For most of you, been there, read this shizz already, but there’s Razzball newbies (Razzbabies?) that need some coddling occasionally.  If you know PEDS, skip ahead into the comments and discuss my mustache.  So, there’s a BRAN (Balanced Roster After Nine) Drafting Strategy by Rudy “The Fro Knows” Gamble.  He’s also touched upon some fantasy baseball drafting tips.  Go read it.   It will make you smart.  There’s also a LIMA Plan (Low Investment Mound Aces) by Ron Shandler.  There’s been a ZIMA Plan by Matthew Berry; it involves a lot of stumbling around 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 draft strategy, Performance Enhancing Draft Strategy or PEDS.

PEDS 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 PEDS puts you in the best position possible to win coming out of your draft.  Okay, onto the steps:

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

No Lincecum. No Halladay. No F-Her.  You abstain!  They’re fantastic.  I love them all.  I’d smoke a bowl with Lincecum and then tease Sandoval that we could eat whatever we wanted, but I wouldn’t draft him.  These starters give you the value of a 1st or 2nd rounder.  They do.   I said it.  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 Longoria or Teixeira or whoever is too great.

2. Never take a closer in the first tier.

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 Bell, Rivera, Soria… Wait, I have to take a closer with my next pick! And why am I not wearing 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. Have your offense squared away before the final rounds and never take an offensive bench player.

I know, you owned Ty Wigginton last year and you guys got along thick as thieves.  Awesome!  Send him a postcard.   You’re not going to hold onto these late round offense guys anyway.  You’re going to get to the first week of the season and you’re going to wonder why you have Ty Wigginton on your bench when there’s a hot hitting Josh Willingham on waivers.   Instead of an offensive bench player, grab a middle reliever who seems like he has a good chance of taking over for the incumbent closer.   Or grab a starter.  (Note: This rule is for 14 team leagues and shallower.   If you’re in a 15 team league or deeper, offensive bench players can come in handy when there’s nothing but scraps on waivers.)

4. When deep into a position, take a flier 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 fliers late.  You’re looking at either Juan Rivera or Julio Borbon, who do you choose?  Orlando Hudson or Danny Espinosa?  Valerie Harper or Sandy Duncan?  You get the picture.

5. When in doubt, draft your third, fourth and fifth starters from NL teams.

Self-explanatory.  No DH, pitchers hitting, weaker offenses.  They bunt in the NL!  Does this mean I don’t want Morrow? No, I’m saying when in doubt.  Cueto or Edwin Jackson?  I’m taking Cueto.  Carlos Zambrano or James Shields?  I’m going Zambrano.  Morrow or Colby Lewis?  Ah, trick question.  But I’d go Morrow.

If you follow these five simple steps, I guarantee you will be in the top three in your league battling for your championship. PEDS is so easy, it should be illegal.  You’re welcome.

  1. SteveP says:

    Man I get the feeling you don’t like to draft 23rd round utility guys based on flexibility…

  2. NewBVick says:

    My name is NewBVick and I have a starting pitcher problem.

  3. Asdrubal Bastardo says:

    “I’d smoke a bowl with Lincecum and then tease Sandoval that we could eat whatever we wanted”

    It is statements like these that keep me coming back for more, good sir. Not to mention the superior fantasy baseball advice… but that is secondary.

    Anyways, can’t wait for baseball to finally get going this weekend. Hopefully my Giants can repeat!

  4. High Upside says:

    I wanna dip with F-Her and poke Griffey sleeping in the dugout with a bat.

  5. Steve says:

    Awww, it never gets old.

    What do you and Rudy do when you draft together?

  6. Giant JJ says:

    Asdrubal Bastardo,
    I honor your love for the Giants my brother, but the superior fantasy baseball advice you get here is definitely not secondary to anything. As much as I enjoy Grey’s clever writing, I would not be a compulsive regular to this site if the advice weren’t hand’s down better than everything else available on the web, free of charge or not.

  7. Carns says:

    Me and a buddy once agreed that if that picture of Grey wasn’t actually him and he didn’t actually have that mustache, we wouldn’t like him near as much.

    I think even better than the stache is the “500-mile gaze”

  8. Last year I played league where wasnt L in scoring, so I have no problem with maximizing my rotation and playing without closers – I drafted only one – Neftali Feliz(as Rangers fan, couldnt ignore love from RW) to beat teams with no closers on roster spots. Finally I won it, but this year…

    first of all, I wont be drafting big name closers, no way, and I wonder if I should draft some 1-bucks-closers in late rounds, but I think there wont be any in lateround..

    I think about to draft some setups with potentional to be closers – Sale, Bard, Ogando, Chapman …they will go for 1$ and maybe it isnt worst idea to draft for example two of them and get some other closers through the FA later…

  9. fernando says:

    is there any version of PEDS for auction draft?

  10. Sean A says:

    @Carns: If that picture isn’t really Grey, I would be devastated…inconsolable…totally upset i had touched myself looking at the picture of a stranger.

  11. Howard says:

    @Grey Did a mock last night in a 12 team roto, picking 7th:
    1. Evan Longoria (TB – 3B)
    2. Ryan Howard (Phi – 1B)
    3. José Reyes (NYM – SS)
    4. Andrew McCutchen (Pit – OF)
    5. Cole Hamels (Phi – SP)
    6. Francisco Liriano (Min – SP)
    7. Mike Stanton (Fla – OF)
    8. Roy Oswalt (Phi – SP)
    9. Colby Rasmus (StL – OF)
    10. Jonathan Broxton (LAD – RP)
    11. Craig Kimbrel (Atl – RP)
    12. Edinson Vólquez (Cin – SP)
    13. Aaron Hill (Tor – 2B)
    14. Daniel Hudson (Ari – SP)
    15. J.P. Arencibia (Tor – C)
    16. Jose Tabata (Pit – OF)
    17. Jhoulys Chacin (Col – SP,RP)
    18. Ryan Raburn (Det – 2B,OF)
    19. Hong-Chih Kuo (LAD – RP)
    20. Eric Young (Col – 2B,OF)
    21. Peter Bourjos (LAA – OF)
    22. Edwin Jackson (CWS – SP)
    23. Bud Norris (Hou – SP)

  12. Atherton32 says:

    I am in a 14 team 12×12 league where you must keep 3 players. My first two are easy: Votto and Longoria. My 3rd pick is what I have been struggling with. I have to choose between BJ Upton, Granderson, Marmol, Dempster, Oswalt, or Ervin Santana. I won last year so I will most likely have a bad draft spot. Any advice?

  13. Cain Fan says:

    Grey I agree with your closer strategy but so does everyone in my keeper league. 80 players kept and only 2 closers (Felix, Paps). I am contemplating taking a top tier closer (Bell, Soria, Marmol) at pick 91 instead of guys like M. Young, Aramis, Pablo, Hunter, Markakis, Ichiro. Am I crazy?

  14. Wilsonian says:

    Gotta PEDS draft strategery quetchun for ya:

    GINORMOUS 8 Team H2H keeper league. I’m not keeping a starting pitcher. I’m keeping: Fielder, Longoria, Wright, Kemp, CarGo. Our keepers are just the first five picks, so our first round is basically the sixth.

    My first picks are 8th and 9th because I’m awesome and won last year. There should possibly be pitchers like Kershaw, Liriano (scares me right now), Verl the Pearl, Josh Johnson, Hommy, Hamels, Gallardo, Oswalt, Grienke, Price available.

    Would you draft one of those doods with your first pick or two or continue to stack up your bats and create a power house of offense and assume that in such a small league you can find arms later at a lesser price?

  15. Wilsonian says:

    @Atherton32: Roy #2 or take a gamble on Beej.

  16. DonSlaughtOnslaught says:

    Valerie Harper or Sandy Duncan?


    Jason Bateman’s TV Mom Ain’t Got No Face

  17. p0rk burn says:

    @Steve: Share a snugglie and fight over the popcorn?

  18. Scotty Doesn't Know says:

    @DonSlaughtOnslaught: Any chance we get a Jessica Walter sleeper post?

  19. This is pretty much my draft strategy and I won my money keeper league the past two years using it.

    However, I’ve gotten really lucky with pitching, two years ago I didn’t take any pitchers in the first 10 rounds of the draft and I still finished 1st in ERA and WHIP in each of the past two seasons. You just can’t expect to keep up those kind of results.

    As a side note, I traded Adam Wainwright for Buster Posey last week LOL!

  20. cigmata says:

    Grey & His Amazing Friends-

    In my 12 team H2H league our four keepers are due in by the end of the day and I was just offered Hanley and my pick of either Kershaw or Verlander for Longoria and Lincecum. My other two keepers are Votto and Braun.

    I tend to get quite emotionally attached to my players so this is very difficult for me. Any and all help is much appreciated.

    On an unrelated note, when I first started reading I was almost positive that Grey’s picture was a fugazi. With each passing day I’m more and more of a believer.

  21. CT Old School says:

    Rule #6: Punt catcher.

  22. wilsoniam says:

    @ cigmata:
    Take the deal! and take kershaw.

  23. A Hill O' Beans says:

    Wondering if someone could explain something for me. I’ve never played on ESPN before and I have a question about the “max games started” for pitchers. Is this actual games started, as in only starting pitchers start games, or is this games that my pitchers play (starters and relievers)?

  24. Oregon Nut Cups

    Oregon Nut Cups says:

    Sandy Duncan now looks like Annie Lennox. Don’t believe me? Go look it up and scare yourself.

  25. NoEmoJoe says:

    Looking for a third starter to go with Price and Gallardo…

    Lilly, Wandy, Romero, Dempster, Danks, Nolasco, D Hudson, G Gonzalez…?

  26. carlos marmLOL says:

    @Peter D: As a side note, I traded Adam Wainwright for Buster Posey last week LOL!

    ha ha, sucker. Make sure you change your team name at draft to rub in what happened.

  27. papasmurf says:

    Yahoo has Morrow ranked in the top 120. I am kind of skeptical he’s top 120. I think the K’s will be good, but the other stats won’t be that good. But Grey you think Morrow is gonna take off this year, huh?

  28. mr baseball says:

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

    I heard your great great gradfather drafted Babe Ruth
    with one of his first two picks

  29. Lobster Cola says:

    Grey, I am indebted to a reader who placed a hyperlink to your site in the comments section of Masshole’s mock draft recap. Your analysis and wit are transcendent. Any reference to Bushwick “MF” Bill and the Geto Boys is instantly appealing. I will be buying you daiquiris on a regular basis. QUESTION: I am also new to ESPN’s fantasy baseball league. With 180 games maximum started, I guess you can be a little selective and play matchups with your SPs? Is there an archived article that discusses the games started cap? Thank you sir.

  30. Rabbit says:

    One issue that was discussed in past years on this site when drafting strategy was the topic is that it is important to be flexible in your strategy. PEDS is the strategy to use when faced with your typical public league, where owners get their strategies from Yahoo or ESPN or, if they think they’re really slick, rotoworld. PEDS works great in those situations, because you’re playing against guys who draft SPs early, go on closer runs, overpay for catchers because of positional scarcity, etc. But the need for flexibility comes in when your playing against more sophisticated owners, like readers of this site. In those situations, my favorite Grey strategy (really a meta-strategy, if you will–ahh, you probably won’t) is Zig When Everyone Else is Zagging. So, playing in a League where the majority of owners target Donkeycorns and figure that saves can be gotten off the waiver wire? Then it may make sense to grab a higher-priced closer if they fall far enough in the draft/auction price, because good Donkeycorns and saves off the waiver wire will be much harder to get in such a league. Everyone in your league punting catcher so that the top guys are available much later/cheaper than you expect them to be? At some point it makes sense to grab Mauer or McCann. Like Leann Rimes, I’m all about value.

  31. OaktownSteve

    OaktownSteve says:

    @AHOB: I sorta wondered about that too for a second, but it can’t be appearances. You’ll get 150 appearences out of 3 closers. Has to be games started as in starter started.

  32. cubfever7 says:

    @ Grey–I’m still laughing (oh wait i’m sorry LOLing) form the Hacky McHackstein name yesterday–a thing of beauty. ‘perting ain’t easy was funny too. My sternum cries out for me to cease.

    There’s a future for you on Conan’s staff young man.

  33. OaktownSteve

    OaktownSteve says:

    @Rabbit: I believe something similar but I think you have to watch out. Doing the opposite of everybody else might be a good strategy, but then again, it might not. First and foremost, you have to have a plan for getting yourself to the totals or rates you’ll need to be competetive. It’s good to find value, but not at the expense of putting together an imbalanced team. The second thing, which is trickier, is you really have to keep track of what other people have drafted and what the available supply is. You’re drafting 8th and you need a shortstop but somebody you really like is on the board still. Unless you know both the available 6’s AND the probability of the teams 9-12 and back again also needing shortstops you can’t optimize your pick. My experience over the years is that the thing that really separates very good drafters from ok is not their focus on their own team; everybody should be on top of that, especially in a good league. What really separates you from the pack is awareness of what everybody else is doing, including the roster at the moment as well as tendencies, favorite teams and players, etc.

  34. Dingo says:

    @Howard: That’s a pretty sweet draft! Your first four picks give you a great combination of elite power and speed while still taking fairly balanced players overall (i.e., no Ichiro). I think the only real weak spot on your team is catcher, which isn’t that big of a deal — but after drafting Hamels, Liriano, and Oswalt, I’d have looked for a catcher in round 12 instead of Volquez. Were Soto/Wieters/Napoli/Posada/Montero already gone at that point?

    Also, you’ve got a fair amount of AVG risk with Howard, Stanton, Rasmus, Hill, and Arencibia, so a boring high-AVG guy like Ordonez or Byrd might have been worth a late-round pickup.

  35. CT Old School says:

    @AHOB: The league manager is trying to limit “streaming.”

  36. Beardawg says:

    Grey, can you give a similar talk on auctions? If I wanna translate rule #1, would that basically mean my two highest priced guys shouldn’t be pitchers?

  37. royce! says:

    @A Hill O’ Beans: Actual games started, so RP appearances have no effect on GS.

  38. Hammer says:

    Grey Standard 12 Tm 5×5, I have 1st pick.

    If I take Pujols and Howard falls to me @ 24, would you snatch him up and follow with Reyes? OR what combo of say: Kemp/Pedroia/Reyes/Yuuuuk would u rather have?


  39. 101 MPH says:

    A question for Grey and anyone else with an angle:

    If you already have David Wright, and you’re not keeping a shortstop, would you be willing to trade Ryan Zimmerman straight up for Jose Reyes?

  40. Greytech Drafting says:

    @NoEmoJoe: I think u need to take Lilly.

  41. Grey

    Grey says:

    @SteveP: Yeah, probably right.

    @NewBVick: Admittance is first step.

    @Asdrubal Bastardo: Thanks!

    @High Upside: Ha

    @Steve: Have to convince the other person over IM why I don’t want Denard Span before he ends up on the team.

    @Giant JJ: Thanks!

    @Carns: Ha

    @O’really: Not sure if there’s a question there.

    @fernando: Yup

    @Howard: Too much pitching and speed, you’re weak on power.

    @Atherton32: Upton

    @Cain Fan: So that means there are a lot of closers available… Why would you draft one immediately?

    @Wilsonian: You can find arms later.

    @DonSlaughtOnslaught: Ha!

    @Peter D: Nice

    @cigmata: Hanley and Kershaw…

    @A Hill O’ Beans: What royce! said.

    @Oregon Nut Cups: No thanks.

    @NoEmoJoe: Lilly

    @papasmurf: I do, yeah.

    @mr baseball: Ha!

    @Lobster Cola: Thanks! re: 180 article — There’s not, but it’s 6 starters at 30 games started. You don’t actually have 6 starters the whole year, so you can use waivers and sit guys if you like. 180 GS is a pretty normal fantasy staff.

    @Rabbit: Zigging and zagging is important.

    @cubfever7: Thanks!

    @Beardawg: That’s coming soon.

    @Hammer: Pujols, Kemp, Youk at third doesn’t seem bad…

    @101 MPH: It’s okay, I’d want them to throw in something else.

  42. Dingo says:

    @101 MPH: It’s worth asking for a throw-in, but I don’t think that’s a crazy trade. Zimmerman’s 10 ranks higher in Grey’s rankings, but Rudy’s Point Shares sheet likes Reyes a lot more.

  43. Jordan says:

    My current OF’ers are CarGo, McCutchen and Krispie Young. The value for my next pick seems to be going after my 4th OF’er. Which of these make the most sense? Quentin, Ad. Jones, or B. Gardner?

    Or I could just scrap that idea and grab my 4th pitcher (Garza, Sanchez, Chacin, Dempster, Lilly).

  44. Cain Fan says:

    Tristan Cockcroft (ESPN) is an idiot. He basically said JJ is a riskier SP now that Wainwright is out. Maybe the fact that Wainwright threw sliders and curves 45% of the time had something to do with it. I mean other guys that threw that much junk, like Peavy, Wandy, etc, NEVER get hurt!!! JJ throws ~25% sliders, I think he is relatively safe.

  45. Cain Fan says:

    @Grey: The thought being that since I am on a wrap I would rather start a run than end it. Plus the 3B and OF available are all in a tier where I think I can get equal value later. This kind of relates to your zig-zag theory, no?

  46. cubfever7 says:

    I have a question for the group. My pen name notwithstandng–do the Chicago Cubs a.) suck? b.) blow? or c.) create a vacuum?

    @Jordan–in my opinion it’ll be easier to get a pitcher like Lilly later–possibly even Chacin (love him this year) than to get Adam Jones or Carlos Q. later My 2 pesos worth.

  47. JoeC says:

    @OaktownSteve: Or, starters who started in their starts. ;)

  48. Eddy says:

    Though we were all expecting it, Mozeliak just confirmed that Wainwright needs Tommy John.

  49. JoeC says:

    @cubfever7: Even worse, I think the Cubs are irrelevant (this year).

  50. Grey

    Grey says:

    @Jordan: No idea what other three pitchers you have.

    @Cain Fan: re: Zig-zag — If you can get value later, sure.

    @cubfever7: C

  51. Hammer says:

    @ cubfever7 – i would go with b) Blow

  52. cubfever7 says:

    @ joe–the only that can make them relevant now would be a combina tion of injuries to a Brewer ace +Joey Votto + zero injuries to the Cub squad and light out seasons from Aramis–Z and Carlos Pena. And having a unicorn sing the 7th inning stretch.

    The Cards may be in deep dung–Carpenter didn’t seem like his normal self last year or least after I traded for him in one of leagues–and without Wainwright–boy, few teams can survive losing guys like Wainwright–I’ve seen Duncan pull off some magic before though.

  53. Trini says:

    I had Sandy Duncan last year. She was incessantly flying around screaming she was Peter Pan. So, I finally had to drop her, and her eye fell out.

  54. Jeter's Raging Narcissism says:

    Lightning round:

    Alexei Ramirez or Delmon Young in an OBP league?

  55. Ryan says:

    Ok so no stud sps in first two picks but what if you have Longoria 1st round keeper and Tulo 6th round keeper oswlat as 12th round keeper.

    Would it be ok to take say Holiday or Lee with my second pick? Or should I be looking at 2nd or 1st base instead? Thanks

  56. Grey

    Grey says:

    @Ryan: One of the most important things when answering any question is how many teams are in a league. 18 teams is a lot different answer than 8 teams.

  57. Ryan says:

    Sorry 16 teams h2h scoring!

    Ok so no stud sps in first two picks but what if you have Longoria 1st round keeper and Tulo 6th round keeper oswlat as 12th round keeper.

    Would it be ok to take say Holiday or Lee with my second pick? Or should I be looking at 2nd or 1st base instead? Thank

  58. Grey

    Grey says:

    @Ryan: Take a 1st baseman, then Holliday…

  59. Joe says:

    My fantasy team name last year was Mustache in honor of Grey. This year i may go with Mustache 2.0… Keep up the good work.

  60. Steve says:

    @Grey: The old Chastise His Ass Over Span strategy.

  61. Grey

    Grey says:

    @Joe: Make my mustache proud.

    @Steve: Ha… Yeah, or that strategy.

  62. Grey

    Grey says:

    @Steve: Too bad couldn’t make that acronym CHAPS.

  63. Steve says:

    Collate Hitters And Punt Starters?

  64. Grey

    Grey says:

    @Steve: Chastise His Ass over Poor Starters?

  65. Wilsonian says:

    @Grey: wurd…

    Thanks man. I may end up with a couple of spare early round picks too, which would be nice to squeeze in some of those starters.

  66. Wake Up says:

    First off, nice stache. Second, big fan of your PEDS and your Keds and even the Feds as long as they keep their hands off my guns. Third, there is no third. But, forth, I would propose adding a sixth rule, in a one Catcher league, don’t draft one. Take an additional late round high upside SP or possible Closer. By the time the season starts, cut the one that you like the least or didn’t work out and take your Catcher. You get the same value at Catcher and in the mean time an extra “Upside Guy” to throw at the wall to see who sticks(and stinks least).Fifth, great stache!

  67. wilsoniam says:

    grey, once his growing pains are out of the way, what is smoak’s upsidE? tons of hits, decent avg, or power???

  68. Steve says:

    @Grey: Combine Hope And Pointless Statistics?

  69. Giant JJ says:

    What do you think of Bill Hall in a deep league? In 344 abs he went 18 .249 9 last year. Now he’s the starting 2b in Houston. He’s the 25th 2b being taken in drafts. You don’t have him ranked in your top 20 but do you like him at all late? 20 teams

  70. Frank Rizzo says:

    Excellent advice as usual but I have a question on #3. What if you’ve gone fairly heavy on power in the draft……would an addition of one bench guy like Juan Pierre, Bourn, or Rajai Davis be an okay move for flexibility in a H2H league?

  71. Jay says:

    @Grey: How do you digest spring training statistics and performances? I try to focus only on off-field stuff (injuries, depth charts), but sometimes the spring numbers just jump out at you so much, whether negative or positive.

    Last year, even though I only wasted a $1 flier on him, Sean-Rod rotted on my roster for almost 2 months because I was waiting for that 2010 spring to show itself in the regular season.

  72. Grey

    Grey says:

    @Wilsonian: No problem.

    @Wake Up: Thanks! Yeah, catcher punt is sorta across all leagues with one catcher, roto, H2H or auction.

    @wilsoniam: When? In 2014? He could hit 20 with a middling average this year.

    @Steve: Not bad, but that’s more the guy who drafts David Ortiz because his GIDPs went down.

  73. Grey

    Grey says:

    @Giant JJ: Not especially…

    @Frank Rizzo: This isn’t for H2H leagues.

    @Jay: I try to ignore them.

  74. JustMatt says:

    @Grey: Gardner posted the LABR participant lists. I see Rudy in the NL. Are the two of you co-running this team or is it his ship? Do you see any chance of finishing in the Top 3 with Funston, Karabell AND Cockcroft opposing you?

  75. Yep, I said it! says:

    @Grey: You going to Spring Training this year? If so, mind saying where and when? I might want to buy you a cold one for the great advice. Cheers!

  76. Grey

    Grey says:

    @JustMatt: Actually, I think Rudy’s going home and yours truly is doing the NL-Only draft. I’m planning on eating refried beans and onions before the draft and sitting next to Karabell.

    @Yep, I said it!: Yeah, Rudy and I will be there for the LABR draft. In Saturday, out Monday morning. You can buy me multiple rounds if you like.

  77. NVChris says:

    ‘Sup Grey?

    I’m in a 12-team H2H keeper league that requires at least one closer.

    You’ve commented before that you like John Axford. I’m sure I could get him for the minimum near the end of the draft.

    I think he’s a steal. Dude goes two innings at times, gets put into tie games (scoring wins that way). Good K-rate. GREAT ‘stache (which I assume you can appreciate).

    What do you think?

  78. Yep, I said it! says:

    @Grey: Oh well. I’m doing Grapefruit this year 3/15-22. I’ll owe you a couple next time our paths cross. Good luck in the LABR draft. I don’t have Sirius/XM, but I’ll find someway to follow your picks out there in Phoenix.

  79. Grey

    Grey says:

    @NVChris: Yeah, I like him a lot. Just drafted him last night in a H2H league.

  80. JustMatt says:

    @Grey: Happy hunting then at the LABR draft. Aim one at Cockcroft for me, I used to listen to that guy.

  81. Wake Up says:

    @Wake Up: I know it’s not that revolutionary. I’m not talking straight up punt and not rostering a Catcher. It sometimes makes the difference between getting that 3rd closer though. Like in TB for instance, don’t know who is getting the job yet? Take both. Cut the other and pick up your Catcher.

  82. Wake Up says:

    @Grey: …on Hanson…too many Slurveballs and no changeup…

  83. Euroalien says:

    12 Team, 5 x 5 Roto, (Max 8 keepers)………

    Been offered Kemp & Phillips for Hamilton……… seems like a no brainer…….. what do you think? My other keepers are Howard, Youk and possibly Bell.


  84. Spartacus says:

    Hey Grey,

    How about some drafting strategy advice for us auctioneers? :-)

    If its been asked before, sorry to regurgitate.



  85. Jay says:

    @Grey: Is it just me or are the useful multi-position-eligible players really rare this preseason? Only Zobrist, Prado, and Bautista seem to me to be decent hitters with worthwhile eligibility (e.g. Posey @ 1B is not very helpful — 99% of teams will play him at C).

    Dunn lost OF, Stewart lost 2B, Beckham lost 3B, etc.

  86. Eddy says:


    What combo do you prefer for 2B/OF?

    Phillips and Lind


    Pence and Hill?

    OBP 12-team H2H league.

  87. Giant JJ says:

    Royals manager Ned Yost is impressed with what he has seen from Alex Gordon so far in camp.
    Optimistic stories about Gordon have become an annual tradition, but the Royals feel his offseason work with hitting coach Kevin Seitzer will pay off. “He’s been putting on shows in batting practice,” said Yost. “Granted it’s only been batting practice, but his swing looks different. He looks much, much better. The real judge will be in the games when you’re making adjustments off competitive pitching. It looks like the work is paying off for him. It’s just smoothing his swing out more than anything else, really just getting him short and just getting him to stay behind the ball and drive the ball.” The 27-year-old has batted just .222 with a .684 OPS at the major league level over the past two seasons, but the Royals will give him every chance to win the left field job during spring training. However, with a bunch of top prospects on the way, this might be his last one.
    Source: Associated Press Feb 24, 12:25 PM

    Reports like this are a dime a dozen, but at a ADP of 375 I think Alex Gordon is worth a flyer. Am I high?

  88. Jet says:


    I’m getting ready for my draft and I am in a keeper league and get to keep 5 players. I’m solid on my top 4 (Tulo, CarGo, T. Hanson and Latos) but can’t decide on my last one which is going to be either R. Weeks in the 13th Rd, A. Rios in the 17th Rd, Soto in the 17th Rd. or J. Sanchez in the 20th Rd. What say you?

  89. Nomar Mr. Nice Guy says:


    Thank you for pointing out the Ty Wigginton’s of the world, a similar player is Michael Cuddyer. There ceiling and their floor are the same thing, pretty boring. Thus I offer this term up for the Razzball Glossary=

    Cuddaver (Cuddyer + cadaver!) — A player with really no upside
    Ty Wigginton is a Cuddaver.

  90. chattanooga says:

    opinion wanted:

    For a 3rd round keeper, h2h 6×5 (no avg, OBP and TB’s), what option do you like best: J. Upton, Kinsler, or neither and get a 3rd round pick?

  91. chattanooga says:

    sorry, forgot-

    10 team mixed. Already keeping Votto and Miggy.

  92. zombie says:

    @Giant JJ: Swore of Gordon in 2007. Can’t look back. He’s poison I tell ya. Short of a 30 Team League, stay away. I’d rather have Sietzer. Was a steal in ’95. Think I dropped Edgardo Alfonzo for him.

  93. DonSlaughtOnslaught says:

    @Wake Up: I know what you are saying. That is exactly what I do with kickers in football. It is still essentially punting, you are just getting the Salty/Ianetta/whoever after the draft rather than last round.

  94. Derek in Utah says:

    Love the Draft Strategy article- I agree 100%. Following those basic guidelines have helped me win many Championships.

    Hoping to add another one or two this year. :)

  95. Steve says:

    @Grey: Those people deserve acronyms too.

    Cherish Homers Avoid Positional Scarcity?

  96. Jo says:

    I’m in the first offseason of a 10 team, mixed league keeper league and I get to keep 5 guys…. and I’m extremely lost. I’m keeping votto @ $11, heyward @ $5 and I cant decide on the next three out of:

    David Wright @ $26, Teix @ $18, Lester @ $17, Gallardo @ $17, Anderson @ $5, Marcum @ $5, Latos @ $5.

    My initial thought is to take Teix, Lester, and Marcum as they all seem under the money. On the other hand Wright is going to be very hard to replace in the auction… I could really use some help here guys!

  97. Wake Up says:

    @DonSlaughtOnslaught: Yeah I do it with Kickers too. It does sometimes make a difference though to not waste your last rounder on a Catcher.

  98. Larry says:

    Grey, this is my 1st yr. in a 18 team mixed roto auction league with a $250 budget for 12 hitters and 8 pitchers. There’s a 6 man reserve draft after the auction. Any advice on $’s spent on hitting and pitching. Last year the league averaged 63% hitting and 37% pitching at the auction. Would Stars and Scrubs or Spread The Risk be better? Help!

  99. Jay says:

    @Larry: If I may, 63% sounds kinda low to me, maybe your best strategy would be to go LIMA plan. You’ll have worse pitchers than a lot of your opponents, but might end up with the very best hitting team.

  100. Marquard says:

    @101 MPH: Are you able to DH/UTIL Zimmerman? If so, I would hold onto him. I tend to steer clear of Reyes, been burned one too many times by his fragility.

  101. Hennessey says:

    @Grey and anyone else with an opinion:

    Thoughts on this 12-team ESPN-style mock?

    (8) Miguel Cabrera 1B
    (17) Matt Kemp OF – Zimmerman still available here, almost took him
    (32) Andrew McCutchen OF
    (41) Clayton Kershaw SP
    (56) Hunter Pence OF
    (65) Jered Weaver SP
    (80) Elvis Andrus SS
    (89) Francisco Liriano SP
    (104) Aaron Hill 2B
    (113) Jonathan Broxton RP
    (128) Pedro Alvarez 3B
    (137) Daniel Hudson SP
    (152) Mark Reynolds 3B (CI)
    (161) Brandon Morrow SP
    (176) Matt Wieters C
    (185) Andres Torres OF
    (200) Manny Ramirez OF
    (209) Edinson Volquez SP
    (224) Kevin Gregg RP
    (233) Joel Hanrahan RP
    (248) Logan Morrison OF (UTIL)
    (257) Javier Vazquez SP
    (272) Danny Espinosa 2B (MI)
    (281) Gio Gonzalez SP
    (296) Brandon League RP

    I’d appreciate any insight!

  102. Nomar Mr. Nice Guy says:

    -I might have taken Zimmerman ahead of Kemp, but considering you got Alvarez and Mark Reynolds late, Kemp is a fine pick.
    -You drafted more SPs early (Kershaw & Weaver) than I would’ve. Probably would’ve taken Liriano as my first SP
    -Nice pick ups of Reynolds, Pence, Gio, and even Miggy @ 8 is awesome value

  103. Jo says:


    I’m in the first offseason of a 10 team, mixed league keeper league and I get to keep 5 guys…. and I’m extremely lost. I’m keeping votto @ $11, heyward @ $5 and I cant decide on the next three out of:

    David Wright @ $26, Teix @ $18, Lester @ $17, Gallardo @ $17, Anderson @ $5, Marcum @ $5, Latos @ $5.

    My initial thought is to take Teix, Lester, and Marcum as they all seem under the money. On the other hand Wright is going to be very hard to replace in the auction… I could really use some help here guys!

  104. Spartacus says:


    3B is scarce and you already have a 1B in Votto. I would keep Wright and Lester for sure. Drop Gallardo. If you kept Teix your corners would be the best in your league for sure but it might leave you short on dollars elsewhere. The rest are toss ups.

  105. Francis says:

    Looking for feedback: 14-team league.H2H. 6×6 (standard cats plus OPS & QS). $260 auction keeper league. Can keep 4 players. I’m debating keeping my aces and then using the savings and spend most of my money on offense, then fill my pitching with $1-$5 guys. I understand pitchers are risky (especially JJ), but my potential offensive keepers don’t provide much savings value and I think I can get them at close to their keeper price.

    I’m proposing to keep:
    F-Her ($22)
    Grienke ($13)
    Josh Johnson ($8)
    K.Morales ($6)

    Guys I am going to put back in the auction pool are:
    D. Wright ($35)
    Jeter ($23)
    V-Mart ($21)
    N. Cruz ($22)
    J. Bautista ($13)

    Again, I think all these guys can be had for close or slightly more than their values…so why not stock up on 3 aces and then use almost all of my money on offense?


  106. Jo says:

    @Spartacus: Yea, that’s what I’m trying to weigh, why not keep Heyward? He’s a good value and long term candidate…

  107. Grey

    Grey says:

    @JustMatt: Will do.

    @Euroalien: Sounds good.

    @Spartacus: It’s coming tomorrow.

    @Jay: Yeah, this year the crop is weak.

    @Eddy: Phillips

    @Giant JJ: Agree with Zombie.

    @Jet: Rios

    @Nomar Mr. Nice Guy: Eh, it’s okay.

    @chattanooga: Upton

    @Derek in Utah: Thanks!

    @Steve: Hey, I like those chaps!

    @Jo: Wright, Lester, Anderson…

    @Larry: 175/75…

    @Hennessey: I agree with Nomar.

    @Francis: Okay on those four… Speed lots of money on hitting. You have two aces.

  108. Grey

    Grey says:

    @Francis: I meant three not two, but yeah, lots of money on hitting.

  109. Jay says:

    @Spartacus: @Jo, in my opinion, keepers are all about value. Te(i)x at $18 saves you $15-20 in your auction. Wright at $26 saves you $5-10.

  110. Francis says:

    @Grey: Thanks, Grey! Enjoy a Daquiri on me!!

  111. Spartacus says:

    @Jay: Its not just about whether Teix is good value or not. It was an answer to a specific situation. He has Votto already for $11 at his 1B. 1B is deep and can find a good option for a lot less at the Corner spot. If you look at 3B depth there is very little at the top. Not sure what league you play in, but David Wright would go for crazy money in my keeper if available. Its just supply and demand.

  112. Spartacus says:

    @Jo: You ssid in your post that you can keep five.


    Votto, Heyward, Wright, Lester and as Grey suggested, Anderson.

    I would definitely keep Heyward at $5. No doubt!!

  113. Jay says:

    @Spartacus: I’d keep 4 first basemen (1B, CI, UTIL, UTIL in my league) if they all came well below market value. Pay $35 or whatever for Wright in the draft. Keeping Wright for $26 is still a very good deal, just not as good as Te(i)x at $18, IMO.

  114. Eddy says:

    Not sure if this has been mentioned yet, but Adrian Beltre had spinal surgery.

    He’s expected to miss baseball activities for 6 weeks.

    For those drafting in the upcoming days, be aware that he will miss possibly 2-3 weeks of April.

  115. Grey

    Grey says:

    @Francis: Thanks!

    @Eddy: Thanks for the heads up!

  116. Eddy says:


    No problem.

    Grey, would you mind explaining why you prefer the Phillips/Lind duo over Pence/Hill?

    I combined each pair using your rankings and the Pence duo outscores the Phillips duo in everything (albeit by small margins).

    Though, in all fairness, Pence and Hill have a combined -0.67 point share spread and Phillips/Lind have .04.

    Any reasoning?

  117. Jay says:

    @Grey: Re: Eddy, Re: Beltre, it’s Rangers RHP **OMAR** Beltre having spinal surgery, not 3B Adrian. Don’t think Omar Beltre was high on many draft sheets.

  118. Eddy says:


    Ah, my mistake! False alarm guys!

    Well, if there’s any other news I can give about Adrian Beltre, it’s that he was experiencing slight pain in his leg, though the exact area escapes me now.

    Sorry about the mix-up!

  119. Grey

    Grey says:

    @Eddy: Phillips at the scarcer position is safer than Hill.

    @Jay: There goes my Omar Beltre sleeper post.

  120. Steve says:

    @Grey: Only fitting that Omar should have an injury in “the hind parts”.

  121. Jay says:

    @Grey: Ha, reminds me of the time Ryan Z. Braun (RHP, then of the Royals) was nominated in my auction and people bid him up to $35 before the trickery was recognized and the bidding rolled back.

  122. Grey

    Grey says:

    @Steve: Hehe… BTW, you should get the new Cold War Kids album, good stuff.

    @Jay: Ha!

  123. Larry says:

    I was also thinking of 175/75 split but thought with the other teams spending an avg of 158/92 I might be able to get away with 170/80. In this deep a league (360 players auctioned plus 108 more as reserves) what method would you suggest? Stars & Scrubs, Spread The Risk, etc. Love your site.

  124. Steve says:

    @Grey: Thanks! I’ll check it out.

    If you had a gun to your head, do you think you could squeak by with Roy O as your No.1 in a H2H league?

    My 12-team H2H drafts at Yahoo and I’m very much liking the Yahoo ranks of Liriano (79), Gallardo (80) and Weaver (82). Cain is at 83, but you see him as more of a #2, no?

    I’d love to be waiting til into the 7th and still get one of these guys as my #1. If everything was to turn to sh** and they all went before I could get to them, of the guys you like, Roy is next at 94…

  125. barker says:

    15 team mock 2 C 5 of CI MI util 9 P 7 bench
    it was 10 guys most of the time 13 at its peak

    R1 P12 1B Mark Teixeira, NYY
    R2 P4 2B Chase Utley, PHI
    R3 P12 OF Justin Upton, ARI [RF]
    R4 P4 OF Jason Heyward, ATL [RF]
    R5 P12 SP Yovani Gallardo, MIL
    R6 P4 3B Pedro Alvarez, PIT
    R7 P12 OF Colby Rasmus, STL [CF]
    R8 P4 SP Ryan Dempster, CHC
    R9 P12 SP Shaun Marcum, MIL
    R10 P4 DH Adam Lind, TOR [DH]
    R11 P12 SP Philip Hughes, NYY
    R12 P4 RP J.J. Putz, ARI
    R13 P12 OF Jose Tabata, PIT [LF]
    R14 P4 RP Drew Storen, WAS
    R15 P12 SP Ted Lilly, LA
    R16 P4 2B Howie Kendrick, ANA
    R17 P12 RP Frank Francisco, TOR
    R18 P4 SS Yunel Escobar, TOR
    R19 P12 1B Freddie Freeman, ATL
    R20 P4 OF Garrett Jones, PIT [1B, RF]
    R21 P12 SP Brandon Webb, TEX
    R22 P4 OF Lorenzo Cain, KC [CF]
    R23 P12 C Russell Martin, NYY
    R24 P4 SS J.J. Hardy, BAL
    R25 P12 RP Scott Downs, ANA
    R26 P4 C Josh Thole, NYM
    R27 P12 3B Brandon Inge, DET
    R28 P4 SP Rich Harden, OAK
    R29 P12 RP Alexi Ogando, TEX
    R30 P4 SP Mark Buehrle, CHW

  126. Tony says:

    @Steve: if Roy oswalt is my #1 im scared shitless…. you better hope to find “greinke” in the 15th round because you’re in trouble. IMO.

  127. chata says:


    i really like the brandon inge pick , in the 27th round .

  128. Will says:

    Grey, I asked Rudy, but what is your opinion on my keeper situation. 10 team 5×5 league. We also have a rule you can only keep someone 3 times, () is the final year I can keep each player.

    Fielder (2012), Cano (2012), Cargo (2013), Zimmerman (2012), J. Upton (2012), Reyes (2013), Choo (2013), or McCutchen (2013).

    Which 5 should I keep?

  129. Bunky says:

    You’re hilarious…. smoke a bowl with Lincecum. Thanks for all the laughs. This last one just made me feel like I had to give you props already!!

  130. dennis says:

    @ Will:

    Cano, Cargo, Zimmerman, Upton Fielder

  131. Chupacabra says:

    I joined a group of friends in an 8-team, head to head league. I generally only want to be in 12 to 14 team leagues, and have never played in one with such a small number of teams. Does the drafting strategy change when the league goes down to 8 teams?

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