Monday, March 12, 2007

1st Annual "Battle of the Fantasy Gods" Expert Auction League

Tout Wars? Mixed Nuts? HA! Although these leagues are probably great and full of knowledgable old school experts, there still seems to be no place for some of us new school experts........ so I decided to take matters into my own hands and host the first annual Battle of the Fantasy Gods here at Fantasy Baseball Express.

I dug down deep and invited 12 of the freshest personalities in the Fantasy Baseball Advice industry. I came up with 12 experts, writers and fantasy baseball website owners. It was quite the experience getting these guys together and after three weeks of planning, I finally pulled it off, no thanks to a few mishaps that almost derailed the whole thing. A big thank you goes out to Fantasy Auctioneer where we held our auction for giving us the platform for this draft but also for helping us in a pinch. You see, five minutes after the draft started, one guy, who will remain nameless decided he wanted to bid $45 for Albert Pujols, but it appeared that someone else got a $45 bid in first but a winning bid of $46 actually won the the services of Pujols. The next player out, Miguel Cabrera, was flowing along with a flood of bids and then bam, like a punch in the face, this same guy throws a $45 bid on Cabrera, almost $10 more than the current bid at that time ( we think. We were all flabbergasted! A minute later, this guy logged out of the software and was no where in sight. Where did he go? Did the software crap out on him? Computer crash? The answer is neither. Apparently, when he realized he "accidentally" bid $45 on Cabrera, he bailed leaving us all there in the room with our "pencils between our fingers". So here we are with 11 experts in the middle of a 12 team expert auction.... thanks buddy! Anyway, first, Tim Dierkes at Roto Authority put up an ad for another player, and we found one in no time. He was a non-expert but at this point, we would take anyone who was breathing and had a clue. At the same time, I got the guy who runs Fantasy Auctioneer on the phone and we were able to troubleshoot and get this new guy into our draft, which was still paused. Man, what a mess! After about 30 minutes, luckily everyone else stuck around, we were able to continue the auction....thanks guys! I found out later that the guy that crapped out on us, an "expert" with his own fantasy baseball website, said that a fight broke out behind him that he had to break up......unsuccessfully, he told me in an email later that next day. My question is....... where is this fantasy baseball "expert", who runs his own website, doing an expert draft anywhere near a place where a fight could break out??? So interesting.

It was a night to remember! I went crazy at one point and got teased for winning the bid on a $16 Delmon Young only to then steal Johnny Damon at a mere $1 more at $17. At first I was like "okay, maybe I got out of control with Young being that it was a bidding war with me and one other guy since doller ten, but when Brad Stewart of MLB Front Office bid $13 for Chris B. Young, I felt much better about my $16 Delmon Young.

Overall, the auction was a success. Below is the lineup of fresh experts for the first annual Battle of the Fantasy Gods.....

1. Mike Kuchera -
2. Paul Greco -
3. Tim Dierkes -
4. Joe Ribando -
5. Jon Williams - Advanced Fantasy Baseball
6. Tim McLeod - The Fantasy Baseball Guide
7. Knox Bardeen -
8. Brad Stewart - MLB Front Office
9. Heath Shaffer -
10. John Lubic -
11. Snugs (yes, that's the name he wants to go by) - Non-Expert - Last minute fill-in**
12. Sweet Lou -
Sweet Lou's Baseball Lab

Best Underpriced Player(s): $12 Carlos Guillen, $15 Gary Sheffield, $12 Mike Cuddyer ( I can't decide)
Worst Overpriced Player: $21 Adam Dunn (have fun with a < .245 average) Cheapest Sleeper: Carlos Quentin in the Reserve Draft

As for Team Fantasy Man, my initial goal was to shoot for position scarcity and put together a nice solid pitching staff. This was a normal $260 budget, 23 man active roster with 2C's, 1B, 2B, 3B, SS, MI, CI, 5OF's, DH, 9P's, 5x5, roto, mixed league. As we began drafting, my main thought was to spend money on two of the top 3 catchers in Mauer, Martinez and McCann and other big money on my middle infield. Turns out, all three catchers came out pretty early and all went for more than $24 and more than I intended to pay. I was hoping for the $19 - $23 range. At that point a snagged Jose Reyes for $42, Miguel Tejada for $25, Matt Holliday for $34 and Garratt Atkins for $24. So right there I clogged up my middle infield and took care of some position scarcity right off the bat. I also decided to spend on Atkins and Holliday even though 3B and OF are deep because I did not want to pass up their average/power potential combination. I had seemed to spend big early but I was able to land some nice bargains late like Morgan Ensberg for a buck, Cole Hamels for $12, Jorge Cantu at $2 and Lyle Overbay at $7. My favorite pick was a $13 Scott Kazmir which is extremely undervalued! My worst pick at the time was Carlos Zambrano as he was the 5th player I picked, but then when I stole Kazmir for $13 and Hamels for $12 late in the auction, I am now actually happy with my $26 Carlos Zambrano.

So overall, I could not stick to my plan with position scarcity with the exception of Tejada and Reyes but I did in fact whip up a nice pitching staff while finding some nice bargains in other positions. Overall I have speed, I have a decent amount of power, I have saves, K's, wins and best of all, I have a ton of high average hitters which is something I feel every team needs. High averages normally translated into more runs, homeruns and RBI. If I need anything, I could use possibly one more power hitter.

The first annual Battle of the Fantasy Gods initial auction was a complete success! Now the fun part comes..... playing out the league! Good luck to those participating and I invite anyone reading this to check out the auction above and leave your comments!

Good Luck to all this season!

Mike Kuchera
Fantasy Baseball Express

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