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This year’s team is unlike anything I’ve ever done, and I think it’s legal. I’m not saying that like when you were drunk in college trying to get laid. I didn’t play Montell Jordan and try to body-rock Scott Pianowski. Fantasy sports has never got anyone laid ever. Actually, something a lot of people don’t know:  If you say you play fantasy baseball, a genie comes and removes a notch from your belt. You lose conquests. This is true. Any hoo! I was in New York for the annual Tout Wars draft. It’s a 12-team NL-Only, two-catcher, 5×5 with OBP no AVG, $260 budget auction league with a $1000 FAAB in-season, and, boy, is this gonna look weird to you, if you know anything about A) How I draft. B) How to draft an NL-Only league. C) There’s no C. Anyway, here’s my 2024 NL-Only Tout Wars draft with thoughts:

C: Keibert Ruiz – $15
C: Christian Bethancourt – $3
1B: Matt Olson – $38
2B: Luis Arraez – $12
SS: Oneil Cruz – $25
3B: Tyler Black – $1
OF: Corbin Carroll – $38
OF: Bryan De La Cruz – $12
OF: LaMonte Wade Jr. – $8
OF: Garrett Mitchell – $3
Infielder: Orlando Arcia – $8
UTIL: Shohei Ohtani – $41
Swingman: Dylan Carlson – $1
Swingman: Edward Olivares – $1
Bench: Tyrone Taylor, Ji Hwan Bae, Emmanuel Rivera, Thomas Saggesse

P: Camilo Doval – $23
P: Adbert Alzolay – $13
P: A.J. Minter – $4
P: Seranthony Dominguez – $3
P: Giovanny Gallegos – $3
P: Justin Lawrence – $3
P: Ryan Brasier – $1
P: Adam Ottavino – $1
P: Taylor Rogers – $1

OKAY, LETS SEE YOUR WAR ROOM TOTALS—HOLD UP! THAT’S THE DUMBEST DRAFT I’VE EVER SEEN! DID YOU FALL OFF THE STUPID TREE AND HIT EVERY DUMB BRANCH ON THE WAY DOWN?

Fair enough, Mr. Al Caps.

FAIR ENOUGH?! FAIR ENOUGH IS YOUR DEFENSE?! OH MY GOD! WHAT ARE WE DOING HERE? I KNOW YOU DON’T LIKE STARTERS, BUT YOU LITERALLY PUNTED THEM?!

Okay, you may ask yourself, “What is that beautiful house?” You may ask yourself, “Where does that highway go to?” And you may ask yourself, “What on earth is Grey doing?” All fair questions; nice oversized suit, by the way.

So, I didn’t invent this strategy. How’s the saying go, good artists copy, great artists steal? I’m a great artist, baby! While I was at my LABR draft in Florida two weeks ago, I saw Doug Dennis of Baseball HQ, and someone mentioned he won the AL-Only Tout Wars league the last two years, so, through gritted teeth, I congratulated him, and he said, “You don’t know how I won, do you?” Arrogantly, I said something like, “I barely have time for my teams, I’m not keeping up with other teams or leagues I’m not in.” So, he then began to explain:

PLEASE LET THIS SHAGGY STORY GO SOMEWHERE. I AM BEGGING.

In the pandemic year, Mike Gianella of Baseball Prospectus decided to do an RPs-only strategy, and the powers that be at Tout Wars agreed that the IP limit should be lifted for a shortened season. Only problem is when we went back to 162-game seasons, no one changed the IP limit back. Now you might be thinking, “Okay you giant dope, but there’s not 60 games being played this year unless you’re an epidemiologist and know something I don’t know. You punted starters!” Right, so back to Doug Dennis. He explains to me in Florida how he’s done this strategy the last two years—actually three years now (this weekend too). Why would someone do this three years in a row? Here’s the twist to wrap your pretzel head around.

Again: He’s won the last two years!

He is punting starters and dominating saves and ratios on pitching. You can get 400 IP of around a 3.00 ERA and the best closest team has 3.50 ERA. You can get a 1.10 WHIP and 2nd place gets 1.20+.

FANTASTIC! YOU CAN WIN THREE CATEGORIES! YOU’RE GETTING ONES IN WINS AND STRIKEOUTS!

Strikeouts indeed. You are punting those. Wins might actually surprise you. How many wins does A.J. Minter get this year vs., say, A.J. Puk? Or pitchers not named Arange Juice. Either way, wins are fluky. You know what’s not fluky? May I present you my war room:

My hitting is going to dominate.

So, the two Swingman slots in this league can be used for pitchers or hitters. People will be using them for pitchers–I used to do it! You chase Ks and Wins with those slots. Every other team in this league will be chasing innings. The problem with chasing innings is it kills your ratios. While others are chasing wins and Ks, I can get even more hitting counting stats.

I might be a Ding Dong Merchant from Planet Rube, but I don’t think it’s going to be close in any hitting category. I’m going to lap people in runs and RBIs by 100+, and likely HRs and SBs will be similarly lopsided. This is how it was with Doug the last two years, when he walked away with the AL-Only version of this league. Here’s his team for this year:

YOU SOUND LIKE YOU WON ALREADY. DID YOU MESS ANYTHING UP? BECAUSE YOU ALWAYS MESS SOMETHING UP.

I should’ve spent even more on hitting. This was my first year doing this strategy, so I wasn’t sure exactly how things would play out. I could’ve acquired a real 3rd baseman and spent only $1 on each RP after my top two vs $3 and $4 and would’ve been fine. I had a $220/$40 split going in and got nervous mid-draft and spent a little more on RPs.

IF THIS WORKS, WON’T IT FEEL LIKE CHEATED?

Yes.

As I was saying to some people after the draft, I want to win and have them change the rule to stop people from doing this again or I want to lose and be proven wrong, because it really felt like a cheat code.

Barring stupid injuries, no one can compete with me in eight of ten categories. Then, throw in this wrinkle: When FAAB hits, I don’t need to bid on SPs. So, say Dylan Cease was traded this week vs. last (he was drafted, this is an example). He would’ve went for around $300 in FAAB. I would’ve bid zero. I will only bid on hitters and RPs. Oh, and no one bids on RPs unless they’re getting saves, so I have little-to-no competition for guys like Sexy Middle Reliever On Waivers.

In the draft, this strategy also had crazy implications too. Everyone was bidding on starters like there was 12 teams needing starters. Their values were incorrect. Someone mentioned they had Miles Mikolas for $6 on their sheet and got him for $2. Yeah, because I wasn’t bidding on any starters. People didn’t realize what I was doing until more than halfway and I’m
not sure you can adjust at that point.

MY HEAD HURTS AND…[RUBBING TEMPLES]…I NEED A NAP.

Remember, if I win, it was all me. If I lose, I blame Mike Gianella and Doug Dennis.

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Dustin Klavon
Dustin Klavon
25 days ago

tl;dr have done this accidentally on purpose myself for years, and can vouch for it

My first reaction: “wow, this is one of my drafts except at 11”. Been playing in an AL only & an NL only for almost a decade, and the last few years I’ve walked away with only 1 or 2 viable SPs more than once. You definitely own ERA and WHIP and Ws are variant enough you can get away with it as long as you get the right bullpen guys. I recommend fully committing to it – the years it didn’t work as well, I panicked and added innings at the end and wasted money hurting myself e.g. 2023 Cal Quantrill. I think it works better in keeper leagues (like mine) because there’s always someone who blew budget on pitching who is already playing for next year by June and you can trade with them. (My leagues do have IP minimums but again, it’s surprising how little actual starters you need to get there as long as you’re paying attention – and these are weekly lineup set leagues; obviously really depends on your settings.)

Always thought this sort of approach for the Onlys was a natural extension of your advice in the Top 100 and in the SP rankings you post every year, Grey. Not sure what I’ll do this year, I protected Luzardo in NL & Skubal in AL so not sure a full punt makes sense, but maybe only add 1 or 2 more true starters with good ratio profiles, pick up a few cheap standings points in Ks and Ws and lean on this approach the rest. I always seem real sharp on bullpens and pitchers because I’m always picking through those guys both in drafts and for pickups and am often a year+ ahead of a guy becoming a closer/becoming a starter and am already familiar with them/sometimes even able to protect them.

james
james
Reply to  Dustin Klavon
25 days ago

I did this a lot back in the day (15-20 years ago)- but would normally get a “stabilizing” SP. Basically a good ratio guy that was not going to get a ton of Ks or W. Basically Jordan Montgomery if he signed with a bad team.

In h2h i have shifted to running it in the playoffs a few times. So long as you get saves, whip and ERA, you are up 3-2 in pitching stats and just need a positive split with the hitters… but it is risky since your whole roster is only getting 15ip all week- so giving up 3 runs is 1.5 on your weekly ERA, so it is really risky (risk evens out over the full season)

When i have done it- i have never missed the money (most money leagues i have been in are 2/3 get money back, 1st gets the rest of the pot), but not won many leagues with it- a lot of 2nd and 3rd place finishes.

Green Monstahh
Green Monstahh
25 days ago

Hey Jam Master Grey! Die hard reader for at least 5-6 years , I enjoy your daily write ups & players to buy that usually comes out on Friday’s

Just drafted & wanted to see what you think H2h pts , 10 tm

C : JT Realmuto

1b: Christian Walker

2b: Ozzie Albies

3b: Gunnar Henderson (3b/SS)

SS: Xander boegartrs

IF: casas

OF: Acuna
OF: Julio Rodriquez
OF: Mike trout
OF: jarren Duran

DH: yordan Álvarez (OF/DH)

Bench:
– Elly de la Cruz (SS/3b)
– Jackson chourio
– cj abrams
– Rhys Hoskins
– Matt Chapman
– Charlie Blackmon (OF/DH)
– kris bryant (OF/DH)
– Brandon drury (2b/1b)
-Jake burger (3b/1b)

SP George Kirby
SP Dylan cease
SP Jose berrios
SP yu darvish
SP josiah gray
SP Bryan bello

RP AJ puk
RP Whitlock (RP/SP)
RP chase silseth (RP/SP)

Bench
-Triston McKenzie
– yusei kikuchi
– Seth lugo
– Kyle Gibson
– Hunter Harvey

I definitely feel im lacking at SP, but you never know who gets dropped

I did accidentally draft another C so I’ll be dropping him

Best available bats:
– Nolan Gorman (2b/DH)
– Trevor story
– Anthony rizzo
– starling marte
– Jose abreu
– encarncion – strand (1b/DH)

Available Pitchers
We gave IL slots so maybe add an injured arm as a stash
– mad max
– degrom

Thanks man!

john
john
25 days ago

Just finished my main draft (12tm keeper H2H, LF/CF/RF and OBP). Winner [me] keeps 7 from last year, everyone else keeps 6. How’d I do?

C: Keibert Ruiz
1B: Vlad Jr [K]
2B: Marcus Semien [K]
3B: Isaac Paredes
SS: Thairo Estrada
LF: Yordan Alvarez [K]
CF: Jackson Chourio [K]
RF: Ronald Acuna [K]
Util: Shohei Ohtani [K]
BN: Ke’Bryan Hayes

SP: Luis Castillo [K]
SP: Jesus Luzardo
SP: Seth Lugo
RP: Pete Fairbanks
RP: Craig Kimbrel
P: Alex Lange
P: Jose Leclerc
P: Yusei Kikuchi
BN: Kenta Maeda
BN: Michael Wacha
BN: Dane Dunning
BN: Reid Detmers

SteveNZ
25 days ago

Uh-oh. Matt McLain has a shoulder ouchy…

SteveNZ
Reply to  Grey
25 days ago

I’d feel better about it if he’d had a hit or two this Spring lol

Dr Sauce
Dr Sauce
25 days ago

Thoughts on this staff (12 team, 5×5, head to head, ESPN). Start 5 SP’s/3 RP’s. Is a 6 player keeper (no limits)
SP – skubal, Gilbert, Bibee, Ober, Eovaldi, Sonny Gray, Rodon (drafted very late)
RP’s – Hader, Kimbrel, Suarez, Hunter Harvey, Payamps
IL – Scherzer
Just to give you an idea of my bats: O’hoppe, CES, Betts (keeper), Burger, McClain, Acuna (keeper), Tucker (keeper), Tatis (keeper), Carroll (keeper), Chourio (keeper)

Given current staff, Stone, Crochet, Sanchez and Ranger Suarez are available? Are any of these upgrades on current staff? Or would you drop Harvey or Payamps to pick up any of them?
Thanks

ddye1723
25 days ago

would you trade Junior Caminero for Isaac Paredes, salaries are the same, can keep for 3 years? how long before Caminero becomes a thing and does he take time away from Paredes?

Cohen
Cohen
25 days ago

Grey, just finished my 12 team roto
Please tell me how it looks?
C-OHoppe
1B-Harper
2B-Hoerner
SS-Lindor
3B-Steer
MI-Seager
CI-Paredes
OF-JRod
OF-Walker
OF-Langford
OF-Morel
OF-Chourio
Util-Colt Keith
SP-Gausman
SP-Peralta
SP-Keller
SP-Ober
SP-Garrett
RP-Helsley
RP-Suarez
RP-Finnegan
RP-Erceg
RP-Kinley
BN-Frelick

SteveNZ
25 days ago

Can’t see too much downside with this approach tbh. Even if a reliever gets torched, there’s plenty of time for your ratios to equalise. And the benefits to be able to focus on hitting at the draft are obvious…

I used this in the ol’ H2H for a while a few years back. Always nice in the draft to be taking hitters for the first 9-10 rounds. I think I won the league once doing this and generally made it to the playoffs at worst. Though in H2H if one of your relievers gets clobbered it can cost you ERA and WHIP for the week in one stroke.

Which reminds me…

One year, I had such a thing befall me so I decided to try a starter to see if I could claw my ratios back. So I had a look at the wire and a fella by the name of Cliff Lee on the Indians had a promising-looking match-up. Worth a shot I asked? Sure, you said. So I start him and he throws a complete-game one-hitter or some shit. Job done on the ratios so I thanked him for his service and returned him to the wire. His response to being treated like some sort of disposable commodity?

Winning the Cy Young.

Dan
Dan
25 days ago

Hi Grey. I can take 2 of these sp : Yamamoto,fried,freddie peralta,eflin,bobby miller,gilbert . And who to take between yanier diaz or langford ?? Thanks and welcome back baseball !!

MediOAKer Matt
MediOAKer Matt
25 days ago

hey Grey – had my 1st draft of the year over the weekend which was a RCL. Not exactly easing in! My team is below, what do you think?

C – W Smith
1B – Casas
2B – Hoerner
3B – Arenado
SS – Seager
CI – Candelario
MI – Bichette
OF – Julio, J Walker, R Greene, Soler, Frelick
UT – N Velsasquez

SP – FreddyKBB, Bibee, H Greene, E Rodriguez, Pepiot, Civale, Gore
RP – Doval, Harvey, Adam, Ginkel

Chucky
Chucky
25 days ago

Crochet just got the nod as the Pale Hose’s OD SP v Det, surprisingly enough. Aside from W’s being hard to come by on the South Side, any other benefits you can think of that might be worth my while in 6×6 Holds 12 team H2H?

Bat Flip
Bat Flip
25 days ago

Which side – Stott or Langford straight up? Roto redraft.

Chin Music
Chin Music
25 days ago

1b streamer week 1? Biggio, Noda, Aranda? Thx Grey

SteveNZ
25 days ago

Where did my post go? It was nicely written and hilariously funny.

SteveNZ
Reply to  Grey
25 days ago

Stand by…

Hepcats13
Hepcats13
25 days ago

Greyt to read your stuff again!
Roto, 12 team, Yahoo 5×5 offered Olson and V. Grissom for Nolan Jones and Paredes
fair or should I say no thanks?

Thanks!

OaktownSteve
OaktownSteve
25 days ago

Watching Churrio trying to play his way back to AAA. Two errors on the day. Most recent one tried to throw a guy out at 3rd where he had no chance. Air mailed the cutoff. Throw was 10 feet up the line, led to a run.

I also think Wash may be leaning toward playing Moniak every day as opposed to platoon. giving him a lot of looks vs lefties. i don’t think Wash is a big platoon guy.

Joed1414
Joed1414
Reply to  OaktownSteve
25 days ago

Julio Rodriguez made the jump from AA. Wonder if Chourio can. Maybe he was just having fun with it. He is paid I’m sure he plays. I’ve been paying to see if he can. Can’t have Witt and Julio on your team but if JC can play like Julio I think it’s worth paying for.

SteveNZ
25 days ago

Not seeing much downside with this approach. Assuming your relivers behave – and even when they don’t, you’ve got the whole season for things to even themselves out.

I went relievers-only in the ol’ H2H for a few years – was nice to worry about nothing but hitters during the first 9-10 rounds! I think I won the league once doing it and generally made it to the playoffs. Problem was, in H2H one bad outing from one of your RPs could cost you ERA and WHIP for the week.

Which reminds me…

Many seasons back an early-week blowout from one of my relievers left me in an ERA/WHIP hole, so I thought I would try a starter to see if I could bring my ratios back into line. So I had a look at the wire and a fella named Cliff Lee has a pretty good-looking match-up. Should I give him a try? Why not, you said. So I did. And he threw a complete-game one-hitter or some shit. Job done on the ratios so I thanked him for his service and dropped him back to the wire. And how did Cliff Lee repay me for treating him like some sort of disposable commodity?

By winning the Cy Young.

Last edited 25 days ago by SteveNZ
LittleJerrySeinfeld
LittleJerrySeinfeld
25 days ago

Have you heard from Mish, is Jazz going to be in a platoon?

LittleJerrySeinfeld
LittleJerrySeinfeld
Reply to  Grey
25 days ago

Not that they would know anything more than someone else but Fangraphs currently projects him to be in a platoon for what it’s worth

OaktownSteve
OaktownSteve
25 days ago

Garrett Crochet not only made the White Sox rotation, he’s their OD starter. That is beautiful. I watched him against the Angels the other day and he was pumping gas.

Smitty
Reply to  OaktownSteve
25 days ago

Saw that, he was bringin it. Like him, his club not so much.

Corey
Corey
26 days ago

Can you rank these players available on the wire? Nestor Cortes, Mackenzie Gore, Gavin Stone, Kutter Crawford.

OaktownSteve
OaktownSteve
Reply to  Corey
25 days ago

I learned something crazy about Mac Gore this weekend. He’s kind of got the yips against left handers. He had almost a 6 bb/9 and a .478 slg against vs lefties. Watched his start over the weekend where he gave up 9 runs and k’d 10. He hit a lefty and he was kind of shaken up Tell you what, he looks like he’s wound really tight. Yelled at himself after pitches. Body language was red ass angry straight through.

pinkman
Reply to  OaktownSteve
25 days ago

Great recon, OTS! Thanks for the info

Corey
Corey
Reply to  OaktownSteve
25 days ago

Love scouting reports like these, thanks! Gore’s always been an interesting cat. A funny duck, if you will. Hope this is his post-post hype prospect year.

laser show
laser show
Reply to  Grey
25 days ago

I forgot Bryce Miller is out there too. Is he ahead of Kutter/Gore?

Corey
Corey
Reply to  Grey
25 days ago

Oh no, my finsta account revealed! My fazzball account?

Corey
Corey
Reply to  Grey
25 days ago

Oh it’s fine, but I would love to be able to edit my profile. Whenever I go to the top right of the page and click on my avatar or the Edit Profile link thereunder I hit a WordPress page, “Sorry, you are not allowed to access this page.” That’s true across both this classic account that I use for posting and the other one for my actual subscription. If I could change things like my name/avatar I’d just merge ’em.

herschel
herschel
26 days ago

@Grey: assuming Langford makes the opening day roster, where would you rank him today? how much are you buying into the ST hype?

herschel
herschel
Reply to  Grey
26 days ago

@Grey: thanks, i missed that. keeper, who do you like between langford and walker?

Acuña Machado Means No Worries
Acuña Machado Means No Worries
26 days ago

Ok! Just did my keeper draft this weekend. 5×5 w/ OBP, 6 keepers. Thoughts?
C- O’Hoppe
1b- Harper (K)
2b- Semien (K)
3b- Hayes
SS- Hoerner (K)
CI- C. Walker
MI- Estrada
OF- Acuna (K)
OF- Tucker (K)
OF- Teoscar
OF- Soler
U- Arraez
BN- Edman
BN- Keith
BN- Westburg
BN- E. Duran
BN- O’Neill

SP- Skubal (K)
SP- Peralta
SP- Luzardo
SP- Steele
RP- A. Diaz
RP- Scott
RP- Dany Jimenez
RP- Gott
BN- E. Rodriguez
BN- Lugo
IL- Scherzer

I already had some people inquiring about trades since I have 6 2b-eligibles and some folks barely have a MI. Anyone I should be more willing to let go than others if approached? Also closers went ridiculously early so I took the 2 OAK RP in rounds 21-22 just to have a third someone.

Acuña Machado Means No Worries
Acuña Machado Means No Worries
Reply to  Acuña Machado Means No Worries
26 days ago

I forgot- 10 team, 20 add limit for the season. (so no streaming, larger number of trades)

Acuña Machado Means No Worries
Acuña Machado Means No Worries
Reply to  Grey
26 days ago

Awesome- thanks!

Charlie
Charlie
26 days ago

Grey! Thank you so much for a great offseason!! All the hours I spent listening to you and BDon and reading all of your rankings helped a great deal in my drafts yesterday! Lol at least I think so.

My first draft, a 14 team redraft league, I felt like I kept getting sniped and was chasing 2nd and 3rd all night long. Do you see any weaknesses or areas I should address?

14 team:
C – O’Hoppe
1B – Casas
2B – Semien, McNeil
3B – Machado, Rengifo, Noelvi Marte
SS – Oneil Cruz, Vaughn Grissom
OF – Soto, Nolan Jones, Chourio, Langford, Friedl, McNeil
SP – Eflin, Steele, Keller, ERod, JoMo, Pepiot
RP – Will Smith, Payamps, Kopech

My second draft was a bit easier to navigate since it’s a keeper league and only a 10 team. However, everyone was hammering pitching so I think that’s my weakness since I was chasing that all night. Thoughts on this team and what I should address? Thank you!!

10 team:
C – O’Hoppe
1B – Olson
2B – McLain, Gleyber, Stott
3B – JRam, Paredes
SS – Treat Urner, Lawlar
OF – Acuna, Carroll, Tucker, Friedl, Langford, Nimmo, Kwan
SP – Strider, Bassitt, ERod, JoMo, Verlander, Kutter
RP – Devin Williams, Leclerc

Charlie
Charlie
Reply to  Grey
26 days ago

Thank you so much!

Yeah my relievers are a mess on both teams. I’m still adjusting to your philosophy this year of grabbing your closers before they dry up. I’ll just have to plug and play all season with both team’s closers.

The 14 team league is going to be fairly difficult to pry an ace away from someone but hopefully I’ll be able to find someone to trade with or find something off the wire.

The 10 team is ridiculous lol especially on offense. Everyone kept hammering SP so there was a sizeable gap between Strider and my next SP drafted. All the solid 2s were taken and I ended up just drafting the entire sideways bosom tier lol. Bunch of boobs. I have 3 of the 4 SP in that tier! I was really hoping to draft one of Eflin, Steele, Joe Ryan, Bibee or Mitch Keller but they all got taken really quickly.

Would you trade one of my bats for one of those pitchers? Or maybe splurge and try and trade for Kirby? The Kirby owner has Kirby and Keller and is reasonable to trade with. If you suggest trying to trade for Kirby or Keller, who would you give up? Maybe Stott for Keller? Not sure who to give up for Kirby.

Charlie
Charlie
Reply to  Grey
25 days ago

Thank you!

Philip
Philip
26 days ago

Grey, do you think Tyler Soderstrom can become Christian Encarnacion-Strand? Soderstrom is two years younger, in AAA, and their tools grade out similarly (Soderstrom supposedly has a better hit tool). Or has CES exceeded expectations by so much that scouting reports were flat out wrong? Thanks!

Philip
Philip
Reply to  Grey
26 days ago

OK. Are you buying Soderstrom in a Dynasty League?

Philip
Philip
Reply to  Grey
26 days ago

lol. thanks, homie!

Will (the other one)
Will (the other one)
26 days ago

Jhoan Duran to start the season on the IL with the dreaded oblique injury. The closer apocalypse is upon us already.

Will (the other one)
Will (the other one)
Reply to  Grey
25 days ago

Griffin Jax the grab there?

Will (the other one)
Will (the other one)
26 days ago

Please opine Sir Grey on this (woeful) team I drafted last Friday. Specifically if you could cite areas for improvement (starting pitching sucks, I realize that). Ten team standard Roto league with standard 5×5 categories only using saves+holds instead of just saves. 30 man rosters, 21 active at any time, 9 reserves.

C – Willson Contreras
1B – Bellinger
2B – Gleyber Torres
SS – E Tovar
3B – Arenado
IF – Royce Lewis
IF – Thairo Estrada
OF – Luis Robert, Jr
OF – James Outman
OF – Christopher Morel
OF – Sal Frelick
OF – L Gurriel
UT – Jackson Merrill
Bench – Josh Lowe (DL), K Bryant

SP – L Webb
SP – G Kirby
SP – Josiah Gray
SP – Jordan Montgomery
SP – Dane Dunning
SP – S Lugo
SP – J Taillon
SP – A Heaney
SP – M Stroman
SP – B Woo
RP – R Iglesias
RP – K Jansen
RP – E Phillips
RP – W Smith
RP – Bryan Abreu

It’s a daily transaction league so most managers roster 8 to 11 starting pitchers and rotate them through the 3 or 4 active slots on the days they are scheduled to pitch.

Will (the other one)
Will (the other one)
Reply to  Grey
25 days ago

Thanks. I had great pitching last season, finished 2nd overall in pitching while leading in ERA and WHIP, but my offense had been weaker the last few years so I focused on drafting hitters in the first half of the draft and was left with the dregs for starting pitchers later. I’ll need to be a wizard on the waiver wire again this season to improve that staff. Also, I really really really hope your projections for Frelick turn out to be true, you are way way higher on his projections than anyone else out there. Basically a poor man’s Josh Lowe at your projections.

Thanks for the opinion on the team.

Will (the other one)
Will (the other one)
Reply to  Grey
25 days ago

Took Frelick as a flyer in the 23rd round, lol. Then Josh Lowe went on the IL with the oblique injury the next day so I’m glad to have him on the roster.

kcc26
kcc26
26 days ago

Hey everyone!

I have a few hours to switch out my Eury Perez keeper before our draft (lucky the news dropped this weekend and not tomorrow!).

12 team H2H with OPS and k:bb ration added in.

Starting with:

C
1b: Harper
2b:
SS: Seager
3b:
INF:
OF: Tucker
OF: Chourio
OF:
OF:
Util:

SP: Wheeler

Best options to replace are prob Michael King, Encarnacion-Strand, or Nolan Gorman all around the same price. Who would you take as your 6th?

Thanks!

Mike
Mike
26 days ago

Ahh yes, its the 2nd best day of the fantasy season…when I ask for Grey’s opinions on my team post-draft (best day is draft day…I suppose the day the winnings get posted to my account would be better than that, but I wouldn’t know)

12 team league / 6×6 H2H with idiosyncratic categories I won’t bother detailing / 10 keepers (can keep forever, so hopefully you’ll excuse me being in on Elly this year since he’s a long term asset)

Instead of detailing my whole roster, really want to get your thoughts on a few specific areas.

DH/Bench – which of these guys has the best year at the end of 2024: Swanson, Hoskins, Frelick, Drury, Benson?

Rank the bottom of rotation (my top 3 are Yamamoto/Luzardo/Bibee) – Javier, Maeda, Sanchez, Harrison, Kikuchi, Detmers

Thanks and good luck to all Razzball commenters this year!

Norman Ginsberg
Norman Ginsberg
26 days ago

My first ever Auction draft, and it was a disaster (ran out of $ with 10 picks to go).

My challenge to you: Say something good about this team.

C Luis Campusano
C Alejandro Kirk
1B Triston Casas
2B Jose Altuve
3B Max Muncy
SS Francisco Lindor
CI Josh Naylor
MI Bryson Stott
OF Kris Bryant
OF Lourdes Gurriel Jr.
OF Johan Rojas
OF Juan Soto
OF Jordan Walker
Ujtil Jose Siri
Util Anthony Rizzo
Res Vaughn Grissom
Res Junior Caminero

SP Dylan Cease
SP Zac Gallen
SP Sonny Gray
SP Jesus Luzardo
SP Eduardo Rodriguez
RP Adbert Alzolay
RP Alexis Diaz
RP Evan Phillips
RP Jordan Romano
P Garrett Whitlock
Res Braxton Garrett
Res Kyle Harrison
Res Paul Skenes

Norman Ginsberg
Norman Ginsberg
Reply to  Grey
26 days ago

12 teams. 10 std categories.

Norman Ginsberg
Norman Ginsberg
Reply to  Grey
26 days ago

No. Just poorly prepared and (slightly) overpriced keepers. Didn’t realize how to read “remaining $” until too late. So I was forced for $1 (2 C; 2 of; and 1 util). As mentioned, my 1st Auction draft.

Last edited 26 days ago by Norman Ginsberg
frankgrimes
26 days ago

Did you take time to wonder what Ray Flowers fantasy genius thinks of this strategy?

OaktownSteve
OaktownSteve
Reply to  frankgrimes
25 days ago

You are a fantasy nerd of the highest order dropping a Ray Flowers.

frankgrimes
Reply to  OaktownSteve
25 days ago

haha ya Grey a little sensitive about that flowers feller…
I may or may not have caused a little mini feud few years back hahaha

and Welcome back to the FCL!

The Great Knoche
Reply to  frankgrimes
25 days ago

Shit Tacos for Oaktown. I miss that league sometimes. Emphasis on sometimes.

Lightblack
Lightblack
26 days ago

Greetings Grey! I drafted these treats yesterday in year 25 of our Yahoo 12 H2H 5×5 OBP SV+H(started off on Fanball first 3 years) league. 4 fellas have died over the years, but we get chugging along!

I think I did pretty good, only missed a few guys I really wanted, but think I pivoted alright. Would be delighted to see what say you. @ post draft mover thus far: Already had to pivot on news of Friedl injury….and dropped Wynn for Neto. We keep 3 every year….one from guy drafted 1-7rd prev. year….and 2 other from 8th and beyond/undrafted. Had pick 5 of re-draft

C. L.O’Hoppe
1st. C.Walker
2nd. A.Giminez
SS. B. Witt(keeper)
MI. C.J Abrams(Keeper)
3rd. I.Paredes
CI. N.Jones(Keeper)
OF. Y.Alvarez
OF. R.Arozarena
OF. R.Greene
OF. T. Friedl
UTL. B. Buxton
UTL. M.Melendez

NA. J.Merrill

BN. L.Gurriel Jr.
BN. Z. Neto(ww pickup)
BN. N. Schanuel
BN. W. Benson(ww pickup)

SP. Z.Eflin
SP. Bobby Miller
SP. M.King
SP. M.Keller
RP. E.Phillips
RP. B.Abreu
RP. Trever. Megill
P. R.Pepiot
P. J.Adam
P. T.Wells

BN. C.Sanchez
BN. G.Stone

Lightblack
Lightblack
Reply to  Lightblack
26 days ago

Now Buxton…big freaking surprise….once IL opens..will pickup Ty France. I drafted Buxton in 23rd round…so whatevs.

Lightblack
Lightblack
Reply to  Grey
26 days ago

Unfortunately yes…1 car accident, 2 from cancer, one heart attack. The core range is age 44-54….the newer ones who replaced over the years are 25-35.

Appreciate the feedback. Yeah I’m thinking when Merrill gets that OF elig. he will be my replacement. Also can shift Nolan Jones over to OF if France or Schaunel produce. Yeah I thought another veteran pitcher would had been ideal as well just too stabilize….had some targets for later like Bassit/Bieber/Berrios but got sniped. If if the kids hit, think team will be be championship material though. Guess we’ll see!

resortgolfer
resortgolfer
26 days ago

What do we really think for W. Langford this year? Someone paid $14 in our draft last night so with $5 increase each year not sure of his keeper ability next year unless he plays 150 games and excels. Guy may trade him to me for Skenes $4 and Bryce Miller $7 (he has Eury). Too much? I could use a 20/20 guy in the OF. 12 team 6×6 OBP with QS.

Yankee My Wanky!
Yankee My Wanky!
26 days ago

Hello Grey,
Happy 2024! Long time no speak. Glad to be back (I think).

So here is the result of our Yahoo 12 Team H2H League with OPS and Holds with 2 Keepers. Let me know what you think.

C Luis Capastrano
1B Cake Batter
2B Matt McClain
3B Steere
SS Little Bichette
UTIL Ke’Bryan
OF Acuna
OF J Walker
OF R. Greene
OF Lardass Gurriel
BN Sal Frelick

SP Gallen
SP J. Steele
SP C. Bassitt
SP M. Kelly
SP M. Keller
SP ERod
RP Helsley
RP LeClerc
RP R. Pressley
RP D. Robertson
BN S. Lugo
BN E Swanson
BN Stroman

Kinda happy with the team, but my OF has me a little worried (other than Acuna of course). I was also hoping to get either Joe Ryan or Tanner Bibee instead of reaching for Bassitt for my 2nd or 3rd SP, but oh well.

Thanks very much Grey.

Yankee My Wanky!
Yankee My Wanky!
Reply to  Grey
26 days ago

There’s a very good reason if it looks like guys you would take – HA! And that is a total compliment.

Thanks as always Grey for everything you do with these Rankings. I do so little to get ready for drafts, but one thing I always do is look over your rankings. They are excellent!

And we have another Auction League Draft tonight, so this all gets me ready to blow mu budget in that one – HA!

Goose!
Goose!
26 days ago

Hey Grey, great write up! Very interesting strategy.

Would love to see your thoughts on my draft. This is my draft in a keeper head to head league with categories R, 2B, HR, RBI, NSB, OBP, SLG and QS, K, HR allowed, ERA, WHIP, SVH, K/BB:

C: Willson Contreras (25)
1B: Pete Alonso (2, K)
2B: Marcus Semien (3, K)
SS: Trea Turner (1, K)
3B: Josh Naylor (7)
IF: Royce Lewis (22, K)
OF: Adolis Garcia (5, K)
OF: Riley Greene (8)
OF: Jarren Duran (11)
UT: Thairo Estrada (13)
UT: Lourdes Gurriel Jr. (18)

SP: Luis Castillo (6, K)
SP: Mitch Keller (9)
SP: Chris Bassitt (14)
SP: Charlie Morton (19)
RP: Edwin Diaz (4)
RP: Ryan Helsley (12)
P: Adbert Alzolay (17)
P: Nathan Eovaldi (21)
P: Joel Payamps (26)
Bench:
Braxton Garrett (10)
Noelvi Marte (16, K)
Jordan Lawlar (15)
Jackson Merrill (20)
Chase DeLauter (23)
Jonathan India (24)

Goose!
Goose!
Reply to  Grey
26 days ago

Oh 12

Perfect Game
Perfect Game
26 days ago

I know it’s just spring, but McLain 0-13 with 7 K’s and Adolis .095 average with 10 K’s in 21 AB’s. Do you have any observations or thoughts?

Perfect Game
Perfect Game
Reply to  Grey
26 days ago

Would you take Wyatt Langford this year over McLain in a 6×6 roto redraft? We use AVG and OBP. Small and shallow league. I already have Gleyber, McLain, Stott, Morel that can play 2B.

Kenneth
Kenneth
26 days ago

I can vouch for this strategy here. I accidentally spent all my money in the first 2 nominations last year and spent it on hitting. I was completely priced out of starting pitching, so I drafted 5 closers. I ended up winning and it wasnt particularly close.

One word of warning here on the no starter strategy – It is not fun trying to hit your innings limit for the week by streaming from the wire…

FMFU
FMFU
26 days ago

Watched the MTM draft recap this morning and wow, it must have been nice to have Witt Jr. fall to your lap at the 3 spot !

I was in a draft last night were the same happened to me, such a fortuitous bounce.

Hope Miller and Imanaga kill it !

Phil
Phil
26 days ago

Hey Grey, what are your thoughts on the team below I drafted? 12-team 5×5 roto league:

C: Logan O’Hoppe
1B: Triston Casas
2B: Gleyber Torres
3B: Austin Riley
SS: Bo Bichette
OF: Kyle Tucker
OF: Seiya Suzuki
OF: Jordan Walker
UTIL: Jackson Chourio
UTIL: Jarren Duran
SP: Tarik Skubal, Joe Ryan, Mitch Keller, Bryan Woo, Kutter Crawford, Braxton Garrett
RP: Alexis Diaz, Pete Fairbanks, Mason Miller, Ryan Pressly, Bryan Abreu, Jason Adam, AJ Minter

Phil
Phil
Reply to  Grey
26 days ago

I learned from the best, bro…the Say Hey Grey Albright!

packers2018
packers2018
26 days ago

With TJ Friedl breaking his wrist how much does that effect J. Fraley and W. Benson?
Just thinking someone gets his at bats on the Reds.

Roster resource has N. Velasquez starting in AAA….thoughts?

What about G. Mitchell leading off for the Brewers, any interest?

packers2018
packers2018
Reply to  packers2018
26 days ago

I had to reboot my computer so this might be a double post. Sorrry.

terrible ted
terrible ted
26 days ago

It has a nickname, it’s called The Marmol Strategy and it’s been around for quite a while. Bobby at FantasyPros wrote an article in 2017 about it and claimed to be the creator.

terrible ted
terrible ted
Reply to  Grey
26 days ago

One for the Fantasy Baseball History buffs!

William Hung
26 days ago

Does anyone know of a source to find a list of platoon guys? I’m trying to find all the “Austin Slater” types

Duda Want to Build a Snowman?
Duda Want to Build a Snowman?
26 days ago

Apologies in advance for the super specific draft / keeper strategy q…

With Josh Lowe news, we had talked about keeping a $9 Morel over him and my other options (unless they say before keeper lock that Lowe will only miss a week or two or something).

Now in my other league (same size and auction budget) Morel went for only $3, Thairo (who I could keep for $8) went for $4, and Sonny (who I can keep for $4) went for $14. So now I’m rethinking this to lean towards keeping Sonny at $4 and just using that $10 savings to redraft Morel/Thairo, who if this draft is anything like my last draft, have a good shot at being cheaper to draft than their keeper costs.

Crazy or makes sense under the circumstances?

Thanks!

mcstarrs
26 days ago

Someone just dropped CJ Abrams in a 12 team 5×5 standard league. How much of a $100 FAAB budget would you spend to get CJ?

Jolt In Flow
Jolt In Flow
26 days ago

News broke on a few outlets that Ohtani may play in the field. So your current team might gain some once he reaches his positional thresshold.

When it rains it pours.

Jolt

Smell The Glove
Smell The Glove
26 days ago

7×7 keeper league with the extra categories TB and OPS. We keep 5 players and can keep a player for 5 years max. You have to pick a franchise hitter and franchise pitcher who you keep at the back of the draft (typically players with unfavorable keeper values).

Julio Rodriguez (7th round) – 3 Years
Adolis Garcia (2nd round) – 4 years
Elly De La Cruz (23rd round) – 4 years
Spencer Strider (Franchise Pitcher) – 3 years
Ozzie Albies (1st round) – 4 years
Spencer Steer (23rd round) – 4 years
Michael Harris (22nd round) – 3 years

Strider will be my franchise pitcher. Obviously keeping Julio too. I know you are not high on Elly, but him costing me only a 23rd rounder and having 4 years of eligibility, it is hard to see not keeping him. What would you do with my other 2 slots? Who would you franchise between Albies and Adolis? If I designate Albies as my franchise hitter, I could keep Adolis with my 2nd rounder (or pick Harris or Steer). If I designate Adolis as my franchise hitter I could then also keep Harris or Steer but it would mean throwing Albies back.

Taking Julio and Strider as givens, which configuration would you go with for the remaining 3 keepers?

terrible ted
terrible ted
26 days ago

This strategy has a nickname and you love nicknames! It’s called The Marmol Strategy. It has been around a long time and I first read about it from Bobby at FantasyPros who claimed to develop it.

Justin Ralph
Justin Ralph
26 days ago

Grey, I’ve been tempted to do this each year in a 10 H2H with a 7 IP a week rule. You win saves, WHIP and ERA most weeks and are loaded in hitting.

My question is, does Razzball have a points league cheat sheet somewhere? I can’t find it.

jbona3
jbona3
Reply to  Justin Ralph
26 days ago

FWIW I’ve been doing this in my weekly H2H keeper league for the past 4 years and have won twice and came in 2nd once for the exact reasons above and in your comment. I’ve found in H2H punting a category has very little downside if it means you win 6-8 other categories every week. Also, if you target high K/9 closers and middle relievers, you can have a fighting chance in Ks and Ws some weeks b/c of how unpredictable SP has become.

Last edited 26 days ago by jbona3
Justin Ralph
Justin Ralph
Reply to  Grey
25 days ago

I only see daily and weekly points league rankings. Are there season rankings somewhere?

jvanslyke
jvanslyke
26 days ago

Good luck though there is something magical about having that starter carrot next to your pitchers name in yahoo that i would miss if using this strategy.

I posted a team Friday and you rightfully alerted me to it having a power issue. I turned Jordan westburg into Issac Paredes over the weekend. Is this any better or am I in for a long summer?

C – Ohoope
1b – Alonso
2b – McLain
SS – Abrams
3B – Riley
OF – Arozerana
OF – Carroll
OF – Chourio
UTIL – Paredes
Bench – Greene

jvanslyke
jvanslyke
Reply to  jvanslyke
26 days ago

Sorry – 10 team, mixed roto

melkman
melkman
26 days ago

yeah this strategy is frisky. how do you think its effectiveness changes in a mixed keeper league?

melkman
melkman
Reply to  melkman
26 days ago

*14 team

GREGORY BALABUSHKA
GREGORY BALABUSHKA
26 days ago

the brilliance of your outside the box thinking is only outdone by your overall brilliance. Not sure if this could work in a snake draft and where you play the other teams week to week and finals based on weekly wins, but the theory is solid. thanks. also just finished Shandlers new book and 75% finished with the book “Fantasyland” by Sam Walton – you were born too late – you shoulda been one of the original innovators of the game While I am at it – draft tuesday everyone has kept 2 (Devers and Lindor for me) I have pick 3 ….Tatis will be gone i am sure – then A Riley – P Alonso or Adolis available …guessing my choice will be Riley or Adolis – liking adolis??

y2baier
y2baier
26 days ago

what do you think about grabbing Gerrit Cole super late in a snake using this strategy?

Last edited 26 days ago by y2baier
packers2018
packers2018
26 days ago

Per roster resources……

Garrett Mitchell leading off but on the strong side of a platoon.

N. Velesquez not making the team but in AAA. Not official yet, but just roster resource.

Any change in value for either especially Mitchell?

With the Friedl news any added value for Benson or Fraley?

Thank you

Earl
Earl
26 days ago

Hey Grey, what do you think of this one from 10 team roto draft (currently in progress):
2 cat – Cal Raleigh, 1tbd
1B – Casas
2B – Semien
3B – Gunnar Henderson
SS – Oneill Cruz
CI – Cristian Strand-Encarncion
MI – Issac Parades
OF – Kyle Tucker, Evan Carter, Wyatt Langford, James Outman, Jarred Duran
Util – Ohtani

sp – Logan Gilbert, Jesus Luzardo, Joe Ryan, Eduardo Rodriguez, Shota Imanaga
rp – Edwin Diaz, Ryan Helsley

This is thru round 20 with 8 rounds to go (perhaps thinking 4 hitters and 4 pitchers with remaining picks).

Here is what I am perhaps thinking for last 8 picks, just have to decide who and where:

1 cat – probably Keibert Ruiz and Elias Diaz best left at this point
1 or 2 MI (SS for sure) – perhaps Carlos Correa, J. Polanco, Tovar, Colt Keith, Zach Neto, Westburg, Eduardo Julien, Jeremy Pena?
1 OF – Kiriloff, Tyler O’Neill, Kerry Carpenter, Nelson Velazquez, Cowser?
1 CI – Rizzo, Candlerio, Torkelson, Vinne P, Mountcastle

2 sp – Kyle Harrison, Kutter Crawford, Mackenzie Gore, Triston MacKenzie, Pivetta, Braxton Garrett?, Wacha
2 rp – Alex Lange, Jose Leclerc, Kyle Finnegan, Carlos Estevez, Y. Matuzi, Mason Miller?

Guess just checking if you think I am on right track also with above players or does it matter that much since at least 5 of them will make up my bench.

with upcoming 21/22 round picks, which would you say from above list I should really jump at the most or again does it really matter at this point??

Thanks man for spending the time dealing with all of us! Appreciate it

Earl
Earl
Reply to  Grey
26 days ago

What do you think of Braxton since he seems pretty close to return??

Guess either of Ruiz or Diaz are ok for 2nd catcher?

for hitters, think your rankings might have it as follows:
Johnathan India, Colt Keith, Jeremy Pena, Tork, O’Neill, Correa, Vinny P

which of the 2 or 3 closers that I listed above do u like the best??

Thanks again

SpecialFNK
SpecialFNK
26 days ago

16 team keeper league, yahoo, roto, 5×5.. keep 5.
these are the 5 I’m thinking.
Juan Soto
Michael Harris
Josh Jung
Matt McLain
Paul Goldschmidt

is it worth replacing anyone there with Christian Encarnacion-Strand or Zack Gelof?

Michael b
Michael b
26 days ago

Hi grey, I have an abundance of outfielders in my espn roto 10-team h2h catagories league, in a vacuum who gets the start in your opinion?

1. I have three outfield spots:
Mike trout, Randy Arozarena, jazz Chisholm, Evan Carter, Wyatt Langford. Which 3 are you starting if healthy/called up

2. And then I have a utility spot, which could be occupied by either of the two you didn’t pick, royce Lewis, or Anthony Volpe (who supposedly fixed his swing and reflected it in his spring stats)

Obviously matchups matter immensely, but on a day to day basis I’m not sure who gets the start, given I have 5 outfielders and only 3 bench spots

VinWins
VinWins
26 days ago

There is an opening in the Frequent Commenters RCL. The draft is Tuesday, March 26 at 8 ET. Join

mauledbypandas
mauledbypandas
Reply to  VinWins
26 days ago

Come join us… and maybe turn your chat notifications off

OaktownSteve
OaktownSteve
Reply to  VinWins
26 days ago

If you send me the link I’ll unretire and play, if y’all will have me.

mauledbypandas
mauledbypandas
Reply to  OaktownSteve
26 days ago

As long as you dont convince me to trade away the best player in the game again

OaktownSteve
OaktownSteve
Reply to  mauledbypandas
26 days ago

Not a promise, but I doubt I’ll ever get anybody to trade with me again in that league. The last few times I have played RCL I’ve had just brutal pitching. Gonna try and figure it out.

mauledbypandas
mauledbypandas
Reply to  OaktownSteve
26 days ago

Ironically pitching is the only reason I did the trade. Needed an ace and though the rest would be a wash. Had no idea Acuna was going to be so nuts!

mauledbypandas
mauledbypandas
Reply to  OaktownSteve
26 days ago
VinWins
VinWins
Reply to  OaktownSteve
26 days ago

If you click this “JOIN” it should work.

OaktownSteve
OaktownSteve
Reply to  VinWins
26 days ago

In. I’m coming for you, Vin.

VinWins
VinWins
Reply to  Grey
26 days ago

I taught him a lesson. Gave him Soto and still finished ahead of him. Thought he was broken forever, but I guess he got over it.

OaktownSteve
OaktownSteve
Reply to  VinWins
26 days ago

oh I am not over it

Joed1414
Joed1414
Reply to  VinWins
26 days ago

Well you must have sold high on a previous year. It’s not like he’s set the world on fire every year. OTS learn from it and come back stronger. Can’t win them all. I’d love a shot at you Vin one of these years.

OaktownSteve
OaktownSteve
Reply to  Joed1414
26 days ago

I’ve more like set myself on fire. I’ve been sub-average in all leagues and all formats for years now. A lot of it has just been fbb taking a back seat to getting business off the ground and having young kids. But I also feel like I had a lot to learn, which included a dose of humility.

I definitely took personal inventory fantasy wise last year to try and clean it up and improve my results, and did in fact have more competitive teams. I’m pretty excited about this year though. I feel like I’ve had two good drafts so far. We’ll see how it goes.

OaktownSteve
OaktownSteve