Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Fantasy Baseball Search Expert League Draft Analysis

Hey guys, Mike here again. So I did a yet another fantasy baseball expert league which is hosted by Todd "Fa La La La La" Farino at . Yeah, I just made that name up....what! Anyway, it was a heck of a draft and I feel like I walked away a winner already. I probably should have drafted this team with my eyes closed...too easy! It got tough for five seconds when someone drafted Carlos Quentin in the third round ahead of me but I have an answer for that..... Matt Kemp!! What!!

I kid, but this was a great draft and one I feel pretty happy and excited about. I think the back end of my pitching could use some help but and I am counting on a lot of hidden potential and upside, but that's how The Fantasy Man rolls! That's FM style baby!

The league was slightly different from the normal set up. This was a 21man active roster with 1C, 1B, 2B, 3B, SS, MI, CI, 4OF, 1DH, 9P, and 6Bench. So 27 total rounds. It was mixed league, 5x5, roto. Notice it's only 1 catcher and active OF. I will delve into that on my catcher pick.

So here are the results and my thoughts as to why I chose each player. Did I mention that you need to check out , that's my new fantasy sports game site! Tons of fun and opportunity to win free money! I give you $2.00 FREE just for signing up and trying the games. Okay, back to fantasy baseball.....

So the draft itself was the usual type of expert draft..... all hitting early, wait on closers, wait on starting pitching, experts jumping all over the young hype too early to get those oohs and aahs. I figured I'd just sit back and use this to my advantage. So here was my original plan in this particular league (these plans change from draft to draft as I tend to get bored with the same ole thing).....
- Lots Power or Power/Speed early (R1-R4) [ARod/Pujols/Wright, Quentin, Kemp, Papi, AGone, Fielder possibly]
- A Top 4 catcher in the 5th (McCann, Mauer, Martin, Soto)
- 2 Top SS between R6-R8, one to use as my MI (Drew, Jeter, Furcal, Tulo, Hardy, Peralta)
- My first pitcher in rounds 9 or 10, most likely the best closers on the board (Fuentes, Valverde, Ryan, Broxton, Soria, Marmol)

- 2 SP's after that (Volquez, Gallardo, Nolasco, etc.)
- Fill in with best player available (of the ones I actually like) from there (Ankiel, Cruz, Murphy, McPherson, Weeks, Dukes, Blalock, to name a few)

Okay, so above is my plan before I start. So take a look at those players and see who I ended up with. You see a lot of similar names right??? That's the power of mock drafts, fantasy baseball's best research! We did our draft at .

R1 - Alex Rodriguez - Dooh! 5 Minutes after 9PM when I chose A-Rod with the 5th pick in the draft, a news flash on ESPN News announced A-Rod had the Cyst and was going to fly to Colorado to get checked out! In hindsight, I should have just taken Miguel Cabrera of the Tigers but at this point of the day, I had no clue A-Rod was hurt. At that 5th pick, it's the best pick because it's either Hanley, Reyes, Pujols, Wright or A-Rod....whomever falls. In my defense, if he only misses about a month, I should still be okay. I drafted three other players total that have 3B eligibility so I should be okay.

R2 - Alfonso Soriano - Usually I'd grab a Prince Fielder or Johan Santana. But Johan might be hurt or may start the year on the DL and I love Fielder but I just wanted to do something different and so I took a chance on Soriano. He has the injury risk but he can put up Prince Fielder type power along with 20+ SB, so I figured he's be a great pick as long as he stays on the field. The other idea was to take Carlos Quentin early, but I thought he would last to me in the early 3rd round after the wrap. Well, he didn't! UGH!

R3 - Matt Kemp - Simply put, if I miss on Quentin, Kemp is always my back up plan in the 3rd round, he's usually available. .300/20/30/100/100 potential is sweet and with Manny there, it's even more a possibility.

R4 - David Ortiz - Adiran Gonzalez was gone and I was even thinking Brian Roberts to load up on speed but he got drafted and I came to my senses. I believe the Big Papi will have somewhat of a bounce back year. If he hits .290/35/100 I'll be super happy!

R5 - Joe Mauer - I could have jumped on Geovany Soto here and with Brian McCann and Russ Martin picked just ahead of me, I wanted to land Mauer and his BA/Runs potential. I'm not a huge Mauer guy in fantasy but I see an opportunity to work on the team BA.

R6 - Joe Nathan - I can't remember what possessed me to take Nathan here as I was planning to take Stephen Drew but I think I sensed a closer run. As it turned out, by round 8, Joakim Soria and Jonathon Broxton were already gone. I am happy with this pick. I also then figured I could still grab Troy Tulowitzski and J.J. Hardy in the next two rounds.

R7 - Derrek Lee - Dooh!! 1B power was getting slim and I didnt want to get stuck with a James Loney or a Casey Kotchman, so I believe Derrek Lee still has something left in the tank. Plus, Tulo, Hardy and Peralta still out there.

R8 - Troy Tulowitzski - Told ya! So I got a top SS, should be a .300/20/100R guy with some risk. SS is so weak that it's important to have a top 10 guy.

R9 - B.J. Ryan - This is usually where I grab a closer and I took Ryan. Should be solid. I bet he raises his K rate a bit this year too. Plus, he's super tough to hit and he's a lefty which I like.

R10 - Edinson Volquez - I will be using these next few rounds to grab some solid young SP's with a ton of upside. Bingo!

R11- Ricky Nolasco - This guy had 186 K last season in 212IP with a fantastic WHIP. He's an injury risk but he's up and coming.

R12 - Carlos Zambrano - I flirted with Raul Ibanez but SP's were running thin really fast. Everyone is saying he's done, not sure if people are seeing something I'm not. He's logged a lot of innings and had a down year for sure, but the dude is only 27! I feel like I got a steal in the 12th round!

R13 - Rick Ankiel - I was targeting Ankiel but with the way players were flying off the board and still needing a 2B and a MI, I wanted to steal Ankiel before anyone had the chance to do it. Plus, I new I could still wait on those other two positions. Ankiel is a contract year guy that I feel could bust out! Not every contract year guy will perform (i.e. Andruw Jones), but I'm a big believer in Ankiel's power potential.

R14 - Rickie Weeks - Sorry, just couldn't resist! I have a weak spot for Weeks.

R15 - Jorge Cantu - Still needed a CI, tons of solid 3B options late but I like the position versatility and he should be quite solid. I'll take .275/25/100 here anyday.

R16 - Erik Bedard - Having a great spring so far! Says he feels great, has all the potential in the world, still risky, but a fantastic value this late.

R17 - Hank Blalock - I took this opportunity to load up my bench, plus with A-Rod out, he makes a nice filler. He has a chip on his shoulder and much to prove. I like that and the Ranger offense is sick looking!

R18 - Carlos Guillen - A great value here. He's healthy, playing in the WBC and ready to contribute to my team. Guillen gives me the option of swapping him with Blalock in A-Rod's absence. Guillen gives me versatility at that 3B slot.

R19 - Mike Pelfrey - SOlid SP's with upside are almost non-existent now. I like Pelfrey to continue where he left off from last year. Even if Johan is out a bit in April, he's the guy who will have to step up!

R20 - Felipe Lopez - Ummm, did I just do that! Once again, I couldn't resist. I like to call Lopez my "Rickie Weeks Syndrome".

R21 - Daniel Murphy - This was a sneaky pick and makes for a fantastic sleeper. We now he is the LF starter for the Mets and scouts thing he'll be a .300/20/90 guy this year!

R22 - Elijah Dukes - This is an all potential pick. There is no way he is left on the bench with the 5 OF they have. He has 30/30 potential this year! Huge sleeper! Forget about his attitude, I think he checked that at the door. That stuff is over. Don't let that affect your decision to draft this guy this late.

R23 - Andy Pettitte - Same as the Pelfrey pick. I mean just before me someone took Paul Maholm. The after me someone too Daniel Huff?? No brainer on Pettitte who is embarrassed by last years performance. That's motivation right there. Plus, I have so much potential on this team, I needed a solid and sturdy guy I can rely on.

R24 - Jason Kubel - This guy has the upside to be a masher and now I'm just picking Fliers. Active offense is filled and I have 3 bench slots and 1 SP slot. This was an all upside pick.

R25 - Jerry Hairston - Could have left him on the wire but I love the position eligibility (2B/SS/OF) and it looks like he'll start. he could be a Brian Roberts in the 25 round if he can stay healthy.

R26 - Kyle Davies - I like his upside and youth. Was great down the stretch and in the 2nd half overall in 2008 and he's been pretty good in spring training so far. He's a supe sleeper to fill out my last starting SP slot.

R27 - Homer Bailey - I took a flier as he is having a great spring as well!

So that's the draft. Overall I have a sweet balance of power and speed. I got my two top closers with some great young pitching with upside. I was able to reload after the A-Rod debacle with my 5th pick and I have a ton of upside. Overall I'm happy and should have a top 5 team just looking at the draft. I am sure I'll be cherry pickin' off the wire come April though!

Check it out FANLEX

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