2011 marks my tenth anniversary playing in the tough, good, and fun league known as Tout Wars.
And, every year, as I get ready for the draft, I get the same question: "How are you preparing for the draft?"
The reality is I really don't. I am not sure how much preparation I could do, or how that would even matter in this league, or any league, for that matter, where the participants have largely been the same over the decade.
I do admit I don't care about ADP or projected dollar values. I do care about filling my roster, and this holds true for all my leagues--with the best possible collection of everyday players I can.
As for planning, there are names I have my eyes on, but the best prep work in my view is to both:
- Know all the players in the player pool, and what they can do.
- Know how the people in your league bid and play as well.
If one knows the above, then it becomes more a matter of filling the roster. That too can be tough, because one firm rule I try to keep for myself is not to let a player who is a value get passed me. The other is to wait for an opening where I can grab three or four players in a short span, almost like a "value blitz."
The problem with this is my league mates have similarly been playing with me for ten years, so they know me as well as I know them. I do try to keep things mixed up, and never be predictable, but, well, I like having guys like Mark Buehrle on my team because Buehrle really is dependable and consistent.
That said, there are a few players I have my eye on, so I am going to list a handful of them below, and why, and even how much I think they are worth. Later, we can check and see how close to reality I actually was (note that this Monday's Hotpage will cover the Tout Team I drafted later on today).
So, in no particular order (and remember, I play in AL only):
- Gordon Beckham ($17): I just think the kid is going to break out on all fronts. Period.
- Asdrubal Cabrera ($13): Love Droobs, especially coming off a down year. I would love my middle to be populated with this pair.
- Josh Beckett ($15): Another serious bounce-back contender.
- Matt Wieters ($14): The Orioles upgraded, and the burden of the century does not rest on Wieters' shoulders. Plus, this is his third year, always a make or break one. I am guessing make.
- Alex Gordon ($8): Due.
- A.J. Burnett ($9): Better than last year, and just a few years removed from leading the league in whiffs.
- Coco Crisp ($15): If he can play 140 games, look for .280-11-65 totals, with 50 steals and 90 runs scored.
Ok, that is enough tipping of my potential hand. And, don't forget, all three Tout Wars auctions will be broadcast live in Sirius/XM, with the American League at 9 AM, Saturday, the Mixed Saturday at 3 PM, and the National League at 10 AM Sunday. All times EST.