When the 2010 NFBC draws were announced, I received a number of sympathy notes. Among the competitors in my league, Classic Weekend 2, New York 1, are Ron Shandler and his assistant Dave Adler from Baseball HQ, plus three-time Tout Wars Mixed League champion Larry Schechter. There is the dynamic duo of ESPN’s Nate Ravitz and three-time LABR co-champ Glenn Colton.
Then, there is me - and oh yeah, 11 other owners.
For those who are reluctant to participate in these kinds of leagues because of the “name” fantasy industry competition, don’t be.
None of the top three teams in the league, those with over 90 points, are led by the industry people. Schechter, Ravitz/Colton and I are among a pack in the upper-middle of the standings with scores in the 80’s. The Shandler/Adler team is lodged in the group bringing up the rear.
My team is about as imbalanced as they come. I have the second-highest total in pitching with 61 points, but am just two points from having the fewest hitting points at 23.
While I thought I had a very good draft (but who doesn’t?) my two major free agent acquisitions since the season began have been busts. San Diego’s former outfielder Kyle Blanks drew a $202 bid that took me nowhere. Ineffectiveness followed by injuries were the culprits.
The health questions surrounding Rockies closer Huston Street caused me to hop on former ninth-inning man Manny Corpas in late June. The speculative move itself was not bad, but bidding $203 clearly was.
Overpaying badly for both Corpas and Blanks wasted considerable FAAB. On the mound, Corpas was so awful that I don’t think I have had the confidence to even play him more than a week or two and I surely will drop him as I did Blanks.
Earlier, all the way back in April, I had bid over one-quarter of my FAAB in an attempt to get either Justin Smoak or Ike Davis. I failed at both. I haven’t looked at the numbers this year, but in the past, I am usually among the league leaders in bids lost, as I am constantly bargain-shopping.
Fast forward to the here and now. As we headed into the final trimester of the season, I decided to undertake a major overhaul of my underperforming offense with the goal of reaching third place in my 15-team league.
To do so, I would need to pick up just eight more points. In that case, I would most likely finish ahead of my industry friends and rivals; but this isn’t about showing well, it is about cashing in.
Out went the hugely-disappointing Nate McLouth, injured hitters Blanks and Brandon Inge and the Rockies’ fill-in infielder Jonathan Herrera. In came Royals prospect Kila Ka’aihue, previously leading the Pacific Coast League in a number of offensive categories, streaking St. Louis shortstop Brendan Ryan, a steady veteran in Pat Burrell and an injury opportunity player in Tampa Bay’s Dan Johnson. The veteran first baseman, hot as the summer in the minors, should play most every day while Carlos Pena is out. With John Buck on the disabled list, his replacement, J.P. Arencibia, joined my squad as well. I spent less than $100 in acquiring the five.
Time will tell if my revamped roster will make a difference, but I am giving it my full attention and best effort. Consider a similar set of actions in your league if you are close, but not quite close enough.
An overhaul certainly couldn’t hurt and maybe you can pass your rivals to gain some always-valuable bragging rights in the process, as well. Most importantly, if you are like me and are still within striking distance of the money, it’s time to go get it!
Brian Walton is the 2009 National League Tout Wars champion, scoring the most points in the league’s 12-year history. He is a 2009 NFBC league winner and finished in the top 25 nationally in both the NFBC and NFFC last season. His work can also be found daily at TheCardinalNation.com and thecardinalnationblog.com.