This past weekend, I had my last two auctions of the season, my AL-only league on Saturday and my NL-only league on Sunday. While I love fantasy baseball, there is a sense of relief that comes from closing the book on drafting and auctioning teams for the year. With a few days of perspective, I repeated an exercise I performed last season and took a look at which players I owned the most often across my seven leagues.
Here’s a high-level rundown of the configuration of my seven leagues:
- AL-Only rotisserie, 12 teams, auction with $260 budget, keeper, 14 hitters & 10 pitchers, old-school 4×4, includes BP’s own Mike Gianella
- NL-only rotisserie, 12 teams, auction with $260 budget, keeper, 14 hitters & 9 pitchers, standard 5×5
- Mixed rotisserie, 12 teams, auction with $260 budget, keeper, 14 hitters & 9 pitchers with 12+ reserves, standard 5×5
- Mixed rotisserie, 12 teams, snake draft, redraft, 9 hitters & 7 pitchers with 5 reserves, standard 5×5
- Mixed head-to-head, 10 teams, snake draft, keeper, 11 hitters & 8 pitchers with 5+ reserves, 6×6 (standard 5×5 with OPS for hitters and QS for pitchers)
- Mixed head-to-head, 12 teams, auction with $260 budget, keeper, 11 hitters & 9 pitchers with 6+ reserves, 6×6 (standard 5×5 with OPS for hitters and OPS-against for pitchers)
- Mixed rotisserie (BP staff league), 16 teams, snake draft, redraft, 14 hitters & 9 pitchers with 5 reserves, standard 5×5
Two more notes before I get started:
- This week, I’ll focus on the major leaguers. Next week, I’ll perform the same exercise for minor leaguers.
- I‘m in seven leagues, but I can’t have more than six shares in any player because one of those leagues is an AL-only league and another is an NL-only league.
Six Shares (one player)
My love for Moore knows no bounds, it would appear. The hard-throwing lefty is the only player I own in every league where I can own him for the second year in a row. Multiple owners in more than one league made fun of me for picking up Moore since I always own him and always end up writing about him. One of these years I’ll be right. Right?
Five Shares or Four Shares (no players)
Three Shares (eleven players)
If there’s a guy who could threaten Moore for the top spot in my fantasy investment portfolio over the next couple of years, it’s Schwarber. I know he hasn’t hit for average in the majors yet, but he has done everything else in fantasy short of stealing bases and has done it since day one in the big leagues. I know I’m not exactly alone in this assessment, but I just love his swing and approach.
During the preseason, I wrote a fantasy player profile on Santana. I like his bat and I really like his durability. His walk rate makes him a better player in OBP and/or OPS leagues, and two of the three leagues in which I have the 31-year-old are OPS leagues.
I think the improvements he made in the second half of 2015 and 2016 will carry into 2017. I also think fantasy owners frequently undervalue batting average, making players who can provide value in average go cheaper or later than they probably should.
It’s unlikely that Segura will come close to repeating his stellar 2016 numbers, but it seemed to me like the market overcorrected, making him a good value play in both draft and auction formats.
Two of the three leagues in which I own Mazara are keeper leagues where I drafted him as a minor leaguer, promoted him a year ago, and kept him this year. He struggled in the second half after a hot start in 2016 and he has trouble against lefties, but he’s still young. I think he’s a good bet to make the adjustments he needs to make to become a legitimate slugging outfielder.
I don’t love Sandoval this year, but I got him in two draft-style redraft leagues as a late-round flier and in an auction-style keeper league as a cheap endgame buy. You don’t have to love the player to love the player’s price. There’s little cost to acquiring Sandoval, so if he struggles, dropping him is easy. And given his price, he doesn’t have to do much to earn a profit.
If Matt Bush were healthy, Dyson would have lost his closing job by now. Without Bush around, there is no clear plan B for closing out games in Texas. A few more bad outings, though, and the Rangers will have to give someone else a shot, even if they have to draw straws to pick their next closer.
I liked Dyson’s value in the two drafts and the auction where I got him, but maybe the other owners were right on him. Counterpoint: It’s been a week and a half and saves are dumb.
I’m a big fan of Cotton. I think his K/9 will be higher this year than it was in his initial major league stint at the end of 2016, an I think the spacious dimensions of his home park will help him as well.
Granted, his batting average probably never will be an asset. He hit 27 home runs last year, and that kind of power is hard to find behind the plate. All three of the leagues in which I have Grandal are auction-style keeper leagues, and in each of those leagues, Grandal was not available in the auction because I kept him. I might not like him as much as my colleague Bret Sayre does, but I like him plenty.
Runs and average seem to be the two offensive categories in standard 5×5 leagues where roto owners won’t pay full price for value. Runs and average are the two standard 5×5 categories where Pedroia is most valuable. The fact that he’s 33 years old probably helps keep his price tag a little lower than it should be, too.
Kiermaier reminds me a lot of Mike Cameron as a real-life player and a roto player: outstanding defense in center field, an enticing combination of power and speed, a good walk rate, lots of strikeouts and a batting average that leaves something to be desired. Specifically, I like Kiermaier’s stolen-base potential in the current low-steal environment.