Impressions From the Facilitator PDF Print E-mail
Written by Ryan Carey   
Monday, 02 April 2012 14:10

This past weekend I had the pleasure of facilitating live drafts for the NFBC in New York. This was my third year in a row running a Main Event draft, and when I am not playing myself, it has become my way to be part of the festivities and get a front row seat to the Main Event action. It is always fun to see old friends and make new ones and I am always impressed by the camaraderie of the NYC crowd. I was particularly impressed with how many people remembered me by name without hesitation. Now I was a bartender for years, so for me that is second nature, but I haven’t been in too many communities where people exhibit this trait as well as fantasy baseball players do. Maybe it comes from training our brains to memorize the player pool and stats that we are able to meet one of our brethren and be able to file that name away for future use. Once you’ve gone to battle in the NFBC, you always remember your fellow competitors. For me, it is part of what makes the weekend so much fun, as aside from Ron Shandler’s seminars, this is as close to a convention for players as we get.

While New York is no Las Vegas, there is something to be said for the fact that in NY it’s all about the drafts. No sports-book, no glitz, no late nights spent playing craps. The focus is on drafting, plain and simple. Guys come into the room well rested, focused and prepared. There is definitely an East Coast flavor to the room, with plenty of New York/New Jersey accents filling the room, with a touch of Boston and Philadelphia mixed in for good measure. While Vegas often boasts some of the more prominent names in the field, New York always boasts their own roster of accomplished players and it is always fun to watch everyone race over on the breaks to see how the other drafts are progressing. My draft board got a lot of attention and was the buzz of the room as our draft saw Hanley Ramirez selected first overall. The guy who took him openly confessed that he took Hanley because he is his favorite baseball player and he wanted to have him on his team. While some in the room criticized the pick and openly wished they had been in that draft, others took my position of “He paid his entry fee, so he can take who he likes when he likes.” Despite the criticism, this guy wasn’t going to let anyone rain on the fact that he got the guy he wanted in Round 1.

The biggest development that unfolded on draft day from my perspective was the ascension of both Eric Hosmer and Brett Lawrie to the second round of drafts. Hosmer in particular was an early target of some prominent drafters, who clearly had made getting Hosmer a centerpiece of their strategy. Talking to the guys who drafted him afterwards, the common strategy was to grab a MI in the first round (Tulowitski, Cano or Kinsler) knowing that they could bump Hosmer up to the second round and still get their 1B. These guys were for the most part drafting from around the tenth or eleventh spot, and knew Hosmer wouldn’t make it back in the third. While they all admitted to the risk in moving Hosmer up that early, the all talked about the upside he brings when compared to the guy some of them passed on, Mark Teixeira. They all liked Hosmer’s batting average as well as the stolen bases he brings, and felt that even conservative projections made him the better fit for their overall plans. The key to Hosmer getting elevated I think was that after him, the next best bet at the position was Paul Konerko. After Konerko, you were looking at lesser options with more risk involved. I myself often targeted Michael Cuddyer as a fallback option, but admit if you waited here, you could end up with an Ike Davis or Freddie Freeman instead.

Brett Lawrie’s stock rising was I think directly tied to Hosmer coming out so early in many cases. I guess it was to be expected in these NFBC drafts, as all it takes is one drafter to jump a hyped player up a round or two. Lawrie makes less sense to me as a second rounder however. While the bulk of the first base class was off the board when Hosmer was drafted, this was not the case when it came to Lawire. He was consistently drafted ahead of Adrian Beltre, Ryan Zimmerman and Pablo Sandoval. I personally would not take him ahead of Beltre and would have looked elsewhere in Round 2 if I saw so many other comparable third basemen still on the board. Don’t get me wrong, I believe in Lawrie’s talent, I just didn’t see the same logic in those who moved on him early as I did from those who moved on Hosmer. In any case, another NFBC weekend is in the books and now all that is left is for the games to begin. Those that drafted these two young studs early will find out soon enough if they made the right call. Let the games begin!

Follow Ryan on Twitter @ryanpcarey

Last Updated on Monday, 02 April 2012 18:51
Walton on Sirius XM Fantasy Drive Thursday PDF Print E-mail
Written by Brian Walton   
Thursday, 22 March 2012 15:22

With the Tout Wars drafts this coming weekend in Manhattan (the Big Apple, not the one in Kansas), the guys at Sirius XM Fantasy Drive are apparently making their way through the combatants. Tonight is my turn. I will be joining Kyle, Kay and Ray of the SXM Fantasy Drive today, Thursday, March 22 at 6:35 PM Eastern. Sirius 210, XM 87.

Last Updated on Thursday, 22 March 2012 16:09
Todd on the Fantasy Alarm Show Saturday - SiriusXM PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Saturday, 17 March 2012 09:37
Saturday afternoon, Todd will be joining hosts Jeff Mans and Ted Shuster on the Fantasy Alarm Show at 5:30 PM ET/2:30 PM PT. Tune into the Fantasy Sports Radio channel on SiriusXM, XM-87, Sirius-210 where we will also give away a Platinum Package to a lucky listener.
Last Updated on Saturday, 17 March 2012 09:43
Book review: Fantasy is Reality PDF Print E-mail
Written by Pasko Varnica   
Wednesday, 14 March 2012 18:19


     The timing of the release of Fantasy is Reality during the height of the preparation for the upcoming baseball season is purely coincidental.  Steve Strange, book’s author, is a veteran of fantasy sports. His intent with Fantasy is Reality is to provide an overall portrayal of our favorite pastime, its many features and a few foibles. Indeed, the book’s subtitle is “A Fantasy Sports Commissioner’s Reference Guide”.

    The first chapter is aptly called “Ground Floor”.  Steve builds up from here, going into the “Framework” of different leagues (the second chapter) and follows by describing the draft (third chapter), the actual game and different strategies, all peppered with tidbits of sometimes funny and occasionally thoughtful episodes drawn from his real life experience.  Suggestions abound about how to set up your league based on your personal interest in the game. The later chapters delve into the “Next level” and into comparatively more sophisticated aspects of fantasy sports, all in line with author’s objective to offer a complete perspective.  With that in mind, baseball and football receive an equal share of time with other sports mentioned in proportion to their popularity.  In my opinion, the author has met his original intent.

    A veteran fantasy sports aficionado, as most readers of this site are, may not learn any new rule or methodology. But if you know people who are new to fantasy sports and may want to join your league or are merely curious about how you spend your time, hand this book to them. Written in an informal and easy flowing prose that makes it a fast and entertaining read, those who are interested in finding out about us will not get bored. The title itself is great and revealing. Let’s face it. While the word “fantasy” is sadly associated with this hobby of ours, we dedicate real time and occasionally real money to it. For us, this is our reality.

    That Steve Strange has done his homework is obvious. Many web sites are referenced with our own Todd Zola and Mastersball site receiving multiple credits.

    The book can be purchased from here: Check it out for a detailed introduction and full book content. Not too many books are written and published about this topic we pursue that is dear to our heart. You personal library should own it.

2012 Mastersball Forum Draft: First Round PDF Print E-mail
Written by Ryan Carey   
Wednesday, 07 March 2012 11:28

Yesterday I was joined by eleven eager Forum regulars as we completed the First Round of a 12 Team Snake Draft. Over the next couple of weeks we will be working our way through this 30 Round draft, filling out our rosters and offering some analysis of each pick me make along the way. The nice thing about these results is this is not a Mock Draft, as we have done in the past.  This year we decided that we would play this league out, with FAAB pickups throughout the year. Regular readers of our Forums will recognize many of the participants and I look forward to a spirited draft, with some interesting commentary, from this group we have assembled.

Here is a look at the First Round we’ve just completed:

1 – Albert Pujols 1B, LAA – Trav the Ump

2 – Miguel Cabrera 1B, DET – Whipsaw

3 – Matt Kemp OF, LAD  - Black SOX

4 – Ryan Braun OF, MIL  - Steve B

5 -  Joey Votto 1B, CIN  -  P. Evans

6 – Jose Bautista 3B/OF, TOR – AllstonRockCity

7 – Troy Tulowitski SS, COL – mbendar

8 – Jacoby Ellsbury OF, BOS – Ryan Carey

9 – Adrian Gonzalez 1B, BOS – Southpaw

10 – Justin Upton  OF, ARI  - T Grant

11 -  Hanley Ramirez  SS, MIA  - Mickey4081

12 – Carlos Gonzalez  OF, COL  - Rotonut


We invite you to drop into the forum and follow along as we work our way through the player pool.  The Forum for the draft can be found here: 2012 Mastersball Forum Draft

We also have a separate commentary thread for observers to post comments and/or ask questions of the participants.  So if you want to add your two cents or slam our picks please feel free to join the conversation.

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