Monday, March 3, 2008

Specific Drafting Strategy

The draft strategy I will talk about in this post is not general, in fact it is the strategy I've found most effective specifically for drafts this year. I've found it the best after analyzing the resulting teams from probably around 25 mock drafts I've completed over at

I'll break it down based on where I feel the best time is to draft each position, and obviously it will vary greatly based on what you pick is in draft, so I'll tell you now it works best with picks 6-10 in a 12-team league.

Catchers - Do not take any of the elites, it simply ruins your chances at filling holes at other positions. I've found that Posada will fall sometimes, once I got him in the ninth round, which is good value. I'd say avoid Mauer, I think he gets over picked, and isn't even that great in fantasy. Johima is good value if he falls past the tenth. I'd say best value is taking Soto, Bengie around 13th round or Ramon Hernandez a couple rounds later. Noticed how J.R. Towles was not named, he's too unproven.

1st Basemen - I say don't go elite, but its not the worst if you do. I'm fine taking a Travis Hafner or Morneau in the 4th/5th round. If you miss them, go with Konerko, Pena, or Adrian Gonzalez around the 7/8th round. Notice Adrian Gonzalez in bold, that means he's important. Also do not take Carlos Delgado, I know; trust me I know, he will not rebound.

2nd basemen - Again avoid elites, no Chase Utley in the first round, no Brandon Phillips or BJ Upton in the second. There's just too many good sleeper 2nd basemen that are solid that go oh so late. Kelly Johnson is my favorite, followed by the likes of Placido Polanco, Aaron Hill, and Mark Ellis. Solid players available late, get'em.

3rd Basemen - This is what you've been waiting for, GET ELITE. This means get Wright, Miggy, Braun, Aramis, Atkins, Chipper, Chone (not the projection system), or Ryan Zimmerman. Get one of them! I don't care which, just get one. Trust Me. The drop-off is steep. You'll survive with Beltre, Gordon (eh, risky), but get an elite. If you manage to screw this up, I say don't pick those Beltre, Gordon guys and wait on either Youkilis or Kouzmanoff. They are better value and high to decent upside. Get elite!

Short Stop - Here it is again, target an elite shortstop. Either get one of the big three (Reyes, Hanley, Rollins) or get one of the next big three (Tulo, Guillen or Jeter). Again I do not care which one, just get one. If you do manage to fail at this, look to bargain towards Khalil Greene if you want power, or Theriot/Julio Lugo for some late steals. Get an elite SS.

Outfield - This position was shallow last year, its deep this year. Just pick it around your other picks. I'll give some specific guys I like to target: Corey Hart, Delmon Young, Nick Markakis, Francoeur, Pat Burrell, and Nick Swisher. I'd avoid Alex Rios (taken too high), Vlad, Magglio, Crawford, Brad Hawpe. Obviously those guys are good, I just feel they are being taken too high. Late round sleepers you can take a risk on are Jack Cust, Colby Rasmus, Adam Jones, Josh Hamilton.

Starting Pitching - When I call the position of outfield deep, that means starting pitching is like a bottomless crevice from which you might think liquid-hot magma would spew. That's relatively speaking of couse, but understand that there are just so many good starting pitchers that please, I'm begging you, do not take Johan or Peavy or Beckett or Bedard despite how much your index finger may twitch when you scroll your mouse over one of their names. Don't even think about taking a pitcher from the next tier of players either. Start taking an Sp around pick 100 when Lincecum, Rich Hill, Shields (check out the k/bb!), and Javier V start going. Then wait a pick to take guys like Billingsley, Lilly, Snell, and Liriano (if your willing). Notice guys I did not name like Fausto, Halladay, and Burnett (no offense to those Blue Jays fans). Then finish by filling out your roster with solid pitchers like Dustin McGowan, Wainwright, Gorzo, Blanton, and Jeff Francis. If you want, take a late-round flier on Rich Harden.

Relief Pitchers - Anyone reading my blog is I hope not stupid enough to take a Putz or Papelbon round 5-6. So where do we go from there? HOW ABOUT NOT TAKE ANOTHER CLOSER UNTIL ROUND 15!!!! I know Matthew Berry is a big advocator of this strategy, and I am too. Maybe get a decent closer late like CJ Wilson, Joakim Soria, Brandon Lyon, Troy Percival, or Isringhausen/Capps if they fall. Although I listed those names, I'd rather have the top tier setup men than the cheap closers who have a good chance of losing their jobs. The best set-up men are Betancourt, Heath Bell, Jon Broxton, Okajima, and Scot Shields. These guys have a decent chance of closing themselves, and bring great ratios, and high K rates. Do not get elite.

That's it! If you happen to get a late pick, open this post right away and follow it as best you can. I personally guarentee your team will do well, or else I'll . . .ehrm . . .well you didn't give me anything for reading this, so I have nothing to give you back.



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