On March 18th, Grey and I took part in the 14-team mixed-league Yahoo! Friends & Family league. I really like this one for two reasons:
- Daily roster moves let me leverage Streamonator and Hittertron – although it’s tougher than RCL because pickups must be made the day before (no starting lineup-based pickups) and there is a newly-instituted 125 add/drop rule (i made 180 or so last year)
- We get to play with our Friends at Yahoo (Behrens, Pianowski, Dalton, Funston) and Rotowire (Erickson, Liss) plus the polarizing and prolific tweeter Michael Salfino and some folks from Rotoworld. If you can successfully snag a closer or free agent from this group, it is a real accomplishment (my 2015 snags included Hector Rondon, Jake Petricka, Kennys Vargas, and Josh Harrison)
Some other wrinkles are:
- It is 4 OF / 2 UTIL vs 5 OF / 1 UTIL. This adds a little more value I suppose to DHs and bench bats. My plan is always 5 OF in this format but I am a little more hesitant for roster flexibility to draft a 6th.
- The SPs are SP/RP/7 P which is pretty much the same as 9 P.
- 3 Bench and 2 DL spots
- A 1400 IP cap which several leaguemates perceive as easily attainable and thus Ks should be treated as K/9 and, thus, aces are worth more (i.e., you can’t goose up K’s with more GS or middle reliever IP). There is some truth to that but 1200 starting pitcher IP in a 14-team league means that you need as much quality starts as you can get – whether that’s through aces and FAs/streams (my RCL preference) or overall depth.
Now on to my team…
|B||Dan Haren (SP)||25.339|
|B||Joel Peralta (RP)||22.306|
|B||Nick Franklin (2B)||24.334|
- This league drafts aces and RPs more aggressively than other expert leagues. The Hit/SP/RP split for this league was 65.4%/22.8%/11.8%. In comparison, my 15-team ToutWars draft was 66.5%/23.9%/9.6% and 15-team LABR was 67.3%/23.4%/9.3%. I think part of the reason why the overall SP investment was lower is that daily moves with no FAAB puts a lot less pressure on fielding a full staff. So mid to lower-tier pitchers are worth less. You would think that it would put less pressure on closers but it’s the opposite – no one wants to count on outsmarting all these sharks to find saves on the waiver wire.
- My split of 65/23/12 mirrored the room. Grey was at 63/25/12. Scott Pianowski hit one extreme with 76% on hitting and Chris Liss hit the other extreme with 56% on hitting.
- I got pick #3 which definitely beat last year’s pick #12. McCutchen fell to #3 (Stanton #2) which made for an easy first pick. Not surprisingly, the 2nd/3rd round SPs I was willing to take (Scherzer, Strasburg, and Felix Hernandez) were all gone by the 23rd pick (my #2 was 26th). I was targeting Ellsbury or Marte with my 2nd pick in the hopes of solidifying SB early so I did not necessarily have to use a Hamilton or Revere gambit. I was ecstatic to get both of these players and set up a great R/SB foundation when combined with McCutchen.
- Victor Martinez with my 4th pick is not how I would have drawn up the draft. But it brings up a good point about drafting when you have 1 minute to make your picks and an unpredictable group. You have to trust your rankings. V-Mart was the best hitter on my board, setting me up with a great R/SB/AVG foundation and a lot of leeway to invest in strong HR/RBI-centric players.
- Jon Lester and James Shields are a boring SP1/SP2 (especially compared to Grey’s Cole/Arrieta) but I think I got solid value with these two and the move to the NL will help their numbers. I would have taken Matt Harvey but Dalton Del Don snagged him before my 4th pick as his SP2 to pair with Strasburg. Remember when taking Harvey in the 7th round was bold?
- Mark Trumbo over Kris Bryant with my 7th pick was my biggest post-draft regret. Naive for me to think Bryant would make it back to the end of the 8th round. I liked Trumbo’s 1B/OF eligibility (though Bryant may get OF) and I hadn’t drafted him yet despite having him ranked above ADP. Oh well. Since I wanted another power play to balance my team out, I ended up taking Evan Gattis in the 9th round. I do not love that pick either but – like Trumbo – my $ rank him high and I wanted him on at least one team. I did not enjoy watching quality catchers last until the late rounds.
- I really like the value/potential in my SP3 (Gio Gonzalez) and SP5 (Drew Hutchison) picks. I am not thrilled about my SP4 Ryu’s balky shoulder and will be happy if I get 140-150 IP from him this year. Jake Peavy and Dan Haren are uninspiring SP6/SP7 plays that I made just because I thought they might make solid home start streams. If they are on my team by May, I’ll be surprised.
- Generally happy with my RPs. Like with Tout, I tried to wait as long as possible without having to rummage through the last 5 or so closers. Perkins with my 8th pick is okay (though his health bothers me). My McGee / Boxberger (15th) duo should give me a full season of saves and a solid MR play. Joel Peralta (22nd) was a shot at grabbing some April saves while Jansen is out. (Note: I picked up Kevin Jepsen with my first add as a hedge against Boxberger – can never be too safe!)
- Jose Ramirez makes it onto yet another of my teams. He comes with 2B/SS eligibility in Yahoo. I like him as a speed play and he could be a plus for Runs and AVG if he gets to hit out of the #2 spot. With 3 bench spots, no way I’m backing him up with Lindor at this point.
- Picked up some additional roster flexibility with Brett Lawrie (2B,3B) and Lonnie Chisenhall (1B,3B). It gives me a backup at every position except C and SS. I had hoped Nick Franklin (2B,SS) would provide even more flexiblity as a bench bat but his oblique injury led me to cut him as there will be no room on my DL with McGee and Ryu.
- FWIW, my pre-season values like my team best. It liked Dalton’s 2nd best. He just happened to grab both my preseason ‘cool’ picks in Matt Harvey (4th) and Kris Bryant (7th).