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In the “My Model Portfolio” series, the fantasy staff will create their own team within a $260 auction budget using Mike Gianella’s latest mixed league Bid Limits for 2017. The scoring is 5×5 standard roto. The roster being constructed includes: C, 1B, 2B, 3B, SS, CI, MI, 5 OF, 2 UTIL, and 9 P.

The Process

I won this competition for 2016, so this year, I’m motivated by fear. There’s nowhere to go for me but down. I was tempted to pick a lot of the same guys who did well for me last year, but the thing about guys who outperform their bid limits in the previous season is that their bid limits are mostly higher the next season.

I didn’t go into this exercise with any hard-and-fast rules like targeting a certain type of player, a certain position or specific players. I just built a spreadsheet with Mike Gianella’s bid limits in one column and the projected values from BP’s Player Forecast Manager in another column, then spent way too much scanning through the table until I was able to land on $260 for 14 hitters and nine pitchers.

The Offense

Position

Player

Bid

C

Matt Wieters

$7

1B

Tommy Joseph

$8

2B

Daniel Murphy

$22

3B

Dansby Swanson

$12

SS

Miguel Sano

$11

CI

Matt Carpenter

$16

MI

Carlos Santana

$14

OF

Yoenis Cespedes

$25

OF

Kyle Schwarber

$17

OF

Adam Jones

$14

OF

A.J. Pollock

$18

OF

Jose Bautista

$16

UT

Victor Martinez

$3

UT

Pablo Sandoval

$1

Total

$184 (70.8%)

My offense is fairly boring, with no splashy big-ticket guys like Mike Trout or Kris Bryant or Mookie Betts. In that respect, it’s fairly similar to my team from last year. My most expensive hitters are Yoenis Cespedes at $25 and Daniel Murphy at $22. I liked Murphy a lot more when he was half the price in 2016, but I still like his durability and his bat.

Pablo Sandoval, Jose Bautista, and Kyle Schwarber all bring some risk in their profiles, but that risk is what makes their bid limits attractive. Sandoval presents both an injury risk and a performance risk, while Bautista and Schwarber are mainly injury risks.

I like Tommy Joseph a lot at first base on this roster. He has virtually no competition for playing time in Philadelphia and looks like a good bet for a .250+ average and 25+ home runs with room on the positive side in both of those categories.

The Pitching

Player

Bid

Matt Moore

$5

Ivan Nova

$2

Danny Salazar

$11

James Paxton

$9

Kevin Gausman

$6

Chris Archer

$20

Marcus Stroman

$11

Aaron Sanchez

$11

Hector Neris

$1

Total

$76 (29.2%)

I started my staff with Matt Moore because, well, I just like Matt Moore. In 2017 he’s another year removed from Tommy John surgery and he’s on a better team now than he was last spring. His walks and his WHIP are always a concern, but his strikeout stuff makes him an enticing upside play. For me, maybe a little too enticing, since I own him in way more leagues than I probably should.

Picking two starters in the same rotation in a hitter’s park on a team in the AL East seems like a bad idea, but Marcus Stroman and Aaron Sanchez seems like they’re worth the risk to me. Stroman seems like a good candidate to improve upon his 2016 stat line, while Sanchez should turn a profit even if he can’t replicate his stellar stat line from 2016, which he probably can’t.

I only selected one relief pitcher because I didn’t see much value on the reliever side of the ledger in Mike Gianella’s bid limits. For this exercise, we’re not trying to build a balanced team that will compete across all categories, we’re trying to find value. The one reliever I bought was Hector Neris. Buying the 27-year-old is both a bet against incumbent closer Jeanmar Gomez and a bet on Neris’ strikeouts – he was one of only eight relievers in MLB to strike out 100 or more batters last season.

The Prediction

I think my roster this year carries more risk than the roster I bought last year did in the form of older players and guys coming off recent injuries. That said, I like my team, as pretty much everyone should a week before Opening Day. Then the season starts, then the bad things start happening, then the gnashing of the teeth and the rending of the clothes.

Will I be able to defend my title? I don’t know. I hope so. I’ll need a little luck to get there. Mostly I just want the season to start already.