors.”  Grey has said it, “These tiers are from Kershaw to Lester.  If you draft someone from these tiers, you’ll probably lose your league or get lucky with your hitters.”  Countless other top RCLers have echoed the same sentiment.  Yet, there is Clayton Kershaw with an ADP of 10.5 and a high pick of #2 overall.  Just last week in an RCL I put together there was a spirited discussion as a drafter took Kershaw 4th overall.  The debate raged on as this drafter went on to take Max Scherzer in the 2nd round, 21st overall.  There were talks of “1/6th of my GS will now have elite ratios” and “Elite starters are so valuable with all this offense around the league”.  I’m not typically one to throw out anecdotal claims, so let’s look at some cold, hard numbers to see if the old spiel holds true.

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When twelve writers get together for an RCL draft you know they are going to have something to say about it.  After all, we’re all loaded with opinions and clearly love to hear ourselves talk (type).  The Writers League RCL has been debunk for a little while but Grey had me revive it this year.  I was thrilled to get my fellow writers together for a season of RCL fun.  On Thursday, March 9th at 9pm EST, eleven other writers and myself settled in for an early season draft.  You can check out all the draft results HERE to follow along.  This season’s participants in RCL draft order are:

Razzball Commenter Leagues are open! Play against our contributors and your fellow readers for prizes. Join here!

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