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Head-to-Head, or H2H if you’re into abbreviations that look like R&B groups, doesn’t change a lot from our 2012 fantasy baseball rankings.  There are 300 billion suns in the Milky Way galaxy.  There are 100s of billions of galaxies in the universe.  There are at least 256,000 planets exactly like Earth.  Yet, there’s one Albert Pujols.  (Though Palbert Ujols on Planet Crimea is pretty good too.)  The strategy to play H2H changes.  You aren’t hoping Lind hits 30 homers by October, but whether or not he’ll hit two homers on Sunday or if you should sit him to try and win steals.  It’s all about the match-ups, y’all!  So you want to build a team that can match up well with any other team.  (FYI, I’ve gone over this stuff before, but some of you might need a pine tree refresher hung from your rear view.)  Anyway, let’s look at some H2H fantasy baseball draft strategy:

1. Avoid guys that are prone to nagging injuries.

This is not to say a guy who is DL’d.  They go on the DL and that’s fine because then you can replace them.  Nagging injuries?  Whole different bailiwick.  You put Rickie Weeks on an H2H team and you wanna strangle someone.  Hopefully, not the guy sitting behind you wearing biker shorts and eating an apple.  Go ahead, look behind you.  Yeah, that’s me.  What’s up?  Since H2H is played on a week-to-week basis, you can’t afford to take many goose eggs as a player nurses his hammy day-to-day.  BTW, I once nursed a hammy and everyone kept asking me why I was breastfeeding a pig.

2. Don’t punt anything, but don’t buy steal-only guys.

What’s Bourn or Nyjer Morgan et al going to get you?  2 steals per week?  They’re not going to win you steals.  So you’re going to get 3 steals from Bourn one week, your opponent is going to get 5 steals from his whole team and you’re going to lose steals anyway.  Or you’re not going to get anything from the aforementioned et al’s then you’re going to lose that week too.  You just lost two weeks and the season hasn’t even started yet.  See what those steal-only guys get you?  That doesn’t mean to punt these categories.  It means draft a balanced team.  Guys that will get you speed and power.  Then if the weekend rolls around and you’re within breathing distance of winning speed, you pick up some steals off waivers to try and win it.  If someone is going against you and you punt steals, then you’re giving them one category.  Are they giving you categories?  No offense, you seem like a good person, but I wouldn’t give you any categories.  There will be weeks when you’ll be out of the running for steals (pun point!) then you can make the decision to punt at that point (punt point!).

3. Starters, Starters, Starters…

If you can’t beat them with quality, you beat them with quantity.  Chances are you should be able to win Ks and Wins every week with this drafting strategy.  Then if you can win Saves, you’re only dealing with WHIP and ERA.  Figure at least once in a while your opponent is going to lose ERA or WHIP on their own doing.  Figure a few times you’ll win ERA and WHIP on your own doing.  So in roto I say take a late round flier on possible saves or a starter, with H2H, I say always take a starter.  Then another starter, then another.  Take them until you can’t take anymore.  This also means to wait even longer for starters.  Pretty self-explanatory, but for those who like self-explanatory things explained.  You don’t need a top starter when you’re throwing lots of junk out there anyway.

4. The Waivers are Your Oysters.

Don’t like Mike Carp’s match-ups this week.  Then, as CT from MTV’s The Challenge used to say, carpe diem and grab a different player off waivers.  I take this approach in roto too, but in H2H it’s even more pronounced.  Besides some of your top hitters and pitchers, everyone’s fluid.  To mix metaphors with nonsense, the waiver wire is your own personal Idaho filled with potatoes and you’re an Irishman.

From Around The Web

  1. Terrence Mann says:
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    Can’t wait to see your NL West pitcher team. 6 starters in the division go in the top 12 rounds. It may be feasible to have your whole pitching staff go against SF, the Dodgers, and the Padres, and that’s it.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @Terrence Mann, I think last year I was gonna do an all Padres staff.

  2. Hats For Bats says:
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    Why do I feel like this article is a repaste from last year. At least wrap that bad boy in a nice mustache before you unleash it on the world.

    • Hats For Bats says:
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      @Hats For Bats, saw your disclaimer, proceeded to slap myself in the face and then drank Jobu’s rum.

  3. B.o.B. says:
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    Hey Grey! I always stress out during the first about 5 rounds of drafts by over-analyzing, worrying a thin position like SS will fly off the board and then getting stuck with Nadir Bupkus, etc etc. I know you have the article about pairings for the first 2 rounds, but you say that it’s setup for a 12 team, MI, CI, 5 OF, 1 Util, 1 C league. I absolutely love this article because, like I’ve said in one of my previous posts, I always ask myself, “self, WWGD?” during my drafts. However, my main league is a standard 5×5, 10 team, 1 C, 1B, 2B, 3B, SS, 3 OF, 1 Util league…so much shallower than what your article was made for. I was wondering if you could possibly do something similar for shallow leagues and/or go further out than just 2 rounds, like maybe 5? Or if that’s not plausible, maybe just a shallow league strategy article?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @B.o.B., In shallow leagues, take the best player available and follow the category targets…

  4. TheNewGuy says:
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    Playing in my first H2H this year (yes Iam wierd!), though our league has a 10 start max on starters each week. Therefore I guess I can’t quite load up on starters like you say but would drafting a 7 man rotation be about right?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @TheNewGuy, Sure

    • Awesomus Maximus

      Awesomus Maximus says:
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      @Awesomus Maximus, Just give it a minute to load. Challenge was awesome, too. Did your DVR grab that?

      • Grey

        Grey says:
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        @Awesomus Maximus, I watched them both last night on my computer. Wow. Wait, what? Wow…

        • Awesomus Maximus

          Awesomus Maximus says:
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          @Grey, Hands down, dumbest move in Survivor history. I don’t care how it plays out, there is NO upside. At least when Chewbacca Head gave up individual immunity and was promptly voted out, that could have played well to the jury (still the dumbest move prior to this, but I’m just saying, there was SOME possible upside). With this, it’s just all good for Colton… one less man around, one less person who can’t stand him around. It boggles the mind how no one stopped when they heard the idea and said, “Who came up with this idea? Colton? And he’s serious? Okay, then obviously he has no clue how to play Survivor and we need to put him on mute. Let’s go collect some wood.”

          And black face? Are you f’n kidding me? No, wait, not even just black face… she used chocolate! Floored… as in, I was literally on my floor. And then her “I was in a cult” story wasn’t interesting at all, double foul.

          • Grey

            Grey says:
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            @Awesomus Maximus, I’m not sure how Colton has managed to become the head of this tribe. He’s openly nasty to people, doesn’t play well with others, doesn’t do anything around camp, doesn’t do well in challenges and is annoying. He’s found the perfect mix of crazy followers (Troy/Tarzan) and weak-spined men (Little Man, Jonas, the once cool kids). Then there’s the logical thing to say that wasn’t said by anyone, “Hey, there’s like five tribals before the merge, we really don’t need to lose someone right now.” Incredible! I understand why they didn’t show the final decision where the girls are notified for the reveal at Tribal but I would’ve liked to have seen that convo between the men and women.

            The Challenge was funny because it kinda felt like they were doing a very special episode like Arnold in the bicycle shop, but it’s the Challenge, all ridiculousness is done from a place of I’m stupid drunk.

            • Awesomus Maximus

              Awesomus Maximus says:
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              @Grey, Colton gained power by forming an alliance around the idol… I get that. Why that is still carrying any weight through all of his vile and lazy behavior is beyond me. They all just seem to afraid to be the first (or only) one to speak up. He stepped in shit and thinks it was a master plan, which only serves to annoy me further.

              From the “How Did You Not Know This Was Coming?” department, it looks like the men and women will get mixed around next week, forcing Colton to look for another pile of shit to step in.

              • Grey

                Grey says:
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                @Awesomus Maximus, I hope they don’t mix up the men and women next week (though I think they do too). I wish the producers wouldn’t step in to force the men (or just Colton) to play a different hand. Yeah, I get the idol thing but I don’t know why that doesn’t make someone a target rather than make them stronger. BTW, am I remembering it correctly or did Bill say he needed to look for an idol even though he already knows from a previous tribal that Colton has it. BTW II, I’m all for Bill’s laugh choices but it would’ve been nice if he were actually funny.

                • Awesomus Maximus

                  Awesomus Maximus says:
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                  @Grey, When has a stand-up comedian ever been funny on a reality show? He and Jonas, I think, were talking about finding any idol. They know that Colton has one, but they also know that the girls gave it to him. I don’t think anyone but the girl who found the idol is aware that you HAVE to give it to someone else when you find it. Know what I mean?

                  • Grey

                    Grey says:
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                    @Awesomus Maximus, Hey, Ralphie May! Oh, I see what you’re saying, they would’ve looked for the girl’s idol. That actually would’ve been pretty funny if they found it and it was like, this is no good to you. That reminds me, that girl found the men’s on the first day (or something). If you were her, wouldn’t you be looking for the other one too?

                    • Awesomus Maximus

                      Awesomus Maximus says:
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                      @Grey, I consider Last Comic Standing a game show. I guess Survivor could be considered a game show, too, but the focus is on the human interaction, so I consider it reality.

                      Anygravy, I would assume that there are “men-only” and “women-only” designated areas, and that’s where the idols are hidden. You don’t see they foraging/wandering in the same areas; they’re always separate accept for at the main camp area.

                    • Grey

                      Grey says:
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                      @Awesomus Maximus, Ah… I see, so you think the women’s idol is in the men’s only area? That could be…

                    • Awesomus Maximus

                      Awesomus Maximus says:
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                      @Grey, Wow… was I drunk in that last post? “You don’t see they…”? “… accept for…”? I blame my daughter; frustration makes your brain sleep.

                      But yeah, I think they have a safeguard to insure that only a man could find the women’s idol and vice-versa, and separate roaming areas makes the most sense.

                    • Grey

                      Grey says:
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                      @Awesomus Maximus, Very purseptive of you! Yeah, you’re probably right… That’s actually kind of a brilliant producer move… Little did they know the men would talk about the idol but never even go search for it.

                    • Awesomus Maximus

                      Awesomus Maximus says:
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                      @Grey, Who knows… they may have searched a bit, but there was no footage worth airing.

                    • Grey

                      Grey says:
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                      @Awesomus Maximus, True…

  5. Purewater says:
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    Color me confused. In my H2H league on CBS, we don’t “win” K, ERA, saves or anything else. Just straight-up total points based on a wide number of categories, i.e. each win or save is 10 pts. Most total points wins.

    • Bourne says:
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      @Purewater, half of h2h leagues still do roto cats. You get a win for each cat you beat your opponent in and that gives you a record of wins losses and ties

      • Purewater says:
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        @Bourne, Thanks for clearing that up! Hopefully Razzball will give H2H point leagues some consideration with future posts.

        • FilthyRich says:
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          @Purewater,
          I came to the comments to ask the same question. Grey – any chance you can do an article on strategy for a H2H points-based league like CBS has? The leagues I play in there don’t matter where you get your points from – SB, RBI, HR, whatever. You beat your opponent by scoring the most points, period.

  6. chata says:
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    i want to be the guy starting bourn and ellsbury and have you be the
    guy doing this :
    “There will be weeks when you’ll be out of the running for steals (pun point!) then you can make the decision to punt at that point (punt point!).”

  7. Jangles says:
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    Do you like H2H, Grey? What’s your favorite FLB format?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @Jangles, Roto

  8. Tony says:
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    H2H theory: defly avoid guys like grey said above who seem to have nagging injuries, i just dont want guys on my team that I KNOW are going to probably have a DL stint or 3…. anyone can get hurt, some guys have a knack for it!

    In H2H i like to have surplus offense to rotate in and i just play pitching matchups, most leagues im in have an innings limit and you’ll see guys bench their pitchers if it benefits them more than throwing them and they’ve got cats locked up….

    Essentially you need to know your leagues settings. My leagues count individual hits, 1B, 2B, 3B, HR etc… therefore AVG is kind of a high priority.

    Guys who are notorious for hot 2nd halfs, clutch in H2H….

    Deal early season hot starts for a slow starting guy you have more faith in, usually that hot start fizzles, and the proven guy averages out.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @Tony, Good points…

    • Sam says:
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      @Tony, Exactly. Read: 2011 Gaby Sanchez

    • 3FingersBrown says:
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      @Tony, Words to live by. Gotta play matchups. I’ll often sit guys if it’s to my advantage. Lefty/righty, home/away splits all play a big part in daily strategy. We don’t have an innings limit in my league but we have an 80 moves max for the season – which averages out to about 3 moves a week including the playoffs. With that, I’ll usually keep a slot or two open just to stream matchups.

      Another thing about injuries – If you do have one of those risky guys, trade him when he’s healthy and thriving. Injuries – especially late in the season will destroy you in H2H.

      And yeah flip those guys off to ridiculously hot starts. Conversely, if you like a guy, have faith. It’s a long season and there’s always next week. This coming from a guy who dumped Kendrys Morales in ’09 after a so-so April and May.

  9. HotCorner306 says:
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    @Grey, we’er switching things up and going to a Yahoo! H2H (one win) league this year. Thanks for putting this article up. Draft strategy won’t change much. Just have to look at things more short-term.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @HotCorner306, No problem…

  10. mauledbypandas says:
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    I am trying a new h2h strategy this year.. playing only roto leagues :emoticon:

    • Wake Up says:
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      @mauledbypandas, Sounds like someone got lucked…

      • mauledbypandas says:
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        @Wake Up, not really. Just played it one year and didn’t like the format. I actually won the league too :p

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @mauledbypandas, Ha

  11. Wilsonian says:
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    Thanks for the look at my roster last night. I posted another question about it in the forums. I’d definitely appreciate another gander at it if/when you get a chance. I’m worried about the back end of my rotation. Thanks!

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @Wilsonian, Okay…

  12. Rob says:
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    Got the 9th spot in a draft tonight looking at going two different routes.

    Going to take the best avail 1B at 9 (votto, fielder, gonzo), then at 16 is where i have a decision. If someone like Cargo, Upton, Longo falls then i’ll definitely take them, but more likely I’ll be deciding between taking Stanton/McCutchen/Hanley or taking Halladay. I had Votto and Halladay as my first two picks last year and won the league, so i’m trying not to be blinded by that. If i wait on pitching till the 3rd i’ll probably be choosing between Hamels or Greinke but not sure that gives me a significant advantage.

    So after my first 4 picks (9,16,33,40) i could look like this:

    Fielder, Halladay, Zimmerman, and Pence

    or

    Fielder, Hanley, Hamels, and Pence

    What say you?!

    • Tony says:
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      @Rob, i like the picks scenarios but i’d take another hitter and skip the pitcher til about rd 5 or 6 even….

      • CT Old School says:
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        @Tony, Grey is nuts for Baumgarner, who you can get late in round 7 or early 8. Go back-to-back-to back with him and two guys from his next tier (Latos, Hudson, Zimmerman, A. Sanchez) and you’ve set yourself up with great hitting 1-6 and then three solid arms 7-9. Now you’re set to grab a middling closer and fill roster holes. That’s my plan, anyway.

    • L-Boogie says:
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      @Rob, I’m in the same spot at 7. Looking at Votto in round 1, trying to decide between HanRam, Stanton, and McCutchen in round 2, but I’m dead set on a 3B in the third, even though HanRam will gain 3B eligibility. Then again, at pick 18 I’ll have a little less flexibility than you in round 2.

  13. Sir Larry says:
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    Good advice. Especially as it relates to public breastfeeding of farm life. But, I have a humdinger of a follow-up for you as it relates to my particular H2H league setup.

    Grey, how would you adjust your draft strategy as it relates to the following differences from standard H2H:

    – to the standard categories we add a negative category (where ‘less is more’) to both hitters & pitchers: Hitter Strikeouts, and Pitcher Losses,
    – it is required that a min 25 innings be completed by your pitching staff in a given week to qualify for ERA, WHIP, and Losses categories, and
    – the waiver acquisition limit is a scant 20 over the WHOLE SEASON.

    How would you approach things differently given these changes? Would you now choose to punt some? Would the use of starters change, given you cannot stream them?

    Thanks again, for your knowledge and your mustache.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @Sir Larry, The acquisition limit makes the biggest difference. You need to get quality arms since you can’t stream. Also, I’d stay away from SPs on terrible teams. And I wouldn’t draft Mark Reynolds.

      • Sir Larry says:
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        @Grey, Noted. Reynolds = bad, solid SPs = good. Much appreciated!

  14. Wake Up says:
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    In a keeper league, through trading and general tomfoolery, one of the 12 owners will be keeping:
    Halladay
    Kershaw
    Lee
    Haren
    Cain
    Latos
    It’s a 6×6 (OPS,QS) H2H league. Would you adjust your draft strategy at all knowing that one of the other guys has gone Krazy? I usually go with quantity over quality, but, with that quantity of quality out of the loop(and he is very likely to take 3 more SP with his first 3 picks) should I just continue to enjoy the unraveling like I do with my favorite PJ Ten tee, or like one, or two, often do, reveling in the “he’s gonna get his just dessert” like a lactose-intolerant-German-schoolyard-bully on ice cream day…oh sweet, delicious shartinfreuda…

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @Wake Up, Ha… I’d draft pretty normally, there’s just six less pitchers.

  15. frank rizzo says:
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    Okay. So I play in a H2H league. I’m staring at Pedroia and Kinsler in the 2nd round. According to rule #1 in h2h strategy, shouldn’t I consider Pedroia?

    • Tony says:
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      @frank rizzo, h2h i’d take pedroia

    • Bada Bing says:
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      @frank rizzo, Not necessarily. Kinsler really hasn’t been a nagging injury guy. He gets hurt, goes on the DL for a month, then comes back same as he was before. Unlike a Youkilis last year who was day to day half the year, you know whether or not Kinsler is going to be in the lineup. I think if you value the two players the same, then you go the safe route. But if you personally have Kinsler way ahead of Pedroia(shouldn’t be the case, but we all have players we just don’t like, or love a lot).

      • Tom says:
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        @Bada Bing, Lol so true! I am staying away from Youk this year after getting burned so many times hearing he was going to be back and then checking the stats to see him not in yet again.

  16. Matt B says:
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    Great stuff! Perfect timing….But I think I may know your answer

    12 team 5×5 weekly h2h 1-win (keep 9 penalty free)
    Start 9 bats, 5 SP & 2 RP weekly

    Bats: Votto, Utley, ARod, Reyes, Granderson, Heyward
    SP: Greinke, Gallardo, Gio for 3 of 5 SP starters

    This league is bonkers for SP, 40 kept out of 108 keepers. Darvish & Beachy just went with picks 1 & 2 in our draft (Round 10). Should I reach for Anibal at pick 3 (#111)? CBS has him rated crazy high and he won’t make it back to me at pick 22 (#130). Or another route?

    Best Avail SP: Anibal, Romero, Hanson, Scherzer, Marcum, Morrow, Luebke, Cueto
    Best Avail Bats: Morse (tempted here for 3rd OF), Adam Jones, Stubbs, Gardner, M Young (2B/3B/Util help), B Butler, Lind, Maybin, Ackley, Monteros

    Thanks!

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @Matt B, Grab Anibal…

  17. tyler says:
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    in line with wake ups issue:

    i have played and won h2h using the take the top SPs available first 4/5 rounds, then top rps next 3/4 rounds, if done right this will leave you with a rotation like wake ups opp. and should win you all the P cats. or keep drafting top P until u sure of it, then with all your remaining picks just take SAGNOF guys at every position.

    I have used this strategy, and while not necessarily fun, it does give you a 6 and 4 record (5×5) every week, with the occasional point from runs or ba on a good week to make up for bad pitching weeks. a .600 winning percentage, wins your league or gets you in the playoffs, and then the winning just keeps on.

    if it wins, is it bad?
    is it wrong?

    i know it flies in the face of don’t punt a cat, but it doesnt count if you are punting four.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @tyler, If it’s won for you, you do what you do…

    • Tony says:
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      @tyler, i’d hate playing in a h2h league like that, i’d be disgusted watching an owner like you do that, not that its wrong, but its wrong! haha…. my league is 10×10, if you win week 1 and the score is 18-2, then you win week 2 and the score was 12-8 then you are now 30-10 and your scores keep tallying, so its H2H but the individual week doesn’t really matter if you win, you just dont want to get absolutely drilled. People can’t use that strategy in my league, as you can see having 10 hitting categories would crush that plan. Plus pitching has a 32 inning min…..

  18. DP says:
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    @grey Will you be doing a post that highlights players you have ranked much higher than yahoo does?

    • Chris says:
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      @DP,

      Agreed with this guy. Most of my leagues are yahoo this year, so a post highlighting their pre-rank potential bargains (like Espinosa, buried around pick 240) would be awesome.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @DP, Tomorrow…

  19. Anthony says:
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    @Grey: Which team looks better on paper
    Team 1:
    Avila
    Pujols
    Furcal
    Ortiz
    Pence
    Beltran
    Rollins
    Pablo Sand
    Bj Upton
    Jemile Weeks

    Team 2
    Longoria
    Pedroia
    Pablo Sands
    Pence
    McCann
    Berkman
    Gordon
    Bonifacio
    Jemile Weeks
    Duda

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @Anthony, 2

  20. crane game dispair says:
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    Who is the best keeper, based on performance only?

    Holland
    Beachy
    Scherzer
    J Garcia

    H2H Points leauge.

    Thanks Grey!

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @crane game dispair, Beachy

  21. probablepartystarter says:
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    I’m trying to decide on who has the pleasure of being my 5th keeper in my H2H. Keeping Votto, J. Upside, Kinsler and McCutchen. Now it comes down to Zimmerman or Hamilton. Both injury prove with nice solid numbers IFF healthy. Who would you dance with (and hopefully not step on their toes)?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @probablepartystarter, Zimm

  22. SpecialFNK says:
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    16 team keeper league. keep 5. yahoo, roto, 5×5.
    432 total players rostered.

    my current top 6 are..
    SP- David Price, 3B- Ryan Zimmerman, 1B- Paul Konerko, 2B- Dan Uggla, OF- Adam Jones, SP- Brandon Beachy.

    I would really like to keep Beachy and his great K rate.

    I had this trade offer to me.
    I get- OF- BJ Upton
    I give- 2B- Dan Uggla and Adam Jones.

    I should do this yes? I was considering not keeping Jones anyway.
    I think 2B is deep so I can draft one mid to late.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @SpecialFNK, Not crazy about it…

  23. DWRlovesKAR_OLR says:
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    @Grey
    I have my first(ever) draft tonight(RCL 13 at 9pm ET)
    Ive been following the website everyday(since around the start of the MLB Playoffs).
    I completed my final preparation for the draft tonight. While shaving this morning(I gave myself a Mustache)!

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @DWRlovesKAR_OLR, Very nice!

  24. peter says:
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    FWIW, I’ve only seen glimpses of Darvish pitching in spring training, but I’m pretty sure I see the “inverted w” in his delivery.

    The only value in pointing this out is, if he get injured, Grey can brag about how his commenters saw it first.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @peter, Noted!

  25. Brad Fullmer's Quads says:
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    Hey Hey,

    So I inadvertently punted 1B in a 14 team (5×5) league. If you had to start the year with one of the following, who would you choose from this pile of blech:

    Chris Davis
    Adam LaRoche
    James Loney
    Robot Jones
    Todd Helton
    Ty Wiggy

    *LaHair and Gamel are yet to have 1B elig

    Thanks!

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @Brad Fullmer’s Quads, Davis

    • Shane says:
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      @Brad Fullmer’s Quads,

      Blech. Helton for a week or 2, til LaHair is eligible. That’s a pretty terrible group.

      Don’t know if he’s eligible at 1B, but Betemit might be a decent spec grab.

      • Brad Fullmer's Quads says:
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        @Shane, Wilson doesnt have 1B elig, thought about that. thanks

  26. TualatinTwoStep says:
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    Grey,

    Based on this article, I’m thinking I should move Rickie Weeks on my 12 team H2H dynasty squad, as I was able to get Espinosa and Hill late in my draft. If I were to move Weeks for a SP, what tier of guys would be a reasonable expectation to get in return?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @TualatinTwoStep, Gio tier…

  27. Shane says:
    (link)

    @Grey:

    Having a bit of a debate with someone over this.

    If you had back to back to picks in a 6×6 league (w/ OPS), and already drafted Miggy, which 2 would you have taken of:

    Wright
    Zimmerman
    Hamilton
    Bruce
    Sandoval
    Konerko

    Based on your top 100, it seems like you’d go Wright/Bruce, but with OPS included…?

    • Shane says:
      (link)

      @Shane,

      And this is for a roto league, not H2H.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      @Shane, Wright/Bruce

  28. mindicohn says:
    (link)

    10tm5x5 roto.
    Debating my final keeper.
    Gordon$7
    J.Zimmerman $7
    Maybin$ 7

    Already have
    Price 15
    Cano 21
    Castro 10
    Kimbrel 8

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      @mindicohn, Gordon

  29. RussB says:
    (link)

    I won my league last year buy basically punting SP… I figured that I would win most of the offensive stats each week. I generally always lost WHIP and ERA, but it didn’t really matter because Id pick up Wins or Ks by starting two-start pitchers or playing matchups. My SP staff was all pitchers taken after round 7: Shields, Marcum, Wandy, and Kuroda. It wasn’t sexy, but it got the job done.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      @RussB, Yeah, whatever gets the job done in H2H.

  30. Wilsonian says:
    (link)

    Got offered Doc/Masterson for Lincecum/Luebke. Not doing it, but if I got Kennedy or Gio instead of Masterson, would it be better? Also, what if it was Lincecum/Garza for Doc/Kennedy or Doc/Gio?

    Cats: W, L, Sv, Ks, ERA, WHIP, Ks/9

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      @Wilsonian, Doc/Gio is solid… Lincecum/Garza works too…

      • Wilsonian says:
        (link)

        @Grey, Would you do it in this order:

        Doc/Gio for Lincecum/Luebke;
        Doc/Kennedy for Lincecum/Garza;
        Doc/Gio for Lincecum/Garza?

        • Grey

          Grey says:
          (link)

          @Wilsonian, Doc/Gio for Lincecum/Luebke, Doc/Gio for Lincecum/Garza…

          • Wilsonian says:
            (link)

            @Grey, No dice on any of those. He doesn’t like Garza. He mentioned Lincecum/Walden for Doc/League, but I said I’d have to get back to him. Do you think that’s fair? I’d then have Storen, Marmol, Farns, League.

  31. mets fan says:
    (link)

    Grey I’m in a 12 team h2h keeper league where you can keep 1 offensive and 1 pitcher after the 10th round on. Where should I start thinking about Bryce Harper?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      @mets fan, 10th round

  32. Bada Bing says:
    (link)

    Grey, 16 team H2H cat, 6×6 with OBP and QS league. I have the 8th pick and was going to target Votto, or Longoria if he isn’t there. I’m starting to think if Votto isn’t there, I would be better off going with Prince. Higher OBP, and I could pair him(hopefully) with Wright in the second round, or Lawrie/ARod in the 3rd. Thoughts?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      @Bada Bing, I’d go Longoria before Fielder, but if you’re feeling the opposite it’s kinda tomato-tomahto.

  33. Mr2Bits says:
    (link)

    Grey : Would you burn a 24th round pick on Mike Minor or shoot for other players that could be available? 10 team H2H Yahoo league that uses QS. Also wanted to close the loop on the Danny Espinosa question as he would be a 23rd pick in a 24 round draft. If I don’t call him up in my draft, he can be drafted by another team.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      @Mr2Bits, Call up Espinosa… Minor’s fine in the last round, but I don’t know who else would be available…

  34. chata says:
    (link)

    @ 12 team – 9 keeper league

    with strasburg as my only pitcher ,
    my choices were to flat-out drop jason heyward
    or
    trade jesus montero and desmond jennings
    for matt latos

    i traded for the pitcher .

    a) plain stupid
    b) that’s what you would have done
    c)
    ???

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      @chata, Don’t like it…

      • chata says:
        (link)

        @Grey,

        well ,
        he offered the choice of latos or pineda ,

        but double-checked your rankings ,

        and saw that latos was only 24 years old ,
        and had 185 K’s in 194 IP , last year .

        maybe i should have asked , first .

        • Grey

          Grey says:
          (link)

          @chata, I like Latos, but you gave up two huge names in keeper leagues for him… Bats are more reliable than arms too…

          • chata says:
            (link)

            @Grey,

            absolutely agree with what you’re saying , but ,
            after 108 keepers come off the board ,
            trying to build a staff with just Strasburg (175 innings ?)
            seemed daunting .

            as it stands , i still have some “chips” :
            kemp , votto , uggla , wright , bruce ,
            lawrie , heyward , strasburg , & , latos

            • Grey

              Grey says:
              (link)

              @chata, You had two more chips before the trade.

              • Mr2Bits says:
                (link)

                @Grey, This is about as bad as the guy who traded Verlander for Gaby Sanchez during his hot streak in one of my leagues last year.

                • Grey

                  Grey says:
                  (link)

                  @Mr2Bits, Ouch

  35. Jock says:
    (link)

    Grey, 10 team H2H Yahoo 7×7 with OBP. and SLG. and obpa. and Inherited Runs as the extra cats. Gotta play a 5th IF and 4th OF. Im already keeping Ad. Gonzalez, R. Zimmerman, and J. Hamilton. Need two more keepers out of Greinke, Cruz, Drubal, and Napoli. Thoughts and how would you rank them?

    Thanks, love the site!

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      @Jock, Thanks for the kind words! Cruz, Greinke…

  36. TheNewGuy says:
    (link)

    Looking at Ryan Roberts in my keeper league as an option for 2B. Much chance of him becoming another Baha man?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      @TheNewGuy, Yeah, good chance of it.

  37. Anthony says:
    (link)

    @Grey: Interesting – That first team was the team I had last season in my 10 man pay league and I won the league!

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      @Anthony, Not sure what you’re referring to…

      • Anthony says:
        (link)

        @Grey, referring to the two teams I asked you which look better on paper…. You said team #2. I said team 1 won my fantasy 10 man league last season …

  38. 3FingersBrown says:
    (link)

    @Grey, Great stuff for us degenerate H2H’ers. One thing to add is that I believe your pitcher pairings are even more important – especially if you play wins and loses (not points).

    All you need to win a category by is one, so there’s no sense in pitching 6 dirty-sanchez like high K guys who’ll kill your WHIP. Balance balance balance…

    That can be said for hitting too. I like to have my steals and HR production spread out – paired in the OF, if I’ve got 4 OFs. If a category is close late in the week, I’ll sub out whatever I’m leading in for the category I need. For example, swapping out a SAGNOF guy for a guy with more pop.

    I love these guys that say that H2H is all luck…

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      @3FingersBrown, Yeah, it’s just a different kind of strategy…

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      @3FingersBrown, Also, agree that balance is the most important factor…

      • 3FingersBrown says:
        (link)

        @Grey, I think positional flexibility is more important too – especially if you don’t have a games played limit. Having that extra guy who can slot in on Mondays and Thursdays can make a big difference.

        On another subject, something that’s weighing on my mind… counting QS, how would you rank these guys? I’m already keeping Kennedy for cheap. So I’m thinking of choosing between Grienke or Haren.

        Grienke
        Haren
        Hamels
        Lester

        I really like the odds on Haren stepping into 20 wins this season but Grienke’s K/9 is so sexy. Hamels is great but he scares me a bit. The Phils aren’t as good and the rest of the division (Mets aside) is improved. By the end of the last two seasons, he was limited by a sore shoulder – just in time for fantasy playoffs. I think his due date may be up.

        • Grey

          Grey says:
          (link)

          @3FingersBrown, Greinke or Haren works for me… I’d go Greinke…

    • Steve says:
      (link)

      @3FingersBrown, For sure it’s not all luck, but it’s hard not to feel hard done by when you lose a playoff matchup because someone’s Jorge Cantu got hot for a few days.

      Or you out out-homer a guy 12-3 and somehow lose the RBI category. Or you miss making the final by a single strike out. Not that I’m bitter about any of that, mind you…

      • 3FingersBrown says:
        (link)

        @Steve, That’s some of the fun to me. The best team doesn’t always win, sometimes it’s the best strategy that makes the difference. Sometimes a butterfly farts in China and the ball just bounces your way. Unless you’re doing some kind of sabermetric roto, you’re never going to have an accurate comp between real baseball and fantasy – which is an argument that I often hear from roto purists. Then again, I hate purists. They remind me of puritans and those who don’t drink beer…

        I almost won the finals last year after a couple of hot weeks from James Loney and Juan Rivera. Lucky? Maybe. I still had to be the dope who rosters those two schmohawks.

        I’ll always remember Wright just missing a homer against Pedro on a meaningless Sunday night in Philly to put me in the ’09 finals. That’s H2H baby (said in a Scotty Nguyen).

        *don’t get it twisted though. I still play roto.

        • Steve says:
          (link)

          @3FingersBrown, Yeah – I get you – I play roto too. And of course, if you’re the guy that has the hot schmohawks, that’s not luck – it’s a strategic masterstroke ;-)

  39. ThePoonTycoon says:
    (link)

    5 player keeper league trade advice:

    i currently have a gentlemen’s agreement to trade teixeira for hosmer + 7th round pick once trading opens up next week. however, the other owner has begun inquiring about fielder now, offering hosmer + bruce + 4th round pick for fielder.

    with the tex/hosmer deal, my keepers look like:
    braun
    fielder
    hosmer
    holliday
    gallardo

    with the fielder/hosmer/bruce deal, my keepers look like:
    braun
    teixeira
    hosmer
    bruce
    holliday/gallardo

    little feedback

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      @ThePoonTycoon, 2nd deal with Gallardo…

  40. mic says:
    (link)

    How comfortable would you be targeting Bumgarner as your first SP in an NFBC league… Most people aren’t as high on him as you are and would most likely go in the 6th round/ or should i draft him in the 5th to be safe…

    It’s mustache march, all the dudes at work are growing them out and were taking a picture at the end of the month… never in my life have i seen so much sexiness…

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      @mic, I thought it was Movember… You guys all trying to look like me? Aw, that’s sweet… I’d take Bumgarner as my first SP there.

  41. joe says:
    (link)

    Grey, love your site! In your top 100, you have Lawrie at 43, Jennings at 70, and Harper somewheres in the top 300… where would these young bucks rank in a keeper league? Thanks!

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      @joe, Thanks for the kind words! Harper would move up to around 100, Jennings in the 50s and Lawrie mid 3rd round…

  42. L-Boogie says:
    (link)

    This is long but interesting (maybe only to me). Grey, in your A-Gon blurb you said “For some reason (I’m sure someone knows), his ground balls went through the roof…”

    Earlier today, berry said this about A-Gon…

    “…I have him ranked ahead of Joey Votto and most rankings I’ve seen has them reversed. Here’s why I disagree: First, not only is it possible that Gonzalez outplays Votto; it wouldn’t be the first time. Gonzalez was the second-best first baseman on our Player Rater last year. Votto was fourth. But here’s something you might not know. Adrian did an interview for the Fantasy Focus podcast this offseason with me and Stephania Bell, and he said something fascinating: He’s actually been injured for two years now. He’s one of the toughest guys in baseball (just seven total games missed over the last three seasons) but now, heading into this year, he feels fully healthy. He told Stephania and me about how he had adjusted his swing because of his shoulder, and now that he feels he can extend fully, he spent his winter watching old tape to recapture his old swing because he thinks he’ll be better now that he can fully swing through the ball and… what?!!??”

    While I chalk this up more to insider info than thorough fantasy baseball analysis, it brings up a good point. We all knew about his bum shoulder, but a swing deviation is obviously the “for some reason” that made made his GB rate skyrocket. Now that he’s healthy and re-adjusted his swing, does it change how you feel about A-Gon at all and where he stands amongst the elite 1B?

    Thanks dude.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      @L-Boogie, I’m glad you shared this so don’t take this as me being flippant, but this sounds anecdotal like “I feel better than ever!” I still have him ranked very high and have already drafted him in a LABR league, so I hope he’s right.

      • L-Boogie says:
        (link)

        @Grey, Well yeah, with the 11th pick in a 15 team draft you took A-Gon. With the 7th pick though, I’m trying to decide between A-Gon and Votto.

        Interesting. I read your reasoning for choosing A-Gon even though you have Longo ranked much higher. But I don’t remember hearing why you didn’t take Prince even though you have him ranked one ahead of A-Gon.

        • Grey

          Grey says:
          (link)

          @L-Boogie, A-Gon and Fielder are a coin flip and I was drafting with Rudy and he wanted A-Gon…

  43. B.o.B says:
    (link)

    Word out there Guerra will be closing for Dodgers with Janson in the setup role.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      @B.o.B, Yup

    • Mr2Bits says:
      (link)

      @B.o.B, Thought is was a 2 horse race between Guerra and Balfour. Jansen was always the brides maid in this scenario

      • B.o.B. says:
        (link)

        @Mr2Bits, Yeah not sure why I was always under the impression Jansen was the guy

      • Grey

        Grey says:
        (link)

        @Mr2Bits, Balfour’s on the A’s…

  44. Arod's Frost says:
    (link)

    Grey,

    Doesn’t David Wright fall under the nagging injuries category? I remember people were suggesting his stress fracture last year might never fully heal.

    Wouldn’t this drop Wright’s value in your mind?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      @Arod’s Frost, This season is gonna be a turning point for Wright. He’ll either show he’s worth a 3rd round pick or he’ll fall about 5 rounds back.

  45. Wilsonian says:
    (link)

    Possible offer on the table:

    I get – Doc/Felatio Upton/League
    I give – Lincecum/Krispie/Storen

    I don’t like losing Storen, especially in a Ks/9 league, and I don’t like League at all. But I think Doc is obviously an upgrade over Tim and Felatio is an upgrade over Krispie. Think I should pull the trigger or should I ask for him to get either Marmol or Walden instead of Storen? Or should I ask for Bell or Santos from him instead of League?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      @Wilsonian, I like it…

      • Wilsonian says:
        (link)

        @Grey, Would you do it even with Storen and League being the closers that were swapped? Or should some changes be made?

        • Grey

          Grey says:
          (link)

          @Wilsonian, I’d do it as is.

          • Wilsonian says:
            (link)

            @Grey, thanks! Guess I’ll have to learn the ABCs again. It’s tough to think straight on so much pain medication and in so much pain.

            • Grey

              Grey says:
              (link)

              @Wilsonian, Oh, that’s right… How ya feeling?

              • Wilsonian says:
                (link)

                @Grey, been better. Who knew getting your lower back sliced open and parts of your discs removed would cause serious soreness and make it hard to sit down anywhere? Ha. All it’s really done is make me obsess about my baseball teams even more with nothing else to do all day.

                • Grey

                  Grey says:
                  (link)

                  @Wilsonian, Yeah, sounds crazy painful. Feel better!

                  • Wilsonian says:
                    (link)

                    @Grey, Thanks! I’m hoping the recovery speeds up a bit. I can’t even drive for 2-3 weeks. I need Mogan Freeman to drive me around…

                    • Grey

                      Grey says:
                      (link)

                      @Wilsonian, Ha!

  46. SF Values says:
    (link)

    H2H points league, 12 teams, auction $260 per team. Can keep up to 8 guys at preset prices. I have two keeper spots I’m not planning on using. I’m keeping Hosmer, Pence, Morse, and three pitchers at cheap prices.

    Should I trade Morse at $5 for Jennings and Harper (both at $5)? I think the value will be there for both but am worried about tying up too much of my roster with young upside guys.

    Thanks Grey, much appreciated.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      @SF Values, I’d take the two youngsters as long as you have bench room…

  47. chata says:
    (link)

    @ Grey :

    if you dye your lip hair for St. Patrick’s day ,
    they could call you
    “the Greyt Pistachio Moustachio”

    cust

    • chata says:
      (link)

      @chata,

      and ,
      if anybody gave you any crap about it ,
      you could say ==> “that’s wasabi , motherf—–“

      • Grey

        Grey says:
        (link)

        @chata, Ha!

  48. anarchy burger says:
    (link)

    grey–
    5×5 12 team mixed
    a good amount of closers are getting kept. they are pretty valuable in my league because we need to start 3 rps. my last keeper option comes down to d espinosa round 18 or farnsworth round 21. would i be crazy to keep farnsworth? he had a pretty impressive year last year….

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      @anarchy burger, A bit crazy, but I could see it…

  49. begs says:
    (link)

    ok so! I am in a h2h, points, keeper league… and Jesus Montero has C eligibility (fleaflicker site)

    am i crazy to think Jesus could be the best offensive catcher in baseball?

    The guys I could draft instead of him are Weiters, Avila, Molina (The other big name catchers are being kept, Napoli, Santana etc..)

    Every list I see has Weiters way ahead of Jesus, but my gut is screaming at me that this kids gonna be the next big thing! He’s been shredding in spring training to! Although he did take a couple foul tips of the jaw lol. But I’m not worried about his defense at all I just care about hitting in this league

    Grey just tell me I’m crazy one time and I’ll go chalk and pick Weiters like everyone and their dog is recommending I do

  50. Luke says:
    (link)

    I just read your post, and I’m curious if your strategy would change given the following:

    10 team league, standard 5X5 cats PLUS 2b, ops, BB, K (for hitters) and QS, HR, k/9, k/bb. Given that 3 of the 4 additional pitching cats lean heavily towards relievers, what do you think about this…

    With my first 8-10 picks i take all hitters, maybe one elite pitcher if halladay or kershaw fall to me well below their adp, then I take 3-4 middle ish closers that excel in the ratio cats (i.e. betancourt, motte, etc) and 2-3 middle relieves like romo, jansen, etc (keep in mind I’m certain I can get these middle relieves in the last rounds as nobody had any middles on their roster last year). I add maybe 2 or 3 middle ish starters. There is a 24 inning minimum, 5 transaction limit per week. This is my thought process:

    I should have a loaded offense since I’ll take all hitters while everyone else is mixing it up. I should be in good shape in era, whip, saves, k/9, k/bb, and HR allowed. In weeks where I am competitive in w, qs, and k I can stream starters as there should be decent options available in a fairly shallow 10 team league. My question is if i get, say 9-12 innings from my relievers and 15-20 from my starters, will the relievers ratios be enough to win me those cats? Thoughts? suggestions?

    Any input is much appreciated.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      @Luke, I think you’re asking for trouble not taking a few decent starters and relying heavily on middle men. One middle man gives up 3 ER in 2/3 IP and your week is in trouble and streaming isn’t the answer.

      • Luke says:
        (link)

        @Grey, Well sure, maybe for that one week…but it’s a long season. And even in that one week, if a reliever gives up 3 runs in 2/3 but 4 other relievers give up 0 in 7-8 innings and I get a few solid starts….

        It’s a risk, but guys like sergio romo and mike adams gave up 20 runs the whole year combined…most weeks my ratios would be ridiculous and again, my offense, at least in theory, would be the best in the league which hopefully can hold things together if my staff does struggle a few weeks.

        I know it’s risky, but I think it has potential. Any more input?

        • Luke says:
          (link)

          @Grey, Also, please keep in mind, I have software that calculates the $ value of each player based on the specific scoring cats of any league, per last year’s stats the most valuable pitchers in the entire game after kershaw, halladay, verlander, and lee were, in order:

          kimbrel, romo, papelbon, rivera, uehara, putz, adams, robertson, axford.

          Does this change your opinion?

          • Grey

            Grey says:
            (link)

            @Luke, Sorry, we were talking about H2H all day yesterday and I assumed you were too. If this is roto, then yeah, I see your point and your strategy makes sense.

            • Luke says:
              (link)

              @Grey, No I’m talking H2H. By long season I meant sure I may lose the ratios some weeks…but most of the time I should be set. I don’t think the strategy would make any sense in roto at all. Did you read all the way through my posts? They are clearly talking about H2H.

              • Grey

                Grey says:
                (link)

                @Luke, I thought you were talking H2H originally then at 11:30 at night you started talking about year long stats so it confused me…

                • Luke says:
                  (link)

                  @Grey, my bad. So anyway knowing that the software values those pitchers so highly, what do you think?

                  • Grey

                    Grey says:
                    (link)

                    I’d go a bit heavier on middle men but I’d still draft starters I could trust since they’re gonna give you at least half of your weekly IP…

  51. Scott says:
    (link)

    @Grey, what’s a good number for minimum IP in a week for this league: H2H 5×5, 8 pitching spots, daily lineup changes, 5 max acquisitions a week.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      @Scott, 25

  52. joe says:
    (link)

    Grey…I’m in a H2H league…I like to keep no extra bench spots for offense…and have lots of pitchers, especially middle relievers…so offense has no room for error.. outfield seems thin this year…if I have Fielder as a potential keeper and Hosmer who I have to keep as my rookie slot…should I try an early season trade of Fielder for someone balanced like McCutchen?..or am I loco.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      @joe, If you can get McCutchen, that’s fair.

  53. drew says:
    (link)

    I have 1st pick in my dynasty league prospect draft & am looking at drafting a position player. Top 2 available are Miguel Sano & Anthony Rendon. Sano has raw power but is only 18 so who know how he develops or when he makes it to the show. Rendon was considered the best hitter in last year’s draft and is drawing raves from Nats camp. I’m leaning towards Rendon. Anybody care to offer some input?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      @drew, Rendon

  54. Luke says:
    (link)

    @Grey, Yeah my bad. So anyway knowing that the software values those pitchers so highly, what do you think?

  55. Jared says:
    (link)

    In a H2H league where k’s are replaced with k/9, which strategy would you still try to add as many starters as possible? Or would you focus more on 6 or 7 good starters with high k/9 rates?

    Wins, quality starts, era, whip, k/9, saves.

  56. Phil says:
    (link)

    I have never done a H2H league before…Always have doe Rotisserie. Anyway, I am in a 10 team league 5×5. We start 9 hitters (3 OF, 1 DH, 1 at the other starting positions and 9 pitchers (3 starters, 3 relievers, and 3 starters or relivers).

    I was thinking of going heavy with starting pitching to try and make sure I win the WINS, ERA, RATIO, K’s and then draft Stolen base players, high avg players and guys that score a lot ofr RUNS.

    I figure I can win the 4 pitching, SB, AVG and Runs. Pretty much giving up HR and RBI. I can probably steal saves once in a while because I will have Relivers. Do you like this strategy? If not, how would you approach it?

    Thanks!

  57. John says:
    (link)

    How much does draft strategy change going from 10 team to 14 team league, H2H? (no auction, no keeper)

    League has a lot of Cat’s:
    Hitters: R, HR, RBI, SB, K, BB, BA, OPS
    Pitchers: W, L, CG, SV, K, ERA, WHIP, K/BB

Comments are closed.