All three leagues that I will be in this season are drafting this weekend. I will be in a 12-team H2H most categories auction that is the first year of a dynasty. Additionally, my fourth-year 18-team H2H points keeper has a snake draft (my keepers are Tim Lincecum, Justin Verlander, Eric Hosmer, Ben Zobrist) and finally, a 14-team H2H each category league I do with other baseball writers on Bleacher Report is snake-drafting.
With the anticipation and preparation going on for those, my inbox is filling up with questions from others with drafts coming, so this Q&A will be dedicated mostly to draft questions, with a few others thrown in… and here we go.
Marlon, Florida: In an auction league, how much more do you value young guys and how much less do you value old guys?
Marlon, There is no one answer because no two keeper leagues are the same. If your league only keeps two or three per team, then once the top couple tiers are gone, I wouldn’t factor in age because the rest of the auction is players who won’t be kept anyway. I might go a dollar or two extra for a young guy who I think MIGHT elevate himself. On the other side, if you keep half or more of your team, then yes, you have to consider age throughout. Don’t go overboard though. People in keeper auctions tend to go nuts and double a prospect’s value. Don’t be that guy. If you value Eric Hosmer at $15 in a 12-team league, then maybe you go as high as $19 or $20 in a keeper. Also, I like to compile a SHORT (emphasis on SHORT) list of guys who I’m willing to knowingly overpay for. Why? Because fantasy baseball should be fun, and some guys you simply enjoy owning. Andrew McCutchen was like that for me last year. I had him priced at $22 in an auction league, but I was willing to go all the way to $35 to get him because I really wanted to. So its okay to have a list, but you need to have a limit even on those guys or you’ll get infinitely bid up when people realize what you’re doing.
Mark, Wisconsin: I’ve got a 12-team redraft league draft this weekend. Can you give us a quick rundown of your Top 12 overall? Thanks.
Mark, I would be glad to.
1. Miguel Cabrera, 2. Matt Kemp, 3. Ryan Braun, 4. Jose Bautista, 5. Albert Pujols, 6. Troy Tulowitzki, 7. Adrian Gonzalez, 8. Joey Votto, 9. Evan Longoria, 10. Roy Halladay, 11. Clayton Kershaw, 12. Robinson Cano (and 13. Dustin Pedroia, and 14. Justin Verlander, in case you were curious).
Now, for some people comparing that to my positional rankings, yes, I moved A-Gonz up to third in my 1B rankings and I noted in the outfield rankings that if Braun’s suspension was overturned, he’d be #2 there. Also, for those interested, there’s not another pitcher within 10 spots in my overall rankings of those three.
Mike, ?: I know you’re not big on rookies usually but how do you feel about Dayan Viceido? What do you project from him this year? Also what are your opinions on Adam Jones this year?
Viciedo still has to officially win a starting job. If he does that, then I think there’s power potential. I wouldn’t pay for more than 17 HR or 65 RBI, and I think his batting average will slip given a bigger sample size, but there’s late-round sleeper potential. As far as Jones… I think he is what he is, and that’s not bad, it’s just time to stop expecting a “breakout.” He’ll probably bat between .270 and .280, hit 23-28 HR, drive in around 80 and score around 70 runs. I don’t see the 25/25 potential people wanted. In fact, I think you’re thrilled to get 15 steals, and should expect 9 to 12.
Cody, Pittsburgh: I have my draft party this weekend and my wife is pissed that its my turn to host it. How can I give her the illusion that she’s involved, while not jeopardizing my draft?
Cody, Why not invite all the wives/girlfriends and promise to have some chick flick or TV show on? Maybe they will even cook for everyone, and when its time to draft, you guys go into the garage or another room to handle your business. Just make sure, when you get a few minutes between picks to frequently check in on the ladies and thank her for making it work.
Matty, Texas: How do you feel about punting a category in the draft?
Well Matty, I don’t. The only category one could feasibly punt and still win the league is saves, and yet there are so many cheap saves available late in drafts, as well as on the waiver wire during the season, there’s no reason to punt it, just buy cheap.
Frank, Omaha: How detailed a plan do you go into an auction with?
I’ve gotten lots of questions like this and it has two answers. One, very detailed, and two, I plan to break my plan. To explain, I go into the draft with tiers of players at each position, and I have an idea, say that if I can’t get a tier 1 shortstop for “x” then I will get a tier 3 shortstop for “y.” If I need four starting pitchers, then I think I want one from tier 2 for “x” and one from tier 3 for “y” and two more from tier 6 for “z” and so on. I also allocate money for my overall bench, pitching and hitting combined. So I budget a certain about for starting hitters, certain amount for starting pitchers and the rest (usually no more than $3 per slot) for my bench. Now, to the second point, I make sure my plans balance out to the amount I have to spend. So if your league spends $260, then budget to spend that. Then, if I want to go a dollar or two over on a certain spot, I make a note of it “$-2” off to the side of my cheat sheet. On the other side, if I get a bargain, and grab someone for less than I planned to spend, I can make a note “$+3” so I know I have room to go the extra bit later on. I guess three good rules for an auction are “Budget every dollar you have, plan to break your budget, and keep track of where you’re at compared to the plan.”
Tristan, California: Fill a lineup with guys who, considering their value, could win me my league.
Ok Tristan, we are talking about boom/bust cheepies, so just know what you’re asking. I tried to pick only guys I thought you could get after the 15th round and for less than $5 in an auction. I make no promises with these guys.
C- Wilson Ramos, 1B- Adam Dunn, 2B- Aaron Hill, 3B- Pedro Alvarez, SS- Jed Lowrie, OF- Dominic Brown, OF- Bryce Harper ($5, 15th round won’t do it in a keeper league), OF- Brendan Boesch, SP- Brian Matusz, SP- Francisco Liriano, SP- Phil Hughes, SP- Clay Buchholz, RP- Addison Reed, RP- Kenley Jansen, RP- Carlos Marmol
That’s all for now. Keep sending your questions and I’ll get to as many as I can.