Razzball Commenter League drafts are off and running!  Don’t let the chance to play with your favorite writers and commenters in free leagues for an overall top prize pass you by!  We’ve only had a handful of drafts so far, but next week we’ll really be able to dive into early RCL ADP and over-analyze to our hearts content.  As for now though, go sign up for a league drafting in the next week or so and contribute to our data pool. It’s so easy to sign-up, it’s really just one click!  Use it as a mock draft that is actually useful. We will be drafting the Writer’s League this week and covering it in the coming weeks. Today, we’ll be going over how to approach your pitching in the RCL format, hopefully, to get you prepped for the first draft of the year.

The subject of RCL pitching has been covered many times before, quite Brucely, much more succinctly than I could cover it.  Oaktown Steve started the streaming phenomenon way back in the year 2010. From that, Rudy felt he could improve the process and thus birthed the Stream-O-Nator!  The world hasn’t been the same since.  Finally, Rudy covered the importance of maximizing IP and how to value our streamers here.  That should be enough clickbait and reading to get you off to sleep tonight where visions of ERA, WHIP and K/9 (or K%) will dance in your head.  If you’re feeling lazy though, I’ll give you the cliffsnotes version with a couple of my own notes.

First off, let’s go over the draft.  I wouldn’t leave an RCL draft with any more than 5 starting pitchers and 3-4 is preferred.  With the moves limit now in place, I tend to lean more towards 4. I suggest embracing streaming pitchers as much as you are comfortable with.  The moves limit shouldn’t be a factor while streaming a couple pitchers per week. Where you draft your 3-4 pitchers is very important as well. I’m not here to suggest that if you draft a pitcher in the first round, you’ll lose the league, but you’re not doing yourself any favors.  I typically target rounds 4-6 for my first and sometimes second SP.  

An IP limit in the RCLs basically turns the strikeout category into K/9.  That makes those high-K/9 starters even more valuable as a base to build around.  I am fully aware of my streaming (in)abilities and I know that streaming will have an effect on my ratios, nailing down two SPs that will help those ratios is a must.  Doing so without leaving your offense inept is the real challenge. The latest I would wait to grab my first starter would be round 8 or 9. After that and you’re playing with fire and even then you’re going to have to hit on the starters you do roster and have them turn in solid seasons.

If you’re not into grabbing two starters in the 4-6 round range, then the 6th-7th is a prime spot for an elite relief pitcher to help those ratios and strikeout rate.  Josh Hader will likely go just before this spot, his elite K-rate is a huge asset. This range is where Kirby Yates, Roberto Osuna and Aroldis Chapman will likely fall.  Kenley Jansen has been slipping and I’m all over trying to snag him this year.

The back end of the draft is all about relief pitchers and speculative saves.  This is especially true with early drafts, happening now, while jobs are in flux (ATL, COL, MIA [eww]).  If you can steal a closer before the season even starts, that’s gravy, and everyone loves gravy.

Essentially, if you can come out of the draft with some rough semblance of the 66/20/14 split (Hitters/Starters/Relievers) that Rudy recommends, you’ll be doing well.  My drafts tend to be a little more towards 70/15/15 or even 66/14/20. As long as you recognize what you’ve got and have a plan, you’re much better off than most.

Once the season has started, your ability to maximize your roster spots becomes directly tied to your success.  With only 3 bench spots, it is imperative to use them to their fullest. Those three bench spots are your “swing” spots and can be used however is needed, depending on the day.  Don’t think of your team as having only 3 bench spots, think of the waiver wire as your rolling bench.  

I almost always try to have a full hitting roster out there.  By default this means my three bench spots are almost always hitters, however if there’s a day when all my hitters are playing, I use those bench spots to swap in some relief pitchers.  In an ideal world you’ll have 8 RPs and a starter going almost everyday. With relief pitchers I’m almost always looking for good ratios and K/9 studs. That extra boost in K/9 will be huge in deciding the strikeout category in leagues.

When the time comes (at the end of the season), you need to know your loopholes.  There was always a heated discussion over the 188 GS with ESPN and the same is true with FanTrax but with IP.  With FanTrax the loophole remains that ANY pitching stats accumulated on the day you go over 1400 IP will count.  This is the same way Yahoo!’s IP limit works, for those familiar. Ideally you’d have a day where you finish with 1399.6 IP and then stack your lineup for the day you go over, trying to eek out every extra strikeout and/or win you can.  Of course, pulling the trigger on this massive stat grab can have negative effects as well, so if you’re in a tight battle for ERA and/or WHIP, it may not be the best choice.

All of your pitching freezes once you hit 1400 IP so your final pitching numbers are your final numbers.  That means it is very important to keep tabs on your leaguemates and know who might need one category or another down the stretch.  Paying attention to these things can mean the difference in catching a team or two in a category and winning or losing a league. You don’t need to win Saves by more than one save to get those twelve precious category points.

All of the decisions ultimately come down to where the most points can be gained.  It’s up to you to recognize your team needs and how they relate to the rest of the league.  If you’re running away with the pitching categories, cut back on your RPs and stream the heck out of SAGNOF delights and/or some all or nothing power plays.  If the opposite is true, keep those empty pitching slots filled with the nastiest middle relievers you can get your paws on.  

Now you have a pretty good idea of what you should be doing, go test out a draft strategy.  The RCLs are a great place to test out an extreme strategy and see what happens. Go big or go home.

TO JOIN A LEAGUE

Click the LINK in the ‘League Link’ column (see below grid) for the time you want and voila, you’re in.  If you’re not signed up at Fantrax, you need to do that too (it’s free). Damn, that’s too easy. Oh, I guess I should also mention make sure you’re joining a league for free or for money, depending on your preference.  That’s it! You can join as many leagues as you like. If you accidentally join a league, you can quit a league by going to OTHER –> All Options –> Quit League (located at the bottom). Now go join some leagues!

Want to be my Twitter pal?  That’s kinda creepy, but you can follow me here: @MattTruss

 
  1. MattH says:
    (link)

    Hader’s arm has to fall off at some point, right? I’m skipping the top tier closers unless they fall. Which never happens. Good work, Truss. Ready for some RCL action.

    • MattTruss

      MattTruss says:
      (link)

      At 25, I hope it doesn’t!

  2. rmuchacho says:
    (link)

    I play in a 12 team 5×5 yahoo league. Is the new FAAB system going to change the strategy for streaming pitchers?

    • MattTruss

      MattTruss says:
      (link)

      Hmm, I’m not sure, what’s the new FAAB format on Yahoo? Daily FAAB? Are there still zero dollar bids? If so, seems like you could still pull it off, just need to be a little more picky, keep an eye on the weather a little more so you don’t add a rainout and look ahead a bit more.

  3. LennyDykstraIsJustMisunderstood says:
    (link)

    hope #52fills up still stuck at 4!

  4. Zachary Lowry says:
    (link)

    Thanks Matt. I used your suggestions for pitching in the RCL draft last night. Took Glasnow/Woodruff, then waited a while and grabbed Marquez/Heaney. My bats are loaded. This is my first try at roto, thanks for the tips.

    • MattTruss

      MattTruss says:
      (link)

      Sweet! Now be ready to stream your face off!

  5. FANTASY ICON says:
    (link)

    What’s up, Truss? I’m going to try my best to beat my 32 ranking from last year. Is the draft date/time set for our league? I noticed almost all the OG leagues have the same time. Btw, I’m talking about DFSers Anonymous.

    • MattTruss

      MattTruss says:
      (link)

      Yea, dates/times in the spreadsheet are just placeholders for the legacy leagues. Date and time are set in the league though.

      • FANTASY ICON says:
        (link)

        Got it. Is our league full? If so, where can I find our draft order?

        • MattTruss

          MattTruss says:
          (link)

          It is and you can, go to OTHER->League Rules Summary and scroll down to “Draft”, you’ll see the order there.

      • FANTASY ICON says:
        (link)

        And, depending on draft time. I might be interested in joining one more league. I’d prefer a money league. Let me know if you need someone. You can email me directly at [email protected]

  6. baby seal says:
    (link)

    We just became Twitter pals! Haha, thanks for the follow.

    Thank God for these RCL posts, this is some confusing shiz.

    I saw someone post their team with a bunch of RPs and thought they had too many. Now I can see where they had that idea…

    I’ve never played with an IP or GS limit. My home league is H2H w/ 4 acq per week. So that is a totally different beast haha.

    Just read Rudy’s posts too. So if I’m understanding correctly, and believe me this is intentionally a dumb question, you guys are constantly dropping and picking up guys at the end of your roster to hold for a day, or two, or series, or wtv?

    I guess it would be a good problem to have if you find someone you want to keep. Do you just end up dropping someone else then?

    I feel like this strategy easily leads itself to regretting a bunch of drops. But I can certainly see the appeal of trying to maximize the per game stats. Just a totally foreign concept to me at the moment.

    How quickly can you turn around and re-pickup a guy you just dropped?

    That’s probably good on questions for now. Thanks Truss!

    • MattTruss

      MattTruss says:
      (link)

      Ahh, didn’t realize you were baby seal! You are in my RazzSlam league! Cool, cool.

      Yea, I’ve definitely regretted some drops and sometimes I fall in love with a streaming pitcher and hold them for a bit. You gotta know when to hold ’em, when to fold ’em. If you think you can get better stats from streaming that spot, you gotta let them go. I usually draft with the intention of dropping my UTIL spot or final OF spot and a couple RPs.

      So, each player locks individually at their game time, so when you can add/drop is a tricky question. You can’t drop someone who has played and then add a player that is playing that day. but that player won’t go on waivers and you can pick them up again once all game times have started. If you hold a player through a lineup player and drop them, they will go onto 1 day waivers. Clear as mud?

      • baby seal says:
        (link)

        The infamous baby seal!

        Unfortunately, I am *no longer* in your RazzSlam league bc I was sick the day we had to sign up, and I missed it. :(

        Donkey is going to try and get me in a satellite, or next year he promised. Oh well. Was really looking forward to it!

        Makes some sense. So for picking someone up, how does the waiver priority work? Doesn’t seem like there is FAAB, right? Is it inverse of the standings?

        And assuming Day 1 waivers means that for each player who gets dropped, they must sit on waivers a full day?

        Thanks man!

        • MattTruss

          MattTruss says:
          (link)

          Oh, maybe someone with a similar name then.

          Waiver order starts out reverse draft order and then it’s just a rolling list from there. Yes, they will be on waivers until like 3AM the following day.

          • baby seal says:
            (link)

            Thanks, this has been helpful!

Comments are closed.