Now I know that sounds a bit like a personals ad, but in a way it is. The title of the blog is supposed to draw you attention to the main article. Be it with an intriguing title, or a bold head line stating the end of the world is near. Either way neither really apply to fantasy baseball.
Now here is my personals ad, or more over a person biography.
Before I write it, I must include a couple shouts outs, www.fantasysandlot.com, and www.fantasybaseballtrademarket.com, for great article written by Chris Spencer, Robert Sikon, Howard Berger, Dennis Patrick, Chase Williams, myself and the rest of the staff.
So here goes, I'm that manager that every one creating a league wants. Why? I'm not sure. They know that I'm not going to beaten easily, so I assume it has to do with the level of competition they're seeking. So I take that as compliment, and move forward. Each year I get a ton of invites (90 so far) to join leagues of all varieties, and each year I join far more then I ought to. I try to limit myself, but the allure of fantasy baseball is far to strong for me to resist. I've done a good job so far this year, only have 18 or so teams, compared to the 22 I had last season. So obviously I accept a few of those invites, but this leads me to my next point.
Why doesn't anyone join my leagues? It's a b*tch isn't it? I know that there are other managers out there that have this same problem, they're invited to play in a few leagues, but when it comes time to have people join their own leagues, they can't seem to fill them. But the thing is I know what my problem is.
American League Only.
Or even more simply put. People are scared.
People do not want to leave the comfort zone that shallow mixed leagues provide. They're afraid to challenge themselves. They don't want to know if Jesse Carlon or Brian Tallet will be the Toronto Blue Jays primary lefty guy. They don't care if Alex Cintron wins a spot on a roster. They don't want to have to roster Nate Robertson and his soul sucking era.
For myself. I love AL only leagues, the only leagues I set up are AL only. I've got two this year I've set up. One here on CBS Sports the other at ESPN. Out of 22 teams available, I have 12 spots filled, two of which I occupy.
The managers I play against, say they want to challenge themselves to get better which is why they invited me to play against them. I simply ask them, "Then why not join my AL Only league?"
The answer range from, " I already have to many teams." to "I just don't like Single Leagues."
I understand their reasoning, but I question it all at the same time.
What's more likely to challenge you.
Having to replace Mike Lowell at 3b in a Mixed league or an AL Only League.
Hmm, Kevin Kouzmanoff or Travis Metcalf.
Those are the risks you face when playing in single leagues. You risk learning about players beyond the top 300 you see everywhere, and you risk having to roster players that aren't overly productive. Nay, below league average.
Shallow mixed league formats, aren't overly challenging, compared to single leagues as the caliber of replacement players far exceeds single league. The caliber of the starting lineup alone is better then two single league teams combined.
There will be those that play in deep mixed leagues with 40 man rosters that may disagree, but I simply respond with, you've still got a shot with Kevin Kouzmanoff on your bench.
For those that don't know and haven't taken part in this form of drafting can simply be discribed as this.
I've recently taken part in two auctions, combined they managed to take 8 1/2 hours. Yup that's right, sitting there, for eight and half hours, as names and numbers ran by. As you sat there having an inner struggle with yourself of whether Jose B. Reyes is worth $40 or not. Hours of sitting there bidding up Miguel Tejada to $13 at the expense of the other owners that don't already own, $5 Mark DeRosa, $17 Rafael Furcal and $15 J.J. Hardy. The pleasure of drafting Jason Bay for $20, which is $15 less then Aramis Ramirez was sold, and only $14 less then Alex Rodriguez was sold for. The joy of knowing you have never spent more then $17 on any one pitcher (Javier Vazquez)...ever! Grabbing all your pet sleepers, drafting players others under value - David DeJesus for $9 is a steal- etc etc.
Simply put. Auction leagues are the way to go.
Sure they're time consuming, and generally require alot more preperation, and attention prior to the draft, but the definately get the competitive juices flowing.
In new leagues, everyone has a shot at grabbing Hanley Ramirez. The only obstacle in the way, is whether you're willing to pay the most money for him.
Standard snake drafts more or less have an set draft order for each player. Meaning players don't generally fall to far from their ADP. Where as you can see a young SP, nominated early and bought for cheap.
There are a couple rules of thumb though.
Rule Number One- Come prepared have an idea of what you're willing to spend for what position, and a couple of targets. Have a basic strategy outlined. Stars and scrubs, Lima Plan, Rima Plan, etc etc there are numerous different approaches one can take.
Rule Number Two- Never leave money on the table. If you're like me, you want to save money for the second "quarter" of the draft, typically the late 60-mid 80 picks. Doing so means you're going to land a bunch of $20-$27 players which great. You'll have a ton of money left over, to spread out on your roster. Which seems like a great plan, but as I've found, you can snap up all the bargains because you have the extra money, but you leave money on the table.
So I recommend this, after leaving $26 and $20 on the table in my drafts. Grab at least ONE $30-$40 player. Grab Jose Reyes for $40, and then concentrate on filling out the rest of your roster in the second quarter. If I could go back and do my auctions again, that would be the only thing I'd change.
Rule Number Three- If at all possible avoid bidding wars. I know that sounds self defeating in an auction, but there is some sense behind it. There are risks involved when getting in a heated bidding war. A- the other guy is bidding him up to take some of your cash off the table. b- he doesn't really need/want him, and will drop out sticking you with him. C- those are redundant sentences.
What you must do is take into account his roster and remaining budget. Does he need the guy? Will it hurt his remaining dough to pay that price? Is he a fan? Home town loyalty can be easily exposed in auctions.
Thanks for reading this quick primer (though it took like thirty minutes to type), check back in for my auction rosters in a couple of days.