A week ago, Wednesday, Analytics Anonymous held a special fantasy baseball draft meeting to evaluate how our lessons are being implemented.  Specifically, myself, and 11 of my new AA friends, took part in the Razzball Commenter League (RCL) #11.  These RCL leagues are 12-team Rotisserie scoring leagues hosted on Fantrax and free for all (there are a few paid leagues too).  There are drafts almost every day this month so grab a spot before they fill up.  There’ll be some really nice prizes to the overall winners so don’t be shy, come take Grey’s gifts.

(Editor’s Note: We have a few spots left in Razzball Commenter Leagues drafting this month, including some money leagues, like this one for $20 against Truss drafting tomorrow night, March 16th at 10 PM ET – Click to join!)


Before we get into the RCL #11 draft results, let’s understand the rules.  Whenever you join a league, the “Rules Summary” page should be the first stop.  It always surprises me when leaguemates tell me they haven’t studied the rules.  Sure, most are straight forward and don’t change, but every now and then there’s a nuance you need to know about BEFORE the draft.

How are these rosters constructed?  Is this a one catcher or two catcher league?  How many outfielders?  Does it include middle infield/corner infield positions?  How many pitchers do I need?  All answered here:

Alright, this is standard stuff for Fantrax Roto leagues, no real surprises here.  What about position eligibility?

Again, no real surprises here either, although this is important to understand beforehand.  I mean, how long will it take Xander Bogaerts to gain 2B eligibility?  I can promise you this, the team that drafted Xander probably knew the answer to this question.

Next, look at scoring categories.

This is another important one to understand before the draft.  AVE or OBP?  W or QS?  All very important questions.

Here’s one that is a little less common:

Pitching minimums and maximums not only drive in-season strategy, but draft strategy as well.  I’ve been in drafts where a team starts pocket Aces or even go three stud SPs in a row.  We all want that 200-inning pitcher but is it wise to load up on them and risk maxing out?  Conversely, for those who focus on hitters and fade early pitching, they’ll need to be sure to hit the minimums.  Many of us probably don’t spend much time thinking in March about how many innings their squad will have logged by Labor Day…but you should.

Other important setting to understand:

  • Daily or Weekly lineup changes?  Answer: Daily
  • Does the league allow trades?  Answer: Yes
  • Is there a trade deadline?  Answer: Yes (August 7)
  • Waivers use FAAB?  Answer: No, managers perform their own claims & drops
  • Waiver Wire claim processing time:  Answer: 3:00 am EST
  • Max # of claims per week?  Answer: Unlimited
  • Max # of claims per season?  Answer: 500

Now that we know the rules and roster composition needs, let’s move to the draft itself.  This live draft consisted of 25 rounds and each team had 90 seconds per pick.  For RCL #11, that put the total draft time at just about 2 hours.  Not a bad way to spend a Wednesday evening!


To break down this draft, I am going to utilize Rudy’s Draft War Room tool.  If you haven’t used this tool before, go check it out HERE.  He has tools for all your drafting needs:  snake drafts, auction drafts, Best Ball drafts, mixed league drafts, and even AL- or NL-only drafts.  It does require a subscription but let me tell you, they are very easy to use and worth every penny.  I’ll show you below.

I input each team’s optimal opening day roster into the tool and through the magic of Rudy’s sheet, here are the results.  NOTE: the individual category results vs the targets as well as the “$/G” column.  These are the best indicators of strengths/weaknesses for your team.

Mdog_baseballglory had the #1 pick and of course he led with Ronald Acuna Jr., then added Pete Alonso coming back.  It’s hard to go wrong on the offensive side with a 1-2 punch like that.  Did that strong start translate to overall team strengths?

As expected, Mdog scored well in the HR and RBI categories, but the news isn’t all glorious.  SB are a little shy of the target and a number of the pitching categories look a bit light.  He’ll have some in-season work to do though.

Rspw21 had the #2 pick and started with the multi-positional Mookie Betts, followed by his ace (Corbin Burnes) and a top corner IF (Rafael Devers).  Rspw took an interesting strategy of not taking a C and also drafting Jacob deGrom to stash on the IL.  He’ll fill one of those spots with the deGrom move but he’ll need to clear a second roster spot to fill out his lineup.  Bold move, Cotton!  Will it pay off?  Let’s go to the results:

Overall, the results look promising.  He’ll need to find some speed (not much at the C position) and maybe a few more SVs, but this team should be competitive.

Hometown Hero had the #3 pick and true to his team’s name, selected Seattle’s hometown hero in Julio Rodriguez first.  HH also bucked the trend and went CL heavy, not taking his first SP until the end of Rd 8. Let’s see how the strategy turned out:

HH will no doubt have one of the best offenses in the league.  With the exception of SVs, the pitching deficiencies are going to make it real difficult to take the title.  He should consider trading from his position of strength (SV) to shore up the other P weaknesses.

Gslife had the #4 pick and put his early focus on speed and power, selecting Corbin Carroll, Austin Riley and Randy Arozarena as his first three.  He also went a little heavier with CL than SPs.  Let’s go to the tape!

Gslife’s team is fairly balanced, which should keep him in the hunt.  K’s look to be an issue but once some of his injured arms come back, he’ll make up ground.  Will the hole be too deep by then?  Overall, I expect to see this team in the top half of the standings all year.

Mpaltrow picked from the five hole and was no-doubt ecstatic to find Bobby Witt Jr. waiting for him in the first round.  Just looking at his round-by-round picks, this team feels balanced.  Does the tool agree?

This team comes in with a lot of power and projects to have one of the better pitching staffs.  I have no doubt Mpaltrow will remain within shouting distance of the top spot, if not occupying it himself.  This is a good team and with a little tweaking, could be a great team.

Howtathor swung the heavy ax from the six-hole and started with 4 solid bats in Kyle Tucker, Francisco Lindor, Gunnar Henderson, and Cody Bellinger.  Despite waiting on arms, H-Thor sniped me numerous times as many of his SPs were also on my short list.  Maybe we can pull off a trade.  In the meantime, here’s the analysis of his squad:

The tool generally agrees with my analysis of this draft.  As currently crafted, the offense is going to carry this team as far as it’s going to go.  Perhaps there was a little too much emphasis on speed and not as much on power.  Regardless, there are plenty of real nice fantasy players on this squad and if Howtothor wants to explore the trade market, he should seek out The Lineup Builder (Wink Wink!).

Sandlot33 comes in next with the lucky seven pick.  While others focused on hitters early, Sandlot took it to the extreme, taking bats through each of his first seven selections.  His offense should be stout, but did he sacrifice the other categories?  Let’s find out:

As I input this team into the tool, I note there is a lot of speed and positional flexibility, but it feels light on power.  The results bear that out and it will likely be a struggle to fix in season.  Pitching, especially SVs, are going to be an issue to work on too, but he does have some potential on the squad if things fall into place.  Overall, it appears it’s going to be a struggle to keep up with the leaders.

Now we come to the eighth pick and yours truly, The Lineup Builder.  I did something in this draft that I haven’t done yet – selected Spencer Strider in the second round.  Like others, I spent most of my early draft capital on bats, but I consciously looked for SPs that should provide high IP and Ks.  I did sacrifice SVs (not by choice) and know I’ll have some in-season work to do there.  Let’s see how Rudy’s tool grades my draft:

Author’s Note:  I didn’t use this tool during the draft, so this is the first time I’m seeing the results.  I knew SVs were going to be an issue, but this is putrid.  I do have a few strong setup arms so if one of them becomes a CL, that’ll help tremendously.  I also didn’t expect to be this light on steaks.  I’ve got some work to do for sure but with a little TLC, TLB should be in the hunt throughout.

Risk it for the Biscuit gets the pre-season award for the best team name.  I love it.  What I didn’t love though was his sniping me on Jose Ramirez (2nd Rd), Ryan Helsley (8th Rd), and Jordan Walker (9th Rd).  Helsley was a CL I really wanted but I just wasn’t ready to take him that early.  My loss.  Here is his draft analysis:

True to his team’s name, he takes the flyer on the ultimate risk/reward speedster, Esteury Ruiz, to shore up the SB column.  If it works, his offense will be in great position in the counting stats.  Pitching looks like a mixed bad.  They say you don’t chase the W and he certainly didn’t.  ERA and WHIP are usually hard categories to do well but it appears this won’t be a problem as currently constructed.  Overall, “R for the B” should be right in the thick if it as well.

BookemDanno gets honorable mentions for best team name and for sniping “my guys” throughout the draft.  Jhoan Duran, Josh Jung, Eduardo Rodriguez and Jordan Westburg are some of my favorite players this year.  You guessed it, all selected by this savvy owner.  Let’s go to the tool:

I’m a little surprised this team generally scored below targets in so many categories overall.  Any team with a core of Freddie Freeman and Shohei Ohtani should be a step ahead of everyone else.  I guess when you later add players like Kris Bryant and Eugenio Suarez, it dilutes the offense a tad.  Perhaps Danno can trade some of that SV capital for other needs?  Despite the predictions, I think this team has a lot of potential.

Nocler drew the short straw at the 11-spot but made the most of it.  His draft strategy became apparent quickly, as he spent a lot of time in the helium tank with youngsters like Elly De La Cruz, Oneil Cruz, Jazz Chisholm, Cole Ragans, and Ke’Bryan Hayes.  It’ll be a fun team to watch but is it predicted to be a winner?

There’s no doubt this is a risky build but overall, it looks like Nocler did a great job in almost every category.  One of the hardest categories to chase, AVG, is going to be a thorn in his side all year and may keep him from achieving the penthouse.  Then again, maybe not!

Last but not least, IrishCurt manned the turn and made the most of it with a very balanced team of quality bats and arms.  I’m anxious to see how this team graded out.

Led by brothers Diaz at CL, Curt shouldn’t be at a loss for SVs.  In fact, he should have one of the better pitching staffs in the league.  On the offensive side, there’s plenty of power but it looks like he’ll need to find a few SBs to reach the upper echelon of the category.  Overall, this looks like a very good build from the 12-hole.


Now that we’ve analyzed every team, let’s look at the overall roto rankings based on the tool.

Well would you look at that.  Despite poor rankings in SV and RBI, my squad squeaks out the highest roto score.  Coming in at the top spot in preseason rankings is almost a kiss of death so I’m not encouraged by this.  However, it means that I have a strong squad to start from so I guess I’ll take it.

Personally, I think Mpaltrow and Hometown Hero are going to be the class of this league.  Like the rest of us, they too have work to do but are starting with a strong squad.

Regardless of these projections, this should be a great league to be part of.  I encourage everyone to remain engaged and better yet, let’s each make a few trades.  I’m always up for discussing deals so don’t be afraid to hit me up early and often.  Best of luck to each of you.

Well, there you have it, another session of Analytics Anonymous in the books.  I hope the topic enticed you to visit @Razzball and look at Rudy’s tool.  It’s really the best of the best.  If you don’t believe me, here’s the proof:

When you come to the Razzball site you can find me on both the baseball and football sides.  Just look for “The Lineup Builder” and you’ve found me!  I’m doing QB rankings all offseason in addition to hosting these baseball sessions.  No rest for the weary!

Also, be sure to follow me on Twitter/X @Derek_Favret.  I’m now on BlueSky as well (@dfavret.bsky.social).

Until next time, my friends.