Yeah, you—the one looking at me in your rearview mirror.  I’m talking to YOU.  Well, actually, I want to LISTEN to YOU!  Am interested in the trade secrets that helped you to make the big, bold, and successful moves that helped you to climb the ranks mid-to-late season.  (Not so interested in the lucky circumstances, more the planned strategy that worked to perfection!)

Am looking for material that will help each of us to put together a managerial portfolio for the start of 2011 as well as to have moves at the ready for when the start-of-season stuff isn’t going to plan.

I’ll start the ball rolling with one aspect of my strategy:  I drafted FIVE solid closers rounds eight through fourteen.  Didn’t draft an SP until R15.  Strategy was to sacrifice Ks and Ws for “iron-clad” ERA, WHIP, and SVs.  The War Room projected similar.

Interesting results (through end of May):

I was near the top in Ks, Ws, SVsdead last in ERA and WHIP.  I swear that my daily lineup always had a combined list of guys who, to that date, had sub-3.00 ERA and sub-1.20 WHIP.  Time after time guys blew up.  Ouchhhhh!  I disdained SP the entire season, choosing to stream all the way.  At the end-of-season, I ranked near the top with 10 pts in Ks, 11 in Ws, 11 in SVs, 5 in ERA, and 2 in WHIP.  I was fearful of losing ground in Ks and Ws as others caught up in GS.  However, I was careful to maintain a full list of NINE available pitchers everyday.  Where I didn’t have a SP in a starting position, I was sure to have the rest of the spots filled with either closers or MRs.  I found myself keeping up in Ws with the pretty frequent vulture Ws and the small, but steady daily accumulation of Ks.  (TIP: my small sample size projects that one has a two-to-one advantage for Saves on the road; so if you have two MRs who have been performing about the same, pick the one with upcoming away games over the guy at home.  There are normally enough MR available on the waiver wire to make this distinction and move them in and out as need be.)

Think about it:  I am almost at the top in Ks and Ws without ever rostering a single preseason, high-ranking SP (that wasn’t available on the wire).  I will definitely consider a similar approach next year.  However, I may eschew early season IP until pitchers settle in to more solid routines.

BTW:  The Schmohawks won league Razzball Original Recipe not drafting a SP until Round…drumroll…16!

BTW2:  On the four days a week that

Jim Johnson: 11W/186K/2.30ERA/1.11WHIP
Cliff Lee: 12W/185K/3.18ERA/1.00WHIP
Combined: 23W/371K/2.74ERA/1.06WHIP

were NOT starting, the following MRs filled those empty slots and amassed almost identical stats—without using up a single, valuable, GS:

Jonny Venters:            4W/93K/1.95ERA/1.20WHIP
Matt Belisle:               7W/91K/2.93ERA/1.09WHIP
Sean Marshall:            7W/90K/2.65ERA/1.11WHIP
Rafael Betancourt:            5W/89K/3.61ERA/0.96WHIP
Combined:                 23W/363K/2.74ERA/1.10WHIP

Bonus Trial:  Reached number 179 GS (180 the season limit) with about a week to go.  Began filling my pitching roster (bench) a bit at a time with SP for Friday, Oct. 1 (two days before the end of the season, thinking this my best shot at getting my best group of guys; remember, I’m having to get what I can from the waiver wire.).  Wood, Norris, De La Rosa, Beachy, Chen, Matsuzaka (rained out), Zimmerman, Carmona, Guthrie.  Note:  this was written with only the “after” numbers (bad or good) to be filled.

Last pitching day, 8 pitchers combined: 40 K, 3 W, 2.17 ERA, 0.87 WHIP

Stunning!  Frankly, I was going to be happy taking a hit in ERA and WHIP (since they were weak already) just for the Ks and Ws.

Roto Points: K/W/SV/ERA/WHIP

Start of Day: 8.5/11/11/3/1

End of Day:  10/11/11/5/2

One day gain (this late in the season):  +4.5 pts.

Not only do I get the gain, now other managers must deal with, “Do I take the risk?”  If they resort to last minute pickups, maybe they don’t do quite so well.  Then maybe I can move up more.  Here’s what the rest of the league did:

Sat: Worldwide Suicide (#5):

6 SP: 41 K, 4 W, 3.16 ERA, 1.24 WHIP. +1 point, moved from #5 overall to #4 (in the money).

Su: Retro Vertigo (#1), with +5.5 edge over #2, runs 9 SP–steel cojones!:

9 SP: 48K, 5 W, 3.20 ERA, 1.13 WHIP.  0 point change.

Su: Brooklyn Trolley Dodgers (#3):

6 SP: 18 K, 2.27 ERA, 1.01WHIP. -1 point.

Su: Lebron James (#5):

5 SP: 26 K, 2.38 ERA, 0.97 WHIP. +1.5 points.  Overall, from #5 to #4 (dropped Saturday’s gainer back to #5).


2.64 ERA, 1.04 WHIP

So, next year HAVE NO FEAR!

Okay, time to share the one, or two, strategies that worked for you…

  1. Joe says:

    Not this year but last year, in my 6×6 H2H league, I drafted all my starters and closers by rounds 8-10 or so and I drafted nothing but speedy, high average types of hitters (Brian Roberts, Victorino, etc.). Obviously I was punting HRs and RBIs but I was assuring myself SBs, giving myself a good chance at Rs and AVG, and staying competitive in BBs. On the pitching side, I was trying to dominate all 6 categories. It worked almost to perfection. Even with Webb going down after 1 start and Santana getting injured like halfway through the year, I still had enough depth to dominate pitching and win almost every week. I ended up placing 2nd in the regular season and winning the league in the playoffs. It’s a surprisingly effective strategy, even if you get a little unlucky. I didn’t use it again this year because it’s not quite as fun as the regular way – you don’t get to trade much (everyone else ends up wanting pitching and you don’t want to give any away), you don’t get to put your money where your mouth is with hitter projections, and my league-mates would’ve been pissed (and would’ve caught on earlier than the year before), but I think it’s a good 1-year move in a H2H league.

  2. Tony says:

    Fred youre a stat head! lol

    good year this year…. here’s a strategy, dont draft Prince Fielder as your first pick, trade for jacoby ellsbury (which you i have stated how overrated he is), lose Youk to an injury, trade away carlos gonzalez for an underachieving Matt Kemp, or try to make up as many SB’s as I tried to make up with the hope of gaining ONE point haha…. like you i’m still learning, next year will be only my 3rd yr of roto, the strategies employed can get wild, but a solid draft, a few key pick ups, and avoiding the injury bug can win you a league I believe.

  3. A.J.K says:

    how would you alter this strategy if at all in H2H? also, if QS and Holds are added into the mix, making it a 7X7 league, would that make you more inclined to do this (because of the MR bump up) or less inclined (because QS makes a larger amount of starters more valuable)

  4. Peter D says:

    I tried the reliever strategy one year and it was a complete disaster as I finished dead last in ERA and WHIP. I’ve come to the conclusion that relievers may be even more unpredictable than starting pitching.

    Since then I’ve gone with a more traditional strategy of taking only hitters with your first 9 picks, essentially filling your line-up, then take SP/Closers with your next 6 picks (usually 3 and 3 of each), then draft high upside sleepers or undervalued guys like Ted Lilly who always seems to be available with your remaining picks. Also, don’t get sucked in by the appeal of a pitcher with a lot of K’s, that is usually a recipe for WHIP disaster.

    This strategy has worked like a charm as I have won my league using it for each of the past 2 years by a wide margin. The funny thing is that I’ve run away with both the ERA and WHIP categories each year, proving my theory that good starting pitching is available in rounds 10-15, you just have to recognize it and avoid AL East pitchers.

  5. Eddy says:


    I commend you for having the guts to not only punt SP until the 16th round, but do it in a Razzball league!

    I went the standard route this year in my main H2H league (and pretty much the same everywhere else) with a 1B,3B,OF,OF,SP,SP,SP,OF, CL strategy for the first few rounds. Very similiar to Rudy’s BRAN strategy. Mind you, Grey’s SAGNOF philosophy worked like a charm as I never had any trouble getting saves (led the league in them by a wide margin). In a league where we count QS I felt it necessary to get top SP, thus leaving me out of the punt parade. In 2010 the guys I aimed for were Lester, Kershaw, and Hamels in the first rounds. Not a bad turnout.

    Did you have any hitting strategy in mind in your first 8 rounds? Mainly power? Speed? 5 tool guys?

    Usually punting SP results in great batting roster, was this the same for you?

  6. Davi says:

    That’s funny because I totally punted closers yet I finished near the top in saves thanks to the waiver wire. Of course we have a 6-stat format (+ quality starts), so starters are inherently more valuable.

  7. cain fan says:

    A couple things I like to do (I am in a yahoo league):

    1) I do the same thing with SP except in yahoo its an IP limit not a GS limit (I never understood the GS limit, that seems dumb to me). Stock up on SP when the inning limit is close and then exceed by 40-50 IP. Big advantage for Ks and Ws usually.

    2) You can also defensively pick up SPs 2-3 day in advance to try and hedge the SP streamers as well if you have roster space.

    3) Around late Aug I try and pickup a 2nd C and a MI to try and max out my games played limits. Especially with C where you typically are 20+ games under it helps scalp some Rs, RBIs and a HR or too (Buck helped me out this yr).

    4) Watch the categories and standings. Some times it pays to not play players in order to catch up in Ks or AVG when other teams are close.

    Nothing major but things I use to tweak standings.

  8. Simply Fred

    simply fred says:

    @Joe: @Eddy: Hi, guys! Thanks for responding. Hey, my strategy wasn’t to punt pitching. Even though I didn’t take a starter until late, I thought I could keep up with good streaming and filling otherwise blank pitching slots with MR. What I thought was interesting was that I did do well in W and K with that strategy.

    I was a rook, got overly excited, and drafted MMD 6th, Bruce early (traded before he took off), etc. Now, after the strategy, I see that others gained ground using the bench slots to fill hitters in (M & Th) while I was using those for MR.

    Will be looking for more experiences to determine direction for next year!
    @Tony: The ONLY strategy I have to help avoid injuries is to not draft players coming off of injuries. They, on average, return 55% of their previous solid year. On the other hand, good value can come from guys who just had down years after previous big ones. They, on average, return 90% of the previous big year (some 100%). So, if they drop down in cost, they can return value. :-)

  9. Matt Crapps says:

    interesting.. i guess. i’d be careful to understand what kind of league you are in before trying this, get to know the trading dynamics and how other people behave. so maybe not for your first year in a league.

    i won an H2H with this strategy, filling an elite infield w/ redundancies to protect for injury, then OF, then 6 second/third tier closers (cut bait quickly on Hoffman and Francisco). For all the late pitching I guessed right (Liriano, Latos) I guessed plenty wrong, but they were replaceable with Padilla/Lilly/Myers types that were stream to eventual own.

    Was kind of funny getting mocked on draft day and then winning.. I’d only ever try this again in an H2H though.

  10. Simply Fred

    simply fred says:

    @Matt Crapps: I got some interesting feedback during the daft when I was grabbing that 5th SP! BTW: found that I really didn’t need that much overkill (3 would have been plenty). Think a person can be near the top in saves–even in a very competitive league–without overkill on draft day. I have learned to embrace SAGNOF! (Closers weren’t as valuable trade bait as I had hoped for.)

  11. Simply Fred

    simply fred says:

    @simply fred: typo–5th closer (not SP)

  12. The Champ Again says:

    I have used this strategy for three years and have won every time. Feel like it’s a crime sharing this. I always use my first 10 picks on hitters. I try to get top hitters in all positions. Then i draft sleeper pitchers. One thing I have learned there is always a pluthra of quality pitching in FA. Throughout the year I will pick up the hot pitcher. One month before the playoffs, i trade all of my hitting for top pitching because you have to ride the hot bat in the last month of the season, and a lot of the times it’s not your stud picks. Between the stellar pitching and the hot bats, my final numbers last three years have been 7-3, 9-1, and 8-2 this year. Rinse and repeat. Enjoy!

  13. Chew says:

    The Champ makes a lot of sense. If your hitting is pounding opponents all year in H2H, it strikes a little fear in the opposition. Then ride the hot bats and quality pitching to the promise land. Kind of like Mike Aviles this year. These stud picks tend to wilt down the stretch and lesser managers look at the names and yearly stats sitting there on waivers, rather than the most important stats of all…..LAST TWO WEEKS.

  14. Simply Fred

    simply fred says:

    @The Champ Again: RE: “crime”, not easy giving up trade secrets, but, isn’t it better to go up against informed/quality competition? Thanks for walking the plank…

    Has anybody participated in a league where multiple managers used the strategy of delayed SP picks?

    BTW: After 1st year in roto, not nearly ready to tackle H2H. Are there a lot of you out there? Don’t throw me into that brier patch! :-)

  15. Simply Fred

    simply fred says:

    @The Champ Again: How did your ERA/WHIP hold up via streaming? I had early season stretch of poor MR:

    13 MR who sucked: IP/ER/ERA
    sanches: .1/3/270
    badenhop: 1/2/18
    Vasquez,E: 1/4/36
    francisco: 9.1/6/5.93
    motte: .2/2/90
    chamberlain: .1/4/360
    gutierrez: 3.2/5/14.1
    hawkins: 1/4/36
    wuertz: 2.1/2/8.57
    masset: 2.2/2/8.18
    demel: 1.2/2/15
    kelley: .1/3/270

    tot: 27.3IP/44ER/14.49ERA

    I swear, going in each of the guys had sub-2.00 ERA. It was only 27 IP, but totally blew my confidence.

  16. The Champ Again says:

    For the breakdown, I was in a 12 man h2h league with my friends who are pretty competitive and know their stuff. Here was my starting lineup on week 1.
    1 J. Morneu
    2 K. Johnson
    3 Zimmerman
    ss Hanley
    of N. Cruz
    of Holliday
    of Hamilton
    util M. Reynolds
    util A. Either
    C Gon on the bench
    pretty studly.

    I got lucky and struck gold with J. Garcia, R. Oswalt, C. Lewis, T. Cahill, and a slew of other FA pickups. Through trades and everything this was how my team was at the end.
    SP: Holliday, Hernandez, Wainwright (got hurt that sucked), C. Lee (got him cheap when he went to Texas and sucked his first few starts) Lincecum, Haren and Verlander. Mighty fine pitching. Key here too is buy low. Lincecum wasn’t too bad of a buy either.
    My Batting Lineup was a bunch of FA at the beginning of the year. That’s how it has kind of been that last three years for me.

  17. microwave donut says:

    The thing is that your draft is dictated to a certain degree by what your leaguemates do. In one of my leagues starting pitching was drastically devalued on draft day, so I rolled with it and scooped up an ace staff for below ADP.

    Round 3: Felix Hernandez (SP3)
    Round 5: Justin Verlander (SP7)
    Round 6: Jon Lester (SP11)
    Round 13: Clayton Kershaw (SP24)
    Round 19: John Danks (SP 43)
    Round 24: Brian Matusz (SP 56)

    From these guys (minus Bustusz) I was able to get the majority of my innings, filling around by adding early season drop Latos and a spot start here and there. By midseason I had a large lead in W and K, and was near the top in ERA and WHIP. At this point I dealt Verlander for offensive help. For the 10 team league I wound up at 10 in wins, 10 in K, 7 in ERA and 8 in WHIP

    The relief pitching didn’t go so well. While these guys devalued starting pitching, closers flew off the board.

    Round 15: Billy Wagner (RP16)
    Round 16: Frank Francisco (RP20)
    Round 20: Octavio Dotel (RP25)
    Round 22: Chris Perez (RP30)

    I hung in there on saves for awhile, but this league was very competitive in the vulture game. By the trade deadline only Wagner had a job so at that point I punted saves for more offensive help and wound up with a 3.

    In the end I was able to win this league by drafting undervalued pitching, building up IP, and then trading it for the hitting categories I needed. I wound up scoring all 9s in the hitting categories with a 10 in R. Not bad considering Chase Utley and Justin Upton were my first two picks and that I drafted numerous other busts (Hi Gordon Beckham in round 8!).

  18. Griff says:

    The Spring Pitcher/Summer Hitter Arbitrage.

    I’ve never crunched the numbers, but my operating assumption is that scoring is lower during the colder months of the spring. Therefore, pitchers’ stats will look better relative to hitters’ stats.

    When June rolls around, most owners will start to trust the sample size, so I look to move any of my pitchers who have put up unexpectedly good numbers in exchange for a struggling hitter. Of course, the risk is that the players don’t trend back towards their career stats, i.e. David Price was good all year long. In general, though, I think this is a subtle way to get the better side of trades.

  19. DrEasy says:

    @microwave donut: Sounds like what I did. I didn’t set out to draft pitchers early, but I ended up drafting SP 4 rounds in a row just because they were the BPAs:

    Round 5: Adverb
    Round 6: Josh Johnson
    Round 7: Kershaw
    Round 8: Nolasco

    I didn’t mind it too much, as I’d decided to punt MI (was looking for wheels there but failed to draft one. Alcides no good.) and S early (although, couldn’t resist picking up Marmol round 10).

    Midway through the season, I was first, but was lagging behind in SBs and Rs. I had picked up Kelly Johnson on waivers and benefitted from his early hot streak, but he was going cold and I didn’t need HRs anymore, so I happily dropped him for Figgins (his owner had lost paitence with him) and leter for EYJ when Figgins went cold. I also had Pierre on my bench, and ended up using him more and more as my need for HR and RBI diminished.

    So I basically went SAGNOF crazy and it paid off. I finished first by a mile. It could also be that I lacked serious competition…

  20. The Dude says:

    My strategy is usually a work in progress. I have a few specific players I target and in specific rounds. Then, as the draft unfolds I make adjustments and target players that are slipping a little later than I expected them.

    As Fred mentioned, this works especially well with SP who are coming off of “off” seasons, as exemplified this year by Hamels and Oswalt.

    P.S. Grey – what’s up with the “Man Hunt” ads?! I thought in baseball it was a “don’t ask don’t tell” policy.

  21. Jason says:

    @microwave donut:

    If those rds listed for the SPs are for a 10 team league, you paid the average or even more vs ADP on all your aces besides Kershaw. Don’t know what drastic devaluation you’re talking about…

  22. Simply Fred

    simply fred says:

    @microwave donut: Find your final hitting ranks AMAZING! given that top 2 hitters, 3 of top 6 picks were SP, and #8 hitter busting as well. That leaves you TWO of top 8 picks as productive hitters. How did you manage such high ranks in hitting?

    @Griff: First month of season SP have low number of IP as they build up arms. Therefore, fewer K/GS and opportunities for W. Also, think you will find higher percentage of vulture W early since relievers entering earlier (good luck picking ’em!)

  23. Steve says:

    No staggering drafting insights to contribute as I stayed fairly true to the Razz rankings this year. I would say, though, that in the RCL I took Verlander, Hamels and Bills, and that their early season struggles put me in an ERA and WHIP hole I never really got out of. So will maybe be wary of drafting too much pitching too early next year.

    Probably the main thing I learned this year (2nd year of roto), was to be more patient, especially with guys you grab off the wire. I know it’s a fine line between the guy who’s in a short slump and the one who’s outlived his usefulness, but frustration with guys cost me valuable production from the lilkes of Myers, Torres, CJ Wilson and Pedro Alvarez (on the bright side, for the first time in my fantasy career, I actually got in at the start of a Marcus Thames hot streak).

    It’s probably instructive that I did just as well in the leagues where I tinkered with my team a lot as I did in the leagues where I left my team relatively alone.

  24. Simply Fred

    simply fred says:

    @Griff: Previous discussion prompted me to do a little research. I used 2009 data (available) and ran pitcher stats for May/July/Aug.

    Virtually no diff month-to-month on SP: 42% Wpct (W/GS)(1% diff month-to-month); 6.1 IP/GS; 4.11 ERA.

    One stat of note for RP:

    ERA for RP with at least one save during the month: 3.46
    True MR (0 SV): 6.01

    Looks like the hits I took in ERA/WHIP by MR weren’t due to bad luck.

  25. Steve says:

    Does anyone else follow CJ Wilson on Twitter? Right now he’s making a lot of reference to this:

    I’ve jinxed a few players in my time and believe me, they are setting him up for a very big fall.

  26. royce! says:

    @Steve: “Cliff Lee struck out Stevie Wonder looking”! Damn!

  27. Steve says:

    @royce!: Yeah, that’s a real zinger. Perhaps if Cliff helped Stevie to see again, I might consider posting THAT on a website.

  28. royce! says:

    @Steve: How about he healed his sight just so that he could strike him out looking?

    Anyhoo, I think you’re right about them setting him up for a fall. Lee has been brilliant in the post-season. He also had a 6.35 ERA in August. A fall, while not likely, is very possible.

  29. microwave donut says:


    ESPN ADP’s:

    Felix: 19
    Verlander: 46
    Lester: 40
    Kershaw: 113
    Danks: 165

    They all went a round or 2 below except Felix (1/2 round) and Verlander (market)

  30. Steve says:

    @royce!: Now you’re talking.

    If Lee can overcome a jinxing of this magnitude, I think we have to concede his greatness.

  31. microwave donut says:

    @simply fred:

    I had Votto and Carlos Gonzalez. Hunter Pence was good too.

    Bench guys when they’re sucking and play them when they’re not. I got 20 HR’s out of Carlos Quentin in 84 games, 13HR/10 SB from Alexei Ramirez in 95 games, etc.

  32. Simply Fred

    simply fred says:

    @Griff: Thought your assumption warranted validation. Combined 2009 and 2010 by month:

    month: r/hr/rbi/sb/avg
    mar/apr: 3132/664/2975/432/.259
    june: 3518/784/3353/513/.259
    sep/oct: 3569/784/3400/478/.257

    Clearly, “…scoring is lower during the colder months of the spring.”

  33. big o says:

    @simply fred:

    aren’t there more games during the summer months ?

  34. Simply Fred

    simply fred says:

    @big o: Just tried to show a beginning, middle, end. Takes awhile to crunch the numbers. Figured that was good enough.

    Griff’s main point seemed to me that he felt as if he was able to take advantage of hot starts by pitchers and trade them for under-performing hitters that were cheap and had a good likelihood of returning to form over the summer. I need to do more of that.

    I’d bet that is one of your strengths–except that you would pay an arm and a leg for Hamilton (Braun and Kemp might do it!). :-)

  35. brett says:

    Nice work Fred! This is the type of involved thought process that makes me love fantasy baseball. Here’s hoping i’m around to enjoy it next season.

  36. Simply Fred

    simply fred says:

    @brett: Hey, did you find ANY fun in Europe for the summer?! Couldn’t have been ALL bad! :-)

  37. Simply Fred

    simply fred says:

    @brett: You had some good early season moves! Can you share one or two?

  38. Paulie Allnuts

    Paulie Allnuts says:

    @simply fred: Great work, as always. You taught me something that I never thought of before:

    (TIP: my small sample size projects that one has a two-to-one advantage for Saves on the road; so if you have two MRs who have been performing about the same, pick the one with upcoming away games over the guy at home.”

    Competing in the same league, I was amazed at how well all of our pitchers did on the final day of the season. I was only aware of my own results, and some of the pitchers I threw out there were clearly third rate, as other managers were using the same strategy, and by the time I picked up all of starters there was a paucity of quality. Also, it has never been as easy for me as for others picking up closers during the season. As you know, we had quite a competitive league, and perhaps a dozen times I was beaten to the punch by Razzballers who seemed to stay up all night and wait for Grey’s pick-up suggestions.

    One other commentor made the point that there are always decent starting pitchers on the waiver wire. This was perhaps even more true in our league as you didn’t draft any starters. Which brings me to…@A.J.K: One of the main differences between Roto and H2H is that in the latter, I stock up on pitchers. Even if you have medium to low quality starters, you can pretty much be assured that you will win wins and K’s, and you can spot start to have a shot at WHIP and ERA if you have enough options. In a 12 team H2H, and even more so in a 14 team league, there are very few pitchers worth streaming.

    As for my draft strategy, it resembles Rudy’s BRAN; I am not adverse to pick up starters fairly early, if they have a history of being injury free and are not on the Risk List. I like to have three top-shelf starters, and then punt till near the end of the draft. Also, one must consider that in RCL leagues, drafting strategy needs to be more flexible then in other leagues, as almost all of the participants read the columns assiduously. If everyone uses the same strategy, there will be terrific starters at great buys.

  39. Simply Fred

    simply fred says:

    @Paulie Allnuts: Eh, expanded the research. You can throw out that tip. (had discarded it with last draft but got missed). Saves by MRs negligible, roughly 3%, home or away.

    I may be in the market for one or two of those great buys the next time around! :-)

  40. Mike says:

    How does this strategy work in a league where there is no add/drops or waiver wire transactions?

  41. Griff says:

    @simply fred: Cool. Thanks for running those numbers. What’s your source for the data? I googled for a few minutes looking for a site that would have easily accessible aggregate stats for MLB but couldn’t find one. They all seem to focus on individual stats.

  42. Simply Fred

    simply fred says:

    @cain fan: Thank you for emphasizing the import of maxing out cats. Even though your Yahoo uses different limits, the concept is the same. I perused the RCL leagues and only a handful of managers loaded up on SP when they neared the limit. Those guys were mostly at/near the top of their leagues. Everyone really should add that to their next year’s strategy.

    @Mike: What kind of league is that? Where is the fun?

    BTW: Discovered team HalLeaday34 (RCL league Snake Eyes). The guy never made a single move. End roster matched his draft. Looked like he dropped it at the beginning. The dude finished FIFTH! The league wasn’t overly active. Still, that is nearly unbelievable to me.

    @Griff: MLB historical stats were the source for those particular numbers. I did run and sort individual stats by month. It is a somewhat complicated process (requires re-formatting, etc.). If you have spreadsheet skills, I would be happy to step you through it. Pick a project and email me. Invite open to anyone. [email protected] I also use ESPN stats from time to time.

  43. Simply Fred

    simply fred says:

    Curious as to what managers do at this point in the season to prepare for next year? One thing I do is to create a spreadsheet that projects an entire “ideal” draft team. It has a line for each player with projected stats for each ranked category. I try to project a first player that I might reasonably get in each round and work my way through all 25 (then id backups). At the bottom I total all stats for each category. For targets, I use the highest point total from all 22 RCL leagues for each cat. The primary purpose is to be able to see which cats I need to strengthen (or can trade off to get a better balance). Got the target concept from Grey (he projects reasonable targets each year). The top RCL ones are:


    There were a couple higher in one or two cats but they seemed like outliers (manager was targeting only that cat?).

    Remember, these the best, just targets. Not reasonable to expect to hit all of them. More to balance your team on draft day. I have lines prepared for backups. On draft day I actually use the sheet, update with newly drafted players and can see what I need to do to balance the team as I go.

    Yes, “nuts” like me are really out there! :-)

  44. mike says:

    @Simply fred its a league that is driven by the the draft/auction. We have a fairly large bench and a minor league bench. The reason there are no add/drops is because the commissioner says that people who don’t access to a computer all day are at a disadvantage. (Stupid reason) I have comtemplated using your strategy but I’m not sure it would work in a no add/drop league.

  45. matthole says:

    @simply fred: good stuff, Fred….As you know, i made a few trades in our RCL this season. For me sometimes, its just as simple as identifying trends and needs; the key perhaps is knowing and acting before others….For example, @Paulie Allnuts: mentioned that he was surprised as to how many quality SPs were available via FA. I too noticed that and was surprised and immediately dealt Greinke and Beckett separately for bats and later Price and Werth for pujols…I was able to pickup Latos, Cahill, Bumgarner, etc . I find that its imperative to be able to ignore players names and NOT their stats in order to succeed/adapt to the flow of the season.

    Im also a big advocate for trading depth for elite talent bc you can slowly accumulate a team of 1st rd talent and fill the rest of your lineup with hot hands

    Similarly, if you know that you NEED SBs dont be an idiot…..go get them

    Enjoy the WS!

  46. Simply Fred

    simply fred says:

    @mike: Yeah, if you want to try something that has more action, it does seem as if you need to jump into a different league. My RCL league was brutally competitive but very fun and quite a learning experience for me. If you are doing well and having fun, …?

    @matthole: Thank you for contributing. I will confirm that at mid-season you were below me and jumped over me mid-August without looking back. You ended up with a few of the guys I projected to fade but kept up the pace. Nice work! (And, hopefully I learned from you!)

    (Look for a follow up from this article, either post or forum–intent on capsulizing contributions from this post.)

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