Last night, I was invited to crash a draft of some industry friends, most of which were part of Fanball. Amongst my combatants were the Godfather of Fantasy Baseball Charlie Wiegert, Jason Collette, Ryan Houston, Ray Flowers, Seth Trachtman, Geoff Stein and Kay Adams. It was a 12-team mixed league played under draft and hold rules. That is, once the draft was over, we were done -- no trades, no waivers, no free agents, no moves, no nuthin’. The small quirk is we draft one catcher and two utilities.
I went into the draft with a few ideas in mind. First, I would sacrifice a little upside for reliability. Second, since my pet strategy of streaming in starting pitching with favorable matchups is out of play, I would jump on pitching a little earlier, and I would get what I consider to be a top line closer, since there is no fishing for saves. Third, I wanted to have some fun and break ties with picking players I am not likely to get in another draft. I had the fifth pick and named my team my standard moniker, Fat, Drunk and Stupid. Here is a quick round by round review.
Round 2: I took a guy that I have argued against taking, suggesting he is a health risk, but since I have been convinced otherwise, I took Dustin Pedroia.
Round 3: It was as if these guys (and gal) had my lists. I was sure I would get Shin-Soo Choo here, knowing Collette would take Nelson Cruz. Well, Choo was taken so I swerved and took the second most reliable starting pitcher in King Felix.
Round 4: Even though there is no scarcity in a 1-catcher league, I opted to take a receiver that would be playing most of his time elsewhere in Victor Martinez.
Round 5: I know he is an injury risk in this format, but with a three round discount, I had to take Ian Kinsler.
Round 6: Back to pitching with someone who has pitched at a high level just long enough to be considered reliable, Tommy Hanson.
Round 7: Given that saves are unpredictable, if you forced me to name the guy that will lead the Majors, I would choose Brian Wilson.
Round 8: Thankfully good friend Jeff Erickson was not in the draft, or else I may not have been able to draft my favorite upside guy, Drew Stubbs.
Round 9: I felt real good about combining some playing time reliability and production upside with shortstop Stephen Drew.
Round 10: Not exactly a safe pick based on his age, but I think Ted Lilly has one more strong season in him.
Round 11: Another older player, but I am getting Torii Hunter at a discount.
Round 12: He’s a bit of a risk with a limited track record, but his peripherals are very good and he should remain healthy, though the Giants may temper Madison Bumgarner’s innings.
Round 13: Another old (literally) reliable mainstay, but since Bobby Abreu with get significant time at designated hitter, he should remain healthy.
Round 14: I was not the only one choosing the more reliable closers and Drew Storen was the best available.
Round 15: With two utility spots, I have no issue filling one now with Vladimir Guerrero.
Round 16: I made the decision to hold off on a corner hoping someone like Gaby Sanchez would be available, and he was.
Round 17: While I prefer National League starters in this format, I could not pass up the potential of Ricky Romero.
Round 18: He may not repeat last season’s performance, but this is a late round and Andres Torres is going to play.
Round 19: Probably not the wisest choice, especially since I could have opted for a safe set up guy that may get saves, but I took Ervin Santana.
Round 20: The rules say I need a 3B, so I am actually psyched to get Jhonny Peralta this late.
Round 21: I pretty much threw caution to the wind with Romero and Santana, so I opted to keep rolling the dice and closed out the staff with James McDonald.
Round 23: I could have gone all power, a little of both or all speed and while I am still not sure why, I went for the third option in Julio Borbon.
Well, that’s that. We’ll check in on this motley crew from time to time. Many of the combatants are making side bets. I like this team, I should probably get in on that action.