Diary of a Fantasy Madman: At loose ends
by Zach Steinhorn
Monday, August 20 - 10:14 PM
What else is new? Just another awful performance by one of my NFBC starting pitchers. I kind of expected Gavin Floyd to get roughed up by the Yankees, but I'm in last place by so much in the ERA and WHIP categories that Floyd's final line of 2 1/3 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, 4 BB doesn't hurt me at all. At this point, I'm all about chasing wins and strikeouts. You name me a two-start pitcher and I'll play him. It's really as simple as that. I don't know how it got to this point. Heading into the season, I thought that my rotation, anchored by Ricky Romero and Daniel Hudson was pretty good. But when your ace suffers through the worst season of his career and when a major injury limits your No. 2 to nine ineffective starts, you've got issues. Goes to show how unreliable starting pitching can be from year to year. I knew this already, which is why I didn't draft any sure-fire aces, opting instead to load up my rotation with cheaper alternatives who carried a high amount of upside. Too bad I picked the wrong guys. Great idea, poor execution.
Tuesday, August 21 - 11:25 AM
I really enjoy fantasy football drafts. But if they took place in October, or better yet November, I'd enjoy them even more. I never feel like I'm fully prepared for my football drafts, as mapping out a strategy while at the same time trying to steer my baseball teams to either a title or a respectable finish is a tall order. With three drafts coming up within the next two weeks, I need to get my act together. And fast! Fortunately, I've got a little extra free time today, so I'll spend a couple of hours skimming player profiles, projections and suggested dollar values before moving onto some number crunching. Unlike with baseball, my football prep is always rushed and is sometimes sloppy. And my raw knowledge of the gridiron game pales in comparison to my baseball expertise. Ask me to name the #2 wide receiver on the Jaguars and I'd be stumped. The funny thing is that over the past few years I've actually had more success in my football leagues than in my baseball leagues. Go figure. Maybe draft prep is overrated. Nah, you're better off prepared than unprepared. Everyone knows that. So today marks the first of a series of crash courses that I hope will get me up to speed. At least I know who my first nomination will be. I can even hear myself saying it. "Rob Gronkowski for $1." I've seen this guy go for as much as $50 in some mocks that use a $200 total budget. Crazy, right? Anyway, let me get some of this research done. I've got one auction coming up on Sunday and then another next Thursday, so there will be plenty to discuss by next weekend.
Wednesday, August 22 - 5:38 PM
Fred Zinkie has made 15 trades this year in Mixed Tout Wars. I've made zero. So on Tuesday, Fred sent me an e-mail, pointing out that since I was one of the few owners in the league who he had yet to trade with, he'd like to trade for Ian Desmond. But I had a feeling that the real reason why he wanted to trade for Ian Desmond was because he wanted Ian Desmond! Not only has the Nationals' shortstop proven to be my best value pick, but he's been my best offensive player all season. Fred dangled Matt Holliday and Adrian Gonzalez, and that certainly got my attention. He wanted me to include an additional player in the deal though, and when he brought up Justin Upton's name I balked. Maybe I'm nuts to still have faith in Upton, but that trade's not going to happen. Desmond and Upton for Holliday? Really? Actually, the more I think about it the less crazy it sounds. Upton is having a terribly disappointing year, and it's late August already. When is it finally time to forget about 2011 and call 2012 a lost season? I wouldn't be trading the 2011 Upton. I'd be trading the 2012 one. Well, I'll mull this over for awhile longer, but I'm not too into the idea.
Thursday, August 23 - 10:06 AM
And what about that whole spirited roundtable debate we had a few weeks ago on late-season trading between contending and non-contending teams in non-keeper leagues? I'm totally fine with it, as I feel that every owner should compete until the very end to finish as high in the standings as possible. The Tout Wars FAAB penalty also plays a role here, as teams finishing below a certain threshold (75 points in Mixed Tout) are docked FAAB dollars for next year. Finish with only 60 points and you'll be penalized 15 FAAB dollars. That's harsh! The bottom line is that I feel no pressure whatsoever to not trade with Fred just because he's in second place and I'm in 11th. If the deal makes sense for me, that's all that matters.
Saturday, August 25 - 12:12 PM
Forget about Desmond, forget about Holliday, forget about Upton. This offer looks pretty good. I give Erick Aybar and Will Venable and get Alfonso Soriano, Mark Ellis and a few FAAB bucks. Fred could use some speed and I can gain a few points in homers and RBIs. I think it's a win/win, and if it lands up helping Fred win the league so be it. I'm leaning towards accepting but first need to be sure that the brittle Soriano makes it through the weekend without getting injured. Health hasn't exactly been my team's strong suit. Seven of my current players are on the DL and I've dropped a bunch more.
Soriano will be fine, though. I need to stop expecting the worst. I need to relax.
Mastersball, founded in 1997, is a leader in providing in-depth analysis, research, projections and applications to the advanced fantasy baseball player. A 2010 merger brought the writers of CREATiVESPORTS into the fold, widely known for 15 years of insightful fantasy analysis and commentary. Follow @MastersBall
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