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Fantasy Strategy Thread

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The key to all strategies is pushing the right buttons...

"dont need an ace"?  Tell that to the guy who had a staff of the 2nd tier guys like Cueto, Lester, McCullers, Teheran..

"All closers" = it can be a pretty volatile spot, was it two years ago when like 2/3 of the game saw closers change during the season?

Same can go for hitting...

 

 

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7 hours ago, LJJr said:

One other thing I'd like to mention about the all closer strategy...

 

I feel like *every* year that the elite closers (and imo Yahoo is especially bad about this) keep creeping higher and higher up the draft boards.  If I have to take Kimbrel or Jansen in round 3 to have a shot at getting them at all it makes this strategy much less viable....

 

So if I'm feeling inclined to attempt an all closer team and all of Kimbrel/Jansen/Chapman (?) and W Davis (the names don't really matter just insert whatever the top 4-5 closers are projected to be preseason) are all off the board by the middle of the 4th round...  i tend to say "screw it"

I tried this last year in 2 Pro Leagues and made the playoffs in both. But Chapman and Jansen went rounds 3-4. In one league, there were 4 teams with only closers (one abandoned it half way through the season).

 

The team I lost to in the playoffs had only closers (and he eventually won the league). Still I imagine this worked better a few years ago when closers were cheaper. You really need top closers for ERA and WHIP ratios.

 

The problem - I don't know if there is a good strategy to combat this if others are doing it. You're not just "punting" saves but most likely ERA and WHIP too. One guy drafted Kershaw and Schezer and only pitched them the week against an all closer team. You have to get lucky and hope his RP blows up or you have 1 good start and bench the rest of your pitchers.

 

 

Edited by DaNamesBond22

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7 hours ago, parrothead said:

The key to all strategies is pushing the right buttons...

"dont need an ace"?  Tell that to the guy who had a staff of the 2nd tier guys like Cueto, Lester, McCullers, Teheran..

"All closers" = it can be a pretty volatile spot, was it two years ago when like 2/3 of the game saw closers change during the season?

Same can go for hitting...

 

 

 

I haven't drafted an ace in my keeper league (nor kept one) in either of the last two years and finished 2nd in 2016 and 1st last year...having the 3rd and 1st most pitching points, respectively. Like you said, it's about pushing the right buttons, and that includes striking the right hot irons in FA. In fact, I can't remember the last time I drafted an ace. 

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I won my Fantrax, $500 entry, roto pool last year and was in a pool with what I perceived as veteran fantasy players.  I did draft Sale, but largely went with a couple solid closers on good teams (Shaw and Kimbrel) and set up men with strong K's/good ratios (Betances and Miller).  During the year it was key to get on FA's early, guys like Alex Wood, Brad Peacock and Archie Bradley were most important in winning the league, imo, as well as Tommy Pham and Logan Morrison.  While the draft is certainly uber important, I do think that most leagues are won based on FA moves made.

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10 hours ago, Flyman75 said:

 

I haven't drafted an ace in my keeper league (nor kept one) in either of the last two years and finished 2nd in 2016 and 1st last year...having the 3rd and 1st most pitching points, respectively. Like you said, it's about pushing the right buttons, and that includes striking the right hot irons in FA. In fact, I can't remember the last time I drafted an ace. 

I think when you can pull off what you indicate, it sets you up to have a really solid season.  Ironically in my league last year, the top 4 finishing teams, each had 1 of Kershaw, Sale, Scherzer and Kluber.  

 

So just looking at Kershaw since 2011 and teams in our league who owned him:

1st, 3rd, 3rd, 1st, 3rd, 5th (2016) and 3rd

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2 hours ago, BigPapi44 said:

I won my Fantrax, $500 entry, roto pool last year and was in a pool with what I perceived as veteran fantasy players.  I did draft Sale, but largely went with a couple solid closers on good teams (Shaw and Kimbrel) and set up men with strong K's/good ratios (Betances and Miller).  During the year it was key to get on FA's early, guys like Alex Wood, Brad Peacock and Archie Bradley were most important in winning the league, imo, as well as Tommy Pham and Logan Morrison.  While the draft is certainly uber important, I do think that most leagues are won based on FA moves made.

 

Two of those guys (Wood and Peacock) were undrafted FAs that I picked up. In fact, I made Wood an early-season target after our draft. Jimmy Nelson was another early acquisition that turned out well. Point being...I'm in complete agreement with you that many leagues are won in FA. A terrible draft is hard to overcome...but an average one can be. Looking back at my draft last season in my keeper league, there was nothing spectacular about it...other than drafting Bellinger in the final round, lol. But I made some good FA decisions that put me over the top. 

 

30 minutes ago, parrothead said:

I think when you can pull off what you indicate, it sets you up to have a really solid season.  Ironically in my league last year, the top 4 finishing teams, each had 1 of Kershaw, Sale, Scherzer and Kluber.  

 

So just looking at Kershaw since 2011 and teams in our league who owned him:

1st, 3rd, 3rd, 1st, 3rd, 5th (2016) and 3rd

 

Maybe my league is worse than I thought, LOL...if the owners of those pitchers can't beat me out. 

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On 1/29/2018 at 9:46 PM, tonycpsu said:

My solution to the volatility of pitching is to go for quantity.  Drafting quality can pay off for the elites if they stay healthy, and if you're really good at picking the right horse among the SP2-3 with SP1 upside range, but that's really hard to do on a consistent basis.  Instead, I tend to devote a lot of my roster slots to starters in the draft, even if it means I go light on closers or bench bats.  Within the first month or two of the season, I thin the herd and swap relievers in for the starters that didn't make the cut (via waiver or trade.)  This approach won't win me the saves category, but it gives me more tickets in the starting pitching lottery, and that seems more valuable to me given that they throw more innings and contribute in more categories.

 

This is my solution as well.

 

Here's an example:

 

I missed a lot on pitching last year. Thank you Jose Fernandez(RIP), Aaron Sanchez(DRAFT), Julio Teheran(KEEP).  I did draft Ray, so that helped a little bit. That's hardly enough.

 

I picked up Devinski like a week or 2 in. Excessive use, good numbers.

I picked up Knebel because the Brewers closer was a complete question mark and he had the best numbers.

The moment Nate Jones got hurt, I picked up Tommy Kahnle.

 

Add all 3 of those relievers up, and this is what you get roughly:

219 IP, 11 Wins, 43 Saves, 322 K's, 2.35ERA, 1.08WHIP

 

Takes up 3 slots, but that's an ace. No doubt about it.

 

Another way of looking at it is, let's take Jameson Taillon with Tommy Kahnle for example:

Jameson Taillon: 133.2IP/ 8W/125 K/4.44/1.48/2.72K:BB

 

Big disappointment last year, I didn't have him on my squad until someone dropped him last year(stash).

 

Tommy Kahnle: 62.2 /2W/96K/2.59/1.12/5.65 K:BB 

 

That's closer numbers without the closer price tag. Had the Sox not been in complete rebuild mode, he definitely would have closed. Remember Juan Minaya? No, you don't.

 

Add James and Tommy up and all of a sudden Taillon looks like this:

 

196.1 IP / 10 W / 221 K / 3.85 ERA/ 1.36 WHIP/ 3.5 K:BB

 

Those numbers are useful and that came from a guy, that in a nutshell, was unownable last year.

 

Here is what my pen looked like at season's end:

Cory Knebel

Chris Devinski

Tommy Kahnle

Arodys Vizcaino

Juan Nicasio

 

Every single one of these guys was FREE. And they can be an insurance plan to missing on weaker pitchers at the expense of a bench bat. This means that if you draft mostly hitting early, you can use this strategy. And reap the rewards of elite setup men.

 

Edited by dkrocka

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2 hours ago, parrothead said:

I think when you can pull off what you indicate, it sets you up to have a really solid season.  Ironically in my league last year, the top 4 finishing teams, each had 1 of Kershaw, Sale, Scherzer and Kluber.  

 

So just looking at Kershaw since 2011 and teams in our league who owned him:

1st, 3rd, 3rd, 1st, 3rd, 5th (2016) and 3rd

roto?

 

elite sp is worth the price in roto

have never played roto but i would take kershaw #2 this year as you know he is going to return top 10 value even on 150 innings and if he gives you 200+ inn you are getting the #1 player

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I would love to have Kershaw but the price tag is always way too expensive, usually between $50-60. Last year was the first year I had an ace in Scherzer at $41 and its the most I've spent on any player since switching to auction style 5 years ago. I always went the 70% hitting route with mostly success, except for 2016 where it burned me in the end because of weak pitching down the stretch.  I am definitely paying for pitching again, as like a lot you have stated before, there are tons of bats and very few top tier starters.

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I'm uncomfortable with not drafting an ace in roto, but between hitting and pitching, 'm still more uncomfortable if I'm short on elite bats. I've usually been able to make up for not having an ace with the waiver wire more easily than I've made up for offensive deficiencies. Even last year, I finished in the money in two of my three leagues, and I objectively had pretty bad drafts in both of them. In one, I waited too long and my drafted "ace" was Johnny Cueto. Can't remember now who my No. 2 was, but I do remember being disappointed in that pick too, and Rich Hill was my No. 3 (good, but absent for stretches). But on the strength of waiver wire pickups like Alex Wood, Brad Peacock and Knebel, I finished high in most pitching categories (12-team mixed roto).

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1 hour ago, colepenhagen said:

roto?

 

elite sp is worth the price in roto

have never played roto but i would take kershaw #2 this year as you know he is going to return top 10 value even on 150 innings and if he gives you 200+ inn you are getting the #1 player

Yep roto, with limited waiver wire, so streaming and a lot of change out and matchup options not really an applicable strategy

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On 1/29/2018 at 10:21 AM, dkrocka said:

Why Invest in Pitching Volatility?

 

I generally will spend my first 5 picks on guys that hit for power AND average(and speed if I can get it). Guys that are rocksteady. This gives you a good base across 4 of the 5 standard categories. Nothing wrong with getting speed, but thats generally 3 categories, not 4.

Extra points if the player plays for teams like HOU, CLE, CHC, LAD, COL, BOS, NYY, WSH etc. (Stacked lineups)

 

Don't draft elite SP. Don't draft elite closers. Instead draft the pitchers who are good, not great. This way you at least have a solid base. So you don't necessarily have to pluck a rotation from scratch. You just need to hit on 1 or 2 of them and your staff all of a sudden looks great.

 

Generally speaking you should not have your #3 SP before you fill out your lineup card(unless value). Grab a couple good starters, and a good closer. This way you have a good base. Draft a bat or 2 for your bench and the rest on pitching.

 

There are so many pitchers. So many to choose from. Research them. Go down the ranks and google each individually. Pick several that you like(ranging from 130-200), and get them. The position is volatile as it is, why invest in guys more likely to get hurt? Why not invest a few rounds later and just fill your staff with a bunch of good starters and elite setup men... who in turn might end up with the closer's role anyway. Don't draft Rodney, draft the hot-shot behind him 3 rounds later, or even pick them up in free agency. Check out depth charts of the bullpens with a shaky closers(before and during season), get the best arm in that pen. Take advantage of the position volatility!!!

 

Concerning pitchers:

Chase K's and hope the BB's get better.

Chase Guys who were unlucky.

Chase Velocity.

 

Some stashes I like for your #5-#7 SP include: Jameson Taillon, Mike Leake, CC Sabathia, Mike Leake, Erasmo Ramirez, JC Ramirez. And that's a rotation on the super cheap. 

 

 

Yea, just draft those .300, 30/20 guys with minimal downside in the first 5 rounds.  Should be easy enough.  I don't see the problem.  Trout, Goldschmidt, Altuve, Betts, Blackmon.  Who's not winning leagues with that draft?

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And none of the 11 other managers in the draft want any of those which makes it easier. 😊

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1 hour ago, 89Topps said:

 

Yea, just draft those .300, 30/20 guys with minimal downside in the first 5 rounds.  Should be easy enough.  I don't see the problem.  Trout, Goldschmidt, Altuve, Betts, Blackmon.  Who's not winning leagues with that draft?

 

There's literally a couple dozen guys that hit 25/300, or something similar, that fall within the top 50. Don't create words that aren't there.

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2 hours ago, 89Topps said:

 

Yea, just draft those .300, 30/20 guys with minimal downside in the first 5 rounds.  Should be easy enough.  I don't see the problem.  Trout, Goldschmidt, Altuve, Betts, Blackmon.  Who's not winning leagues with that draft?

 

Easier than drafting two Mike Leakes!!

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1 hour ago, dkrocka said:

 

There's literally a couple dozen guys that hit 25/300, or something similar, that fall within the top 50. Don't create words that aren't there.

 

There's actually 11 guys who hit over .300 and over 25 HRs.  Blackmon, Votto, Hosmer, Jose Ramirez, Ozuna, Arenado, Freeman, Trout, Abreu, Ryan Zimmerman & Rendon.  Obviously the list expands a bit if you loosen the parameters and you get guys like Altuve, Murphy, Tommy Pham, Marwin Gonzalez, etc.

 

If we specify we want guys with contributal speed, then it shrinks back down to essentially Altuve, Blackmon, Ramirez, Pham, Trout & Goldschmidt.

 

Now, you can decide who of this group is a safe bet to repeat their numbers, but I think it would be fair to question a few of them.  Regardless, I find it hard to believe you can get 5 of the above in your drafts, especially if you're wanting some speed out of the group as well.

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Really, I'm just picking nits at your post.  Obviously, drafting well rounded, 5 category contributors should be the focus early in drafts.  I just think it's amusing when people post things like, "Just draft good average, power/speed guys with solid track records with your first 5 picks."  I mean, yea, I'd love to, I just don't have 5 first round picks.

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1 hour ago, mortl said:

Anyone have a strat for h2h leagues? 

 

Stratefy is don’t play H2H. ;) jk

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3 hours ago, 89Topps said:

 

There's actually 11 guys who hit over .300 and over 25 HRs.  Blackmon, Votto, Hosmer, Jose Ramirez, Ozuna, Arenado, Freeman, Trout, Abreu, Ryan Zimmerman & Rendon.  Obviously the list expands a bit if you loosen the parameters and you get guys like Altuve, Murphy, Tommy Pham, Marwin Gonzalez, etc.

 

If we specify we want guys with contributal speed, then it shrinks back down to essentially Altuve, Blackmon, Ramirez, Pham, Trout & Goldschmidt.

 

Now, you can decide who of this group is a safe bet to repeat their numbers, but I think it would be fair to question a few of them.  Regardless, I find it hard to believe you can get 5 of the above in your drafts, especially if you're wanting some speed out of the group as well.

just did a  quick mock and you could easily get something from the 9-12 spot in the draft like blackmon or mookie,  correa or jose ramierez,  upton , bregman, benintendi or yelich not a bad front 5 that offers floor and upside

on fantasypros vs bots 

 

dont know how realistic that is but seems possible 

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Did a 12 team last night and went Turner, Rameriz, Bregman, Upton, and Ozuna. Glad it was a mock as my pitching ended up, well so-so is giving it too much credit, but was a kick-a** offense. Drafted from the 6th position

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2 hours ago, mortl said:

Anyone have a strat for h2h leagues? 

don't be an idiot and try to win every single category...

 

you just need to win a majority of categories 

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In a H2H yearly league last year I decided to try out going heavy on hitters. I drafted 8th and it's a 5x5 league....ended up with the following: 

 

Arenado, Correa, Springer, Pollock, Schwarber, Polanco, Hamilton, Carlos Martinez, W. Davis, Duffy, Paxton, McCullers....

 

Coming out of the draft I was ecstatic! But I looked back halfway through last year and Pollock-Hamilton pretty much disappointed. I probably would have been better off at least taking 1 stud SP in the top 3 there. 

 

In the end I really don't think any strategy officially "works" because your picks are so dependent on what other guys do in the draft. 

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11 hours ago, mortl said:

Anyone have a strat for h2h leagues? 

 

Quick reply on phone but in season management and looking ahead. For example add a hitter who plays Monday and Thursday in a week when lots of teams are off and look over your sraff and your opponents, if he has a much better staff and/or much more starts concede strikeouts and concentrate on ratios and saves and stream hitting etc... If it's close look ahead for 2 start pitchers that week or for pitchers with a good matchup.

 

I like to try to draft a dominant staff or offense and concentrate in season management on the other. Last year in a 5x5 h2h i went 5 straight sp's and 7 of 10 p's. It worked out well. Even if I didnt field a offense the staff was so good it would have flirted with the playoffs losing all 5 hitting categories but with my make shift offense it ran away with the regular season title, semi final win and thanks to regular season won the tiebreaker in a 5-5 finals.

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