While Grey was off gallivanting in Jackson’s Hole sipping hot toddies and drafting his AL-Only team from heated chair lifts, I spent my day at a shady Illinois car dealership drafting my AL-Only team in that same league while getting fleeced on a used car. After I spent $35 on The Messiah, Adalberto Mondesi, Grey cracked, “I hope you get a better deal on that car than you got on Mondesi!” Oh real funny, Grey! That’s rich coming from the guy who spent $10 on Bryce Harper in an AL-Only league!

Nevertheless, my AL team took a turn for the worse when the car dealer tried to tack a $399 “Dealer Inventory Fee” onto the negotiated sale price. And that’s the story of how I spent $3 on Daniel Mengden and $1 on Chad Pinder in the all-important late stages of an AL-Only auction with the titans of the industry. Fortunately, our friend Scott White of CBS gave ya boy Donkey Teeth one more shot at the glory-hole in the NL-Only version of the same league. And this time, I wouldn’t be preoccupied disputing undisclosed dealer inventory fees while being stuck with auto-nominated Chad Pinders. Anyway, here’s my 12-team NL-Only team and the tale of how I left Grey lusting after my Wong, again:

C: Yan Gomes $5

C: Tyler Flowers $2

1B: Eric Thames $8

2B: Kolten Wong $2

3B: Eugenio Suarez $28

SS: Orlando Arcia $4

MI: Neil Walker $2

CI: Todd Frazier $1

OF: Christian Yelich $38

OF: Ronald Acuña $36

OF: Rhys Hoskins $30

OF: Franchy Cordero $4

OF: Curtis Granderson $1

DH: Yairo Munoz $1

Bench (Free): Kevin Cron, Erik Gonzalez, Garrett Cooper

 

P: Jack Flaherty $25

P: Edwin Diaz $25

P: German Marquez $21

P: Kenley Jansen $20

P: Tanner Roark $2

P: Jordan Lyles $2

P: Freddy Peralta $1

P: Tyler Anderson $1

P: Mark Melancon $1

Bench (free): Drew Pomeranz, Nick Kingham, Sandy Alcantara, Bryan Mitchell

 

The following is a real text message exchange during the auction

Grey: WTF

Grey: You killed my team

Grey: I had a gaping hole for a wong

Donkey Teeth: I did too

Donkey Teeth: I needed wong in my mouth

We’ve reached the dollar days of the auction and I have one $2 bid remaining, Grey has only $1 bids left. We both have empty MI slots to fill. Grey nominates Kolten Wong for $1. The clock ticks down…9,8,7…Do I seize the Wong or save my lone $2 bid for my man Trevor Williams?…6,5,4I wonder what German Marquez looks like without a shirt on…3,2,1…::clicks bid $2::. Welcome to Team Donkey Teeth, Mr. Wong! Inserting Wong into my lineup on a daily basis will feel even more pleasurable knowing that Grey was left wanting.

 

A stars and scrubs approach in such a deep format?

I had the benefit of coming into this auction having seen the end game of our AL-Only auction the previous week. Because these leagues require us to fill our entire starting lineup during the auction, and then our reserve/bench players are drafted in a separate snake draft after the auction is complete, there’s plenty of decent $1 options available in the auction end game, well, decent options in NL-Only terms. Knowing this, I resolved to spend the majority of my budget on a couple top bats, a couple top arms, and then the safest saves I could afford. As you can see above, my plan was a great success. There’s no substitute for knowing your league.

 

Hey Donkey, did you just blindly buy the first two players nominated?

Coming into the draft I was targeting two of my top three NL-Only hitters: Acuña, Turner, and Yelich. I want some steals from my big ticket bats this year. Yelich was the first player nominated, and #4 overall in my NL-Only rankings, I was shocked when the clock ticked down to zero on my winning bid of $38. I was then fortunate enough to have the second nomination of the draft, and I immediately threw my top NL-Only player out there in Acuña hoping that there might be some mental anchoring to that $38 Yelich price.

The plan worked out like a wet dream as I won two of my top 4 ranked NL-Only players for a total of $74 while the rest of the league snoozed (our fearless leader Grey immediately bought Story for $35 as the 3rd player off the board). The very next purchase was Arenado for $49, followed shortly thereafter by Scherzer $46, Turner $43, deGrom $42, Goldschmidt $41, Harper $41, Freeman $40, and Machado $40. I think Grey and I both did well buying the first three players off the board at a discount before the rest of the room woke up. This isn’t uncommon in auctions, make sure you’re ready to buy from the get go.

 

$45 on two closers?! What happened to that SAGNOF thing??

I know, it’s not the Razzball way to spend 17% of an auction budget on two closers. But times are quickly changing boys and 19 girl readers. See, there’s 19 girl readers now, I rest my case!

A lot of major league teams no longer see the need to tie themselves down to just one closer. I like to think of it as Mormon-style bullpen management. Many managers prefer the flexibility of using their top arm in the biggest moments of a game, whether it be bases loaded with no outs in the 6th inning or a clean slate 9th inning. This can create a headache for us as fantasy baseball managers trying to find those cheap saves throughout the season, especially in deep leagues like this NL-Only. The value of a reliever without competition for his teams saves grows each year.

Rather than spending $9 on Drew Steckenrider, or $8 on Greg Holland (real prices), I preferred to lock up the consensus top two NL closers and not worry about overpaying for a disastrous future middle reliever who torpedoes my ratios. I should also be able to avoid the FAAB wasteland of chasing saves in a very competitive league. All of this said, I still think SAGNOF is a valid strategy in shallower leagues, let’s say 12 team mixed leagues or less.

Alright, I have to run. Wong is calling me to take him out of my lineup just so I can reinsert and ride him to victory. Best of luck trying to find another Wong, Grey!

 

 

Find Donkey Teeth on Twitter @DonkeyTeeth87. Subscribe to his podcast with @DiktaSausagePod: Ditka, Sausage, and Fantasy Sports on Itunes, Stitcher, or wherever you get your podcasts.

  1. Hater Bell

    Grey Albright says:
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    We should make a side wager, what can I offer you besides money, food, or a barn to sleep in that would interest you if you beat me?

    • bigbear says:
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      @Grey Albright: HA! Since we all live in our mom’s basements, loser calls his mom and has to ask for her bra size (it has to be on the podcast).

    • Donkey Teeth

      Donkey Teeth says:
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      @Grey Albright:
      1) Your Giancarlo love binder
      2) Razzball site equity
      3) Take me out to a ballgame where you award me with a custom made donkeycorn figurine

      Are you planning to attend the Arizona Fall League this year?

      • Grey

        Grey says:
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        I have no interest in AFL… Where are you located? I mean, where is the barn where you are housed… Maybe we can figure out something locally… What do I get for beating you?

        • Donkey Teeth

          Donkey Teeth says:
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          @Grey: My stable is in the burbs just west of Chicago. What can I offer you besides dick joke articles?

  2. DanJoyceNZ says:
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    Is this a saves or saves/holds league? Can we all agree the “Save” is as irrelevant in fantasy as in real life? Let’s start a sweeping change across the fantasy landscape and make even standard leagues “saves/holds.” Here’s to hoping this is already happening.

    • Donkey Teeth

      Donkey Teeth says:
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      @DanJoyceNZ: It’s a saves-only league. I like saves/holds but I’m not anti-saves either. They’re just different game boards…

  3. Laker42 says:
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    Can we see the full draft board?

  4. JB says:
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    you picked Franchy Cordero – you think he has any legitimate chance of full-time AB’s?

    • Donkey Teeth

      Donkey Teeth says:
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      @JB: Yes, I think he’s the most talented OF in San Diego and he’ll find his ABs one way or another. But hopefully he wins the starting gig from the get go…

  5. SwaggerJackers says:
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    That’s a great point about being ready to draft players during the first 3 nominations. I remember that phenomenon happening in a league a few years ago. The first player nominated was the consensus top closer valued at like $23 and he went for $15 and everyone just went “Huh, that was a good deal.” and then starting bidding a few picks later.

    I’ve been reading a fair amount of auction theory lately and find the two schools of thought between “Nominate players you want” vs. “Nominate players you don’t want” pretty fascinating.

    I’m traditionally a fan of nominating players I don’t want in an effort to get other teams to spend their dollars but sometimes that leads me to having a very light roster after the first 20 or so picks. As your draft started out, it’s nice to have a couple cornerstones locked up early so you can start allocating your remaining funds accordingly. I’m a fan of assigning a dollar amount to each roster spot ahead of time then adjusting as the draft goes on.

    • Donkey Teeth

      Donkey Teeth says:
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      @SwaggerJackers: Agreed Swagger.

      Auction theory is fascinating. And there’s no substitute for first hand experience in hundreds of auctions. It gives you the ability to read and react to a room instantly. Flexibility is the other major key imo.

      • LenFuego says:
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        @Donkey Teeth: The one nomination tip I have is if there are players who are on what I call the decision-tree, you need to nominate them as early as possible.

        For example, last year my plan was to try to land Trea Turner for all the stolen bases he would provide (though he ended up not providing anywhere near the amount I anticipated). If I had gotten Trea, my strategy was to prioritize bidding on power guys over speed guys … but if I did not land him, I would need to prioritize speed guys over power guys. Consequently, Trea was a decision-tree player for me … I needed to know whether I was going to land him to know how to bid on a lot of players. In that situation, you need to nominate that decision-tree player as soon as possible.

        Otherwise, I tend to agree with nominating players you do not want … though it kind of depends on whether the other owners appear to be overspending or underspending on players at that point in the draft.

        • Donkey Teeth

          Donkey Teeth says:
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          @LenFuego: Agree with all that Len.

  6. HERNAN says:
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    Lol, DT.., I know making my point after the fact, but, in Only Leagues( 15 closing jobs), Edwin might get you 7/8 Roto points in saves , by himself..,maybe Kenley’s $20 + Thames’ $8 coul’ve gotten you a lot more ABs @ 1B, utility, maybe even a good middle reliever with high KRates and Ratios similar to Kenley’s……, cust kayin’….., wonder how much Archie bradley and Sergio romo went for….?Hopefully the 12 in saves doesn’t mean 2/3 points in multiple offensive categories…., love the “Marlin’s Love”…, cheap stats for Grandy/Walker…..Cheers!!!!

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Please look at my team and tell DT by how many points he’s going to lose by

      • HERNAN says:
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        @Grey: , lol, will do, Fantasy Master Lothario>>>>>>>>> Los Dientes del Burro!!!!…, on a side note, drafting in Razzball NFBC as we speak…, I’m one of the Better Burritos, ay, ay , ay,…. good luck!!!!!

        • Donkey Teeth

          Donkey Teeth says:
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          @Grey: @HERNAN: What’s Rudy’s tool say? No not that tool, the war room!

    • Donkey Teeth

      Donkey Teeth says:
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      @HERNAN: I can’t believe you have the balls to rag on THIS team, Hernan. Not to mention siding with Grey over your ole buddy Donkey Teeth.

      Hoskins will slide over to 1B shortly and I’ll get my UTIL ABs, dont you worry. Archie was $7, Romo was $2…

      • HERNAN says:
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        @Donkey Teeth: , lol DeeTee, my points might mean nothing without seeing Grey’s team, although knowing him, his offense is probably more balanced, a lot more ABs, maybe 35 cheap saves(a 6/7 there) , I was gonna mention Rhys moving to first, then you’re short 450 ABs outfielder, but , you never know, maybe Braun or Aguilar get hurt, opening spot for Thames, one of your bench guys finds a regular job, hard to see whole picture, and what other alternatives could’ve been there with Kenley/Thames $28, cheers

      • HERNAN says:
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        @Donkey Teeth: , ok , I totally missed Grey’s post on his team…, couple minutes looking at it , I’m gonna go ahead, channel my inner Lex Luger and switch sides…., yikes, looking at his team, it reminds me of the Titanic approaching that iceberg…, ay , ay, ay, a lot of swing and miss on that roster, plus when Jose Quintana is your “ace”, ih no, my least favorite starter, due for Zach Godley type ratios , without the Ks…, I know Grey always punts BA , winning leagues with like .258ish stuff there, plus who am I to criticize all mighty Grey , with Rudy’s tool in hand?? II think counting stats follow OBP(BA in there) , not like Dahl/Bader/Alfaro are these walking machines…, we’ll see, lol, cheers

  7. johnnyhobbes says:
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    DT- my podcast aggregation got your latest post before i am seeing it on the razzball web page…. so my question is about a move that frees up space for joe musgrove on my team. He is currently on waivers…..

    My current starting pitching is bauer, taillon, flaherty, german marquez, shane beiber an on the bench lucchessi luzardo alex reyes and skaggs

    I’m trying to get kris bryant of of some one who really needs pitching….. offer bauer and skaggs? then pick up musgrove on waiver wire. this is 12 team mix h2h points

    (for rest of context- infield is currently matt olson, j baez, a bregman and andrelton simmons
    rest of bats are ozuna, benintendi, dahl, jake bauers, a meadows, josh bell, garret hampson on bench (not rostering a catcher for now )

    Thanks for your input

    • Donkey Teeth

      Donkey Teeth says:
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      @johnnyhobbes: Hey Johnny,
      It’s fair, but I honestly might rather have Bauer than Bryant in a points league. It’s close enough that I wouldn’t try to talk you out of it either way.

      I do prefer Musgrove to Skaggs…

      • johnnyhobbes says:
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        @Donkey Teeth: Thanks for responding to me quickly. yes, the points leagues tend to be pitchers paradise. well, perhaps simply dropping skaggs for musgrove?? or i dont roster a bench bat and drop???? for musgrove.

        MY idea is to have a decent bat line up but have a serious stable of arms that are used as leverage pieces in moves as the season shapes up.

        Given what i think you think about hampson, i could drop josh bell for musgrove . what do you think?

        • Donkey Teeth

          Donkey Teeth says:
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          @johnnyhobbes: Yep I think that’s the move.

          I’d actually cut Simmons before I’d cut Hampson, but Bell before either SS…

          • johnnyhobbes says:
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            @Donkey Teeth: given the buzz , i am in on hampson … thanks !

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