Having completed my first NFBC Online Championship draft just 7 days ago, I felt a bit better going into this one. Not that I wasn’t prepared the first time, but just seeing how things played out the first time was a bit different than what I expected. Overall I was pleased with my first team, but I also think with 1 draft under my belt; I should be even better prepped to draft this time around.
In the first draft I pulled the #1 overall pick, which was a nice luxury. This time I drafted out of the #12 slot. This was also one of my preferred slots, so I was very happy when the draft order was released. When you draft from either of the ends, I feel you actually have some control in beginning runs with back to back picks. It doesn’t always work out, but it can at times. If/when it does, it’s to your advantage. I also feel this year that there is a drop-off after the top 14 guys on the board. If I have the 11th or 12th pick, it guarantees me that I end up with 2 guys in my top tier; also a nice luxury. All of that said, let’s see how my team turned out:
Initial thoughts: At first glance, I really liked the way this team shook out. In the early rounds and even through the middle rounds I didn’t really miss out on many guys I wanted. A few times I can remember someone leaving my queue just before it was my pick, but not as much as one would expect for an expert draft of this level.
Greatest strengths: Overall I think my pitching is very strong. More-so from a starting pitching perspective, but I like my 3 closers as well. I knew my first 2 picks would be bats and that essentially forced me to go SP, SP in the 3rd and 4th rounds. I had a small group of pitchers I really hoped fell to me and while I would have loved Strasburg and Price, I was very pleased to get Price and Keuchel. Then to fill out the rest of my starters with Liriano, Iwakuma, Samardzija, and Kazmir; I felt was tremendous value in the rounds I was able to get them in. I might not win K’s, but I should have a competitive chance to win ERA and WHIP. These guys are on good MLB teams for the most part, and while wins is a volatile stat, I think I should be in good position for a lot of them.
I also like the three closers I was able to snag. Melancon is a lock to have the job all year and had a tremendous track record. While job security isn’t quite as safe for Rondon and Casilla, they have enough to allow me to sleep at night. All 3 are on good teams that should have an opportunity for a lot of saves; their ratios should be good as well. Overall, I should be able to compete at a very high level in all 5 pitching categories
From a batting perspective, I think I’m very strong in AVG and should be reasonable strong in Runs. I have a number of guys that should be hitting in the 1 or 2 hole for their respective teams and while that wasn’t a goal, it was nice for a lot of them to fall to me later in the draft.
Greatest weaknesses: Power and speed. Those are two pretty big weaknesses at first glance, but let’s look a bit deeper. While I think I’m weaker from a HR and SB perspective, I don’t think it’s to the point where I won’t be competitive. I should have a good chance to finish in the middle of the pack in both categories and I’m fine with that so long as my strengths come through. I also think that if some of my bench guys work out, this may not be as glaring of a hole as it seems.
Best Values: There were a few times in the draft I found myself thinking “Please don’t take this guy”. I thought Lorenzo Cain at the end of the 5th and Kyle Seager at the end of the 7th were probably the two best early round values. I’d argue both should have easily gone a round earlier based on their projected value. I was also really close to taking Pillar in the 16th, so when I saw him fall another 24 picks, I was really excited to take him.
Most questionable picks: Puig is risky as my 6th round pick. I could have gone Heyward and been a bit safer, but I just think the skills upside for Puig was too great to pass on. Is there a lot more downside… absolutely. But he was the only guy I saw there that could potentially return 1st or 2nd round value. David Ortiz is old. However falling to the 11th round really felt like a steal. I think playing time might be the biggest concern for him, but he tries to hit a HR every single plate appearance and I don’t see him dropping off completely in his farewell tour.
Guys I missed out on: Luckily this isn’t a long list. While I could name 100 guys I like and wish I could have had, there were only a few that stood out where by not getting them, I had to settle for a lesser pick at the time. I really would have liked Freeman in the 7th and he went 1 pick before I took Seager. I like Seager, but getting both at the 7/8 turn would have been tremendous. With my Liriano pick, I had 5 other SP’s queued up (Stroman, Ross, Wacha, Martinez, Matz) and would have been happier with any of them. Though having Price and Keuchel already, this wasn’t as big of a miss to me. Lastly, I wanted a better 3rd closer than Casilla, someone with a better grip on the job. I was targeting Papelbon, K-Rod, or even McGee for his elite skills. All of them went and Casilla was the best available left for a 3rd closer.
Conclusion: I feel like I have a lot more strengths than weaknesses, and that’s a good feeling. When the draft was over, I immediately though: “This was a team that had a chance to win the league”. I don’t feel as though my weaknesses are insurmountable, but I will need to work on them through the season. It should be a very fun season with 2 NFBC leagues now complete and I expect to be competitive in both.
Again, special thanks to Bob Burlone who drafted this team with me as well as the first team. Anyone interested in the results of our first draft, they can be found here.
Questions, comments or concerns: leave a message on here or connect with me directly on Twitter @y2trips.
Every year, I try to do at least 1 or 2 Yahoo Pro leagues. They are quite popular and I'm a big fan of their roto standard rules; specifically:
For reference, I had the 12th pick overall. Now, lets take a look at my team starting with the batters:
While I'm admittedly light on power, I should be able to be middle of the pack in HR's and RBI's. I should also be able to be strong from a runs, SB, and AVG perspective. I have a number of players that contribute both in the HR and SB categories and while the numbers aren't gaudy for many players, the accumulations are fine.
Now lets look at pitching:
Like a lot of my other teams this season, I really wanted a strong pitching staff, even more-so with an IP limit. I should have a good chance to win all pitching categories with the aces I was able to accumulate with Price, Greinke, and Carrasco. This year more than seasons past, it feels like there is a premium on pitching and I was happy to get a good amount of it early in the draft.
Overall very happy with this team and looking at the team projections both on yahoo and FantasyPros, i should dominate. Granted all projections should be taken with a grain of salt, i was very happy with this team going of of my own projections alone.
There's not a formula to build the perfect team and every draft is unique, but for others drafting Yahoo Pro League teams, I hope this snapshot is helpful to you.
Feel free to leave a comment or question, and i'll get back to you.
Bold predictions are something fun that most sites do at this time of year. It's only a few weeks before the start of the season and we've seen a reasonable amount of spring training already. I've published my projections and rankings, tweaked a few million times, and finally have settled on what I'm using for all of my upcoming drafts. While projections themselves are somewhat conservative by nature, here are my 10 bold projections for 2016. Just for clarity, while these are bold, I also try to keep them realistic, not ridiculous like some others may do.
I understand some of these are bolder than others and a lot of people will disagree with most of them. That's the fun in bold predictions though. I already have a reminder on my calendar for June and September to check in at the 1/2 way point and end of the year to see how I did. I'm pretty sure I'll go 10 for 10 though.
Questions, comments or concerns, please contact me here or on twitter @y2trips
The National Fantasy Baseball Championships drafts are arguably the most competitive high stakes season long drafts out there. With top prizes over $125,000, most people playing in these leagues are seasoned and very much know what they are doing. To get more information on what the NFBC is all about, you can go here for a full overview.
Some details about this specific NFBC league: It is the Rotowire Online Championship 12 team mixed roto. It is a snake draft and there are 30 roster spots per team.
When the league filled and the draft spots were allocated, I was very excited to see that I had the #1 overall pick. I was hoping to pick close to either end of the draft, and really like getting back to back picks. In that spot, I feel you have the ability to set the tone in different rounds and if you're fortunate, even kick off some runs without being stuck in the middle of them. But enough about strategy, onto the picks:
All things considered, I really liked the draft. I have a great chance to dominate Runs, Average, Saves, WHIP, and ERA. I have room to improve with K's, HR's and SB's but I don't think I'm terrible in those categories by any stretch.
Going by my auction values, I drafted $328 in value for my 23 starters. If an average team would theoretically be 260, this basically means I killed it! I have another NFBC draft on 3/31 and am already looking forward to it.
Special thanks to Bob Burlone who drafted this team with me and is also looking forward to our $125,000 prize :)
I know Ive been a but quiet lately as I finish up the last few days of draft prep. Most of my research is completed and I'm excited to start drafting tomorrow. I have a total of 5 drafts planned this year:
This will be my first year tackling the NFBC leagues and I'm looking forward to the challenge. I've done a tremendous amount of research combing through the rules with a fine tooth comb as well as looking at previous years results to get a good gauge of what it takes to win. While there are still some unknowns about the league, I should be able to pick those up in the first few weeks.
I've played in and won a number of Yahoo Pro leagues already so there isn't much new there. I like them because they allow for daily moves and involve a lot of roster management. I don't like that the rosters are so shallow, but it's workable.
My home league is a 10 team keeper league, however rosters are very deep and it plays more similar to a 12-14 team league.
Once all of my drafts are completed, I'll put a high level recap together with the results. I've done hundreds of mocks already (mostly for fun) and put in countless hours of research into my projections. A lot of the guys I'll be targeting are guys that I've written about already and likely will have a number of them across all leagues.
If anyone has any last minute questions for me, feel free to reach out and good like to you in your leagues.
ADP (Average Draft Position) is a metric that most fantasy baseball players use while researching as well as while drafting. ADP refers to the average overall pick that a player is being selected in drafts. For example, if I took three draft results and saw that Bryce Harper was drafted 1st, 2nd, and 3rd overall respectively, his ADP for these 3 drafts would be 2nd overall. It's a relatively easy concept to understand. That said, too many people use ADP incorrectly and to their detriment.
While ADP is a nice indicator where a player is being drafted on average, there are problems with how people use it. Here are a couple common ADP use cases I feel are flawed, but also how to use them more correctly:
While in a draft, using ADP as a firm gauge for player selection.
Not all fantasy baseball players are created equal; meaning, we all differ in how we do research, and how much research we put in. Many casual fantasy baseball players do little prep and rely heavily on ADP data during their live draft. That's fine for a casual player who might not take things too seriously, however if you are doing this, it may be difficult to get players you want at certain points in the draft.
Example: player A has an ADP of 220 overall. To get to that 220 ADP, hundreds of drafts already took place to calculate this ADP, and in those drafts, player A wasn't selected at spot 220 each time. He likely went 160 or lower in some drafts and 280 or higher in others. If you plan on sticking very close to the actual ADP numbers, there are likely going to be players you miss out on. If you really want player A, it may make sense to reach a bit earlier than what their ADP indicates to ensure you acquire them.
At the same token, you don't want to reach too early in drafts and drastically overpay for someone either. If someone has an ADP of 80, selecting them in the second round isn't a wise choice. Earlier in drafts there will naturally be less variance in players ADP numbers. However as the rounds go on and the talent pool gets thinner, one can make an argument for drafting a number of similar players in the middle to later rounds.
Because every draft is unique, there isn't a magic formula that works for all cases. Rather than simply relying on ADP data for your draft guide, I would strongly recommend that you do your own research, form your own rankings and opinions. I also understand that's a lot of work and not for everybody. If you are going to rely on ADP data during your draft as a guide; when in doubt, I would suggest reaching for a player earlier than ADP indicates. The alternative is waiting too long, missing out, and regretting the decision.
Using ADP data to create your projections and rankings.
For those more involved (like myself), creating your own projection and rankings can be a very fun and rewarding experience. In addition, the research that goes along with that is the best way in my opinion to fully prepare for a draft. Now, when creating your own rankings, it's natural to look at your data and compare it to ADP data to get a gauge of where the greatest variances are. If you happened to miss some player news and are way off on someone, looking at the ADP data can be an effective way to catch that type of mistake.
It can also impact your own rankings negatively. It's just as easy to assume that you're wrong when comparing your rankings to ADP. If everyone else has player B ranked at 100 overall and I have him ranked at 55, how could I possibly be right compared to the rest of the world?? This is an easy trap to fall into. Here's how I try to approach using ADP data when I'm creating my rankings:
This is really high level and there's more than goes into it, but it's an easy way to make my point. By using this method, I try to give myself a safety blanket in case I am grossly off with a projection of a player. ADP trends help to catch that. At the same time, I try not to get sucked into the vortex of believing that ADP data has to be more accurate than I am.
If you do in-depth research and are confident in your projection, it's perfectly fine to differ from ADP, even by a lot. It's also ok for everyone else to be wrong.
One final thing to keep in mind: If you always stick to ADP data, you're sticking to averages and will draft an average team. Average teams usually don't win.
Earlier this week, I completed my last batch of positional rankings write-ups for 2016. Here's a one-stop-shop to check out all of them for your convenience:
You can go here to check out the entire projections and rankings in spreadsheet format.
If anyone has any questions, please feel free to leave a comment here or tweet at me @y2trips
Spring training is now in full effect. Each day that passes, we have more news about player progress and occasionally injuries. Here are this week’s key updates you need to be aware of if you're drafting in the next few days:
Freddie Freeman: Two days ago, Freeman left his spring training game with what was reported as “wrist discomfort”. In 2015 Freeman missed 44 games due to a right wrist injury and many feared the worst when this news broke.
It has since been reported that the issue was more in his hand and he “feels good”, just a couple of days later. He returned to the lineup today and while he was 0-3, it was encouraging to see him back out there so quickly. I don't have a tremendous amount of concern, but would keep an eye on his performance through the upcoming week.
Lance McCullers: In a less encouraging report, Lance McCullers reported shoulder soreness earlier this week and was shut down. Reports are that he had an MRI and it came back clean, however a timetable has not been set for his return.
If you've already drafted and have McCullers, this isn't the news you want to hear. He's someone I was high on heading into the year and was expecting to take another step forward in the Astros rotation. Now, it's possible he'll be fine. When talking about pitching injuries, I'd rather hear shoulder as opposed to elbow, but neither are exactly comforting. I think best case scenario: he sits out the rest of spring training, even missed 1-2 starts in April, but gets back to 100% and is able to pitch to the level we were hoping to see in 2016. If I haven’t drafted yet though, I might think about a similar safer option rather than McCullers unless the price is right.
Carter Capps: Capps had Tommy John surgery Tuesday. Many had high hopes for this young flamethrower, but that will have to wait 12-18 months.
From a fantasy perspective A.J. Ramos receives the greatest impact. With Capps out for the year, Ramos even more solidified his role as the Marlins closer. With some speculation that there may have been a dual over the job, both were being drafted near the bottom of the relief pitcher list. I have bumped Ramos up a good amount to the middle tier of relievers and think he is a viable option now with a lot more job security.
Aaron Altherr: Altheer is essentially out for the season after having wrist surgery. He likely wouldn't have been drafted in shallower leagues. However in keeper, dynasty and deeper leagues, he was a prospect many were looking forward to grabbing this season.
His replacement isn't etched in stone yet, however whoever it is, I wouldn't expect a huge statistical impact. I think it's possible they sign someone to fill the role (like Marlon Byrd), but it's only speculation.
Jarrod Parker: Parker likely wasn't going to be drafted in most formats, similar to Altheer. I'm mentioning Parker mostly out of sheer empathy.
It was reported yesterday that Parker re-broke the same elbow that he broke last May, just 12 pitches into spring training. He's also had Tommy John surgery twice already in his short career. As a pure baseball fan, I truly hope he is able to get through this and have a chance to prove himself again. He has shown potential greatness when he’s been on the field and it would be amazing if he's able to come back from this yet again.
Rounding out my positional breakdown articles, I do have a special place in my heart for relievers. A few weeks ago, I posted this article talking about how and why I felt they are under-rated too often. That said, I've been looking to do this closer breakdown for quite some time.
You can see I have quite a large final tier. Most of these guys have a lot of question marks. Some may have the job, but not a tight grip on it, while others are hoping to get a chance to close for their teams. I'm certain a few guys from this tier will break out and be very solid closers in 2016, the tough part is figuring out who those breakouts will be.
Check out all of my positional breakdowns:
First Base: here
Second Base: here
Third Base: here
Designated Hitter here
Starting Pitching: here
Relief Pitching: here
After completing all of my projections and rankings, starting pitching feels a bit different for me this season. In years past, I usually felt like there would be pitchers later in the draft I'd be happy to get to fill out my staff. This year however, it seems to me that there is a huge drop off after the first few tiers. More than ever, I want to ensure I have 2 - 3 very good if not elite SP's.
In my Projections and Rankings here, I have over 120 starters ranked. I'm only going to focus on a subset that I feel strongly about compared to the masses and provide additional context to my argument.
This rounds out my last tier before we hit replacement level starting pitchers. There are a lot of strategies to employ when choosing starters and a lot of names to select from. Getting a good balance across categories is ideal, but I will suggest targeting starters a bit earlier this year compared to years past. The game has shifted to a pitching heavy league and those stats translate to fantasy. To win your pitching categories, ratios are lower than ever and in turn, aces are that much more important to your fantasy team.
Check out my other positional breakdowns:
First Base: here
Second Base: here
Third Base: here
Designated Hitter here
Starting Pitching: here
Relief Pitching: here