Some casual research of the top NFBC Main Event teams has revealed some interesting random facts. Let’s jump right in. Six of seven the top teams were drafted on March 24th, one full week before the ‘second round’ of the NFBC on March 31st. I’ve heard ad nauseum how the later drafters have the advantage because they have more information at their disposal. This opinion has always baffled me. How is it an advantage if everyone has this additional info? If you are more knowledgeable and prepared than your opponents then the clear advantage goes to the early drafter that has insight on who will win position battles and spots in the rotation. As you get closer to the season this knowledge/edge is effectually destroyed when official announcements are made about said position battles. No more insight needed as everyone knows. The player once available in the 15th round is now going in the 8th. The opportunity of profiting on this knowledge has been eradicated. Now the aforementioned data point doesn’t prove anything as it is too small of a sample size and there are obviously many factors that go into an overall championship, but it is interesting.
Looking at only the top ten picks of the top five teams, only six players appear on multiple rosters: Adrian Beltre, Joey Votto, David Price, Shin-Soo Choo, Joe Mauer, Yu Darvish. Each of these players was rostered on two of the top five teams. All drafted at least two starting pitchers, usually in their top eight picks. Four of the five teams drafted at least one ace within their first four selections. Three of the top five teams ignored saves early, waiting until after tenth round to draft a closer. The other two teams waited until the ninth.
Kevin Kirves currently leads the Main Event by four points. Not surprisingly he has employed the services of a rookie outfielder from Anaheim. What is surprising is that same outfielder is absent from the rosters of the teams ranked 2nd-6th. Mike Trout is still on four of the top ten rosters.
One of the more interesting drafts was from Nick Cassavetes. Shawn Childs recently did a nice write up on his team’s current roster and his shot at making a run at the title: http://sportsdraftdaily.com/2012/08/hollywood-meets-fantasy/
What I absolutely love about his draft is that he went with Clayton Kershaw and Justin Verlander with his first two picks. Love it, love it, love it. Verlander was not a target for me this year, but that’s not the point. What I love is the strategy employed here. Nick was leveraging his draft position. With 14 hitters already off the board, drafting another bat locks him into a deficit, but he evened the playing field by taking the two best pitchers on his draft sheet. He did draft Mike Trout in round 22 and that helps, but you don’t have to draft the fantasy MVP to make this work. In 2004 I drafted near the end of the first round and started off with Curt Schilling, Kerry Wood, and Jason Schmidt as my first three picks. In the end I had plenty of offense. A young Miguel Cabrera turned in a nice profit. Vinny Castilla and Jeromy Burnitz were poised to explode moving to Coors field, yet the fantasy market ignored their potential due to the bias against aging players. In fact, both the draft and the waiver wire were littered with offensive value.
Take what the draft gives you. Ignore the scoffers. Zig when others zag. Nick did and is ‘zigging’ his way to the top of the leaderboard.