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2019 Draft Strategy

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18 hours ago, jfazz23 said:

Off topic: Was the site down for everyone yesterday?

 

Anyways, I just drafted my first team.  I honestly dont think im taking pitchers in the first 5 rounds.  i did the same last year and ended up with a few teams with Nola, Corbin, Bauer, Morton, Taillon  etc

 

this year im gonna attack hitting early and if someone like bauer, severino or corbin drop to around pick 50 i might take them....if not, i think my staff is going to look something like Flaherty, Clevinger, Marquez, Wheeler, Darvish, Pivetta etc etc

 

thoughts?

Going with a similar strategy in a startup 15 team dynasty 5x5. Have 2nd pick (Betts). Wait until 7th round for SP.  I like the strategy. I dont see a huge difference between the 25th ranked SP and the 35th SP, etc. 

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i just did a mock on yahoo where i started out with 4 straight hitters (betts, Baez, story, rendon) and still ended with a rotation of Bauer, Corbin, Berrios, Castillo , and Carlos Martinez. I know it’s early and i wouldn’t pull off those hitters in a serious draft but the concept remains the same, pitching is way too deep and a way better value. I’d rather stack my offense and draft a bunch of SP2 and SP3 with SP1 upside 

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Does anyone here play in deep, redraft leagues, say 20 teams? I've read people saying that at SP, there's a top tier or two (depending on how you split your tiers, of course) and then there's a large group with many similar starters. I wonder if it's beneficial to grab a starter within the first two rounds (top 40), or by the third at latest?

 

I haven't gone into much depth yet for my draft strategy, but interested to hear from those in deeper leagues how they're approaching SP's this season.

Edited by Tale of Two Fisters

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i heard a good one on the radio the other day.  Figure out what your strengths and weaknesses are and attack your weaknesses early in the draft.  If you usually come up short on power, take power early.  If you're someone who can't pick good pitchers late, take an ace early.   Makes sense.

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1 hour ago, jay2491 said:

i just did a mock on yahoo where i started out with 4 straight hitters (betts, Baez, story, rendon) and still ended with a rotation of Bauer, Corbin, Berrios, Castillo , and Carlos Martinez. I know it’s early and i wouldn’t pull off those hitters in a serious draft but the concept remains the same, pitching is way too deep and a way better value. I’d rather stack my offense and draft a bunch of SP2 and SP3 with SP1 upside 

 

dont trust mocks

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Prep Work:

I usually start with the standard ADP layout of the platform I'm using. Creating your own is great but this way you also get to see what the other teams in the league are seeing, gives you a vague idea of players on your radar are going to be taken, at least in leagues that aren't full of professionals

 

Then I highlight players I'm interested in with 2 color-coded tiers: 1) guys I  like at their current ADP and 2) guys worth reaching for.  I'm a visual guy so having that helps me easily identify potential runs of guys I like and dead spots so I know when it's worth reaching.  It also helps me late in the draft identify and snag my sleepers.

 

Then I typically try to look for drop-off points in talent level at certain positions to identify when 1) when the elite guys are gone and 2) "points of no return," the point where if I don't have a player at that point to me I'm better loading up on high-upside late round types.  It also helps me identify weaknesses in positions in order to make decisions on who to target (a stupid example but if in a position where I'm deciding between Ozzie Albies and Cody Bellinger, the drop-off between Bellinger to the next best 1B is MUCH bigger than that of Albies to the next best 2B IMO). 

 

Starting Pitchers: I'm kind of traditional I try to pick up 2 upper tier pitchers, preferably at least 1 more established guy.  If I can cement those top 2 spots I generally avoid mediocrity and really try to load up on upside relative to their ADP.  2nd half stats are my go-to, but also looking at peripherals, and sometimes those elite RPs that might work their way into starting roles (eg this year I'll try to aim for shares of Marquez, Pivetta, Glasnow, Nelson, Castillo, Smith, Burnes etc). It's a risk, but if you "hit" on a few of em you're instantly in a great position whereas the mid-level proven mediocrity guys can keep you afloat, but usually don't move the needle much.

 

Relief pitchers: Who the hell knows .  Generally I like to get 1 guy I know I can rely on but they are in short short supply now and are never completely reliable.  Generally I look at my board for "dead spots" and if there is an established closer with a decent K/9 there I'll snag 1-2, then play the closer carousel early in the year. Again I tend to look for slightly discounted guys who put up strong second half (eg Vazquez) or guys who got a bit unlucky with injuries (eg Doolittle). This year if I see Diaz or Kimbrel fall a round or 2 in their ADP I may have to take the plunge.

 

Bats: I tend to avoid 2-3 category guys that hurt you in other categories if I can.  Yeah you can build a team with Billy Hamilton and Mike Moustakas combo but the ups and downs and having to balance your weaknesses out can really come back to bite you.  In general I prefer to have at least 1 multi-position (eg Profar, Merrifield, Gonzalez etc) in order to fill in for bye weeks as much as possible.  That frees up bench spots to role the dice on a few young top-prospect/breakout guys that inevitably pop up without taking too many 0s throughout the year.

 

tl;dr: do your homework beforehand, have a plan, identify targets to reach for, avoid too many guys that actively hurt you in a category, and sprinkle in some upside guys the end

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On 2/2/2019 at 10:38 AM, jay2491 said:

i just did a mock on yahoo where i started out with 4 straight hitters (betts, Baez, story, rendon) and still ended with a rotation of Bauer, Corbin, Berrios, Castillo , and Carlos Martinez. I know it’s early and i wouldn’t pull off those hitters in a serious draft but the concept remains the same, pitching is way too deep and a way better value. I’d rather stack my offense and draft a bunch of SP2 and SP3 with SP1 upside 

 

For years, I've drafted hitting first in my 12-teamer and drafted 5-6 SP2/3 types. Our league has 2 SP, 2 RP, 4 P with a 1600 IP limit. So I rotate my SPs in my two SP slots, and pair those SP2/3s with MRs and closers who have elite ratios and Ks, using my relievers in my other 6 pitching slots. It's a strategy that has worked well for me. 

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Somewhat related to draft strategy... re: when is drafting early too early? A month before the season starts? 3 weeks?

 

Do you find that having an edge in terms of grabbing sleepers before their ADPs skyrocket during spring training outweighs the risk of having one of your drafted players sustain a major injury? Does your opinion on this change if you have stakes in the league?

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1 hour ago, Del Rio said:

Somewhat related to draft strategy... re: when is drafting early too early? A month before the season starts? 3 weeks?

 

Do you find that having an edge in terms of grabbing sleepers before their ADPs skyrocket during spring training outweighs the risk of having one of your drafted players sustain a major injury? Does your opinion on this change if you have stakes in the league?

 

I did an NFBC50 in mid-November.   

 

Highlights: 

Went JoRam, Freeman, Cole then...

Severino at 46

Dahl: 94

Villar 142

Josh James 262

Got Haniger, Heaney, Shaw, Clevinger later than they're going now.  

Also picked up after round 25:  David Robertson, Trevor May, Touki

 

Also made some mistakes like Teoscar Hernandez at 171 (wtf was I thinking), reached a little on Peraza tho that shouldn't kill me.  My depth after round 30 is weaker than it is in drafts I've done after.  

 

So to answer your question, TBD?  Mid-November is extreme, but the premise is the same.  Does the value of Severino, Dahl at 94, Villar at 142, and James at 262 make up for the injury risk and early mistakes I made due to lack of preparation and information?  

Edited by kidtwentytwo
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So I've never been one to take closers or catchers early in drafts. However this year more than ever the difference between the  top few and the rest of the pack seems to be exceptionally wide. I'm thinking I almost have to reach a little bit of I'll be playing catch-up all year. 

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3 minutes ago, Baur10 said:

So I've never been one to take closers or catchers early in drafts. However this year more than ever the difference between the  top few and the rest of the pack seems to be exceptionally wide. I'm thinking I almost have to reach a little bit of I'll be playing catch-up all year. 

 

I kinda like where Grandal and Contreras are falling right now. I wouldn't reach earlier than that.

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24 minutes ago, Homerj24 said:

 

I kinda like where Grandal and Contreras are falling right now. I wouldn't reach earlier than that.

 

Same here. I won't pay for any catcher ranked ahead of those two. As for closers, the elite ones seem to be going earlier and earlier in drafts every season which has deterred me from taking them. Also, with more managers are adapting the strategy of using guys based on matchups in the pen I'm even less likely to invest in one of the elite guys. The closer position is already the most volitile in fantasy baseball. That being said I don’t see a reason why one should invest such a high pick on such a volatile position. 

Edited by BostonCajun
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2 hours ago, BostonCajun said:

Same here. I won't pay for any catcher ranked ahead of those two. As for closers, the elite ones seem to be going earlier and earlier in drafts every season which has deterred me from taking them. Also, with more managers are adapting the strategy of using guys based on matchups in the pen I'm even less likely to invest in one of the elite guys. The closer position is already the most volitile in fantasy baseball. That being said I don’t see a reason why one should invest such a high pick on such a volatile position. 

 

I mean, thats WHY people use the high pick on them, because there are only a handful that are ~locks to keep their jobs all year. I wouldn't personally reach for one of those top tier guys, but I would advise against compensating by snagging multiple of the middle tier dudes. Just wait if your not gonna get an Edwin Diaz or Craig Kimbrel. Be smart on the wire as the year goes on, draft a few closers late, youll be fine.

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8 minutes ago, Saucy said:

 

I mean, thats WHY people use the high pick on them, because there are only a handful that are ~locks to keep their jobs all year. I wouldn't personally reach for one of those top tier guys, but I would advise against compensating by snagging multiple of the middle tier dudes. Just wait if your not gonna get an Edwin Diaz or Craig Kimbrel. Be smart on the wire as the year goes on, draft a few closers late, youll be fine.

 

I get what you're saying. I think it can also depends on format too. In my opinion, taking an elite closer in h2h is far more risky and doesn't offer nearly as much reward as it does in roto. 

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16 minutes ago, BostonCajun said:

I get what you're saying. I think it can also depends on format too. In my opinion, taking an elite closer in h2h is far more risky and doesn't offer nearly as much reward as it does in roto. 

 

Oh for sure. I think its fantasy-suicide in H2H, but in Roto its just super difficult to win the league if your finishing with a 1 or 2 in saves.

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Thoughts on which position is deepest? Thinnest?

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I think 3B is the deepest.  Catcher is extremely thin.  Closer is a mine field after the Top 12.

 

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1 hour ago, jb_power said:

Closer is a mine field.

 

Fixed it for you 

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21 hours ago, Baur10 said:

So I've never been one to take closers or catchers early in drafts. However this year more than ever the difference between the  top few and the rest of the pack seems to be exceptionally wide. I'm thinking I almost have to reach a little bit of I'll be playing catch-up all year. 

Everyone is thinking that. So many great bats falling around pick 100 if you wait on closer.

 

id rather double tap a Miller/Hicks 5 rounds later.

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2 hours ago, mi26 said:

Thoughts on which position is deepest? Thinnest?

Starting Pitcher

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[A couple of Bench Coach posts removed.  This thread is for general strategy discussion, not for asking questions about your specific team in your specific league context.  If you have to tell us all about your league settings, the discussion is not generally applicable, and needs to go in the BC forum.  Thanks.]

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With every strategy, its all about picking the the best players available at the time. With that being said, I tend to change my strategy year to year, basing off where there are weaknesses in the year's draft (i.e. weak middle tier for RP, large drop off after top 20 OF,  less speed overall, etc.). If you stick to a rigid system of picking certain positions at certain points, you lose sight of the overall goal of picking the best overall player. It is essential to have a flexible strategy that allows you to adjust for position tiers. Below are trends I've noticed and my strategy to react to those. I'm hoping to realize more detailed trends as I prepare more for the season, but below is a high level overview of my current strategy:

 

Trends:

- Scarcity of speed at the top: 45 SB led the league last year. The elite guys all saw drops in SB rate for most part: Dee Gordon, Trea Turner, Starling Marte.

- Scarcity of speed at the bottom: Only 28 players reached 20 SB (many of those part time / unrosterable types like Billy Hamilton, Travis Jankowski, Rajai Davis, Greg Allen)

- No dominant Catchers: After Sanchez / Realmuto, who I would not consider elite, its a serious drop in production.

- Solid young crop of Catchers to target: Francisco Mejia, Danny Jansen,  Willians Astudillo,  etc.

- No scarcity of power at 2B (per Yahoo eligibility): 5 players last year over 30 HR, 14 players with 20 or more. 

- 3B looks extremely deep, although a lot of those guys also have MI eligibility.

- OF appears deep as it typically is. Plenty of boom / bust guys as well.

- Closers look rough: More teams are going to the varying bullpen roles is causing a huge drop from the elite. On the flip side, there are actually a solid number of elite closers.

- SP appears strong at top and bottom: There are plenty of guys who had a short season last year or relieved that have a great shot at a breakout if given the opportunity: Josh James, Colin McHugh, Brad Peacock, Ross Stripling, Tyler Glasnow, Freddy Peralta, Carlos Martinez, Yu Darvish, Mike Soroka, Caleb Smith, Michael Wacha, Caleb Ferguson. 

 

Strategy to react to those Trends

- Draft speed early on. This will be key for me. If you can take top speed guys with 3 of your top 4 picks you are set on SB rest of the draft. This will be tough as after the top 10 or so the speed really drops off. Keep in mind the "occasional SB" players (think Aaron Hicks, Jurickson Profar, Shohei Ohtani, Brandon Nimmo, Mitch Haniger, Xander Boegarts) who each will be around the 7-13 SB range. You have to consider the small bump in SB when the overall scarcity is so rough. In addition, it will be a goal of mine to get one of the lower ranked top SB guys, of which there are very few (Mallex Smith, Adalberto Mondesi, Jonathan Villar). In past years there were always the very cheap only speed guys but they really aren't out there this year.

- Try to get an upside catcher if available late, but most likely punt the position. I'm assuming everyone will be on the same page about how bad catchers are. This will lead to overdrafting of Sanchez / Realmuto in most cases, and probably overdrafting of the upside guys. Which probably leads me to a punt position. In 2 catcher leagues? Good luck.

- Target a couple elite closers early, target an up and comer, then draft 1 or 2 middle relief guys, play the closer market accordingly during season. There's enough top level closers that I think it will be possible to get two very elite guys. Getting 2 top 10 closers will be a priority). After this, I will target one elite ratio newcomer (i.e. Leclerc, Yates, Minter if he wins job, Givens, Hicks if he wins job). Elite middle reliever will depend on how the prior worked. Overall, I want 4 guys in relief who I'm pretty sure will dominate regardless of their role.

- Will try to get a 3B without multi position who may be undervalued among the rest of the group without his position utility. 2B is deep, especially with power, I can wait longer on 2B than I can on 3B. I never like playing a 3B with a weaker position so as to not pay for the position premium I am not even using.

- Overall target high power low average players in mid to late tiers to build an offense with speed power and run production. Average will suffer but with high variations could get lucky. If on wrong side, only making a bottom finish look worse but the effect is much less.

- Wait a while on SP as the mid and late tiers appear stacked (goes in hand with above as elite relievers can supplement ratios for mid / late SPs). Hope to hit on the mid and late guys and take advantage of high injury risk related to pitchers by using less value).

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I never pick in the top half of round 1, and even in auctions, I never bid for them. 

 

Target 1 to 2 hitters ranked between 6 and 12 with both steals and HRs: Turner, Lindor, Jose Ramirez types. 

 

My SP1 will be between 6th and 10th in SP rankings. Cole or Buehler. 

 

Closers: One RP about 8th through 10th ranked, one maybe 15th-18th, and then a flier. WW if somebody doesn’t work out. 

 

Value: Research sleepers and anyone people are undervaluing, especially guys with double digits in HRs and steals. Ramon Laureano for example. 

 

The rest is based on research and feel. If I get person A, then my next moves are B and C. 

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In one catcher leagues, if one were to take Mejía and hedges very late, would .245, 75,25, 80 type numbers be reasonable to expect? Of course you’d need a daily changes league.  That’s arguably top 3 C numbers and a huge difference between that and the scrubby catchers.  Imagine grabbing them on the wheel at like 19/20.

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So I am going to mention and share something, I mostly do auction drafts these days and it's catching on more.  So let's talk auction drafting strategy.

 

The first problem which I see time and time again and it makes me want SMH is how people nominate.  I often see people nominate players in the same order as they would be drafted in a snake round... something like 1) Trout 2) Betts 3) Lindor or something like that.  

 

This is totally wrong, unless your strategy is to bargain shop in the auction.  You should nominate players that you feel are overrated, with the most overrated going first.Nominate according to a strategy.  If you want to build a killer infield, nominate the best OF first.  If you plan on ignoring SBs, nominate the best SB players etc.  Get the opposition to blow all their money and get them to waste their money.

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