As I begin my first foray into the fantasy baseball world, I've come up with more questions than answers. Here are a few things I've learned: fantasy baseball is way harder than fantasy football. My fantasy draft is just days away and I have no idea what I'm going to do.
I've spent the better part of a week with the flu, so I used that time to watch 30 Clubs in 30 Days, as well as look at thousands of box scores, predictions, and fantasy advice. But I still have questions. Here are the four big ones I've been trying to answer.
What's the best strategy? Do you put all your money on the big name guys and have the rest of your team come from late rounds? Or, do you maybe spend more on two or three great players, then take all the good middle round picks to fill up the rest of your roster?
Is it smart to try and take all the good pitchers so you can force trades in your league for better position players?
Here's why this confuses me: in my Fantasy Football league, you go for your QB and your RBs, because they get you the most points, then it just depends on who you want and when they come up in the draft. But fantasy baseball? There are a million different strategies and I have no idea which one works best.
How far do you trust your instincts? I fully believe that Jacoby Ellsbury and Jason Bay are going to have phenomenal years. I also expect C.C. Sabathia to get injured or not do as well this year based on the sheer amount of work he did last year.
But he's ranked high in the ESPN draft order and projected to have a great year. Bay ranks fairly high and Ellsbury is not that far down, but then comes the question: if you are not going for a name like Sabathia, do you try and take Bay earlier than he's supposed to go to try and get a better price?
It is all very confusing.
This also applies to currently injured players, like A-Rod. Do you still take him in the draft even though he won't be playing for a while? Or should you wait and try and pick him up as a free agent? (Not that I would ever take A-Rod, but I'm curious.)
For our draft, its an auction draft, and we nominate players on our turn. Here's a big strategy question that I just can not figure out. Do you nominate the player you want or nominate someone to make others spend their money.
Like if you want Kevin Youkilis as your 1B, but its too early for him to go, do you nominate Mark Teixeira in hopes of getting your opponents to spend more of their money, thus leaving you with more draft power in the middle rounds, or do you go ahead and nominate Youkilis and hope you don't have to overpay for him?
I did two mock drafts and tried both tactics with mixed results. Sometimes I got the guy I wanted, sometimes I overpaid, sometimes someone else nominated them and the bidding got too high.
Homerism. I looked at my team, and I had Pedroia, Beckett, Bay, Lester and Papelbon on my team, and Drew and Masterson on the Bench.
Drew and Masterson I don't mind because if they do look good, or if Drew has another month like he did last June, I can throw him into my outfield, but I began to wonder about the others. Did I pick Beckett and Lester because I think they are going to have a great year, or because they are Boston pitchers?
Papelbon, Pedroia, and Lester were all smart picks, I think. My gut is telling me that Lester will have a better year than last year, and Paps is always good, plus, he's in a contract year, which certainly doesn't hurt.
Pedroia is off to a good start and I think he'll have another great year, he still wants that batting title, so I would count on him having a high average and on base percentage.
Beckett...well, he is a smart choice, but I can't tell if I took him because of his stats or because he's from Boston. The same question applies to Bay. There are a lot of good outfielders in the draft, and Bay is certainly one of them, but was my decision to pass on others based on the fact that I wanted the Boston player?
Like I said, its all very confusing. Although, when I took a close look at my tentative roster, almost all the players I want to draft are from the American League. So not only am I a "Homer" I'm also a league discriminator.
So those are my four burning fantasy questions. If you have any answers for me, leave 'em in the comments section below!