I had several NFBC teams this season. In hindsight, my main event team was finished almost before the games started. Selecting near the end of the first round, my first four selections were Carl Crawford, Jacoby Ellsbury, Kendry Morales, and Mark Reynolds. Sure Ellsbury and Morales were hurt early in the season but that is not the entire reason that my team is in 10th place. Ellsbury was selected over prominent power hitters in order to secure stolen bases. In hindsight, just the presence of Carl Crawford, along with some other later round acquisitions, has me in second in stolen bases. So a healthy Ellsbury would get me exactly one more stolen base point. Losing Morales hurt, but his power loss was essentially evened out by the late round selection of Mike Stanton. As far as Mark Reynolds is concerned, I knew better than to take a guy with over 400 strikeouts in two seasons but I did it anyway.
My auction team has been another story. I have been in first place in my league and floating around the top-ten overall for most of the season. Although I was a little zealous on buying stolen bases, my strategy of buying all Tampa Rays hitters basically worked. Couple the Rays hitters with Mike Stanton and Buster Posey, my only do over might be B.J. Upton for a bigger slugger. Starting pitching helped keep me at or near the top. And that is the root of my struggles right now. Watching most of Marlins spring training games, I was very high on Josh Johnson and Ricky Nolasco. I owned the “old” Colby Lewis so I had to have the “new” Colby Lewis. And after living with Brandon Morrow last season, it was only fitting that I try and deal with him again. First Nolasco goes down with a freak injury, then Morrow gets shut down to conserve innings, then Johnson is shut down with a bad back/shoulder. My ERA and ratio, which was so strong all season, is now taking an absolute beating as I try to hold wins and strikeouts with bad pitchers.
As I put the finishing touches of my final NFBC Zone of the season, I am actually sweating out starts by Dillon Gee of the Mets, James McDonald of the Pirates, Chris Narveson of the Brewers, and Jeff Francis of the Rockies. Talk about a nightmare that cannot possibly have a good ending…
But this is the perfect time of the season to go back and analyze what you did right. And more importantly, what you did wrong.
If you tried a new strategy, take a look at which parts worked. It was a strange year, no doubt about it. You could argue that only three of the top 12 hitters going into the season actually produced as expected. It seemed to be the year of the pitcher, and there were a lot of great ones. But if you went hitter-heavy and missed out on the countless break-out hurlers, you don’t necessarily have to change that for next year. Pitchers’ performance has never been easy to predict. You never know, maybe this year was just a fluke.
Or maybe it wasn’t.