It is indeed the big NFBC draft weekend, and over the next week most of you will indeed be in bars and rec rooms and living rooms buying and/or drafting your team for 2016. Maybe it is a throwback league and you are drafting from scratch, or perhaps you are in an Ultra league salivating at the chance that Braxton Davidson--currently on your reserve list--might be brought up sometime later this season.
Irrespective, draft day is pretty much like Christmas day when we were younger: much anticipated, exciting, but fraught with hopes that players will fall to you and that it is possible to walk away from the draft with something that resembles a competitive team.
As a result of this, and as a public service, let me give you all five things to remember while you are drafting that will ideally help make the day a little more relaxing and maybe even a success, to boot.
- In general there are a lot of players to be rostered with a myriad of varied skills. If you have you heart set on Giancarlo Stanton, but he goes too soon, or simply cost more than you budgeted, don't panic. There are a million ways to skin your league mates and the possibilities of C.J. Cron and Yoenis Cespedes could fetch the same as Stanton and even produce more. Just stay open and flexible and always have a couple of players you are willing to nominate and two or three paths your team assembly can take
- Forget about percentage breakdowns spent between hitting and pitching. Honestly, I don't know why anyone would care about this save for some anecdotal purpose during or just after the draft, and maybe to run some stats on comparing auctions and prices of a bunch of leagues just to see what that info points to. But, essentially, you are filling a roster with the players you think will win. Your conviction and belief in said players should be a lot more valuable than how you broke down your bucks spent. And, obviously, balance is critical, so think more in terms of drafting a balanced roster rather than whether to spend 28% or 32% of you budget on pitchers.
- Never let a bargain by. So, you hate Billy Butler, who went for $2 at LABR at the beginning of the auction, and had I not already grabbed Evan Gattis, I surely would have bid $3 for an everyday hitter with .260-15-70 capabilities in a deep league for $3. Someone else should have, like Butler or not. All that really matters is the hitter or pitcher deliver numbers and turn a profit, something Butler will do at $2, whether you love him or hate him.
- As I have been saying, don't be afraid to fail big, which means it is OK to take some chances. Just not too many, and balance the two or three crapshoots you wish to make with a remaining roster of steady productive players who can indeed push your team's numbers in the right direction. But, there is so much information out in the ether, and so many chances for us to second guess or fear a mistake that in the throes of the draft, it is easy to forget this and chicken out. Mind you, I am not saying draft Eduardo Escobar thinking he will hit 20 dingers, but Escobar can hit eight and if you have a feeling he could push the total to 13 or so this year, fine, don't be afraid to bet on it. Just try to be objective in said acquisitions so that, as noted, your roster has that solid base and some upside.
- Have fun. I can never say this enough as it is so easy to take fantasy and our leagues so seriously, but, remember: Fantasy is a game based upon another game where we watch a guy try to hit a ball with a stick. Play to win, but not at the expense of much of anything else, right? Cos we do it for fun. Right?
- A few names to remember late: Jonathan Villar, Leonys Martin, Travis Shaw, A.J. Reed, Colin Rea, Ben Paulsen, Marwin Gonzalez, and Tyler Naquin.