When I say this is my first week of fantasy, I don’t mean the first of the season—I mean I’ve never participated in fantasy sports before this year. Previously, I assumed that I would make too big of a time commitment just to be stomped around by guys (and possibly girls) that have done this before and have, you know, strategies and such. When fellow Sombrero contributor Rick Berdelle invited me to his league, “The Sober Valley Lodge,” I thought this was a great opportunity to finally make the plunge into fantasy. The Lodge’s settings look like this:
Scoring Type: H2H Total Points
Scoring: (Hitting) TB (1), R (1), RBI (1), SB (1), BB (1), K (-1)
(Pitching) IP (3), K (1), H (-1), BB (-1), ER (-2), W (10), L (-5), SV (5)
Roster Size: 25 (22 starters, 3 bench, 1 DL)
To my knowledge, this is about the best league an uneducated first-timer could have joined: very shallow with simple scoring methods. I don’t have to do well in certain categories like OBP or AVG, I just need to accumulate as many points as possible. The shallow league is a double-edged sword: my lineup is stacked with great players and few low-tier guys, but every team is in that situation. Since our rosters are huge, I can keep any poor performers on the bench and switch them out with someone else. An hour before our draft I find out I have the last pick (eighth), and I’m not excited already. I try to keep my hopes up: it’s a snake draft, so I’ll be able to pick up two elite players back-to-back. Here’s how my picks went, in order:
Round 1 – David Wright – 3B
Round 2 – Miguel Cabrera – 1B
Round 3 – Matt Kemp – OF
Round 4 – Dustin Pedroia – 2B
Round 5 – Buster Posey – C, 1B
Round 6 – Mike Stanton – OF
Round 7 – Josh Johnson – SP
Round 8 – Alexei Ramirez – SS
Round 9 – Jay Bruce – OF
Round 10 – David Price – SP
Round 11 – Carlos Marmol – RP
Round 12 – Gordon Beckham – 2B
Round 13 – Drew Stubbs – OF
(Note: Up until Round 13, I was on the phone with Mike and he was giving me ideas for who to pick next. He had to pick up his girlfriend from class, and then I choose Ted Lilly. I’m useless on my own, apparently.)
Round 14 – Ted Lilly – SP
Round 15 – Jonathan Sanchez – SP
Round 16 – Vernon Wells – OF
Round 17 – Starlin Castro – SS
Round 18 – Gio Gonzalez – SP
Round 19 – Madison Bumgarner – SP
Round 20 – Chris Coghlan – OF
Round 21 – Matt Thornton – RP
Round 22 – David Freese – 3B
Round 23 – Mitch Moreland – 1B
Round 24 – Denard Span – OF
Round 25 – C.J. Wilson – SP
So that’s my lineup. I started the week with Coghlan, Span, and Moreland on the bench. After my first full week of fantasy baseball, I’ve compiled some notes and memorable tidbits:
- Starlin Castro in Round 17 FTMFW! As of 4/07: 10-25, 2 doubles, 2 triples, 1.084 OPS. I don’t think that will be hard to maintain over a full season.
- Early in the week, I asked Rick for help: do I risk starting a pitcher even if I think he’s not going to do well? Rick’s answer (which is pretty accurate, I’m not blaming him): basically start everyone unless you think they’ll only go 4 innings and get shelled. Even if they do poorly and only snag you a few points, that’s better than the goose egg they put up on the bench.
- With that said, Ted Lilly throws up -3 points on Saturday, and Bumgarner tosses a three-inning gem worth -8 points on Tuesday. David Price is currently working on a -2 day (I almost benched him because of his track record against the ChiSox.) Thanks, RICK.
- I drafted my team (especially my outfield) with one thing in mind: effin’ yardballs. If I managed my own league, yardballs would be worth 100 points and everything else would be worth nothing. Combined, three of my outfielders (Stanton, Kemp, Bruce) are projected for 96 homers. That’s 9600 easy points in my imaginary league.
- Fantasy baseball really messes with team rivalries. I’m a Cardinals fan with only one Cardinal (Freese) on my roster, but two Cubbies (Castro, Marmol). Is it treason if I’m not rooting for the Cubs as a team but just a couple individual players?
- I can’t wait for Marmol to strikeout more hitters than Livan Hernandez. And probably walk more, too.
- I need to play catchup before Friday (tomorrow). My opponent, Jason Kemis, has Cliff Lee, Tim Hudson, Ricky Nolasco, and Colby Lewis taking the mound. Super.
- I’m currently in 7th place, if you were wondering. And the blame falls entirely onto my staff of crusty buttholes.
- To delve a little deeper into my pitching woes, my staff is currently 3-5 with 2 blown saves and a 40/22 K:BB ratio. Wicked awesome.
- Currently, I’m the only team owner who hasn’t added or dropped a player. I am clueless as to the strategy behind it. If anyone wants to leave a comment about the best way to make moves in a league like mine, please do. If I notice a historically average/weak player is running hot should I drop someone like Freese (who is in a slump to start the season, and has two fake ankles) to make room in my 1B/3B or Utility slot? WHAT DO I DO?!
- Fantasy baseball makes me forget the season is long. Like, really long. For example: I’m really glad I didn’t get the chance to draft Pujols (like that guy will ever heat up), David Price is a hack and I want him off my team, and the Boston Red Sox are on pace for a wonderful 162-loss season (finally, justice).
- Lastly, Fantasy Baseball has given me an opportunity/excuse to learn more about the game, the teams, and the players. I follow the Cardinals religiously, but I’ve never dedicated the same amount of time to other teams. Because of fantasy, I’m following players and teams that I never had before, and it’s awesome. Thank you, Fantasy.