On Tuesday March 8th, I had the honor of taking part in the Tout Wars Mixed League Snake Draft for the second straight year. Last year, I finished in 2nd place after a brutal September (one spot above 3rd place Grey who will be taking part in Tout Wars NL-only this year!).

There’s no place to go except up, down, or finish in the same spot.

Before I break into the recap, here are two unique differences between this Tout Wars draft and the LABR mixed draft I recapped earlier this preseason:

  1. This is 5×5 OBP not standard 5×5 (w/ AVG). Otherwise it’s generally the same (NFBC roster format of C/C/1B/2B/SS/3B/OF/OF/OF/OF/OF/CI/MI/UTIL/9 P/6 bench)
  2. There was a requirement that we needed to draft a ‘starting 23’ before reserve rounds – e.g., you couldn’t wait until the last couple rounds to draft your 2nd catcher.

Here are the results of the 2016 Tout Wars Mixed League Draft. (If you hate reading, here’s a podcast with my pal Alan Harrison at The Fantasy Fix where I talk about Tout Wars and other things) I suggest opening it another tab while reading this post. Apologies it isn’t all pretty and color-coded but OnRoto.com doesn’t support that yet.

My team:

Pos Name Pick
C Robinson Chirinos 19.271
C Yadier Molina 21.301
1B Eric Hosmer 5.1
2B Howie Kendrick 15.211
SS Francisco Lindor 6.90
3B Maikel Franco 7.91
OF Mike Trout 1.1
OF Carlos Gonzalez 4.60
OF Delino Deshields Jr. 8.120
OF Dexter Fowler 11.151
OF Khris Davis 13.181
CI Adam Lind 16.240
MI Joe Panik 20.300
UT Carlos Beltran 22.330
SP Max Scherzer 2.30
SP Chris Sale 3.31
SP Wei-Yin Chen 12.180
SP Hisashi Iwakuma 14.210
SP Ian Kennedy 17.241
SP Alex Wood 18.270
SP Wade Miley 23.331
RP Brad Boxberger 9.121
RP Drew Storen 10.150
B Jumbo Diaz (RP) 24.360
B Anibal Sanchez (SP) 25.361
B Cristhian Adames (SS) 26.390
B Jonathon Niese (SP) 27.391
B Alex Colome (RP) 28.420
B Rymer Liriano (OF) 29.421

Draft Strategy Overview

  • Try to keep team balanced from a category perspective throughout draft (explained more below).
  • Avoid guys when possible with bad OBP.
  • Rely a little less on NFBC ADP for hitters since this is 5×5 OBP.
  • Since I’m drafting at the turn, consider any player whom you believe has a good shot at being drafted in the next 28 picks (versus worrying about drafting players whose ADP is close to my draft slot or earlier).

Early Round Notes

  • I had the #1 slot as the two competitors who got to pick their slot preferences ahead of me (last year’s winner Adam Ronis and Patrick Mayo) chose #3 and #2 respectively, leaving me the honor of choosing between what appears to be the consensus top 3 hitters of Trout, Harper, and Goldschmidt. Fine with me. I choose Trout. Never gave Goldy a thought. Really thought about Harper and the tie-breaker was my feeling that Trout is the safer bet to make it through the season healthy. Plus Trout plays the game the right way! (j/k)
  • I assumed I’d go hitter/SP or hitter/hitter for my 2nd and 3rd picks (30/31). I had a handful of hitters and SPs that could reasonably get back to me. But to just about everybody’s surprise, 27 of the next 28 picks after Trout were hitters (Kershaw at #7). Why was this so surprising? There has not been a 2016 NFBC draft where Scherzer went lower than #28 and there are 6 SPs in the top 29 of NFBC ADP (Kershaw, Scherzer, Arrieta, Sale, Bumgarner, Jose Fernandez). With the hitter pool decimated by all those hitter picks, it was an easy decision to take whom I consider the 2nd and 3rd best pitchers off the board in Scherzer and Sale – especially because I figured that probably half of the 28 picks until I picked again would be pitchers so I wasn’t going to lose out on many hitters (in face, 14 SPs were taken by my next pick).
  • With possibly 2 of the best 3 pitchers in tow, it was all about building on my Trout foundation. Carlos Gonzalez and Eric Hosmer were solid value picks. Francisco Lindor came at a surprising discount vs ADP (his OBP isn’t bad) and Maikel Franco was a slight reach in my opinion but he was not going to make it back to me, needed a power bat, and kept me from clogging an OF spot.

General Notes/Strategy
I am going to re-use my format from last year (and from this year’s LABR) as most readers preferred it to just a pick-by-pick analysis. (Is it illuminating or surprising in any way that I liked most of my picks?)  This format does mean I talk more about my competitors’ teams than most post-draft write-ups. I do my best to be respectful yet honest.

Hopefully, you’ll find some piece of strategy you can apply to your upcoming drafts. I have updated this to reflect changes in my philosophy since last year. Some of it incorporates learning. Some of it is driven by changes in the player pool.

You’ll see me note a lot of percentages about pick values. I calculate pick values based on my auction dollar projections. The #1 pick gets the $ value of the 1st ranked player, etc. Generally, the last pick in the 22nd round is worth a dollar (13 hitters + 9 pitchers * 15 teams) as I budget $0 for the 2nd catcher. The 23rd to 29th rounds are valued at or around $0.

In General My Team Observations on Other Teams
Upside vs Reliability Sprinkle upside picks throughout draft, veer towards reliability in early rounds. Lindor/Franco was my chance to go on the catwalk (look at that sexy turn!). I got both at their ‘mean’ projection value so feel good about them. Picking Deshields at the end of the 8th marked the beginning of my “Disregard ADP for the most part and just build your team” phase. My team was light on speed and, unlike other speedsters like Revere and Burns, Deshields has a good eye so his poor AVG turns into solid OBP.

Not really much upside on the team outside those three picks outside of a flier on Rymer Liriano.

Tim McLeod certainly loves upside. Correa (1), Polanco (4), McCullers (8), Piscotty (12), Rodon (13), Swihart (14), AJ Reed (16), Berrios (19). I like most of those guys but I wouldn’t draft that much uncertainty.
Bouncebacks I like them as long as health not a question mark, skills/age look positive, and properly discounted. No major bouncebacks. Maybe Yadier Molina? No team jumps out to me.
Category Balance vs Best Player Available In a weekly league with FAAB, I prefer to come out of drafts without glaring weaknesses. So I do monitor this during draft so, everything equal, I am taking the player who provides better balance. Very happy with my balance. I think SBs are my weakest area but I have enough right now in DeShields, Lindor, and Fowler that I should be able to stay near league average. A few observations….the NFBC duo (Greg A and Tom K) had really solid, pitching-heavy drafts and either knowingly or unknowingly punted OBP. Stacie Stern drafted the 1985 Cardinals (I have her last in HR, tops in SB – Revere and Burns!!!). Rick Wilton went the other way (high HR, low SB). Most everyone else seems pretty balanced or it’s too tough to say.
ADP vs “Get Your Guys!” I prefer to wait as long as possible for guys I like but adjust based on draft room dynamics. As mentioned in my general strategy, I couldn’t rely on ADP as much because it was 5×5 OBP. Deshields and Fowler were certain reaches vs NFBC ADP but they get big boosts with OBP. Boxberger/Storen were reaches – will talk about that under relievers. Wei-Yin Chen was maybe a 2 round reach but I think just about everyone has come around to the realization that NL/MIA >>>> AL/BAL. Perry Van Hook probably could’ve gotten a little more value for Dozier (4), Byung-ho Park (5), and Joc Pederson (7). Tim McLeod’s Polanco (4) and AJ Reed (16) stuck out – the latter I like a lot (took him 17th in LABR) but Tout’s ‘starting 23’ requirement meant he couldn’t pick his ‘April/May’ fill-in until reserves.
Anticipate Other Teams’ Picks When Prioritizing Get ahead of player runs to minimized getting sniped. Picking on the wheel means this is more about anticipating runs and taking a value hit (vs ADP) when necessary if you don’t think someone’s coming back (Franco, Chen).

I think drafting Sale at 3.1 over best available OF (Carlos Gomez, Ryan Braun) proved prescient as Carlos Gonzalez is much closer in total value than Sale vs Keuchel/F-Her (best SPs at 4.15/5.1).

I knew bypassing Giles at 6.15/7.1 meant I would be at the wrong end of a closer run. I might take him there if Lindor and Franco weren’t on the board.

Hard to judge other teams on this.
Hit/Pitch Mix I priced at 65/35 and 25.5/9.5  for SP/RP based on NFBC ADP analysis. This year’s splits were 66%/24.7%/ 9.3%. Pretty close to my estimate. The whole ’28 hitters in first 29′ REALLY didn’t change investment splits.  My team’s splits were 63.7/27.8/8.5, not too far from the average despite going SPs with #2/#3.

Rule of thumb if you want to avoid going too far to SPs: Don’t draft more than 4 pitchers in first 10 picks. I avoided going 60/40 by only taking two more pitchers in top 10 and down at 9/10.

The NFBC dogs were the pitchiest at 56.2% and 58.9% hit. Tim McLeod was 3rd at 61.7% hit (5 in first 10 – 3/5/6/8/10). Patrick Mayo was the highest at 73% on hitters. Stacie Stern (71%) and Tim McCullough (70.4%) were the next highest.


Closers My position on Closers seems to change a bit every year. Given how many unresolved closer situations there are, I wanted to secure a good RP1 and to not over-invest on RP2. Invest in end game on closer candidates. Closers went just a little quicker than in LABR. I like my two closers (Boxberger/Storen) and stayed on budget but, ideally, would have liked to have gotten more value (i.e., pick them later)

One plus on Boxberger was that I knew his handcuff (Colome) could be had as an end-game pick. That’s a downside to Storen as Osuna got taken about a round before I was ready to take him.

Teams went hard after relievers in reserves. I like Jumbo Diaz at RP3 given Hoover’s not very good and he’s good enough to slot in for weeks when I only like the matchups for 6 of my SPs.

A couple teams ended up with just one closer and a lottery ticket (Stern, Wilton, McCullough). Teams who went with a 2 closers + ‘well, that guy is closing for now’ were Eno (Allen/Perkins/Hernandez) and Perry Van Hook (Papelbon, Casilla, Hoover).
Middle Infielders Pay no premiums for ‘scarce’ positions. Stay patient. Adjust player choices based on offensive category balance. Lindor at 6.15 was a solid value and my team needed the speed. Howie Kendrick 15.211 is boring but functional and Joe Panik at 20.300 is a sweet, poor-man’s Pedroia. Spent less than 10% on my budget here. 12.7% was spent on 2B/SS after LABR spent 13.8%. 6.7% on 2B, 6.0% on SS vs my 7.4%/4.3% split. Makes it that more surprising that Lindor fell to me.
Catchers I like to punt Catchers. The demands of the position lead to greater injury risk and more volatile offensive numbers IMO. I spent only 2% of my pick value on catchers but got two decent catchers in Chirinos (19) and Molina (21). I only drafted my C2 that ‘early’ because I was forced to take a 2nd catcher by round 23. Moving up two rounds to nab C2 might’ve earned me about $6 in value. Similar to LABR, I paid about a $4 premium per catcher based on position-neutral value where the room average was $6.30 I valued Catchers at 3.4% of pick value while the ‘room’ spent 6.1%. As usual, a few catchers went off the board at premiums that I thought were too high (I have Posey, Realmuto, and Weiters going at $10+ premiums but, to be fair, that’s on my values).
Starting Pitchers Draft quality and quantity. Mix upside and consistency. Scherzer/Sale are a great (but expensive) SP1/SP2. To avoid spending too much pick value in starters, I waited until the 12th round to take my SP3. Chen, Iwakuma, Kennedy, Alex Wood, Wade Miley, Anibal Sanchez, and Jon Niese give me a solid group to mix/match with generally favorable home parks. I like my chances to do well in W/ERA/WHIP/K. Most teams got what they put into SP. I think Patrick Mayo did a good job given how cheap he went on SPs (Quintana is his ace!). Same for Ray Murphy.

Based on my values, this was probably the best expert snake draft I’ve ever had. Then again, this is the first 15-team snake draft I can recall that I got to draft 3 of my top 13 valued players. The admin on the Tout Wars blog posted projected standings based on Clay Davenport and BaseballHQ projections. I put little stock in projected standings but can’t say I minded these results. But just another reason why I prefer to look at total hit/pitch $ value versus projected standings, one of these projections had me at 7.5 for SB and the other had me for 2 points. While I don’t think my team is great for SBs, I think a team with Deshields, Lindor, and Fowler has MAYBE a floor of 2 points in SBs but my average expected outcome should be higher. I wouldn’t be surprised if the difference between 8th and 14th is minimal (oh, and my OBP pts vacillate from 5.0 to 14.0 points!)

I had theorized on podcasts/radio that maybe OBP leads to slightly more irrational drafting. I looked for signs in the draft results but nothing jumps out. I do see a greater investment in OBP than AVG (based on correlation of player category dollars to draft pick value) but that could be justified by the fact OBP projections are less volatile than AVG projections. Perhaps there is a little more inefficiency in drafting OBP vs AVG because it comes less natural for drafters (harder to mock/practice, harder to find benchmarks). I chalk up the peculiar ’28 hitters in first 29 picks’ as an anomaly.

  1. Zeus says:

    Great draft Rudy, I was following along and like your team quite a bit. I was in Tim’s chat room though egging him on to draft Piscotty.

    • Thanks. Piscotty is intriguing for sure.

      • Zeus says:

        @Rudy Gamble: I was also trying to get him to pick Panik as the MI. So many MI are OBP drains that it’s nice to pick up someone like Panik late.

        • Glad u weren’t successful with that lobbying!

  2. Carns says:

    I didn’t go over your commentary, I’ll do that later tonight, but I looked at the squad real quick and for Tout, I gotta say, I kinda love your team.

  3. TheTinDoor

    TheTinDoor says:

    Franco is my favorite buy. I think he could easily be a top-50 bat; barring injury, I can’t see him failing to earn top-100 value.

    I hear you on evolving view for closers. My current preferred plan (13-tm mixed keeper league with K/IP instead of Ks) involves keeping one ace (Thor $6), buying another for $25-30 (Inflation), and buying two top-12, high-K closers. The K/IP category obviously boosts relievers. With two aces and two stud closers, I’ll be happy spending $1-$5 for the rest of my starters

    • I like two aces for pitching this year. Think I have that on all my teams. After that, I am flexible. Got Allen and Giles in one league for RPs when the room faded. This one was kinda the opposite though I wanted to avoid pitchers for those prime RP rounds to solidify offense.

  4. Grey

    Grey says:

    I’d love to have this team in a 12 team mixed league

  5. mauledbypandas says:

    Wow, I was thinking this looked pretty good for a 12 teamer… until I realized it is a 15 teamer. Good job Rudy!

    • mauledbypandas says:

      @mauledbypandas: damn, Grey beat me to it while I was reading the article. :sad emoticon:

      • I don’t mind redundant compliments :)

  6. Duda Want to Build a Snowman? says:

    Based one of the latest Rotographs podcasts, the Fangraphs guys loved your team also + were very jealous in particular of the killer Trout – Scherz – Sale 1-2-3 combo.

    • Yeah I snaked Eno who was hoping Scherzer/Sale kept falling. Last year, Sporer and I seemed on same page in this draft (we both gave 1st round grades to Votto)

      • Duda Want to Build a Snowman? says:

        @Rudy Gamble: It’s funny, they’re the only non-Razzball ‘perts who ever seem to give good advice.

        Totally agree on the Votto ranking. In my OBP/OPS league auction draft (only 10 teams this year), I’m going all in on grabbing Rizzo and Votto so I can comfortably go for interesting low OBP guys like Khris Davis and Desmond/Semien later on. Amazingly, ESPN has Rizzo at only $24 (Goldy is almost twice that) and Votto at $21 (granted they rank based on avg.), both of whom are easy top 12 guys in this format. Springer + JUpton (who also get big bumps ), only $17!

        • I am friends with several hosts – i keep an open mind and some advice sticks, some doesn’t. Are you using my OBP values? Can’t speak for ESPN’s but agree with you on those values. Khris actually isn’t low OBP – decent walk rate!

          • Duda Want to Build a Snowman? says:

            @Rudy Gamble: Cool – absolutely.

            I’ve been using your Player Rater values for 5×5 OBP, tweaked slightly by Fangraph’s auction calculator (since it lets me put in both OBP and OPS as scoring categories, as well as the per-team roster size). Thanks to that, I’m all in on Rizz, Votto, Springer, Betts, and Upton + think Rendon and Grandal will be super cheap steals end of draft.

            Actually targeting Trout for the first time ($45 on ESPN; $64 per FG auction calculator based on my OBP + OPS, only 9 active bat slots and limited bench league format) and Harper ($40 on ESPN; $54 per FG auction calc) hoping that I can get them for under the PR values while others think I’m overpaying. If I can’t get Trout or Harper at your values, I’m planning to go with Upton and use the extra $$ elsewhere, maybe to cover the salary of an extra Carrasco/Thor type…

  7. knucks says:

    Was following this as it was happening and listening to the Sirius XM fantasy channel. The reactions from those guys after your picks was great. Part of the reason I love your site so much, it honestly felt like you sharked the sharks.

    Just finished with the fantasy fix podcast… there was no Chef interviews, but that was my only disappointment. Very well done, great team and good luck this year. Noticed that Hosmer pick says 5.1 and should prob be 5.61?

    Thanks again Rudy. Grey does share the daiq’s, no? I can’t find the ‘donate Rudy a beer’ icon anywhere… Rudy CANT FAIL!

    • Thanks. Good to hear Glenn and Rick were liking the team. No need to donate – just put that $ to the Razzball tool subscriptions (Razzball.com/subscriptions

      • knucks says:

        @Rudy Gamble: Am I the only person that feels like Ed Helms is giving me fantasy advice when I tune in to listen to Jeff E on SiriusXM? Def will be able to count me in on the tools, what a bargain.

        • I dunno. It’s gotta be better than listening to my voice.

  8. The Fridge says:

    I like the team as well here Rudy….but it looks like you broke the mold a little bit with your Scherzer-Sale combo. Have you traditionally be a wait-for-pitching drafter or did that change this year?

    Also, I’m trying to upgrade my OF #5 in my 5×5 OBP auction league. Currently roster Anthony Gose for some early season steals but Bradley, Herrera, Colabello, Byrd, Moss and Rasmus are all available. I also find Keon Broxton intriguing since he takes walks.

    Who would you take from that list?

    • Well i am pretty flexible in draft strategy – this post outlines it. Do not recall last time I took two SPs in first three and a SS in top 6. I think the hit/pitch mix and tracking categories helps keep me focused on larger goals.

      • The Fridge says:

        @Rudy Gamble: Thanks….Do you like Joe Panik over Schoop in OBP?

        • Unless u are really lacking in power

  9. The Great Knoche says:

    Loved the 2 pitchers at the turn and the thought process behind it. Always better to start a run than jump on the band wagon.

    • Thanks. Yeah, I think a number of experts would’ve done what I did there. Such good value.

  10. primetime says:

    Rudy, currently in a online draft, with my friends and since we spread out all over the country, we just go live and no time limit for the pick. However its a 10 team keeper league 5×5 OBP.
    I traded away my 2nd rd and 6th rd picks last year to get players for my playoff run. Finsihed 2nd as well. I am feeling my draft is not shaping out like i wanted it too. i am missing players by 1 pick, seriously been making me mad.

    any draft advise going forward? we are in teh 6th rd and i will prob miss out on upside pitching. so should fill needs or draft best player or grab some upside/younger players?

    1b – Rizzo
    2b – Dozier
    3b – Longoria
    of – Cesepdes
    of – upton justin
    of – ellsbury
    of – marte

    p – schezer
    p – hamels
    p – salazar
    p – iglesis

    • Don’t worry – plenty of value throughout draft. Don’t go on tilt. Don’t reach unless significant upside (and then judiciously). Solid bones on your team.

  11. Clint says:

    Does draft strategy change in a brand new dynasty league? I’m commish for a 14 team h2h points league one & I’m kinda nervous what to expect in terms of how to maximize value for this & successive years. A few guys sound like they’re going all in on the prospects from the get go. I presumed I’d have to have some sort of strategy for mixing the youngsters in once I get a certain amount of my starting lineup filled out so I’m having trouble mixing them into Grey’s rankings.

    • Do u have inflation? Honestly, I’d focus on year one and sprinkle some cheap prospect plays. Ignore pitcher prospects. Prospecting ain’t easy :)

      • Clint says:

        @Rudy Gamble:
        Not sure what you mean by inflation? I set up the rules close to the Razznasty dynasty league rules set up Mike posted a month or two back and didn’t see anything in there regarding that for keepers/prospects. We’re not doing dollar values for keepers or anything, just keeping the entire roster that includes 10 prospect spots as of now.

        • ok. inflation means you raise the price (or round) every year. so i would shy more towards prospects/upside for the 2nd half of the draft and – everything equal – draft younger players vs older (e.g., Rizzo over Miggy). Not sure what else to tell ya.

  12. Cohen says:

    Rudy, any reason you didnt think drafting Goldy first?

    • Because I think Trout and Harper equal or better in every category – particularly HR

  13. Zeus says:

    Next year only keeper Khris Davis or Duffy? Same price. Other offensive keepers are Trout and Franco so Duffy would be a CI

  14. Cabreras cab company says:

    Thats a good looking 15 teamer sir. You should be at or near the very top of the standings in October. One benefit to going sherzer sale is that you can certainly trade one of them for some very valuable return.

    I have a very quick question, I have the second pick in my upcoming keeper league draft. 12 team h2h ops and qs extra cats. One infield slot one util slot.

    My keepers: Bryant,prince,cano,tulo,Carlos Gonzalez,Joc Pederson, Grienke.

    Best playes avail: Adam Jones, Sano, Fraizer,Franco,Gomez,Hosmer,Odor, Cueto,Lester,Wainwright,Salazar,Ross.

    Keep in mind I went for it last year and traded away my 3 4 5 picks away so my first pick needs to be on point. WWRGD( what would Rudy Gamble due)

    • Thanks. You’ve got some decent balance on those keepers. I’d go Carlos Gomez as you can use a little speed and fingers crossed for Salazar coming back at your next pick.

      • Cabreras Cab Company says:

        @Rudy Gamble:

        Now i’m really at a loss, I did not expect you to say Gomez….

        I was burnt by Gomez last year, and I dk if I trust him… I’m not second guessing you or anything like that but can you further go into why you would take Gomez and not Sano or Franco or even Jones. Thank you Rudy.

        • Jones and Sano are close to equal values. Suggested Gomez because u are stronger in power than speed.

          • Cabreras cab company says:

            @Rudy Gamble:

            Thank you again sir. I appreciate the time!

  15. George Bell says:

    Great draft!

    Have the target 5×5 goals been posted for 2016? I can find the ones from last year but not this year.

      • George Bell says:

        @Rudy Gamble: Thanks for the quick response. Also wanted to let you know the article on positional scarcity was very well thought out and helpful.

        • You’re welcome and good to hear on position scarcity post!

  16. Mike says:

    Michael Saunders was finally drafted. Keuchel drafted at 66, no one respects what he has done the last two years. Yahoo has him at 51 that to me is high. I would draft Park about 100 spots lower. I do like your draft. I can see how most of us would of make a mistake by taken a closer with your sixth pick.

    • Thanks – maybe a closer would have worked out…but Lindor and Franco wouldn’t have made it back.

  17. Mike says:

    Yea I wish I would of had all my drafts already, Franco looks like he could go higher.

    • swaggerjackers says:

      @Mike: Yes, it is very frustrating to sit back and watch Franco’s ADP go up.

      At this point, I bet he rises 5 spots for each additional homerun he hits.

  18. swaggerjackers says:

    @Rudy: I like the team! Your 2 SPs at the turn is definitely going to get people talking.

    Speaking of pitchers, are you planning on doing a 2016 risky pitchers post this season?

    • Thanks! No risky pitcher post – just no guys that particularly jump out to me. I was 2 for 3 last year….I am still avoiding Tyson Ross (and Chris Archer) because of their super high slider usage but i can’t pretend it is anything more than my whim.

      • swaggerjackers says:

        @Rudy Gamble: Good to know on Tyson and Archer. I was also out on Ross but was considering Archer.

        JB seems to be down on Garrett Richards and Grey’s heart throbs like McCullers, Matz, and Iglesias. Are you down on any of those guys as well?

        • No issues on those 4 but have none on my teams – price too high

  19. Jose says:

    Rudy would you trade michael brantley and david peralta for andrew mccutchen?

    • Not with the latest news on Brantley. But I don’t hate the trade.

  20. MattTruss

    MattTruss says:

    Nice looking squad Rudy! Looking forward to keeping tabs on this league.

    Is it just me or have you ended up with Carlos Beltran on a lot of teams already? Is there something you see there or are you just falling into him late? I can keep him as a $10 keeper in my 12 team AL-Only 2C league, your rankings put him at a $14.4 value there, I just can’t bring myself to do it. Am I just being ageist?

    • Thanks. Beltran hits when he’s healthy and it is unlimited DL. But I am taking him at nice discounts. I would not keep him for $10 because u might be able to get him cheaper at auction.

      • MattTruss

        MattTruss says:

        Good point.

  21. Oranje says:

    My pick and I am torn. Current team: Odor, A. Russell, Desmond, Machado, Cain, Stanton, Harper, L. Martin, Heyward, Arrieta, Lester, and drafted Matz with my first pick. Keeper/contract league and my first pick was in RD 3 and one more now. Options I’m considering and their values: Hosmer $18, Kipnis $9, Polanco $24, J. Ross $4 or Ventura $7. Fielder $16. Who should I choose? Would put a contract on whoever I draft aside from Fielder. Thanks. (5×5 stats.

  22. Jose says:

    Rudy adam wainwright and starling castro for carlos gonzalez?

    • I would look at my $ values to determine.

      • Jose says:

        My team looks like this
        C fransico cervelli
        1 anthony rizzo
        2 Ian kinsler
        Ss starling castro
        3 david murphy
        OF AJ pollock, michael brantley, jason heyward, david peralta, curtis granderson
        Bench: melky cabrera, yadier molina, kang
        SP david price, madison bumgarner, michael wacha, adam wainwright, jeff samardija, luis severino, andrew cashner

        • Jose says:

          Does the trade make sense? Or is too much for carlos gonzalez?

          • It makes some sense but league format could make/break the value. I have $ values for many leagues. Just add the two guys vs CarGo and that’s my final answer.

            • Jose says:

              My league is not$ type is normal

              • i don’t know what that means but it looks like no matter what your league format, our $/projections would say make that trade. Steamer is bearish on Wainwright and Castro has little value.

              • Joey Jo Jo Jr Shabadoo says:

                @Jose: all leagues are applicable to his $ values, those don’t relate to keeper price, they are player evaulations.

  23. Mike says:

    Of the three top 3rd baseman who do you like and what order. Arenado, Donaldson or Machado.

  24. Mike says:

    I have the the 5th pick in a 14 team HtoH OPS league. Donaldson and Arnenado have the higher OPS but those steal from Machado look great.

  25. GleamTeam_Matt says:

    Hey Rudy,

    Great post as always. I posed this question to Grey and he deferred to you.

    Will the downloadable War Room spreadsheet be updated anytime between now and opening day?

    • you can refresh it in Excel with Data / Refresh All

  26. Adam says:

    Last keeper- cutch or abreu? Pairing w/trout and arenado. Shallow 10teamer. Keep forever.

  27. JoeG414 says:

    Hello Rudy , need help with my first pick . 13 Team 6×6 roto snake draft. Keep one hitter and one pitcher from last years draft round . I have the last pick (13th overall pick) , I’m keeping Harper as a first rounder. So , my next pick (pick 14 overall ) is the question. I would like to get either Betts or Abreu . But, if they are gone , then who is the best pick? : Encarnacion, Frazier , Dee Gordon , Chris Davis, Votto , Blackman , Bautista ? Thanks.

    • JoeG414 says:

      Miggy might be a choice as well.

    • hard to say without knowing the 6th category. If OBP, Votto. if OPS, Bautista or Chris Davis.

      • JoeG414 says:

        @Rudy Gamble:
        Its OPS, but was just looking for the best pick. I think I’m leaning towards Miggy (if there) or Bautista.

        • Miggy would be best. Bautista and Chris Davis about equal

  28. DancinHomer says:

    Afternoon Rudy –

    Last year, I won my 12-team H2H 6X6 (standard 5×5 + OPS & QS), so I have my choice of draft slots.

    I’m torn between basically 3 options (focusing on 1st 2 rounds):

    3rd slot – guarantee 1 of the “Big 3”

    8th slot – get 1 of Machado/ Arenado then best available

    10/11th – get Rizzo (underrated on Yahoo at ~12 overall) then target Bryant/ Correa (if lucky) or a top OF

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated

    • Take 1 or 2 and get Trout or Harper. That’s my two cents.

      • DancinHomer says:

        @Rudy Gamble:

        sounds good. I appreciate the advice

  29. Chuck Norris says:

    Rudy, your team looks great!

    Hey I had a question that may tie in to some of the analysis that you do. I am in several leagues with different min/max limitations on acquisitions, AB, IP etc. Have you done any research on strategies to exploit said limits with regard to types of players (RP over SP, etc.) or stat metrics (K/9 over IP, etc.)?

    For instance, one league has a minimum IP limit of 1000, but no maximum. It also has an acquisition limit of 100 for the year. In this type of league, would you think it makes sense to load up on SP so that I can tie up W and K with very little (hopefully) acquisitions, or shoot for 1 ace and heavy RP and try to barely hit the 1000 IP limit to try and eek out ERA, WHIP, SV??

    Obviously a balanced roster would be dependable, but I’m looking to exploit the league settings if it makes sense…

    • @Chuck Norris: I have a post tomorrow that talks a little bit about this. In that league, I’d stock up on SPs with favorable matchups 50+% of the time (e.g., very good pitchers + guys at good pitching parks). I think the heavy RP strategy is too risky.

  30. SheriffMcRawDawg says:

    that team is sweet Rudy. love the Molina pick, if only bc I have him as well somehow

    what do you think of this one? 12 team standard roto, (I can keep 8 keepers in the round drafted up to 4 years max, hence the Cobb pick). I’ve got 2 DL spots ready for he and Darvish.

    C- Grandal (15)
    C- Molina (23)
    1B- Chris Davis (K, 18)
    2B- Schoop (12)
    3B- Donaldson (1)
    SS- Tulowitzki (2)
    MI- Segura (8)
    CI- Belt (7)
    OF- Ryan Braun (3)
    OF- Nelson Cruz (K, 6)
    OF- Lorenzo Cain (K, 21)
    OF- Kevin Pillar (14)
    OF- Deshields (9)
    UTIL- Chris Carter (28)
    Bn- Ketel Marte (27)
    Bn- Gallo (K, 19)
    Bn- Josh Bell (24)
    Na- Lewis Brinson (30)

    SP- Keuchel (K, 10)
    SP- Hamels (K, 4)
    SP- Darvish (5)
    SP- Taijuan Walker (K, 17)
    RP- Familia (K, 25)
    RP- Storen (13)
    P- Andrew Miller (11)
    P- Aaron Nola (20)
    P- Velasquez (26)

    Bn- Berrios (16)
    Bn- Jason Grilli (29)
    Bn- Alex Cobb (22)
    Bn – Ian Kennedy (N/A slot pickup)

    pitching is weak, and I could maybe make a move for Joe Ross and/or Gausman from the Osuna owner, but it would cost Storen…

    • @SheriffMcRawDawg: thanks. yes, the pitching is weak for a 12 team. Power/Speed looks good but AVG looks weak. I’d add up the category $ in the 12-team player rater for your starters. >$30 hitters and >$17 pitchers and you’re above average, under and you’re below average.

      • SheriffMcRawDawg says:

        @Rudy Gamble: thanks man I’ll check that out.

        Also quick q on draft strategy in a 20 team h2h league – would you put even more of a premium on SP? Won’t know my pick until 15 mins prior, but a part of me wants to grab 2 aces… Thanks again

        • np. it’s not about aces, it’s about overall pitching. I could see aiming to invest a little more than usual in pitching but that could be done with an extra SP3.

          • SheriffMcRawDawg says:

            @Rudy Gamble: cool. should’ve mentioned lineups lock weekly, but drafting for SP depth and playing the matchups/2 start guys should work fine

  31. The Great Knoche says:

    Rudy, I didnt save the administrator contact for our scout 88 league, but could you possibly reach out and have them change Michael Taylor for Magic Marker in round 31. He accidently drafted the one who retired last year.

    • sent an e-mail last night.

  32. Jake Kimball says:

    Hi Rudy,

    I won my h2h auction league last year with rizzo leading my team in steals. It wasn’t by design but all of the combo power/speed guys were going for too high $, so ended up with a no speed crew of arenado, pujols, cargo, gattis, Adam jones, etc.

    I thought it worked well because I’d win r/hr/rbi every week, while never winning steals. Avg suffered with gattis and pujols.

    I had planned to intentionally do the same this year by adjusting your auction values to only include like 25% of the SB value. The SB value would more be a tie breaker between two otherwise similar players.

    Would you recommend doing this? Running through mocks, SB seem a much better value this year being able to get betts, marte, and Upton at really good value. So I’m a little torn.


    • i like discounting SB for H2H. Maybe change it from 25% to 50%?

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