Fantasy Baseball Captain's Log: Shandler's List

by on August 19, 2013 @ 10:51:32 PDT


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By Perry Van Hook

The first month of the Shandler Game -- a monthly, modified, 4x4 roto contest -- is over. So who are the winners and who are the losers?

Los Angeles Dodgers SS Hanley Ramirez
Hanley owner ran away with it

And, more importantly, for those of you who will try the September contest or play in Shandler's monthly contests next year, how did people win their leagues?

First, a recap for those who didn't play and likely don't remember the parameters of the contest: You can read more here. But here are the categories and roster constricts.

Game format: Salary cap game

Roster construction: 30-man roster -- 23 actives and 7 reserves. Positions will be standard roto - 2 C, 1B, 3B, CI, 2B, SS, MI, 5 OF, UT, 9 pitchers, 7 reserves at any position.

Salary cap: $300 for all 30 players. The prices will be based on 2013 performance to date (heading into July).

Stat categories: This will be a 4x4 league with the categories of HR, SB, OBP, (R+RBI-HR), W, Sv+HLD, K, ERA.

Free agents: There will be no free-agent access. You'll play out the season with the 30 players you draft.

Roster management: Intra-roster moves (reserve-to-active and active-to-reserve) can be made twice weekly, Mondays and Fridays at noon ET. You'll be setting your active roster for each Major League series.

League sizes: Each league will have 30 teams, filled on a first-come, first-served basis. I won't run a league with fewer than 20 teams. (actually there was such a large turnout that there were 18 leagues with nearly 450 teams).

For more background, see Todd Zola's Knights of the Roundtable discussion about the format and strategy.

But let's take a look at the roster of one of the winners: Tim McLeod, a friend of mine and a long time contributor at I asked Tim what his draft plan was, and here are the most important components:

First, he said he read the rules and then re-read the rules, and I agree with Tim that understanding a new contest is really necessary in order to attack it. “The one thing that caught my attention immediately was that we were allowed to make lineup changes twice a week -- Monday and then Friday", recounted Tim. "Very quickly, I determined that I was going pitching heavy with the plan being to search for bargains, add some big dollar stud type starters and have at least five closers."

“I wanted to rotate the SP and then fill in each period with the closers and setup guys”, Tim said. And he was spot on as the RP category was, as you see above, Sv+HLD. Having extra pitchers in a twice weekly lineup format is not to stream pitchers but rather to maximize the pitchers you have in your lineup for each four- and three-day period, as I mentioned when suggesting back in July that having five pitchers among your seven reserves would be the optimum construction.

What did Tim's roster look like?

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