This past Monday, took part in the official draft of the 2011 Battle of the Fantasy Gods. Created by Mike Kuchera and hosted at CBSSports.com. 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||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||FantasyBaseball.com||Gonzalez, Adrian 1B BOS|
|11||Tony Cincotta*||Crawford, Carl LF BOS|
|12||FB Tonight||Hamilton, Josh CF TEX|
|13||RotoExperts.com||Holliday, Matt LF STL|
|14||RotoRob||Wright, David 3B NYM|
Nothing really shocking here. Though I think David Wright at 14 is a steal.
|1||RotoRob||Zimmerman, Ryan 3B WAS|
|2||RotoExperts.com||Teixeira, Mark 1B NYY|
|3||FB Tonight||Lincecum, Tim SP SF|
|4||Tony Cincotta||Youkilis, Kevin 1B BOS|
|5||FantasyBaseball.com||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.
|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||FantasyBaseball.com*||Hernandez, Felix SP SEA|
|11||Tony Cincotta||Dunn, Adam 1B CHW|
|12||FB Tonight||Heyward, Jason RF ATL|
|13||RotoExperts.com||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.
|1||RotoRob||Kershaw, Clayton SP LA|
|2||RotoExperts.com||Morneau, Justin 1B MIN|
|3||FB Tonight||Weeks, Rickie 2B MIL|
|4||Tony Cincotta||Bruce, Jay RF CIN|
|5||FantasyBaseball.com*||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.
|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||FantasyBaseball.com||Suzuki, Ichiro RF SEA|
|11||Tony Cincotta||Jimenez, Ubaldo SP COL|
|12||FB Tonight||Hanson, Tommy SP ATL|
|13||RotoExperts.com||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.
|1||RotoRob||Marmol, Carlos RP CHC|
|2||RotoExperts.com||Butler, Billy 1B KC|
|3||FB Tonight||Wieters, Matt C BAL|
|4||Tony Cincotta||Greinke, Zack SP MIL|
|5||FantasyBaseball.com||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).
|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||FantasyBaseball.com||Johnson, Kelly 2B ARI|
|11||Tony Cincotta||Broxton, Jonathan RP LA|
|12||FB Tonight||Sanchez, Gaby 1B FLA|
|13||RotoExperts.com||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…