It’s easy to look back at a league you just lost in and come up with several ‘What ifs’ that would’ve led your team to victory.

I’m going to take a look at one of my expert league teams that sucked it – coming in 8th out of 12 in a league set up by Brock for Broglio and co-won by Tim Dierkes of RotoAuthority and Tim McLeod of RotorobRotonomics finished a disappointing 10th, obviously hobbled by their Timlessness.

I finished with 57.5 points.  The co-winners finished with 95 points.  How much of these 37.5 points could I have reduced with just a little draft luck.

Below are my picks along with hindsight grades and some info on whomelse was on the board.  Just making three different decisions – all three near coin-flip – would’ve netted an estimate 26 extra points and could’ve put me in contention.

  • Pick #8 – Jeff Francouer.  Swap with Jason Bay who actually ranked higher based on my Point Shares but I moved him down b/c he fucked me with moose antlers the previous year.  Point gain (using Point Shares) is 9.82 points (Bay was +4.11, Frenchy was -5.71)
  • Pick #9 – Juan Pierre.  Swap with Jacoby Ellsbury who went a few picks later would’ve netted 6.09 points (+1.48 vs. -4.61)
  • Pick #14 – Khalil Greene.  Swap with fellow Dhyslexic SS Jhonny Peralta who went a pick later nets 10.29 points (1.86 vs. -8.61).

The rest of the blame would have to go to FA pickups. Of the top 40 most valuable players drafted after #200, I had two (Fuentes and Torres) and traded Fuentes soon after for Rickie Weeks (ugh).  RotoAuthority drafted McLouth (5th most valuable with an ADP greater than 200) and picked up Cliff Lee (MVP > 200 ADP) and Aubrey Huff (6th most valuable > 200 ADP).  RotoRob didn’t score with FA hitters but had Ervin Santana (3rd most valuable) + drafted bargains (Roy Halladay & Mariano Rivera) + a great trade (Johan Santana’s great 2nd half for a crappy 2nd half from Utley – the trade was w/ me BTW…).   (To see a list of the top fantasy bargains of 2008.)

So there you have it.  A draft with four great picks out of the first 6 ruined by an awful 7th-9th, a coin-flip in the 14th, and missing out on just about every impactful FA.  And if the three picks above didn’t suck so much, I wouldn’t have had to trade Johan’s great 2nd half (2.10 ERA in 110 IP) for Utley’s mediocre one (46/8/35 in 247 ABs).

Round Player Grade Explanation
1 (5) Johan Santana A Santana finished 6th in value.  No one could pick Halladay, Sabathia, Lincecum, or Cliff Lee here.  Hanley was gone.
2 (20) Mark Teixeira A- Teixeira finished 29th in value.  Obviously couldn’t take a pitcher here.  The only hitter who was a realistic pick here was Beltran.
3 (29) Adam Dunn C- 110th in value..ugh.  People hated this at the time and they were proven right.  Really wanted Berkman here who got picked 3 picks before.  Webb was high on my list but, again, couldn’t go w/ a starter.  Needed an OF bad.  Realistic better picks would’ve been:  Manny, Abreu, Markakis, Magglio, Corey Hart, and Torii Hunter.
4 (44) Garrett Atkins C 112th in value.  Loved this pick at the time as did a few other drafters.  Manny (11th in value) was picked next.  Ouch.  Chipper was available and a better 3B choice but Atkins projected higher before the season.
5 (53) Dan Haren A- 25th in value.  But could’ve had Hamels (20th) instead.   K-Rod (24th) would’ve been a marginally better pick.  Really can’t complain.
6 (68) Joe Nathan A 36th in value.  Putz, Papelbon, and K-Rod off the board.  This pick is hard to fault.
7 (77) Jorge Posada F I never pick a catcher this high but this was a 2 catcher league.  Mauer and McCann went right before Nathan in the 6th round.  Catchers did prove shallow but this pick shit the bed.
8 (92) Jeff Francouer F 370th in value!  OFs got drafted fast in this league.  I don’t think anyone predicted Frenchy would suck so much.  Kemp went right before him.  The other OFs who were close to ADP that I could’ve taken were Jermaine Dye and Jason Bay.  Picked soon after – Mo Rivera and Lincecum.  You can add an “uck” onto that F.
9 (101) Juan Pierre F 291st in value.  Really wanted Victorino but he went super early (7th round).  Ellsbury (76th in value) went a couple picks later.  J-Bay and Halladay went later in this round too.  Hamilton didn’t go for two more rounds. Crap.
10 (116) Francisco Cordero B 93rd in value.  The only closers who would’ve been more valuable were Lidge and Soria.  Soria went a number of closers later.  Dye and Soto were the only better picks in the round.
11 (125) AJ Burnett A- 89th in value.  Could’ve had Hamilton instead but, otherwise, really good pick.  Most picks were DOA – Gallardo, Towles, Carmona, Hermida.  Billingsley would’ve been a slightly better pick.
12 (140) Johnny Damon A 56th in value.  Best OF on the board by a mile.   The only better players that went in this range are Soria and Lidge.
13 (149) Chad Cordero F Most picks sucked this round.  Could’ve had BJ Ryan instead.  I picked up Rauch to back him up so didn’t really get hurt by this.  But it’s still an F.
14 (164) Khalil Greene F Pedroia went two picks before.  But Peralta went right after.  Peralta finished 67th in value.  Greene finished 458th.  Point Shares estimate this one coin flip cost me 10 points!!!!!!
15 (173) Adam Wainwright B 162nd in value.  If it weren’t for his bum finger, this would’ve proved much better.  Bonderman and Snell went in this round to give you some perspective.  Could’ve had D-Lowe (58th in value) instead.
16 (188) Philip Hughes D- This was set to be D-Lowe only to have him go one pick before.  Harden went next round.  Greinke lasted 5 more rounds.  There weren’t really any other SPs that could’ve been considered here (Volquez?  Who could predict Ervin Santana, Saunders, Gavin Floyd, Cliff Lee, etc.).  At least could dump him quick.
17 (197) Kevin Kouzmanoff C- Got him at a significant discount based on my predictions.  Amazingly, he finished 204th in value so this pick isn’t as awful as it seems.  Only Rich Harden (right before him) really did anything in this round.  McLouth went in the next round.  Adam LaRoche went next round and would’ve been slightly better.  Kevin Youkilis would’ve been WAY better.
18 (212) Kevin Youkilis A 40th in value.  Lucked out here as I had him in a coin flip with Garko who went two rounds later.  The ridiculous part was that this should’ve given me the cajones to dump Kouz since Youk could play 1B/3B but I was a Kouz believer.
19 (221) Heath Bell C Mostly crap at this point.  Benjie Molina was the only valuable pick in this round.  Bell sucked but was worth the gamble.
20 (236) Andy Pettitte D 293rd in value.  Greinke and Beuhrle went next round.  Lester in the 22nd.  Guthrie in the 23rd.  Seemed like a decent gamble but looks bad in retrospect.
21 (245) Melky Cabrera D I cut ties with him pretty soon.  Andre Ethier went around here but no one could’ve kept him while he was benched early in the year.  Milton Bradley would’ve been great.
22 (260) Freddy Sanchez C No 2Bs were really on the board here.  If he performs near his 2006/2007 numbers, it’s a steal.  But he never got over the bad shoulder.  Cut and run pretty quick but fill-ins like Mark Ellis didn’t help.  DeRosa would’ve been the stud 2B pick.
23 (269) Joaquin Benoit D Another potential closer pick.  Cut ties before the season started.
24 (284) Mike Napoli B He hit 10 HRs pretty quickly. Doumit was already gone.  Ianetta would’ve been a decent C pick but can’t fault the Napoli pick.
25 (293) Austin Kearns C- Took a gamble that Washington’s new stadium would be a hitter’s park.  Kearns sucked.  Milton Bradley and Randy Winn would’ve been better OF picks.  Guthrie was the only decent pick in this round.
26 (308) Jayson Nix C- Took a gamble on him when he was the interim 2B for the Rockies.  Not like there were any other great options.  Dropped him before the season started for Eugenio Velez who didn’t pan out either.  DeRosa and Alexei Ramirez would’ve been solid in-season pick-ups.
  1. Doug Ault says:

    I still wake up screaming when I dream about my drafting of Juan Pierre

  2. Jeff says:

    I feel your pain Rudy. My top five were all solid, but then got Putz in the sixth, Furcal in the seventh, Andruw Jones in the 11th and Kelly Johnson in the 12th. Blech… just writing that makes me throw up in my mouth a little.

    Still, made up for it with Abreu in the eighth, Lincecum in the ninth and Soria in the 13th. Also picked up as FAs Nolasco, Derek Lowe when some donkey cut him in May, JD Drew right before his June hot streak, and Alexei Ramirez (who took me from a tie for third to a solo second place finish in the Tigers-Sox makeup game with his grand slam!). One crazy year.

  3. Tim the glue sniffing other guy says:

    Nice analysis Rudy, and tks for the plug, appreciated. I was rather fortunate in having Kinsler in my mid-infield so the trade of Utley was a good fit for both of us. My pitching was struggling and you needed a boost in offense. Who would have guessed at the time that Utley would have such a terrible second half? In my site league I went your route and drafted Johan early as you did and ended up with the same results, mid-bottom pack. I’ve been for years a believer in drafting pitching late and this past year has done nothing to change my opinions on that strategy.

  4. Eric W says:

    i am a huge wainwright fan i expected big things from him last year. just if he didint hurt his finger he would of put up great numbers. i still cant believe the cards signed him so cheap

  5. @Doug Ault: I do too. And he keeps smiling in my dream – really irritating…

    @Jeff: Sounds like a crazy year. Putz definitely schtupped a number of teams….

    @Tim the glue sniffing other guy: You deserved the plug. Utley for Santana was a totally fair trade that was worth the gamble to jumpstart my offense. But, everything equal, wouldn’t have done the trade. Santana definitely panned out as a 1st round pick so not second guessing that (he was more valuable than Utley…) but just frustrating how a couple of coin tosses can tank your team….

  6. Posada and Francouer definitely hurt – but at the beginning of the year, it’s impossible to know.

    Posada’s season was pretty miserable and no one would have expected that. As far as Francouer, I might have avoided him only because you knew Dunn was already going to hurt BA and two guys like that are tough to overcome.

  7. BigFatHippo says:

    @Rudy Gamble: Utley’s having hip surgery, could be out 6 months. The injury happened on May 5th according to Deadspin. This would explain his gradually getting worse as the season wore on.

    I like the fact he didn’t use it as an excuse and just kept playing unlike some players,cough, Drew.

  8. Steve says:

    @Rudy Gamble: @BigFatHippo: Was it only a month carrying Howard?

    As a Howard owner, it felt like a lot longer…

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