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Friday 20th Oct 2017

I confess.

Adam LaRoche, just signed by the Nats to a two-year deal, is just the kind of guy I like on my fantasy teams.


Because hardly anyone wants him, any more than they want Mark Ellis or Mark Buehrle.

To me, copping guys like them--undervalued, everyday starters, who produce, are the basis of a winning team. Of course, I am talking just straight 5X5 Rotoball here, as opposed to Strat-O-Matic or leagues that focus on OBP. And, it also depends on the depth of the league.

But, to me one of the secrets of success in say a tight AL or NL only format--Tout Wars is the best example I can think of--is those cast offs that most owners won't touch.

Now, LaRoche does have a somewhat mediocre career OBP of .339, however, over his seven-year career, he has averaged .271-26-93 with 40 doubles. And, those are very steady numbers.

Or Ellis, who has .268-14-68, with 31 doubles and nine swipes. Or Buehrle, with 15-11, 3.85 totals over 223 innings, with a 1.28 WHIP. True Buehrle is not a strikeout monster (126 a year on average) but, he is steady.

So, building a team around one big pitcher, and one or two big hitters, with a serious closer, then feasting on those undervalued guys that sell for the $9-$15 range in most leagues.

Now, you might think this troika is not such a cluster of sleepers, but, in the XFL, the Experts Fantasy League run by BBHQ's Ron Shandler, between 2005-08, neither Ellis nor LaRoche was even nominated during the November auction (though each did subsequently find a home during the reserve draft).

I think LaRoche will fare well in our nation's capital. I just hope not so well that he appears on everyone's radar.

Just those of a few select players, like you and me. He will be our secret.



0 #4 Lawr Michaels 2011-01-08 01:27
i think that patience conundrum is the most difficult aspect of playing fantasy baseball.

the paradox is you have to let your players do their thing, and not dump a slumping starter.

on the other hand, the best chance to grab a guy who will become a starter and give a season full of stats.

so, balancing those two things is dicey.

but, i do believe NEVER trade a starter you draft who is slumping. releasing is not a smart idea either, but, preferable to trading.

because, if you pay $12 for ryan raburn last year, and dumped him, you wasted your money and someone else picked him up and got the profit.

0 #3 John Korzen 2011-01-07 16:31
I agree on LaRoche and his ilk. I have won some titiles with squads of mostly $10-15 guys, but it does take patience at the draft. LaRoche can also test one's patience during the season, because he often starts slow, rewarding owners in the second half.
0 #2 Todd Zola 2011-01-07 15:33
Too bad he won't be available as a free agent in this year's XFL supplemental round 8)

Though I admit I was hoping he would land just north of our nation's capital. But I will take a full time gig anywhere.
0 #1 Rob Leibowitz 2011-01-07 15:11
Lawr - I like him for exactly the same reason - boring, predictable. I've seen him, however, in situations in NL only leagues where he comes up as the "last decent first basemen" available on multiple occasions and seen him go close to full value. In Arizona last year, some felt he might have a banner year playing in that park, so I even so him go as high as $20 and he ended up earning $22 in NL only 5x5 last year to boot. In single-league formats, b/c of his dependability, I don't think he's necessarily a bargain, but on the same hand, he doesn't generate excitement unless its an auction-timing issue.

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