I’m participating in one NL-only and one AL-only league this  year.  I already covered the AL-only draft – this post covers the NL-only one.

This 12 team NL expert league is hosted by our friends over at KFFL – named, of course, after the Kentucky Flag Football League that won $1 in an  antitrust suit with the NFL when the judge realized that a game in which Derby jockeys play with a football coated in the Colonel’s finger-licking grease is awesome.

Participants include a couple of KFFL folks including Nick Minnix whom I competed against last year in an NL-only league, RJ White of AOL Fanhouse whom I know fr0m Fantasy Razzball the past 2 years,  the Fantasy Baseball Sherpa who seems to be in every league I participate in, and representatives from MLB.com, USA Today, and RotoWire.

This 12 team NL-only draft – and league for that matter – isn’t nearly as difficult as my AL-only league.  Why?  Glad I asked.  Two reasons:

  1. The two extra teams in the NL means 16 more starting hitters, 10 SPs, 2 closers….so huge.
  2. This league has 1 catcher (vs. 2), no MI/CI and only 4 OF (vs. 5).  The smaller rosters means that the FA/waiver wire includes weak starting position players and some platooned players where my AL-only has absolute bupkus.

Another difference from a standard NL-draft is this was a snake draft vs. auction draft.  I would’ve preferred an auction but at least the snake draft format ensures I’ll get two top 20 players (I usually get outbid in auction leagues on these guys).

For full draft results, click here.

I drew the 5th pick in the draft and went in the draft with a preranked top 5 of Pujols, Hanley, Braun, Utley, and Lincecum.  I was really hoping one of those top 4 would make it my way as I NEVER end up with these guys but no dice.  I liked both Fielder and Howard but felt that the lack of a CI would mean I could get a solid 1B later in the draft (see LaRoche in the 7th round).

Given I only invested 3 of my first 6 picks on offense and only one of my first 4 picks has even 25+ HR power (Werth), you would think my offense would be below average.  But I think it’s deceptively strong.  The league seemed to overvalue AVG and I was able to get productive hitters throughout the draft like Dan Uggla (Round 5), Adam LaRoche (7), Garrett Jones (8), Cody Ross (10), and Polanco (11 – who’ll be my 3B once he gets eligibility).  With Reyes (a potential steal at #20), Werth, and a stashed-away Eric Young Jr., my SBs have above-average potential.  So the offense has its risks – some of which have already exploded in my face (friggin’ Dukes) – but I think it has 40-45 points (average is 32).

My team is built to be above-average in all 5 pitching categories.  Love Lincecum and thought I got fantastic value in landing Hamels with the 44th pick in an NL-draft.  After picking those two, I snagged 2 closers (Marmol and Dotel) that, assuming health and relative success, should be plenty since the average team only has 1 closer.  With a strong ERA/WHIP base, I then focused on SP depth to help with Wins and Ks.  I think Homer Bailey and Charlie Morton have nice K upside while Kyle Lohse and hodgepadre Clayton Richard can hopefully contribute some Wins and Ks with close to league-average ERA/WHIP.  I was also psyched to pick up Kris Medlen in the 17th round as his K rate is fantastic as a reliever (more than 1 an inning) and will be a solid starter if moved out of the ‘pen.  My goal is to get at least 45 points out of my staff and possible 50+ (averaging 3rd across all 5 categories).

I like my team’s chances.  You can’t win a league on draft day but you can lose one.  And I definitely didn’t do that…

  1. Grimlock says:

    Congrats, Rudy.

  2. Calogero says:

    Good luck on Bailey – I’ve given up on him, but I’ll keep him watch listed. To take his spot, whose numbers will look better at the end of September – Brad Penny or Aaron Harang?

  3. @Grimlock: Thx Grimlock (that’s for the upcoming wedding not this draft, right?)

    @Calogero: Yeah, I wrote this two weeks ago. Obviously not feeling as chipper about Homer Bailey and Charlie Morton right now. Benched Morton for the time being and Bailey is very close to a matchup starter for NL-only.

    Re: your question, Brad Penny. I’m not convinced Harang has anything in the tank.

  4. Definitely solid in only. Obviously Dukes is a wash, but as you said, I don’t think you lost on draft day. I like the values you found in the infield and with your top 2, your pitching has a shot to be really good.

    With such a deep league, I suppose all that’s left on waivers are prospects huh?

    Congrats Rudy. Don’t listen to what the cynics say, married life is a-ok.

  5. James says:

    Congrats on your marriage Rudy!

    Hope you boys had a blast @ Sin City

  6. James says:

    I meant soon to be marriage

  7. FYI: Ike Davis was called up and will be hitting 6th in The Mets order tonight.

  8. @3FingersBrown: Thanks. I was able to get Gomes on waivers after the first week for my 4th OF. Someone ahead of me on the waiver list grabbed Velez whom I would’ve thrown in there for a week for some SAGNOF (starting slow in SB with Reyes and Werth not running). At this point, the FA wire is pretty dry – i was able to snag Juan Gutierrez this week but he’s looking as bad as Qualls these days. and someone snagged Ike Davis on waivers this past week – I’ve got Gaby Sanchez on my bench so the last thing I need is another 1B…

  9. royce! says:

    Congrats, Rudy. On the upcoming nuptials as well as this NL-only team. I’ve seen worse all-MLB teams in a 16-team league!

  10. Steve says:

    @Rudy Gamble: Many congratulations. Take it from me, married life is nowehere near as bad as they make out. ;-)
    Tell me, does this leave Grey as the last man standing?
    Oh – and welcome to the scouring-the-box-scores-top-see-how-Gaby-Sanchez-did support group. Grey and I will be glad of the company.

  11. @royce!: Thanks. Yeah, it helps the comparisons when there are only 4 OF per team + no CI/MI. Hopefully at least some of those guys I took in the 2nd half of the draft pan out…

  12. Chomp Samba says:

    In light of your upcoming nuptials (mazel tov!) and the way Julio Borbon has been treating his owners, I find it very appropriate that one of today’s Razzball sponsors is KY lubricant.

  13. GopherDay says:

    @Rudy Gamble: Congrats on getting married!!

    Nice team, for an NL only league your team seems very strong. Out of curiosity, when was A-Gonz drafted in the league?

  14. nmdunkel says:

    Congrat, Rudy.

    Oh, and nice NL draft, too. Damn….I really like that roster.

  15. Mojo the Helper Monkey says:

    Rudy, what’s your take on the Mets? The offense has been anemic. I have Bay in one league and I’m wondering if I should sell now. Thoughts?

  16. Tom Emanski says:

    Conor Jackson on the 15 DL. Parra playing every day now. Is there a chance he’ll keep the job?

  17. drew says:

    rather have aramis or polanco as your 3b the rest of the way?

  18. manfromearth says:

    To anyone with an opinion: a guy in one of my leagues dropped the following players (my guys at that position in parentheses):
    1. Javier Vazquez (DeLaRosa, Beckett, Marcum, Lackey, Scherzer, Matusz, Romero)
    2. Chris Coghlan (C.Lee, N.Morgan, Granderson, Span, M.Bourn)
    3. Jose Reyes (Andrus, Ev.Cabrera)

    If you were me, how would you prioritize these guys for picking up off of waivers?

    In case you are wondering, he didn’t replace Vazquez, picking up Rick Ankiel instead; he got Uribe in place of Reyes; and Coghlan was let go for Andruw Jones.

  19. GopherDay says:

    1. Probably Romero
    2. None of them
    3. Everth, then see if you can trade Andrus

  20. Tom Emanski says:

    @manfromearth: Man, your league has some dumb owners. Vazquez isn’t worth picking up. Coghlan is good if you need AVG. And I would pick up Reyes in a hurry. Drop EverCab.

  21. royce! says:

    @manfromearth: I concur with the previous two comments. Prioritize Reyes.

  22. royce! says:

    @Rudy Gamble: But regardless of the 4 OF and no MI/CI, Rudy Can’t Fail!

    Now we get a rude and a reckless
    We been seen lookin’ cool an’ a speckless
    We been drinking brew for breakfast
    Rudie can’t fail oh, no, no

  23. DrEasy says:

    The Doug Fister is filthy again tonight.

  24. Miles says:

    AL: 14 teams, 9 starting offensive players per team
    NL: 16 teams, 8 starting offensive players per team

    That’s 126 for the AL and 128 for the NL, a difference of 2.

  25. @Steve: Thanks for the best wishes! Gaby is on my bench for now but I can already empathize with you…

    @Chomp Samba: Ha!

    @GopherDay: Adrian Gonzalez went Round 2 pick 7 (#19 overall) – one pick before Reyes. I forget now but I might’ve taken A-Gonz ahead of Reyes if I had the opportunity since I was pretty big on Alcides and Everth.

    @nmdunkel: Thanks!

    @Mojo the Helper Monkey: The Mets seem a bit cursed but I like Reyes, Wright, and Bay. It’s a solid core for 2010. If Beltran can at least come close to his pre-injury bat (forget the SBs for this year), I think they’ll all do solid in R/RBI this year with a few HRs less vs. 2008.

    @Tom Emanski: I think Parra is a 4th OF type. Conor Jackson will get the job back.

    @drew: Aramis. But they’re a lot closer than I had them ranked at the pre-season.

    @manfromearth: Dropped Jose Reyes and Javier Vazquez? That’s nuts. I like Vazquez better than Marcum and Romero. I’d drop Ev-Cab for Reyes.

    @royce!: Nice Clash reference. That’s my song if we ever start a podcast.

    @DrEasy: Doug Fister? He barely knew her!

  26. barker says:

    Tulo ryan sweeney valverde for pence peralta harden janssen

    20 team league he needs OF and SP help i would be getting tulo

  27. wakeNbake says:

    I currently have Reyes at SS and got offered Jeter for Matt Garza. My other SP are Scherzer,Price,Slowey,Romero,Matusz… should I make the move?

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