I've got my orange Crush
Heading into the Fantasy Sports Trade Association MLB experts draft in Last Vegas, I knew I had to change my strategy. (Luckily, I avoided employing the one that wasn't so kind to me at the tables.)
FIRST (Focus on Infield with Risk Spread Thin) made its debut, at least in organized form, at the Tout Wars mixed auction, and I used a similar staple for the LABR mixed online snake. It didn't happen chiefly because of this arrangement, but I finished in the basement in the first one, while I was competing for the title pretty late last year in the latter.
It's a tiny sample size to judge its use, but when I selected the 13th spot in this draft, I decided to revise my focus. The takeaway from my Tout disaster is that in the early rounds, you can't write off raw dollar returns, regardless of position - well, in most cases. This year, second base sticks out to me as a place to gain an advantage. You'll see I followed suit there but altered my tunnel vision a bit by taking two outfielders in the first three picks.
So for the 13-team, 29-round mixed 5x5 snake draft at The Mirage on Monday, I loosened my strings on what it meant to be a member of my fantasy core. Being at the wheel allowed me to address two needs immediately, so I had more freedom to not look at the POS column and instead look at the investment.
After all, the need for a firm plan in a serpentine process hardly matches that of a bidding war. By the time you start to reach the middle rounds, though, you just need to do what those smartphone-inclined kids are doing and APP: Adjust to the Player Pool.
This league usually runs 14 or 15 teams deep, so the relief given to the free-agent population allowed me to load up on offense and play to the depth of the hurler class even more than usual. I won this league in 2009 from the back wheel using a similar mindset, so....
Check out the entire draft, which was compiled by our friends at RT Sports. They'll also host the league.
* = 15-plus SB
Turns out that FIRST actually held over a little because those were value plays after my first two turns, which allowed me to grab Rollins and Panda.
My projected offensive starters account for 305 homers and 168 steals, which of course will carry through 100 percent....
That's, of course, more of a guideline than a cemented outlook. I at least wanted to be competitive in bag taking, and I accomplished that, even if I could probably use a more diversified feeder system for that.
This team's batting average deficiency is at least quelled by three high-level options in Pedroia, Ellsbury and Sandoval - not necessarily .300, but close.
Passing up Davis and Werth in the middle rounds would've been a bigger mistake for what could've easily been a power-starved team.
Thusly, with the mashers, I'm hoping for a few more dying quails. (No, PETA, just stop it, relax.)
Definitely was surprised Berkman fell that far, especially when he's playing in the perfect situation to matter once again in fantasy.
I'm probably a little higher on Segura than most others, but the speed skill stood out among middle infielders at that point, and the Keppinger and Nakajima fliers covered me a little.
Count me among the Morrow fan club once again.
Garza and Lester, however, are the most important picks of my draft; nice that you can say that for Rounds 13 and 14. Hopefully the former staying healthy and the latter trying to recover location and K's. Bailey, Ryu and the two bench SPs prove you can once again wait on depth.
I didn't plan on taking Motte and Broxton, but considering the other owners let the position slide, they wound up being tantalizing values.
I don't think Brox gets enough credit for the late-season cutter enhancement from last year (look at his September K/9 compared to his seasonal figure.)
Many overrate the chances of Aroldis Chapman or Sean Marshall taking over. Brox isn't the burly, wild pitcher he used to be; he's becoming smarter at his craft.
How'd I do?
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About Tim Heaney
Tim's work has been featured by USA Today/Sports Weekly, among numerous outlets, and recognized as a finalist in the Fantasy Sports Writers Association awards. The Boston University alum, who competes in the prestigious LABR and Tout Wars, has won numerous industry leagues in both baseball and football.
He appears frequently, including every Sunday, on Sirius XM Fantasy Sports Radio, as well as every Wednesday on 1570 AM WNST in Baltimore.
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