Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
May 2, 2006
BASEBALL: Roto 2006
In general, there are few things less interesting to most people than hearing about someone else's fantasy baseball team, so feel free to skip over this post. But in the interests both of full disclosure and posterity, I annually review my Rotisserie draft here on the site. Let's start with the main roto team, drafted March 25 - AL league, traditional roto rules (4x4, 12 teams, $260 for 23 slots, 10 reserves):
The offense on this team has been great so far, and even the slow starters like Dan Johnson are beginning to hit and Corey Patterson's speed has been a big factor lately. I always aspire to have a team full of guys who have regular jobs, and with Cintron subbing for Upton, everyone in the lineup either plays everyday or - in the case of Cintron and Bloomquist - plays regularly enough to contribute. The offense has kept me around the top 3-5 slots in the league the past few weeks, fifth today down from third yesterday. And Choi gives me some depth to weather the inevitable Thomas and/or Nevin injuries, plus Upton and - maybe - Alex Gordon could give me some upside later in the year. I got outbid for a few guys I wanted at 2B, which is how I got the Gruzz, but he should be respectable, at least.
The pitching staff is another story - I always seem to draft at least one key player who gets hurt between draft day and Opening Day, and this year it was Burnett who was complaining about a sore arm right away, followed by Sabathia going down on opening night. Then Riske went out. That meant I had no choice but to rely on my rotation's back end, though by now I've stuck Towers and Affeldt on reserve and cut Wright and Lohse in favor of free agents John Koronka and Jamie Walker. Basically, Lackey and Juan Cruz have been my only effective starters, and that will need to change if I'm going to stay in the hunt. Also, I overpaid for K-Rod, who ended up the draft's most expensive closer while other people snapped up the likes of Chris Ray and Jon Papelbon cheap; I think next year I'm going to avoid $30 closers.
As you will see, I didn't realize how enthused I was about Lackey and Granderson until I ended up with them on all three teams.
Next, we move on to team #2, a 10-team NL/AL head-to-head league, drafted automatically through Yahoo on March 30, 5x5 (Runs and K included) - I ended up with the first pick in this one:
I'm regretting taking A-Rod over Pujols, although I guess if I'd taken Pujols I might not have had room for Shelton. I was amazed at how low I was able to get Beltran and Peralta. Thus far, Shelton and Gomes have been my big bats along with A-Rod. Matsui is much underrated as a Roto player; the guy never takes a day off and always bats with men on base.
I've already tinkered with this team a good deal, dumping Uribe in favor of Ian Kinsler (who got hurt thereafter, so I added JJ Hardy while Kinsler is DL'd), Wilkerson in favor of Fernando Rodney and now Blanton in favor of Noah Lowry, who should be back next week. Team is presently in second place.
Normally I only do those two teams, but this year for fun I decided to take the same Yahoo pre-draft rankings and enter them in a public league, same rules except 12 teams and fewer non-pitching roster spots:
Unsurprisingly, this team looks a bit like the last one, but I was astounded by how strong my rotation was - Santana, Peavy, Zambrano, Hernandez and Lackey? - I guess the guys in this league just didn't rate starters that highly. Fat lot of good it's done me, given how badly they've all started besides Lackey. This one I've tinkered with quite a lot, cutting Hudson, Hermida, Uribe, Heilman, Wilkerson and most recently Iguchi (who is playing well but doesn't run as much as Weeks - I could regret that move) in favor of Rodney, Lowry, Coco Crisp, Hanley Ramirez, Nick Johnson, Orlando Cabrera and Brian McCann (I can't quite bring myself to cut Piazza, but I did finally bench him). Team currently stands in fourth place.