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After giving it serious thought last year, I finally took the plunge and signed up for an NFBC league.  I figure the worst case is we have someone at Razzball who has first-hand experience in the format to answer reader questions.  Better case, I really like the format and we consider sponsoring a league or two next year as a complement to the Razzball Commenter Leagues.  Best case I win some money and get to brag about it on the site.

For those of you familiar with the format, just jump ahead to the ‘My NFBC Slow Draft Strategy’ part.

For those of you unfamiliar with the league, NFBC stands for the National Fantasy Baseball Championships and it is the pre-eminent organizer for high-stakes fantasy baseball leagues.  Their ‘Main Event’ has a $1500 buy-in and a $100,000 grand prize (we played in a Draftday-sponsored AL-only league with the 14th place finisher last year – Clark Olson) .

Before you all get too excited, I didn’t join the Main Event.  I went with the cheapest league option ($150 Draft Champions) because 1) I’m cheap and 2) I’m intrigued with the format.  It is a 15-team 5×5 MLB format – which is similar to what we will be playing in LABR and Tout Wars this year – with a snake draft, no IP/GS caps (1000 IP minimum), and a starting roster of 2C/1B/2B/SS/3B/5 OF/CI/MI/UTIL/9 P.   You can update your starting roster on Mondays (with an additional Friday switch for hitters only).

The catch is that it is a 50 round draft and no in-season roster changes are allowed.  No trades.  No free agents.  While I like trades/free agent pickups, this format seems like the perfect polar opposite for the Razzball Expert League’s daily rosters and constant FA pickups.

Before I start talking about the players I drafted, here are some topline results from the draft:

  • Draft began on February 14th (I used 2 of the allotted 8 hours for my 1st pick while at V-day dinner with Mrs. Gamble).  Finished up March 6th.   Yup, 20 days.  From what I’m told, that is quick as all it takes is one drafter to kill a day’s worth of drafting productivity.  It felt interminable at times – especially when one drafter was on the clock for a couple of hours.  If it was up to me, each drafter would get 25 hours of draft time between 8 AM and 11 PM EST (30 minutes a pick).  Once you use up your 25 hours, you are on auto-draft the rest of the way.  This would encourage the slowest drafters to go on auto-pick for a round (you can queue up players) when they are going to be offline for a while.
  • Of the 750 players drafted, 694 were in my 15-team auction values (going into the draft) which meant I projected 1+ AB/IP for the hitter/pitcher.  The 56 players that I projected zero playing time are mostly prospects but includes a few free agent veterans like Dice-K, Carlos Lee, and former Grey crush Kevin Slowey.  Javier Vazquez was drafted only to retire a couple days later.  I was responsible for drafting 5 of these players (Nick Franklin, Jake Marinsick, A.J. Ramos, Eury Perez, and Sonny Gray).  After reviewing these 56 players, I added in playing time for about 25% of them but it is doubtful that any will make a dent in mixed league formats except for maybe A.J. Ramos if he can become the Marlins closer at some point this year.
  • Here are the number of players drafted by position by me as well as the average players taken by other teams (me / avg of other teams).  Note that I only count a person at their most valuable position so it looks like I have two 3Bs when I really have 4 (Chris Nelson and Daniel Descalso counted at 2B and SS, respectively):
    • Catchers – 4 / 4.1
    • 1B – 3 / 2.8
    • 2B – 3 / 2.8
    • SS – 3 / 4.0
    • 3B – 2 / 3.6
    • OF – 10 / 11.2
    • DH – 1 / 0.14
    • SP – 16 / 13.9
    • RP – 8 / 7.4
  • The top player on my draft board that went undrafted was Jason Marquis (had him #353).  I would’ve taken him with a late pick but I already have 3 Padres pitchers.  I could only use so many Hodgepadres.  The next 50 or so undrafted players were relievers.  This makes sense since non-closer RPs have limited value in a weekly league with no GS/IP caps.  Other undrafted players at the top of my end-of-draft leaderboard are Philip Humber, Hector Noesi, Travis Blackley, and Kevin Correia.  Michael Bowden would have likely been the next pitcher I would have drafted.
  • The best available hitters were WAY further down the list with Justin Turner (#766), Jose Lobaton (#782) and Jonathan Herrera (#784) as the top three.  Was close to taking Turner as a Daniel Murphy handcuff but was intrigued on the prospectiness of Wilmer Flores.

My NFBC Slow Draft Strategy

I was surprised at the paucity of information online for NFBC slow draft strategy (I did find a good slow cooker recipe though while searching).  The only useful tidbit I found was in the Mastersball forum from WCCW wrestling legend Perry Van Hook.  Hopefully the below will be of some help to other drafters.

My strategy was:

  • Focus on hitters in the first 10 rounds with a bias towards power.  Draft at most 2 SPs in the first 10 rounds.
  • Stick with my 15-team auction values when it comes to valuing position scarcity – i.e., do not bite when C/2B/SS start getting snapped up.  Discount catchers further by using $ values for 1 catcher leagues vs. 2 catcher leagues.
  • Back up all hitter positions with the best hitters available.  Draft multi-position players if deciding between two players.
  • Channel my inner LaRussa (Tony not Daniel) to build a deep starting pitching staff with a bias towards favorable home parks.  View each SP from the perspective of “How often will the Stream-o-nator view his starts favorably?”   Goal is to be able to start 7 pitchers every week and take advantage of 2-start weeks.
  • Get two solid relievers, handcuff them where possible, and draft 4-5 relievers with Save potential.  Ignore middle relievers with strong peripherals who have no shot at closing (e.g., Eric O’Flaherty).

Below is my team.  Here is a Google doc with all 750 picks.

1 | 10 | Giancarlo Stanton | OF
2 | 21 | Evan Longoria | 3B
3 | 40 | Matt Holliday | OF
4 | 51 | Cliff Lee | SP
5 | 70 | Desmond Jennings | OF
6 | 81 | CC Sabathia | SP
7 | 100 | Anthony Rizzo | 1B
8 | 111 | Mark Trumbo | 1B,OF
9 | 130 | Ryan Doumit | C,OF
10 | 141 | Greg Holland | RP
11 | 160 | Howie Kendrick | 2B
12 | 171 | Huston Street | RP
13 | 190 | Ryan Vogelsong | SP
14 | 201 | Josh Beckett | SP
15 | 220 | Starling Marte | LF
16 | 231 | Yunel Escobar | SS
17 | 250 | Daniel Murphy | 2B
18 | 261 | Chris Carter | 1B
19 | 280 | Derek Holland | SP
20 | 291 | Chris Nelson | 2B,3B
21 | 310 | Edinson Volquez | SP
22 | 321 | Darin Mastroianni | OF
23 | 340 | Jason Castro | C
24 | 351 | Brett Wallace | 1B
25 | 370 | Luke Gregerson | RP
26 | 381 | Justin Masterson | SP
27 | 400 | Chad Billingsley | SP
28 | 411 | Clayton Richard | SP
29 | 430 | Scott Baker | SP
30 | 441 | Nate Schierholtz | OF
31 | 460 | Daniel Descalso | 2B,SS,3B
32 | 471 | Jared Burton | RP
33 | 490 | Joe Saunders | SP
34 | 501 | Carter Capps | RP
35 | 520 | Jake Westbrook | SP
36 | 531 | Luke Scott | DH
37 | 550 | Josh Thole | C
38 | 561 | Nick Franklin | SS
39 | 580 | Erik Bedard | SP
40 | 591 | Wesley Wright | RP
41 | 610 | Jose Molina | C
42 | 621 | Jake Marisnick | OF
43 | 640 | A.J. Ramos | RP
44 | 651 | Jeremy Hefner | SP
45 | 670 | Jimmy Paredes | OF
46 | 681 | Anthony Bass | SP
47 | 700 | Wilmer Flores | 3B
48 | 711 | Kyle Farnsworth | RP
49 | 730 | Eury Perez | OF
50 | 741 | Sonny Gray | SP

Draft Notes:

  • I am real happy with this draft.  I met all my pre-draft goals.
  • Loved that Stanton fell to #10.  Debated between Longoria and Strasburg on the 20th pick but glad, in retrospect, I got Longoria as I feel that Cliff Lee in the 4th round is better value.
  • I had targeted Goldschmidt, Rizzo, and Ike Davis for 1B.  I decided to gamble on Holliday over Goldschmidt in Round 3 and he was snapped up before by Round 4 pick.  I had my choice of Rizzo and Ike in the 7th round (chose Rizzo) and was set to take Ike in the 8th round but he was drafted 3 picks ahead of me.  Went with Trumbo instead who has similar power and has OF-eligibility to boot.
  • I ‘reached’ based on my rankings for Desmond Jennings in the 5th round.  I wanted to get some SBs without sacrificing power and I felt he provides good balance.  I was able to get Starling Marte at a much better value (15th round/ pick 220) to solidify SBs.
  • I had no plans on taking a 2nd SP in round 6 but Sabathia was too good of a value to pass up.  I think he is underrated because he’s hefty.  Bunch of fattists out there.
  • Drafted the boringest middle infield that middle rounds can buy in Kendrick (#160)/Yunel (#231)/Murphy (#250).  Would’ve loved Rutledge but he went higher than I’d liked.  I think these three can provide solid contributions in all 5 categories.  With Jennings and Marte, I was able to avoid overpaying for an MI SAGNOF like Alcides Escobar (#127) or accept what I think will be poor non-SB stats from someone like Jean Segura (#240).
  • Very happy with my bullpen.  Waited as long as I could to pick my first closer (Greg Holland – round 10 / #141) and acted quickly to get a 2nd solid closer in the 12th round with Huston Street.  Figure he’ll be very good when healthy and was able to get the Gregerson handcuff at minimal cost (#370).  Hopeful that there are times during the year when one of these other relievers gets Save opps:  Jared Burton, Carter Capps, Wesley Wright, AJ Ramos, and Kyle Farnsworth.  The only reliever I wanted and failed to get was Josh Fields on Houston who went sooner than expected.
  • After taking two SPs in the first 6 rounds, I waited until the 13th/14th rounds before I struck again with Vogelsong and Beckett.  Not a coincidence they pitch in pitcher-friendly AT&T Park and Dodger Stadium.  Out of my 14 non-ace SPs,  10 of them pitch in pitcher-friendly parks:  Petco (Volquez, Richard, Bass), AT&T (Vogelsong), Dodger Stadium (Beckett, Billingsley), Metco (Hefner), Safeco (Saunders), St. Louis (Westbrook), and O.co (Sonny Gray).  I deviated from the plan for Derek Holland (was a good value, like his upside if he can minimize the HRs), Masterson (another good value, feel I can limit his exposure to away starts + LH-heavy teams), and decent K-rate pitchers that came at discounts because they will be lucky to deliver 20 starts each (Baker, Bedard).
  • My 16 SPs were the 3rd most as one team drafted 18 SPs and another drafted 17 SPs.  But, based on my projections, I easily drafted the most starter IP with 2,373 which was 173 IP more than the team with the next highest IP and almost 500 IP higher than the average team.
  • I’m hopeful that my offensive depth will be enough.  I gambled on two Astros 1Bs (Chris Carter, Brett Wallace) for CI/UTIL.  I’m hopeful they will both get playing time and go 20+ HR / 70+ RBI.  It will be a bonus if/when Carter gets OF eligibility and Wallace gets 3B eligibility.
  • While I regret not picking Nolan Arenado earlier in the draft, I still think Chris Nelson (#291) will be a solid backup at 2B/3B and someone I can swap into the lineup when he is starting during a homestand.  I still think Nelson gets the majority of starts through April/May as the Rockies buy time with Arenado to avoid Super-2 status.
  • There was not a lot of power to be had for backups but I took a flier on Luke Scott (#531) figuring he usually has a few hot weeks and I can live with DL stretches.
  • There was plenty of speed to be had for OF backups and prospects.  I ended up with Darin Mastroianni, Jake Marisnick, Eury Perez, and Jimmy Paredes.  Mastroianni has a 50/50 chance of being the Twins CF/leadoff hitter (fighting Aaron Hicks who I hoped to get but missed out on) while the other three are dark horse candidates for playing time but could see time if the starters underperform or get injured.  Perez and Paredes have definite 30+ SB potential.
  • Re: prospects, I went in realizing that the top prospects (Myers, Shelby Miller, etc.) were going to go higher than I liked.  I ended up with only one guy in Scott Evans’ Top 50 fantasy baseball prospects list (Jake Marinsick – #25).  Hopefully I have outsmarted Mr. Evans with some of my more under-the-radar prospect picks.
  • Last and least, catchers.  I did diverge from strategy and snag Doumit with my 9th pick (#130) as he was the last catcher available in my unofficial 2nd tier (along with Jesus Montero and Sal Perez).  I waited until pick #340 to nab my 2nd catcher in Jason Castro – figuring he’ll deliver so-so stats but should get 400 ABs.  Given that both those players (and all catchers in general) are a bit injury prone, I drafted two more catchers that should at least get 200+ ABs in Josh Thole and Jose Molina.

From Around The Web

  1. OaktownSteve says:
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    NFBC is a blast Rudy. I am back again this year in a regular snake draft 5×5 main event style satellite. Had a lot of fun out in Vegas last year. Probably go back this year but wanted another year to test out some ideas on the format this year. Got beat up pretty good last year (along with some not so good luck).Have fun.

    Looks like a solid enough team you’ve got. You did right by loading up on starters. I have heard say that folks in the draft champ leagues will end up not being able to field a full rotation by the end of the year. I could quibble with a few choices, but really who knows.

    If you want to get a good feel for how to attack the categories and how many pitchers you’ll need in your rotation, google Shawn Childs and find some of his material on the NFBC. Childs is a pretty interesting cat and has a lot of NFBC knowledge to spread around.

    • Thanks Oaktown – not surprised that you’re doing NFBC. Grey and I met Shawn Childs at the NL LABR draft in 2010 where he and his partner (Greg Ambrosius, a founder of NFBC) went with a 3 SS draft strategy (Hanley, Tulo, Rollins). Anyone crazy enough to try that strategy has my ear…

      That said, I hate sifting through forums to find content….

      • OaktownSteve says:
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        @Rudy Gamble:
        Shawn is like an old school grinder. Has some hustler in him. He’s pretty intense too. I met him and Greg out in Vegas last year.

        One thing about the NFBC that you won’t have to deal with is the FAAB, which is absolutely brutal. That was the one thing more than any other that tripped me up last year. If you want to provide NFBC content you’ll ultimately want to go through a main event style league to talk about in season management which is critical in that deep format.

        • We are used to FAAB from some of our other leagues like LABR. LABR only has $100 FAAB (with $1 minimum) which is really tough because even a modest pickup like Jarrod Parker (when he got called up) could cost you $10.

          We don’t play on providing too much NFBC content – just wanted to provide a glimpse…particularly to the ’50-round’ format.

          • OaktownSteve says:
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            @Rudy Gamble:

            FAAB is rough I tell ya…rough. FAAB plus weekly league so much different than FA pick ups and daily league.

            I ask you the same thing I asked Grey in the morning thread. If you picked 15 in an NFBC draft and you projected Reyes for 110/15/70/45/.310 would you consider him in that spot?

            • Did you get those projections by viewing Reyes through the glasses Grey wears when projecting Jean Segura?

              I have him at 83/10/64/26/0.295 which puts him at #38 for 15-team. But my projections are likely more regressed than yours – Trout is the only guy I have with 110 Runs and 45 SBs.

              So I think that stat line probably is a top 15 stat line but I don’t think it’s probably and would prefer to gamble that he’s there for my 3rd pick.

              • OaktownSteve says:
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                @Rudy Gamble:

                there’s no way he’s there in the third round at 45 overall. His NFBC ADP is 23, he’s gone as early as 7 and the latest he’s gone is 41 in any NFBC draft.

                I wouldn’t call my numbers projections, but I am probably as high on him as any player this season so I am just saying to myself, what’s he got to do to be worth that draft slot.

                He’s in a perfect spot to succeed. Fast, fast carpet. Moving to AL and good line up. Should see a little bump in his power numbers.

                In 2006 (admittedly a few years back) he went 122/19/81/64/.300. I don’t see the steals hitting 64 ever again, but I think the other totals are not insane targets for this season.

                More than anything I think I’m trying to talk myself out of it.

                • i don’t like the move to the AL but i agree that turf would seem to help his AVG.

                  good rebuttal on it being highly unlikely he is around and pick #45. (He went #23 in my draft).

                  as my post noted, i prefer to punt MI. looking at how my draft went (https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0Ar-4jsI9x7b_dEVLZHJOSkE4Y0RmSm9nd054Nm5HNGc#gid=0), i would’ve taken Justin Upton for sure at #15. No idea at #16. I hate 2nd round picks this year….gun to head, Verlander or Josh Hamilton. Can’t pull trigger on Beltre (age at 3B scares me).

                  • OaktownSteve says:
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                    @Rudy Gamble:

                    If Upton is there I am definitely taking him. I’m afraid he’ll be gone. I’m a little higher on Beltre than you but worry about the overall quality of the Rangers offense. Longoria is interesting there. I’m still not sure how I feel about Bautista’s wrist but he’s definitely in the conversation. There’s a small chance Giancarlo is still there. I won’t touch Hamilton. Kid’s goofy. Don’t want to take a pitcher. So you can see why I’m thinking about Reyes, but not as a scarcity pick. Trying to think if there’s a scenario where he’s a legit first rounder unadjusted for position. I can kind of see it. Just not sure.

              • OaktownSteve says:
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                @Rudy Gamble:

                at any rate I’ll take the over on 26 steals any day.

                • Yeah, I’d take the over on 26 SB too. Steamer and CAIRO seem to agree on it though. My projection is assuming 605 PAs in 138 games so I guess it would be closer to 30 SBs if you think he can stay off the DL. I think the over/under is closer to 30 than 40 though….so gentleman’s bet at 35? :)

                  • OaktownSteve says:
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                    @Rudy Gamble:

                    *handshake* you’re on.

                    • Jon says:
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                      Rudy that team can not win. I will not quibble on my likes or dislikes of your top 20 or more picks. That said, this is a game of attrition and drafting a ton of prospects does not work in this league. You need guys who are guaranteed playing time. Id rather have Joe Saunders then Dylan Bundy in this league. Jeff Keppinger over Profar. Just in this type of league, having played in them since they started to be offered, I know you need depth with guaranteed at bats, starts etc.

                    • Appreciate the feedback though I am not sure where your accusation of being prospect-happy is coming from. Thought I drafted enough AB and especially IP. So what positions would u have gone deeper?

      • uncdrew says:
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        @Rudy Gamble:

        A few years back I loaded up on 3B and had all the top ones. I’m guessing their SS strategy had the same results.

        • @uncdrew: They finished 3rd that year but it was probably in spite of that strategy instead of because of it. I know some of the thinking behind the strategy was to exacerbate SS scarcity and drive up the bidding which didn’t end up happening. I believe that pre-draft position adjustments are not static….so if you draft a 3B, the next 3B you draft is worth a little less given they are at CI competing with other 1Bs. The third 3B would be markedly less because they are just at UTIL.

  2. JustMatt says:
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    Rudy – does LABR have a home page? I can’t seem to find a site that shows me final standings over the past several years. I remember the 3 SS strategy and I know there are a couple managers that have strongly employed a stars and scrubs approach the past coule years. We always hear about the draft but never the results. Where is the best place to find LABR final standings?

  3. TheNewGuy says:
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    Ahh Razzball the place to go for a quick answer, dunno what id do without it.

    Named my keepers in my keeper league but need to decide if Segura is worth keeping at $0 as a promoted prospect. Might sound an obvious yes for free but it is only a 10 teamer with OBP over AVG, so need to decide if he’s worth using a roster spot on. Keep him? Can obviously offer him a further contract with slight inflation next year too if he earns it.

    • @TheNewGuy: I like Segura’s long-term potential but don’t think he’s really worthy of a starting spot in a 10-team league. Assuming you have a small bench, I’d probably keep someone who provides more punch and helps you win this year.

      • TheNewGuy says:
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        @Rudy Gamble: They are 6 man benches, and remember he does cost absolutely zilch to keep this year (its an auction league). Still reckon throw him back?

        You must be enjoying the chance to respond to questions on your own for a change! Not that Grey doesnt do a good job though, the guys a legend.

        • @TheNewGuy: 6-man bench then, yeah, sure, I’d keep him for $0. Answering questions ain’t easy…I’m sure Grey wouldn’t mine taking a morning/afternoon off and passing the buck to me…. :)

          • TheNewGuy says:
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            @Rudy Gamble:
            Ha yeah i bet. Draft him as a bench player then to start rather than a MI? I.e dont trust him enough to be reg MI yet or do you.

            • Draft him as a bench player – maybe even take a chance on Tulo knowing you’ve got him as a backup?

    • OaktownSteve says:
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      @TheNewGuy:

      One thing that worries me is he’s going to hit 8th which really surpresses SBs in the NL. Guys don’t want to make the 3rd out at second with a pitcher up there and the pitcher also bunts them over a bunch. If he ends up hitting up in the line up that goes up but I think he’s penciled in for 8th.

      • TheNewGuy says:
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        @OaktownSteve:
        Yeah the pitcher would bunt him over which doesnt help i agree. Though why would guys be afraid of stealing with 2 outs and the pitcher up? Surely he’s likely to get out anyway so might aswell take the chance he can somehow get on.

        • JoeC says:
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          @TheNewGuy: Because if he gets thrown out then the pitcher has to lead off the next inning. Manager won’t like that. :)

  4. Jon says:
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    Rudy, curious which 3 you’d keep for 1B/3B/CI in a 10-team H2H league: AGon, Hosmer, Zimmerman, Lawrie

    Relatedly, I’m considering swapping Zimmerman for Goldschmidt. Do you think that’s a good move and if that goes through, who are your other 2 keepers with Goldy?

    Thanks!

    • @Jon: yes on goldy. prefer lawrie to hosmer given 3B vs 1B. if trade doesn’t go thru, Zimmerman and Lawrie.

  5. Jon says:
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    Would you trade Kris Medlen for Matt Moore straight up in a keeper league? Other two keeper SPs are Bumgarner and Zimmermann, so I’d love to pair those two with Moore’s big K potential rather than another guy with great ratios/lower Ks. Thoughts?

  6. BaseballFan says:
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    Rudy – good article, I enjoyed reading it. That said, seems to me Alcides is a way better pick where he went than Yunel where you took him (which seems like a reach? Is he even full time???)

    Wonder why you think alcides was a reach but yuni wasn’t?

    • @BaseballFan: I think Alcides was drafted almost exactly at where I valued him. But most of his value is tied up in SB. I think Yunel can equal Alcides in the other 4 categories. I think Yunel’s PT is safe as SS is probably not where the Rays want to play Zobrist. I got Yunel 100 picks later when the Power bats go from Pence/Willingham to Viciedo/Quentin. I prefer the former.

  7. Fair enough point made on Alcides, but then where you took Yunel 100 picks later, it seems you may have been able to get Yunel 100 picks later than where you actually got him. I think you are underselling Alcides’s upside a little to heavily. He is more than likely going to be hitting on top of one of the younger, more promising offenses in the AL, if not MLB. He is a young guy who showed increased production as he matures as a hitter, turning flyball outs into line drive hits. 100 Runs? I don’t know about that, but could be close. .280 90-5- 45- 30 is a very attainable line and may not even be the ceiling.

    Jose Reyes .287 86-11-57-40

    Looks like the guy who waited on Alcides Escobar might have made an even better choice by waiting 7 rounds and taking Alcides might be the better move to compare by seasons end.

    • @Mark Slechta: What up, draft mate. Didn’t mean to unfairly criticize the Escobar pick. Had to confer my $ values to find that I think you got solid value for Alcides. And I drafted Yunel much higher than my ranking. So I was writing more on hunch than science. I think that Escobar line is attainable and I do like the value there vs. Reyes whom I have at #38 and was drafted at #23 (though, as Oaktown pointed out, I might be shorting Reyes some SS.

      My hunch on Yunel is that he had bad BABIP luck last year and will hit 2nd on TB. Hoping he gets the Tampa bump that Kotchman got. Looking at it now, this might be my shallowest position with Descalso and Franklin as my backups…

  8. Beardcrabs says:
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    does anyone have a link to Ballpark Power Index for 2013…

    thanks in advance…

  9. Nate Marcum says:
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    I definitely will keep you posted on how I finish in my NFBC satellite this year, as it is my 2nd year competing. Took part in the St.Louis Double Play before, and had a pretty good showing for 3/4th of the season, until the injury bug hit, and I realized that learning how to properly spend FAAB is very important.

    I also need to give you and Grey credit for my draft that year as me and my teammate were the lone Razzball followers that year, until after the draft and I shared my secret formula (use razzball). For a good 2 months, we led the entire Double Play league (over 3000 teams.

    Good luck this year Rudy!

  10. Kangaroo Hops says:
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    That’s quite a racket they have going at NFBC! For every 15 player league like yours, they pocket $750 ($2250-prize money of $1500). For every $1000 entry league, they pocket $3000. Do you get anything else for that money? I think I would feel cheated just joining a league. I hope you at least get a free T-shirt or coffee mug.

    • @Kangaroo Hops: They also have the grand prize of $10,000 for the top team in the 60 leagues. I think they end up taking a 20% rake…

      • Kangaroo Hops says:
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        @Rudy Gamble: Well, that’s a little better when you include that prize money. I was thinking that I should be running a site like that instead of actually working!

        • Dusty says:
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          @Kangaroo Hops: Their other events give out much larger grand prizes…their rakes aren’t as big for those. The NFBC is full of some of the best people in fantasy, and drafting in Vegas is a blast every year.

      • Powerslave says:
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        @Dusty: @Rudy Gamble: The Overall prize for Draft Champions(includes the $150 and $375 slow drafts) is jacked up to $15,000, the 10 grand was based on 70 leagues and 1050 total teams, now they have more than 100 Leagues, it’s crazy, there’s a guy there with 25-30 teams!!!, LOL

        • Wow, 15K. Nice. Was hoping it increased if they went to more leagues.

      • Powerslave says:
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        have a team in DC $150 too
        C. A Avila
        C.. AJ Ellis
        1b.A Rizzo
        2b. B Phillips
        3b. M Moustakas
        SS. A Cabrera
        OF. G Stanton
        OF. J Hamilton
        OF.D Jennings
        OF. J Willingham
        OF C. Gomez
        CI. L Berkman
        MI. O Infante
        UT. D Fowler
        Bench. Gyorko, C. Nelson
        SPs Felix H. , M Cain, LLynn, J Beckett, E Jackson, J Mcdonald, P Maholm, R Detwiler
        RPs H Street, B Parnell, D Robertson, S Marshall, S Casilla…
        Thoughts??

        • I like the offense though you are really reliant on a full season of Gomez for speed (not convinced last year was real). SP looks solid but hoping you have a few matchup SPs as well. Saves will be rough – please tell me you handcuffed street with gregerson.

          • Powerslave says:
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            @Rudy Gamble: yeah, got gregerson, my strategy was find the stats for the Team that won the 10 grand in 2012, use his totals for my goals( why rob a Convenience Store when you can steal the Mona Lisa), Team called Las vegas ratpack, they went .2742BA, 1036 R, 296HR, 1078 RBIs, 151 SBs, 3.236ERA , 105 W, 1.178Whip, 1420 Ks, 90 SVs and won the overall by a lot…, I figure maybe a DL stint here and there for Mo/Romo/Broxton, can get me some 12-15 extra saves, also I figure I could use 90+ steals from Jennings/Gomez/Fowler maybe 45 from Phillips/Asdrubal/Infante…., I felt I needed 2 aces to approach 3.25ish , under 1.20whip…., use EJax/Mcdonald/Detwiler/Maholm only in Home Starts and so…

  11. Jon says:
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    What’s going on with the War Room? Only the downloadable one seems to be available right now…

    • @Jon: It is down until Sunday when we’re upgrading our servers. Apologies for the inconvenience.

      • Jon says:
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        @Rudy Gamble: no prob. I was just wondering if it was offline for good or what. It’s an awesome tool. Thanks for the update!

  12. Rudy,

    Dynasty league trade offer has been made….

    Jose Fernandez
    Javier Baez

    for my

    Shelby Miller
    Fancisco Lindor

    Thoughts?

    • Yowza, those are some youngins (sp?). Shelby Miller provides the best potential for 2013 contribution but I kind of like the Fernandez/Baez side. But you should ask our prospect guy Scott who is more well-versed on these guys…

  13. Jon says:
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    I may look to trade AGon for an OF (he’s 1B eligible only for me). My two keepers for 4 OF spots are Stanton and Jennings. Who would be a good OFer to go with those two that would be fair value for Gonzalez?

  14. The Rock says:
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    Rudy. I enjoy reading your articles. Really good stuff.
    Just curious How many hours do you spend thinking/reading/writing about fantasy baseball in an average week vs “Real” JOB?

    I don’t think your $150 is not a bad investment.

    • Thanks Rock. I don’t know how many hours but probably too many for my own good…

  15. oaktown a's says:
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    who would you rather take a flyer on? matt carpenter or jordany valdespin. of course hoping each gains 2b eligibility this year but its not a deal breaker either. thanks rudy, love your work.

      • @oaktown a’s: sorry, missed that one. definitely carpenter. i don’t see valdespin getting 2B eligibility and i like carpenter’s bat better anyway

        • oaktown a's says:
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          @Rudy Gamble: awesome,thanks Rudy. Yea im still holding out hope both get 2b eligibility (only need 5 in season n my lge) and thought maybe the power/speed of valdespin would tilt scales. Really appreciate the response, sorry i got butt hurt for a min lol. Thats exactly what i wanted to hear, whose bat u liked better.

  16. realist says:
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    I like your picks and pretty much totally agree with your strategy. Beckett will surprise this year–he and Vogelsong are nice late SP picks. I fear your achilles may be 3B and not sure i agree with the Doumit pick. Longo almost always misses games–a Frazier or Young would have been a nice security blanket rather than Descalso, but with the Card’s ss situation–may be Descalso is fine.

    • Thanks. Yeah, don’t love the doumit pick but I also have Chris Nelson and possibly Brett wallace as 3B backup. Descalso is hopefully last resort at 2B/SS/3B.

  17. 2 Giant rings says:
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    My cheat sheet plan is to take the ADP from Fantasy Pros and imput Razzball rankings by denoting how over or under Razzball recommends taking each player over adp. That and I highlight players I want. This way I roughly know where players are going (adp) and I have an expert ranking as a compass, and I have my own instincts of course. Is this a sound cheat sheet plan or do you like another method such as balancing Razzball rankings with another source? Thanks Rudy.

    • Sounds like a good plan. I tend to use the draft room ADP as my 2nd reference but doing it ahead of time is good too.

  18. Mike says:
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    Rudy!
    I’ve been invited to join a H2H points league, I’ve never used this format before but I feel obliged to kick some ass i that league, basically:
    Runs (R) 1
    Hits (H) 1
    Singles (1B) 1
    Doubles (2B) 2
    Triples (3B) 6
    Home Runs (HR) 4
    Runs Batted In (RBI) 1
    Sacrifice Flys (SF) 1
    Stolen Bases (SB) 1
    Walks (BB) 1
    Hit By Pitch (HBP) 1
    Strikeouts (K) -1
    Innings Pitched (IP) 1
    Wins (W) 7
    Losses (L) -5
    Complete Games (CG) 10
    Shutouts (SHO) 15
    Saves (SV) 5
    Earned Runs (ER) -1
    Walks (BB) -1
    Strikeouts (K) 1
    Relief Appearances (RAPP) 1
    No Hitters (NH) 50
    Perfect Games (PG) 100
    Quality Starts (QS) 3
    Blown Saves (BSV) -3

    Would you draft differently than ina regular H2H or roto?? Thanks!

  19. Mike says:
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    Rudy!
    I’ve been invited to join a H2H points league, I’ve never used this format before but I feel obliged to kick some ass i that league, basically:
    Runs (R) 1
    Hits (H) 1
    Singles (1B) 1
    Doubles (2B) 2
    Triples (3B) 6
    Home Runs (HR) 4
    Runs Batted In (RBI) 1
    Sacrifice Flys (SF) 1
    Stolen Bases (SB) 1
    Walks (BB) 1
    Hit By Pitch (HBP) 1
    Strikeouts (K) -1
    Innings Pitched (IP) 1
    Wins (W) 7
    Losses (L) -5
    Complete Games (CG) 10
    Shutouts (SHO) 15
    Saves (SV) 5
    Earned Runs (ER) -1
    Walks (BB) -1
    Strikeouts (K) 1
    Relief Appearances (RAPP) 1
    No Hitters (NH) 50
    Perfect Games (PG) 100
    Quality Starts (QS) 3
    Blown Saves (BSV) -3

    Would you draft differently than ina regular H2H or roto?? Thanks!

    • @Mike: Hey Mike – thought I replied to this but not seeing the reply there right now. I have no idea how all these categories/points shake out. I would run the above against the Steamer projections and use those results as your new rankings. Not sure if it will favor hitters or pitchers. You may want to discount pitchers 2.5% and increase hitter value 2.5% which is what I do for my rankings to reflect the greater reliability of hitter projections.

      For all H2H leagues, I also recommend discounting SBs and Saves. Too streaky.

  20. Rags says:
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    Just started a dynasty slow draft. 18 teams. We do MiLB in a separate draft from MLB. Anyone with any MLB ABs or IPs is not eligible for a MiLB, so Profar is going to have to be taken in the MLB draft.

    Where would you take Profar, Olt, Bundy, Skaggs and Archer in the MLB draft?
    Where would you take Eaton, Fujikawa (we count holds), and maybe Ryu in the MiLB draft?

    • Profar, Bundy, Olt, Skaggs, Archer

      Eaton, Ryu, Fujikawa

      • Rags says:
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        @Rudy Gamble: Oh, sorry. I meant in relation to other players. Is Profar the first bench player you pick in the MLB draft? One before?

        Of the 10 round, 18 team MiLB draft, is Eaton and co 2nd rounders? 3rd? Where do I trade off the high upside guys in single A for the sure things in the bigs?

        • Profar isn’t going to be much help this year so all depends on how much ur playing for future years. Same goes for when u draft Eaton. I probably would draft a higher ceiling playing in the first roun than him…

  21. Dani says:
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    Rudy, you wrote an article comparing different site rankings and how they did. Can’t find the link. Want to read it again, do you mind posting the link?

  22. TheNewGuy says:
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    Got a late SOS call before my draft tonight (sunday night that is)!

    Just had all our contracts announced in our keeper league, loads of teams are in win now mode offering 1 year deals to get the cheapest prices possible, so enssentially 1 year rentals (eg 1 team has Chapman ($3), Kimbrel ($9), Sale ($3), Reed ($3), A-Jax ($4), Desmond ($4). Dirt cheap huh.

    Ok thats the most extreme example, but theres another 3 (out of 10) thats done the same thing too. So what im asking is how much more should I value players going into the draft, with all these bargains already kept? As all this money available in the draft will lead to inflated prices. Is x1.5 a good rough idea for auction values??

    • @TheNewGuy:I thought I replied to this over the weekend but it’s not here. Here is how you handle it:

      1) Multiply # of teams in league * 260
      2) Add up the keeper values of all keepers
      3) Add up their $ value in my projections
      4) Take that number and add it from # of teams * 260
      5) Divide that number by # of teams
      6) Divide that number by 260 to get the multiple you’re looking for.

      So if there were $200 in savings from keepers and 10 teams, it would be 2600+200=2800/10=$280 per team. 280/260=1.077. Now a $40 player = $43.

  23. Justin says:
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    Rudy as always great stuff. NFBC is a few years away for me. Could you give me your insight on this team? Be brutally honest sir. I used the razzball rankings so it should be interesting to see what you think.

    14 team h2h 6×6 total bases and obp(no avg) and hlds are extra pitching cat.

    Jaso
    Goldshmidt
    Zobrist
    Rutledge
    Machado
    Jennings
    AJak
    J.upton
    Agon
    Hosmer
    BN: Texiera,eaton,morse,gyorko,lowrie,brown.

    Medlen
    Shields
    Samadja
    Parker
    Miller
    Ryu
    Wihlesman
    Kenley Jensen
    Venters

    Just missed on a big 3b and c twice in draft. Worried about C and SS. Machado or gyorko should be fine.

    Out of ten how good is this team?

    • I take it this is a Yahoo league with no CI/MI, 3 OF, 2 UTIL, and 8 pitchers, right?

      Assuming so, I think your offense looks really solid. I like you don’t have a Steals-only guy (which I feel has less value in H2H b/c SBs are streaky) but have enough speed to win in probably 50% of the weeks. I am a little less bullish on your pitching staff. Why is your whole bench hitters? Wouldn’t SPs be more valuable? How many SPs does the average team have in your league? I’m concerned you only have 6 and Shelby Miller still might be sent down. I’d prefer having 2 SPs and another RP on the bench so you have more flexibility to exploit 2-start weeks or good matchups.

      So maybe a 7 out of 10 – I think dropping Lowrie and Brown for two SPs with favorable home parks would boost you to an 8.

      • Justin says:
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        @Rudy Gamble: Thanks rudy, I went hitters for bench to possibly trade for pitching. I drafted eleventh and missed the run on C and SP. I have work cut out for me. Average team has about 8 SP. I was thinking most weeks my pitching averages would win me 60 percent of cats.

  24. BASH says:
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    RUDY – keeper league

    Would u trade weaver and cano for strasburg and kinsler?

    Would u trade chapman for justin upton ?

    thank u

    • @BASH: tough call on that trade. feels about even. i’d probably stick w/ weaver/cano. yes, i’d trade chapman for upton.

  25. Dani says:
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    Is your point shares values where you would actually draft guys? You have Bruce and BJ upton about 20 points higher than their ADP, so these are guys who will end up on a lot of your teams?

    • @Dani: I don’t draft guys until their ADP comes up – this is what I’m projecting their value to be. So what Bruce/Upton is saying is that I feel OFs are undervalued and I’m typically drafting 2 in the top 3-4 picks.

  26. Steve Stevenson says:
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    Love your draft, Rudy. How did you approach setting draft order preferences with the KDS system? My 12-team OBP league uses it, and based on who’s likely going to be available (factoring in potential keepers), here are a few possibilities for my first two picks (note: I’m keeping Harper and Rizzo, start 3 OF, 1 Util, no CI/MI):

    a) Pick 1 – Miggy, followed by whoever’s left of Holliday, Heyward or Pedroia
    b) Pick 5 – Best left of Votto/Pujols/Prince, followed by my choice of the above guys, or maybe a top-5 3B if one of them slips through
    c) Pick 10 – J. Upton, followed by Wright/Beltre
    d) Pick 12 – Longo, followed by Kinsler or Adrian Gonzalez

    So, where were you hoping to draft–early, middle, or late 1st? Thanks.

    • Thanks Thankenson! I didn’t put much thought into the draft order preferences to be honest. I think I went 3/2/1/4/5/6/7/8/9/10/11/12/13/14/15.

      I’d probably order it just like I did though. We keep drafting at the end of the draft and it’s not a lot of fun either before or after the 1st turn. If anything, maybe 3/2/1/7/8/6/5/4/9/10/11/12 so you can stay in the middle of the draft and not get caught when there are runs at a certain position.

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