In NFBC Draft Champions leagues, it’s all about the middle to late rounds. Since there’s no such thing as a waiver wire in this format, a 15-team mixed league that kicks off the season with a 50-round draft, these rounds become all the more important, as an early-round blunder could be made up for by a high-profit selection later on in the draft. In the reserve rounds, securing injury insurance for your regulars, especially your starting pitchers, while at the same time taking a chance on a few underappreciated veterans along with prospects who could contribute to your squad at some point down the road is vital. Matt Dominguez (27th round), Rex Brothers (31st round) and Bartolo Colon (34th round) are three examples of players I drafted last season who easily outperformed their price tag. This year, there’s Wily Peralta (22nd round), Garrett Jones (24th round) and Juan Francisco (29th round).
Well, we are almost exactly halfway through the 2014 season, so in order to prove that in NFBC Draft Champions leagues, it’s all about the middle to late rounds, here’s my Midseason All-Value Team. Next to each player’s name, I’ve included his current positional ranking on the NFBC Player Rater, the round in which he was drafted in my league and the current place in the standings of the team that drafted that player.
C Devin Mesoraco (#3 C) – Drafted in 16th round by 11th place team
1B Jose Abreu (#3 1B) – Drafted in 6th round by 4th place team
2B Brian Dozier (#3 2B) – Drafted in 14th round by 10th place team
SS Dee Gordon (#1 2B)* – Drafted in 32nd round by 5th place team
3B Todd Frazier (#1 3B) – Drafted in 13th round by 3rd place team
OF Nelson Cruz (#3 OF) – Drafted in 11th round by 5th place team
OF Michael Brantley (#4 OF) – Drafted in 17th round by 11th place team
OF Charlie Blackmon (#5 OF) – Drafted in 28th round by 8th place team
SP Johnny Cueto (#1 SP) – Drafted in 9th round by 3rd place team
SP Scott Kazmir (#6 SP) – Drafted in 19th round by 15th place team
CL Francisco Rodriguez (#1 RP) – Drafted in 32nd round by 2nd place team
*Note that even though Gordon has been playing 2B, he’s still SS eligible, so I shifted him over in order to fit in Dozier.
Now listen, “value” is a relative word, so even though it might seem strange that a 6th rounder and a 9th rounder are included here, did you really expect Jose Abreu to be this good? Most pre-season projections didn’t even have him finishing the year with 25 homers, yet he has already slugged 25 longballs over his first 68 big league games. Yeah, Johnny Cueto was considered to be a legitimate top-30 fantasy starting pitcher heading into the season, but a 1.88 ERA and 0.83 WHIP through 17 starts?
But back to the point. So does this really prove that in NFBC Draft Champions leagues, it’s all about the middle to late rounds? Not quite. Only six of the 11 players on this All-Value squad reside on teams that are in the top-5 of the standings, with the average standings position being 7th.
Sure, the middle to late rounds are important. But I guess the early rounds are kind of important too.