Last week we reviewed a draft strategy and focused on the pitching side of it. This week we will dig into the position players. This draft strategy is for a 10 or 12 team H2H league.
This strategy is based on getting your lineup filled with five or six guys who you can build your team around and then using the last part of the draft to fill out the last three or four spots with high upside guys, who are players who have just fallen or the best of what is left. This isn’t the only strategy you can use in fantasy baseball and this type of league, but one I have found to be very effective. Just like in real baseball there are many ways to build a team. If you have different thoughts, let’s talk about them below.
- Yan Gomes, C – Twentieth Round
- Anthony Rizzo, 1B – Third Round
- Ian Kinsler, 2B – Sixth Round
- Erick Aybar, SS – Twenty –first Round
- Josh Harrison, 3B – Fifteenth Round
- Kris Bryant, 3B – Sixteenth Round
- Andrew McCutchen, OF – First Round
- Jose Bautista, OF – Second Round
- Michael Brantley, OF – Fourth Round
- Adrian Gonzalez, U – Fifth Round
I was picking eighth and had to choose between Andrew McCutchen and Giancarlo Stanton for my first pick. Either player is worthy of the pick but I chose McCutchen over Stanton as I didn’t want the risk that Stanton would have a down year for him after signing that huge contract and getting hit in the face. Stanton went next and then Freddie Freeman and Miguel Cabrera. That left Jose Bautista for me to take in the second round. Not a bad way to start off in a draft with McCutchen and Bautista.
When my third pick came up it was pretty easy as Anthony Rizzo was sitting there along with Edwin Encarnacion, Jacoby Ellsbury and Hanley Ramirez, I will take Rizzo over all these guys. The fourth round was between Michael Brantley and Adrian Beltre and I chose to take my third outfielder knowing I still needed to fill the utility position with another outfielder.
To this point I have just taken the best position player I could get but the next two picks I didn’t see coming. The next hitters were Adrian Gonzalez, Ian Kinsler, Carlos Gonzalez, Carlos Santana and Albert Pujols. I could have started with starting pitchers with Jacob deGrom, Matt Harvey and Julio Teheran as options but chose Adrian Gonzalez with the fifth round pick and then Ian Kinsler with the sixth round pick. To me, they were the best bats still available and at the end of their positional tier. The pitching options weren’t without risk that I didn’t want with these picks. Plus, I had filled all three outfield spots, first base, second base and the utility position with very good bats.
Whether it was entirely on purpose or not, I chose to wait on shortstop, third Base and catcher, which along with the third outfielder and second base are the positions I choose to wait on. By taking six batters to start, I will need to wait until near the end of the draft to pick up these positions, unless someone falls into my lap.
The next eight rounds I went with starting pitchers and planned to do so for two more rounds, when I noticed an opportunity at third base. Thirteen 3B options had already come off the board in a 10 team league. Top on the board was Josh Harrison. I could have just waited the position out but with my turn up and another pick four more picks down the road, I took a chance and drafted Josh Harrison to play 3B to start the year, then backed him up with my next pick with our super prospect Kris Bryant. Now it is likely that Bryant may not have been drafted, but the chance to pick him up was well worth it for me versus picking up another starting pitcher in that round (Collin McHugh, Hyun-Jin Ryu, Doug Fister) as I think back to Ryan Braun’s rookie year and that is what I am envisioning for Bryant this year. Call it a homer move or a good strategy, but when going through the draft and opportunities arise that you didn’t envision at the beginning you have to be willing to adjust and take a shot.
I still had to fill shortstop and catcher and chose to pick up my last starting pitcher in Kyle Hendricks (over the three I could have taken in the two previous rounds) and my two relief pitchers (Carlos Martinez and Hector Rondon). So what was left to be my catcher, but Yan Gomes.
In this leagues point system, Gomes was sixth last year for catchers and then end of the second tier of catchers (ahead of the next tier that started with Russell Martin and Miguel Montero). This was a very good deal considering 13 other catchers had come off the board and whether you think that he can repeat last year, to get him after waiting on the position is good value. At shortstop the same thing happened as Erick Aybar was left to play shortstop. Same deal, finished sixth in this leagues point system and whether you think that is repeatable, it is good value when waiting until the end of the draft to pick a position. Both should be ok to fill out my lineup yet if someone starts to have a good year, I won’t think twice to pick them up and drop these guys.
My lineup is anchored by strong hitters in McCutchen, Bautista, Rizzo, Brantley, Gonzalez and Kinsler with 3B having a safe option in Harrison and a lottery ticket in Bryant. The final two spots are hoping that 2014 can be repeated but if not, the waiver wire will have guys available whom we didn’t expect on draft day. Using this draft strategy in 10 or 12 team H2H leagues will give you a very strong lineup that can be a top three in points, while giving you plenty of pitching options to maximize your starts each week with mid-tier pitchers, some of whom will have great seasons and prove to be very good value where you drafted them and quite honestly give you a good chance to lead your league in points without taking a starting pitcher until round six or seven.