Last week we covered why you should join and RCL, so this week let’s start covering what to do once you’re in there.  To be honest, most all of this has been covered somewhere on the site over the years, most often by Rudy.  I covered this info last year, Big Odio has covered/ranted in the comments plenty about it as well.  If you haven’t been playing in RCLs though, I could see how some of this has been glossed over, so I’ll try to consolidate some info for the newbies.  Frequent players, feel free to skip ahead.

Should you take all my advice as gospel?  Nah, you do you, I’ll do me and we’ll both be happy.  All I can give you is a voice of experience.  I’ve played in these leagues for quite some time in some very tough leagues.  I’m not the best player around, but I can hold my own.  I’m here to help you do the same.  No one wants to be fighting for 11th place, so here we go!

The first and most important component in competing for a top spot in these leagues is TIME.  I alluded to this last week, but you should kiss your family members good bye now.  The time you can pour into this endeavor is mind numbing.  Fortunately, I don’t care for sleep much, so I’ve got that going for me.  Other things that you might find helpful include having no life, having no job, having no other responsibilities in life and having an addictive personality.  I kid, but only sort of.

You see, one of the easiest ways to move up the standings is to exploit the fact that there are no “Games Played” limits on your offensive roster and no “Innings Pitched” limits on your pitching staff.  The only limit in these leagues is “Games Started” for your pitchers.  Therefore, all your relief appearances are essentially free stats.  That’s free Ks and the potential free win.  Along these same lines, if your middle infidel isn’t playing today and there’s a rough equivalent out there in the FA pool that is in the lineup, you have to make that swap.  That swap means (hopefully) free counting stats.  I routinely rotate a middle infield slot or two as well as my UTIL spot and sometimes my final OF spot and CI spot.  Although those last two aren’t necessarily ideal.

You are allowed to make moves for the next day the instant the first game of the current day starts.  You can maybe see now why having no life is helpful.  If you can plan out your moves and snag them all up right after lineups have locked for the day, then you’re all set for the next day.  However, right before lineups lock you’ll have to check to make sure all your batty calls are actually in the lineup for the day.  It’s for this reason, if it’s a split schedule day that I like to pick up guys playing in the day games.  If you batty call has a night game and gets a cramp pregame, you are S.O.L. in regards to swapping him out.  In short, just clear your schedule for a half hour before and after lineup lock of each day in order to make sure you’re running a full lineup out there and get first dibs on the next day’s grabs.  Also, find a more reliable source for lineup info than ESPN.  Twitter is very helpful in this regard.  Shameless Plug Alert!  See my Razzball Guide to MLB Twitter for who to follow to help with this quick lineup news.

I’m going to break up streaming hitters and streaming pitchers into two different posts just because of the huge amount of information.  First, we’ll dig into things to look for and tools to use when streaming a hitter in the RCL format.  A lot of this information is striking similar to picking out a hitter in any DFS contest, which is probably why I enjoy the RCL format so much.  In no particular order here are the things I look for when snagging a batty call.

Lineup Position

Lineup position is a very important factor.  Once you’ve seen that a player is in the starting lineup, take note of where they are hitting.  A higher lineup position means more chances to provide you with those tasty counting stats you crave.  If you can find a batty call hitting in the first four lineup positions, that’s a rare treat and one you should pounce on.

Park Factor

Park factor is a pretty big deal when it comes to streaming hitters and the Coors factor can’t be ignored.  My catcher is routinely a “back-up Rockies catcher / visiting team at Coors catcher / any catcher in the starting lineup” franken-catcher.  I’m also a big fan of scouting out who will be visiting Coors and grabbing whatever power heavy sluggers I can a day or so before they arrive.

Platooney Tunes

If there doesn’t happen to be a game at Coors field on a given night, then the next best thing is to look to exploit a platoon split match-up.  Take careful notes and you’ll find players like Hyun Soo Kim that find themselves hitting 2nd during choice platoon match-ups that you can freely scoop up.  If you are smart enough to look ahead a little bit you might be able to catch a schedule break where one of these specialists is facing a run of pitchers to feast on.  You could also use Razzball’s awesome “Weekly Hitter Planner”.  That segues nicely into the next note on streaming hitters.

Tools

You are at a distinct disadvantage if you’re not making full use of Rudy’s toolbox.  Maybe I sound like a company shill here, but that’s fine.  I find the tools Rudy has put together to be best advancement in fantasy baseball since live scoring.  Sure, you could find all this information on your own and make the exact same calls, but there’s no way you could do it faster than simply pulling up the Hitter-Tron.  Time is valuable, especially when the clock is ticking closer and closer to lineup lock.  It’s so nice to simply pull up a page sorted by dollar value for that day’s slate of games and go to town.  In addition to the Hitter-Tron there’s the weekly planner I mentioned above and the “Team-o-nator”.  This is another great tool to use in the case of a tiebreaker or if you’re feeling like stacking a few hitters on a light schedule day.  The Team-o-nator shows which team is projected to score the most Runs.  Runs scored equal Runs and RBIs for your streamers, so the more, the merrier!

Razzball ‘Perts League

I would always spy on our resident ‘Perts to see what they were up to and you should too.  Grey is chronic with his moves while Rudy is more calculated, both are good to keep tabs on though.  This year Grey has upped the fun factor of the ‘Perts league even more and brought in Cram It, our resident RCL guru (overall winner two seasons ago, 2nd place last year) as well yours truly.  You should absolutely keep an eye on Cram, he works this format like a pro.  It took him a season (he ranked 505th his first year playing RCLs) but he learned, adapted and now he’s a fiend.  I would bookmark the ‘perts league page and check it once a day.  You can click the “Razzball ‘Perts League” title above for a handy link for your bookmarking pleasure.

DFS Tips

I mentioned earlier the similarities between the RCL format and Daily Fantasy Sports.  Here are a few quick things you can take from the DFS side that will help in your RCL streaming choices:

  • Read Razzball’s DFS Content – A shameless plug perhaps, being a DFS writer myself, but these writers are doing their homework.   Each night they are checking on cheap match-ups to write up and you may as well take advantage of their efforts.
  • Check the Weather – This includes rain, wind and humidity.  There’s not much worse than picking out the best batty call only to have the game washed out
  • BvP – Batter vs. Pitcher data is much debated and Rudy has even covered the topic in the past.  I’m not saying I use BvP to pick all my hitters in a day, but I certainly don’t ignore it.  Mostly it works as a tiebreaker between player choices.  ESPN leagues offer a nice view of BvP data when perusing the FA market as well.  That can come in handy when the seconds are ticking towards lineup lock and you don’t have time to spare pulling up the HitterTron.

Can you win an RCL without constantly streaming hitters?  Sure!  Do you put yourself in a much better position to do so by employing this strategy?  Absolutely!  The amount of streaming done will depend a lot on how good or bad your draft went.  In my opinion, this is one of the easiest formats in which to recover from a poor draft.  I’ll be going over some RCL draft tips in another post down the line.  For now, just know that a bad RCL draft isn’t the end of the world.  If you completely pooched it, you’ll just have to put in the extra work to stream half your team everyday and do your due diligence in sniffing out those good match-ups.  Of course, the less you enjoy being seen in public, the better for your RCL teams.

DRAFT TRENDS

We’ve got four leagues worth of draft data to peek at as Razzballers just couldn’t contain themselves and just had to draft in February.  You sirs (and 5 ladies) are sick puppies.  Nonetheless, being first to draft means first to be criticized, so we’ll dive into the numbers and see what’s going on in the early draft season.

THE FIRST PICK OF THE 2016 FANTASY BASEBALL DRAFT IS

Mike Trout, Mike Trout, Mike Trout and Mike Trout…well, that’s not very exciting is it?  Let’s take a look at number two instead.  A different player has been taken 2nd overall in each of the first four drafts.  They are in ADP order: Mookie Betts, Paul Goldschmidt, Jose Altuve and Nolan Arenado.  I’m all aboard the Mookie express myself, but I wouldn’t throw Goldy out of bed either.  If I had to take Altuve or Arenado at number 2, I’m taking Arenado, but to each their own.

WE DON’T NEED NO STINKIN’ NFBC ADP

We’ve got RCL ADP!  Here’s a list from our 4 league sample of some guys I’m lusting for this year and some general notes.  If there’s an ADP you’re curious about for my next update, fire away and I’ll add them to the chart next time out.  This time around I decided to look at some of the kids everyone is excited to draft.

PLAYER ADP HI LO DIFF
Trea Turner 9.75 5 12 7
Kyle Schwarber 59.75 29 72 43
David Dahl 65.25 50 83 33
Alex Bregman 80.25 76 84 8
Gary Sanchez 83.5 68 113 45
Andrew Benintendi 104.25 85 116 31
Jose Peraza 131.75 100 160 60
Max Kepler 150.25 107 205 98
Javier Baez 151 134 165 31
Byron Buxton 152.75 134 175 41
Dansby Swanson 179.5 141 215 74
Tim Anderson 197.75 163 236 73
Greg Bird 230 135 300 165
Aaron Judge 282.5 260 300 40

I’m excited as the next guy for Trea Turner, but wow, #5!

Outliers are always fun and I have to wonder if #29 for Schwarber is his high water mark for all RCL drafts.  Cubs fan?

I’m in love with David Dahl…OK…Coors Field, but still!  I want as much Dahl as I can get my hands on and an ADP of 65 is totally fair.

Alex Bregman is a guy I’m curious about for this year and it seems RCLers have pretty much nailed his draft position.

As much as I want Dahl, I want all the Benny Beastmode.  I’ve already expressed my love to Grey and I’ve got him even higher than the 85 he was drafted at here…yup.

Byron Buxton is another player I’m hoping to get a lot of exposure to.  I better be playing in 10 OF leagues this year because I have OF targets for days!

I’m a Braves fan and this one even has me puzzled.  Dansby Swanson is great, he’s going to be great.  I hope to see him locking down SS for the Braves for the next 15 seasons, but I’ll be the first to admit, he’s not terribly exciting for fantasy.  I’d much rather have Tim Anderson 20 spots later.

Finally, Greg Bird has the early distinction of the most bi-polar draft position.  Bird was taken 135 in one league and left completely undrafted in another.  Whoa.

I know I got a lot of great feedback on offering this last year, so for those of you that wish to dive deeper into the ADP data and/or prep for an upcoming draft, here is the link to all the RCL ADP data:

RCL ADP SHEET

I told you I was a numbers nerd.  Now you can take a look at any player you want as more and more data is collected.  I’ll be keeping that sheet up to date as I collect draft data, so bookmark it and check back often.  Speaking of RCL drafts!

TO JOIN A LEAGUE

Click the LINK in the ‘League Link’ column (see below grid) and enter the PASSWORD at ESPN. Emails are there for some leagues, but you shouldn’t need to email anyone.  You can join as many leagues as you like.

TO START A LEAGUE

Please create a league in ESPN based on the league rules reference above. Step by step: Hit Create. Then Create ESPN Custom (middle option), Name League, Change to 12 Teams, Restriction Type: None, Open to All Users, Access: change to Private, create Password, leave as Roto and Snake, Make Draft Date and Time, Create. From Default settings all you have to do is change to TWO DL SLOTS and 180 Starts by pitchers. So, you go to ROSTERS and Click “Edit Roster Settings.” There, change to 2 DL Slots and 180 Starts (the counter will change to 20.0 per slot). Then SUBMIT Roster Settings. Finally, Create Your League! (Important Note: Make sure league is viewable to public but requiring a password to avoid non-Razzballers joining.) When that’s finished, click here. You will be permissioned shortly so you can add your league info to the Google Doc (the below grid cannot be edited from this page). On that Google Doc, you will need to enter your name, league link, password and please UPDATE the number of openings as your league fills up. That’s it. Oh, and don’t use your bank account password. (Here’s a video Jay made to help some noobs.  Is noobs spelled with zeroes or oh’s?  Hmm, that might make me a noob at spelling noob.)  You can start as many leagues as you like.  If you start less than ten leagues, again someone could mock you.

 

 

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

 
  1. The great Knoche says:
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    Nice write up, few things

    Missing link to leagues I think. Or my iPhone doesn’t like webpage today.

    Also my IPhone does not like google docs. Did Ivan Nova get drafted in any of the leagues.

    Thanks Matt

    • MattTruss

      MattTruss says:
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      Nope, you’re right, the Google Doc never got plopped in, I’ll have ping Jay about that.

      Pffft, who doesn’t like Google Docs!?

      Ivan Nova – ADP – 263.25 | Hi – 225 | Lo – 295

      • MattTruss

        MattTruss says:
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        Thanks Jay! On the ball!

        • The great Knoche says:
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          @Jay: @MattTruss: Thanks guys, gotta fill that last league.

  2. Cram It says:
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    Hey look at that, first I became a ‘Perty Pert, and now I’m a guru? I feel so honored. Really looking forward to going toe-to-toe with all the ‘perts and gurus who have come before me.

    • MattTruss

      MattTruss says:
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      Haha, who knows what you might be tomorrow…a Maestro perhaps?

      • Grey

        Grey says:
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        Easy, guys, Tehol is also in the Perts league

        • MattTruss

          MattTruss says:
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          Hehe

        • Cram It says:
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          @Grey: I don’t know his deal except that you guys make fun of him, so I can’t comment. Perts, gurus and Centaur?

  3. MattH says:
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    Nice ADP sheet. I did this by hand one year because I’m allergic to Excel, and looking at this makes me feel silly. Nice work!

    • MattTruss

      MattTruss says:
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      Oof, can’t imagine doing that by hand. VinWins actually had an app that he used to make it even easier. I’m still old school enough to have to do a little copy/pasting, not too bad though. Comes in real handy around the end of March during RCL drafts though! Thanks!

  4. Grey

    Grey says:
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    Great job with the ADP sheet! Betts has been falling, huh?

    • MattTruss

      MattTruss says:
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      Thanks! He has, that 2nd pick has been all over the map so far. Jose Altuve has actually gone there twice. I’d love to say it was people jumping on your Goldy wagon, but I guess fantasy baseballers dig the little man so far. I’m happy to take Mookie at 3/4 if no one else wants him!

      • Grey

        Grey says:
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        Betts has concerned me as I’ve mentioned on the site… Don’t love how his power looks way below where it was last year, but at least 20 HRs and all the rest is hard to argue with anywhere in top 5… I think Altuve is great, but is gonna have people wishing they had a 1st round 1st baseman instead

        • Cram It says:
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          @Grey: Betts’ power right now looks down from last year? In what context, spring training?

          • Grey

            Grey says:
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            In context of last year… He led the league in Just Enoughs and doesn’t strike me as a 30-homer guy, more 20-homer

            • Cram It says:
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              @Grey: Agreed, but like you said in his blurb, 20/20 floor with potential for more is enticing. I wouldn’t take him at 2 or 3 though. Harkening back to my desire for a reliable 30/100 floor with a good chance for more.

              • Grey

                Grey says:
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                Yeah, hard call to make as early as three, but I’m still going Goldy at 2

                • Cram It says:
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                  @Grey: I’m not showing my hand.

                  • Grey

                    Grey says:
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                    Yeah, unlike me who has his rankings plastered all over the site

                    • Cram It says:
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                      @Grey: I figure peeps in the Perts league are gonna do their own thing.

                    • Grey

                      Grey says:
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                      Yeah, for the most part, but I do my thing which is broadcast loud and clear on the site

        • MattTruss

          MattTruss says:
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          Yea, I’ve read your thoughts. He’s still my #2 though. I can’t doubt anything about that kid. He’s only 24! I love him, he was my MVP pick last year after all.

          I think with Altuve at #2 you’re going to wish you had about 10-15 more HRs when you reach round 4. Just not my cup of tea that high.

          • Grey

            Grey says:
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            Yeah, agreed… I think Altuve was great last year where I got him at around 12th overall, but at 5th you’re not going to be able to get a top ten 1st baseman too… I pray for the person who drafts Altuve and Votto and only gets 35 homers from their first two picks

            • MattTruss

              MattTruss says:
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              Exactly! 10-12 is perfect for him. Sucks when you nail a guy one year and then have to let him go the next when his value just ain’t right. Shizz happens though. Time to hit on a new man…wait…errr…Speaking of, you see Giancarlo making eyes at you on photo day?

              • Grey

                Grey says:
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                Giancarlo always making eyes at me… So at pick 5 you don’t take Altuve? I think you have to, unfortch

                • MattTruss

                  MattTruss says:
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                  I’d take Arenado I think. Assuming 1-4 is Trout, Goldy, Betts, Bryant. But ya, at 6 if it’s Altuve or Rizzo…ugh. Turner will be this year’s Altuve at 11-13

                  • Grey

                    Grey says:
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                    Yeah, if you can get Turner there… Rizzo is calling my name at 6 too… Damn… Altuve or Harper?

                    • MattTruss

                      MattTruss says:
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                      Haha, I for real almost wrote I could see the argument for taking Harper over him. In the end Altuve’s “safer” there but I tend to play a little more risky.

                    • Grey

                      Grey says:
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                      Yeah, Harper’s gonna be tough to pass there but Altuve is so damn safe

                    • The Great Knoche says:
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                      @Grey: I’d want Harper.

                    • Grey

                      Grey says:
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                      Yeah, but Harper complains of sore shoulder on April 8th and you’ll wish you had Altuve’s steady production… I hear ya though, it’s tough to pass on Harper

                    • The Great Knoche says:
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                      @Grey: I’m more concerned Altuve gpes tbrough a growth spurt mid-season and
                      throws off his mechanics.

                    • Grey

                      Grey says:
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                      HA

  5. Tweak says:
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    Had a friend that needed a last minute filler in his redraft league. Using the War Room and the rankings here, I think I made out pretty well. I had the overall #6 pick.

    1. Nolan Arenado (Betts went at pick #10 overall!)
    2. Carlos Correa
    3. George Springer
    4. Rougned Odor
    5. Gregory Polanco
    6. David Dahl
    7. Carlos Martinez
    8. Cole Hamels
    9. Roberto Osuna
    10. Danny Salazar
    11. Carlos Santana
    12. Andrew Benintendi
    13. Kelvin Herrera
    14. Ryon Healy
    15. Carlos Rodon
    16. Jose Peraza
    17. Nomar Mazara
    18. Michael Pineda
    19. Blake Snell
    20. Matt Moore
    21. Junior Guerra
    22. Jorge Soler
    23. Tom Murphy

    Punted at 1B, but Santana is fine. Healy gets 1B qual at some point early in the season. It’s a Yahoo league, so Peraza is 2B/SS/OF. Back end of the rotation might need some help, but that’s what streamers are for. Pretty happy with the results.

    • MattTruss

      MattTruss says:
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      You had #6 and DIDN’T take Betts?! Still love the team though, nice work

      • Tweak says:
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        @MattTruss: I know, I know. He was the best player available and I took Arenado instead. I need me some comfort on the hot corner.

        It’s a silly fun league with friends of friends anyway.

        • MattTruss

          MattTruss says:
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          Word, can’t fault you for Arenado, I’m just in love with Mookie is all

  6. Tweak says:
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    That ADP sheet is pretty great, by the way. My old ass computer is going to have such a hard time keeping up with the War Room, several rankings pages, my own hitters/pitchers rankings and the constantly updating ADP google doc.

    Great work guys!

    • MattTruss

      MattTruss says:
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      Thanks Tweak, glad you like it!

  7. Ian says:
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    Ooooooh the fun of an early RCL is your picks get mentioned in the blog posts! A couple of these picks were mine. I picked 12th and got Turner there. #9 was auto picked Donaldson so I probably lucked out there. I was the reacher on Benintendi and somehow no one overreached on Kepler so I got him at 205. Finn draft and I love my team. Go Beers!

    • MattTruss

      MattTruss says:
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      I’d love that team as well! I’m certainly not hating on the Benintendi pick, I’ve got him ranked right in that wheel house. What a deal getting him and Kepler in that span, nice work!

  8. Big Odio says:
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    Preach your word of Truss and make all the naysayers perish in their foolishness. If you take a blade to Truss and draw blood that blood will be RCL strategy!

    • MattTruss

      MattTruss says:
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      Damn, feel like you just wrote me epitaph, haha. Badass, thanks for swinging by my man!

  9. ____ says:
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    RCL ADP…More Please.

    • MattTruss

      MattTruss says:
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      Haha, is the sheet not enough for you?

  10. TheTheory says:
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    Welp, I am in the league that drafted on Sunday. I made a bunch of rookie mistakes (despite being my 2nd year of RCL and at least 6 years of fantasy in general), so that was interesting. Challenging draft over all–we’ll see how it all goes, though.

    Incidentally, it looked to me like the Greg Bird pick @135 was the drafter having him in their queue to not forget about, but lost connection with the draft not long before their pick, so autodraft did as autodraft does.

    • MattTruss

      MattTruss says:
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      Gotchya, Autodraft will do that to ya

  11. Simply Fred

    simply fred says:
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    How does one search for a player on the ADP sheet?

    • MattTruss

      MattTruss says:
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      I, for one, just use Ctrl+F

      • Simply Fred

        simply fred says:
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        @MattTruss: Works! Thanks!!

  12. The Great Knoche says:
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    Had a guy miss his SP targets early on and ended up going all relievers in our draft tonight. Should be fun to watch the streaming.

    • MattTruss

      MattTruss says:
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      Nice, I approve of this strategy, though I still like at least one guy I can count on.

      • The Great Knoche says:
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        @MattTruss: Yeah. I usually end up with 2, maybe 3 after first few weeks and try and rotate from there. Don’t think it was his original plan, but we had an autodrafter who ended up with 12 starters.

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