On Saturday we drafted half of the 20-team dynasty league. I say half because there were 232 keepers out of 500 players. There is a $200 auction budget in that league so even with more teams the average dollar figure per player is lower. Every dollar counts.
The average team had $94 to work with and I had $156 which was the second-most in the league. Unfortunately, there weren't many players available who were top-shelf options so I knew I had to let my money fly.
We kicked things off with Hanley Ramirez. Despite his struggles last year he seemed to be easily the bluest chip player available. With all my cash I was determined to pay basically any amount to get him. I figured it would be at least $40. I got him for $42 which in hindsight looks like a steal.
There was some serious inflation going on. Mark Reynolds went for $24, Pablo Sandoval was $35. Later on Allen Craig went for $23 and Sean Marshall was $24.
With Hanley I figured I could spend big on either shortstop or third base since he will be both. I got Derek Jeter for a measly $14. I backed them both up with Mike Aviles for only $7. Ramirez, Jeter, and Aviles for $63 total seems pretty solid.
Jason Kipnis for $17 moves Howard Kendrick to 1B or LF and Ryan Rayburn to the bench. Nice options there. I also decided I had to have one of the 4 high-end options available at right field (this league has specific outfield positions). I got Jason Heyward for $24 which was a little more than I wanted to spend, but I do believe he bounces back this year.
I also wanted a "pure" first baseman and got Adam Lind for $12. We'll see how that goes. I'm not thrilled with it, but it could work out.
This team has an amazing amount of positional flexibility, which is fantastic to have in a 20-team league where options can be slim and replacement level is pretty low. Hanley, Aviles, Rayburn, Kendrick, John Mayberry, and Lucas Duda all play multiple positions.
My pitching is really strong, too. Mostly because of my keepers. I have Javy Guerra and Sergio Santos for $1 apiece. That is tremendous in a 20-team league. I hoped to pick up another closer in the draft, and in hindsight I should have. The $12 I spent on Lind could have gone there. They were going in the $16-$24 range and there were only about 5 or so with jobs.
I got David Hernandez for $2 and called it a day on the relievers. I don't believe that J.J. Putz can stay healthy and Hernandez is the clear alternative.
This league has quality starts as a category in place of wins. Know your league settings, people! In this format I though Bud Norris would be a fantastic pickup. I got him for $13. He slots in with my other starters: Dan Haren, Tim Stauffer, Brandon Morrow, Scott Baker, and Tyson Ross. I feel like that is a strong staff for a 20-team league.
Overall, I really like my squad. I think we can make some noise this year. This team would destroy my roster in my 10-team AL-Only league. No doubt about it.