Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Fix My Team...Needs A Closer

I just did my live draft last night; I noticed we had similar draft strategies in a few of your previous articles so I am curious to see your opinions.  We have the standard Yahoo structure with only 1 utility spot and no CI or MI positions.  Max of 9 total pitchers.  It is also a keeper league with 2 roster spots for prospects.  I was the 7th pick.  H2H scoring, 12 categories (Offense – R, HR, RBI, SB, AVG, OBP.  Pitching W, L, SV, K, ERA, WHIP)
1)      Troy Tulowitzki (keeper from last year)
2)      Kevin Youkilis
3)      Dan Uggla
4)      Alex Rios (may have been a reach)
5)      Cole Hamels
6)      Yovani Gallardo
7)      Roy Oswalt
8)      Brett Gardner (small reach but had to have him)
9)      Shaun Marcum
10)     Jose Valverde
11)     Tim Hudson
12)     Brad Lidge
13)     Jorge Posada
14)     Brandon Morrow (keeper from last year)
15)     Jose Bautista (keeper from last year)
16)     Adam Wainwright (Strasberg went 3 picks in front of me and felt my P was solid so far so I could handle the one less drafted position player until I can put him on the DL.)
17)     Bryce Harper (also may have went early but Trout was already taken and a run was imminent)
18)     Austin Jackson
19)     Marco Scutaro
20)     Michael Morse
21)     Derek Holland
22)     Magglio Ordonez
23)     Dustin Ackley
24)     Jarrod Saltamacchia
I am 1 position player short due to taking Wainwright but will put him in 1 of 2 DL spots once I can and pick someone up. 
So how did I do?  Only my 2nd year playing Fantasy Baseball but spent a lot of time in the off season on websites like yours and felt much better going into this draft!  Any advice on what to look to upgrade or players to pick up once Wainwright is moved?  I think the “Fix my Team” is one of the best options on a fantasy site yet!
Please reply all so this goes to my personal email also.

After reading your inquiry and studying your draft I will be aligning your team as follows:
By far your strongest asset is your SP staff. With a majority of your staff being aces from the NL, you will dominate your league in ERA, be among the leaders in Ks and also WHIP.  Be aware that Morrow will start the season on the DL and of course Wainright’s out for the season.  With only 2 DL spots available you may want to trade off Wainright to a team without a good SP keeper for next year.  Look for a front line closer. With that said let’s examine your RP.  You need help quick. Lidge will start the season on the DL and may not be back for awhile. That leaves you with only the above average Valverde. Stash Lidge on the DL and pick up Jose Contreras for the time being. You do not want to get buried in Saves so early in the year. Check your waiver wire for opening day closers that may still be available. Others to consider are Brandon League in Seattle, Sergio Romo in SF if Wilson doesn’t break camp for opening day and Jon Rauch until Toronto decides who will close. Those 3 can all be fill-ins for the time being. With Lidge going to the DL you need 2 more RP.
From the offensive side we will take it position by position. At C Posada is a great pick. He will DH a majority of the time and may see the most ABs he has seen in a few years. One trick I like to have in Daily Leagues is to have my main C on an East coast team so you know early in the night if he is starting. If not, you plug in your West coast back-up. This way you never lose games at the C position like most teams do.  At 1B I am guessing many teams used the Keepers at this position. Youk isn’t a top line power 1B but he is more than serviceable. He may lose a few ABs this year batting 5th or 6th but will still produce. Going around the horn, you have the best power hitting player at 2B in the NL, no problems there unless he reverts back to hitting 240 for average. With Bautista at 3B do not expect the 54 HR season again. If he can get over 30 you are still solid. Tulo is arguably the best SS in baseball. You have a potential 110-140 HR infield with 400+ RBI. No speed here but that’s not a problem.
Your OF is anchored by one of my favorites in Rios. He can be one of the few 25/25 guys this year, plus he has Dunn and Konerko hitting behind him. Expect a great year from Rios. Next is Jackson; Lots and lots of Runs here plus 30 SB potential. If he can cut down on his strike outs he will be All-Star caliber. I own both Rios and Jackson on many teams this year. Gardner will be the speed guy you need to complete in SB all year, look for 50+ SB and 100R if he bats lead-off. Maggs is getting older but is a career .304 hitter. If he stays healthy could have a big year for a 37 year old. 
My take is you are above average in HR and RBI…not elite but up in the pack. Nice balance of batting averages no real killer but not a lot over 300 either.  You did secure one of the top 3 base stealers in the game so you are solid in that category. I really like the Run potential of this team. You have players from teams that are going to score as often as Charlie Sheen.
I plugged Morse into your U spot. Even though he is having a huge Spring I am not sold on him. Scutaro on your bench does nothing for me and could be out of a job in 2 months.  Let Morse establish himself and then move him for a player that can help your weakest category come Memorial Day. I would drop Scutaro and pick up a player with multi-multi-position eligibility. Someone like Infante, Uribe, Huff, or Sean Rodriguez.
Your biggest weakness is your Closer situation followed by a bench without much position flexibility. In daily leagues you want flex players that can be inserted into any hole in your line up if someone has the night off. Do not be afraid to trade away one of your SP for a package consisting of an elite Closer and maybe a Ben Zobrist type…a position player who will play every day with multi-position eligibility. One more piece of advice, do not hesitate to trade away one of your SP, this could free up room and you could still stream a 2 start SP each week from the wire.
Thanks for the question Josh…now go win your league.


  1. Actually went out and got Prado for Tim Hudson straight up. Feel much better about the depth on the bench now!