Fantasy Baseball Tumbling Dice: A Halladay and a Prayer

by Lawr Michaels, MastersBall.com on February 12, 2013 @ 11:45:20 PDT

 

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Some rebuilds are tougher than others.

Last week I was optimistic enough as I wrote about my rebuild in the MidWest Strat-O-Matic League, but all rebuilds are not created equal.

New York Yankees OF Brett Gardner
Gardner: a prior casualty

So this week we turn our attention to the Head-to-Head format that our friend Jeff Barton and his Scoresheet baseball present.

My team, Tiger's Blood, really had their first bad season in 2012, though we did finish at 87-75, and over .500, we were 19 games behind the Sad Pandas, winners of our division.

Scoresheet, unlike Strat-O-Matic, applies current year statistics to the H2H formula, and that offers that challenge of traditional roto and fantasy teams in trying to anticipate who will break it out for the coming or current season.

In the Murphy League, which is a 24-team merry-go-round, we are allowed a soft eight keepers, plus one minor leaguer who, if frozen, automatically becomes our 19th round pick.

Amazingly, that 19th freeze is the least of my worries, as either Matt Adams or more likely Jedd Gyorko will occupy that spot.

However, aside from Clayton Kershaw and Albert Pujols, nothing is a given as far as my eight freezes, in fact I am pretty sure I don't have eight guys worth freezing.

I do have Alex Gordon and Erick Aybar, both of whom will likely make the cut, and Roy Halladay deserves a chance simply based upon his past accomplishments.

But then the fantasy version of the fiscal cliff rears its ugly head, as a bunch of spare parts -- all of pretty equal value -- none of which is worthy of a selection over the first eight rounds, are the remainder of my potential keepers.

Now, the beauty of the soft eight freeze is that should I choose to protect less than eight, I, along with any other teams below the Mendoza line of keepers, get to have the first stab at the dropped players until all of us have that magic freeze number.

Which means by round nine, everyone is drafting.

It also means that teams with one or two too many potential keepers they cannot trade will have to let them go back into the free agent pool, and that means I could probably fill out my sixth through eight slots with their discards, as opposed to freezing Barry Zito, Ben Revere or Mark Buehrle.

This hopefully will work as following the 2011 season, which was a good one for Tiger's Blood, I had to drop Michael Young (coming off a .331-11-95 season), Brett Gardner (.254-8-42 with a league leading 49 swipes) and Michael Cuddyer (.271-19-95).

And, though I did try to swap all three of those guys, not to mention letting them go was fortuitous based upon their 2012 production, what I hope is players equal to them will be let go by some other Murphy owner whose roster is overstocked.

In truth, I would like to trade someone -- maybe Kershaw -- to get a couple of freezes and maybe someone's 19th round selection, but the few nibbles I have gotten so far are for an aging vet whom I likely would not freeze, and a couple of prospects whom I would feel obligated to freeze.

And, that would mean a big gamble in both present and future terms, as three prospects would suddenly become my keepers, meaning three less opening day starting slots as we all go into Round 9. That is a disadvantage, for sure.

But, the flip side of the gamble is that the prospects do indeed make The Show, and then start to produce at a keeper level within the next couple of years.

And, with all due respect to Mike Trout, his first foray into the majors was not as shiny as his second.

Still, I do think in the Scoresheet format, with the smaller allotment of keepers, it is indeed possible to flesh out a competitive team year to year and not undergo the radical rebuild -- and associated year or two of lesser finishes -- like the MidWest League or the XFL, where I have indeed sacrificed up to two seasons in hopes of a brighter future.

So, hopefully the rebuild in the Murphy League will be a little more direct than other Ultra type leagues going into 2013. At least I can hope.

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About Lawr Michaels, MastersBall.com

Lawr Michaels has been a player in the fantasy baseball industry since he began writing for John Benson in 1993. He has written for STATS, Inc, was the first fantasy columnist for CBS Sportsline, and has appeared in numerous journals and on websites. In 1996, he founded CREATiVESPORTS, a staple for serious fantasy players, which he merged into Mastersball in 2010.

Over the years, Lawr has participated in a wide variety of playing formats and won numerous titles, including AL Tout Wars crowns in 2001 and 2009. Along with his Mastersball duties, Lawr works for MLB.com as a statistician.

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