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

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[email protected] – Writer of Team Previews, Top 100 Keepers, Top 100 Hitters, Two-Start Pitchers and lover of GIFs. You’re welcome.

Mike Maher – Two sport star and writer of Fantasy Environments and the Frankencatcher Report

Smokey – Our soccer wizard and baseball SAGNOF expert

Teddy Heater – DFS writer, thrower of first pitches and The People’s Champ

Kerry Klug – The local ambulance chaser

Ralph Lifshitz – The Prospector, lover of small righties and Andrew Benintendi

Viz – Our resident Hockey enthusiast

MattTruss – DFS and RCLs are my game

Victoria B – New writer in the DFS game and one of the 6 female readers

Lance – Lance writes freestyle and has his own site: BigThreeSports.com

Phil B. – OPS is his bag

SON – Writes about Bears, Bulls, and Todd Frazier

Now you know who is in the league, next we’ll hear what they had to say about it.  I interviewed each writer with six questions; two personal and four generic and here’s what they had to say:

[email protected]:

Q: First pick in the draft is pretty sweet.  What was the game plan once you knew you had Trout on lockdown?

Couldn’t have been more excited to start the season off with Mike Trout. This was my first draft of 2017, so why not start the year #1?!? Locking in Trout plays into my RCL strategy for hitters, because I believe OF isn’t as deep as potentially perceived. I knew by getting his 5 cats that I could focus on some power bats while just supplementing speed at the back end of the draft.

Q: Were you trying to flip Grey the bird on purpose (Bumgarner – Round 2, Drafting CarGo AND McCutchen) or did the draft just fall that way for you?

Haha, I made a joke in the chat about pissing Grey off and taking Kershaw #1. Of course, I didn’t…and I don’t recommend that for anyone not in a Points League. However, the mindset of Razzball folks is so SP-averse that you can really take advantage of some great options rounds after they should go. Or, just draft Madison Bumgarner at the turn of the 2nd/3rd rounds. I was hoping Joey Votto would fall to me, so when he was taken at #22 I fell into the trap of ESPN’s ADP (one of the worst parts about drafting online). I debated on Ian Desmond, Xander Bogaerts and Bumgarner to pair with Edwin Encarncion at the turn. I think it will work out, but I second-guessed myself within 90 seconds after taking MadBum. As for CarGo and McCutchen, I think they were the best options available in a weaker position. Both of them could provide 4-5 cat production, you can’t beat Coors Field, and I think McCutchen’s drop was due in large part to an injury in 2016. Now, watch me be wrong on my excitement when I nabbed four first-round ceiling guys as my first four hitters.

Q: What were your overall thoughts on the draft?

In terms of an RCL I loved my draft. The format and subsequent strategy are a little different than standard roto or H2H leagues. Those 180 starts for the SP as the only playing time limitation means you stack up on high K/9 relievers, a few studs closers, and then just tunnel vision on hitting. However, as I mentioned before, I don’t fully follow the Razzball trend by waiting for forever on my starting pitching. If I can lock in 90 starts from elite options, that’s a leg up on those simply streaming or hoping guys like Marcus Stroman provide dominant outings. Pepper in top tier SP as they continue to fall and you’re set up for a great season. Granted, in this draft the SP fell further than the majority, I would imagine, because we’re all engrained in the Razzball writer way of approaching ranks and drafts. Hitters over pitchers. All day.

Q: Tell us your favorite pick you made and the pick you instantly regretted.

The two Giants, Madison Bumgarner and Buster Posey, were the two that drew the most internal ire as I continued to draft, but with how I constructed the team in the rounds that followed I think I’ll be alright with them anchoring two overlooked Razzball spots. As for my favorite pick, aside from Trout and Edwin to bolster the lineup, I love the risk of David Price in Round 15 at #169. Say what you will about him before the injury news, but he won’t slip past #50 overall in most drafts. At that spot he’s a massive steal, in my opinion, since the risk is so mitigated by the round and the two DL slots. I love utilizing those, and with Price, even if he begins there, I believe I drafted three of the Top 15 SP, barring clean health.

Q: What did you think was the best overall pick of the draft and biggest reach of the draft?

Biggest reach: Dee Gordon at #50 (Sorry, Mike! I love your Matt Kemp pick, though!). I’m not a fan of Gordon and his 2-3 cat production. The PED suspension, while potentially unrelated to fantasy performance, looms heavy on his fantasy horizon to me. Wasn’t a big fan before, but even less now. And in this draft he went 20 picks before Billy Hamilton, who provides greater upside in their primary value category. I’m also aware that Posey, Bruce, Napoli and McCutchen could all be the worst at the end of this.

Best pick: Mike Trout at #1. Duh. Ok, now I just said ‘duh’…I apologize and quickly recant my decision for the sake of false humility. Haha, I’ll go deeper into the later rounds and pull a few that I had ranked much higher than where they were selected (starting pitchers, including my aforementioned David Price pick, omitted): Keon Broxton in the 13th (#150), Eric Thames in the 15th (#171), Jarrod Dyson in the 19th (#223 – similar upside to Dee Gordon 170 picks later. Again…sorry), Jason Heyward in the 20th (#231 – I believe in the comeback) and David Peralta in the 24th (#284).

Q: Go ahead and give us a prediction for where you think you’ll finish and who is your pick to win (if not yourself).

I think I have a really good shot at this, but the main thing that comes down to claiming an RCL crown is in-season management and shrewd pickups. I’m hopeful I’ll have enough attention to keep up in this, but with three little ones, a job I love, a wife I love more and all these articles to write we’ll see about that. Haha, so…I’m a big fan of Vicky, Ralph and Viz’s squads, with the last two as my favorites to win it all. Viz is really freaking good at RCL’s. And Ralph, well…he’s King Ralph.

Mike Maher:

Q: Daniel Murphy at #26 huh?  Defend yourself!

Haha. I know, I know, he’s everybody’s favorite 2017 Schmohawk. He is listed as a bust candidate everywhere I look, and while I don’t think he will replicate when he did last year, I do think he’s going to be fine. Picking at 2 and 14, I was right at the wheel, and I knew he wouldn’t make it another two rounds, so I grabbed him to get some positional flexibility (1B/2B depending on how things went) and some pop and average.

Q: Were you intending on punting Saves or was that just a product of this draft?

A little bit of both, to be honest. It wasn’t a strategy I had in mind coming in, but once the early runs on saves started, I knew I would be punting.

Q: What were your overall thoughts on the draft?

I thought it was a lot of fun. I drank a lot of fine, had a great time, and had to remind myself who I picked in the morning. My team, while it has some flaws, I think came out pretty balanced, and I’m happy with where it is. Saves ain’t got no face, so I’ll be aight.

Q: Tell us your favorite pick you made and the pick you instantly regretted.

Daniel Murphy for both. Haha, just kidding. My favorite pick was probably being able to grab Rick Porcello in Round 17. The pick I instantly regretted was Hayes taking Encarnacion at 25, which made me take Murphy at 26. Oh, you meant one of my picks I regretted? NONE, THEY ARE ALL PERFECT. Oh, be serious, you say? Uhhh, probably either taking Matt Kemp in Round 9, just because he is, you know, Matt Kemp, or taking Marcell Ozuna over either Evan Gattis or Joc Pederson in Round 11. I’m sorry, Joc! Daddy loves you.

Q: What did you think was the best overall pick of the draft and biggest reach of the draft?

Best overall pick, other than Daniel Murphy in the 3rd round, was prrrrrrobably Willson Contreras at Ralph at 163? Hayes waiting until Round 9 and getting Buster Posey anyway? For biggest reach, I’ll go with all of you yahoos who took relievers in the top 60 picks. I’m also not a big fan of taking Trevor Story that early, but I get why people do.

Q: Go ahead and give us a prediction for where you think you’ll finish and who is your pick to win (if not yourself).

Obviously, I’m hoping to win the dang thing. We’ll see how that goes. I think my team is balanced enough to finish in the top third of the league. As for picking a winner, let’s seeeeee. I guess I would go with either Ralph or Son.

Smokey:

Q: You sniped me a lot in this draft, so naturally I like your team, it’s very well-rounded.  Care to explain your thoughts on Arenado over Goldy at #3?  

I prefer the RBI/run output of Nolan on a better offensive team than the D-backs. I was planning on going steals heavy later in draft. So that was really the driving factor.

Q: Kenley Jansen, Billy Hamilton, & Edwin Diaz is a nice little run for Razzball’s SAGNOF specialist.  We know you love Diaz, but were Kenley and Hamilton targets for you as well?

Jansen was definitely. I always draft a top 5 Rp and it just happened that the run on top guys started with me instead of me joining the party. Hamilton wasn’t and in hindsight I’m a little nervous that Peraza may be the guy instead but I think Hamilton gets his.

Q: What were your overall thoughts on the draft?  

Was surprised at the star powered staters remaining late in drafts.

Q: Tell us your favorite pick you made and the pick you instantly regretted.

Every team even an RCL needs a stud starter and I like Kluber to be the horse of the Smoke Show. Adam Eaton was my regret, I got up from my computer and panicked with minimal time left. He is a pretty decent get there but is a stat contributor not a stat winner.

Q: What did you think was the best overall pick of the draft and biggest reach of the draft?

The best picks are the ones that give the best value. It’s impossible know now because everyone has zero stats and are all the same. This is a smart group of drafters so we all know what we were doing. And that in itself speaks volumes for draft and draft value.

Q: Go ahead and give us a prediction for where you think you’ll finish and who is your pick to win (if not yourself).

Easily middle if the pack. I left myself short on HRs and RBIs.

Teddy Heater:

Q: Nice draft Teddy, I like the balance but do you feel like you have a lot of question marks?

Yeah, I definitely have some questions marks.  My M/I is extremely suspect and I’m not thrilled with missing out on Lamb one pick ahead of me, hence the Moncada draft.

Q: What are your expectations for Yoan Moncada?

This was a flyer for sure, I’m just looking for him to play everyday and help me with some bags.

Q: What were your overall thoughts on the draft?

Too early to tell, but I feel like I have a lot of work to get done!

Q: Tell us your favorite pick you made and the pick you instantly regretted.  

I liked Stanton, Hanley and Pujols.  I regretted the Kepler pick immediately because I already took Buxton.

Q: What did you think was the best overall pick of the draft and biggest reach of the draft?  

Price if his elbow holds

Q: Go ahead and give us a prediction for where you think you’ll finish and who is your pick to win (if not yourself).  

I’m winning this bitch!

Kerry Klug:

Q: Are you actively targeting Altuve high this year or do you feel he fell in your lap at #5?

I was honestly expecting Goldschmidt or Kris Bryant to be my selection and started formulating my draft with them in mind. With a first round pick I’m always trying to fill as many categories as I possibly can and the 25/25 from Goldy was looking pretty at the #5 pick. I don’t think Altuve hits over 20 HR again—but 17-19 is doable along with 30+ steals.

Q: You know Saves are a thing, right?

Maybe for you chumps! #NotMyCloser. Yeaaaa it got to a point in maybe around the 15th round or so when I realized that only myself and Mike Maher didn’t have closers so I just fully committed to go nil on closers. I’d rather have no closer than 2-3 closers who will just drag down my ratios. I’ll just have to be active on the waiver wire when the first of 20 closers loses their job. I fully expect to still finish in the top 6 in saves by the end of the season. SAGNOF!

EDIT: Already got Greg Holland, the Rockies presumptive closer!

Q: What were your overall thoughts on the draft?

Weird. There was a while there for the first 6 or 7 rounds when none of the “elite” starting pitchers were being drafted. I grabbed the granddaddy of them all in Kershaw—and was honestly tempted to take another just because no one else was. I thought there was some secret that this was a no-pitching league or something. My usual strategy on starting pitching is to wait, wait, wait and wait some more—but Kershaw in the 2nd was too good to pass up.

Q: Tell us your favorite pick you made and the pick you instantly regretted.

Besides my entire “closers schmosers” plan? Justin Upton in the 6th as my OF2 or Hosmer in the next round as my 1B. I feel like this happened to me last year too where I overestimated the depth at first base and ended up with Brandon Belt. I think I mentioned this in the draft chat—Hosmer is the “oh crap first base is a position!” pick for first basemen.

Q: What did you think was the best overall pick of the draft and biggest reach of the draft?

Depending on how things shake out it really could be David Price in the 15th round by Matt Hayes. If Price’s elbow can give him the Tanaka treatment where he pitches through it—Price is a steal at that cost.

Q: Go ahead and give us a prediction for where you think you’ll finish and who is your pick to win (if not yourself).

I’m confident I can be at least top 4. Yea I have no saves but in my opinion that shouldn’t even be a category in standard leagues anymore (most of my home leagues we’ve made the switch to holds + saves.) I think I will still be near the top for every other category. I only have 1 big HR threat in Frazier but everyone in my lineup could hit at least 15. I also have 5 or 6 players who could hit at least 15 HR while also stealing 15 SB. I actually really like my “we don’t need no stinkin’ saves” brother in Mike Maher’s team.

Ralph Lifshitz:

Q: I love your Coors combo of Story and Desmond.  I was hoping Desmond fell to me in the 3rd.  Are you giddy for that or what?

EDIT: Literally two days later Desmond breaks his freaking hand…what crap!  Sorry Ralph!

We can’t have nice things Truss! My go to foundation in the early rounds of my RCL’s (The Writers league was my 4th draft so far in the format), was Bryant in the first, Freeman/Seager/Story in the second, with Desmond as my 3rd rounder. I thought Desmond was going to win me leagues. No joke. Looks like I wait to see what the hand specialist says, but hand and wrist injuries for hitters are no bueno!

Q: Any worries your team might hit .250?

.250, 2smishty. Did that make sense? I lack a .300 hitter in the lineup for sure, and I have my drains with Schwarber, Broxton, Suarez and more than likely Story. Hopefully the combination of Belt, Kinsler, Bryant, Cruz, and Beltran will boost me a bit. I pray to the BABIP gods. The BABIP gods wear black button up shirts, and never smile.

Q: What were your overall thoughts on the draft?

Seemed like the group understood RCL’s better than in previous years. Lots of RP going early, and not too many falling into the collecting starters trap.

Q: Tell us your favorite pick you made and the pick you instantly regretted.

I liked a lot of my picks, Desmond obviously hurts now, but it was my favorite at the time. Now that Desmond won’t be so “handy”, I’m going to go with Carlos Beltran at 174th overall, I was going to say Broxton at 150, but Beltran offers certainty. If I get the 2015 or 2016 Carlos, I’ll be very happy. If not, he went late enough he’ll get gobbled by my churn and burn spots.

Worst Pick is probably Kyle Schwarber at 67. I’m gambling on health, and him hitting at the top or near the top of a stacked lineup. Might have reached on Dellin Betances.

Q: What did you think was the best overall pick of the draft and biggest reach of the draft?

Best pick of the draft was Jeruys Familia at 117, if his suspension is short, that’s a stellar pick in this format. Well done Teddy Heater.

The biggest reach was Andrew Benintendi, He went 6 slots too high, aka not to me.

Q: Go ahead and give us a prediction for where you think you’ll finish and who is your pick to win (if not yourself).

Top 3, I know that Truss and Heater are going to come to play, and based on roster construction they understand the format. I also don’t doubt their DFS instincts and ability to rosterbate/batty-call/stream.

Viz:

Q: As primarily the “Hockey Guy”, any added pressure to come in and show these baseball nerds what’s up?

I wouldn’t say I felt pressure as much as I don’t want my team to be an embarrassment!  That said, there were a couple issues I came across. I do play in a bunch of money leagues every year but this draft was a completely different animal in terms of strategy. All of the writers at Razzball know that generally speaking, taking more than one pitcher in the early rounds digs you a massive hole in the hitting categories.  The hitter pool at some positions fall off a cliff somewhat quickly and even more so when everyone is loading up on hitting early.  Along with some others in the draft, this was my first snake of the year so that was somewhat of an issue.   

Q: You’re very strong at the corners, was that a strategy entering the draft?

I definitely wanted to end up with strong guys at 1B and 3B with the idea of having a strong CI as well.  I think the depth at both positions are thinner than usual so I wanted to get ahead of the curve.  I took Machado first, it’s nice to have the flexibility but ideally I leave him at SS this year.  It wasn’t my plan to take Freeman at 18th overall seemed like good value considering his high floor.  When it came to me for my 6th round pick, Bregman was the last guy that I felt comfortable with as my 3B so it was an easy decision.  I also wanted Maikel Franco as my CI but Truss took him one pick before me!  There aren’t many guys that are going late in drafts that I like at either corner but Ryon Healy is one of them so I was happy to get him after missing out on Franco.

Q: What were your overall thoughts on the draft?

I like it a bit better than ESPN’s projections do (they peg me to finish 11th) but I also think I’m outside of the top tier of teams.  I do like my pitchers but most of the starters have injury history.  I think that’s fine in a 12 man league, especially in an RCL setup where you have unlimited moves to stream, but it is a bit of a gamble.  The main issue I have is that I have a lot of clunky power and by that, I mean guys who can bury your average.  I am a favorite to have one of the worst averages in the league but without the guarantee of being one of the best couple HR and RBI teams.

Q: Tell us your favorite pick you made and the pick you instantly regretted.

Joe Ross!!  Where are you now?!  God, that “song” will be stuck in my head forever.  In all seriousness, Yu Darvish was my favorite.  My plan was to take him in the 5th round as my #1 and it fell to me perfectly.  There’s #1 overall starter upside for Darvish with his K rate.  Even though I thought I got really good value taking Jacob De Grom outside of the top 100, I also regret the pick.  The K rate fell below 1 per inning last season and he’s probably a bigger injury risk than Darvish is.  The fact that my #2 is an injury risk after taking Darvish is a mistake.  I should have gone with another batter in this spot, be it Franco or Schoop.

Q: What did you think was the best overall pick of the draft and biggest reach of the draft?

I’ll go with Lance McCullers at 213th overall.  To get a guy with that upside outside of the top 200 is great.  Sure, there is risk, but in round 18, who cares?  I’m definitely avoiding Daniel Murphy this year at his current ADP.  Based on his entire career before last season, we’re looking at a 15/10 guy in the best case.  I don’t care how good the counting stats and average are, that’s not a top of the 3rd round guy.  Even if we give him 20 HR, I don’t think he’s getting 10 SB at this point either so I simply don’t see him paying off value.

Q: Go ahead and give us a prediction for where you think you’ll finish and who is your pick to win (if not yourself).

I’ll probably finish in the middle of the pack barring all of my starters staying healthy and crushing (aka getting lucky) in pitching stats.  Despite investing a lot in batting, it’s still not to the level of a few other teams.  I don’t think anyone is far ahead of the field but I’ll say Truss is the slight favorite.  

MattTruss:

Q: Really betting on some bounce backs this year with Pollock, Brantley and Franco huh?

I can be a sucker for guys with high rankings in previous years that fall a bit the following year.  It’s the same reason I can’t quit Anthony Rendon.  The 4th round came around and I was feeling light on speed, so Pollock made sense to me there.  I got sniped a ton on OFs in this draft and feel weak there so I had to take some gambles, Brantley is a big dice roll.  Franco was drafted as high as 35th overall last year and I’m hoping with another year under his belt he takes a step forward.  Third base gets pretty gross after this point also.

Q: Save some closers for the rest of us would ya!?

Yea, Ralph and I know what’s up in RCLs.  We hit closers early and often.  There will be someone looking to make a deal at some point, maybe for a nice outfielder.  I’ve always been a closer hoarder in RCLs.

Q: What were your overall thoughts on the draft?

It was a lot of fun, great chat box banter throughout and everyone was on the ball.

Q: Tell us your favorite pick you made and the pick you instantly regretted.

Jose Peraza is my favorite get.  I’m obsessed with him now that Brandon Phillips is out of town.  Peraza is everything Billy Hamilton wants to be when he grows up.  I will be owning lots of him this year.  I instantly regretted Gerrit Cole.  I had Danny Salazar on standby followed by Joc Pederson…then panic ensued.

Q: What did you think was the best overall pick of the draft and biggest reach of the draft?

Best Pick – Max Kepler at 148 is pretty awesome.  Biggest Reach – Evan Gattis at 129

Q: Go ahead and give us a prediction for where you think you’ll finish and who is your pick to win (if not yourself).

What kind of RCL Updater would I be if I didn’t bet on myself to win?  That said I like Teddy and Phil B’s teams too.

Victoria B:

Q: I’ve got you projected for the most HRs in the league by a landslide, was that intentional?

I like big donkeys and I cannot lie? I’m emulating the Blue Jays (my fave team) — HR or nothing? ;-) But seriously — no, it actually wasn’t intentional: all I can speculate is that in past years, in my RCL and other leagues, I’ve ended up much too light on power, so this year I suppose I was subconsciously overcompensating! I’m not unhappy about it, but I’d like more SAGNOF.

Q: On the same token, you batting average is a little scary, maybe too much Jedd Gyorko in your life?

Indeed, you are bang on: my average is heading for the realm of… pretty average, and Gyorko, the post-post-to-the-power-of-10 sleeper, is probably not going to help.. But my mother calls me “Victoria Mary, Quite Contrary” for a reason, so I shall hang on to JG for a bit and see what happens ;-) And I find average a really hard stat to do much about, so I tend to punt that category a bit (rightly or wrongly)?

Q: What were your overall thoughts on the draft?

Despite the usual mild RCL frustration of drafting with a bunch of brilliant people who were using all the same resources I was, haha, it was excellent — great banter and a good crew: I felt instantly at home with my new RWL peeps.

Re. *my* actual draft, though, I have to say I felt on the wrong foot the whole time — you know how in some drafts, you feel like you nail (almost) every round, but in other drafts, from the get-go, the players you want just keep falling to other people one or two slots ahead of you (BOTH MATTS, I’M TALKING TO YOU), so the whole thing feels like a scramble, and you’re like “dammit, I HAVE to get a 3B right now before there’s no one left whatsoever”? You know that feeling? I’m vaguely meh about this team, but I don’t really know why: it’s…OK? If Harper and Rendon and Marte do better this year, I’ll be OK.

Q: Tell us your favorite pick you made and the pick you instantly regretted.

Favourite (yes, this Brit/Canadian is spelling that with a “u”) pick: Starling Marte.

Regret pick: Trumbo, when Pollock (and even Syndergaard) were still out there in Round 3. That was nothing but a panic, clock-ticking-down, I-have-to-grab-someone pick, and I somehow missed a lot of players still on the board.

And maybe Gyorko. (Haha! Told you I’m contrary.)

And maybe Scherzer, if his hand does turn out to be an issue — then I definitely grabbed him too early.

So. Many. Regrets.

Q: What did you think was the best overall pick of the draft and biggest reach of the draft?

Best overall pick: I thought Posey and Lance McCullers would have gone earlier, so kudos and snaps to Kerry and Teddy for getting them when they did.

Biggest reach? Trumbo :-)

Q: Go ahead and give us a prediction for where you think you’ll finish and who is your pick to win (if not yourself).

I think Phil B’s team is the closest to what my team wants to be when it grows up.

As for me, with this crew, I’ll feel lucky to finish 4th or 5th.

Lance:

Q: Your team looks very well-rounded, do you pay attention to that during the draft or just go by feel?

This is definitely one of the more well-rounded teams I have drafted so far this season. My tendency in roto is normally to focus on the best available player according to my personal rankings for the first few rounds. It just so happened in this draft that I had two middle infielders (C. Seager, Cano) by the third round, something I rarely end up doing. I like the look of it overall, mainly because I’m excited to have Pederson and Fowler in my outfielder, both of whom I got past the 125 overall mark.

Q: Blackmon looks like your only regular with any speed.  Are you planning on holding Revere and Jankowski and just bouncing them in and out of your lineup?

This being a style of team I usually don’t end up with made me a little bit negligent to the fact that I didn’t have steals. With Blackmon early, I turned off the ‘keep an eye out for steals’ switch in my mind and waited too long. I’ll be bottom 4-5 in the category right now, and am hoping that Revere can return some bags on an Angels team that I hope can find him some at bats. I’ll say to be determined on bouncing Jankowski and Revere between the waivers and that UTIL slot of mine for now.

Q: What were your overall thoughts on the draft?

RCL drafts are always fun because of how much everybody buys into the ‘wait on pitching’ approach. Guys like deGrom, Maeda, Hendricks were sitting on the board at 100+ overall and it felt ‘dirty’ but at the same time fantastic. An RCL with Razzball’s fantastic crop of writers makes everything so much more interesting, this is going to be a competitive and intense league.

Q: Tell us your favorite pick you made and the pick you instantly regretted.

I instantly regretted taking Gary Sanchez at 58 overall. I don’t really know what was going through my head at that point, I got sniped on Darvish a pick before, so when my clock was winding down past the 10 second mark, I went over to my queue and impulsively took a catcher. Very amateur of me, I’m usually much more poised when I get sniped like this. The fact that Yasmani Grandal was on the board past 200 overall, just made it even worse, he’s a guy I have top 4 at the position, and don’t see too much of a difference between Grandal and Sanchez, especially 200 spots apart. I’ve done a ton of drafts in my lifetime, expert and non-expert, and this mistake is going to stick with me for a while… unless Sanchez can keep that 40% HR/FB percentage for 150 games!

Miguel Sano in the 7th round, at 82 overall, is a pick I will be making a lot this year. His power upside is just so tantalizing when you’re looking at the base of the team and want another potential 40+ HR bat. I carry the mindset that loves targeting some upside players between rounds 7-10 who have elite skills, and Sano is a prime example of this. Won’t be shocked at all if he’s a consensus top 50 player next year.

Q: What did you think was the best overall pick of the draft and biggest reach of the draft?

Biggest reach was Seung-hwan Oh at 73 overall. I get the mentality that you want an elite closer, but I don’t think Oh should be the fourth closer off the board, let alone with a team’s fifth selection. Edwin Diaz and Ken Giles went right after him, both guys have better K upside and weaker bullpens behind them, which suggests better job security in my mind.

[email protected]’s NOTE: Am I allowed to say that’s a GREAT point on Oh? I love him this year, and had him as a top 5 closer coming into the draft, but the K upside and the bullpen behind the other two is totally on point. Or, as the youths say…on fleek. Like my skinny jeans with Clarks. Can a fantasy point be on fleek, though? (Somewhere Grey just dropped a ‘wtf’ about the phrase ‘on fleek’.)

Razzball readers might know of my love for James Paxton, and 157 overall, in the 14th round, is a nice place for him to fall to. All the pitcher values look great, but I’m convinced Paxton will stay healthy with his natural arm slot, velocity increase, better Mariners’ defense, and advanced control he displayed late last year. I was going to take him two picks later, but clearly waited too long.

Q: Go ahead and give us a prediction for where you think you’ll finish and who is your pick to win (if not yourself).

I think I’ll finish between third and fifth. If a few things fall my way in terms of power and saves, this will be a very competitive team, which I think could take the crown, but I’m always reasonable with my expectations. I also don’t think I’ll have an issue with glaring black holes because of my middle infield depth, which always helps a team’s floor.

Smokey’s team (Smoke Show) is my favorite to win it, and not just because he shows up first in the standings right now. Great power speed balance with Votto-Arenado-Longoria and Hamilton-Bogaerts-Kiermaier. He also has the best 1-2 closer punch in Jansen-Diaz, to go with Kluber. Top tier talent isn’t an issue here, and I’ll bet on that before depth in a league like this.

Phil B.:

Q: I very much approve of your RCL draft.  Good power/speed balance, solid average and a nice source of saves.  Great work.  Do you find your OPS background to be helpful at all when drafting for 5×5 leagues?

Well thanks!  I went for some old timers early and upside later, but that’s my game this year. I do think being OPS slanted helps in normal leagues.  I don’t get as obsessed with average, and while that’s a category I rarely win, most always I finish middle of the pack or better; and then it gives me a leg up in the power/rbis/runs guys.  

Q: I thought I was going to be the one that stole Benny Baseball from Ralph and then you swooped in.  Do you have a man-crush on Benintendi too?

Of course.  I was worried about going after him too early, but I had already been sniped on a few others, and now that there’s talk of him hitting third in that lineup, how is the sky not the limit?

Q: What were your overall thoughts on the draft?

Loved it.  Being in a draft will all experienced players made a difference in terms of strategy.  It was most interesting drafting pitchers.  Everyone kept putting it off, but usually there seemed to be about two starters per round starting round six.  I felt good about Cueto in round seven and Salazar in round twelve as my top two.  

I also scheduled a Razzball commenter league the same evening (totally goofed that), so I was doing that one on my laptop and this draft on my phone.  I thought for ESPN the app was better, as long as you put in your own rankings.  

Q: Tell us your favorite pick you made and the pick you instantly regretted.

My favorite at the time was Bentinenti, but looking back it’s Cespedes at the tail end of round 3 (35th overall).  I would’ve taken him over any of the guys drafted before him after pick 20(which was Kershaw).  

Regretted Ender Inciarte.  There weren’t a lot of outfielders left, and I have Dahl starting hurt, and Perez not playing everyday, as starters, so I needed another.  So I took the boring Inciarte over Puig. I hope he gets a majority of his steals in the first month.

Q: What did you think was the best overall pick of the draft and biggest reach of the draft?

Best overall pick could easily be David Price in round 15, or the worst.  Gary Sanchez in round five and Pujols in nine seemed early and Sano in seven for a non-OPS league.  

Schoop and Russell toward the end of round nine I liked a lot; especially Russell, as six of the top SS were gone by pick 27.  I also see a lot of value in Tomas in round 14 and Ryon Healy in Round 15.

Q: Go ahead and give us a prediction for where you think you’ll finish and who is your pick to win (if not yourself).

I aimed for top 3 in all categories and feel I have a good chance to get there so I just need a few breaks.  Looking over the teams I like most are: Can’t Truss it, Westside SON, Ralph Your Moms Favorite Seat & Hip Hip Posada.

SON:

Q: Grey only has your team projected to hit 250 HRs (Compared to Vicky’s 377) is that a concern?

F Grey!!! Seriously, though, I have the HR projection a little higher to where I should land close to the Top 3rd. If Grey’s projections do come to fruition, then I’ll obviously be a little behind in the category, but I’ll try and make it up streaming.

Q: With 9 Starters are you worried you might burn through your 180 GS in the first 2 months?

I actually hope I get to that limit as soon as possible.

Q: What were your overall thoughts on the draft?

I wasn’t able to follow too closely because of other things I had to do during the draft. Just briefly perusing the draft recap, though, it looks like all the owners are sharp and I’m looking forward to competing in this league.

Q: Tell us your favorite pick you made and the pick you instantly regretted.

My favorite pick was Matt Harvey in the 18th round. That seems too cheap for a guy that could be an ace. I’m not too thrilled with the Eduardo Nunez pick, as I was hoping that Justin Turner would keep falling.

Q: What did you think was the best overall pick of the draft and biggest reach of the draft?

I like the “The Grand Dudapest Hotel” pick of Joc Pederson in the 12th round. Biggest reach for me was Rougned Odor at 17 overall.

Q: Go ahead and give us a prediction for where you think you’ll finish and who is your pick to win (if not yourself).

I’d put my money on Truss and Ralph because they are vets of the RCL format.

 

Finally, I thought it would a fun exercise to see who our resident experts, Grey and Rudy would pick to win the league.  This obviously doesn’t take into account in-season management, trades or anything besides the draft really.  Still I thought it would be a fun thing to look at.  Based on the draft here are Grey and Rudy’s projections for each team and their corresponding roto points:

GREY: R HR RBI SB AVG W SV ERA WHIP K
[email protected] 1014 270 970 131 0.2783 74 123 3.304 1.133 1213
Mike Maher 1247 306 1220 183 0.2753 91 40 3.601 1.185 1241
Smokey 1071 287 1020 160 0.2694 84 118 3.337 1.154 1292
Teddy Heater 1201 341 1211 157 0.2639 76 115 3.127 1.139 1174
Kerry Klug 1183 299 1230 183 0.2752 122 0 3.383 1.186 1718
Ralph Lifshitz 1047 286 1065 159 0.264 61 141 3.421 1.193 1088
Viz 1062 311 1020 170 0.2673 98 95 3.272 1.167 1484
MattTruss 1056 298 1029 160 0.2713 74 140 3.121 1.087 1226
Victoria B. 1068 377 1212 119 0.2584 73 87 3.203 1.146 1155
Lance 1065 322 1035 127 0.2689 74 96 3.47 1.174 1323
Phil B. 1175 317 1156 162 0.276 71 102 3.391 1.228 1124
SON 982 250 1011 171 0.2733 114 68 3.591 1.213 1690

 

GREY: R HR RBI SB AVG W SV ERA WHIP K TOTAL
Kerry Klug 10 6 12 12 9 12 1 6 4 12 84
Teddy Heater 11 11 9 4 2 7 8 11 10 4 77
Mike Maher 12 7 11 11 10 9 2 1 5 7 75
MattTruss 4 5 5 7 7 5 11 12 12 6 74
Viz 5 8 4 9 4 10 5 9 7 10 71
Smokey 8 4 3 6 6 8 9 7 8 8 67
Phil B. 9 9 8 8 11 2 7 5 1 2 62
[email protected] 2 2 1 3 12 6 10 8 11 5 60
Victoria B. 7 12 10 1 1 3 4 10 9 3 60
Lance 6 10 6 2 5 4 6 3 6 9 57
SON 1 1 2 10 8 11 3 2 2 11 51
Ralph Lifshitz 3 3 7 5 3 1 12 4 3 1 42

 

RUDY: R HR RBI SB AVG W SV ERA WHIP K
[email protected] 29.8 29.1 24.4 21.7 48.4 17.7 14.3 14.2 21.5 15.2
Mike Maher 23.8 23.3 35.2 34.5 63.7 19.2 5.1 8.2 12.8 11.2
Smokey 30.3 32.3 26.8 37 38.9 18.9 15.8 18.7 20 19.5
Teddy Heater 29.9 44.2 37.5 26.8 18.7 9.4 19 16.1 14.4 13.6
Kerry Klug 39.6 27.6 37.3 44.6 41.2 23.2 -2.7 20.2 15.8 27.3
Ralph Lifshitz 19.9 28.5 20.6 40.7 18.2 11.7 19.3 5.6 4.9 8.8
Viz 13.7 27.5 15.1 33.3 16.1 11 11.8 20.8 22.2 10
MattTruss 21.6 30.6 24.4 28.7 35.7 13.8 19 16.5 20.3 16.7
Victoria B. 11 53.6 34.1 12 14.6 15.9 8.8 10 8.3 12.5
Lance 18.5 28.9 17.1 18.8 26.9 8.8 8.1 10.8 9.9 9.5
Phil B. 9.1 25.5 18.3 16.6 42.2 4.2 16.1 17.8 8 -0.7
SON 35.3 27.3 31.7 52.8 44.5 7.3 9.6 11.8 7.5 4

 

RUDY: R HR RBI SB AVG W SV ERA WHIP K TOTAL
Kerry Klug 12 5 11 11 8 12 1 11 8 12 91
Smokey 10 10 7 9 7 10 8 10 9 11 91
MattTruss 6 9 6 6 6 7 11 8 10 10 79
[email protected] 8 8 5 4 11 9 7 6 11 9 78
Teddy Heater 9 11 12 5 4 4 10 7 7 8 77
Mike Maher 7 1 10 8 12 11 2 2 6 6 65
SON 11 3 8 12 10 2 5 5 2 2 60
Viz 3 4 1 7 2 5 6 12 12 5 57
Victoria B. 2 12 9 1 1 8 4 3 4 7 51
Ralph Lifshitz 5 6 4 10 3 6 12 1 1 3 51
Lance 4 7 2 3 5 3 3 4 5 4 40
Phil B. 1 2 3 2 9 1 9 9 3 1 40

Well, there you have it.  Kerry wins this thing no matter whose numbers you prefer.  That despite punting saves entirely.  A keen eye will point to the gaudy Win & K numbers as the reason for the wins.  Kerry does own more SPs than any other team.  As I mentioned, this exercise does not account for streaming or in-season management at all, so it shouldn’t be taken as gospel.  Still, I’d rather be at the top of both projections than the bottom.

Teddy is Grey’s homeboy and takes the #2 spot in his projections.  Teddy slides into the top 5 in Rudy’s projections as well.

Smokey moves from 6th in Grey’s numbers to tied for first in Rudy’s.

I make an appearance in both projection’s top 4, but fare slightly better in Rudy’s numbers.

Ralph and Lance get no love from either of our gurus.  Both managers check in in the bottom three of each projection.

Who are you all placing your bets on?  Should be a fun league to check in on throughout the season and you can do so HERE.  Best of luck everyone.

 

 

Want to be my Twitter pal?  That’s kinda creepy, but you can follow me here: @MattTruss

   
  1. Kerry Klug

    Kerry Klug says:
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    I say we just go with the projections! No need to worry about the season.

    • MattTruss

      MattTruss says:
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      Paper champ!

  2. Son

    Son says:
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    Nice! Thanks for putting this together Truss.

    F Grey’s stupid projections!!!

    • MattTruss

      MattTruss says:
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      Ha! No problem SON!

    • The Great Knoche says:
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      @Son: SON you’re on the clock!

        • The Great Knoche says:
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          @Son: No prob, Didnt want Hector Santiago to join Desclafini on your staff.

          • Son

            Son says:
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            @The Great Knoche: Good looking out. Seriously, not setting my Q and getting Desclafani is going to tilt me so hard all season. I blame Potter!!! I think that’s part of his strategy

            • The Great Knoche says:
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              @Son: Yeah. There’s always at least one like that it seems. He actually had a decent looking team until that Sean Rodriguez autopick.

              • Son

                Son says:
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                @The Great Knoche: Yeah. What I don’t get is why not just put it to auto at some point? Is he angry and just wants to punish everyone?

                • The Great Knoche says:
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                  @Son: I’d say more embarassed. Oh well. We should still finish next weekend sometime.

                  • Son

                    Son says:
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                    @The Great Knoche: Ok. Didn’t think about that angle.

                    • The Great Knoche says:
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                      @Son: He hasn’t chimed in on comments since he got Gattis as an auto.

  3. Grey

    Grey says:
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    Glad to see Son didn’t disappoint! Sorry, I was standing on my head reading this. My bad. Ignore earlier comment.

    • MattTruss

      MattTruss says:
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      Haha, SON will be alright.

    • Son

      Son says:
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      @Grey: Damn you! I hope today is the day the Matrix bugs out and throws you into a perpetual loop of today. Imagine it. People. Running. And running. And running. Every time you look out the window, you will see people running. And running. And running.

    • The Great Knoche says:
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      @Grey: It’s funny, projections also have him last for the 23 starters for our NFBC.

  4. Tony says:
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    I just cant take snake drafts serious in this day and age

    • MattTruss

      MattTruss says:
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      Can’t please everyone. They are still the dominate draft style I would say. It also happens to be what we use for our Razzball Commenter Leagues. I’d prefer an auction for every league, but I would play in far fewer leagues if that were the case. Snake drafts are easier and less time consuming to sit down and crank out. Not everyone has 4 straight hours to sit and pay attention to nothing but a draft for every single league. Appreciate you taking the time to comment though. Feel free to join an RCL and give the snake draft a whirl though, you’re always welcome.

      • Tony says:
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        @MattTruss: Dominant draft style, yes, but I just think when you get good groups together like this your doing a great diservice by snakin-

        I realize it sounds smug, and hell it is, but I just could never see myself going back to doing a snake again- Id say it projects about 10% of the strategy of an auction at best and when we are putting so much time in-season into the teams I think the pay-off of 90 mins in March far out seeds the alternative-

        I like the analysis although its limitations can only reach so far due to the elementary format- I can still pick apart useful info for my conquests but at the end of the article I cant help to scatch why head and wonder”Why such a good group would ever wanna get involved in this format in this day and age”

        • Eli Man Penguin Boy says:
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          @Tony: well since a few of them didn’t even have time to spend 1.5 or so hours on this draft i’d doubt them doing the 4 hour or however auction was likely to happen.

  5. Son

    Son says:
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    @The Great Knoche

    Strange

    • The Great Knoche says:
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      @Son: Did I miss something?

      • Son

        Son says:
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        @The Great Knoche: Was just commenting on Potter. There was no reply button on your post.

  6. Cram It says:
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    Why are these words so slanty? I know I had 4 8% beers and numerous bodka shots before/during/after my first RCL draft tonight, but still, I don’t think drunk people see words slanted. Must be you.

    • MattTruss

      MattTruss says:
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      Ha! Apologies to the drunken community for the italics!

      • Cram It says:
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        @MattTruss: I went with the 3 SP and crazy awesome RP roster that you proposed and I railed against. Ha. Glad I deployed it in that one and not in the Perts draft.

        • MattTruss

          MattTruss says:
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          Nice! Who knows, you might like it!

  7. Lance

    Lance says:
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    Big thanks for throwing this together Matt.

    I feel like this turned out to be a fantastic handbook of sorts for owners everywhere.

    Lot of really good reaction, analysis, and self-criticism, that I think is vital to understand where your team sits.

    Every league should do this!!!!

    • MattTruss

      MattTruss says:
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      Agreed! It’s a great excercise

    • VictoriaB

      VictoriaB says:
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      @MattTruss: @Lance: Totally agree, Lance. It forced me to sift through my team earlier than I might usually have and really look at its many shortcomings…!

      • Lance

        Lance says:
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        @VictoriaB:
        Well said!

        Victoria’s Siegrist is probably my favorite team name in the league too – I’m gonna take a stab and say it was yours???

        • VictoriaB

          VictoriaB says:
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          @Lance: Haha, thanks — yes, that’s me!

  8. Ralph Lifshitz

    Ralph Lifshitz says:
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    Wow those projection make me look awful. Looking at some of the offense ahead of me, I’m a little surprised but whatever.

    Starting pitching so overrated in this format. Doesn’t help that I lost Carrasco though.

    • MattTruss

      MattTruss says:
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      Yea, I wouldn’t put too much stock in it. It’s like when Yahoo ranks your team after a fantasy football draft. They hate mine 9 times out of 10.

      • Ralph Lifshitz

        Ralph Lifshitz says:
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        @MattTruss: Yes and I have no bench bats, no starters, and tons of MR. It’s a bit of Picasso.

  9. Herr Drumpf says:
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    Holy crap!! Thor at 45?! I know this went hitting-heavy early, but I’ve seen Noah go as high as 20 in some drafts.

  10. DrEasy says:
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    I like Victoria B.’s projections (and spelling skills). A big lead in HRs gives you pretty good insurance in R and RBIs as well. AVG is always hard to predict, so might as well punt it. SB is the easier of two SAGNOFs to pick up during the season. Take care of the pitching ratios via good cycling of relievers and she should be competitive all season long!

    • VictoriaB

      VictoriaB says:
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      @Ralph Lifshitz: @DrEasy: Hey, thanks, mate! We shall see how it goes!

      • VictoriaB

        VictoriaB says:
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        @VictoriaB: Annnnnd I have no idea how Ralph’s name sneaked in there. See? Everything’s already falling to pieces.

  11. MattH says:
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    Truss,

    Thanks for putting this together. Was hoping you might review this leagues draft. Good stuff.

    • MattTruss

      MattTruss says:
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      No problem. It’s gotten a good response, maybe I’ll try to do the same thing for the ‘Perts League draft.

  12. mikeMaher

    mikeMaher says:
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    Great stuff, Truss! Thanks for putting this together.

  13. J-FOH says:
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    I skimmed this. I would of preferred you write it up and criticize them all since you are the resident guru here. I mean really the starters taken make it quite laughable. I will check in July when it’s you Ralph and teddy fighting it out and playing the format like it was meant to. Not to be a dick to others but cmon. This time driven rosterbateingpalooza is not for the weak. I have been giving son advice post draft so we’ll see if he listens to big odio kenobi

    • MattTruss

      MattTruss says:
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      It did turn out to be pretty long, most folks probably skimmed it. Or found their favorite writer and read their parts. I’m too nice to crap on everyone for an entire article. That’s what you’re here for! Big Odio Kenobi…well done.

      • J-FOH says:
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        @MattTruss: too nice? It’s called razzball. With heavy emphasis on RAZZ! Of course you could of said you don’t want them to know how massively flawed they are and impact your probable win

        • MattTruss

          MattTruss says:
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          Now we’re talkin

    • Son

      Son says:
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      @J-FOH: JFOH coming in strong! I always listen to you my man. Whether I follow is a different matter. Regardless, I always appreciate your insight. Question….has anyone ever tried to reach the games started threshold, then fill in with relievers strategy?

      • MattTruss

        MattTruss says:
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        Totally! People do that every year. The issue is, if you are just streaming to fill GS it’s not usually the highest quality innings. I think it’s better to pick your spots and keep a steady dose of RP all year long myself. That’s why I advocate for only drafting 3 starters max. If you could draft high quality arms to fill those GS and not torpedo your offense, that would be one thing. But the GS you find on waivers are on waivers for a reason. Use the Stream-O-Nator (SON!) and pick and choose where you stream and you’ll have better luck. My two cents.

        • Son

          Son says:
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          @MattTruss: You telling me JFOH actually is sane? I thought his days of riding his motorcycle, Sons of Anarchy-style, made that impossible. Well, he did win it all last year so….

          • MattTruss

            MattTruss says:
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            JFOH’s good people, don’t let the big beard fool you.

            • Son

              Son says:
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              @MattTruss: No doubt. I have much love for JFOH. As he said, he enjoys the RAZZing

              • J-FOH says:
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                @Son: I dont ave a beard anymore…nor hair on my head. I look like an extra from American History X.

                Getting SON to listen may be harder than I thought. Wait, I’m talking to SON! Lets push this Korean thing to !!.

                I let the sun rise and the moon grow. The stars are in prace because I put them there. There is god and there is I who are both one in the same. The harvest is good because I arow it to be and when the prants don’t produce it is punishment for you no ristening.

                • Son

                  Son says:
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                  @J-FOH: Haha. Nice. You forget I’m not the typical Korean though. Plus, I was never a good grasshopper

                  • J-FOH says:
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                    @Son: not typical? like you have a normal sized forehead or you hate kimchee

                    • Son

                      Son says:
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                      @J-FOH: I do like kimchee, but don’t love it. Koreans are known to have big foreheads?

                    • J-FOH says:
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                      Thats what my Korean buddy told me

    • Lance

      Lance says:
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      @J-FOH:
      J-FOH, what’s the biggest piece of advice you’d give to somebody in this daily lock roto format?

      I’d like to hear your thoughts!

  14. Schmohawks Bob says:
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    Schmohawks Bob says:
    April 1, 2017 at 10:41 am (link)
    I’m in an RCL that only has only one DL spot. The commissioner says he can’t fix it. Do you know if that’s right. Any other suggestions? I drafted Desmond late thinking that was a good move with two DL spots.

    Reply
    GreyGrey says:
    April 1, 2017 at 11:04 am (link)
    Someone had this problem a few days ago and it was fixed… Could you ask Truss in his last post?

    Reply
    Schmohawks Bob says:
    April 1, 2017 at 11:06 am (link)
    @Grey: thanks.

    Reply

Comments are closed.