March 20, 2012 @ 15:53:13 PDT
It was November. After the closing of Baseball HQ's Arizona rawhide romp, the illustrious First Pitch Forums, I partook in a few fermented beverages with my colleague Nicholas Minnix and two longtime friends of KFFL Baseball: Buck Davidson, a former KFFL name-taker now at RotoExperts and RotoRob, and Tim McLeod, Buck's partner in crime at RotoRob. A pleasant pair, for sure.
Of course, they were until the inevitable subject came up. See, Nick won the 2010 overall championship in the 60-team Fantasy Sports Writers Association Industry Insiders League, deftly put together every year by secretary Perry Missner and the rest of the diligent staff.
My first-name companion won the whole shebang last year; I had to stare up at him from the middle of our individual league and watch his run to glory.
Naturally, they said, it's my turn to take home the crown. I needed admission into the club. (When they said it, Nick and the name traitor were standing next to each other across from me behind the proverbial velvet rope. Elitists.)
Monday was D Day, and I had to deal with 11 strong competitors in the first of the league's five pick 'em parties; KFFL has four reps across the various divisions. The fun of this setup: On-base percentage and slugging percentage replace batting average and home runs as categories. It evens the playing field between ratios and counting stats for both hitters and pitchers, which often leads to overvaluation of the latter, not unjustifiably.
Furthermore, your pitching staff is only allowed 180 starts for the entire season. This leads to divergent strategies - use them up early and run RPs out there the rest of the way, or run mainly RPs out there early on. Problem with the latter: you could fall behind in the pitching counting categories early if you start slow out of the gate.
For my staff, I chose a hybrid approach: Net two high-K SP that can also eat IP; go with two high-K closers; and let the other pitching chips fall while accumulating the highest K/9s possible.
Pertaining to the bats, I stuck with my usual infield-first motif but was more urgent in filling out the hitting slots. A strong offense in this league is more important, in my view, because pitching can be substituted so easily thanks to the swelled importance of RPs.
The useful player pool for offense doesn't expand in the same manner.
Here goes. Time to make our Arizona circle - and my first name - proud.
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.
Don't miss these great reports....
Recent KFFL releases
Fantasy Football Rankings: Standard Scoring
Fantasy Football Rankings: PPR Scoring
Fantasy Baseball Closer Depth Charts: White Sox chaos coming?
Fantasy Football Rankings: Scoring only