Whether you have computer draft software at the draft table doing projections for you or you have the old school pen and paper for tabulation, you probably have some sort of system to track projected stats of the players you draft and accumulate totals in each category to ensure that you are drafting a balanced team that will compete in all categories (unless you are punting). I don’t know about you, but I usually find it difficult to impossible to hit those targets. I’m always short somewhere and I have to decide where I want the holes to be. I’ll typically look at a few leagues from the previous year to see where I need to be to win each category; picking a sweet spot for the total I’m shooting for (i.e. I’m not going to worry about squeezing out 40 extra Home Runs just to obtain 1 or 2 more roto points. For offense I’ll usually just focus on HR’s and SB’s and hope that the Runs and RBI’s fall into place, trying to eliminate as much noise as possible so that I can focus on the draft itself. In any event have you ever wondered what percentage of those targets you have to obtain on draft day? There’s a full 26 weeks of FAAB to pick up replacements that will contribute. What should one expect from FAAB sources?
‘The Worst Russians Ever’ owned by Gregory Glukhovsky are currently in first place in my NFBC Main Event League. Breaking down their stats in the counting categories I discovered: Of their 70 Wins, 57 were drafted and 13 were from waivers (81.5%/18.5%). 999K’s – 798 drafted, 201 from waivers (80%/20%). 72 Saves – 36 drafted, 36 waivers (50%/50%). On the offensive side: 846 Runs – 824 drafted, 22 waivers (97.5%/2.5%). 242 HR’s – 235 drafted, 7 waivers (97%/3%). 789 RBI’s – 768 drafted, 21 waivers (97.5%/2.5%). 159 SB’s – 155 drafted, 4 waivers (97.5%/2.5%).
Simply amazing. To the surprise of no one the biggest waiver contribution was in the Saves category, but across the board over 97% of his offense was obtained on draft day. Of course, that doesn’t mean assets weren’t available on the waiver wire. He just didn’t need them! He’s had David Ortiz miss one month. Outside of that his entire draft has been a bastion of near perfect health. Drafting Mike Trout doesn’t hurt either. The Russians have simply dominated all offensive categories to the tune of 72 points out of a possible 75. It’s not as though they were risk averse, as their draft included Ryan Braun, Jose Reyes, Kendrys Morales, and Martin Prado among their first 11 picks. They didn’t ignore pitching early either, drafting Felix Hernandez in the 3rd, Yovani Gallardo in the 4th, and Jon Lester in the 6th round. It might be the highest scoring offense I’ve witnessed of any league I’ve been in.
The Pale King is in 2nd and his stats breakdown thusly: 789 Runs – 755 draft, 44 waivers (94.5%/5.5%). 185 HR’s – 172 draft, 13 waivers (93%/7%). 717 RBI’s – 667 drafted, 50 waivers (93%/7%). 140 SB’s – 140 drafted, 0 waivers (100%/0%). 86 Wins – 80 drafted, 6 waivers (93%/7%). 1074 K’s – 975 drafted, 99 waivers. 34 Saves – 10 drafted, 24 waivers (29.5%/70.5%). Astounding. It seems as though FAAB is always a significant part of all the teams I manage, good and bad. Maybe that’s because I’m constantly plagued by injuries. Maybe my drafting skills need some serious tweaking. Perhaps both! Over 93% of the entire offense is fueled by his draft and with the exception of Saves, over 90% of his pitching was in place back in March.
I’m not sure how they do it. I’ve been in hundreds of drafts and every one of them both categories and positions are sniped left and right. I have to decide whether to leave value on the table to chase statistical or positional balance, or take what the draft gives me and leave myself exposed (ending up with non competitive projections in certain categories, or being forced to start players that have part-time roles with their MLB clubs). Knowing whether or not it is realistic to expect help with FAAB over the course of the season is critical in making draft day decisions. Next week we’ll look at the flip side of the coin of what was presented here today.