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Wednesday 29th Mar 2017

Kevin “KJ” Dukesherer, is a very successful veteran high stakes player in baseball and football. He is also the creator of several specialty contests run by the NFBC in January and February and debuted a new challenge last week.

The $250 TEAM Satellite Draft saw the 15 participants draft two MLB pitching staffs and two MLB hitting lineups in four rounds. Here are the league particulars:

• Each owner will build his 30-man roster from one NL pitching staff, one AL pitching staff, one NL lineup and one AL lineup. The TEAM draft will take place on the message board and Draft Order will be as follows:

○ Round 1: 1-15 
○ Round 2: 15-1
○ Round 3: 15-1
○ Round 4: 15-1

• If a player is officially traded or released prior to any Friday @ midnight PT, he must be dropped during the first available FAAB period. He then would be eligible for his new team in the subsequent FAAB period. If a player is traded after the Friday deadline in any given week, he must be dropped by the second upcoming weekend. Likewise, once a player is officially removed from your MLB franchise he must be removed from your starting lineup for the upcoming scoring period.

So the first order of business was to figure out where I wanted to draft – KDS (as in Kentucky Derby Style) preference is listing the spots in the order you would take them if picked next. Standard for a normal draft would generally be 1-15 or straight butter as the players call it. BUT with the unique draft flow of 1-15 then 15-1, 15-1, and 15-1 (known as banzai for some of you FF players) do you want the first pick in the draft and the last pick for the other three rounds or do you want the last pick in the first round and the first go in the other rounds?

I thought the clear pick at 1.01 would be the Washington Nationals pitching staff – imagine starting Max Scherzer, Stephen Strasburg, Jordan Zimmermann, Doug Fister and Gio Gonzalez every week for five, six, or seven starts. I thought that would be closely followed by the Los Angeles Dodgers pitching staff so that draft could have Clayton Kershaw, Zack Greinke and friends.

But if I didn’t get one of those, I thought the 1.15 slot and then the first pick in each round would be the way to go. If I couldn’t draft there, I thought it would be best to be smack dab in the middle to have the eighth pick each round. So my KDS started 1, 2, 15, 14, 8, etc., and I got my fifth choice and drafted from the eight hole.

in fact the draft unfolded exactly as I had thought with WAS and LAD pitching and then got a slight surprise when the Padres pitching staff went third before the draft went on a slight hitting run – the Blue Jays, White Sox, Rockies, and Red Sox hitters going in front of me. Now what?

Guessing that I would find a lineup I liked in the second round (I was after some sleepers – see if you can guess right now) I selected King Felix Hernandez and the Seattle Mariners pitching staff. In addition to Felix, I would get Hisashi Iwakuma, Fernando Rodney and several young upside arms that I think will have an added W potential this year with the added offense in Seattle.

Here is the whole first round and the top half of the second round

1.01 - Washington Nationals pitching

1.02 - Los Angeles Dodgers pitching

1.03 - San Diego Padres pitching

1.04 - Toronto Blue Jays hitting

1.05 - Chicago White Sox hitting

1.06 - Colorado Rockies hitting

1.07 - Boston Red Sox hitting

1.08 - Seattle Mariners pitching

1.09 - Pittsburgh Pirates hitting

1.10 - Washington Nationals hitting

1.11 - Chicago Cubs hitting

1.12 - Detroit Tigers hitting

1.13 - Milwaukee Brewers hitting

1.14 - St. Louis Cardinals hitting

1.15 - Los Angeles Angels hitting

Then

2.01 – Chicago Cubs pitching

2.02 – Los Angeles Dodgers batting

2.03 – Cleveland Indians pitching

2.04 – Chicago White Sox pitching

2.05 - Texas Rangers hitting

2.06 – Tampa Bay Rays pitching

2.07 – Seattle Mariners hitting

Okay, who would you take here? Or who did you guess I would take here?

As I said on the message board where we held this portion of the draft, “I hope I am drafting the Major League Home Run and Stolen Base kings for 2015 as I select the Miami Marlins hitting. The rest of the Marlins great young outfield – Christian Yelich and Marcell Ozuna tipped the scales for me over the riskier Houston Astros but having Jose Altuve, George Springer and Evan Gattis was tempting. Could I get them in the third round?

The answer was no as they went at 2.14.

But that may have been a blessing as I needed to get an NL pitching staff in the third round so there was no chance I would be stuck with the Arizona Diamondbacks or Colorado Rockies pitching, which was going to happen to someone in the final round.

At 3.08, the two best NL staffs were the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Miami Marlins and ultimately I decided that the mid-season addition of Jose Fernandez made the Marlins the right pick. Guess I will watch a lot of Marlins on the DirecTV MLB package this summer.

Now I just needed one more component – my AL hitters. There were four teams left – the Kansas City Royals, the Tampa Bay Rays, the Oakland Athletics and the Minnesota Twins. Actually, while the Royals were the best of those by a wide margin in 2014 and rated to be again this year, the other three teams “fit” my team better, but all I could do was wait and see if I even had a choice at 4.08. And as the Twins and A’s were chosen early in the fourth round, I didn’t, but I was very happy to have the Rays as they not only added Evan Longoria at third base so I could move Martin Prado to MI, they added three good outfielders in Desmond Jennings, Kevin Kiermaier, and the promising young Steven Souza, and they gave me not one but two catchers in John Jaso and Rene Rivera, so I wouldn’t have to play Jarrod Saltalmacchia every week to drain my batting average. They should also give me a better choice of shortstops to play with Asdrubal Cabrera and/or Nick Franklin. I will start picking my 30 players from these groups on Monday.

You can see all the teams on the NFBC message boards or I can post them on ours (look in the Team Management Forum). And you can easily play this game with friends, and if you can’t get 15, you can go with ten teams with each owner getting three pitching staffs and three hitting teams.

I suspect this league will now be an every year feature at the NFBC and maybe there will even be two leagues of the Team Satellite next year.

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