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July 23, 2012

Resident Fantasy Genius

Getting Aggressive With 10 Weeks To Go

by Derek Carty

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On Thursday, I talked about the way I approach making trades at this point in the season.  Today, I thought I’d walk you through a real-life example of how I think about trades from one of my own leagues: Tout Wars NL.  Below, you’ll find the standings by category and my roster.  Before you read about how I’ve been approaching trades, try to figure out what you would do in my situation.

Standings

RUNS

 

WINS

Phil Hertz

477

 

Peter Kreutzer

58

Lenny Melnick & Paul Greco

471

 

Scott Wilderman

58

Brian Walton

456

 

Lenny Melnick & Paul Greco

57

Scott Pianowski

442

 

Derek Carty

47

Mike Gianella

438

 

Scott Pianowski

45

Steve Gardner

436

 

Steve Gardner

45

Todd Zola

430

 

Tristan H. Cockcroft

41

Dean Peterson

417

 

Mike Gianella

40

Peter Kreutzer

416

 

Phil Hertz

40

Tristan H. Cockcroft

387

 

Dean Peterson

38

Scott Wilderman

382

 

Nate Ravitz

33

Nate Ravitz

361

 

Brian Walton

32

Derek Carty

357

 

Todd Zola

32

HOME RUNS

 

SAVES

Tristan H. Cockcroft

119

 

Tristan H. Cockcroft

59

Steve Gardner

114

 

Scott Pianowski

41

Brian Walton

110

 

Mike Gianella

40

Lenny Melnick & Paul Greco

107

 

Phil Hertz

39

Scott Wilderman

107

 

Todd Zola

37

Todd Zola

104

 

Dean Peterson

33

Phil Hertz

100

 

Nate Ravitz

30

Dean Peterson

91

 

Derek Carty

27

Scott Pianowski

88

 

Scott Wilderman

19

Derek Carty

81

 

Brian Walton

15

Peter Kreutzer

80

 

Steve Gardner

10

Mike Gianella

74

 

Peter Kreutzer

7

Nate Ravitz

60

 

Lenny Melnick & Paul Greco

2

RBI

 

ERA

Phil Hertz

474

 

Derek Carty

2.96

Brian Walton

474

 

Scott Pianowski

3.31

Lenny Melnick & Paul Greco

462

 

Todd Zola

3.55

Todd Zola

452

 

Peter Kreutzer

3.64

Tristan H. Cockcroft

436

 

Lenny Melnick & Paul Greco

3.75

Steve Gardner

397

 

Tristan H. Cockcroft

3.77

Scott Pianowski

393

 

Scott Wilderman

4.01

Scott Wilderman

392

 

Steve Gardner

4.03

Peter Kreutzer

374

 

Mike Gianella

4.10

Mike Gianella

358

 

Brian Walton

4.13

Dean Peterson

349

 

Nate Ravitz

4.14

Derek Carty

341

 

Phil Hertz

4.27

Nate Ravitz

299

 

Dean Peterson

4.49

STOLEN BASES

 

WHIP

Phil Hertz

100

 

Derek Carty

1.154

Peter Kreutzer

94

 

Todd Zola

1.214

Dean Peterson

88

 

Scott Pianowski

1.222

Scott Wilderman

83

 

Lenny Melnick & Paul Greco

1.260

Lenny Melnick & Paul Greco

82

 

Tristan H. Cockcroft

1.265

Scott Pianowski

72

 

Scott Wilderman

1.286

Tristan H. Cockcroft

71

 

Nate Ravitz

1.297

Brian Walton

70

 

Mike Gianella

1.298

Mike Gianella

69

 

Peter Kreutzer

1.324

Steve Gardner

57

 

Steve Gardner

1.337

Derek Carty

48

 

Brian Walton

1.341

Todd Zola

48

 

Phil Hertz

1.348

Nate Ravitz

41

 

Dean Peterson

1.394

BATTING AVERAGE

 

STRIKEOUTS

Tristan H. Cockcroft

0.2727

 

Peter Kreutzer

768

Nate Ravitz

0.2711

 

Derek Carty

752

Steve Gardner

0.2687

 

Mike Gianella

706

Peter Kreutzer

0.2672

 

Scott Wilderman

687

Todd Zola

0.2665

 

Lenny Melnick & Paul Greco

661

Phil Hertz

0.264

 

Steve Gardner

650

Brian Walton

0.2628

 

Nate Ravitz

632

Scott Pianowski

0.2607

 

Tristan H. Cockcroft

632

Lenny Melnick & Paul Greco

0.2600

 

Brian Walton

621

Mike Gianella

0.2591

 

Scott Pianowski

587

Derek Carty

0.2567

 

Dean Peterson

545

Scott Wilderman

0.2551

 

Todd Zola

538

Dean Peterson

0.2418

 

Phil Hertz

514

 

Roster

Pos

Player

C

Ramon Hernandez

C

Rod Barajas

1B

Mike Morse

2B

Tyler Greene

3B

Chipper Jones

SS

Paul Janish

CI

Juan Uribe

MI

Cesar Izturis

OF

Justin Upton

OF

Dexter Fowler

OF

Justin Ruggiano

OF

Ryan Ludwick

UT

Jon Jay

P

Matt Cain

P

R.A. Dickey

P

Anibal Sanchez

P

Ryan Dempster

P

Erik Bedard

P

Michael Fiers

P

Rafael Betancourt

P

Ernesto Frieri

P

Matt Belisle

Swingman

Jason Grilli

BN

Nate Schierholtz

BN

Jedd Gyorko

BN

Elian Herrera

BN

Juan Carlos Oviedo

DL

Todd Helton

DL

Tim Stauffer

DL

Drew Storen

DL

Wil Nieves

While I’m presently in ninth place with 66.5 points, the first place team has only 86 points.  Making up 20 points in two-and-a-half months isn’t unrealistic, and getting the 15 points to manage a top-three finish is attainable.  Of course, I’ll need to manage my categories well and hope for a little bit of luck.

As you probably notice, I’m really having trouble in the hitting categories.  Between Justin Upton struggling, Mike Morse missing the first two months, and a slew of smaller maladies and struggles, I’m in a bit of a bind.  Luckily, I’ve set myself up quite well in pitching.  I have huge leads in ERA and WHIP, which lends itself nicely to dealing my top pitchers. Given my situation, I can afford to play a number of mid-tier pitchers while still holding onto most or all of my ERA and WHIP points.  So it’s time for a fire sale, and I’ve got tons of quality trade chips, led by Matt Cain and R.A. Dickey.

The easiest place to make up ground appears to be saves.  Just 15 saves could give me six points.  After that, I’ll need to make a serious push on the offensive side.  I certainly have my work cut out for me, and there aren’t any categories where it appears there are easy gains to be made.  In a situation like this, I may be best off acquiring as much value and as much upside on the hitting side as possible, regardless of categorical impact.  If Upton and Morse can heat up and I can add a few reinforcements to help them, I may be able to put some points together piecemeal and make a run for a money spot.  The good news, in a glass-half-full kind of way, is that I have plenty of nearly-dead spots on my roster: Greene, Janish, Uribe, and Izturis.

A couple days ago, I made my first deal, trading R.A. Dickey, Tyler Greene, and Ernesto Frieri for Rickie Weeks, Adam LaRoche, and Kenley Jansen.  Whether it works out or not, this is exactly the kind of deal that a team in my position needs to make.  While Weeks has struggled mightily this year, his upside is enormous—that of a $20 or $25 player.  I’m not going to win this league if I don’t take risks, and Weeks is a terrific risk to take.  LaRoche fills another dead spot, sending either Uribe or Izturis to the bench, and combined with Weeks gives me a good spread categorically.  While Frieri has been getting saves, I get to swap him here for a guy who isn’t sharing opportunities and who is one of the most talented relievers in baseball.  This gives me either 1) more leeway to play crappy starting pitchers, or 2) a valuable trade chip to acquire a less talented closer plus some extra hitting value.  Dickey is potentially great, but he’s unnecessary for my team, so funneling his value into the categories I need is a win for me.

To further add to my saves, I placed a big bid ($57) on new Astros closer Francisco Cordero last night and won him for $17 via the Tout Wars Vickrey system. While he’s not the pitcher he once was, he shouldn’t have too much competition in Houston, and I can afford to take subpar peripherals.  He’s kind of the perfect closer for my situation, and he only cost me a little FAAB.

Next up, I’ve been attempting to trade Matt Cain.  I have a couple of appealing offers on the table, and I’ll likely be making a deal over the next few days.  In the meantime, I made a smaller deal that seemed like a good value play to fill a dead spot: Juan Uribe, Elian Herrera, and $5 FAAB for Mark Ellis.  Ellis is no impact bat, but he does play every day and is an upgrade over Uribe or Izturis at middle infield.  That step up the ladder could also help me in a potential future trade for an even bigger upgrade at the position, being able to include a starting second baseman in the deal.

I’ve got a bit of an uphill battle, but I’m starting to make waves and feel as though I’m in a pretty good position to begin moving up.

Related Content:  Fantasy Baseball,  Trade Strategies

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