Last year, I played in my first 15-team NFBC league – a 50-round ‘slow’ draft format where you cannot add any players via free agency or trades.  You can only promote players to (and demote players from) your starting roster of 2C/1B/2B/SS/3B/5 OF/CI/MI/UTIL/9 P on Mondays with an additional Friday switch for hitters only.

After playing this format for a year, I think it is the perfect yang for the hyper-frenetic yin that is the Razzball Commenter League format (see here for RCL sign-ups).  I love streaming but there is also something satisfying about winning purely because you out-drafting everyone. I like the format enough that we are considering sponsoring NFBC league(s) if there is enough demand from Razzball commenters.  

So if you are interested, please enter your e-mail address below.  (Note:  It’s $150 with )  I will definitely play in one of the leagues – can’t speak for any of the other writers just yet.


Recap of My 2013 NFBC League
Below are the standings of my 2013 NFBC league.  Congrats to Matthew Anderson who managed the #1 team.

Rank Team Batting Pts Pitching Pts Overall Pts
1 The Northsiders 66.0 51.0 117.0
2 Professor Harris 50.0 65.0 115.0
3 Just Enough Wins 65.0 45.0 110.0
4 Wesleys Hammers 2 48.0 50.0 98.0
5 Bandbox TNT 41.0 48.5 89.5
6 Rudy Gamble 51.0 34.0 85.0
7 Team Slechta 53.0 27.0 80.0
8 Baymen 44.0 31.0 75.0
9 October Fury 15.0 59.0 74.0
10 A-town Express 44.0 29.0 73.0
11 Dirty Birds 49.0 23.5 72.5
12 SEXY WAY-D TOO 22.0 48.0 70.0
13 Bastardo Arrogante 17.0 41.0 58.0
14 Elvis Lives 58 19.0 29.5 48.5
15 Chin Music 16.0 18.5 34.5

Here is a link to my NFBC draft strategy and results post from the 2013 preseason.  The basics of my strategy were to draft power in early rounds and draft a lot of SPs in hopes of playing matchups and overcoming injuries.

While I think this strategy was sound, I had a horrible pitching draft aside from Cliff Lee, my two closers (Greg Holland and Huston Street), and fantastic bargains in Derek Holland (pick #280) and Justin Masterson (pick #380!).  I made a value play on CC Sabathia with pick #80 that turned out awful and, after holding out until the 13th round before selecting another SP, had disastrous luck with 3rd/4th SPs Ryan Vogelsong and Josh Beckett.  The hole in the middle of my staff led to giving too many starts to matchup guys like Edinson Volquez, Joe Saunders, and Jake Westbrook.  It also didn’t help that gambles on Scott Baker and Chad Billingsley netted to zippo and that I picked all the wrong padres (missed Stults but got Clayton Richard and Anthony Bass).  My team ended up last in ERA, 10th in Wins, and 12th in WHIP.  Blech.

My luck was about even on the hitting front.  I did fantastic in R/HR/RBI with a respective 2nd/1st/2nd but my team did poorly in SBs (9th) thanks to a disappointing year from Desmond Jennings and nothing out of late round SAGNOF Darin Mastroianni.  My AVG, though, finished dead last.  In retrospect, I under-drafted on AVG with Trumbo and Chris Carter but I could have been middle of the pack if of my hitters didn’t have worst case AVG seasons – Anthony Rizzo’s .233, Stanton’s .249, Doumit’s .247, Yunel’s .243, etc.

Desmond Jennings (5th) and Ryan Doumit (9th) proved to be my only two truly bad hitter picks.  I got some solid late round values in Starling Marte (15th/220), Daniel Murphy (17th/250), Jason Castro (23rd/340), Nate Schierholtz (30th/441), Luke Scott (36th/531), and Nick Franklin (38th/561).  I certainly would’ve fared better with a higher draft pick – e.g., if I picked in the top 3, I would’ve had Mike Trout and still gotten my (and Grey’s) pre-season fave Paul Goldschmidt as my 3rd round pick (which still wouldn’t have solved my pitching nightmare…).

  1. centerfield ballhawk says:

    Just kicked off a fifteen team draft yesterday. Almost made it through five rounds on the first day, which is a minor victory in itself. I had pick four and ended up with McCutchen… no complaints here. I found that the team picking near the back end of the first round really had a nice opportunity to grab two solid, safe picks.

    • @centerfield ballhawk: Yes, it’s pretty infuriating that we ended up with a ton of ‘end of 1st round’ draft slots last year b/c it was a year that felt from the get-go to be light on top 20 players. where Prince Fielder is usually a #15 guy, last year he was going in the top 7. Goldy, Adam Jones, Chris Davis, and Kershaw seem to have strengthened the first round a bit. I feel a lot better getting guys like Stanton and Upton in the 2nd or 3rd rounds vs. the 1st round.

  2. Dano

    dano says:

    Mmm I (in conjunction w/ m’lady) love no tranaction leagues…true draft ability & not overwhelming …I’d be in Rudy.

    • @dano: Make sure to submit your e-mail address above!

  3. RandomItalicizedVoice says:

    So would this also be a slow draft?

    • @RandomItalicizedVoice: Yes. I imagine a Razzball-sponsored would go quicker but it would have to take at least a week to get through 50 rounds i’d think.

      • JRC says:

        @Rudy Gamble: So does it look like this league will fill/draft or should we plan on getting our slow draft fix through one of the standard NFBC slow draft leagues on their site?

        • We have enough interest so far for at least 2 leagues. Working with Greg Ambrosius at NFBC on details now. Aiming for March 1st draft date and getting leagues filled next week.

          • JRC says:

            @Rudy Gamble: Great, thanks for the update.

  4. Principle Blackman says:

    I am in a league that has no FA/WW adds. I like it a lot, but (or is it because?) it is a major challenge. We do have two supplemental drafts (about 1/3rd and then 2/3rds of the way through the season) so it is not quite as pure as your format. If I could spare the $150 this year, I would definitely be in, but, unfortunately, I am unemployed for the first time in my life since 1995. Queue Sad Trombone.

  5. RandomItalicizedVoice says:

    How do you feel about the LABR roster you landed?

    It was a bit bizarre….the first draft that I wasn’t a part of that I was able to watch (part of) live as it happened.

    • @RandomItalicizedVoice: glad you enjoyed the draft. i’m happy w/ my team for now. i’ll write it up sometimes next week but i like the balance/depth on my team. Will feel a lot better when Josmil Pinto has a great spring training and is named the starting catcher of the Twins (if you type it, maybe it comes true)

      • Jeff in Southern Indiana says:

        @Rudy Gamble: I’ve heard of punting catcher but you sure punt, passed and kicked it this year!

        It was interesting looking at a 15 team draft.

        Good Luck!

  6. J-Bird says:

    I’m in. tapjsp at g mail

  7. J-Bird says:

    Whoops, sorry…just saw the signup above…

  8. J-Bird says:

    You should also mention the $20k carrot that I would think this league would be eligible for?

  9. weselm says:

    I’m in round 42 of my first NFBC draft right now. Was planning to post the final lineup to the forums to get folks’ thoughts once it’s all done. The biggest surprise of my draft was being able to get Longoria at pick 28, so I wound up with Goldschmidt and Longo as my top two picks. Like you, Rudy, I’ve been trying to go SP-heavy in the late rounds to be able to play matchups during the season, but that seems to be a pretty common strategy among managers in my league.

    • @weselm: Yes, the NFBC drafters are solid. Goldy/Longo is a great start. Hopefully you snagged some OFs in the next couple of rounds.

      Good luck building a deep SP staff!

      • weselm says:

        @Rudy Gamble: Thanks, Rudy. My outfield could definitely be shaky. But if George Springer starts the season in the majors and hits like he did in the minors last year, then I’m gold. That’s not too much to ask, right?

  10. J-FOH says:

    I don’t think I could do a no transactions league. I have a severe rosterbating problem and to me the fun of fantasy is the in season process of altering what I draft while sticking with my core. Maybe after some therapy I can look at this again next year, and like you I am very cheap. I can’t see buying a porno I can’t enjoy myself with…..if you know what I mean.

  11. Luhn says:

    Would really like to do an NL only league NFBC league. Any interest?

    • @Luhn: think i’m sticking w/ mixed on nfbc for now.

  12. Kirk says:

    I put my email in. I enjoyed playing last year in NFBC as well, even though I finished 5th. I finished first in three categories, but sucked too much in ERA, saves, and and stolen bases.

  13. Count de Monetball says:

    Rudy or anybody, do you know how to load your pre-draft rankings for ESPN mock drafts, (I have pre-ranked my players, but just see ESPN’s ridiculous rankings in the draft room) I haven’t been able to figure that one out. I even emailed the evil empire flagship to no avail.. Thanks!

  14. Beardcrabs says:

    most of your pitchers were guys Grey hated last year…

  15. mrrr says:

    I’m interested as mentioned earlier – email entered above.

  16. JRC says:

    I’m in

    • Sky

      Sky says:


  17. nosetackle supreme says:

    I’m currently halfway through Round 14 of my first NFBC $150 draft championship slow draft. It started Sunday morning. Yesterday, one guy took the full 8 hours during the day time and we barely got through 2 rounds. I figure we’ll be done by the end of the month.

  18. HWY68 says:

    Count me in

  19. goodfold2 says:

    these NFBC have the same amount of player drafted depth as the 25 active player rosters as my 30 man dynasty league (also with at the moment 20 man minor player roster that goes up 5 players each year till it hits 30). There’s some really junky players near the bottom end there, as in one of these NFBC leagues. We do have trades/add/drops though.

  20. Nightpandas says:

    I threw my hat in the ring…..

  21. J-Bird says:

    Got to be close to filling it, huh?

  22. Scott says:

    Count me in, in round 8 of my second NFBC draft. Still have not taken a starter. I had the 2nd pick and went Trout-Stanton-Hosmer-B. Hamilton-Gyorko-D. Robertson-P. Alvarez

  23. Rocky Colavito says:

    Off topic, but Rudy, the recently posted 2014 steamer projections put up on Razzball don’t seem to match the 2014 steamer projections put up on fan graphs. What am I missing?

    • @Rocky Colavito: I use my own playing time estimates and adjust hitters PA % against LHP vs RHP. I also add Saves, Holds, and Quality Starts for pitchers.

  24. Mark says:

    Hey Rudy,

    I am pretty new to this site, but I love the format and have enjoyed your articles.

    I am trying to develop my own player rankings. Do you know of any resources where I can go and download fantasy team stats from 2013 fantasy baseball leagues to get some idea of the average stats it took to win certain categories? I have seen this concept posted on this website before, but I wasn’t sure if this data was available to the public.

    Thanks in advance.


    • @Mark: We’ll have a post later this week with what it takes to get 75% in each category.

  25. FYI al, we’ve got enough interest for over 3 leagues at this point. Looking at a March 1st draft date. Should be awesome.

    • Joe says:

      @Rudy Gamble: I’m ready!

  26. Jake says:

    HI Rudy,

    Great work on the site. Entertaining and informative.

    I had a few questions on the $auction generator that I didn’t want to get lost in the comments section under that (where the last comments were in 2013).

    1. Are the underlying projections steamer or Grey’s or your own?
    2. Why don’t the category $ add up to the total? For the 12 team espn Trout has 10.6+7.3+6.9+10.4+8.3 = $43.5, but his total is $44.5
    3. Why don’t the 5×5 $ per category match the 6x6OPB? Trout has $10.6 for runs in 5×5, but a $10.2 for runs on 6x6OBP.
    4. What is the method used to determine the $values on Grey’s rankings?


    • Thanks! We get pinged every comment so nothing’s getting lost.

      1. Steamer’s with my adjustments + additions (SV/HLD/QS)
      2. Replacement players are valued at $1. So someone with zeroes in all categories is worth $1.
      3. Different potential rostered universes. You add OBP and you’re going to bring certain players in/out of the player pool. Makes sense it goes down since OBP and Runs are correlated.
      4. Grey thinks it then types it.

  27. Taint says:

    Hey Rudy,
    I joined a random NFBC league and draft started today. I drew 15th pick, bummer I know, I went with Joey Votto and Giancarlo Stanton, what do you think?

    • Taint says:

      8 rounds in so far (15th draft spot):

Comments are closed.