Saturday, March 15, 2008

Fantasy Baseball Draft Analysis - Fantasy Gameday Keeper

I'm involved in a keeper league commissioned by Kelly over at Fantasy Gameday. It's a 6x6 league, with the extra categories being walks & holds; each of which threw some new strategy into the draft. A few other interesting tidbits:

-12 teams - roto
-27 man rosters
-We can keep up to 5 major league players
-We'll also hold a minor league draft to select 6 players, from which we can keep 3
-We cannot keep any players drafted in the top 3 rounds
-Keeper inflation is 3 rounds from the prior year's draft
-My team name is Splitting Headaches (I really didn't think you'd care, but why not)

This is going to be a very competitive league, as the draft proved. I will be providing a more in depth analysis on the draft in an upcoming post, but below is a quick summary of my top 6 picks (also in the comments section of this post at Fantasy Gameday).

My top 6 picks were:

Round (overall pick) Player (player picked before / after)

1 (10) C Utley (2B) - (D Ortiz / R Howard)
-I was happy to end up with Utley with the 10th overall pick, even though he doesn't walk as much as some of the other top guys; it’s always comforting getting the middle infield addressed with studs early in the draft.

2 (15) C Crawford (OF) - (P Fielder / G Sizemore)
-Crawford is the first of the picks I might have done differently in a draft do-over. This is the first time I’ve ever drafted Crawford, after many seasons of wanting him & anticipating a “breakout” season (read - more HR). I really think this will be the year he shows more power & rbi’s, but he walks about 1/3 as often as the pick 16th pick, Sizemore, who went one pick later. Grady might not steal as often as Carl, but he’s shown proven power & his walks have increased substantially each of the past few seasons. Oh well, I hope Crawford becomes a top 10 player this year & gives me a shot.

3 (34) R Martin (C) - (B Roberts / T Tulowitzki)
-Even though this is a one catcher league, I couldn’t pass up Martin with my third round selection; I just didn’t think he’d be there the next time around & he was one of the top players on my board at that point. He walks plenty, he’ll hit HR, and get more steals than any catcher - I’m keeping my fingers crossed that he stays healthy & gets 15-20 steals. NOTE - I almost pulled the trigger on Tulowitzki, but I thought he'd be there when it came back around to me at pick 39; sucked for me.

4 (39) A Ramirez (3B) - (C Sabathia / A Dunn)
-I was fine with Ramirez at 39 overall; I think he’ll improve this season and he’s solid all around.

5 (58) C Pena (1B) - (C Guillen / J Lackey)
-I felt like I reached a little for Carlos Pena at 58th overall, although his high walk ratio makes him more valuable in this league than a normal 5×5. I didn’t have a huge power guy yet, and I felt like he’d give me 80%-90% of the performance of Prince Fielder or Ryan Howard at a significantly discounted price.

6 (63) J Smoltz (P) - (C Jones / I Kinsler)
-With my 6th round pick, I reached some for the grandpa of the pitching studs by taking John Smoltz; although living in Atlanta & following the Braves pretty closely, I know for a fact that he’s still an awesome pitcher and will give me wins, a low ERA & WHIP, and get K’s; I certainly could have done worse. And since I was able to get Kazmir (9th round - good value in my mind), Shields (11th round), and Wainwright (14th round) to round out my rotation, I think I’ll be very competitive in the pitching categories (I have consistency all around in Smoltz, K’s & upside in Kazmir, K’s & WHIP in Shields, and upside all around in Wainwright).

I had an interesting draft (that’s a kind way to say I wasn’t all that happy with the end results). Even though I knew that walks & holds were add’l categories, I somehow disregarded the walks addition until I was a few rounds in (which will probably come back to haunt me during the season).

Overall, I’m probably a mid-pack team with some upside with my current roster. With some wise waiver wire pickups, I might have a shot to be more competitive.

I'll be providing more in depth analysis in an upcoming post, along with keeping readers updated on what's going on throughout the season.

What are your thoughts?

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