For those that are new here, welcome.  I’ve gone over my fantasy baseball draft strategy previously.  Luckily for you, I will happily coddle you.  Unluckily for you, I think coddle means to fart on your pillow when you’re out of the room, causing you to get pink eye.  For all your previous misguided attempts at drafting in fantasy baseball leagues, you might be SMDH or telling yourself FML, but now you will be SMDH like, “Look at me smiling like I just smoked some reefer and shaking my damn head at my new knowledge of fantasy baseball drafts.”  Or you might be telling yourself FML, but now you mean it like, “I just got my life drunk on a case of Pabst and we’re going to screw for the first time real romantic-like.  Could someone light a candle while I eff my life?”  Fantasy baseball strategies are as old as the earth, if the earth were ten or so years old.  There’s a LIMA Plan (Low Investment Mound Aces) by Ron Shandler.  There was a ZIMA Plan by Matthew Berry; it involved a lot of stumbling around, groping and the hiccups. There’s been a Punt One Category draft strategy.  There’s been a Punt Two Categories draft strategy, which was conceived by a leaguemate of Punt One Category who just couldn’t stand being upstaged, and there’s the Forget When Your Draft Is So Your Team Is Autodrafted strategy.  I love when my leaguemates use that one.  Then there’s my fantasy baseball snake draft strategy, Fantasy Master Lothario’s Strategic Method of Domination Henceforth or FML SMDH. (You might even want to use this strategy for our Razzball leagues.  Join now.  Thank you.)

FML SMDH has five basic steps.  If you follow these steps, you will place near the top in all of your leagues.  No plan is foolproof because, unfortunately, they still have to play the games, but FML SMDH puts you in the best position possible to win coming out of your draft.  Actually, this plan is foolproof and you should ignore the previous sentence that said no plan is foolproof.  No sentence is foolproof, that’s more accurate.  Okay, onto the steps:

1. Never draft a pitcher with your first two picks.

No Kershaw.  No Arrieta.  No Scherzer.  You abstain!  They’re fantastic.  I love them all.  I’d eat sushi off their nipples.  I’d watch Better Call Saul with them while sandwiched between your chatty mom and even-more-chatty aunt, and I hate when people talk while I’m watching TV.  That’s how much I like them!  These starters give you the value of a 1st or 2nd rounder.  They do.  I said it.  Sue me (for the one-eighteenth of a penny that the ads on this page pay)!  The problem is the loss of one of your 1st two hitters is really difficult to bounce back from.  You, son, are putting yourself in a hole.  A hole?  Yes, you are.  The absence of Goldschmidt or Arenado or who(m)ever is too great.  Could you win drafting a pitcher in the 1st two rounds?  Sure, anything can happen.  I mean, people are actually thinking about voting for Trump to be the president.  That doesn’t mean you want to stack the deck against yourself.  If you take a pitcher with the first two picks, you need to be right on your other top hitters.  It’s way too risky.  Go hitters early.

2. Never take a top-tier closer.

This is a tough one for some people.  I’m going to be you for a brief moment.  Me as you, “Hey, everyone’s starting to take closers in the fifth round.  There goes Kimbrel, Kenley, Aroldis… Wait, I have to take a closer with my next pick, too!  And where are my pants?!  For the Lord’s sake, why don’t I have pants on?!”  See what happened there?  You done got swept up.  You did.  You got swept up in a closer run.  Ignore everyone who takes closers. You don’t need a top tier one.  Stick to your own game plan.  Grab some schmohawks later that will get saves because, as we all know, SAGNOF.

3. When deep into a position, take a flyer on upside.

Nobody in the history of fantasy baseball has ever won a league by playing it safe in the late rounds.  In 1995, I tried drafting Mike Greenwell as my fifth outfielder; just didn’t work.  A darn fine year by Klesko wasted!  You play it safe in the early rounds.  You take solid contributors early.  You take flyers late.  You’re looking at either Castellanos or Headley, who do you choose?  Domingo Santana or Jay Bruce?  Watching the Biggie/Tupac documentary, Murder Rap, again or dressing up like a police officer and making a citizen’s arrest of Puff Daddy? You get the picture.  Embrace the unknown late.

4. When in doubt, draft for OBP and K/9.

I’m not saying in the first round.  Or the 2nd.  Or 12th (unless you’re in a 45-team league).  I’m saying when you get in the final rounds of the draft this is your determining factors for hitters and pitchers.  Easier said than done, right?  Actually, no, it is easy.  It’s not like you need a photographic memory of who has a higher OBP and a better K/9.  I know you barely remember the sentence you just read.  I’m not telling you to know these rates off the top of your medulla oblongata.  All I’m saying is there’s more than seven seconds between your picks, so simply look up which of the two pitchers you’re choosing between has a higher K/9 or which of the two hitters has a better OBP.  It’s just boiling guys down to their absolute simplest form.  If a hitter has a better OBP, then, when you’re in the 22nd round, at least you’re getting a guy that should get on base more, which should help runs, RBIs and average.  As for pitchers, at least you’re getting someone that can strikeout hitters, which should help ERA, WHIP and Ks.

5. Draft your team.

This is the most important rule.  This rule is like the number one rule in meditation:  You have to find your breath.  No, don’t Waze directions to your mouth.  This rule isn’t a literal statement.  I’m not saying don’t hire someone off Craigslist because you need to draft your own team.  It’s a metaphysical credo that must be followed.  You must draft guys you want.  Once the draft is over, no one cares where you drafted anyone.  Sure, you might take a bit of guff for taking someone a few rounds before everyone else would’ve drafted them.  Well, tell those people, “Keep your guff, you guffers!”  No one is going to pat you on the back in October and say, “You came in fourth, but I sure loved how you got Polanco in the 7th round.”  Yay, value!  Value is good for about a day after your draft.  By mid-April, no one cares what value you got.  You’re about to curl up in the basement of your mother’s house for the next six months with your fantasy team, draft guys you want.  If you think you can wait an extra round on someone, then go for it, but if you really want to reach for someone, don’t worry about it.  You need to draft your team, and not the team you think your leaguemates would draft.  For three years in a row, my Razzball commenter league team (Sign up now!) has appeared near the bottom of the post-draft auto-simulated rankings that are done by ESPN.  Two of those years, I won the league, while finishing in the top ten overall last year.   The other year, I came in 2nd.  It didn’t matter that ESPN or anyone hated my team post-draft.  All that mattered was I drafted the team I wanted.  Now find your breath, young prematurely balding man, and embrace FML SMDH.

  1. Flying Hellfish says:
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    Grey, you’re the best – good to be back, I want to invite you over for Shabbat.

    Would you apply similar logic to an auction draft?

    Example: I happened to use this logic (without the knowledge of FML SMDH) last season when I spent the most of my initial big auction money to draft Rizzo and Abreu, took a late low-cost flyer on Chris Davis, and got lucky to have drafted Arrieta and Keuchel uber-cheap, over-paid to get my Mookie at 2nd base elig, picked up Correa mid-season, spent on Aroldis. yada yada I won my league.

    For sure drafting ‘my team’ applies. Would you allocate your biggest bids to fill the lineup and lower bids for upside veteran arms and young SPs? Would you spend for Posey in an auction?
    Thinking of spending bigger bids on all my hitting and putting together a pitching staff of fellows like:
    Wainwright
    Verlander
    Raisel
    Severino
    Darvish
    Cueto
    Stroman
    Corbin
    etc

    or should I make sure to have one or two aces that I bid big on?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @Flying Hellfish: Nice drafting, but I don’t believe in going over $30 in most auction leagues… Once in a while it’s okay… My thoughts on players don’t change, I wouldn’t suddenly like Posey in an auction league

      • Gordon Shumway says:
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        @Grey: Hey there Grey- according to yahoo avg auction prices, the first few players under 30$ would be Blackmon, Marte, Posey, Cruz. I know you’re not saying 30 as an exact number, but would you be comfortable drafting those dudes as your top players? The top 15 players all go for over 40 dollars and right below that, you’re looking at Altuve and Pollock… it seems to me that it would be hard to not go for a few players over 30, if not at least one or two over 40. Any thoughts? Thanks alot!

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Is this a keeper?

          • Gordon Shumway says:
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            @Grey: No, these are the current yahoo auction average prices for all yahoo auction leagues, not just my league. In my humble opinion, it seems like if you are in an auction draft and you don’t have perhaps one player over 40$ and one or two over 30$, you will be kind of screwed. All of the top 25 players go for more than 30$. This is pretty consistent with how auction prices on yahoo have been for the past several years.

            • Grey

              Grey says:
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              Not in all leagues, I’ve won leagues without taking a player over $30 in some leagues… The shallower the league the more need for a high-priced player

  2. Ante GALIC says:
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    Grey

    a. What do you think of this mock draft done on February 27 2016? It was a full room, maybe a room full of fools, right?

    b. With this draft, I would win Ks, WHIP, ERA and SBs. What’s wrong with that type of strategy? I am dead serious and want to know.

    c. Am really moved by step 5 of your plan. I often finish last or next to last in those pre-season rate the draft predictors and have always made it to the playoffs and / or won my league. It’s very hard to take that early information and think nothing of it. How do you do it?

    Kershaw (2)
    Bryant (23)
    Sale (26)
    Heyward (47)
    Bogaerts (50)
    Hosmer (71)
    F-Her (74)
    Le Mahieu (95)
    Yelich (98)
    Hamilton (119)
    Robertson (122)
    Turner (143)
    Pillar (146)
    Capps (167)
    Deshields (170)
    AJ Ramos (191)
    KMarte (194)
    Corbin (215)
    Walker (218)
    Storen (239)
    Darvish (242)
    Jepsen (263)
    Alvarez (266)
    Davis (287)
    Molina (290)

    Cheers,
    Ante

    • Natty Boh says:
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      @Ante GALIC: I was in a 15 team league last year where a guy drafted Kershaw, Sale, and Jordan Zimmerman with his 1st 3 picks. I won era, whip, and Ks. I streamed guys like Josh Tomlin. Look at his game log. I also won the league.

      • Ante GALIC says:
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        @Natty Boh: Thanks, man! I appreciate your help and am listening.

        Cheers,
        Ante

    • knucks says:
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      @Ante GALIC: “The problem is the loss of one of your 1st two hitters is really difficult to bounce back from. You, son, are putting yourself in a hole.”

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @Ante GALIC: A. Not sure why you’d draft Kershaw B. Team is a bit of a mess C. Lots of elbow grease and magic

      • Ante GALIC says:
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        @Grey: Grey! Thanks for your help. The team was drafted in an ESPN-style 12-team mock draft with all the standard 5×5 cats. I exclusively used the ESPN player rater in drafting the team. I guess I’ve got all my answers. Truly grateful.

        Btw, glad this movie… http://www.imdb.com/title/tt4817576/… won the Oscar for short film.

        Cheers,
        Ante

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          I-I-I am too

      • Ante GALIC says:
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        @Grey: Grey!

        The eternal question does loom. So what do you do in a room full of Grey followers where no one is drafting a pitcher in the first two rounds? How do you get an edge on your opponent? (I am aware that there are more than 1 question.)

        Cheers,
        Ante

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          That draft room doesn’t exist, at some point someone will draft Kershaw in the first ten picks

        • A Wesley Snipes Life says:
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          @Ante GALIC: last year Jaywrong or somebody else showed what average draft position for RCL’s was, and in NOT ONE league did every one of the 12 owners follow Grey’s rankings and not take kershaw in top 10 or 8.

      • Ante GALIC says:
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        @Grey: Grey! Just to recapitulate, I did not draft this team, it was a mock. And will never ever draft such a team from this point forward even in a mock draft. Good enough?

        Cheers,
        Ante

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Please don’t Ante, this team hurts my nethers

          • Ante GALIC says:
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            @Grey: Grey!

            Question. In a H2H re-draft 10-team league, who do you like?

            a. Osuna off the news that Storen is the front-runner for the closer job.

            b. Doolittle off the news from last Friday that he looks good to be the closer he was before last year’s shoulder injury.

            Cheers,
            Ante

            • Grey

              Grey says:
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              B

    • Wetty Fap says:
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      @Ante GALIC: Is this a H2 or roto league (I’m assuming Roto). Is it weekly or daily moves? If it’s daily, Grey’s point of not drafting pitching is emphasized even more…especially if there are no limits per week on how many moves you can make, you stream pitching, as Natty Boh pointed out .

      You look supremely light on power. You only have one guy who is projected to give you 30+ HRs without destroying you elsewhere (i.e. Avg). Alvarez and Davis (Khris?) will give you pop, but have big deficiencies elsewhere. And to secure SBs is unneccessary b/c SAGNOF. Speed is so much easier to corral during the season than power. And to secure power, is to secure Runs and RBI. SB doesn’t really translate to other cats…maybe Runs, but that is reliant on other guys driving them in.

      The fact you got Bryant at 23 helps your case, but I highly doubt that you get him there in an actual draft. At least, i haven’t seen him go that late yet. But, say you do get him that late, if you were to take Goldy or Rizzo (in hindsight, b/c you’re OF on this team isn’t bad and it’s really deep in general), you still have Sale and F-Her, which is more than enough to go with Walker, Darvish, Corbin…but now you have Goldy and Bryant at 1B and 3B (I just went from 6 to midnight while typing that). Furthermore, then you’re not subjecting yourself to take Hosmer at 71, where you’re maybe able to get a Syndegaard. And with that said, maybe you don’t need to take Sale, b/c you’re getting Syndegaard at 71 (or a T Ross, Salazar, etc…either way), you can grab a C Davis or Braun at 26.

      So, to me Goldy/Rizzo, Bryant, Braun/C Davis, Syndegaard/Salazar/Ross, F-Her will put you in a better starting spot for the season than Hosmer, Bryant, Kershaw, Sale, F-Her…in my opinion

      • Ante GALIC says:
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        @Wetty Fap: Thanks so much for your insight. I agree that the problem with this type of strategy (it’s only a mock draft, roto 5×5) is that it impinges on guys like Bryant being available at 23. What if he’s not available and only guys like Votto or lower are available. Or worse still if good guys are available but they’re not the ones YOU like. Eternally grateful, man.

        Cheers,
        Ante

        • Wetty Fap says:
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          @Ante GALIC: I gotchya, so say Bryant isn’t there at 23. Take Grey’s rankings, for example, and what you asked him above. Say 11 Grey’s are drafting with you.

          At #2, I would take Goldy over Harper to ensure you get that stud 1B, and that OF is so deep. B/c if you don’t, and you’re only left with Votto at 23, and you don’t want him…well, shizz, now you’re trying to make up for those picks and your drafting from behind. That’s why, in my opinion, you can go with Goldy rather than Harper. With Goldy at 1B and your pick coming up at 23 and 26, you have opened yourself for flexibility going forward. If you’re in a league where you have to fill 1B, 3B, AND CI…I suggest taking C Davis, and then either Dee Gordon or Polanco. If it’s only 3 OF, then I’d take Gordon…if it’s 5 OF, i’d take Polanco. Then, when pick 47 comes around, Syndegaard is staring you right in the face. At 50, you can grab either Bogaerts/C Seager/Franco/K Seager (looking forward, I’d grab Bogaerts or C Seager). Then, at 71/74, you have F-Her/Salazar/Keuchel at 71 and 74 you can take another pitcher from F-Her/Salazar/Keuchel, or take a gamble and grab Sano/Longo/Carpenter for your 3B spot.

          with that said you’re looking at:
          1B – Goldy
          2B – Gordon (if 3 OF league)
          SS – C Seager or Bogaerts
          3B – Sano/Longo/Carpenter
          CI – C Davis (can use him in OF, too, if no CI spot)
          OF – Polanco (if you didn’t take Gordon)
          OF – C Davis (if you don’t have a CI spot)

          SP – Syndegaard
          SP – Salazar/Keuchel/F-Her

          That’s a pretty damn good start, if you ask me. Don’t forget that these are strictly from Grey’s rankings, so you will most likely be able to get more guys falling to you as pitching will be taken between you’re top picks (i.e. Frazier is ranked just out of your reach at #22, but will most likely be there with your 3rd round pick). But, at the very least, you should be able to get this team, and i would take that every day of the week

          • Wetty Fap says:
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            @Wetty Fap: And to answer your last question…Grey makes a great point with his 5th step of the FML SMDH credo….draft the team you want. Yeah, i would take that team above in a heartbeat, but some people may not want to come near Sano or Longo or Carpenter or Gordon or whomever. That’s cool! Everyone will make bad picks this year….even Grey. It’s all good. The other half of winning a league is making the key pickups that inevitably come out every year (see: Correa in ’15). No one drafts a team where they don’t need to make a move throughout the course of the season. Just set yourself up the best way you can and keep your eye out for those pickups, and you’ll be all good

  3. gangreen says:
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    Trump doesnt really want to be a president . He just wants control. If trump becomes president he is going to add to the ugly of this country and increase that uglyness. God blesses america and if he decides to stop were all going to be in big trouble.

    • Wallpaper Paterson says:
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      @gangreen: Seems to me we have been in big trouble for 20 years or so. Can Trump really be any worse than the Bushes, Clinton, and Obama?

      • I'mgettingsomeHeadley says:
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        @Wallpaper Paterson: I know Monica said Hillary isn’t the right women for the job and the last Clinton in office left a bad taste in her mouth. It would be fun to watch Trump slam Hillary in debates. Scary choices.

    • The Harrow says:
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      @gangreen: “Trump doesnt really want to be a president . He just wants control.” i don’t see the disjunct in these 2 sentences, and i’m not referring to any particular person.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @gangreen: King Trump, to you, sire!

  4. The Harrow says:
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    i actually have complimented people on where they got somebody at end of season. so it’s not exactly nobody, just this nobody in a somebody’s body since i exist, technically.

    • danny almonte says:
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      @The Harrow:

      Or do you?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @The Harrow: Doesn’t mean a whole lot is all

  5. I'mgettingsomeHeadley says:
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    I would add be patient. Last year I got Pollock off waivers when he was dropped. Some managers don’t give players a chance. Some guys don’t play well in cold , rainy weather. At the same time watch that waiver wire.

  6. RicoSuave says:
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    Thanks Grey, this is great help!

    I’m in a 14 team H2H points league and I’m 14 in my draft (snake draft). In this particular league
    SP’s get drafted pretty quickly ( W + QS ) and if you don’t jump in the SP train you might run out of decent options quite early…
    What do you think my strategy should be since I’m drafting in position 14?

    I need to draft C, 1B, 2B, 3B, SS, 3 OF, 1 Util, 5 SP (W+QS), 3 RP ( Save/Hold) and 5 Bench spots

    Thanks again Grey and looking forward to this 2016 season! I appreciate your help…

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @RicoSuave: In a QS league, you need an ace or two… I’d take one by the 3rd round in your league

  7. Swfcdan says:
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    B-Ham and Choo-Choo for Dee G in a dynasty?

    • knucks says:
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      @knucks: that was in response to [email protected]Swfcdan: I dunno how much choo (age 33 year) matters to you in dynasty, but if it were me i do the deed for sure. With Dee, you’re basically getting a guy in the MI that gives you what you could get from an OF, but with a big boost in AVG. I think you can find someone on waivers that could give you what you can get from choo this year and next. He’ll get hurt anyway.

      • knucks says:
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        @knucks: not sure what just happened with the beginning of that post there. its early on a monday, please forgive me.

  8. Copperhead Road says:
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    Good advise as usual. I reached for DiCaprio and Larson in my Oscar Fantasy league last year and got laughed at. Who’s laughing now!

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @Copperhead Road: If you took sleeper Rylance, I’d be really impressed… No one reaches for DiCaprio, he’s a first rounder

      • Copperhead Road says:
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        @Grey: Dude never won. Besides shoulda been Damon.

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Appros of nothing, the Manny/Damon cutoff is one of my favorite highlights

  9. Josh says:
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    This draft strategy has won my $100 league 3 years in a row, hopefully going on 4. It has also caused my league mates to dislike me during baseball season. Great write up. Cheers Grey.

    Josh
    Formerly Greys #1 Fan

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @Josh: Thanks, former fan!

  10. Noam says:
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    Nice write up. I laughed out loud when I read your Trump comment…glad you’re one of the sane people in our US of A.

    A couple of questions:
    I assume this advice is tailored to roto leagues. Does your advice change at all for H2H leagues?

    Do you ever intentionally punt categories in roto?

    In a roto league with a GS or IP limit, how many starters do you look to come out of the draft with? Is it acceptable to draft a pitcher in the first two rounds in that situation? Would you load up on elite closers? Max out GS and then just roll middle relievers…? What are your thoughts?

    Thanks Grey!

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @Noam: Thanks! I don’t punt anything ever… We have GS limit in the RCLs, I had 3 SPs last year and streamed… Depends on IP limit

      • Noam says:
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        @Grey:

        1000ip min, 200GS max

        And any thoughts on H2H category leagues?

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          200 GS is close to RCLs… And I mentioned above what I did there, they also have a 1000 IP min

  11. BoozeCruz says:
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    Thoughts on either A-Gonz + Sano for Abreu, or Strasburg + Sano for Abreu?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @BoozeCruz: A-Gon/Sano for Abreu works for me

  12. Glenn says:
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    Great common sense stuff, as always, Grey.

    Regarding Trump remember…. in a democracy, by definition, people always get the government they deserve.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @Glenn: Thanks! This is true!

  13. Lville Jim says:
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    The Trumpster will be here in town tomorrow afternoon. He isn’t my first choice but I do love reading comments of local liberals losing their minds about his appearance on hometown news sites.

      • Lville Jim says:
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        @Grey: 4pm start at the convention center, don’t get out of work until 5. I work Monday through Thursday, if he would swung by on a Friday I might have considered it.

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          I think it would be a hoot to hear him speak in person

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Not a good hoot or bad hoot, just a hoot hoot

          • Lville Jim says:
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            @Grey: 4pm start at the convention center, don’t get out of work until 5. I work Monday through Thursday, if he would swung by on a Friday I might have considered [email protected]Grey: I would liken it to attending a WWE event.

            • Grey

              Grey says:
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              Totally… Lots of foam fingers and overalls… I think it’s funny a lot of people are voting for him that I’d picture him having a hard time talking to for longer than a minute

  14. I don't want to leave my name because others in my league read this site says:
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    I can only keep 5 of these. Any suggestions? Loaded question I know. ;-}

    • I don't want to leave my name because others in my league read this site says:
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      @I don’t want to leave my name because others in my league read this site: For my next trick I will include the names! Bonehead…..

      Paul Goldschmidt Ari – 1B
      Nolan Arenado Col – 3B
      Kyle Schwarber ChC – C,OF
      Eric Hosmer KC – 1B
      Francisco Lindor Cle – SS
      Byron Buxton Min – OF

      Jake Arrieta ChC – SP
      Aroldis Chapman NYY – RP
      Adam Wainwright StL – SP
      Yu Darvish Tex – SP

  15. knucks says:
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    Quick, hit the local bodega now for your loosies before it shutters!

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @knucks: Headed out now, thanks!

  16. Bryce Krispie Treats says:
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    We had our fantasy baseball winter meetings this weekend and I made the only trade in our league…

    5 Keeper years (including the year that you draft the player)

    I receive – Rizzo, $14, 5th Keeper Year

    I sent – Arrieta, $5, 3rd Keeper Year

    My keepers are now the following – Harper $19, Goldschmidt $33, Arenado $29, Marte $10, Rizzo $14

    Grey, do you think I made the right choice with sending arrieta for one year of rizzo?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @Bryce Krispie Treats: I love that you get together for meetings… That’s awesome! Yeah, I like Rizzo better

  17. Mike Schwab says:
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    Hey Grey,
    Keeper question. H2H 8 team point based Dynasty league and each team keeps 15.
    Scoring is:
    1B (1pt) INNINGS PITCHED = 1pt QUALITY START 3pt
    2B (2pt) WINS = 7pt
    3B (3pt) SAVE = 3pt
    HR (6pt) K = 1.5pt
    WALK (1pt) EARNED RUN (-1pt)
    RBI (1.5pt) LOSS (-3pt)
    RUN (1pt)
    SB (1pt)
    I need to cut 4 from the following. Any thoughts? Thanks.
    Miggy, Rendon, Machado, Cargo, Harper, Pollock, Sano, Encarnacion, Hosmer, Baez, Heyward, Moncada, Teheran, Taijuan Walker, Lester, Giolito, Kluber, Richards, Corbin.
    Thanks Again.

  18. Duda Want to Build a Snowman? says:
    (link)

    Most important post of the year. WITNESS!

  19. PD says:
    (link)

    Points-based dynasty league with 5 keepers. I currently have Goldy as a 2nd round keeper. I can only keep him one more year. I can get the #1 pick in our draft though. So, would you give up the one year of keeping him at a 2 to get 3 more years of keeping him at a 1? If I do that, I can keep one more guy (we can keep a max of 5).

    Already keeping Dozier (14), Harvey (16), Lindor (22) and Joc (24). If you were to accept that trade in which order would you rank my following keeper options?

    Salazar (10), Wong(12), Buxton (15), Richards (25)?

    Many thanks!

    • knucks says:
      (link)

      @PD: That’s a good plan on Goldy, I think I would release him to pick him back up for the next 3 years. Are you saying that you def have the #1 pick this year?? Just smart business if so. I don’t see him falling off in the next three years, although I guess its possible. Interested to see Grey’s thoughts on this. And I think Buxton is the choice there for last keeper. He is arguably the #1 prospect at the moment (maybe seager over him?). Unless you are super worried about your arms… But I wouldn’t be in a pts league unless pts are skewed to where arms matter more. When you say accept that trade, you’re referring to the Goldy thing right?

      • PD says:
        (link)

        I’m working on a deal that would send my 1st round pick (#3 overall) and one of the last 4 keepers I mentioned to the guy with the number 1 overall. So I’d be giving up the number 3 overall and Wong/Salazar/Buxton/Richards for the number 1 overall. I’d then be able to keep Buxton (in addition to Harvey, Dozier, Lindor and Joc) and I’d draft Goldy with that number 1 overall pick.

        I’d love to have me some Goldy for 3 more years but having him as a 1st round keeper is a pretty high price. If I just kept him this year as a #2, I’d be able to pair him with someone like Rizzo or another top-tier guy and start out with a pretty sweet 1-2 offensive punch.

        But then I think about 3 more years of Goldy and I think I like the sound of that too.

        • Grey

          Grey says:
          (link)

          Sure, send Richards

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      @PD: Yeah, 3 more years fro Goldy… Buxton, Salazar

  20. papasmurf says:
    (link)

    Amen.

    I don’t think I’ve ever drafted big-name closers. To waste an early pick on a guy that throws 70 innings for which you can find similar-quality innings from guys picked way later is just not smart. (Does that sentence even make sense!?) SAGNOF baby.

    • knucks says:
      (link)

      @papasmurf: Yea especially when smokey can help you identify guys that can be next year’s “big name” before this years draft. He has been helpful at doing that for years. I am finding Britton sliding to me around pick #120 or so in yahoo mocks. I don’t mind taking my 1st closer there, especially one with that kinda sinker/ground ball rate after such a solid 2015. I thought I read that he had the highest ground ball rate in history. But I could be lying. If Britton/Giles/Familia isn’t still around at that time, if I wait even a bit longer, i still I find myself ending up with a K-Rod/Mcgee tandem often. I’ll take that shizz all day, then SAGNOF to the ship… Although mock’s/grain of salt/yadda yadda of course.

      • Warren says:
        (link)

        @knucks: in an Auction, I sometimes like to jump on the first elite closer. You can often get a good value, because later people get desperate and overpay for the mid-tier guys. Then grab a few $1 guys, anchored by your Jansen/Kimbrel type.

  21. Warren says:
    (link)

    Jose Abreu.

    I know he’s in your top 20 but I just cannot get excited about drafting him. Boring, safe, not much upside…but guess that is what you want out of a 2nd round pick. Maybe adding Frazier will help that offense not be so terrible, but I just keep seeing a 27 HR, 95 RBI/Run season out of him that could just as easily come from Belt or Duda way later (especially in an OBP league).

    Can you talk me back into the Cuban Yawn?

    • knucks says:
      (link)

      @Warren: I dunno that I can help talk you back into him, but I def feel the same way. If I still need a 1B in the second round, I will close my eyes, hit the ‘draft’ button and just move on to round 3. Anyways, I had read into Abreu lately and if you hadn’t read this yet this offseason (even if you did back in July) I found this fangraphs article helpful.

      http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/jose-abreu-pitchers-and-ongoing-adjustments/

      Talks about pitchers adjusting to him and then cuts off noting that it will be interesting to see what he can do in the second half in 2015. I took a peek…

      1st Half- 50 / 14 / 46 / .296
      2nd Half- 38 / 16 / 55 / .284

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      @Warren: Him and Pujols are the only players in the history of baseball to start a career with two straight 30 HR/100 RBI seasons…

      • knucks says:
        (link)

        @Grey: there’s the tiddy-biddy we needed to hear! thanks grey

        • Grey

          Grey says:
          (link)

          No problem

  22. E says:
    (link)

    Steven matz or Randal grichuk as a round 29 keeper? Already keeping schwarber and syndergaard.

    Thanks

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      @E: Toss up… Matz

  23. Branta says:
    (link)

    Hey, Grey,

    Wanted to hear your thoughts on my draft so far for my league and maybe get your thoughts on what I could still use in my remaining 3-4 picks.

    Yahoo 12 team h2h keeper league (6×6 cats: r/hr/rbi/sb/obp/slg x qs/k/hr/WHIP/ERA/NSVH) slow draft (via a forum and a google doc, we’re in the middle of the 18th round).

    Here’s the team thus far (starters are C, 1b, 2b, 3b, ss, 3 of, 2 util, 5 sp, 3 rp and 6 bench spots):

    C – Travis d’Arnaud (11th)
    1b – Prince Fielder (6th keeper)
    2b – Dee Gordon (5th keeper)
    3b – Nolan Arenado (8th keeper)
    ss – Francisco Lindor (20th keeper)
    of – Joc Pederson (17th keeper), Kris Bryant (13th keeper), Adam Eaton (3rd)
    util – Khris Davis (4th), Lucas Duda (10th)

    sp – Matt Harvey (15th keeper), Jake Arrieta (2nd keeper), Taijuan Walker (7th), Masahiro Tanaka (8th), Patrick Corbin (17th)
    rp – Cody Allen (9th), Francisco Rodriguez (14th)
    bn – Aaron Judge (24th keeper), Delino Deshields (12th)

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      @Branta: Nice hitting, you definitely don’t need speed…If you can find power, I could see taking it… Your pitching looks solid, it’s likely time you took a MR or two

  24. Prettay, Prettay, Pretaaay... Prettay good says:
    (link)

    Grey,

    I love the strategy and especially rule #5. This is where I am left with a difficult decision.

    I can keep 2 of the following 3 players for 3 years.

    Corey Seager
    Francisco Lindor
    Byron Buxton

    The complicating factor is that I think my other keepers give me a chance to win this year (Donaldson, Harper, Arrieta, Syndergaard). So, I was going to go with the combo of Seager/Lindor to win this year, but Rule #5 would tell me to take Seager/Buxton (huge Twins fan) because those two are so sexy.

    FML, I need an outsiders perspective. What do I do? (would also love to hear other commenters thoughts. A lot of really great commenters on this site!)

  25. Moscowitz says:
    (link)

    Great post Grey, it was a pleasuer to read. Thanks a bunch

    I have Machado manning 3B and Desmond on SS. I also have Frazier and would like to trade him for an SP. What about Thor? Would you do that trade?

    Thanks again

    • Moscowitz says:
      (link)

      @Moscowitz: pleasure of course!

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      @Moscowitz: That’s fair, can you get nothing for Desmond?

      • Moscowitz says:
        (link)

        @Grey: Nothing of Thors caliber i guess

        • Grey

          Grey says:
          (link)

          No, of course not, but I don’t know if you need Thor’s caliber

          • Moscowitz says:
            (link)

            @Grey: Well i have Carrasco, McHugh, Fiers, Matz, Rodon, Smyly, Nola

            • Grey

              Grey says:
              (link)

              You don’t need THor

              • Moscowitz says:
                (link)

                @Grey: Ok thanks

                • Grey

                  Grey says:
                  (link)

                  No problem

  26. GhostTownSteve says:
    (link)

    I’ll add another one: pay more attention to the back 1/3 of the player pool during your draft preparation. For all the angst over Goldschmidt versus Harper or whatever, at the end of the draft you got a good player and if it doesn’t work out it’s just bad luck. Getting value from the final rounds makes all the difference.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      Moreso depending on league size… In a 15-team league, late round flyers are more important than 12 or 10 team leagues

  27. jon says:
    (link)

    Question. So I got caught up in the closer run and drafted Wade Davis in the 7th round of my ongoing slow draft. It happened. Let’s move on.

    My league is 12-team H2H 5×5 with 30-man rosters and daily moves (4 OF, 2 Util, no MI spot). This means that the best teams spend most of their 10 bench spots on SPs and cycle them in for each matchup thanks to daily moves. After 5 keepers per team, the best SPs have been flying off the board.

    My question is, do I keep up with this and also join the firesale for top-40 SPs? Or zig while everyone else is zagging?

    My team so far between keepers, draft picks and call-ups thus far: Posey, Fielder, Odor, Lindor, Price, Cole, Greinke, D. Norris, W. Davis.

    I have no 3B and no OFs. Do I take a boring and old but best available OF like Pence or Ellsbury to “anchor” my OF? Do I keep on with the SPs and target Ks with Liriano or Richards? Do I grab a 3B now before they drop way off (Kang)?

    Last pick for next 18 or so. Also every other team has 1-3 OFs already, in case that matters.

    I drafted a top-flight closer! My brain is all mush! HELP ME.

    Thanks!

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      You have 3 of my top 20 SPs already and no OFs…You sound like you haven’t read a thing I’ve written all offseason

      • knucks says:
        (link)

        @Grey: Polonco (if your lucky), Dickerson, Joc, Khris Davis, Deshields, Yelich, Grichuck, Calhoun. A handful of these guys should prob find thier way onto your team, and soon.

        • knucks says:
          (link)

          @knucks: But with 4 OF spots on rosters, you are very behind the 8 Ball here and will prob want to angle a trade at some point either before or in the first month or so of real games, once you figure out what you have too much of and what you need (which is DEF power).

          • knucks says:
            (link)

            @knucks: Some other cheap power, and some that Grey has noted in the past few months….

            Duvall / Bruce / Trumbo / Rasmus / Avisail

            But you are obviously sacrificing categories like AVG with these guys

        • Grey

          Grey says:
          (link)

          Yup

          • knucks says:
            (link)

            @Grey: Posey and D. Norris? How did that happen???

            • Grey

              Grey says:
              (link)

              Not sure

            • jon says:
              (link)

              @knucks:

              The weirdness of the roster is explained by Keepers and call-ups. I inherited a last place team and the best keepers (5 total) were Posey, Fielder, Odor, Price, and Cole. We have a minors system from which I called up Lindor and Norris because it didn’t cost me anything. So I went into the draft with those 7 players.

              The problem is that every Top-20 Outfielder was kept. I had pick 1.4 (but really 6.4 given the keepers) and the best available OF was Pence or Ellsbury, who didn’t feel like much of a value there. I took Greinke because he did feel like a decent pick there and was far and away best non-kept pitcher left. So I never had a chance to pick a top flight OF and now I’m trying to accommodate.

              I took W. Davis with the next pick, for better or worse. And yes my plan was to fill out the OF will the upside mashers and speed guys you suggested above, especially since other people’s OFs are close to full. Thanks to trades I have 8 picks between 140 and 200 overall so will do a lot of filling out there.

              The questions are a) do I start the OF filling with someone unexciting like Pence or Ellsbury, b) pickup a reasonable dual position 3B like Kang or c) do I just keep hammering the pitching given how teams tend to just cycle in SPs daily throughout a matchup – so more SPs the better. In order to keep up I’m going to need a pretty stout staff.

              • danny almonte says:
                (link)

                @jon: id want an unexciting OF, its not all bad to have a couple when thats what you need. Youll probably be last in the league in power categories at this point so id start working on that. Prob will need to try to trade an ace for a bat, so wouldnt completely forget about SP given the settings for your league

  28. Dr. Kenneth Noisewater says:
    (link)

    Nope, so wrong. Thought we had a similar discussion, guess you don’t trust the foolproof strategy of:

    1st – Catcher
    2nd – Catcher
    3rd – Speedy utility
    4th – SP
    5th – Catcher

    Nothing better than flipping Chris Stewart for George Springer once the league gasps and realizes you have every catcher.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      3rd Speedy *CATCHER* utility

  29. Wilson says:
    (link)

    I’m trying to simulate draft in standard 5×5 league

    If I got Harper, Rizzo already and need to choose the third pick
    1. Marte (or Betts) : To improve leg in OF
    2. JD : More power in OF
    3. Frazier : To pick a 3B after top 3Bs (Machado, Arenedo, Bryant) are all gone

    Thoughts appreciated

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      Marte or Betts then Frazier

      • Wilson says:
        (link)

        @Grey: thanks

        More, I’m trying to simulate draft in standard 5×5 league (10-team, keeper league)

        If I got Harper, Rizzo, Marte, K Seager already and aces are all gone of course.
        Who should be my 5th pick?
        1. Pick a Starter : If yes, who will you choose from J-Fer , Noah , Stas ,Carrasco ?
        2. C Seager : Pick a SS first then starter
        3. A Pujols : To increase powerand 1B backup, Might steal him here

        Thoughts appreciated.

        • Grey

          Grey says:
          (link)

          1. Yes

          • Wilson says:
            (link)

            @Grey:
            OK, to pick a starter. Thanks Grey.
            I know you rank them by J-Fer, Noah, Stras, Carrasco.
            I have concerns so not sure who to pick in the round.
            J-Fer: injury back but still concerns, and MIA isn’t that good so hard to get W
            Noah: only one year performance
            Stras: injury concern
            Carrasco: the oldest among them, I need a keeper for years

            Their K9 are similar so it’s hard to make decision.
            Who will u pick in keeper league? Thanks

            • Grey

              Grey says:
              (link)

              J-Fer

              • Wilson says:
                (link)

                @Grey: thanks
                If Cole is still there, J-Fer or Cole? In Keeper league

                • Grey

                  Grey says:
                  (link)

                  Jose

  30. Cohen says:
    (link)

    Grey,12 team roto,i have #2 pick,i have been taking Goldy if Trout is gone in mocks,at #23 i usually end up with Betts or Marte,my question is at pick #26 do i take next best player.ie JD Mart (another OF) or take Frazier if hes there?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      Frazier

      • Cohen says:
        (link)

        @Grey: thank u

        • Grey

          Grey says:
          (link)

          No p

  31. Dr. Kenneth Noisewater says:
    (link)

    That speedy catcher is tricky. I learned my lesson after the first base ump picked up and handed Jason Kendall his ankle back in 1999. Tough injury for my 8th overall pick.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      Realmuto or busto

      • Dr. Kenneth Noisewater says:
        (link)

        Seriously, my replying abilities have diminished.

        You see that Pete Rock and CL Smooth are currently making music together?

        • Grey

          Grey says:
          (link)

          I did see that! Stoked for the They Reminisce over “Everyone who was making music the last time we were popular”…

          • Dr. Kenneth Noisewater says:
            (link)

            Haha. The “In Memoriam” located in the booklet (what’s a booklet?) would be longer than The Odyssey.

            • Grey

              Grey says:
              (link)

              T.R.O.Y. was (I believe) about a Heavy D dancer…Heavy D isn’t even alive anymore

                • Grey

                  Grey says:
                  (link)

                  Yes! Psyched!

                  • Dr. Kenneth Noisewater says:
                    (link)

                    I like when they talk about a possible movie….Danny McBride. “You’re [email protected]$%ing Dead!”

                    • Grey

                      Grey says:
                      (link)

                      Yeah, we need an Eastbound & Down movie, for sure… He reappears in he Nippon Baseball League

                    • Dr. Kenneth Noisewater says:
                      (link)

                      I’d watch Kenny Powers if he reappeared in a Pixels sequel.

                    • Grey

                      Grey says:
                      (link)

                      I’d watch him on Fuller House

                    • Dr. Kenneth Noisewater says:
                      (link)

                      I’d watch Fuller House if Stephanie was still on meth.

                    • Grey

                      Grey says:
                      (link)

                      She was going to school where I was going to grad school in the early naughts… I heard she was an easy lay for some meth, ahh…regrets…

  32. Rusty Trombone says:
    (link)

    Grey…I dealt my mancrush (Giancarlo Stanton) over the weekend. Love to get your thoughts on this heavy weight trade that went down in our 12 team, 5-man H-2-H league:

    I give: Stanton and Carrasco and my 2nd and 3rd round picks.

    I get: Trout and Archer and his two 5th round picks.

    Thanks!

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      Solid trade…Sad, but solid

      • Rusty Trombone says:
        (link)

        @Grey: Cool. This might make it a little more like a ‘happy ending’

        My keepers are now: Trout, Goldschmidt, Arenado, Archer and Cain.

        Muuuah!

        • Grey

          Grey says:
          (link)

          Ha, nice

  33. Duda Want to Build a Snowman? says:
    (link)

    Somewhat off topic, but does anyone (Grey or otherwise) know if ESPN’s official draft room auction values change based on league roster format?

    My ESPN league this year is switching to auction for the first time. We field 4 fewer bats (and roster spots) than ESPN’s standard 13-player offense (i.e., no CI/MI, 3 OF only). . . so theoretically, there’s more money to spend per spot than standard ESPN leagues . . . and with fewer spots to fill, it seems like there’s a bit of an intangible benefit to really going after the top, above the rest, bats.

    If ESPN’s auction values don’t increase proportionately, seems like a Y-UGE opportunity for me to overspend on a couple of top bats without feeling the hurt too much at the end of the draft…

    In mock drafts, guys I wouldn’t DREAM of getting a guy like Trout are consistently going below Razz’s projected values (e.g., ESPN ranked $43, going for $45, compared to Razz’s $49). And forget about Rizzo and Betts ($23-26 regularly) and Springer (~$19).

    Playing with this concept, in a full mock draft (w/ espn’s 13 offensive slots instead of our league’s 9), I was able to draft the following 9 guys while only spending about 68% of my budget on offense, which I would never have thought was possible:

    trout, betts, springer, votto, bryant, c seager, rizzo, schoop, random catcher
    [w/ plenty of quality SPs]

    Additionally, our league has no add/drop limits or FAAB . . . so theoretically, I could also even leave the final couple bench spots open for $0 / waiver guys (SAGNOFs, etc.).

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      I doubt it, but don’t know

      • Duda Want to Build a Snowman? says:
        (link)

        @Grey: Thanks – hope you’re right! If that’s the case, I get the sense that people will not want to stray too far above ESPN’s auction values, and then find themselves leaving the draft with excess cash.

        • Grey

          Grey says:
          (link)

          Yup

  34. Bwyce Hawpo says:
    (link)

    Potential Keepers going into draft next month…Auction, 12 team, $260 budget. OBP instead of AVG. Planning on keeping all of them as of now…

    C. Davis – $32
    M. Harvey – $26
    B. Harper – $21
    Polanco – $16
    J-Fer – $14
    C-Mart – $11
    Taijuan W. – $8
    C. Correa – $6
    McCullers – $6
    Severino – $6
    J. Ross – $6
    Total Cost – $152

    Anyone droppable at these prices? And what should be first priority on draft day? I’m thinking more OF and corner inf. Thanks!

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      I’d keep them all

  35. J-FOH says:
    (link)

    FML SMDH? sounds like a punk rock song about getting tricked into bondage by a new girlfriend

  36. Better Call Paul says:
    (link)

    Great stuff as usual man!

    Got a keeper question for ya. 10 team, H2H dynasty keeper league. OBP instead of AVG, penalty for batter strikeouts. 5 keepers each year that count as your first five picks of the draft. My minor league players consist of Billy Hamilton, Soler, and Baez. Who doesn’t get kept in this list?

    Goldy
    Harper
    Frazier
    JD
    Cutch
    Arrieta

    Is leaving Arrieta off a surefire lock since I have some nice bats or do I keep him because he would essentially fall to the “3rd round” to me and be a good value because of me having Goldy and Harper count as my first two picks? Perhaps I have enough outfield dept so I can keep Arrieta instead of JD?

    Players on other minor league teams already: Franco, Bryant, Sano

    Thanks!

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      Thanks! JD, tough call

  37. Swfcdan says:
    (link)

    Grey I’m going all in on razzball this year. Have a slow draft starting tommorow and want to use your rankings. It’s a hellishly deep single season league, so your top 500 is going to be a godsend. Thank you my man, thank you.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      No problem

  38. NickfromtheRoc says:
    (link)

    Hey Grey and the Razzball community,

    Thanks as always for the great articles and discussions in the comments. I’ve got a couple keeper questions for a 12 team h2h league with standard 5×5 categories. We keep 8 players, with one being a rookie (in the year of their first appearance). I’m planning to keep these guys without a doubt: Encarnacion, Machado, Frazier, Marte, Arrieta, and Degrom.

    I’m up in the air between Cain or Cruz. Leaning towards Cain since he’ll contribute more across the board. Thoughts?

    Next question is about my rookie keeper. I’ve got Russell, DeShields and Severino to choose from. Thoughts on who to keep? I know you’re higher on DeShields this year, but there is no limit to how long we can keep someone, so I’m thinking Russell is the better play long term.

    Thanks as always…

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      Cain…DeShields

  39. Garrsh says:
    (link)

    Grey!

    I’m a huge fan and visit the site religiously and have gone all in a lot of the players you loved over the last years.

    I’m in a keeper stand 5×5 got offered Todd Frazier for Piscotty Doesn’t Know and Grichuck
    Frazier is $12 bucks and piscotty and grichuck are each $5 could only keep players for 1-2 years max.

    Do you like piscotty /grichuck side better or Frazier

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      I’d want Frazier

  40. JoeG414 says:
    (link)

    If you had to draft one of these in a 6×6 Mixed Roto, who would it be ?
    Adam Jones, R Braun or CarGo.
    Thanks.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      Braun

  41. Paul says:
    (link)

    Hey Grey, need some help for final keepers. I keep going back and forth with who I want and how the draft will play out. 12 team, 5×5 roto, keep 12. Most teams are keeping closers and I have last pick each round. Who should be my last three?

    Belt
    Kinsler
    Correa
    Bryant
    Trout
    Pederson
    Inciarte
    Soler
    Arrieta

    T Walker, Cody Allen, Hector Rondon, Evan Gattis, Javier Baez
    I have Seager on minors, which is nice

    Thanks for your help

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      Walker, Rondon, Allen

  42. FrankGrimes says:
    (link)

    Mmm…reefer.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      I got the juice on Saturday, thanks, Grimey! I’m on Pink Square right now

      • FrankGrimes says:
        (link)

        @Grey:
        finally! pink square is delicious enjoy.

        • Grey

          Grey says:
          (link)

          They all smell delicious, but I made the mistake of filling my tank too high with Pink Square so I’ve been vaping it going on 3 days

          • FrankGrimes says:
            (link)

            @Grey:
            that’ll give the others a chance to steep.
            you still swapping out yo cotton?

            • Grey

              Grey says:
              (link)

              Yeah, I switch it out every other day… Honestly, it’s a bit of a pain in the ass

              • FrankGrimes says:
                (link)

                @Grey:
                every other day is a lot!
                I do it maybe once a week (depends on the juice)
                but I don’t remember what rig you have these days

                • Grey

                  Grey says:
                  (link)

                  IPV D2

  43. Bob says:
    (link)

    12 team h2h keeper league. My keepers are abreu, Altuve, Frazier, tulo, marte and Braun on offense. Pitching is kershaw, scherzer and strasburg. I know that’s a lot of pitching, but it’s a QS league with k/9 and bb/9 in place of k’s and bb’s.

    Offensively what stats should I go after with my draft?
    In a league like this, do you treat starting pitchers any differently?

    Thanks!

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      You listed pitching stats and asked me what offense stats to go after

      Yes, pitching is more valuable in your league, I’d draft high SPs, but you have them already, I’d now grab a top closer with a solid K/9

  44. Jon says:
    (link)

    Any change in value (positive or negative) with Desmond signing in Texas?

  45. Zeus says:
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    Grey just want to comment on your podcast from last week. I’ve been to the dog show five times and its a wonderfully bizarre and fun time if you love dogs. I’ve never been downstairs and actually got to hang with the dogs though so I’m pretty jealous. I also used to walk a Norfolk terrier when I was a kid so I get your inter species love

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      Nice! Yeah, it was awesome, I was really bummed I hadn’t been before, but would go again in a second, for a dog lover it was heaven — and unintentionally hilarious

  46. Duda Want to Build a Snowman? says:
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    I can keep 7 of the below 9 guys. What do you think?

    Abreu ($25)
    Betts ($25)
    Blackmon ($20)
    Hosmer ($14)
    Buxton ($4)
    Rodon ($3)
    Strasburg ($16)
    Darvish ($14)
    Smyly ($6)

    Everyone except Darvish, Smyly?

    Thanks!

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      Not Smyly, Darvish

  47. Bombo Rivera says:
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    Even though we had someone pull out at the 11th hour, we pulled off our draft yesterday. Says something about the lure of the RCL that we could fill a league at 10:30 AM on a Sunday in February. As I predicted, it was an international bunch. . . people drafted from Prague, Frankfurt, China, the UK, and some place called “Chicago.”

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      Nice!

  48. Ryan says:
    (link)

    Hey Grey, could I get the quick analysis? Eight team league 6 x 6 with TB, OBP, HR, RBI, R, SB & K, K/BB, whip, QS, IP, SV+Holds.

    C- D’Arnaud 20th
    1- Encarnacion 3rd
    2- odor 16th
    S- Bogaerts 9th
    3- arenado 2nd
    O- Stanton 1st
    O- just dong Martinez 4th
    O- Braun 5th
    U- upton 7th
    U- pujols 11th
    B- polanco 12th
    B- Franco 15th
    B- deshields 21st

    S- strasburg 6th
    S- carrasco 8th
    S- Lester 10th
    S- tanaka 13th
    S- walker 17th
    P-iwakuma 18th
    P- Giles 14th
    RP- rondon 19th
    RP-McGee 22nd

    Do you see any weaknesses?
    I could have grabbed Springer over JD Martinez.
    Thanks!

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      Team is stacked but all teams will be in that shallow of a league, will depend on in-season moves

      • ryan says:
        (link)

        Thanks, Grey. I’m trying a smaller league this year to minimize the need to obsess. The children need me to be a father, or something.

  49. Itchy Trade finger says:
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    Hey Grey,
    used your warboard and rankings in my live annual H2H 12 team points draft last Saturday, for the most part. Wish this had come out before then, but I think your rankings hit all these points anyway.

    This is how it ended up ( 7th pick, two poor guys on autodraft ):

    C- Wieters ( 15th )
    1B – Abreu ( 2nd )
    2B – Odor ( 10th )
    3B – Frazier ( 5th )
    SS – C. Seager ( 8th )
    OF – Stanton ( 1st ), JD Martinez ( 4th ), J-Up ( 7th )
    U- Dickerson ( 13th )
    SP – Sale ( 3rd ), Carrasco ( 6th ), Salazar ( 9th ), T. Ross ( 11th ), C. Rodon ( 14th )
    RP – AJ Ramos ( 21st ), F. Rodriguez ( 18th )
    Bench – I. Desmond ( 16th ), J. Pederson ( 19th ), B. Buxton ( 20th ), Y. Darvish ( 12th ), R. Iglesias ( 17th )

    Any advice on where to go from here?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      It looks like a much shallower league team so that’s a good sign, you don’t need so many bench bats

      • Itchy Trade finger says:
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        @Grey: 12 teamer, so pretty shallow. Also, everyone else was using very different rankings I think. I followed yours reasonably closely, so thanks for that.

        Agree on the bench bats but want to see these guys hit in Spring Training. Once Darvish officially hits the DL I should have another spare spot. Not a lot of enticing pitching left on the wire atm.

        • Grey

          Grey says:
          (link)

          No problem…I don’t mind bench bats right now if you want, but once the season starts, you should have a more functioning team

  50. G says:
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    Hey Grey,

    Doing an additional 14 team league this year. I’m used to doing 12 team leagues. Would you say this larger league format influence stategy in any significant ways? Such as should position scarcity be a larger priority. I have 8th overall pick and wonder if someone like correa or machado who have SS eligibility would be even higher in ranking than what they already are. I’m likely to have Arenado, donaldson, correa, and/or machado at my pick. Thanks a always.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      Position scarcity doesn’t really exist in any league, just get your guys… 14 team isn’t much different than 12 team, so I’d use my usual rankings

  51. Syllogism says:
    (link)

    Hello oh Grey one …

    Funny stuff. Will definitely need humour relief sometime around week two when Epic Fail (miracle winner in the playoffs last year) trudges forth in season two.

    This year … 12 team, mixed, no keepers (yuck), *snake draft* (no auction values), head-to-head cats, 7 (5+ OBA|TB) x 7 (5+ Holds, K/9), (so the OBA-K/9 strategy has a lot of resonance for me) …oh … Yahoo! … C, 1B, 2B, SS, 3B, OFx3, Bench x 9, 3 each of (SP, P, RP).

    I keep on looking at lists-by-position. Then at overall ranking. And back again. What’s making me dizzy (aside from not being clever enough to put everything on one screen) is position rarity. I keep getting pulled into the notion of top two rounds drafting 2b (if I can get Altuve) and SS (Machado/Correa). The only way I get this lucky is to be able to draft in that 9th – 11th spot. Of course, by the time I get my round three, another 20ish players will have been consumed and I may find for my 3 and 4 finding 1b/3b/OF beginning to feel a bit thin of bangers and by round 4, if I don’t draft a SP, it’ll be *another* 20ish players gone – so I may find myself outside a top 10 SP as well.

    So …
    1) Is the notion of taking depth-shallow 2b and SS early totally gonz?
    2) Altuve, Machada and Correa seem to be a significant step above “the next guys” … is there *that* much of a drop off? (I really like Lindor and Seager).
    3) Catcher rarity = I don’t care until late rounds in any event.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      1. Bit gonzo yeah 2. You just need stats, doesn’t matter about position 3. Doesn’t exist

  52. Syllogism says:
    (link)

    @Syllogism:

    Oh … and … thanks. :o)

  53. Big Mike says:
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    Grey – I decided to try a Yahoo! draft using nothing but your differences in rankings as my guide. I tried to draft the undervalued as close to just before their Yahoo! rankings as I could afford to. I missed a few, but I got a lot. Here’s the team I ended up with:

    C – Grandal (19th round) (219 overall)
    1b – Votto (3) (27)
    2b – Odor (8) (94)
    3b – Frazier (5) (51)
    SS – Semien (20)(238)
    OF – Harper (1) (3)
    OF – Marte (2) (22)
    OF – Polanco (6) (70)
    UT – Belt (9) (99)
    UT – Grichuk (15) (171)
    BN – B. Laurie (16) (190)
    BN – Deshields (18) (214)
    BN – Baez (21)(243)

    SP – Strasburg (4) (46)
    SP – Salazar (7) (75)
    RP – Rondon (10) (118)
    RP – Perkins (11) (123)
    P – Ramos (13) (147)
    P – Rodney (22) (262)
    BN – Taijuan Walker (12) (142)
    BN – Samardzija (14) (166)
    BN – Severino (17) (195)
    BN – Ed. Rodriguez (23) (267)

    I wimped out on taking a third straight OF in round 3, leaving Upton on the board and taking Bruce (1B pickings were getting slim). I missed on the young hotshot shortstops – there was a run right after my Polanco pick in round 6 that took Lindor, Bogaerts, and Seager off the board, so I went with Salazar in Round 7 instead and waited on SS until I got Semien in Round 20. I took Ramos earlier than he should go, but the plan was to cuff him with Capps. Unfortunately, someone took Capps right after I took Ramos. Thoughts on the team?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      You took Votto, not Bruce… Team looks great, it’s no contest if you’re using my rankings in Yahoo, it’s kinda unfair to everyone else… Look at your pitching and you only took 2 in the top 100… That’s crazy

  54. Montezuma's Revenge... right now says:
    (link)

    dynasty league with total bases, OBP over AVG, net steals over steals, net saves + holds over holds. i have all of a.miller/giles/watson/britton/romo, is watson about right for s.castro or e.rosario? i have 2 hitter holes and will be drafting no one, but 5/6 of a great bullpen.

    • Montezuma's Revenge... right now says:
      (link)

      @Montezuma’s Revenge… right now: clear thought being that watson and romo (age) are only ones worth castro or rosario as well? giles/britton too good.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      Sounds fine to me

      • Montezuma's Revenge... right now says:
        (link)

        @Grey: at the same time a guy like k.marte might not be kept at all (not sure yet, and by time i KNOW that we can’t trade anymore till post draft), so a.miller might be too much, and giles/britton certainly are too much.

        • Grey

          Grey says:
          (link)

          I do like him

  55. Corey says:
    (link)

    In what order would you rank these guys as your choice for OF3?

    Pederson
    Buxton
    Yelich
    Hanley

  56. servin says:
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    Grey,

    Glad to be back. 2 out of the past 3 years I’ve been reigning champion thanks to your moustache/ kind of a little bit of your advice.

    I’m balls deep in a new draft and I’m, pardon the extreme simplification, killin’ it.

    Thanks again, I owe you, but will probably never buy you, a drink. Also I’m drunk and it’s 4 my time. xoxo

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      Nice! Git r done!

  57. ferris says:
    (link)

    8 Keeper 6×6 ops

    Braun +
    Puig
    for
    Pollock +
    99th overall player

    I know you hate Puig (i like him long term) but it seems you like Braun and Pollock equally (despite most ‘perts having pollock as a top 15 guy and Braun significantly lower)

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      Pollock side

  58. SwaggerJackers says:
    (link)

    @Grey: Any general thoughts on how many SPs you like to have on your squad by the time you get outside pick 100?

    Probably 2 or 3?

    • SwaggerJackers says:
      (link)

      @SwaggerJackers: Let’s say we’re talking about a 12 team league for a little more context.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      2-ish

  59. macio says:
    (link)

    Hey Grey, I’ve been waiting for this post to ask you this questions. My league is now H2H points per week (notice the minus point categories for CS, SO, Blown Saves, and Losses):

    1B Singles 1 point
    2B Doubles 2 points
    3B Triples 3 points
    BB Walks (Batters) 1 point
    CS Caught Stealing -1 point
    HR Home Runs 4 points
    KO Strikeouts (Batter) -.5 points
    R Runs 1 point
    RBI Runs Batted In 1 point
    SB Stolen Bases 2 points

    BS Blown Saves -2 points
    ER Earned Runs -1 point
    INN Innings 1 point
    K Strikeouts (Pitcher) 1 point
    L Losses -5 points
    S Saves 5 points
    SO Shutouts 5 points
    W Wins 10 points

    With such high point totals for pitching with respect to wins, saves, and shutouts, does this change my draft strategy at all? Should I go for pitching earlier?

    Thanks!

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      Yeah, you need big arms a little earlier, I wouldn’t get crazy though, because you still need hitting… Prolly draft two SPs in my top 20 SPs

      • macio says:
        (link)

        @Grey:
        Awesome, thanks!

        • Grey

          Grey says:
          (link)

          No problem

  60. STORMER says:
    (link)

    Grey, Long time reader and first time question. I am in a Keeper League, would you trade Wacha for McCullers? Thanks!

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      Yup

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      Ha, nice shirt!

  61. DonnieB says:
    (link)

    Is Razzball coming out with their Draft Grid soon? One of the best live draft tools around.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      Draft grid?

      • J-FOH says:
        (link)

        @Grey: I think he means war room…maybe he’s a pacifist

    • Let Us Now Praise Famous Death Dwarves says:
      (link)

      @DonnieB: i think he means that tier thing that somebody used to do, which i believe Grey mentioned doesn’t have anybody to do it this year.

  62. Owen Simring says:
    (link)

    One week away from a PROFESSIONAL Yahoo auction leauge (roto with 1400 IP max). I like to have an outline of my perfect team before drafting and then I have a couple backups at each position in case my favorite dudes get taken. Keep in my mind, Yahoo is shallow. 12 team C, 1B, 2B, SS, 3B, OF, OF, OF, U, U, SP, SP, RP, RP, P, P, P, P, with 5 bench. Here is my outline with avg auction price listed.
    McCann-4
    Abreu-32
    Altuve-40
    Lindor-12
    Seager, K-10
    J.D.-27
    Davis, C-24
    Upton-23
    Franco-7
    DeShields-1
    Lester-17
    Carrasco-15
    Salazar-14
    Liriano-10
    Samardjiza-6
    Smyly-3
    Ramos-3
    McGee-3
    Storen-3
    Capps-1
    Smith, W-1
    Osuna-1
    I wanted to take Frazier at 20 Heyward at 20 and Polonco at 15 but couldn’t find room. And only 6 SP because of IP limit. Thoughts?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      I like the pitching a lot, might be a little weak on saves… Hitting looks solid, really balanced, I like the team overall

      • Owen Simring says:
        (link)

        @Grey: Great, thanks. Just a few Qs. Is Dee for $32 better value than Altuve for $40? Is Machado for $44 better than Altuve for $40? And is Syndagaard for $19 and Tyson Ross for $13 better value than any of the pitchers listed above? And If I”m going to pay for sex, isn’t $200 for 30 min better than $300 for an hour? I mean, what’s there to do from min 31-60?

        • Grey

          Grey says:
          (link)

          None of those hitters are good value… I’d go Machado, Gordon, Altuve, in that order… Yes, Noah is better than Ross

  63. Luke says:
    (link)

    14 team yahoo H2H 6×6 5 player keeper league need some of your thoughts (and i always summon your inner thoughts while drinking bud light and putting together my draft excel sheets lol!) Keeps cost two additional round advancement each year.

    listed: keep’able players (yes i think that is a word) my pick and round taken, your rank and round (as if you don’t know)

    Carlos González  1 9 67 5
    Jason Heyward  3 37 39 3
    Josh Reddick 13 177 285 20
    Khris Davis  10 132 102 7
    Carlos Santana 2 20 152 11
    Jonathan Schoop 20 273 93 7
    Aaron Hicks  24 328 175 13
    Jedd Gyorko  9 121 404 29
    Jake Arrieta  7 93 27 2
    Matt Harvey  13 177 36 3
    Kenley Jansen  5 65 89 6
    Trevor Rosenthal 6 76 123 9
    Marcus Stroman 16 216 171 12
    Shawn Tolleson  14 188 164 12
    Mike Fiers  16 216 233 17
    Andrew Heaney  21 289 234 17
    Josh Tomlin  24 328 336 24
    Erasmo Ramírez  24 328 267 19
    Tyler Glasnow  24 328 444 32
    José Berrios  24 328 276 20
    Jarred Cosart  24 328 over 500

    I am thinking Arrieta 7th, Davis 10th, Harvey 13th, Stroman 16th, Schoop 20th (rounds)? I like the value for Hicks but i can easily snag him late in the draft what are your thoughts and keep in mind a lot of your top 20 are going to be later round keepers already… HELP :) also thanks for helping win my league last year I read your stuff daily!!!!

  64. Bill says:
    (link)

    Grey – working backwards here with draft strategy… I’m in a 12-team H2H. #9 draft pick. Only 3 OF spots.

    Looking at JUpton Rd 3 and Polanco Rd 6. Should I plan to NOT pick OF at Rd 2 (which leaves me with Abreu or Encarnacion)?

    A)
    1 – Rizzo
    2 – Marte
    3 – JUpton
    4 – Frazier
    5 – TBD
    6 – Polanco

    Or
    B)
    1 – Rizzo/Bryant
    2 – Abreu (Util)
    3 – JUpton
    4 – Frazier
    5 – TBD
    6 – Polanco

  65. Polka

    polka says:
    (link)

    Grey,
    Favor to ask, do you still have my WordPress log in?
    could you shoot it my way please if you do? I told Alex I’d help him once or twice during the week if he needed a breather.
    Thanks,
    Polka

  66. Baseball Fan 2000 says:
    (link)

    In a 10 team 5×5 roto, what are your thoughts on not drafting any closers at all (or at most 1). So many emerge during the year I feel like you can pretty easily catch up throughout the year. Last year for example, I got Ziegler, Grilli/Vizcaino, Ken Giles, and Osuna all on waivers. Others also emerged throughout the year that I wasn’t able to get (Familia, Tolleson, Ramos). In addition, the one closer I did draft late last year completely bombed (Cishek).

    Would it be a viable strategy to add high upside starters (especially in such a shallow league) instead of mediocre closers, and then adding closers as they emerge? So maybe drafting 7-8 starters and 1-2 max middle relievers?

    Love to hear your thoughts on this.

    Thanks

    • Baseball Fan 2000 says:
      (link)

      @Baseball Fan 2000: I would just hate to miss out on a Rodon/Walker type just to draft Brad Boxberger or someone like that.

  67. Syllogism says:
    (link)

    Hey Grey –

    I love the warroom tool. However, my league is 7×7 (OBA, TB + Holds, K/9). Rudy has done amazing work in putting together 6×6 and “other” rank values, but I really prefer your rankings/perspective.

    While clearly I’d expect I you were be across-the-board account for stats beyond 5×5, you would adjust your ratings, do you have any broad suggestions how I might make it adjustments to your rankings to factor in those cat’s? EG , Do you have notional OBP, TB, H, or K/9 baselines you might suggest to adjust up/down from?

    I’d be tempted to just go with your ranks – even w/out adjusting for the additional categories.

    Thanks for doing what you do. You be a proper mensch. :o)

    • why don’t you add up my $ total for your league and then subtract it from my 5×5 $ total? you can then take that number and adjust Grey’s $ then sort to re-rank.

      • Syllogism says:
        (link)

        Brilliant, dude. Should have thought of that myself. Geeze you guys totally rock. Thanks Rudy!

      • Syllogism says:
        (link)

        Brilliant, dude. Should have thought of that myself. Geeze you guys totally rock. Thanks Rudy!

        Since your AVG valuation compensates for OBP, I may keep that one in – will see how similar your 5×5 AVG $s are to Grey’s.

        Thx again!

  68. titan says:
    (link)

    What about a 6×6 weekly HTH league with holds and k/9 instead of k’s?

    We have to start 3SP, 3RP, and 2P each week and it’s HTH and whomever wins the most categories each week gets 1 win for the week.

    I easily had the best team last year by dominating the k/9 and holds categories Chapman, W.Davis, Melancon and a few others.

    Do you still hate drafting high k/9 rock solid CL and 8th inning guys early even in this format?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      Nah, I don’t hate that, come to my newest post for followups

Comments are closed.