What kind of loser has a fantasy baseball draft in the middle of January? This kind of loser, that's who.
I gathered with The Boys this weekend to do our 2006 draft. Because of our disparate schedules we knew we wouldn't be able to do it on the phone in March, and this month was the only time we'd all be in the same place before the season opens this spring.
It is a non-standard 4x4 rotisserie league. This means that there are eight cumulative statistical categories, four for hitters and four for pitchers, my fake team earns points based on how well real players perform. The categories are batting average, RBIs, steals and strikeouts for hitters, and ERA, saves, strikeouts and walks for pitchers. The only eligible players are those who play for teams in the NL and AL Easts.
Before putting together my fantasy baseball draft spreadsheet, as I do each year, I determined a BLOCKBUSTER strategy that I hope will vault me to my first fantasy baseball championship. Because two of the pitching categories count up (saves and Ks) while two count down (ERA and walks), I decided that I would only have one active pitcher on my roster. I will start Mariano Rivera and Mariano Rivera only, perhaps for as little as just one game. This way I am guaranteed (?) to accumulate the fewest walks and lowest ERA. Of course, I'll place last in saves and strikeouts, but this middle of the road approach will be worth 10 of a possible 16 pitching points.
In essence, I managed to build an average pitching staff (exactly average, statiscally) with just one draft pick, and that freed me to spend all of my top picks (Rivera aside) on hitters. Not only did I get many of the top players
at each position, I was also able to draft too many players at different positions, thus keeping quality players away from other teams.
Of course there is risk with this plan, because greatness is always tinged with risk. What if Mariano Rivera gives up 4 runs in his first start and spends the rest of his year trying to get his ERA below 5? What if he blows out his arm altogether after a bad outing? I admit that might sink my season, but whose team is not dependent on being injury-free?
Next fantasy baseball update: in March, after our "I blew out my knee in the World Baseball Classic/Spring Training" supplemental e-mail draft.
Labels: Fantasy Sports