Battle of the Fantasy Gods Expert League Draft: Rounds 1-7

This past Monday, took part in the official draft of the 2011 Battle of the Fantasy Gods. Created by Mike Kuchera and hosted at It is a 14 team rotisserie league that uses the standard 5×5 categories and daily roster moves. Below is a list of the participants (in draft order) as well as the draft results for rounds 1-7.

1. Ryan Hallam – Fantasy Alarm
2. Mike Myers (schwing!) – Triple Play Fantasy Sports
3. Charlie Saponara (your’s truly) – Fantasy Baseball 365
4. Scott White – CBS Sports
5. Scott Swanay – Fantasy Baseball Sherpa
6. Mike Kuchera – The Fantasy Man
7. Jeff Boggis – Fantasy Sports Empires
8. Lenny Melnick, Paul Grecko – Fantasy Pros 911
9. Grey Albright, Rudy Gamble, Sam Horn – Razzball
10. Chris McDonnell – Fantasy Baseball (dot) com
11. Tony Cincotta – Fantasy Pros 911
12. Todd Farino, RC Rizza – Fantasy Baseball Tonight
13. Dave Gawron – Roto Experts
14. Tim Mcleod – Roto Rob

Round 1
Pick Team Player
1 Fantasy Alarm Pujols, Albert 1B STL
2 TPFSers* Ramirez, Hanley SS FLA
3 FB365 Cabrera, Miguel 1B DET
4 CBS Sports Tulowitzki, Troy SS COL
5 Fantasy Baseball Sherpa Votto, Joey 1B CIN
6 The Fantasy Man Cano, Robinson 2B NYY
7 Fantasy Sports Empires Gonzalez, Carlos LF COL
8 Fantasy Pros 911 Braun, Ryan LF MIL
9 Razzball Longoria, Evan 3B TB
10 Gonzalez, Adrian 1B BOS
11 Tony Cincotta* Crawford, Carl LF BOS
12 FB Tonight Hamilton, Josh CF TEX
13 Holliday, Matt LF STL
14 RotoRob Wright, David 3B NYM

Nothing really shocking here. Though I think David Wright at 14 is a steal.

Round 2
Pick Team Player
1 RotoRob Zimmerman, Ryan 3B WAS
2 Teixeira, Mark 1B NYY
3 FB Tonight Lincecum, Tim SP SF
4 Tony Cincotta Youkilis, Kevin 1B BOS
5 Rodriguez, Alex 3B NYY
6 Razzball Howard, Ryan 1B PHI
7 Fantasy Pros 911 Reyes, Jose SS NYM
8 Fantasy Sports Empires Bautista, Jose LF TOR
9 The Fantasy Man Fielder, Prince 1B MIL
10 Fantasy Baseball Sherpa Pedroia, Dustin 2B BOS
11 CBS Sports Mauer, Joe C MIN
12 FB365 Kemp, Matt CF LA
13 TPFSers Halladay, Roy SP PHI
14 Fantasy Alarm Posey, Buster C SF

I love the back-to-back picks of Wright and Zimmerman by Tim McLeod. As I have professed before, I think Teixeira in the second round is a good value. The one pick I don’t like here is Jose Bautista. You have to be awfully confident in his ability to hit .260 again (I’m not counting on it). Scott White seemed reluctant to pick Joe Mauer here. I understand his concerns, but I also understand why he’d want to go after the the only remaining top-rated positional player.

I love Matt Kemp (man-crush) if nothing but for is natural ability. I watch a ton of baseball and not many players in the post-steroid era can leave the yard to center and the opposite field as easily as he can. Mattingly is set to hit him fourth and give him the green light on the base paths = Career year.

Round 3
Pick Team Player
1 Fantasy Alarm Utley, Chase 2B PHI
2 TPFSers Choo, Shin-Soo RF CLE
3 FB365 Kinsler, Ian 2B TEX
4 CBS Sports McCutchen, Andrew CF PIT
5 Fantasy Baseball Sherpa Cruz, Nelson RF TEX
6 The Fantasy Man* Uggla, Dan 2B ATL
7 Fantasy Sports Empires Werth, Jayson RF WAS
8 Fantasy Pros 911 Upton, Justin RF ARI
9 Razzball Phillips, Brandon 2B CIN
10* Hernandez, Felix SP SEA
11 Tony Cincotta Dunn, Adam 1B CHW
12 FB Tonight Heyward, Jason RF ATL
13 Victorino, Shane CF PHI
14 RotoRob Martinez, Victor C DET

This is the hard part about drafting this early in spring training. Reports are just now beginning to surface about serious injuries with regard to Chase Utley. He would otherwise be a bargain in this round, now becomes a major question mark. Not only does this pick come with a “?”, but it certainly changed Ryan Hallam’s draft plan from there on out.

According to my rankings, Andrew McCutchen (whom I LOVE long-term) is a little high here. Also a bit high were the picks of Jayson Werth and Shane Victorino, in my opinion.

I decided to go with Ian Kinsler, as I believe he can approach his 2009 number with a better AVG.

Round 4
Pick Team Player
1 RotoRob Kershaw, Clayton SP LA
2 Morneau, Justin 1B MIN
3 FB Tonight Weeks, Rickie 2B MIL
4 Tony Cincotta Bruce, Jay RF CIN
5* Beltre, Adrian 3B TEX
6 Razzball Pence, Hunter RF HOU
7 Fantasy Pros 911 Lee, Cliff SP PHI
8 Fantasy Sports Empires Ethier, Andre RF LA
9 The Fantasy Man McCann, Brian C ATL
10 Fantasy Baseball Sherpa Santana, Carlos C CLE
11 CBS Sports Morales, Kendry 1B ANA
12 FB365 Lester, Jon SP BOS
13 TPFSers Rollins, Jimmy SS PHI
14 Fantasy Alarm Sabathia, CC SP NYY

Rickie Weeks goes just a bit too high for me in this round, but my projections are quite conservative and consider the injury risk.

I was more than delighted to grab Jon Lester in this round. He’s my third ranked starting pitcher for 2011. The deeper the league, the more top-end starters are emphasized, so I am comfortable in breaking away from my 7/10 split strategy here.

Round 5
Pick Team Player
1 Fantasy Alarm Rios, Alex CF CHW
2 TPFSers Johnson, Josh SP FLA
3 FB365 Ellsbury, Jacoby CF BOS
4 CBS Sports Young, Chris CF ARI
5 Fantasy Baseball Sherpa Ramirez, Alexei SS CHW
6 The Fantasy Man* Verlander, Justin SP DET
7 Fantasy Sports Empires Stanton, Mike RF FLA
8 Fantasy Pros 911 Hamels, Cole SP PHI
9 Razzball Upton, B.J. CF TB
10 Suzuki, Ichiro RF SEA
11 Tony Cincotta Jimenez, Ubaldo SP COL
12 FB Tonight Hanson, Tommy SP ATL
13 Prado, Martin 2B ATL
14 RotoRob Stubbs, Drew CF CIN

I grab Jacoby Ellsbury here for three reasons: 1) He looks healthy and ready to pick up where he left off in 2009. 2) Hitting leadoff in that Boston lineup gives him a chance to set a career high in runs scored. 3) He’s not going to hurt me in the AVG department.

This strategy actually ended up helping, as many of the other top SB threats were taken ahead of where I had planned.

Round 6
Pick Team Player
1 RotoRob Marmol, Carlos RP CHC
2 Butler, Billy 1B KC
3 FB Tonight Wieters, Matt C BAL
4 Tony Cincotta Greinke, Zack SP MIL
5 Hart, Corey RF MIL
6 Razzball Gallardo, Yovani SP MIL
7 Fantasy Pros 911 Rasmus, Colby CF STL
8 Fantasy Sports Empires Weaver, Jered SP ANA
9 The Fantasy Man Wilson, Brian RP SF
10 Fantasy Baseball Sherpa Sandoval, Pablo 3B SF
11 CBS Sports Zobrist, Ben RF TB
12 FB365 Jeter, Derek SS NYY
13 TPFSers Papelbon, Jonathan RP BOS
14 Fantasy Alarm Latos, Mat SP SD

Our first closer off the board is Carlos Marmol. I have Marmol ranked seventh, but then again, they’re relievers, so anything can happen!

As you can see, the next tier of pitcher start to go in this round, but I just couldn’t pass up a top five shortstop with pick 82 (end of the seventh round in a 12-teamer).

Round 7
Pick Team Player
1 Fantasy Alarm Alvarez, Pedro 3B PIT
2 TPFSers Kendrick, Howard 2B ANA
3 FB365 Liriano, Francisco SP MIN
4 CBS Sports Gardner, Brett CF NYY
5 Fantasy Baseball Sherpa Price, David SP TB
6 The Fantasy Man Drew, Stephen SS ARI
7 Fantasy Sports Empires Konerko, Paul 1B CHW
8 Fantasy Pros 911 Soria, Joakim RP KC
9 Razzball Andrus, Elvis SS TEX
10 Johnson, Kelly 2B ARI
11 Tony Cincotta Broxton, Jonathan RP LA
12 FB Tonight Sanchez, Gaby 1B FLA
13 Ramirez, Aramis 3B CHC
14 RotoRob Haren, Dan SP ANA

I happen to think Howie Kendrck is a huge stretch here. I also couldn’t help but go after another one of my highly ranked starters, Francisco Liriano, who should provide monster value if healthy (yeah, his fist spring outing wasn’t great, but it’s early…and spring training). You’ll notice my Jeter pick spur on a small sort of run on shortstops, which I think many GM’s were hoping to hold off on.

More to come tomorrow…