Part I of this two-part series outlined my strategy, called FIRST. Time to put theory into action in Part II.
How FIRST worked at Tout Wars mixed
- In Tout's $260 cap, budget a traditional range of about 70 percent on hitting and approximately 30 percent on pitching. Obviously, infield first. Try my darndest to get a top-seven 1B.
- Do NOT spend more than $20 on any outfielder.
- Target 1 $20ish SP and build on values from there.
- Play the saves market on the fly, with the flexibility of going bigger on the bigger closer names if the price is right. In industry drafts, they've been devaluing saviors, and I wasn't going to be surprised if this depreciation created some opportunities I wouldn't normally take.
- Set up the team to at least tread water in all categories. It's a mixed league; no reason to short-change low-end options. In a league this deep, it's balance before beauty.
I was surprised I snagged Fielder for just $31, compared to the prices of the other 1B. Lawr Michaels notes the difference in the Tout mixed cost of some elite first basemen and details the (in his words) perplexing cost distribution in mixed leagues. I'm not a Stars and Scrubs fan (it negates FIRST, after all), but I'll save an extended discourse for another time.
Prince charmed me
Anyway, Fielder was one of the few first sackers for whom I'd be willing to top $25, so this ignited FIRST from the get-go.
And, contrary to popular belief, the Cuban Missile is sexy ... in his stability. Still, I wish I would've pushed Nick up to $22 on Rollins.
I targeted Greinke, but Lincecum was a surprise, albeit a pleasant one considering the prices of Clayton Kershaw ($30), Justin Verlander ($27), Roy Halladay and Cliff Lee ($26). Missed out on some nice bargains ($21 CC Sabathia, $17 Jon Lester) after I toned down my spending there but made up for it with a $13 Hanson, who'll post numbers close to the other deals.
In a 15-teamer, having one (especially two) ace-like SP goes a long way, and is easier to do since you're using money, not picks. My pair of Verlander and Cole Hamels last year testifies, too. I spent a bit more for Lincecum-Greinke ($43) compared to last year's $41, but it hardly hurt to, albeit accidentally, continue the approach.
I waited until the last reserve round to find "security" for Weeks in ... Alexi Casilla. All righty. Probably not this year's Asdrubal Cabrera, but at least there are steals to be had there. 2B was the deepest infield spot, and it was the one on which I planned to spend somewhat conservatively. This will be one of my most intently watched position inseason, and I'll probably look to tuck one away earlier than usual if Casilla doesn't hold up on the smidge of promise he has left.
Also must watch for a backup 3B. I wish I would've had enough money to go after Mike Moustakas, but I tapped out too early to have a shot in the end-game.
Axford was reasonable considering the other top-tier closer prices, too. He was in my select tier that I'd spend full price for. Still, I played the saves game a little lightly. I'm counting on Reed to contribute closures at some point, but I did a good job addressing saves on the waiver wire last year, so I'm aiming to do the same this time around.
Alas, I finished strong in my target areas, and weak in those I planned to fall a bit short on.
- $175 on hitters (67.3 percent)
- $103 on 6 IF (58.8 percent)
- $64 on 6 OF (36.6 percent)
- $8 on 2 C (4.6 percent)
- $85 on pitchers (32.7 percent)
- $68 on 7 SP (80 percent)
- $17 on 2 RP (20 percent)
Because none of these players will get injured </sarcasm>, I hit my target projections for homers and stolen bases with 253 and 157, respectively, and my K/9 combined for my SP will be quite healthy in this projected construction.
Check out the abundance of recaps of all three Tout Wars leagues, including Nick's, on the event's page!
Hope you enjoyed the unveiling of FIRST, and I hope it helps you come in that very place in your leagues!
Did the first official implementation of FIRST work?
What should Nick and I bet on for Tout Wars mixed this year?
Tell me your thoughts on my team and my opponents' squads.
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 LABR and Tout Wars, has won numerous industry leagues in both baseball and football.
During baseball and football season, he appears on Sirius XM Fantasy Sports Radio on Thursdays and Sundays, and every Wednesday on 1570 AM WNST in Baltimore.
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