What are we looking for in fantasy baseball … it’s not runs, but points.
Everyone should have a plan on how they want to draft. Not specific players (until later in the draft) as that will make you reach for players and that won’t work out well if you do that too often in a draft. We will go over different strategies but for now, we are going to talk about the first round picks.
Moneyball movie clip Peter Brand elaborates on baseball’s medieval thinking
The first round is about getting the best player available. But that is very subjective and what usually leads to lots of conversations. To me, the best way to do the first and even second round is to make a list of players so that if you are drafting 12th and 29th, you will have that many players on a list so that you have already decided on what player to take with these picks. You make the list by listing all the players you will consider with each pick and then narrowing it down to your pick. If I am the fifth pick, I will probably start with seven or eight players before narrowing it down to the five I need by doing a draft in my head and putting them in order. While doing this is the time to decide if two players are close and if one is a right fielder and one is a second baseman, which position are you more willing to wait on until later in the draft. Here is an example.
Based on projections, Josh Donaldson and Jose Bautista are the fourth and fifth ranked batters with 615 and 609 points. I wouldn’t base which one I take over the other on the projections since they are so close, but by looking at past years, the projections and ultimately, which position do I think I can wait on and get a better player with a later pick. Either one of these guys is worthy of a top pick, but which one is better for your team will be based on your draft strategy you use to build your team and which position you are more willing to wait on.
One of the biggest decisions is when to take pitchers. There was a time when pitchers weren’t taken in the first round, but now that Clayton Kershaw has shown to be so dominant, not only is he an early first round player, but I would have a hard time not taking him with the first pick of the draft (Note: I wrote this before I did a 10 team H2H draft on CBS on Saturday and I ended up with the First pick and did take Clayton Kershaw). Every league uses a different point system, so you have to look at your league to determine how to rank players, but any system out there is going to show that Kershaw is projected to outscore the other pitchers and is the most sure thing going for the pitchers. And that is ultimately what the first round is about, sure things.
Last year we had seven and five starting pitchers taken in the first round of our CCO drafts. This year we have more depth in TOR arms (top of rotation arms) and not sure we will see as many taken in the first round.
So here is my list for the first round, divided into two lists, batters and pitchers. I went 15 deep for batters and 10 deep for pitchers. The list is based on the projections in our CCO leagues. I made no adjustments to put them in an order like I would use, but this would be my starting point for my order. I would then use last year(s) results, positions, and just my preference to make my order of players.
- Mike Trout – 653
- Paul Goldschmidt – 647
- Bryce Harper – 626
- Josh Donaldson – 615
- Jose Bautista – 609
- Giancarlo Stanton – 601
- Andrew McCutchen – 598
- Joey Votto – 594
- Chris Davis – 589
- Anthony Rizzo – 584
- Manny Machado – 582
- Nolan Arenado – 581
- Kris Bryant – 573
- Miguel Sano – 571
- Edwin Encarnacion – 568
I like to take more sure things with my first pick most of this list is just that for the most part and one can argue anyone of these bats going in the first 20 picks.
- Clayton Kershaw – 782
- Max Scherzer – 707
- Chris Sale – 646
- Jake Arrieta – 643
- Madison Bumgarner – 632
- David Price – 630
- Corey Kluber – 618
- Matt Harvey – 606
- Gerrit Cole – 594
- Zack Greinke – 585
I think Kershaw and Scherzer are no doubt going in the first 20 picks, and in the CCO leagues, Arrieta as well, but taking a starting pitcher with the first pick is a personal preference and I have been against it for a long time in 10-12 team league (yet just did draft a SP and with the first pick), but in a 20 team league, you have to take the best player available and just can’t reach to get a certain position or player, especially in the early rounds.
Don’t forget to have your draft room ready, here is an example of a fully functioning war room.
Moneyball – Billy Beane – Team Selection Scene
I will be breaking down each position into tiers and will be doing it based on projections, last year and my opinion. But for now, I will tier the 25 players I listed above. The order in each tier will be based on projected points for today’s list.
MVP (not every position will have this tier)
Clayton Kershaw, Max Scherzer, Mike Trout, Paul Goldschmidt, Bryce Harper
Chris Sale, Jake Arrieta, Madison Bumgarner, David Price, Corey Kluber, Josh Donaldson, Jose Bautista, Matt Harvey, Giancarlo Stanton, Andrew McCutchen, Joey Votto, Chris Davis, Zack Greinke, Anthony Rizzo, Manny Machado, Nolan Arenado, Kris Bryant
Miquel Sano, Edwin Encarnacion
As far as the CCO fantasy baseball leagues, they are on ESPN and we will fill up to 20 teams in each league. This year we will have three different styles of leagues.
- Weekly H2H with daily lineups, rules on pitching.
- Weekly H2H with daily lineups, rules on pitching, auction draft and keepers.
- Weekly H2H with weekly lineups and no additional rules.
If you are interested in playing in one of these league, please send your email information to Neil at this link – and he will forward it to me. Also include which league you are interested in playing. We have four leagues right now with the first style having two different leagues that are full but I will take more names for a waiting list or even to create another league. Option 2 is the auction/keeper league and it is almost full. The weekly lineup league has openings and takes less time than the other leagues.