My NL-Only Auction Draft

Hey everyone,

Just thought I’d share the results of my Bloggers League NL-only auction draft from earlier this week. This is the same league I participated in last year, hosted by, and most of the owners are the same. The one major difference is that this season we trimmed down from 12 to 10 teams…still very challenging but now a little more reasonable. Since we use the classic 23-man starter format, the player pool got so thin at the end of last season’s draft that some of the players taken in the reserve rounds were guys I never even heard of, let alone watched. Unfortunately, one of the draft participants (the expected replacement for Bob in Cleveland) didn’t show up, which created some havoc with respect to the prices as the computer-controlled team was left with over 50 bucks to spare. We all did the best we could to adjust to the computer’s strange bidding techniques and the integrity of the draft was, in my view, more or less preserved. To see the full team rosters along with dollar values Click Here

A few comments:

-I was determined to avoid making the same mistake as last year in being too conservative in the early going and it paid off. Besides spending a bit too much on Brandon Phillips (the attractive NL 2B choices are extremely limited so I had specifically targeted him), I thought I drafted all my core players (Upton, Rollins, Ludwick, LaRoche, Johan, Wandy) for fair and in some cases discounted prices.

-I had budgeted about 20 bucks for my ace and was pleasantly surprised to land Johan Santana for $22 as I was planning on settling for the Cain-Nolasco-Wandy tier. That said, if I had known that Dan Haren would go for only two more dollars, I definitely would’ve waited. Such is the nature of auction drafting! I think Johan will have a fine season but you can’t ignore the injury risk and the declining strikeout rate. Regardless, he’s still a #1 SP in mixed leagues and a high-end NL-only ace.

-While I’m very satisfied with my offense and the fact that I was able to grab two quality closers in Qualls and Cordero, the depth of my rotation is my biggest concern. I’ll need to make at least one strong starting pitcher pickup in-season and hope that Clayton Richard emerges as a dependable option. And that’s assuming my front three of Johan, Wandy and Zambrano, all injury risks to different degrees, stay healthy.

Let me know what you think…



C   Soto  $12
C   Zaun  $1
1B  LaRoche  $15
2B  Phillips  $33
SS  Rollins  $28
3B  Blake  $10
CI  Feliz  $6
MI  Castillo  $3
OF  J. Upton  $29
OF  Ludwick  $13
OF  Blanks  $9
OF  Gomez  $8
OF  Fukudome  $5
Util  Gomes  $3
BE  Spilborghs  $2
BE  Church  $1

SP  Santana  $22
SP  W. Rodriguez  $15
SP  Zambrano  $9
SP  Blanton  $4
SP  Richard  $2
SP  Parra (don’t like him at all!)  $1
RP  Qualls  $16
RP  Cordero  $14
RP  Masset  $1
BE  Gutierrez  $1
BE  Meek  $1


SS: I think Escobar will be ROY, so I wouldn’t have spent that much for Rollins and SP, Santana is injury-prone, so between those 2, would Hanson have been available? I like Hanson/Escobar over Santana/Rollins then maybe a higher OF pick while taking Escobar in the later rounds.

I like the position scarcity strategy that I assume you used. Paying more for guys like Phillips and Rollins looks solid when you were able to get guys like LaRoche and Blake on the corners, both of whom are underrated but usually very consistant and serviceable. I like the OF as Upton should be big and Ludwick is the forgotten man in St Louis that could be a quiet giant. Blanks is another upside guy and Fukudome and Gomez should give decent numbers for back half of your OF. Pitching help should develope somewhere during the season but with a little luck Parra may finally find it and help out a very solid top four(Blanton is another consistant guy that’s underrated). Soto will not disappoint this year. His rookie season he came to camp in shape and last year he got a little fat and sassy. This offseason he went back to work and will get back to his 2008 numbers. Overall it looks like it will take some poor luck to keep this team from competing. I’m not in a NL only league myself this year but I’d be very happy with this team. Nice job.

Question for you:
First time in a head to head league.
12 Teams Mixed Non Keeper
Catgories are
BBI, BS, ER, INN, HA, K, L, W, S, SO
C,1B,2B,3B,SS, 3 OF’s, UT, 5 SP, 2 RP
I’ve never been in a head to head league and would love to get some advice on what kind of player to look for and to avoid and a basic strategy for this type of play compared to rotisserie which is the only kind I’ve played up till now. Thanks for all the help.

Fireman Frank


Aye-yi-yai-yie. That gets ugly, don’t it. Sunday my NL only old-school roto league auction drafts. We’ve got 11 teams – hope all our managers show up because we have an extremely poor autobid algorithm at our host site. It bids as though it was a sealed bid auction.

Looks good in that you ended up with a pretty solid squad without getting carried away with the bidding. My league is full of auction newbies, and I’m afraid that some emotion will get the prices out of whack early. cest la vie.

Auction drafts are a completely different world than snake drafting. It’s conceivable that someone could end up with Pujols, H. Ramirez, and Braun on the same team. Granted, the rest of the team wouldn’t be too good.

Can you win with a team full of $10-20 players?

I need some help with my first ever Auction draft coming up. I need guys to target at CI or UTIL in the late rounds when I only have a few bucks to spend. What is the sweet spot value wise for these positions and who do I go after?
Kevin from England.


I haven’t done a head-to-head league in a number of years but to me the basic difference is that consistency is valued over end-of-year stats. For this reason, grabbing specialists (i.e. a guy who could single-handedly win you the SB category every week like Bourn) is a bit more important in H2H than Roto. Another major difference is that the pitch or ditch strategy is not nearly as effective in H2H. Part of the thinking of pitch or ditch is that you’re of the belief that waiver wire guys, when spotted in favorable matchups, will put up numbers comparable to that of a mid-tier starter over the course of a six month long season. When the sample size is only one week, there’s a lot more risk involved. Suppose you pick up someone off the wire who you think will do well against a certain team and they get bombed. You could very well lose ERA and WHIP for that week. In roto, the larger sample size allows you to make some mistakes. I’m not saying to overvalue pitching in H2H but you’ll probably want to draft a deeper rotation than you normally would.

Absolutely you can win with a team of 10-20 dollar players. I’m personally in favor of a balanced approach like this one, especially in non-mixed leagues where you’re at a big advantage simply by having more depth. That said, try to get at least one or two all-star level guys. It’ll just make life a little easier.


Usually I do 12 team H2H, but this year I am in a 14 team H2H. Does position Scarcity become even more important. For example, I have been targeting Ryan Zimmerman or Pablo Sandoval in teh third round, if I dont get A-Rod or Longoria. I don’t think they will last until the middle 3rd round in a 14 team league. Would it be justified to pick one of them in the early to middle 2nd round, in this format?

I try not ot pick a SP until the 6th or 7th round, in 12 team leagues. But in a 14, is it more important to get a front line guy earlier, considering my options for value picks wont be as prevalent later in the draft?

Do you have any other tips that would be useful when making the jump from 12 teams to 14 teams?



Assuming this is a mixed league, a few 1Bs I like are Huff (despite the ballpark and terrible lineup, I think he’s undervalued), Barton and Clement (C eligibility a plus).

I’m a big position scarcity guy so yeah, I do think the importance of filling the light positions increases with a larger league. Don’t get too caught up in what round to take a guy. Treat it just like a 12 team draft and you’ll see that the talent goes off the board quicker and you’ll just make your decisions based on who’s available. Is it OK to draft one of those 3Bs mid-second round? Absolutely…if that’s what it’ll take. It’s all relative! Same goes for pitchers. I don’t think you’ll necessarily need to draft more ace-type pitchers than usual but I’ll definitely recommend constructing a deeper rotation.


Which set of five would you rather have in a 12 team, keeper, roto league with NFBC rosters; Pujols, Braun, Longoria, Tulowitzki, and Ellsbury…or…Pujols, Hanley Ramirez, Braun, Longoria, and Beckham?

I contemplating proposing a trade in which I would deal Tulo, Ellsbury, and Morneau for Hanley Ramirez. This entire question would be moot if the other owner rejects it, but anyways… I am leaning towards offering this deal because I really want Beckham on my team this year, but am unclear on whether or not he’ll make it to the 11th pick of the draft. Would the upgrade to Ramirez be worth the 2nd best short stop, Ellsbury’s steals, and the possibility of getting Beckham in the draft?

Thanks for the help,


I’d pass on that deal and would opt for the first group of five. I really like Tulo this year and think that the upgrade from him to Hanley isn’t enough to warrant losing Ellsbury. The fact that there’s a chance you get back Beckham anyway is even more reason to stick with Group 1.


I have a few questions:

1. Who would you start at SS? Elvis Andrus or Alexei Ramirez? I remember from your fantasy broadcast that you had them both practically tied for 6th.

2. Would you drop Brian Wilson for Brad Lidge? I remember him also coming up in your broadcast. Or would Trevor Hoffman be a better guy to drop?

3. This one is more of a sanity check. I have been looking to upgrade my roster with more offensive power and I think that will probably happen at 3B, now held by Aramis Ramirez (I’m fine with Kurt Suzuki at C, Ryan Howard at 1B, Brian Roberts at 2B, and Kemp, Ellsbury, Crawford, and Werth at OF/Util). My friend was willing to consider a deal involving A-Rod, but I think I would have given up too much so I rejected it. Here was the deal: I would get A-Rod and Jason Bay. He would get Ryan Howard, Kemp, and Nolasco. Am I crazy to have rejected this deal because I’m missing something, or did I make the right call? (I have Nick Swisher to replace Howard, and there are plenty of pitchers like Jonathan Sanchez, Tim Hudson, Scherzer, Blanton, Jason Marquis, Saunders, Wade Davis, Masterson, and Liriano to replace Nolasco). Should I try dealing Roberts for Ian Kinsler to boost my offense instead?


Hey 411,
Loved the preview show. Auction tomorrow. 14 team 10X10, extra batting cats: Hits, TB, OPS, Ks, BB. Sizemore at 23 or Reyes at 14? Other keepers are Pujols, Justin Upton and Kinsler.

Hey guys, awesome preview show. Auction is tomorrow and I’ve got a keeper question. 14 team 10X10, extra batting cats: Hits, TB, OPS, Ks, BB. Sizemore at 23 or Reyes at 14? Thanks for your help.

Ok, boys, completed my 12 team, mixed, std 5×5 weekly roto, nk draft (use 10 hitters, 10 pitchers).

1(1) Pujols, Albert
2(24) Reynolds, Mark
3(25) Upton, Justin
4(48) Votto, Joey
5(49) Phillips, Brandon
6(72) Suzuki, Ichiro
7(73) Kershaw, Clayton
8(96) Garza, Matt
9(97) Bell, Heath
10(120) Gonzalez, Carlos
11(121) Hart, Corey C.
12(144) Valverde, Jose
13(145) Sanchez, Jonathan O.
14(168) Montero, Miguel
15(169) Cabrera, Asdrubal
16(192) Bailey, Andrew
17(193) Davis, Wade
18(216) Hughes, Phil
19(217) Bailey, Homer
20(240) Wellemeyer, Todd
21(241) Bedard, Erik
22(264) Young, Chris B.
23(265) Correia, Kevin
24(288) Wilson, C.J.
25(289) Bumgarner, Madison
26(312) Hardy, J.J.
27(313) Blackburn, Nick
28(336) Hill, Rich J.

Mike, you will be happy to know I didnt pass up on The Machine afterall. Wasnt thrilled with Reynolds, but think its decent value, and grabbing Votto and Ichiro offsets Avg. All in all with Cory’s compliation stats, I am projected to finish 1st (83pts). My hitting dominates the league (52pts) with solid speed and power (and youth), arms seem decent to finish 6th respectively (31pts), combined, its just enough based on those Proj. Standings.

I like the value of Ichiro with 72nd overall, Montero with 168th, and happy with Bedard in 21st to start the final 8 reserve rounds. Lastly, Bailey as my 3rd closer selected is nothing to sneeze at.

All in all, your opinions on my clubs makeup and if my arms (including reserve depth) are enough?

– BDH in DC

Update: Dropped Hill this morning, and picked up Garcia (given 5th spot for STL).

These are the other FAs arms currently:
Bonderman, Jeremy RP DET
Braden, Dallas SP OAK
Carrasco, Carlos SP CLE
Cecil, Brett SP TOR
Davis, Doug SP MIL
Drabek, Kyle SP TOR
Gonzalez, Gio SP
Gorzelanny, Tom SP
Harrison, Matt SP
Hudson, Daniel SP
Hunter, Tommy SP
Kawakami, Kenshin SP
Lewis, Colby
Maholm, Paul SP PIT
McCutchen, Daniel SP PIT
McGowan, Dustin SP TOR
Medlen, Kris RP ATL
Niese, Jonathon SP NYM
Perez, Oliver SP NYM
Rowland-Smith, Ryan SP SEA
Snell, Ian SP SEA
Storen, Drew RP WAS
Volquez, Edinson SP CIN
Wang, Chien-Ming SP WAS
Wuertz, Michael RP OAK

Do you see value in any additional swap of spots?

– BDH in DC

Hey guys,

David Price or Scott Kazmir?

Dallin from Idaho

Would you trade Nolasco for Matt Garza?

Would you make this deal in a 12-team keeper, roto 5X5 scoring?
Give: Alex Rodriguez and Adrian Gonzalez
Get: Albert Pujols and Joey Votto
Pujols would replace Gonzalez at first base, while Zimmerman would move into the third base spot, Votto moving to the 1B/3B spot.

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


Dallin – If Kazmir weren’t hurting already I’d probably rather take him, but at this point it looks like Price has the greater upside. Both are risky.

* * *

G7 – I would trade Garza for Nolasco 100 out of 100 times.

* * *

Babu, I like Pujols better than A-Rod, and Votto better than A-Gonz, so yes I would do that deal every time. That you already have Zimmerman to fill in at 3B is gravy.



1. Depends on whether you’re more in need of speed or an all-around contributor but I’d lean towards playing Alexei at the start while monitoring Andrus. If Andrus looks like the real deal, play him and try to trade Alexei. Both have value so you should really try to deal one of them at some point.

2. No, I wouldn’t drop Wilson or Hoffman to pick up Lidge. He’s a nice bounceback candidate but Wilson and Hoffman are both in a much more stable position.

3. I don’t think your power is all that bad and if Aramis proves healthy, it’ll be solid. You did the right thing by rejecting the A-Rod deal. I wouldn’t have taken that either. As for other possible trades, I think you should take a wait and see approach for now. Don’t panic just because you think you may be short in an area. Let the season play out for at least a few weeks.



Sorry, you must have had your draft already. Hope you picked Sizemore:-)

Like the offense a lot. Nice mix of power and speed. I think your pitching depth is fine…might want to add another mid-rotation type at some point but for now just see how this group does in the early going. Love Valverde in the 12th. Of the available pitchers, I think Storen is definitely a guy worth owning. He has the potential to be a dominant closer and I think he gets the chance by mid-season. Bonderman and Hunter both have upside and I may even be willing to gamble on Ollie, but in a 12 team league most of these guys will be available throughout the season so I wouldn’t be so concerned about picking them up right now.


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