That’s right folks, we’re doing an expert league from the NFBC with the D-O-double-jay in the LBC while AFK and whatever other acronyms you can think of. ALL THE ACRONYMS. So while I’m sippin’ some gin n’ juice, with literally no money on my mind and my mind in desperate search of money, I decided to summarize this expert draft for mass consumption. [Insert my usual statement on how I generally prefer “writers” over the term “experts”, mostly because I’ve never considered myself an expert at anything in life, here.] And don’t worry, we won’t spread this series out too much, I think we’ll focus this post on the first five rounds, then in a future post all the middle rounds, and then we’ll follow up with one final review, focusing on the late-round sleepers and trying not to draft Domonic Brown by mistake. Life goals! Now, for those unfamiliar with the NFBC, it’s your general Roto 5×5 setup with two catchers, 1,000 innings pitcher minimum, and 15 total teams with their world famous marathon drafts that have their own bicentennial celebration midway. For this specific league, I’ll be representing Razzball among other industry stalwarts like Dalton Del Don, Andy Singleton, and Bret Sayre among many other talented fantasy writers. And so, here are how the first five rounds went…


Round 1

Rnd Pick Player Pos Team
1 1 Acuna Jr., Ronald OF Kaltenbach
1 2 Trout, Mike OF NewLifeFantasy
1 3 Yelich, Christian OF @ZaragozaAnthony
1 4 Betts, Mookie OF Razzball Jay
1 5 Bellinger, Cody 1B PASINKOFF
1 6 deGrom, Jacob P Categorical Imperative
1 7 Cole, Gerrit P @RagingRandle
1 8 Turner, Trea SS @JacobBook87
1 9 Verlander, Justin P Florimonte
1 10 Lindor, Francisco SS Aniano
1 11 Scherzer, Max P Del Don
1 12 Soto, Juan OF Singleton
1 13 Story, Trevor SS Notoriouskro
1 14 Bregman, Alex 3B Sayre
1 15 Buehler, Walker P @CorporalEddy

I had hoped that one of Mike Trout or Christian Yelich might some how fall to my spot, but I can’t complain about netting Mookie Betts. Truth of the matter is, I’m probably one of countless in this regard, but before pulling the trigger, I did try to convince myself to perhaps go with a pitcher (Jacob DeGrom was the most likely candidate and went just two picks later) or even Trea Turner, who I’ve been a big fan of starting with the Padres and now the Nationals. (It’s almost the double-whammy here, me being a dude that grew up in the Whale’s Vagina and now living in D.C.) But alas, common sense took over and while my first round pick isn’t the bravest, it’s certainly not the riskiest in comparison to other peer selections.


Round 2

Round Pick Player Pos Team
2 16 Ramirez, Jose 3B @CorporalEddy
2 17 Arenado, Nolan CI Sayre
2 18 Tatis Jr., Fernando MI Notoriouskro
2 19 Harper, Bryce OF Singleton
2 20 Sale, Chris P Del Don
2 21 Flaherty, Jack P Aniano
2 22 Marte, Starling OF Florimonte
2 23 Freeman, Freddie 1B @JacobBook87
2 24 Martinez, J.D. OF @RagingRandle
2 25 Devers, Rafael 3B Categorical Imperative
2 26 Mondesi, Adalberto SS PASINKOFF
2 27 Rendon, Anthony 3B Razzball Jay
2 28 Strasburg, Stephen P @ZaragozaAnthony
2 29 Bieber, Shane P  NewLifeFantasy
2 30 Baez, Javier SS Kaltenbach

I wouldn’t say there were any huge surprises in Round 2. I’m generally a bit hesitant drafting pitchers if I miss out on the very top tier, and while that tier has grown since the days of it being an island of Clayton Kershaw, I just feel a little uneasy using my first two picks on someone like Justin Verlander (Round 1) or Stephen Strasburg (Round 2), which is exactly what led me to grabbing Anthony Rendon. I appreciate the production from a corner position, and with the players already taken off the board, he made a lot of sense with my next selection just seven picks away.


Round 3

Round Pick Player Pos Team
3 31 Bogaerts, Xander MI Kaltenbach
3 32 Judge, Aaron OF NewLifeFantasy
3 33 Alonso, Pete 1B @ZaragozaAnthony
3 34 Marte, Ketel 2B Razzball Jay
3 35 Snell, Blake P PASINKOFF
3 36 Albies, Ozzie 2B Categorical Imperative
3 37 Meadows, Austin OF @RagingRandle
3 38 Corbin, Patrick P @JacobBook87
3 39 Alvarez, Yordan UT Florimonte
3 40 Torres, Gleyber 2B Aniano
3 41 Altuve, Jose 2B Del Don
3 42 Nola, Aaron P Singleton
3 43 Castillo, Luis P Notoriouskro
3 44 Clevinger, Mike P Sayre
3 45 Giolito, Lucas P @CorporalEddy

Whether a deliberate strategy or not, you’ll generally see teams begin to reach at around this point. Not huge reaches mind you, we won’t be seeing Khris Davis drafted anytime soon (barring a stroke and my head collapsing on the keyboard), but the question becomes this: “If I don’t grab this particular player now, will they still be there when I pick again?” You shouldn’t really care in the first couple of rounds, after all, whomever lands in your lap will generally be good-to-great and will anchor your team irregardless of who exactly that is, but obviously as the draft goes on, this pool gets shallower and your selections are based more on your own analysis and strategy than the best player available. That’s a long way of saying that I might have grabbed Ketel Marte a bit early, but as you can tell here, I’m a big believer, and he most certainly was going to be grabbed before the fourth round. For what it’s worth, I had considered taking Patrick Corbin so as not to go pitcher-less, but it just didn’t feel right. Also, if Aaron Judge had fallen, I most likely would have drafted him instead of Marte, so maybe it’s fate! (Queue next Terminator movie.)


Round 4

Round Pick Player Position Team
4 46 Villar, Jonathan SS @CorporalEddy
4 47 Hiura, Keston 2B Sayre
4 48 Paddack, Chris P Notoriouskro
4 49 Machado, Manny 3B Singleton
4 50 Robles, Victor OF Del Don
4 51 Jimenez, Eloy OF Aniano
4 52 Blackmon, Charlie OF Florimonte
4 53 Kershaw, Clayton P @JacobBook87
4 54 Realmuto, J.T. C @RagingRandle
4 55 Springer, George OF Categorical Imperative
4 56 Stanton, Giancarlo OF PASINKOFF
4 57 Guerrero Jr., Vladimir CI Razzball Jay
4 58 Bryant, Kris 3B @ZaragozaAnthony
4 59 Darvish, Yu P
4 60 Morton, Charlie P Kaltenbach

A lot of interesting picks this round and let me tell ya, I would have loved to grab Manny Machado this late, but that ended up a fool’s errand with such a late position this round, but I’m a bit sad that I was just one pick away from landing Giancarlo Stanton as well. (Interestingly enough, this sadness isn’t rooted in any analysis or particular belief, I’ve just never had him on a team his entire career and it would have been nice to land him finally.) That being said, I’m definitely not disappointed in netting Vladimir Guerrero Jr., though it’s a fair argument to say that stacking 3B on a team isn’t the most efficient alignment.


Round 5

Round Pick Player Position Team
5 61 Greinke, Zack P Kaltenbach
5 62 Glasnow, Tyler P
5 63 Olson, Matt CI @ZaragozaAnthony
5 64 Soler, Jorge OF Razzball Jay
5 65 Rizzo, Anthony CI PASINKOFF
5 66 Syndergaard, Noah P Categorical Imperative
5 67 Bichette, Bo SS @RagingRandle
5 68 LeMahieu, DJ 3B @JacobBook87
5 69 Laureano, Ramon OF Florimonte
5 70 Goldschmidt, Paul 1B Aniano
5 71 Moncada, Yoan 3B Del Don
5 72 Abreu, Jose 1B Singleton
5 73 Merrifield, Whit 2B Notoriouskro
5 74 Pham, Tommy OF Sayre
5 75 McNeil, Jeff OF @CorporalEddy

Well, if you needed to know which side I’m on the fence of when it comes to Solar power, just look at the science! In terms of Jorge Soler, yeah, I think the power is real and I don’t mind grabbing him here. Looking at the groupings of players available at the time, I had considered Noah Syndergaard and even Bo Bichette to shore up my SS slot, I even wanted Tommy Pham too! But alas, I liked grabbing him here, solidified by the fact that I’m a believer and would not have a chance to grab him again.

So those are the first five rounds, and depending on how many millennia it takes to finish this draft, I’ll be covering the mid-portions and dive deep into the part of the draft that can make or break teams.



Jay is a longtime Razzball everything who consumes an egregious amount of Makers Mark as a vehicle to gain wisdom and augment his natural glow. Living in the D.C. area, he also likes spending time visiting the local parks and feeding lettuce to any turtles he encounters, including Mitch McConnell. You can follow him @jaywrong, or read his rarely (like never) updated blog Desultory Thoughts of a Longfellow.

  1. I like your thinking on not grabbing a Sp early. I started out with Story-Freeman-Mondessi-Springer-Olson-Then Giolito-and guess who was still there in rd 7? Soler!

    • Smitty says:

      Helluva ballclub!

    • Jay

      Jay says:

      Great minds think alike!

  2. slimbo says:

    Hey there

    14 teamer with 8 keepers
    Bellinger, Tatis, Devers and Rizzo 1st 4?

    who else should i be keeping from this bunch?
    Benintendi, Mercado, Kyle Tucker, Senzel, Flaherty, Bieber, Sale, Paddack, Glasnow, Soroka, Ohtani or Whitley


    • Smitty says:

      Flaherty, Bieber, Paddock, and Marcado for me

    • Jay

      Jay says:

      Kinda dig Paddocks potential here.

  3. Smitty says:

    Good job Jay! Betts seems primed, and hard to argue with Rendon and Marte. Not as high on Vlad but should be solid. Good luck

    • Jay

      Jay says:

      Thanks man! I agree with your take, no bias, I swear

  4. Tom says:

    What kind of “expert” starts with Scherzer, Sale?

    • Jay

      Jay says:

      Yeah, I’m with you. I do not like going pitcher heavy at all that early…

  5. Tom says:

    Giancarlo 4th round, why why?

    • Jay

      Jay says:

      Yeah, luckily I didn’t have a chance so I don’t have to answer it. I wouldn’t have minded him there though.

  6. brian says:

    No Max Muncy? What am I missing? He was pretty solid last year until he got injured. Plus the multi position eligibility.

    • Jay

      Jay says:

      Muncy actually went pretty fast after this post, sixth round. I’ll be going over him in the next post!

  7. baby seal says:

    What’s your pitching strategy here haha?

    Don’t love the lack of speed after going 5 straight hitters. I was going to say you should’ve taken Bellinger! But I guess I see why you didn’t. Love, love, love Belli this year. Big Ketel guy too.

    Thanks and good luck!

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