Craig Kimbrel seems to be a common denominator among leading clubs.
With a light week of free-agent bids in LABR and no free-agent bids in Tout Wars until Thursday at midnight thanks to the All-Star Break, I decided to glimpse at the top of the standings in the three LABR leagues. Today, it is Tout Wars’ turn. This analysis is not designed to be a top-to-bottom review of all five Tout Wars expert leagues, but rather a brief look at what has gone right for some of the teams at the top of the standings to date. Can it help you in your leagues going forward? Let’s find out!
Table 1: Tout Mixed Auction Top Four with Categories
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Dodgers use of 10-day DL and six viable starters has aided their rotation and might give them an advantage all season. How can fantasy players take advanatge?
When the 10-day DL reemerged into our collective consciousness, the idea was relatively simple. Teams wanted to maintain roster flexibility while also protecting their players from “gutting it out” through lingering injuries that might not warrant missing two full weeks of the season. A secondary function of the new, abbreviated DL has unearthed itself over the first half of the season. The shorter DL trips have allowed teams to manipulate the traditional five-man starting rotation, and nobody has gamed the system quite like the Dodgers.
Jeff Samardzija, Hanley Ramirez and Ender Inciarte are not-so-obvious possibilities who could improve your team down the stretch.
We are currently in the final full week of the first half, and we’ll spend most of the next week recharging our fantasy baseball batteries and getting ready for the stretch run. Most of our trade deadlines are about a month or so away, so now is the time to decide whether you want to stick with someone for the rest of the year or try to sell on them now. Every roster is different, and you can’t just trade for your favorite players, particularly in a roto league. Obviously, the ideal scenario for any manager at the deadline is to shore up areas of weakness. With that, here are—generally speaking—my three favorite trade targets for the second half. Keep in mind this is simply for redraft leagues, or maybe even contenders in longer-term leagues.
In a breakthrough campaign, Travis Shaw is having one of the top seasons of any third baseman in fantasy. Will he continue to be elite at the hot corner?
Travis Shaw wasn’t considered a hot fantasy commodity prior to this season. He was coming off a disappointing 2016, and owners weren’t quite sure what to expect following his move to Milwaukee. Shaw didn’t appear on Baseball Prospectus’ preseason tiered rankings, and he barely snuck in “The Top 300 for 2017.” However, as we approach the All-Star break, Shaw has been one of the most valuable fantasy assets at his position.
Allow me to set a scene. In my deep NL-only league (a fairly standard 5x5 NL-only roto league with 12 teams, 14 hitters, 9 pitchers, a $260 auction budget and weekly transactions) we had a bit of an incident over the weekend. On Sunday June 4, Randal Grichuk’s owner (let’s call him Chris) released him to acquire Atlanta Braves utility infielder Danny Santana with a $0 bid in our FAAB processing. The context for this move was that the Cardinals had demoted Grichuk on May 29 to work on his approach after a rough month in the majors. Chris was trying to fill a dead spot in his lineup with a warm body who might actually get some plate appearances the following week. If you read my weekly column, the Deep League Report, you know how slim the pickings can be in the free-agent pool in deep NL-only leagues. Sometimes, Danny Santana is the best you can do.
Looking back and projections for Justin Bour, Mike Moustakas, Kevin Kiermaier, Daniel Norris, Yadier Molina, Daniel Murphy, Aledmys Diaz, Aaron Judge.
It is difficult to believe, but we are almost halfway through the 2017 season. While a lot will change in the second half, enough of the season has been played so that some assessment can be offered of how well (or poorly) some of our preseason predictions have played out. While it is easy to make preseason calls and never bring them up again, it always is worth looking back at what we got right—and what we got wrong, and why.
I’ll start with the players I told fantasy players to target, and then finish with the players I advised fantasy managers to avoid.
There's another Zack G. in the D-backs rotation, and while he's not an ace like Zack Greinke his teammate, Zack Godley has been quite a welcome addition.
It took 118 years before the first “Zack G.” graced Major League Baseball. We all know about Zack Greinke. He’s good at pitching, and has admirably represented Zack G.’s everywhere. However, now there’s a new Zack G. stealing some shine, and he just so happens to share a rotation with Greinke. If getting ground balls is divine, Zack Godley has been downright heavenly this season and has emerged as a key member of the Diamondbacks rotation. While the start has certainly been impressive, his intervention has been anything but expected.
Garcia continues to produce well beyond his career norms at the plate. What should you do with him? Maybe just sit tight.
Even for a sport that revolves around unpredictability, this has been a weird fantasy baseball season. There have been complete collapses from fantasy mainstays, unfathomable performances from rookies, and breakouts from players we’d written off years ago. One member of the latter group is Avisail Garcia.
A Kafkaesque look at how to approach the trading season in fantasy baseball.
It’s that time of year: time for the fantasy scribes to put together their annual trading columns. More so than with auctioning, drafting or player analysis, trading is a difficult topic because there is so much variability from league to league and even from fantasy manager to fantasy manager. What works in my 12-team AL-only keeper league probably will not work in your 15-team mixed redraft league.
One constant that does exist across leagues is that you will have to interact with other people. “To write prescriptions is easy, but to come to an understanding with people is hard.” Franz Kafka wrote in A Country Doctor. Kafka died 56 years before Daniel Okrent’s fantasy baseball league had its initial auction at La Rotisserie Francaise in Manhattan in 1980, so we may never know what Kafka would have thought of fantasy baseball, but I suspect that he would have found the frustration with the difficulty of trading extremely relatable.
In a new season, don't be haunted by old ghosts. Try fresh tactics.
There’s an old saying that “generals always fight the last war.” The origin of the saying is unclear, but the idea behind it is not. During their current engagements, people tend to do the things that has worked well and avoid the things that didn’t work well during their previous engagement, rather than choose their course of action based on the current circumstances. And it’s not limited to war—a variation on the statement insists that “economists always fight the last depression.”
In my deep AL-only league keeper league, I’ve had the same issue the past few times I’ve had a contending team. I didn’t trade away my prospects and/or cheep keepers to the teams that dumped early because I didn’t like the prices I was paying. Each time, I felt like the contenders who made those deals overpaid and that I would overtake them when I made subsequent deals at better exchange rates. Each time, I was wrong.