Grey and I were invited back for Yahoo’s most prestigious expert league – the Yahoo! Friends & Family League (the other Yahoo!-sponsored leagues we’re in include acquaintances and hoi polloi).  The league has 14 teams consisting of 7 Yahooligans, 3 guys from, 2 from Hardball Times, and one from Wall Street Journal and Razzball (two sites with a ton of audience overlap).

The format is 14 team, MLB, 5×5, 1250 IP cap, Roto, Snake Draft with the following roster format:  C/1B/2B/SS/3B/4 OF/CI/MI/2 UTIL/9 P/3 Bench.

The four differences  vs. our other expert leagues are:  1) Only one catcher, 2) 4 OF and 2 UTIL vs. 5 OF/1 UTIL, 3) Snake draft vs. auction draft, and 4) 1250 IP cap.

The roster differences are minor as we generally don’t spend a lot on catcher anyway and we planned to draft a 5th OF as one of our UTIL spots.  The snake draft was a somewhat welcome departure vs. auctions as they tend to take less time and keep us sharp for snake draft commenter questions.

The IP cap was a factor in our decision making.  It requires that teams use the equivalent of roughly 5.5 full-time starters (180 IP each = 990 IP) and 3.5 relievers (60 IP each = 210 IP).  So our plan was to draft only 4 quality starters and we’ll play matchups for the rest.

Otherwise, our strategy going in was just to draft as good a team as possible.  See below for our roster.  You can see the other rosters here and post-draft comments here.

Position Name Round Pick
C Jorge Posada 16 220
1B Miguel Cabrera 1 5
2B Tsuyoshi Nishioka 14 192
SS Starlin Castro 8 108
3B Pedro Alvarez 6 80
OF Nelson Cruz 3 33
OF Hunter Pence 4 52
OF Torii Hunter 11 145
OF Will Venable 17 229
CI Justin Morneau 5 61
MI Jason Bartlett 22 304
UTIL Seth Smith 18 248
UTIL Marlon Byrd 20 276
SP Felix Hernandez 2 24
SP Daniel Hudson 9 117
SP Ted Lilly 10 136
SP Matt Garza 13 173
SP Tim Stauffer 19 257
SP Clayton Richard 21 285
RP Neftali Feliz 7 89
RP Brandon Lyon 12 164
RP Fernando Rodney 15 201
Bench Tyler Clippard 23 313
Bench Clay Hensley 24 322
Bench Daric Barton 25 341

Overall, I think we succeeded on drafting a team that has a shot to win.  We got what we think are 4 solid SPs (F-Her, D. Hudson, Lilly, Garza) and two Hodgepadres (Stauffer, Richard) which we can start at home.  The offense has a solid mix of upside plays (Cruz, Castro, Alvarez, Nishioka) and reliable vets (Posada, Miggy, Morneau, Torii).  I ran the rosters against our projections and our team came out on top with our biggest strengths in HR/RBI/AVG/Saves and our biggest weaknesses in SB/Wins/Ks.  But everything’s so close (e.g., 6 teams within 6 SBs of each other) that you have to take it with a grain of salt.  As I mentioned in the NL LABR post, I don’t think you can win a league at the draft (assuming you draft against peers) but you can certainly lose it.  And we didn’t lose it.

A couple of other notes:

1) I’ve found that our post-draft projected AVG is looking better across a number of our teams.  I think the improvement I made in calculating the impact of AVG in Point Shares has helped.

2) I found that our rankings – based on Point Shares – had a number of outfielders at the top of our draft boards for a lot of the draft.  This is either because I’m smarter than everyone else and value OFs correctly or I’m dumber than everyone else and value OFs incorrectly.  Either way, we stuck to a strategy where we wouldn’t draft more than 2 OFs in the first 9-10 rounds and felt comfortable with our two top OF choices (Cruz, Pence) who were also near the top of the Yahoo! default rankings by the time we picked them.

3) Several teams stocked up on Middle Relievers in response to the 1250 IP cap – conceivably because the best middle relievers will deliver better ERA/WHIP/K per inning than lower-level starters (I think starters still provide a better W/IP ratio).  The only flaw I see in the logic is that determining quality Middle Relievers in the preseason is a fool’s errand.  There just aren’t a lot of ‘dependable’ middle relievers.  So we were more than happy to fill out the rest of our hitting slots and grab Stauffer/Richard vs. speculate on Middle Relievers.  They’ll be plenty of opportunities to go MR fishing during the year if we want to go that route.

Let us know what you think of the team….

  1. Long Bawls says:

    They say about Brazil that “It’s the country of the future…and always will be.” I wonder if the “will” they’re talking about is Will Venable. He seems to have so much potential but never pushes beyond modestly better than replacement value. I realize this is not a very statsy question–and there are split and playing time issues–but do you foresee more from him?

  2. Love Posada DHing, am very optimistic on Starlin, got good value on Pence, great value on Morneau, and pretty much a no-risk/high-reward grab of Tsuyoshi. Good job.

  3. Brandon says:

    I see quite a bit of similarities in our squad. Absolutley nothing to do with the fact that I’m a daily reader of the site… One thing that is a little disconcerting is the fact that I auctioned for a 12 team league, and your league is a 14 team ‘pert. Your thoughts on my team?

    12 team, 5×5, h2h. $260.

    Sp,Sp,Sp,Rp,Rp,Rp,P,P,P 3 Bench spots.

    C Jorge Posada (NYY – C) $2
    1b Justin Morneau (Min – 1B) $23
    2b Dan Uggla (Atl – 2B) $18 (keeper)
    3b José Bautista (Tor – 3B,OF) $10 (keeper)
    ss Starlin Castro (ChC – SS) $12
    CI Pedro Alvarez (Pit – 3B) $10 (keeper)
    MI Danny Espinosa (Was – 2B) $4
    OF Jayson Werth (Was – OF) $13 (keeper)
    OF Ichiro Suzuki (Sea – OF) $19
    OF Jose Tabata (Pit – OF) $10
    OF Torii Hunter (LAA – OF) $13
    Of Denard Span (Min – OF) $8
    Util David Wright (NYM – 3B) $37

    SP Jon Lester (Bos – SP) $17 (keeper)
    SP Tommy Hanson (Atl – SP) $20
    SP Ricky Romero (Tor – SP) $6
    RP Matt Thornton (CWS – RP) $9
    RP Ryan Madson (Phi – RP) $1
    RP Jon Rauch (Tor – RP) $1
    P Daniel Hudson (Ari – SP) $13
    P Jorge De La Rosa (Col – SP) $6
    P Gavin Floyd (CWS – SP) $3

    Bench Brandon Beachy (Atl – SP) $3
    Bench Matt Capps (Min – RP) $1
    Bench Cliff Pennington (Oak – SS) $1

    I know I need saves, but what other weaknesses do you see? I’m hoping to be able to move a little excess power (if you think I have it) for an upgrade at RP. OR… hope that I can finagle the Waiver Wire to my RP advantage.

  4. marky says:

    @teamrazzball not bad, but your infield looks pretty weak and it doesnt get madeup in the outfield… think you guys over valued outfielders. a little more adjustment for positional scarcity or tiering might help.

    question please rank sp best to worst: travis wood, tim stauffer, brian duensing, kyle mcclellan, jorge de la rosa, wade davis

    typical stats: win. era. whip. so (innings cap 1250)

  5. Jackie says:

    Looking for some outfield help. Can you please rank the following in order?

    Kubel, Morse, Alex Gordon, Fowler…

    Also, who do you like better between Beddard, Garza and Burnett?


  6. Can we keep playing ‘Rate My Team’?

    13 teams, 5×5 roto with OPS instead of AVG and QS instead of W. Pick # in parentheses.

    C: Jorge Posada (213)
    1B: Mark Teixeira (22)
    2B: Reid Brignac (291)
    SS: Ian Desmond (135)
    3B: Evan Longoria (5)
    CI: Justin Morneau (48)
    MI: Cliff Pennington (343) / Alexi Casilla (239)
    OF: Hunter Pence (57)
    OF: Krispie Young (83)
    OF: Shane Victorino (100)
    OF: Jose Tabata (187)
    UTIL: Grady Sizemore (178)

    BN: Peter Bourjos (308)
    BN: Cliff Pennington (343) / Alexi Casilla (239)

    SP: Cliff Lee (31)
    SP: Francisco Liriano (74)
    SP: Brett Anderson (126)
    SP: Clay Buchholz (161)
    SP: Edison Volquez (204)
    SP: Carlos Zambrano (230)
    RP: Carlos Marmol (109)
    RP: JJ Putz (152)
    P: Kyle Farnsworth (334) (or a starter in a good matchup)

    BN: Bud Norris (265)
    BN: Homer Bailey (282)
    BN: Felipe Paulino (360)
    BN: Andrew Cashner (IDK)

    13 teams and 27 rounds stretches the talent. I feel pretty good but only slightly concerned about HR/RBI. Obviously punted MI, hoping that doesn’t bite me too hard. Thoughts?

  7. OaktownSteve

    OaktownSteve says:

    @Rudy: Razz Lemonade leagues all full and put to bed? Or should late entries still be on the look out?

  8. CT Old School says:

    Was Grey workin’ a deuce when you grabbed F-Her with your 2nd pick?

  9. OaktownSteve

    OaktownSteve says:

    @Rudy: like your team in that league by the way. I do kind of like Erickson’s team a lot too, upon looking them all over.

  10. OaktownSteve

    OaktownSteve says:

    @Rudy: like your team in that league by the way. I do kind of like Erickson’s team a lot too, upon looking them all over.

  11. I wouldn’t have taken Felix in the 2nd (how can you invest so heavily on a 1 SP who has no shot at winning 20?) and I think Hudson in the 9th is too pricey for a young kid calling Chase Field home but I like the rest of your pitching staff.

    I LOVE Morneau in the 5th as your CI. Nishioka lasted until the 14th??? Wow – nice grab there. Cruz’s health scares me but you have nice OF depth.

    Good luck with the F&F league, pulling for you guys!

  12. Eng says:

    Rudy, would you take JoseLopez, Tejada or SeanRod for your one and only outfield bench spot? Thanks in advance.

  13. @Rudy: When was this draft held? Is Derrek Carty aware that it’s 2011? He’s got the all injury team.

  14. John says:

    I guess SP isnt valued that much with the IP cap? I’m shocked Cueto wasn’t drafted and that you got him on the wire after the draft. could be a real nice pickup come the summer time when he turns it on.

  15. Dingo says:

    Good-looking team overall. I definitely agree on the strategy of waiting to grab stud relievers once they identify themselves during the season. The one pick that had me scratching my head was taking Cruz in the third round when Justin Upton was available. Was that a Rudy vs. Grey moment, since point shares likes Cruz more than Upton?

  16. OaktownSteve

    OaktownSteve says:

    @Rudy: Felix did win 19 in 2009. Betcha he wins 19+ this year even if Seattle is still just as bad. If I were taking a pitcher to start a real MLB team, he’d be my pick. He’s absolutely filthy. I go see him whenever he starts against the A’s. You could argue that he’s got 5 plus pitches if you count the 2 and 4 seamer separately.

    Carty explains his middle reliever strategy at THT today. I like the thought, but pretty sure it’s not going to work all that well. Pretty sure if you wanted to try it, you’d have to try to find guys filling the right role in season rather than draft them and even still pretty sure wins still too arbitrary.

  17. rar says:

    Allow a dissenting voice. I don’t like risk in my top 3 picks – Cruz at 33 obviously qualifies as risky. Reached on Castro – curious how he’ll compare at the end of the season to the likes of Asdrubal or Aybar. Lyon and Rodney are horrors, why bother? Neftali in round 7 also seems like a poor decision – had you gone hitter here, you wouldn’t have Seth Platoon Smith in your UTIL. With Neftali/Lyon/Rodney as your closing corps, you’re almost punting the category anyway.

  18. JMonte says:

    At first glance i wondered what you had to do to convince Grey to draft F-Her @ 24 AND Feliz @ 89… than i had a gay moment and brushed that though aside… Then considering the IP cap wouldnt you say that the quality of IP is more important in this format than in a league where there is no cap? You really need a studd SP and as close to a $12 salad as possible to help on the ratios.

    I think you guys will get great value from Smith and Byrd where you landed them.

    Best of health this year!

  19. mets fan says:

    rudy in a 12 team h2h who would you rather have bud norris or michael pineda?

  20. joe from point pleasant says:


    Nice team! Like the Felix Castro Posada and Barton picks.

    Anyways, I was wondering what your take was on Alexi Ogando. Does he make the rotation, and if so, how well does he do in a SP role?

  21. Lazar says:

    1 too many OF’s & not enough innings…otherwise seems like a fun league. Good luck, ladies.

  22. Lazar says:

    Sorry I should have clarified, I didn’t mean it that way. I think you had a good balance, with just starting the guys at PetCo. I meant the league would have been more fun if it had 1 less spot for an OF and increased innings. (Just my opinion, not that it matters)…And again good luck, I’ll be rooting for you guys when I check my Yahoo Roto leagues daily.

  23. brad says:

    Rudy, i like the team a lot actually, i think your decision to go bpa in the early rounds worked out a lot better than the teams that grabbed 2bs too early. (looking at uggla with the 31st pick here.)

    i put the following team in the last post’s comments too, i’m hoping for the rare grey/rudy tag team comment. Poor form?

    anyway, it’s a 10 team 5×5 roto league, thoughts?

    C Mike Napoli
    1B Albert Pujols
    2B Kelly Johnson
    3B Ryan Zimmerman
    SS Elvis Andrus
    CI Justin Morneau
    MI Ian Desmond
    OF Matt Kemp
    OF Jason Heyward
    OF Shane Victorino
    OF Brett Gardner
    Util Carlos Beltrán
    BN Ryan Raburn
    BN Austin Jackson

    SP Jon Lester
    SP CC Sabathia
    RP J.J. Putz
    RP Chris Pérez
    P Matt Thornton
    P Joel Hanrahan
    P Brandon League
    BN Jered Weaver
    BN Madison Bumgarner
    BN Jonathan Sánchez
    BN Jhoulys Chacin

  24. rar says:

    Yea, I empathize on the depth to which you had to plumb to find some beating hearts and live arms.

    Choo over Cruz would be a no-brainer to me, but then again I am a Choo owner.

  25. Jake says:

    Just out of curiosity, where did Tabata end up going? As you mentioned steals appear to be your team’s weakest point, and Grey ranks Tabata roughly 50 spots higher than his Yahoo ADP. Did another believer grab him early?

  26. papasmurf says:

    Interesting, not one single player overlap with my own team. Considering that my team is falling apart already with injuries, that’s a good thing. My league’s offense only runs 9 deep so it feels like my offense might be stronger despite the lg being 16 team deep. But again, your offense is 13 deep.

  27. longbeachyo says:

    Very nice team, Rudy. Smash those Yahoo goons!
    Quick question. Who produces more this year. A. Gordon, K. Ka’aihue, or M. Morse??? I didn’t see any of them in Grey’s top 300…

  28. Black Beard says:

    Keeper, 6×5 (+ OPS):

    Haren and Stanton for CC and Alvarez?

  29. Arod Loves Frost says:


    Can I get your thoughts on my team? 12 man roto, 7×6 (with hits, average, and OPS)

    C: Napoli
    1b. Teixiera
    2b. Hill
    3b. Wright
    SS. Andrus
    OF: J Upton
    OF: Heyward
    OF: Snider
    UTIL: Morneau

    SP: Hanson
    SP: B. Anderson
    SP: D Hudson
    SP: Chacin
    SP: Volquez
    SP: Baumgartner

    Relief was booted – I’ll probably pick up a couple as they emerge throughout the year.

    I’m concerned with average so I drafted Panda as a possible answer if I’m having an average problem.


  30. Eng says:

    Thanks, Rudy. Hope you guys do well. F-Her was quite early but, wins excepted, he’s at the very top for fantasy and I can’t see Pianowski lucking another W.

    BTW, Grey hates Niemann but I kinda want him for my 5th starter. What order would you rate him, Webb, Niese or Beachy in this role?

  31. Eng says:

    Thanks very much, Rudy. That’s the affirmation I required to add a kind of pet-player of mine. The K’s are low but he’s never let me down (I traded him just prior to his shoulder issues last year) and my first four are very solid. For sure good luck in your leagues, and yup you’re right that there are far worse people in the industry to lose to than the Pianoman.

  32. TheBravesWearPrado says:

    Would appreciate thoughts from anyone on my team. It’s 12 team H2H mixed with R, RBI, TB, NSB, and OBP for offense and QS, K, ERA, WHIP and S for the pitching.

    C: Iannetta
    1B: Dunn
    2B: Uggla
    SS: Rollins
    3B: Reynolds
    OF: Kemp
    OF: Swisher
    OF: Torres
    UTIL: Morneau
    UTIL: Ortiz
    Bench: Scott
    Bench: Fowler

    SP: Carpenter
    SP: Hansen
    RP: Storen
    RP: Bailey
    P: Dempster
    P: Kuroda
    P: Chacin
    Bench: Fuentes
    Bench: Beachy
    Bench: Baker

    Thanks in advance.

  33. Del Abbot says:

    Rudy, would appreciate your assessment of my team. Standard 12-team roto 5×5. I’m guessing I overdrafted speed and not enough power? I think I also lack another top-tier SP, do you think so too?
    Also who is the most droppable? Soriano?

    C Jorge Posada
    1B Albert Pujols
    2B Ben Zobrist
    3B Pedro Alvarez
    SS Elvis Andrus
    OF Matt Holliday
    OF Matt Kemp
    OF Hunter Pence
    Util Rajai Davis
    Util Carlos Peña
    BN Jose Tabata
    BN Kila Ka’aihue

    SP Cole Hamels
    SP Tommy Hanson
    SP Ted Lilly
    SP Ricky Nolasco
    RP Jonathan Broxton
    RP Matt Thornton
    P Fernando Rodney
    P Brandon League
    P Brian Fuentes
    P Kyle Farnsworth
    BN Rafael Soriano

    Thanks in advance.

  34. Jake says:

    @Rudy Love the team. Surprised you got Grey to let you take a pitcher so early. Quick question. League scores total bases plus RBIs, could you rank these 6:


  35. Dave says:

    my league has a 1200 innings cap…I have Kershaw, Gallardo, Brett Anderson, Dan Hudson and Stauffer

    I’m a little light on speed, would you deal Gallardo for Rios straight up?
    My league has a lot of quality starters on waivers along with solid middle relievers

  36. pepe_silvia says:

    @rudy or grey, Im in a 10 team roto 5×5 espn league, my is heavy on pitching, and very heavy on steals, as a result I’m light on middle of the order guys. Would you guys consider trading reyes,figgins,liriano for h.ram and aaron hill? Am I giving up to much? I figure I can just use the empty roster spot to play matchups.

  37. AL KOHOLIC says:

    ogando,what do you expect from him?even if it is temporary

  38. Iceman says:

    I’m a fan of the Stauffer pick. Especially if Latos has really blowed up his arm.

    CF spot in a 12 team H2H league. Normal stuff plus BBs.


    Whatever is left of Nate Mclouth’s upside, or,

    Marlon Byrd


  39. Seattle Zen says:

    I like your Clayton Richard pick, but don’t feel like you should only start him at home. He was great on the road except at Coors. Take out his three Coors starts and he had a 3.25 era!

  40. Chris Rite says:

    Ok, so before you claim, thats impossible, this is an 8 team league. As your reading, your probably giggling to yourself, but its a legit money league with experienced and active owners we just couldnt get 2-4 more in time. 6 X 6 H2H, i plan on ignoring ratios (NOT PUNTING, just disregarding) and punting steals. I have pick 6.

    C- Mike Napoli (134)
    1st- Cabrera or Votto (6)
    2nd- Dan Uggla (28)
    SS- Ian Desmond (111 or 118)
    3B- Mark Reynolds (86)
    CI- Adrian Gonzalez (11)
    MI- Aaron Hill (107)
    OF- Matt Holliday (22)
    OF- Andre Eithier (54) (Hes a schmohawk, i know, but he has good trade value and 30/100/100 upside)
    OF- Jay Bruce (70)
    OF- Mike Stanton (75)
    OF- Curtis Granderson (102)
    UTL- Mark Teixeria (18)
    UTL- Justin Mornaeu (43)

    From there i grab 4 closers (cordero, perez, thornton, axford or something like that) and 10 starters with 5 streams per week.

    Will it work? I should win HR’s, rbis, and total bases for sure, runs a lot of the time, and average 33% of the time. K’s, wins, QS’s, Saves all the time.

  41. Black Beard says:

    Latos is going to start the season on the DL.

  42. mauledbypandas says:

    ugh, watching Dodgers ST game and Lilly can’t find the strike zone. Hopefully he is just working some things out because it’s scary bad.

  43. GTG says:

    Would appreciate any comments on this 10-team, AL-only 5×5 league:

    C A.J. Pierzynski,
    1B Adrian Gonzalez
    2B Mark Ellis, Oak
    3B Mark Reynolds
    SS Elvis Andrus
    2B/SS Will Rhymes
    1B/3B Justin Morneau
    OF Shin-Soo Choo
    OF Grady Sizemore
    OF Manny Ramirez
    OF Michael Cuddyer
    OF David Murphy
    UTIL Vladimir Guerrero
    Bench Jake Fox, Bal
    Bench Mark Trumbo
    DL Carlos Guillen*

    P Neftali Feliz
    P Trevor Cahill
    P Gio Gonzalez
    P Michael Pineda
    P Daniel Bard
    P Edwin Jackson
    P Ervin Santana
    P Fausto Carmona
    P Darren Oliver
    Bench Darren O’Day

    Clearly, I have too many starters and need to move at least one for a closer if possible.

  44. Hans says:

    I wouldn’t consider Morneau a “reliable vet” is he relied on to get hurt nowadays…I mean I don’t hate the pick his upside is tremendous. Also thought you definitely reached on Daniel Hudson and Starlin Castro…..very early on both of those guys….I guess you guys really like them?

  45. Asdrubal Bastardo says:

    Just curious, who were the guys? I work for them covering the Sacramento Kings.

  46. Beau says:

    I did a draft the other day and wondered if you could give me feedback.
    10 man league

    1. (8) Ryan Howard 1B
    2. (13) Roy Halladay SP
    3. (28) CC Sabathia SP
    4. (33) Andrew McCutchen OF
    5. (48) Derek Jeter SS
    6. (53) Hunter Pence OF
    7. (68) Shane Victorino OF
    8. (73) Martín Prado 2B,3B
    9. (88) David Ortiz Util
    10. (93) Carlos Mármol RP
    11. (108) Ryan Dempster SP
    12. (113) Zack Greinke SP
    13. (128) Torii Hunter OF
    14. (133) Hiroki Kuroda SP
    15. (148) Kelly Johnson 2B
    16. (153) Brett Myers SP
    17. (168) Ryan Franklin RP
    18. (173) Ryan Madson RP
    19. (188) Trevor Cahill SP
    20. (193) Scott Rolen 3B
    21. (208) Carl Pavano SP
    22. (213) Kurt Suzuki C
    23. (228) Asdrubal Cabrera SS

    I have an open spot since Greinke on DL. Top FA’s as of Yahoo are

    Figgins, Y.Escobar, Freese, Rayburn…Suggestions on lineup/rotation/ any pickups? Thanks

  47. Chad says:

    I agree with you on your Cruz vs. Choo decision as Choo was a very good pick last year when he came a few rounds cheaper as he gave you solid production but he just doesn’t have any upside that I can see other than perhaps getting a few more runs/RBI’s if their lineup produces better with Santana healthy and Brantley giving them a bit more upside from their leadoff. Cruz has 30-30 upside while Choo has 20-20 upside and is in a much, much more potent lineup. A Choo pick won’t lose someone a league but not likely to be a difference maker in winning one either.

    Also, to those criticizing your RP’s, they are really not taking league size into consideration at all. With 14 teams even having 3 of them with jobs currently is a major luxury, not to mention having one of them a top 5 guy. They are also discounting Lyons way too much because of where he plays since he did very well last year when Lindstrom was out and has absolutely nobody of any significance whatsoever behind him. As for Rodney, he went 37 of 38 in save chances two years ago so anything is possible. He’s a risk and won’t help you anywhere in the ratios but he comes cheaper than many of the setup men and has a closing gig. He seemed to sit around forever in my draft after some major closer runs until I finally nabbed him. Glad I did now to make up for losing Lidge for a while (grabbing Lidge is where my true regrets lie).

  48. TheBravesWearPrado says:

    @Rudy I appreciate the honesty. I’m not a fan of this team either. It was actually my first auction draft ever and I was hesitant to spend money at first which explains the lack of an elite player on my offense.

  49. GTG says:

    Grey — Razzball and WSJ are probably the only two things I read every day…

Comments are closed.