If you’ve been following along all season, you already know that this was the first year of Razzball’s very own dynasty league – the Razznasty – made up entirely of Razzball writers and commenters. It was an absolute blast, and I was glad to have the opportunity to commish this one. It’s a 16-team, 40-man roster, keep 30 dynasty format. This year was a battle for first place between Razzball’s own J-FOH and commenter Csifu (Hannibal Montana). It was a tight race all year and at times the difference was a mere point or two. But J-FOH put his foot on the gas down the stretch and pulled away. The Hateful One did it with style by racking up top five finishes in eight of the ten categories in September, including 32 wins and 367 strikeouts over the final month. When it was all said and done, J-FOH came within four points of a clean sweep 160 for the year. Impressive stuff, and so with this final post I’m handing him the microphone so he can share a bit of his strategy and how things played out for his squad.

2015 Razznasty Final Standings

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Congrats on the big win! Who were your team’s MVP and Cy Young winners?

Thanks Mike, I really appreciate all the time and energy you contributed to our league. It would be easy to say Mike Trout and move on but that would be too shortsighted. When you have a guy like Trout you still need to build around him and A.J. Pollock more than anyone else was the real glue on my squad. A .315 batting average with 20 home runs and 38 stolen bases made up for Trout’s career low stolen base totals while helping keep my average competitive. Hands down my Cy Young was John Lackey. Drafted in the 27th round (pick 417) he posted a 2.77 ERA with a 1.211 WHIP and led my team with 13 wins. I love a great value in a deep league as they usually lead you to a competitive finish.

How did having the first pick overall affect your draft strategy?

I don’t think it changed anything. Let’s be honest guys, in the first year of any league we are in it to win it. Being that this was my first ever dynasty I learned on the fly as the slow draft went along and adapted to the room. An example of this was at the first swing when I took Jose Fernandez and Javier Baez as I thought this was a good strategy for long term success. I quickly realized that this is not who I am as a player and switched gears to a more right now approach. To be honest, I got caught up in the dynasty hype and took myself out of my own game and that was my biggest error. Fortunately I was able move both Baez and JoFer along with Marco Gonzales to a “win later owner” for Kluber, Lynn and Dozier. To build on what I said above about adaptation to the room, I started to evaluate what approach other owners took as I played around their evaluations of talent and strategies.  For many of my late picks I had to decide “do I want someone that can help me win now?” or “could this guy be relevant in three years?”. Obviously, I chose the former and it worked out well for me, you know, because I scored 156 out of a possible 160 points.

What was the biggest difference between this dynasty and a redraft format such as RCL?

Good question buddy! To reference the settings, this is a 16 team, 23 positions, 7 bench, 10 minor leaguers, bi-weekly waivers FAAB league. In an RCL, the two major factors for success are time and maximizing innings and at bats via rosterbating. In this format it heavily weighs on draft day roster construction and with the extra bench spots you are essentially creating your streamers. Your bench spots should be divided to a minimum of zero and a maximum of two bench bats and the rest of your bench is all starting pitching. As I would evaluate the free agents, I found you need to be more careful when it comes to paying for a hot bat or arm. You can run out of money pretty quickly playing that game. To put is as simply as possible, this format leans towards foresight over frequency.

How did you use your farm system to help you win?

Since I played to win this year, I didn’t heavily invest in long term rookies on draft day because their price tag was either too high or not worth what they had shown so far. Instead I went after possibly relevant “this year” guys (Alex Guerrero and Marco Gonzales) instead of unproven above AA players. As I got into the season I added currently rising/almost MLB ready players like Grichuk, Ray and Ross. I never got married to that trio and instead viewed them as trade chips to plug the holes on my team as my end goal was winning this year. It paid off as I parlayed them into better players to fill out my team. I think I over payed for Tim Cooney but who knows, if he develops into a solid number three or four starter for the Cardinals then I got my money’s worth. I love how they develop pitchers of all ages in that organization.

Give us your thoughts on trading in this format…

It’s like crack mixed with red bull while having temporary amnesia. Maybe it was this group or maybe this is how it goes in dynasty but the trade partners were either hell bent on upgrading in the draft room next year or insanely greedy in their evaluation of theirs vs. your players. I didn’t worry about next year’s draft because with the age and talent I had assembled I wasn’t concerned about my team being uncompetitive next year. My favorite trade was obtaining Kang. I was fortunate to get him right as he was getting comfortable playing every day in the bigs.

What was your FAAB strategy?

I was very conservative at first as I tried to figure out how this all works, then I saw what you paid for Grilli and realized I wasn’t in Kansas any more. My top priority was finding players that might be MLB contributers this season and knew that if I got to them early then I could get them for nothing. I always paid close attention to when MLB starters would get injured because some teams will call up their closest to MLB ready arm. Please dont confuse that with best arm because they are completely different animals. When we did the slow draft, I noticed in the thousands of postings that I evaluate players vastly different than many of my competitors. I kept a lot of that in the back of my head as I would factor that in to my estimates for obtaining a player. I also targeted players that I could land for nothing or next to nothing based on previous bias….thank you Yunel Escobar! Speaking of Escobar, if I was looking for a bat I wanted multi-position flexibility when I could.

Give me one “do” and one “don’t” for a new dynasty player based on your experience this year…

My “do” would be to really think about your roster construction before and during your draft. The un-sexy players (small distance between floor and ceiling) will keep your team more stable than the unpredictable upside plays (large distance between floor and ceiling). Who they could be doesn’t do you any good while they go through their learning curve. My “don’t” would be to play too many years ahead. Find that balance and don’t be afraid of who someone else might draft and instead be focused on how you can put yourself in the best position to be competitive now and later. Most my higher picks were 28 or younger and had an element of upside to them. One pick I never bring up is Buster Posey and I want to share the thought process behind the pick. He is that unique catcher that gets enough reps at first base because the Giants want to keep his bat in the lineup. Eventually he will be their first baseman and his profile suggests a player that will age well and play a long time at a premium position.

Here’s J-FOH’s final roster…

jfohrosteer

Thanks J-FOH, and thanks to all the Razznasty owners for a great year!

  1. Packers says:
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    Informative read.

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      glad it helped!

    • J-FOH says:
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      @Packers: thanks. Mike and I are like sammy and dean….in the cannonball run

  2. MattTruss

    MattTruss says:
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    Awesome year J-FOH and thanks to Mike for running such a fun league. I had a blast in my first dynasty league and am looking forward to the advanced strategy of staying competitive down the road. As you mentioned, it was the FOH/Hannibal show all year until September rolled around, so finishing with the bronze made me pretty happy. Can’t wait for next season.

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      sweet! congrats on top three dude! ain’t easy

    • J-FOH says:
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      @MattTruss: standing on the 3rd podium in a deep league like this is nothing short of awesome too.

  3. Ra'zbahl Al Ghul says:
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    Solid ideas/points here FOH. I’d like to register for your weekend self-help meditation retreat: “Winning well and winning NOW”. Had a blast this season, can’t wait for more. Hippos that was a bananas run you went on in the second half to crack the bronze. I’m guessing you are still loving your Kershaw pick? Kid A and Mike solid 4th 5th finishes as well. Word. When does trading open back up lol!??

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      right on! If the system will let me, I’m opening this beast back up in November

      • Ra'zbahl Al Ghul says:
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        @Mike: Baez really came on strong too with his 2nd half run

        • Mike

          Mike says:
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          he really did…cool stuff

        • J-FOH says:
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          @Ra’zbahl Al Ghul: I would figure a strong finish wouldn’t be a good thing in a dynasty. Could next year’s draft could hurt some people? Or would making the draft order random every year encourage people to play for the title every year. I’m assuming winning gives you moncado.

          • Ra'zbahl Al Ghul says:
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            @J-FOH: By “winning” Moncada you meaning finishing in last place?

          • Mike

            Mike says:
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            in TDGX (I’ll write more about it Sunday) you get lottery balls for the bottom finishes instead of straight reverse standings

            • J-FOH says:
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              @Mike: I like that idea, that would add an extra level of excitement. we can video a lottery and you tube the results. My daughter has a bingo set up with the spinning basket

              • Mike

                Mike says:
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                lottery is rigged

                • J-FOH says:
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                  @Mike: HA! nice pull, poor Whitey Ford, he didn’t deserve that

                  • Mike

                    Mike says:
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                    this…this is a black day for baseball

                    • Grey

                      Grey says:
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                      What did Charlie Blackmon do?

                    • Ra'zbahl Al Ghul says:
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                      @Mike: Walt Weiss is that you?

                    • Mike

                      Mike says:
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                      haha…po’ Cholly

                    • J-FOH says:
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                      walt weiss is black?

    • J-FOH says:
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      @Ra’zbahl Al Ghul: first you need to pick up my companion piece, Zen and the art of fantasy baseball.

  4. the tone ranger says:
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    Congrats to JFOH and the rest of the razznasty league. If there is ever a way I can get in a razznasty league let me know!

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      will do! thanks!

    • J-FOH says:
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      @the tone ranger: thanks my man. Keep reading mike all off season for possible openings

      • the tone ranger says:
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        @J-FOH: Ill keep reading this site no matter what! looking forward to real baseball tonight. game of the year
        congrats again!

        • J-FOH says:
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          @the tone ranger: wild card baseball isnt real baseball, its letting losers come to party that didn’t win……glad to see you be here all off season. Mike always does a great job and I’ll be upping my off season content this year

          • Mike

            Mike says:
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            You just made Jose Altuve cry…I hope you’re happy!

            *I hug Jose Altuve close to my chest*

            • J-FOH says:
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              @Mike: by hug close to your chest you mean you have him in a baby bjorn?

              Winning the division has lost all meaning, hell having divisions doesnt even mean anything anymore, and dont get me started on inter league. Hell the all star game that decides who gets home field advantage is down right wrong and goes against everything that is great about competition. Sorry team that had the best record, you have to open the world series on the road because the other guys in your division lost one meaningless game and now some third place divisional finisher gets the home field advantage. Yeah that makes sense. Hey baseball, if you keep having to change things to keep the “fans” excited then maybe you need to take a long look in the mirror and stop expanding and scale back so the best of the best get to play at the highest level. I read the other day they are considering a team in Mexico. That will go over well with the union. What Cartels will they have to payoff to keep the players safe and not get kidnapped. What would you do if they took Maikel? Mike, what would you do?

              • Mike

                Mike says:
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                haha..I would like to see it be a three-game series. One-game playoffs in baseball seems odd

                • J-FOH says:
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                  @Mike: I say screw divisions and just have top four from NL and top four from AL make playoffs. Period! I would prefer going back to east and west and only the winners go to NLCS, but thats a pipe dream that will never return.

                  • Mike

                    Mike says:
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                    word…sounds like you’re a purist…not to be confused with a Puritan…I like it

                    • J-FOH says:
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                      @Mike: total purist, I dont even like the DH in the AL, if a pitcher is going to throw at a batter like Clemons did all the time then he should have to step into that box and get the same treatment in return…..Im a Puritarian

                    • MattTruss

                      MattTruss says:
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                      Preach on J-FOH, preach on!

                    • J-FOH says:
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                      when I was a kid we had this really neat game called baseball, it was fun to play and watch, “well what happened” now its just a marketing ploy to sell stuff

                    • MattTruss

                      MattTruss says:
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                      Word, there’s a lot wrong with the current model, that’s for sure. NFL is even worse, it’s borderline unwatchable for me these days.

                    • J-FOH says:
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                      I kiked my Thursday night football habit and barely watch on Sunday. I’m all about my local college team when it comes to football and that’s it

          • Ra'zbahl Al Ghul says:
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            @J-FOH: Classic FOH-ism

  5. Grey

    Grey says:
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    Didn’t I read this interview before in the American Airlines in-flight magazine?

    • J-FOH says:
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      @Grey: it was featured next to robin leech’s best place to dine for under 20 dollars

      • Grey

        Grey says:
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        In Wabash, Indiana, I remember reading that…

        • J-FOH says:
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          @Grey: I’m beloved in the heartland

          • Grey

            Grey says:
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            The pages of the airline magazine I read about you had some pages stuck together

            • Ra'zbahl Al Ghul says:
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              @Grey: Pages Full Of _____

            • J-FOH says:
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              @Grey: I cant help it if men find me attractive

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      ha!

  6. Left Hangs Lower says:
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    Should dynasty leagues have fewer moves throughout the season? Curious about the reasoning behind the biweekly waivers.

    My keeper H2H league has 7 moves a week, but I imagine in a dynasty with 30 MLB players if that’s even necessary.

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      We have a FAAB auction twice a week. So biweekly as in twice a week instead of every two weeks.It seems to work okay. I’m in some leagues where it’s just once a week and that’s okay too.

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      probably not streaming as much, but I think there’s more trade action, since it’s one of the few ways you can get good new talent

    • J-FOH says:
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      @Left Hangs Lower: the H2H leagues are notorious for the moves limits per week, that would never happen in roto, there would be no reason for it. Being that this is roto and a long term play I think the bi weekly is the best. Its keep people engaged on a daily basis but also eliminates being rewarded for being present…it also doesnt make it a constant race to the wire for the big “add”. Time is not knowledge

  7. Kenneth says:
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    Congrats to J-Foh on a dominant season. Thanks to Mike and everybody else for such a fun year. Looking forward to many competitive seasons to come!

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      no problem…awesome!

    • J-FOH says:
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      @Kenneth: Thanks Kenneth

  8. Baezaworldseries says:
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    Next year. I promise, less golf more baseball.

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      haha, sounds good

  9. Ralph Lifshitz

    Ralph Lifshitz says:
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    Giancarlo done
    Hand broken, season’s hopes dashed
    Greinke, Judge, hope springs

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      you went full Haiku!

      • Ralph Lifshitz

        Ralph Lifshitz says:
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        @Mike: Reflection inspires
        Hanley what an awful pick
        First base Ha! No way….

        • Ra'zbahl Al Ghul says:
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          @Ralph Lifshitz:
          But your second word
          “inspires” could be pronounced
          with three syllables

  10. Happy Vegans says:
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    Congratulations, Mr. FOH! Between your league finishes and your posts, it was a pretty good year. Thanks to you and all the other contributors here at Razzball. Well done!

    • J-FOH

      J-FOH says:
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      @Happy Vegans: H to the V, what’s up buddy. haven’t seen you around the water cooler lately. Throw me an email and we’ll catch up. I might be in the OC next week

  11. Wallpaper Paterson says:
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    Uggh. The league I wanted to join but could not due to the draft not being at a good time for me. Now it appears this was a slow draft? I may have stunk but I would have made a much better effort than Cobra Kai. Hopefully he/she did not die during the season.

    • J-FOH says:
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      @Wallpaper Paterson: some guys played for years down the road. It’s not a good strategy

      • Yescheese says:
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        @J-FOH: yeah cobra actually made a tremendous effort to finish in last place, sadly

  12. White Rabbit says:
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    so the big question is “who is Cobra Kai”? I’ll take his spot next year

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      Cobra’s team didn’t reach the innings minimums, mainly because he wasn’t playing for this year from the get go. His team actually has some nice pieces on it and he’ll have several picks in the first two rounds of our supplemental draft to play with.

      • Ra'zbahl Al Ghul says:
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        @Mike: Translation: Pain does not exist in this dojo. Your loose words about Kai doth not impress our supreme leader, Prospect Mike-L “Teddy Ruxpin” Franco. Kai actually has some insane pieces to build around – Sano, Buxton, Pederson, Winker, G Bird, McMahon, d’Arnaud, McKinney, Crawford, Maikel “prospect Mike” Franco, Dom Santana, not to mention Jo-Fer, Stroman, Urias…

        • Ra'zbahl Al Ghul says:
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          @Ra’zbahl Al Ghul: Speaking of… Kai, let’s talk trades!

          • Mike

            Mike says:
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            I want all his Franco

  13. Yescheese says:
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    Just read this.

    Great work J-Foh and Mike. It was an all-out, dominant, win-now performance, and it wasn’t just luck. Foh, some of your FA pickups were clearly found in the backseat of your delorean (Joe Ross in April?)

    That JoFer/Baez deal really does encapsulate the primary path to dynasty success – sell high on hype for proven contributors. This might have been your first dynasty but it goes to show you that fantasy baseball skills can transcend format. Nicely done.

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      thanks and well said, Cheese. Nice job this year…you know your stuff :)

  14. I got $100 for groceries, $1400 for liquor, and $6,000 for you to bail a couple of shit puppets out of jail says:
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    sucks to hear Maddon screwed over your Kang for a while.

  15. I got $100 for groceries, $1400 for liquor, and $6,000 for you to bail a couple of shit puppets out of jail says:
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    is that league in fantrax, it looks like it. Fantrax is best free site and it isn’t close. In hockey i have two players in one league that only qualify at a position that they no longer play this year and i contacted them (they got back to me within an hour, even by email), they apologized for their stats provider being behind what’s happening (i emailed 4 depth charts showing i was right) and said it would be fixed before next week (it hasn’t happened yet, but i’ll give somebody that communicates and says what’s right some leeway and trust so far). Just wonderful. Meanwhile, in yahoo you couldn’t slot a player into IR or NA for the first 3 days of the season. They never sent any notice of anything even being wrong. Garbage.

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      yeah, their customer support is pretty awesome

Comments are closed.