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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 2011 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.  He’s still number one.  (Though Palbert Ujols on Planet Crimea is pretty good too.)  The strategy to play H2H changes.  You aren’t hoping Dunn hits 40 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, ya’ll!  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 might need a pine tree refresher hung from their rear view.)  Anyway, let’s look at some Head-to-Head 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 Glass Chipper 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 Ellsbury or Crawford or Pierre 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 Ellsbury 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 Juan Rivera’s match-ups this week.  As Frida Kahlo used to say, hasta luego, Rivera.  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 and sense, the waiver wire is your own personal Idaho filled with potatoes and you’re an Irishman.

81 Responses

  1. Dr. Orlando Schadenfreude says:
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    Grey, as a follow up to #1, it would be good to see an injury risk post, or even better, a ‘consistent players’ post for H2H players. Everyone seems to be high on Tulo this year, but last year he didn’t really heat up a little before play off time in H2H leagues. Some guys that hit like clockwork are key in H2H leagues, even if they don’t put up the same totals as some players that kill it in Roto.

  2. Jake says:
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    Grey, I have one tweak to your pitchers strategy. The past couple of seasons I have auctioned Roy Halladay as my front line starter, then filled the rest of my pitching staff with cheap starters and been very successful (1st and 2nd place in 2009 and 2010). Since Halladay is such an innings horse, there were weeks where he almost single handedly kept my teams ERA down. I could see an argument for taking a top guy like Halladay, or someone who K’s a ton of guys, as an anchor for your staff and then filling the rest with junk. Thoughts?

    Also, do middle relievers have a place in this strategy?

  3. Steve says:
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    5. Get lucky in the playoffs.

    Bitter? Me?

  4. emporersmonkey says:
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    I am in a H2H league and we drafted a few weeks ago. I think I could very well dominate or at the very least miss the playoffs. 10 team league. OPS and Quality starts along with the other standard categories. No limit on innings. Round drafted in parenthesis. I had 10th pick. I’m kind of wishing this was money league.

    C- Doumit (19)
    1B- A. Gonzalez (2)
    2B- Phillips (6)
    3B- Longoria (1)
    SS- Rollins (5)
    CI- C. Pena (13)
    MI- Alc. Escobar (27)
    OF- Kemp (3)
    OF- Cruz (4)
    OF- Bay (14)
    OF- Ad. Jones (15)
    Ut- C. Lee (17)
    Ut- Markakis (some fool dropped him outright)
    BN- Ike Davis (26)

    SP- Price (7)
    SP- Latos (8)
    SP- Haren (9)
    SP- Lilly (16)
    RP- Broxton (10)
    RP- Axford (11)
    P- Thornton (12)
    P- Storen (18)
    P- League (24)
    P- Jansen (28)
    BN- D. Hudson (20)
    BN- Minor (21)
    BN- J. Zimmerman (23)
    BN- C. Zambrano (25)

  5. emporersmonkey says:
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    @Steve: I feel your pain. A few years ago I was in H2H league and dominated all year and was well ahead going into the final day of the championship matchup when the other guys team managed to his something like 9 HR and 20something RBI’s. His final at bat was a HR that pushed him a half point ahead of me.

  6. fernando says:
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    Is there a list of injury prone players?

  7. emporersmonkey says:
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    @fernando: If there is, Kinsler is at the top.

  8. Tony says:
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    Frida Kahlo had a fetish with monkeys, lesbian tendencies, and a Uni-brow that was very similar to a mustache on her forehead… Hmmmm, any relation grey?

  9. NewBVick says:
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    @Steve: Ha

  10. @Tony: …and wonderfully creative. The true Surrealist of Fantasy Baseball! You may be onto something. Who woulda thunk.

  11. Howard says:
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    10 team H2H, would you do this deal: Vmart and Alvarez for Zim and Napoli?

  12. Jason says:
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    Re: Kinsler

    I’m having a hard time with him. He’s going to be there at my pick in my keeper league’s re-draft. Figure my pick is something like 55 overall counting keepers. Kinsler is more than worth that value, but guys like Uggla and Phillips are also out there and can be had a round or two later.

    How do you guys approach Kinsler this year? Is he a *stay away* guy, or should I be aggressive with him where a lot of other people seem to be shying away?

  13. Yo Momma So Uggla says:
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    @Howard
    In a heart beat.
    You’ re getting about the same AVG in return, a few more homers and a few steals out of Zim. With Nappy in Arlington, might be a few more than a “few more” homers

  14. Atherton32 says:
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    So, if you had to rate your favorite 5 players in a 14 team H2H 12×12 league after the your top 150 who would they be? And with this I mean legit players not sleepers. Thanks in advance

  15. Craterface Tavaras says:
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    The problem with points number 3 & 4 is that those theories only work in junk leagues. My league has 3 ratio stats for pitchers (K/9, Era, & Whip) along with Wins, QS’s, and Saves. So by putting junk out there consistently, you are damaging half of your stats. I think it’s better this way to not reward people who seem to not be able to put a good product together, and instead streamline 2 start junk because they happen to not have a real job/life to attend to. I see no reason to have this strategy rewarded.

  16. GopherDay says:
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    Grey, will there be a strategy post for those of us in deeper leagues? For example how your rankings would change, when to take your first starter, etc.

  17. Carns says:
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    @emporersmonkey: You say your team could “at the very least miss the playoffs.” Sounds like a high floor for your team huh?

  18. Wilsonian says:
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    @Steve: @emporersmonkey: definitely been down that road. That’s my biggest issue with H2H. I love playing the matchups, and adjusting your roster every day, and usually going against a friend so you can talk shit specifically to them all week. It’s very entertaining. But damn the shit luck in the playoffs. I dominated a few years ago, was in first for all but 2 weeks in the regular season and basically had it locked up in late-ish July, then got bounced in the first round by someone who just caught fire. Garbage, I tell ya!

  19. Dough Boy says:
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    Wilsonian,

    I made the playoffs a month before the season ended I was so far in first and had 7 hitters in the top 10 as of last year, and still got bounced in the first round by a team that caught fire. Sucked. The guy that won took Konerko in the sixth round because he was the only name he recognized.

  20. Tony says:
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    @emporersmonkey: I wouldnt be too head over heels about this team? I mean its 10 teams, your offense is nice, but nothing spectacular, with Bay, adam jones and carlos lee? Plus alicides at MI? Latos, Price, and Haren, those aren’t exactly #1′s. Latos is a risky pitcher because of last years work load, Price can’t be expected to repeat last year, and Haren had a horrible year, could bounce back, depends on your league settings, H2H, he’s not a guy I’d ever go for…..

  21. NewBVick says:
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    Taxi Cab Confessions: A tale from my H2H league.

  22. Tony says:
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    @Tony: cruz and rollins too…. solid but shaky, lots of risk.

  23. joe from point pleasant says:
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    @Grey:

    Glad you wrote this article! It’s a good idea to write some stuff for people doing other types of leagues rather than the traditional roto. For the past 6 years now I’ve done H2H Points leagues that are scored similarly to football where ou get points for everything. 5 for a single, 10 for a double, 15 triple, 20 homer and so on. It actually levels the playing field and allows you to not have to worry about having a team that does everything (homers, steals, etc) because players can score many different ways.

    I was actually wondering if maybe you could write something about H2H Points leagues if you run out of ideas. It would be very interesting to see what you have to say. Keep up the great work! Thanks!

  24. DonSlaughtOnslaught says:
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    @emporersmonkey: There had to be some offensive talent available while you were picking 6 pitchers in a row.

  25. trick dad says:
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    Hey Grey – Please let me know what you think of this team I drafted. Yahoo, 10 teams, H2H categories (R, HR, RBI, SB, K, AVG,OPS; W, L, SV, K, HLD, ERA, WHIP)

    C Miguel Montero 24
    1B Joey Votto 1
    2B Ian Kinsler 4
    3B Adrián Béltre 5
    SS Elvis Andrus 7
    LF Matt Holliday 3
    CF Grady Sizemore 16
    RF Jason Heyward 6
    UTIL Mark Teixeira 2
    UTIL Aaron Hill FA
    BN Ryan Raburn FA (for when Sizemore is DL’ed)
    SP Max Scherzer 10
    SP Brandon Morrow 11
    SP Brett Anderson 12
    SP Jhoulys Chacin 15
    SP Hisanori Takahashi 25 (figured I could get some holds from this slot)
    RP Joakim Soria 8
    RP Heath Bell 9
    RP Francisco Rodríguez 13
    RP Chris Pérez 14
    RP Chris Sale 21
    BN Edinson Vólquez 17
    BN Daniel Hudson 18
    BN Jorge De La Rosa 19
    BN Hiroki Kuroda 22

  26. carlos marmLOL says:
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    I’d add to this (perhaps it’s self-evident) that you shouldn’t get caught up in rookie pitcher hype. I ended up winning an H2H league against an experienced roto keeper player who was excited about nabbing Strasburg in the 12th or so. Now, forget about the arm injury — even if Strasburg had turned in a 120 inning Cy Young caliber performance he still would likely have been shut down for the last two weeks of the season, thus he can contribute and help get you to the finals but has no value for the championship round.

  27. SwaggerJackers says:
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    @Grey: Thanks for the tips. I started up a brand new 12 team H2H league this year and I’ve only done roto leagues in the past. I’ll definitely be targeting players like Choo, Krispie and J Upside with their power/speed.

  28. carlos marmLOL says:
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    and two more reasons H2H is somewhat suspect:

    1) it’s a bastardization of the original form (Rotisserie) based on people’s expectations from playing fantasy football

    2) 2010 H2H MVP Mike Aviles

  29. Frank Rizzo says:
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    This is something I need to print off. It’s gold Jerry. I wouldn’t advise breastfeeding a pig but it is possible because anything with nipples can be milked…..even Rob De Niro.

    Playing in a 10 team Yahoo league with only 19 total players per roster and no CI/MI, having a balanced offense and tons of SP is the name of the game. We do spice it up a bit with needing to start OF only at their eligible positions (RF/CF/LF) which makes OF even more important this year. Closer might as well be my last pick since we can only start 1 and most guys just draft one. That leaves for a ton of SP’s which most guys load their bench with. The WW is full of offense during the year since most guys are just carrying bare bones minimum to keep their SP’s stocked.

    All that said, I just meant to say thanks for the post Grey. It pretty much applies perfectly to my H2H league.

  30. Frank Rizzo says:
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    Question: If we don’t want guys with nagging injuries and we don’t want steal only guys, what do we do with someone like Reyes? Do you still take a guy like that in the 3rd round?

  31. Tony says:
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    @Frank Rizzo: reyes was essentially fine last year, he chips in some HR’s, hits for good avg, and plays a position, SS, thats in high demand…. he’s a fine 3rd rounder. I think Grey is talking about guys like kinlser (injury prone), pierre, posednik, raja davis…. ?

  32. Tony says:
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    @Tony: plus reyes Runs total should be solid…. he’s not as one dimensional as those sagnof guys i mentioned….

  33. Eddy says:
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    Grey, I know you dislike C.C, but I was looking at his splits yesterday and I saw that he has been an absolute monster over the final two months of the season throughout his career. Kind of makes it worth the risk no?

    I’m going to dive in and see how my targeted players perform at the end of the season.

  34. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Dr. Orlando Schadenfreude: Maybe…

    @Jake: More than one way to skin a cat. I wouldn’t draft Halladay, doesn’t mean it can’t work.

    @Steve: Ha

    @Tony: Ha!

    @Howard: Yup

    @Atherton32: No idea what you mean.

    @GopherDay: No, I wouldn’t change them.

    @joe from point pleasant: Thanks!

    @trick dad: Team looks weak on average and WHIP, not terrible things but it’s worth noting.

    @carlos marmLOL: Yup

    @SwaggerJackers: No problem.

    @carlos marmLOL: Yup

    @Frank Rizzo: No problem.

    @Frank Rizzo: He’s okay, punt SS.

    @Eddy: I wouldn’t draft him.

  35. Tony says:
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    @Eddy: im a fan of targetting guys like him, Tulo, tex, etc…. guys who traditionally have a monster run at the end of the year, they are key H2H guys. Even better if you can deal for them around the all star break and just reap the benefits when you need them the most and not have to suffer thru most of their slow starts….

  36. Tom says:
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    Hey Grey

    Who should i keep this year – Jay Bruce or Francisco Liriano – Liriano right?

  37. Cain Fan says:
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    Grey, I am new to the H2H but I was wondering why you wouldn’t take the punt SP approach and load up on solid RP and Middle Relief. You should win SV, ERA and WHIP could vulture Ws some weeks and if you have Holds could win those. Am I missing something?

    Also I am in a league where they count L, BS, and Holds (in addition to W, ERA, WHIP, Ks), should I take this approach? I know you say never punt cats but why can’t you in H2H, you just need to win the majority to win the week right?

  38. Frank Rizzo says:
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    @Grey: To clarify about Reyes, you’d consider punting the SS based on a 10 team yahoo league, right? Reyes doesn’t come cheap in Yahoo at 24th overall and if you’re taking him, you may be passing on OF like Holliday, McCutch, and J Upside since they’re ranked behind him in Yahoo.

  39. pjtres says:
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    grey, do you seem any potential closers in this bunch? can you rank these (Horrible) options? lol thanks

    hensley, mark lowe, howell, motte

    also, at the end of draft, would you take a chance on rudy owens (minors SP for PIT?) hoping he can win a spot out of ST

    thanks.

  40. Carns says:
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    Agree with marmLOL. Can’t have too many Hellickson/Bumgarner/Chacin types on your team in H2H. You can, but you gotta ship ‘em to chumps in June.

    @Grey- Good call on the deep positions thing. I forget what you said exactly a while ago regarding that philosophy, but it was something like, “I’m coming to the table with Ryan Howard, and you are rolling through with Billy Butler?”

    To get all analogous: Butler’s output to Howard’s output is Billy Butler’s moobs to Chum Lee’s moobs.

  41. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Tom: Bruce

    @Cain Fan: I wouldn’t punt categories for the reason stated in the post above.

    @Frank Rizzo: Forget Reyes there.

    @pjtres: Motte, Lowe… I wouldn’t bother with Owens.

  42. Tom Thumb says:
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    @Grey: In my H2H league we count K/Walk as a ratio. So while I took your strategy on starters (I piled up towards the end of the draft), I took a different approach with my closers. I almost always draft closers very late, but I figured with the premium on strong K/BB ratio in my league, it was an extra reason to nab a top closer. What do you think?

  43. Curt says:
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    Grey, who has more value??, Sale or Thornton for the white sox closer???…..

  44. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Tom Thumb: There’s other ways to get K/BB besides a top closer. Some starters can do the same.

    @Curt: Thornton

  45. OaktownSteve

    OaktownSteve says:
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    @grey: the inverse of what you say can also work with regards to pitchers. You draft one or two SP studs and that’s all and then get as many closers and high quality relievers as possible. You count on winning saves, ERA, WHIP every week. The advantage here is that at the beginning of the week you see if your opponent gets quality starts, if he has double starts from his good pitchers etc. If so, you pretty much plan on losing Ks. Wins are so arbitrary that you can still take the category even if his pitcher go wel. If your opponent pitches lousy in the beginning of the week, you can stream as many starters as possible relative to feeling like whip and era remain safe and try and squeeze out wins and ks. This is basically the same strategy, only I find it works slightly better because you can stream some valuable starters, whereas you can’t stream saves.

    The other thing I would say about the playoffs is that you have to be absolutely ruthless about cutting players and moving your roster around. Holding on to you nicked up superstar will kill you. Streaming pitchers and playing match ups are key. During the season you have to hold on to those guys through ups and downs, but playoffs you have to manage very actively and try to exploit each category where you can.

  46. Salty Balty says:
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    I kinda like Wigginton this year, I’m in a deep league, but still. Past succes in the National League, in a lineup that desperately needs a righty bat (see Helton and Stewart), power to hit 25, qualifies at 1B, 2B, 3B. Nice utility guy for the bench, no? Thanks.

  47. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @OaktownSteve: As I said in an above comment, there’s more than one way to skin a cat, for sure. But the problem with counting on ERA and WHIP rather than Ks, Saves and Wins is ERA and WHIP can explode in your face. Valverde, who’s usually safe, goes out and throws a third of an inning and gives up 6 runs and your week is in trouble.

    @Salty Balty: Not bad if you can platoon him.

  48. Atherton32 says:
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    @Grey After reading your post you mentioned going after those players who are good in multiple categories instead of those just great at a one or two. I was wondering if there are any after the top 150 that you would want to have on your team after the top 150.

  49. Salty Balty says:
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    Enjoy your margarita.

  50. Ben says:
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    Grey can you look at my 12 team h2h draft I did last night. Standard 5×5 yahoo league with only 3 OF’s and one utility spot.

    1. (11) Ryan Howard (Phi – 1B)
    2. (14) David Wright (NYM – 3B)
    3. (35) Andrew McCutchen (Pit – OF)
    4. (38) Clayton Kershaw (LAD – SP)
    5. (59) Jay Bruce (Cin – OF)
    6. (62) Kendry Morales (LAA – 1B)
    7. (83) Yovani Gallardo (Mil – SP)
    8. (86) Dan Haren (LAA – SP)
    9. (107) Juan Pierre (CWS – OF)
    10. (110) Shaun Marcum (Mil – SP)
    11. (131) Aaron Hill (Tor – 2B)
    12. (134) Hiroki Kuroda (LAD – SP)
    13. (155) Drew Storen (Was – RP)
    14. (158) John Axford (Mil – RP)
    15. (179) Daniel Hudson (Ari – SP)
    16. (182) Colby Lewis (Tex – SP)
    17. (203) Ian Kennedy (Ari – SP)
    18. (206) Jose Tabata (Pit – OF)
    19. (227) Joel Hanrahan (Pit – RP)
    20. (230) Alcides Escobar (KC – SS)
    21. (251) Miguel Olivo (Sea – C)

    Thanks in advance

  51. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Atherton32: Depends on your team and the draft as to who would be left. Anyone that has power and speed works.

    @Salty Balty: Thanks!

    @Ben: Kendry seemed unnecessary, Kershaw’s a bit early, Gallardo is unnecessary and don’t love Pierre in H2H (or really any league).

  52. OaktownSteve

    OaktownSteve says:
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    @Grey: definitely more than one way to skin a cat. I’m sure you’ve been really successful with your strategies. I’ve had good luck with the relievers over starters methodology. A couple of nuances have made it work for me. Having at least one number one starter is crucial because you do have your relievers blow up and if you have no starts in a week it can be hard to recover. If you have a reliable guy it tends to normalize. Also, the relievers tend to have horrific days less often than low end starters. I have found that using this strategy I win ERA and Ratio virtually every single week. When you’re getting innings from the Bards, Benoits and Adamseses of the world (three of my keys last year) it piles on good real quick like. Also, from a draft perspective, you pick up all these 8th inning guys at the end of the draft and for gravy a lot of them become closers. The picks in the late early to early middle rounds you would normally spend on quality starters can yield some useful talent.

    Secondly, between wins and saves, I find saves to be more consistently reliable.

    Lastly, as I said above, if you have a shot to get wins and k’s (k’s less often) at the end of the week, you can stream a lot of starts, whereas if your opponent is vunerable in saves you can’t necessarily exploit that via waivers.

    One other thing unrelated to pitching, I love multi eligibility guys and having some positional depth in H2H because the weekly win margin is so low. Couple of extra starts when regulars have off days can sometimes turn the trick.

  53. Tony says:
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    @Ben: i love that team, instead of Haren or Gallardo, probly haren, i woulda taken another OF’er if one was available… perhaps Rasmus? That woulda solidified this team. Hopefully Tabata late is that filler. Instead of Pierre take another offensive piece. With Kershaw, gallardo then all the marcums, hudsons, colbys, etc you have you didn’t need haren at all or pierre….. I’d be very happy with those first 7 picks, and if Kendry comes back to form, even better….

  54. Chunk says:
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    Last night I had a dream that I was in the middle of my fantasy draft and I kept realizing it was my turn with about 10 seconds on the clock. It was awful.

  55. stanley says:
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    @grey keeper help please. 8 team NL only points H2H, 3OF 1 UTIL, can keep 6 without penalty, struggling with the 6th keeper

    Hanley, Votto, Kemp, Cargo, Jupton, Pablo, Pence, Hart, Haren, Billingsly, JonSanchez, Wandy Volquez

  56. JTin says:
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    Question on your War Room/projections.
    Are the auction values listed what you would be willing to pay to get them? What you think their stats are worth? What you think they will end up selling for?

    For instance, in the outfield, CarGo has a value of $28 (12-team mixed $260). Adam Jones has a value of $9, with nearly identical stats. What accounts for the difference in their pricing?

  57. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @OaktownSteve: If it works for you, nothing inherently wrong with it.

    @Chunk: Ha!

    @stanley: Pence

    @JTin: You should ask that question in the War Room post.

  58. Curt says:
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    CJ Wilson, Gio Gonzalez or Jeremy Hellickson??……..All choices in an 18 th round keeper league?????

  59. DonCoburleone says:
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    I’m a big fan of the H2H league.. Much more strategy in-season than a Roto league. Straight roto leagues put waaaaay too much emphasis on the draft IMO. In a H2H its so much easier to overcome a bad draft because its not just how good your team is, its also about how good you are with spot starting and sitting guys in a given week based on the matchups…

    And Grey again you’re killing me man too many of my league managers are reading this and realizing oh yeah! Steals only count as 1 category! Starting Pitcher quantity is much more important than quality! Saves are saves no matter who’s getting them! I curse you Grey!!! (although I should be cursing myself for telling them about this site!)

  60. The Dude says:
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    12 team H2H league 6×6 +OPS and Holds

    I’m trying to move Tim Linc and have an interested part with Prince Fielder and Matt Holliday. He seems to be willing to deal one of these for Timmy but I’m torn on who I should target.

    Other keepers are:
    AGon
    Kemp
    Reyes
    Cruz

    thoughts?

  61. herschel says:
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    @Grey: which 1b/3b pairing do you prefer? votto and youk or fielder/howard and zim?

    thanks.

  62. Steve says:
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    @emporersmonkey: Finished second in regular season last year so got a bye through to the semis. Where i lost. Most distressing aspect of said loss? Winning HRs 12-3 and losing RBIs!
    Then there was the save Wagner didn’t get on the last day of the season…

  63. Chupacabra says:
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    How about just not drafting any starting pitchers until you have filled you infield and outfield slots? You can always just pick up starting pitchers off the waiver wire for every matchup, so why not just have a really potent offense, and then for SP play the matchups?

  64. Francis says:
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    @Wilsonian: That’s why our league has a 60% / 40% money split. 60% goes to Regular Season winners and 40% to playoff winners. We have a 14 team league. Here are the payouts. We have 2 divisions of 7 teams. 8 teams make the playoffs. We expanded it from 6 to give more teams incentive not to punt. We have really refined our league rules over 2 seasons. We are also a keeper league. If anyone is interested, I can email them.

    Payouts:
    o Regular Season Division winners (22% Best overall record; 21% other Division leader – 43% total)
    - Regular Season non-Division winners who make the playoffs (3 teams)
    •1st best record of non-division winners (regardless of division) = 7%
    •2nd best record of non-div. winners (regardless of division) = 6%
    •3rd best record of non-div. winners (regardless of division) = 5%
    •5th & 6th best record of non-div. winners gets nothing

    o Championship Playoffs:
    - 1st (20%),
    - ?2nd (12%),
    - ?3rd (7%)

  65. ThePoonTycoon says:
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    my first question for the new season…

    12 team roto auction league. $275 budget. 25 roster spots.

    i took this team over last year and it was in rough shape. i also was probably gonna keep wainwright at a relative bargain. not anymore obviously.

    so here are my options (can keep 3):

    cano – $23
    bruce – $17
    pence – $24
    rasmus – $8
    marcum – $8
    hughes – $7

    i’m leaning cano, bruce, and rasmus, but who knows. thought marcum at first, but bruce and rasmus have upside to outperform those values easily, and i think marcum i can find marcum-ish value for that price, and it’s unlikely he vastly outperforms expectations.

  66. Steve says:
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    And every year I swear I’m never playing H2H again. But I’m like Charlie Brown with that football.

  67. Francis says:
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    As a general note to people requesting that Grey & Co. write specific articles tailored to your needs, I recommend you pony up and donate $5 or $10. These guys bust their balls for us. The least we can do for all this free content, is show our appreciation with a small token.

  68. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Chupacabra: No reason to punt SPs in any sort of competitive league.

    @ThePoonTycoon: Cano, Bruce and Rasmus…

    ********THERE’S A NEW POST FOR FOLLOWUPS.********

  69. Grey,

    I’ve had a lot of success in H2H leagues using most of these ideas. I wait on pitching until most if not all my lineup card is full, then draft potential aces. On the offensive side, I also backload my bench with young, high-upside guys who can mature as the season goes on. In rounds 5-10 I’m looking for bats that have the upside to be top 10 in next year’s draft.

    And in a H2H league you REALLY have to pay attention to who finishes strong and who doesn’t. For instance, I love Carl Crawford in fantasy but in a H2H league, I really drop him down in ranking. This is because his legs tire as the season goes along. First half, he’s a monster on the bases but in crunch time he was still good of course, but less superhuman.

    Oh, and with pitching prospects that get the call midseason, I figure they have 10-12 starts of catching the league by surprise before fatigue and scouting reports douse cold water on them. But as waiver pickups, a Tommy Hanson type run is huge if you snag them so that those 10-12 starts coincide with your playoffs. Build your team for August and September.

    Derek
    @RotoLogo

  70. Rob says:
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    I recently drafted the following in an auction. Roto league has the following wrinkles.
    * 6 offense categories (add OBP)
    * 1600 IP limit.

    My draft strategy was to load up on high OBP – AVG at each position (figuring the Yahoo default rankings undervalue this type of hitter with my league settings and hoping the draft would generally follow the Yahoo rankings which it did). In cases where none was to be found, favor steals. Also my strategy was to draft a number of pitchers that don’t suck but not to spend an undue amount at any one position.

    I drafted the following:

    C – $26: Joe Mauer /* This will be the only league in my life where I will ever own Mauer – drafted only because of settings. Even so in retrospect I wish I had drafted Soto instead. Will probably be what I offer in trade 1/3 way through season. /*
    1B – $45: Miguel Cabrera
    2B – $22: Dan Uggla
    SS – $11: Elvis Andrus
    3B – $5: Ian Stewart
    3B – $1: Scott Rolen /* I plan some type of timeshare/platoon here since there is only 1 3B slot */
    OF – $34: Matt Holliday
    OF – $20: Jason Werth
    OF – $9: Brett Gardner
    OF – $2: Andres Torres
    OF – $4: Logan Morrison
    OF – $1: Josh Willingham /* Envision mixing final two slots between these three */
    CI: – $8: Aubrey Huff
    MI: – $6: Chone Figgins /* Wanted steals */
    Ut – $1: Jim Thome
    Ut – $1: J.D. Drew /* One util slot. Plan to platoon as both have strong splits */
    Bn – $3: Yunel Escobar /* Arrrgh..what was I thinking..*/
    Bn – $3: Freddie Freeman /* Honest for some reason I accidentally clicked bid here..it was getting late and I was getting tired */

    I see me dropping Escobar and/or Freeman at some point and regret these were not $1 picks. I do plan to hold onto them a while. Freeman might have some trade value if he gets off to a hot start. So might Escobar since SS is so rare. However I do anticipate picking up more pitching.

    I also think I overdid the OBP thing. I now have 8 of the top 25 taken players in OBP. Oh well..there is such a thing as trades to even this out.

    SP – $15: Yovanni Gallardo
    SP – $9: Brett Anderson
    SP – $5: Tim Hudson
    SP – $4: Colby Lewis
    SP – $3: Hiroki Kuroda
    SP – $3: Brett Myers
    SP – $2: Jhoulys Chacin
    SP – $1: Johnny Cueto
    RP – $7: Matt Thornton
    RP – $4: Francisco Cordero
    RP – $3: Fernando Rodney /* I always end up with 1 sucky closer */

    My finger slip on Freddie Freeman cost me Frank Francisco who for some reason was sliding in the draft during the $1-$3 phase and who I was reserving up to $4 for. Ugggh.

  71. Wilsonian says:
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    @Chunk: I had a dream a couple nights ago that I was in a huge money league and forgot when the draft was and had to autodraft, except someone had jacked up my rankings and it was taking people like Jack Wilson in the first round for me. It was tragic. I’m thinking this shizz takes up a LITTLE too much of my life, but I’m ok with it.

  72. Wilsonian says:
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    @ThePoonTycoon: good to see ya back, man. You hooked me up a few times last year on some advice, I should probably donate a daiquiri or two to you, as well. HA!

    @Francis: yeah, we’ve changed that up a bit, too. That season, I got my entry fee back for winning the regular season, but I didn’t get anything in the playoffs because I went nowhere. We still pay the top four teams a little bit for the regular season and then pay the top two in the playoffs.

  73. Dagan says:
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    Liriano or a hitter (Zobrist, A Huff, Brett Gardner) as my 6th and final keeper in a 14 team 5×5 (only with OBP and QS) Head to Head league?

    I know, not great options, but it’s what I’m stuck with.

    Other 5 keepers are: Votto, Kemp, Mauer, Youkilis, and Umbaldo Jimenez.

    Thanks for any advice.

  74. Doug Ault says:
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    @Grey: ” BTW, I once nursed a hammy and everyone kept asking me why I was breastfeeding a pig”

    gold!

  75. wiudavis says:
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    Do you still like this pitching strategy when you throw in Innings, Holds, TB Allowed, HR Allowed, and Losses? It kind of throws a kink in the game plan. We can run 9 pitchers of with a minimum of 3 RP and 3 SP.

  76. Ben says:
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    @Tony: Thanks Tony. I just offered juan pierre for curtis granderson in a trade which should improve my offense hopefully

  77. GTS says:
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    Would you trade Kinsler $22, Werth $15, and Lincecum $13 for Miguel Cabrera $41 and Liriano $8?

    10 team H2H 6×5 (+OBP) auction league $260 cap w/ 7 keepers

    My other keepers are Fielder $28, Longoria $13, Holliday $19, J-Up $17, Latos $8.

  78. Sean says:
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    @trick dad:
    Dude, you need to take pitching into consideration in order to be competitive…come on my man

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