March 2009

Fantasy 411 Q&A: March 31, 2009


I am in a 12 team H2H no salary league. I am assuming, knowing all of
these people, that the order will go Hanley Ramirez, Albert Pujols, David
Wright, so that leaves me with my choice between Chase Utley and Jose
Reyes. In our league Utley scored more than Reyes by 10 points and even
Ramirez by 25 last year. Utley finished 8th in scoring in our league. I am leaning towards Utley over Reyes, because even
after Reyes’ SB, R, Triples etc. he still didn’t score more than Utley, and
that’s with Utley having hip problems in the second half. So I am just
interested in another opinion because all I hear is that Reyes is
a no-brainer top 4 selection, but like I said, why would I take him over
Utley if Utley, assuming the hip holds up all year, is going to score more points this season?


Totally fair point, and I mostly agree with you, but it’s very hard to put Utley over Reyes because of the injury concerns. I truly believe Utley will perform, and to back it up I took Utley with the 9th pick recently. I think your idea is medium risk and medium reward since he probably won’t blow Reyes out of the water. Listen, taking gambles is part of the fun and this is by no means a dumb one, so I’ll endorse it. Just make sure you’re not passing over Sizemore or Wright for the wrong reasons. Do your homework and then make your final decision.


As many of you are still in full draft mode, here’s Jonathan Mayo’s Top 5 Rookie of the Year candidates in each league heading into the ’09 season.  Mayo joins the 411 show today to discuss this list.



Matt Wieters-BAL C
David Price-TB P
Elvis Andrus-TEX SS
Travis Snider-TOR OF
Rick Porcello-DET P


Cameron Maybin-FLA OF
Colby Rasmus-STL OF
Jordan Zimmermann-WAS P
Jordan Schafer-ATL OF
Tommy Hanson-ATL P

411 Calender of Events for Draft Prep:

Cory’s NFBC Results: Done

Zach’s NL Only Results: Done

Zach’s Listener League (Ron Cey League) Results (12 Team 5×5): Done

411 Listener League Results: Done

Cory’s NL Only Tout Results: Done

Siano’s AL Only Tout Results: Done

Alex’s Mixed Tout Results: Done

Siano’s AL Only Keeper Money League: Coming weekend of April 3rd

Sheffield Released

LAKELAND, Fla. — Gary Sheffield’s milestone 500th career home run will have to come with a different team. The Tigers released the longtime slugger on Tuesday, a surprising roster move and a potential end to what may ultimately be a Hall of Fame career.

Sheffield said he was told by manager Jim Leyland and president/general manager Dave Dombrowski that the team wanted to go with a more versatile lineup. The Tigers did not envision Sheffield playing any position other than designated hitter.

The Tigers will owe Sheffield his guaranteed $14 million salary for this year. If he clears waivers, he’ll be free to sign with any team he chooses.

Sheffield, who has 499 career home runs, said he was surprised by the move and that he didn’t consider it a possibility.

“I never really thought about it, to be honest with you,” he said.

Jason Beck is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Are closers worth it?

One of the more heavily debated tenets of the 411 strategy
is the notion that you should get not just one but TWO top-tier closers in the
first few rounds of a straight draft. This advice has been questioned in a few
channels since we took it to the air on the MLB Network last night, since there is such great volatility among closers year after year, so I
figured, why not test our theory? I’ve always believed in it, always done it,
but what do the numbers say?



I decided to look at last year’s top 30 closers (by my own
pre-draft NFBC rankings) and compare their projected stats to their actual
performance. Let’s take a look at them by tiers – the elite (ranked 1-10), the
good ones (11-20) and the gambles (21-30) – and see how their projected
(“Proj.”) stats compared to their actual (“Act.”) 2008 stats, averaging the
stats for the 10 pitchers in each tier.


RK        PLAYER                       TM

1          Papelbon, Jonathan        BOS

2          Rodriguez, Francisco     LAA

3          Putz, J.J.                      SEA

4          Nathan, Joe                   MIN

5          Wagner, Billy                 NYM

6          Saito, Takashi               LAD

7          Cordero, Francisco         CIN

8          Valverde, Jose               HOU

9          Rivera, Mariano              NYY

10        Street, Huston               OAK


TYPE    W      ERA      SV     IP         H       ER     BB     SO    WHIP   SO/9

Proj.     4       2.63      37      71.7      58      21      22      78      1.11      9.8

Act.      4       2.62      34      62.9      50      18      21      70      1.12      10.1


Without question, on average these pitchers delivered the
goods as expected: their combined ERA and WHIP nearly exactly matched my
projections, they only fell short by an average of three saves apiece and, even
though they totaled fewer strikeouts, their strikeout rate was greater. On
average, you got what you paid for from the top tier.



RK        PLAYER                       TM

11         Jenks, Bobby                CWS

12         Capps, Matt                  PIT

13         Hoffman, Trevor              SD

14         Soria, Joakim                KC

15         Soriano, Rafael              ATL

16         Corpas, Manny              COL

17         Cordero, Chad               WSH

18         Gregg, Kevin                  FLA

19         Isringhausen, Jason       STL

20         Lidge, Brad                    PHI


TYPE    W      ERA      SV     IP         H       ER     BB     SO    WHIP   SO/9

Proj.     3       3.19      33      68.1      60      24      21      62      1.20      8.2

Act.      2       3.20      21      50.7      43      18      18      45      1.20      7.9


These guys delivered solid rate stats, but fell further
short of the innings projections and delivered only two-thirds of the expected
saves. You didn’t pay as much for these guys, and you didn’t get ripped off,
but you didn’t make a killing either.




RK        PLAYER                       TM

21         Gagne, Eric                   MIL

22         Ryan, B.J.                     TOR

23         Borowski, Joe                CLE

24         Sherrill, George              BAL

25         Wilson, Brian                 SF

26         Wilson, C.J.                  TEX

27         Lyon, Brandon               ARI

28         Jones, Todd                   DET

29         Marmol, Carlos              CHC

30         Percival, Troy                 TB


TYPE    W      ERA      SV     IP         H       ER     BB     SO    WHIP   SO/9

Proj.     3       3.45      26      61.7      57      24      22      53      1.28      7.7

Act.      3       4.44      22      51.7      47      26      25      48      1.38      8.4


These guys more or less delivered on the saves, but the
expectations were lower, and their rate stats were awful. So if the sole
objective here was to get saves, then these guys came through in general, but
at a great cost. The Tier 1 guys clearly provided the best bang for the buck.


Ah, but are these numbers deceptive? What about on an
individual basis?


Among the Tier 1 guys, six of them essentially delivered as
expected: Papelbon, K-Rod, Nathan, Cordero (although his WHIP was much higher),
Valverde and Rivera. Wagner and Saito delivered outstanding stats before
suffering season-ending injuries, although they combined for 45 saves, so they
weren’t a total loss. Street was a disappointment but still managed 18 saves,
and even though Putz was a huge letdown, even he provided 15 saves.


In Tier 2, only Soria and Lidge broke out with
above-expectation seasons. Jenks, Hoffman and Gregg were worthwhile but
unspectactular, and Capps pitched well when healthy. But Soriano, Corpas,
Cordero and Isringhausen did more damage than good, or didn’t do anything at


Moving on to Tier 3, several delivered on their expected
allotment of saves: Ryan, Sherrill, Brian Wilson, C.J. Wilson, Lyon and
Percival. However, EVERY one of them did so with an ERA and WHIP higher than
projected, and only Sherrill and Brian Wilson exceeded the expected number of
strikeouts. In other words, these guys made you pay more for the saves than
just a draft pick… they hurt you in other areas. Beyond that, Gagne, Borowski
and Jones were borderline worthless, and while Marmol posted excellent numbers,
he never earned the full-time closer gig.


Which brings up a good point… where DID the saves come from
if not from these guys? Here are the 10 closers who earned the most saves last
year but were not in my original top 30 rankings:



1. Kerry Wood (34) – he was drafted in every single league
after winning the closer gig over Marmol.

2. Brian Fuentes (30) – drafted in many leagues as a hedge
against Corpas and probably picked up early where not drafted.

3. Salomon Torres (28) – pure waiver-wire material.

4. Jon Rauch (18) – probably drafted in a few leagues and
picked up in a few others due to his solid setup man value.

5. Ryan Franklin (17) – another waiver-wire find.

6. Jonathan Broxton (14) – probably drafted in 100% of

7. Mike Gonzalez (14) – probably stashed on many DL’s early
in the season.

8. Jensen Lewis (13) – no one saw this one coming.

9. Fernando Rodney (13) – probably picked up early as a
hedge against Jones’ awfulness.

10. Dan Wheeler (13) – a free agent until Percival got hurt.


In other words, had you drafted a mid-tier or lower-third
closer, and needed to find extra saves, and you didn’t get Salomon Torres, you
were stuck with scraps, none of whom got more than 17 saves, and that one (Franklin)
posted weak stats outside the saves.




1. The top-tier closers delivered more value than the
mid-tier and bottom-tier closers last year, despite some injuries among them.

2. The waiver wire provided plenty of saves, but very few true
closer solutions.

3. Chasing saves is not fun! Saves are an important category, but they are only one category, and you can do real damage to your ERA and WHIP in their pursuit.


I don’t think this PROVES that the 411 strategy is “The Right
Way To Go”, but I think it clearly supports the value of our approach. My first
strategy point I offered on the MLB Network show was to find a strategy that
works for you, and this one works for me just fine.






Mixed Tout Recap

The plan was relatively simple: get one superstar for roughly
$40, and another star in the $30 range. Then, focus on getting four to
five hitters in the $20-25  neighborhood, overlooked guys like Brian
Roberts, Aramis Ramirez, Joey Votto, Hunter Pence, Matt Kemp, and
several other outfielders, etc. And since the league was 17 teams deep
(17 teams deep!!!!), I was hoping to grab one reliable closer like
Papelbon, Joakim Soria or Mariano for around $20, and grab a few
reliable starters without breaking the bank for the Tim Lincecums of
the world.

Now, with the league expanding to 17 teams, I thought the price for stars would have dropped. I was wrong. Dead wrong.

four big studs — Jose Reyes, Hanley Ramirez, David Wright and Albert
Pujols — all went for somewhere close to $50. Reyes went for $55, the
highest bid. That pushed bidding up for second-tier stars like Roberts,
Kemp and Alex Rios, who were all bought for somewhere close to $30.

I sat back and waited for the spending spree to die down. But when the
superstars began dropping like flies, I became worried that I might get
left out in the cold entirely.

So, pressured by the spending
spree, I shelled out $45 on Ryan Braun. And $33 on B.J. Upton. And $28
on Aramis Ramirez, all more than I would have hoped for, but hey, you
can’t leave money on the table.

Here’s how everything turned out:


              POS     Player          $

              C       Johjima           2

              C       M. Montero     1

              1B      C. Jackson    11

              2B      Polanco         8

              SS      A. Cabrera    2

              3B      Ar. Ramirez   28

              CI      R. Branyan     1

              MI      C. Izturis        1

              OF      R. Braun       45

              OF      B. Upton       33

              OF      S. Victorino   28

              OF      V. Wells        20

              OF      D. Fowler      1

              U       D. Ortiz        19

              P       Soria            21

              P       Myers          13

              P       J. Vazquez  19

              P       Snell             1

              P       S. Marshall   2

              P       R. Wolf         1

              P       T. Wakefield 1

              P       Ju. Cruz       1

              P       A. Sanchez  1


              BN      C. Tracy       

              BN      K. Griffey     

              BN      J.A. Happ      

              BN      N. Garciaparra 


success depends heavily on the health of Ryan Braun, B.J. Upton and
Vernon Wells, who have all battled injuries recent. Without their
success, I’m probably doomed. 

Looking back, though, spending
$10-$15 more on stars wasn’t what hurt me most. It was the end-game. I
was outbid for every $1 guy I brought up: Kelvim Escobar, Scott Lewis,
Kevin Kouzmanoff, even Jason Varitek. And just as I was penciling in
Kenshin Kawakami for $3, Max Scherzer for $5 and Matt Garza for $6,
someone swooped in at the last second to spoil the bargain.

Soria for $21 accomplished one goal, but he’s my only closer, largely
because all the decent mid-tier and back-end guys were gobbled up for
$10 or more (Heath Bell went for $15). Let’s just say the waiver wire
and I will be doing a lot of bonding this year.

Overall, I’m
not ecstatic about my chances. Then again, I didn’t feel great about my
chances last year, and I spent much of the summer in first place before
getting edged out by Dave Gonos in the final hour, so who knows.

Props go out to 411 regular, Neighbor Steve, for coming out to the scene of the crime and showing some love.

All feedback is welcome.

-Alex Cushing, Fantasy

Fantasy 411 Q&A: Mar. 30, 2009


Matt Kemp or BJ Upton? Who would you take in a challenge trade and
what are the optimistic and pessimistic projections for each guy?


Kevin, to let you know how highly I think of Upton this year, I took
him 13th overall in my NFBC draft. I believe his shoulder is healthy
and that he will have a monster year; in fact, I think his baseline
season is Kemp’s upside.


Back to work and getting you ready for your draft if you have not gone to battle yet. Reminder that if you missed the show on the Network it will show up in iTunes as a full audio and video podcast.


411 Calender of Events for Draft Prep:

Cory’s NFBC Results: Done

Zach’s NL Only Results: Done

Zach’s Listener League (Ron Cey League) Results (12 Team 5×5): Done

411 Listener League Results: Done

Cory’s NL Only Tout Results: Done

Siano’s AL Only Tout Results: Done

Alex’s Mixed Tout Results: Coming today

Siano’s AL Only Keeper Money League: Coming weekend of April 3rd

Tout Wars NL recap

Hey gang, NL Tout Wars was
this morning, capping off a big week: my three main drafts (NFBC, 411, Tout)
plus the fantasy preview show on the MLB Network.

My plan going into NL Tout
today was to take less of a stars’n’scrubs type of approach than in past years, and instead pursue a more
balanced roster without so many holes. Well, that plan lasted all of about two
players, demonstrating again the importance of mock drafts, even mock auctions…
once your plan goes out the window, you have to be able to adjust.Here’s my



Targeted: Chris Iannetta
and a dollar backup. Everyone knows I’m big on Iannetta this year so
he was my target here; of course I’m an even bigger Russell Martin fan but didn’t want
to spend the big bucks for him; I projected him at $30 and he went for $26.

Got: Ryan Doumit ($17)
and Chris ($17). Above all else I try to get value on my roster in Tout, and I
projected Doumit at $20. I’m not a big fan, but I thought that was a good price
so I grabbed him. Plus, Iannetta wasn’t off the board yet, and I was afraid
he’d go for more. Well, when the bidding on Iannetta slowed, I decided to
adjust my plan and grabbed him at the same price, instantly making Doumit trade



Targeted: Joey Votto ($27), Edwin
($16) and a dollar corner. No secret that I think these two
Reds are going to have breakout seasons.

Got: Albert Pujols
($38), Greg Dobbs ($2) and Omar Infante ($3). Pujols was one of
the first two or three players up for bidding and I projected him at $44. As
noted above I had no intention of pursuing him, which would’ve ultimately
necessitated a stars’n’scrubs approach, but I thought this was a deep discount
and I couldn’t pass on it. As a result, I had no budget for anyone better at
the corners.



Targeted: Mike Fontenot
($11), Stephen Drew ($23) and a
dollar middle guy.

Got: Mark Loretta ($1), Drew ($22) and Jack Wilson ($2). I was happy to get Drew for a dollar less than
projected, and while Fontenot only went for $12, very much in budget, I had
already spent enough elsewhere (more on that later) that I couldn’t afford to
go over on him. Loretta is pretty much useless so I’ll be looking to upgrade
here, and while I’m no Jack Wilson fan, he’s a reasonable cheap middle
infielder in a deep unmixed league.




Targeted: Shane Victorino ($31), Lastings Milledge ($21), Ryan Spilborghs ($13), Chris Dickerson ($7) and a dollar guy.
Power, speed, decent batting averages, and all in their prime. Victorino was a
steal at $24, but not for me… Tristan Cockroft from ESPN got him since I had burned
my budget elsewhere. Milledge went for $23, Spilborghs for $17 and Dickerson
for $9.

Got: Ryan Braun ($34), Chris
($25), Spilborghs ($17), Reggie Abercrombie ($1) and Nick Evans (reserve pick). Braun came
out shortly after Pujols and, again, I thought the discount was too good to
pass up. I am not terribly concerned about his current ribcage issue, and
believe he’ll be a solid value at this price. Unfortunately, as with the Pujols
pick, this purchase cost me the flexibility to pursue my original plan, which
is frustrating in hindsight because I could’ve gotten the original foursome I
wanted almost for the exact amount I budgeted for them. Note that I overbid to
get Spilborghs, but that was driven as much by my belief in him as by the fact
that he truly was the best available player on the board when he came up for
bidding late in the draft, and I didn’t want to leave money on the table. My
max bid at the time was $21 and I was prepared to go that far for him, given
what was left after him… that is, very little.


BTW, I am “all in” on
Spilborghs (above) this year… got him in NFBC, 411 AND Tout, and pimped him on the MLB
Network! He’d better not hit .230 or I’ll be looking for a job!!



Targeted: Anyone who walks upright, breathes oxygen and swings a
wooden bat at a pitched ball.

Got: John Bowker ($1), who got sent down today, Mat Gamel ($1) and
Jason Heyward ($1). Two great prospects and a stiff. Bowker will be my first
cut as I search for another active position player to complete my roster.



Targeted: Ricky Nolasco ($18), Adam Wainwright ($17), Wandy
($12), Chris Volstad ($6) and a dollar fifth starter.

Got: Nolasco ($19), Ted Lilly ($15), Joe Blanton ($3), Daniel
(reserve) and Homer Bailey ($1) — yes, him again! Yes, I am very short here, I know.
And to make that sting even worse, Wainwright went for $16 and Wandy went for $11, so once again, I could’ve
gotten exactly what I wanted had I not spent my money elsewhere… in this case,
in the bullpen. Nolasco (below) and Lilly are a solid 1-2, and Blanton is a decent $3 for the price, but Cabrera and Bailey are strictly lottery tickets.




Targeted: Jonathan Broxton ($19), Hong-Chi Kuo ($4) and a couple of
dollar middle relievers.

Got: Heath Bell ($19),
Broxton ($18), Tony Pena ($1) and Chad
($1). I projected Bell at
$17, so I can’t really say why I decided to go to $19 for him, that was simply a mistake. I think he’ll be
solid, but it wasn’t necessary to chase him when the top closers (K-Rod and Lidge) went
for $22 each. To make matters worse, my original target came out for bidding
only minutes later and, like with Doumit and Iannetta, the guy I wanted went
for the same or less as the guy I actually got in the first place. So while I budgeted
for one solid catcher and one solid closer, I ended up with two of each because
I bought players at what I felt were good prices, without waiting to see if I
could get the guys I wanted at good prices.


(I also have Jeff Samardzija
($2) and Jorge Julio ($1) on my bench, although Julio was a wasted dollar pick…
I was rushing to throw a dollar name out there and stumbled across him on my
list, totally forgetting about Carlos Villanueva. Julio will be my first
pitcher cut.)


So that’s the challenge of an
auction in a nutshell: ultimately you can get any player you want if you are
willing to spend the money, but do you spend early or save for later? The risk
of spending too early is that you could overpay for players while comparable or
better players go for the same or less later, such as the catcher and closer
scenarios I found myself in. On the other hand, if you hold back too much, you
might pass by on bargains and have to overpay later for lesser players. This is
the hardest dilemma to read in the draft and ultimately I opted for value
whenever I could get it, even if it meant spending heavily early.


As an aside, note that that I
list my four reserve round players in my roster, and four auction-drafted
players on my reserve list. This is by design… since I generally adapt a
stars’n’scrubs type approach in Tout I end up with quite a few spots to fill in
the dollar end game, so rather than wasting them on guys who will last until
the reserve round anyway, I try to grab decent prospects while I still have a
little bit of control over who I get. It’s much easier to replace a John Bowker
than it is to get a Mat Gamel (below).


Anyway, my projected standings
(including the reserve picks) have me in sixth place. I rank highly in the
triple crown categories and my bullpen is a plus, but I’m buried in speed and
my starting pitching is weak. Hopefully between Doumit and Bell
I can deal to patch some of those weaknesses and end up with a solid balanced
team. In any case let’s hope that Bill Hall gets sent down so Gamel can unleash
his lead glove — and big-time bat — on Milwaukee sooner
rather than later!

That’s it for drafts for me
this year… all of my other leagues are auto-draft for-fun leagues with friends.
Only one week ’til opening night… happy baseball!






AL Tout Wars Draft Results

Hey all so after a ridiculously wild but fun past few days I am all rested and ready to write. From 8pm ET Thursday night until 2pm ET Saturday it was as condensed fantasy madness as you can get. Here is a quick rundown.


8pm 2 hours of Network show prep

10pm 3 hours drafting in the 411 Listener League

1am 2 more hours of Network SHow prep



Noon show up at Newtork

2:30 taping of the show

7pm Get to Foley’s for Tout Night

Unknown Leave Foley’s



9am Tout AL Draft

2:30pm Head home and pass out for 4 hours.

So as I anxiously wait for the show to air tonight at 8:30pm ET on the MLB Network I will share my highs and lows from yesterday’s draft.


As usual I will give you my targeted player, who I actually got and what I think about it. A few things to know, I used the dollar values from’s preview and I say without hesitation use them!!!! It was a little creepy how dead they were on for most players or within a few bucks. Of course some guys go for more or less but that’s the human element of 12 people in a room. I commend Gregg, Dean, Alex and Corey for a job extremely well done. I used Cory’s blended projections to get myself to third place in every cat from the 08′ standings. A good tool but not law, you need to accept that some will be low and some high and use your gut to decide which is which. Lastly some rule changes to know in Tout this year. The reserve has been cut from 6 to 4 so more players to bid on and to encourage trading from all teams all year long Tout LLC. announced that you will be judged on points scored for two seasons. If you fail to total 100 points in the next two years combined you can be moved to mixed (now 17 teams) or not be invited back. I really like these two new changes and think it helps make easier to correct some draft mistakes.


toutwars.gifHere we go


Targeted: Suzuki, Laird or Olivo for $5. They went for 11, 6, 9.

I got: Max Ramirez for $1 as my 21st player in the draft.

Thoughts: I bailed on Suzuki and Olivo without much regret but should have gone to 7 on Laird. I got him to 5 and wimped out. Ramirez can hit and has sleeper value but is behind Salty and Teagarden so this qualifies as a disaster right now.


Targeted Jeff Mathis 

I got: Jeff Mathis for $1 as my 14th player in the draft.

Thoughts: Was getting a catcher for a buck no matter what and figured if Napoli can’t stay healthy and Mathis can reach potential this can be a steal.


Targeted: Chris Davis or Youk for $25. They went for 27 and 29.

I got: Carlos Guillen for $20 as my 6th player in the draft.

Thoughts: This angered me and it has nothing to do with Guillen. Bailed on Davis at I think $26 so maybe I get him at $28 but Youk was still out there and I didn’t panic. Like Guillen but I need more now or do I? Wait until you see whole team.


Targeted: Kinsler for $35.

I got: Kinsler for $30 as my 2nd player in the draft.

Thoughts: Obviously ecstatic. Now stay healthy!!!



Targeted: Asdrubal Cabrera for $6.

I got: Yuni Betancourt for $8 as my 10th player in the draft.

Thoughts: I’m fine with this. MI who sniffs any steals are a little inflated. Best example is that Asdrubal went for $13 so for 5 bucks less and only two over my budget I got a similar player.


Targeted: Adrain Beltre for $18. He went for $20

I got: Jed Lowrie for $8 as my 15th player in the draft.

Thoughts: I had to cut my budget a little since I went over on a few OFs and a starter so I decided to cut back on closer and 3B. I wanted Beltre pretty bad but most projections for Lowrie were pre Lugo injury and he qualifies at multiple positions so we’ll see.


Targeted: Josh Fields for $4. He went for $9.

I got: Wilson Betemit for $6 as my 11th player in the draft.

Thoughts: Everyone knows I love Fields but I wasn’t going double digits in $$$. Betemit to me is a hedge against injuries across the diamond in Chicago so he is a great AL only guy this year even though I would have preferred him cheaper.


Targeted: Chris Getz for $2. He went for $6.

I got: Ramon Santiago for $1 as my 19th player in the draft.

Thoughts: Not many on this one. Getz was probably valued at $2 before he won the job and people were willing to roll dice on him. I wasn’t. Anything happens to Everett or Polanco he’ll play everyday.


Targeted: Nick Markakis for $30.

I got: Markakis for $34 as my 3rd player in the draft.

Thoughts: Quite the bidding war early on and I went for it. Could have a monster year and at the time I had “saved” $5 on Kinsler so didn’t care about going $4 over for Nick.


Targeted: Coco Crisp for $15. He went for $17

I got: Carlos Quentin for $25 as my 4th player in the draft.

Thoughts: This is where the draft turned for me and at the time it was a blessing but it had it’s pitfalls. First off yes I went $10 over for my #2 OF but Quentin at $25 was too good to pass up. When he was at $24 I waited and said $25 and then crickets. I was shocked and elated but it definitely made me scramble to rearrange my budget since I had to make up for those $10 which I did and didn’t. The immediate fix was at closer which you’ll see below but this also led to a domino effect for my 3rd OF a few hours later. This could definitely help me win but throwing yourself for a loop is quite the experience. Rios went for $39, Vlad $27, Damon and Hunter $24 so Q at $25 was just too good a buy.


Targeted: Adam Jones for $11. He went for $22.

I got Hideki Matsui for $13 as my 12th player in the draft.

Thoughts: Jones went for way to much. Can he live up to it? Sure but I already killed my budget for my #2 OF so I couldn’t do it again. Happy with Matsui, very dependent on health but for $13 he if can thrive at DH this could be huge.


Targeted: Shin Soo Choo for $9. He went for $18.

I got Ryan Freel for $5 as my 17th player in the draft.

Thoughts: No matter how many times I see it and this is my 4th year in Tout it still amazes me the inflation for young OFs. Jones, Choo, Kubel and Cruz all went for more then double what most people had them valued at it’s crazy but it’s just the way it is. I also whiffed on David Murphy, DeJesus and Lind here so Freel was a flyer. Wanted Choo badly but so did everyone else.


Targeted: A dollar player like Gabe Gross or Gary Matthews Jr.

I got Marlon Byrd at $4 as my 18th player in the draft.

Thoughts: Was filling in slots at this point much like Freel and Byrd was the highest OF left on the board. I like this pickup has some sleeper value. Would love to be right about how bad Nelson Cruz is going to be and then Byrd takes over and produces.


Targeted: Kendry Morales at $9.

I got Morales for $10 as my 16th player in the draft.

Thoughts: Very happy, I think his projections are low but there isn’t much to go on. Has all the opportunity in the world and can definitely hit.


Targeted: Roy Halladay for $27.

I got Doc for $30 as my 1st player in the draft.

Thoughts: I think Erv and Lackey being hurt raised Doc’s value so I’m cool with the $30. Only other pitcher to make it to $30 was Sabathia. I like having a stud ace in a non mixed.


Targeted: Justin Verlander for $18.

I got Verlander for $15 as my 7th player in the draft.

Thoughts: Well there’s the $3 bucks back I went over with on Halladay. Love the price but need this one to work out to make the killing. Little nervous but am practicing what I preach at least.


Targeted: Gavin Floyd for $8. He went for $8.

I got Ervin Santana for $11 as my 8th player in the draft.

Thoughts: Classic bravado man crush union. It was one of those there is no way I can let him for this cheap. The good news is if he can’t play this year I will get the money back for FAAB if he goes on 60 day DL. Bad news is I went with my heart on this one and if he doesn’t come back in late May and pitch great this could be the straw that broke the camels back. Getting Erv cost me a bat somewhere. He comes back I’ll be able to make a trade without a problem for that bat.


Targeted: Edwin Jackson for $4.

I got Edwin for $4 as my 9th player in the draft.

smoltz.jpgThoughts: Very happy with this low risk and high reward. This could be my Cliff Lee for $4 last year even if he doesn’t sniff a CY.


Targeted: Anthony Reyes for $1 or some other $1 pitchers like Niemann or Adenhart. Reyes went for $6 and Adenhart went in reserve draft.

I got John Smoltz for $6 as my 23rd player in the draft.


Thoughts: I had one spot and $6 bucks left and anyone else with a pitching slot left had a max bid of $6 so this worked out great. Didn’t expect this to happen but not upset it did. Will have Smoltz and Erv on DL to start season with McGowan who I got in reserve. Stocked up if things work right to make some deals.


Targeted: Another dollar pitcher.

I got Jose Contreras for $2 as my 22nd player in the draft.

Thoughts: Love this one too low risk high reward.


Targeted: Scot Shields for $2.

I got Shields for $2 as my 20th player in the draft.

Thoughts: I wouldn’t have went to 4 so all good. Angels will be in a bunch of tight games. Maybe he gives me 7 wins and 4 saves.


Targeted: Zumaya or Aardsma for a $1.

I got Aardsma for $4 as my 13th player in the draft.

Thoughts: Paid a little premium since I under spent on closer and think Aardsma has a good shot to close in Seattle. I got Zumaya in the reserve draft.


Targeted: One of the big 4 at closer for $27. Papelbon and Soria went for $28. Rivera $25 and Nathan $26.

I got Bobby Jenks for $20 as my 5th player in the draft.

Thoughts: Aggravation! I was in on all of the top four and bailed at $24 on Rivera which pissed me off. You’ll see Jenks went to me after Quentin so I tried to manage my budget here and this could be a hassle or Jenks can figure out how to strike people out agaiun, that would be fantastic Bobby!

Reserve Draft:

Had the 11th pick, Sheehan hurt me by taking LaPorta at 10 I thought I had him. I went

Zumaya (Could be a bonanza)

McGowan (no risk high reward)

Joaquin Arias (hope he goes super utility in Texas and would play 2B if Kinsler got hurt)

JP Arencibia (hope he hits his way back north

 I inserted the new projections and see that on offense I am literally a 20-20 player who can drive in and score about 80 short of being right where I need to if of course my guys don’t go higher then their projections. They don’t grow on tress but I think I can find one even by mid April via trade so I am going to try and deal from pitching just to be safe. Stay tuned…………………..Siano (no idea why it’s this script but I feel classy so not going to worry about it) 

411 Listener League Draft Results

Here are the results from last night’s 411 listener league draft.

I think Mike and Cory did pretty well.  I’m very surprised that Siano was able to get a front three of Lester, Cain, and Lilly in Round 11 or later, and Schwartz’s outfield is ridiculous.  Oh, and forgot to mention SAUNDO!


Fantasy 411 Q&A: March 27, 2009

Wanted to let everyone know that Cory and I will be on the MLB Network March 29th from 8:30 to 10:00pm ET.
The network has decided to do a season preview show and invited us to
be featured. We are honored, excited and can’t say enough about the
producers (Jim, Martin and Micah) that have been assigned to the show.
Obviously we all hope it is the first step in getting a presence, but
one thing at a time. Please spread the word and invite your friends to
watch the show this Sunday night.



10 team 6×6 (OPS and Holds), 4th pick. Rapid fire:
Would you guys look at Arod early 3rd?
Would you grab Utley late second and run?

Thanks again for everything,

Chris in Columbus

I’m leery of A-Rod… we still don’t know when he’ll be back and
whether or not he’ll run when he returns, which is a big part of his
value. Early 3rd is awfully risky in a shallow league. I would
DEFINITELY take Utley with that late 2nd pick though… we know he’ll
be back right around opening day, and 2B is not nearly as deep as 3B. Good luck!


411 Calender of Events for Draft Prep:

Cory’s NFBC Results: Done

Zach’s NL Only Results: Done

Zach’s Listener League (Ron Cey League) Results (12 Team 5×5): Done

411 Listener League Results: Done

Siano’s AL Only Tout Results: Coming this weekend

Cory’s NL Only Tout Results: Coming this weekend or Monday

Alex’s Mixed Tout Results: Coming this weekend or Monday

Siano’s AL Only Keeper Money League: Coming weekend of April 3rd

Fantasy 411 Q&A: March 26, 2009

Wanted to let everyone know that Cory and I will be on the MLB Network March 29th from 8:30 to 10:00pm ET.
The network has decided to do a season preview show and invited us to
be featured. We are honored, excited and can’t say enough about the
producers (Jim, Martin and Micah) that have been assigned to the show.
Obviously we all hope it is the first step in getting a presence, but
one thing at a time. Please spread the word and invite your friends to
watch the show this Sunday night.



Challenge trade question: Would you rather have Scott Baker or Yovani Gallardo?

Kevin in England

I would take Gallardo over Baker. I think he’s the superior pitcher
and he has no health concerns. The knee injuries last year may end up
being a silver lining because they saved wear and tear on his arm at a
critical point in his career.


411 Calender of Events for Draft Prep:

Cory’s NFBC Results: Done

Zach’s NL Only Results: Done

Zach’s Listener League (Ron Cey League) Results (12 Team 5×5): Done

411 Listener League Results: Coming this weekend

Siano’s AL Only Tout Results: Coming this weekend

Cory’s NL Only Tout Results: Coming this weekend or Monday

Alex’s Mixed Tout Results: Coming this weekend or Monday

Siano’s AL Only Keeper Money League: Coming weekend of April 3rd