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Wednesday, March 4, 2015

The All-Balance Team, 2015

The prevailing wisdom in auction leagues is something called 'Stars and Scrubs.'  The idea here is that you invest heavily in a few guys to anchor your team since top-end talent is rare and is usually the difference maker in a long season.  Plus, your bench guys and waiver wire guys are more or less interchangeable since you just need a guy to plug in once in a blue moon.

That's all well and good, but I've got a few issues with that:

  1. Too many eggs in too few baskets.  If Trout or Kershaw go down with an injury, there goes 20% of your auction money.
  2. Bench guys do not have to be cheapies.  They can have real value if you plan well, and let me tell you, there is a world of difference between an $8 guy and a $1 replacement player.
  3. In leagues with daily lineup changes flexibility is king.  Imagine a world where all of your guys are roughly equivalent and many of them play multiple positions?  You can play the matchups every blasted day... No more pitching in Coors or batting in Petco.  No more batting versus Kershaw and King Felix.  Nagging injury?  No problem!
Okay, so many leagues are 12 teams with a $260 budget.  In most of those leagues you're going to draft anywhere from 22-29 players, something like that.  To make the math easy, let's just say you are looking to grab 26 players with your $260:  $10 each on average.

I used the auction rankings at for values, with 65% reserved for batters.  From there I just blocked out all players valued between $8 and $12.

But, Dave, you say.... Dave, how can I compete with an entire roster of $10 players?  Behold...

Catcher ($20):
Salvador Perez - $8
Evan Gattis - $12

1B ($24):
Joey Votto - $12
Prince Fielder - $12
(also qualify here: Gattis)

2B ($18):
Howie Kendrick - $10
Martin Prado - $8
(also qualify here: Zobrist)

SS ($16):
Starlin Castro - $8
Jimmy Rollins - $8
(also qualify here: Zobrist)

3B ($20):
Ryan Zimmerman - $11
Manny Machado - $9
(hard to pass up David Wright at $12, too)
(also qualify here: Prado and Harrison)

OF ($63):
Ben Zobrist - $12
Josh Harrison - $8
Billy Hamilton - $12
J.D. Martinez - $11
Marcell Ozuna - $10
Shin-Soo Choo - $10
(also qualify here: Zimmerman, Prado, and Gattis)

SP ($60):
Gio Gonzalez - $10
Carlos Carrasco - $8
Tyson Ross - $9
Julio Teheran - $12
Homer Bailey - $9
Jose Fernandez - $12

RP ($43):
Dellin Betances - $10
David Robertson - $11
Steve Cishek - $9
Mark Melancon - $13

All told it's $264, so feel free to drop an outfielder and add a cheaper pitcher like Jose Quintana or Zach Britton, both $6.

I think the beauty of this approach is the fact that you never really know who is going to break out or have the big comeback season.  It also insulates you from slumps and injuries and also the curse of the big first half.

This team wins steals, wins saves, has a staff full of potential aces, and has insane roster flexibility on the hitting side.  Plus, did you think there would be all of those erstwhile superstars like Fielder, Votto, Choo, and Zimmerman on there?  Any one could bust out, plus there is greaet upside with younger guys that we saw have big years in 2014 - Harrison, Martinez, and even Hamilton.

Think you could win with a squad like this?

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Fantasy Baseball Insiders League: Strategy

Have you ever been in a situation like a business conference or a big school function, or even something like what you thought was a costume party, where you thought you had to get all dressed up... but when you get to the event everyone is wearing jeans and t-shirts?  You get dressed to the nines in your Italian suit and perfect tie, or if it's October, maybe you absolutely crush it on your zombie Homer Simpson costume.  Either way, you're feeling pretty good.

All decked out, walking into the event... Then you see the sea of denim.  Your over-inflated opinion of yourself springs a leak and withers to the ground.

It's kind of like after one of those 'experts' drafts that take place five weeks before the season.  You (and by that I mean "me") add up the projected stats from all of your picks and it turns out that if you had this team last year, you would have finished in first place in nine categories!  Amazing!  Yeah, over-inflated.

Nevertheless, let's take a look and I'll explain my rationale and how I got all Larry Schechter on these fools.

I had the 3rd pick and hoped for McCutchen since Scott White (@CBSScottWhite) ranked Miggy #2.  Unfortunately

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Week 17 Preview: Bengals at Steelers

Most of you have completed your fantasy season and are looking forward to what's next.  Some of you will scratch the fantasy jones with some fantasy basketball, some with hockey, or maybe even an NFL playoff challenge for some of you.  Maybe you'll dive into preparation for baseball season.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Fine or Pine: Week 16

By Adam Filadelfo (@FNTSYArchitect)

If you're still playing fantasy football in week 16, congratulations. That means you are more than likely playing for a championship. If you are playing for a championship, that means you still need to set your lineups and obviously this week is the most important week of the 2014 fantasy football season. This week is do or die. There is no next week (unless your championship week is week 17). This is the week you just have to get it right. No margin for error. Every roster decision counts. Best of luck to every owner vying for the championship in their leagues. Here's a little something to help you out should you have roster questions. Consider it an early Christmas present from The Fantasy Sports Brain.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Keepers, Sleepers, and Jeepers: Week 16

By Adam Filadelfo (@FNTSYArchitect)

For most owners, this week marks the culmination of the fantasy football season. The fantasy football championship. By now, every owner's roster should be set. Of course there's always an injury that pops up along the way and the waiver wire may just produce one more gem that can help needy fantasy owners take home the gold. For owners heading over to their waiver wire, there may just be a player or two waiting to help you win a championship.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Fine or Pine, Week 15

By Adam Filadelfo (@FNTSYArchitect)

With the fantasy championship nearly upon most fantasy leagues, now is the time to make the most of each lineup. There is no margin for error and every single move could be the difference between playing next week or watching your friends (or foes) compete for the title. With that said, I present to you the week 15 edition of Fine or Pine.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Keepers, Sleepers, and Jeepers: Week 15

By Adam Filadelfo (@FNTSYArchitect)

With week 15 right around the corner, fantasy owners that have gotten to this point will be looking for a player or two to pluck off of the waiver wire heading into their next playoff matchup. While week 15 probably will not provide much help, there could be players that fantasy owners may want to grab for insurance purposes. It's time once again to comb the waiver wire for last minute help. Good luck to all fantasy owners still alive in their leagues and go grab that last second waiver wire help before another owner in your league does.