My First Real Draft of 2010

Zach here,   
On Wednesday night I took part in an NL-only expert league straight draft hosted by the guys at With an even more challenging NL-only auction less than two weeks away, I considered it a great opportunity to get used to the thin talent pool. Trust me, this was challenging enough! The active roster layout was slightly simplified: one catcher, four outfielders, no middle infield or corner infield slots and eight pitchers.     

Click Here for the full results. I’ve listed my team at the bottom of this post.

But first, a few notes:

-Adam Dunn and Carlos Lee were my two targets in the third round but when Dunn was taken three picks before my turn and Lee was snatched up with the pick right before me I scrambled for a Plan B, ultimately settling on Broxton, the clear-cut top NL closer. In retrospect, this might look like a questionable move as it was not until the fourth pick of the fifth round that the second closer (Heath Bell) was taken. Still, I just wasn’t enthused by the available OF options, particularly Ethier and Manny, and landed up spending my fourth round pick on Pence, who I actually have ranked higher than the Dodgers’ duo.

-I was very happy getting Orlando Cabrera in the 11th as my starting SS but made this pick at the expense of 3B, Mark DeRosa being the last quality option available. Then again, knowing that Mike from The Sports Banter was still without a shortstop, if I didn’t grab O-Cab there my starter would’ve likely been Brendan Ryan. Ugh.

-Overall, third base and the lack of a second closer are my two biggest weaknesses. It’s extremely hard to pick up a closer off the wire in a non-mixed so I may just have to live with one. The good news? Most of the other teams have the same problem. I like my rotation and my outfield and made sure to take Brandon Phillips in the second as the 2B depth in the NL is flat out awful.


C    Chris Iannetta
1B   Ryan Howard
2B   Brandon Phillips
SS  Orlando Cabrera
3B  Andy LaRoche
OF   Hunter Pence
OF  Ryan Ludwick
OF  Dexter Fowler
OF  Kosuke Fukudome
Util  Jeff Clement
BE  Brandon Allen
BE  Emilio Bonifacio

SP  Wandy Rodriguez
SP  Jonathan Sanchez
SP  Carlos Zambrano
SP  John Maine
SP  Anibal Sanchez
RP  Jonathan Broxton
RP  George Sherrill
RP  Juan Gutierrez
BE  Chris Volstad
BE  Mike Pelfrey
BE  Rich Hill (hoping for some Dave Duncan magic!)

Let me know what you think…


Hey guys… i’m on vacation doing my annual draft prep and i’m struggling. Last year I won both leagues based on your advice so I need to go back to the well for some help I’m in a 14 team mixed weekly H2H league where we start 9 hitters & 7 pitchers. I have three keepers in Greinke, Lind, & Bruce. Having won the league, I have the wheel pick and have draft spots 14 & 15. What do I do? We only start 3 of’s and 1 util and I have 2 of those 4 slots taken up. Do I go for position scarcity and take two of Kinsler, Tulo, Rollins, Wright, or Longoria? Or do I pair one of them with a stud pitcher like Halladay/ Lincecum and have a dominate pitching staff? Or do I just go best player available and get someone like M-Cab, Teix, Holliday, or Upton. Lastly, what do you think of using my 3rd & 4th pick to nab two closers? Sorry for the long q but appreciate the assist!


You can go crazy thinking of all the possibilities so I think you need to just wait and see how the other picks play out. I like the balanced idea of maybe one of those middle infielders and one of the power guys. I know Siano likes the back-to-back closer idea but I’m personally not a big fan of it. One elite closer is fine but I think by taking two an opportunity for another solid bat is lost.

Maybe Mike or Cory will jump in later but I’d substitute Pence for Gonzalez. I think Pence is in line for a career year and while Gonzalez showed a lot down the stretch last season, Pence is further along in his development and hits for a little more power. He’s entering his prime years now.

The fantasy guys say they’ll try to get something up by next week.



I’m in a nine team NL ONLY keeper league. We keep FOUR.
My notable roster players are:
Prince Fielder
Carlos Lee
Carlos Gonzalez
Hunter Pence
Hanley Ramirez
Heath Bell
Wandy Rodriguez

I am leaning toward keeping the following as my keepers. What do you think?
Carlos Lee
Carlos Gonzalez

Tampa Pete


Last year Fantasy page listed the depth charts in a spreadsheet format so I could get all starting lineups on one page. This proved incredibly useful on draft day. I can’t seem to locate it this year under the fantasy tools. Are you all going to produce anyhting similar this year?

Nice draft. Good mix of power and speed. A lot of question marks in your rotation, but I think you did a good J.O.B!

Let me ask you guys a question. I just made a trade today and I need your opinion on it.

I traded Brett Anderson (whom I like a lot a lot) and Rich Harden for Ricky Nolasco (whom I like a lot a lot more) and Max Scherzer. What are you thoughts?

Charles, GMU

Man, I’m glad I play in a mixed league so I don’t have to know who Juan Gutierrez is.

I’m worried about Broxton because Torre seemed to work him really hard last year and has a history of burning out non-Rivera bull pen arms. And I like Ethier this year for putting up Carlos Lee type numbers. A little less in each category, but very little less.

Emilio Bonifacio is the Tuffy Rhodes for this generation, by the second week of last year we had all the sports guys talking about how he’s energized the marlins, how he found a new level of performance, FAAB was spent, etc.

Im in a 12 team h2h mixed keeper. Joe Nathan was dropped, should I pick him up and insert him into a DL slot? I already have Andrew Bailey, Cordero, and Bell as my closers. I would drop Kevin Correia.


Good stuff here! I have a request. I noticed you mentioned you have Pence ahead of Ethier/Manny. It got me thinking about tiers. What are your thoughts on using tiers as far as a draft prep tool? I’d be curious to see a blog post about tier-philosophy. And I’d even be curious to see a “Fantasy 411” tier breakdown (perhaps featuring Cory’s composite projections!?)

Hey guys,

I’m wondering if you can help me with establishing my projections. I want to break each category into 3 different tiers, Good, Average & Bad. For each of the following categories, can you give me the tier cutoffs you think fall into these ranges.

Good: 95+
Average: 75-94
Bad: 74-

I realize each player brings a different type of value. But, I want to get a good feel for where each player falls in the tiers of each category.

The categories I breakouts for are:

H, AB, R, 2B, HR, RBI, SB, BB, K, AVG


Thanks for your help guys. I love your show and what you are doing over there at


roto 5X5, keeper
Would you make this deal?:

Give: Utley and AGonzo
Get: Cano and Pujols

Thanks for help.

Mike,Cory or Zach

I need your opinion on the following players and how they might do in the fantasy world this year. our league is a standard 5×5 and i used my last 4 picks which are my bench guys on

Strasburg , heyward , chapman and pedro alvarez


I like the trade. Anderson and Scherzer put up eerily similar stats last year…Anderson the better WHIP and Scherzer the higher K rate. But Scherzer has a few more Major League innings under his belt and the move to pitcher-friendly Comerica in my mind offsets the switch to the AL. I’ll give Scherzer the slight edge there. As for Harden vs. Nolasco, I’ll take Nolasco every time. While Harden’s the more accomplished pitcher, his injury issues are maddening to deal with. He’s YPNM in my book. I’d much rather go with Nolasco and bank on him finally putting it all together from start to finish in 2010.

Yeah why not. Correia’s nothing special and until we get definitive word that Nathan’s done for the year you might as well make the pickup.

Our fantasy department actually did do a tier breakdown as part of the fantasy preview materials ( but I’ll float the idea by Mike and Cory…it’s a good one.

I’m passing your question along to Cory.

That’s a real close one. It comes down to whether you consider the upgrade from Gonzo to Pujols greater than the downgrade from Utley to Cano. I’ll say do the deal. You’re getting the best player and I can definitely see Cano matching his ’09 numbers in 2010.

For this season I’ll rank them Heyward, Strasburg, Chapman, Alvarez. All four have been very impressive this spring but Alvarez is the least likely to start the year in the Majors. In non-keeper leagues, as a general rule I tend to be wary of drafting the big name prospect since their prices are usually too high. But I’m surprised you were able to get all four in the last four rounds. Heyward is head and shoulders above the rest for two reasons: he’s widely considered the best prospect in baseball and he will be playing every day to start the season.

check out my blog that I am trying to build up as a source for players in keeper leagues.

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