There’s been a Lima Plan (Low Investment Mound Aces) invented by the great Ron Shandler, the Zima Plan invented by the presumably tipsy Matthew Berry, the Punt One Category probably invented by someone who realized they forgot to draft steals, the Balanced Team Theory, the Punt Two Categories (probably a leaguemate to the Punt One Category guy who just couldn’t stand being upstaged), the Forget When Your Draft Is So It Autodrafts Strategy, etc.  Yesterday, our very own Rudy Gamble went over his reasoning behind why you should draft a starting pitcher in the first three rounds. Today, we’ll stop the madness and just give you proper drafting strategy. It’s called Performance Enhancing Drafting Strategy or PEDS, for short.

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. Injuries happen. Carlos Penas happen. Ryan Brauns happen. 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.
I know; Rudy Gamble just gave you legitimate reasons why you should draft a pitcher early. Yeah, and Gamble ended up with Teixeira as his second round pick in the fantasy baseball writers’ league when he still could have done his fahcocta “Draft a Pitcher in the first three rounds” strategy and got Peavy.  He only drafted Santana because he was determined to get Santana or Peavy, so with the fifth pick he had to take Santana. (BTW, he traded his second overall pick to get the fifth pick because he wanted to take Santana and he didn’t want to commit a 2nd overall pick to Johan. I would’ve liked to see what would have happened if the fourth overall pick off the board was Santana, then Gamble probably would’ve taken Peavy with the fifth.) Anyway, you don’t want to put yourself in such a hole on offense by taking a pitcher first. There’s plenty of pitchers out there you can get later on. You don’t have to turn your Ks to eleven, a seven will do.

2. If you don’t get steals in the 1st or 2nd round, don’t worry about steals until late in the draft or after the draft. In other words, if you fail to snag Hanley, Reyes, etc, steals will be there later. Don’t draft anyone because you’re looking for steals. No Carl Crawford, definitely no Eric Byrnes, no Brian Roberts, no Ichiro, no Figgins, please God no Juan Pierre. Cause if you think you’re drafting these guys to get a balanced team, you’re doing the opposite. Drafting one of these schmohawks makes your team unbalanced. After the draft, steals are available whenever you want them. If not on the waiver wire, then through a trade, because you know who loses the most value as soon as the draft is over? Anyone who gives you steals.  Speed guys are like new cars, once you own them, their value diminishes. After the draft, count the days until the guy with Juan Pierre wants to trade him. (BTW, Prepare yourself to go into the All-Star Break needing steals, because if you drafted all of your other positions properly, chances are you can trade some homers for some steals in July. Because, as we know, the guy with 25 homers at the All-Star Break is less likely to get 25 more homers after the break, while someone like Michael Bourn could get you 15 steals in a month.)

3. Never take a closer in the first tier. You should pay for some saves. Just don’t overpay. You need at least two closers, otherwise you’re scrambling the whole season. Grab Hoffman. Don’t draft Nathan. Not K-Rod. Mariano is a no go.  Draft Valverde.

4. Have your offense squared away before the final three rounds and never take an offensive bench player. You’re much better off with a middle reliever or potential closer than Brian Giles on your bench.

5. When in doubt, draft your second, third and fourth starters from NL teams. Self-explanatory. No DH, pitchers hitting, much weaker offenses. They bunt in the NL! Here’s a quick scenario, it’s your turn to draft and you’re trying to choose between Gil Meche and Chris Young, who do you choose? Wainwright or Verlander? Do you see how easy this is?

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 and good, it should be illegal.  You’re welcome.

  1. Lou Poulas

    Lou says:

    Let me say 1 thing – Punting works! It really does, and a strategy I regularly employee any Auction league, and specifically ones that restrict FA moves. Once your closer gets canned or injured, you have to burn up a limited FA move and is still costs money.

    Anyway, liked the ideas and I have to think about the idea of not worrying about speedsters until. Scary thought, but i think it has merit.

  2. Grey

    Grey says:

    I suggest everyone sign up for at least one league and punt a category, just to get a feel for it. If done right, you kick everyone’s ass in everything but one category and it also completely throws everyone in your league off their game, making them scramble.

  3. Izzo says:

    Did you really use the word “fococta”? I’m verklempt.

  4. Grey

    Grey says:

    You know it, Bubbie.

  5. nate says:

    “never take an offensive bench player”

    -see, I don’t agree with this for “draft strategy” i do for an in-season strategy. The draft is all about getting maximum value for your picks. MRs like heath bell pop up every year, for free. I’ll never draft stud MRs, they have no trade value unless they become closers. MRs are people you pick up in-season when you have extra space on your roster and you need whip/era help. I’d much rather draft a mike napoli, josh fields, or jack cust who may seem like garbage but have an outside shot of becoming $10+ players, and thus useful trade bait.

  6. Grey

    Grey says:

    Guess it would depend on your league’s competitiveness to a certain extent, cause I don’t see the names you list being around at the very end. Either way, Bell, Betancourt, Rodney, et al are 9 times out of ten mroe valuable than the random offensive bench player.

  7. BScott says:

    Ive got my draft tonight and wanted to do some searching. Ive done plenty of mock drafts and have seen Hanley Ramirez go #2 a ton more then Reyes? I do however agree with most your stratagy. I dont like taking a pitcher until around round 5 or 6 but if Im sitting in round 7 or 8 and Putz falls to me, you really still agree I shouldnt take him? Ive had it happen in some of my mock drafts and found it hard not to snag him. I was really surprised about how you like to draft MR’s late in the draft. I like to use my last couple rounds drafting Brandon Morrow (Sea) and George Sherrill (Bal). I think they both will get me low WHIP and ERA and Sherrill is the closer I believe in Baltimore. Those are stats and I love using those bench spots for relievers. You can then use your P spots for those relievers and then bench them one a starter pitches…then the next day, put back your reliever! Ofcoarse I finished 2nd in my 16 team last season so I know what Im doing…

  8. joeman says:

    I’m in a 12 team h/h points league that leans towards SP,(Wins) HR’S & RP’s (Saves)…..start 5 SP’s per week,2 RP’s and a lineup C,1b,2b,ss,3b 4 OF’s & 1 DH….I can’t find any draft strategy for this type of league…how would you attack this draft… when would you start drafting SP’s & RP’s

  9. Grey

    Grey says:

    @joeman: Take followups to the newest post or the forums. Now what do you mean, SP,(Wins) HR’S & RP’s (Saves)? Specifically, the HR’s part.

  10. joeman says:

    this is our points system in the league…. with a lean towards power hitters,SP’s and RP’s

    Scoring for Batting Categories
    1B – Singles 1 point
    2B – Doubles 2 points
    3B – Triples 3 points
    BB – Walks (Batters) 1 point
    HP – Hit by Pitch 1 point
    HR – Home Runs 4 points
    R – Runs 1 point
    RBI – Runs Batted In 1 point
    SB – Stolen Bases 2 points

    Scoring for Pitching Categories
    BBI – Walks Issued (Pitchers) -.5 points
    BS – Blown Saves -3 points
    CG – Complete Games 5 points
    ER – Earned Runs -1 point
    HA – Hits Allowed -.5 points
    INN – Innings 2 points
    K – Strikeouts (Pitcher) 1 point
    L – Losses -3 points
    NH – No-Hitters 10 points
    PG – Perfect Games 10 points
    S – Saves 8 points
    W – Wins 10 points

  11. Grey

    Grey says:

    @joeman: Take followups to the newest post or the forums.

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