Cory’s NFBC Recap

On Saturday I participated in the NFBC Main Event for the seventh year; it’s a 15-team mixed league snake draft league with no trading, so having a strong draft is critical to a successful season. I’ve won my league twice in six years, finishing in the top 10 nationally both times, and also have second and fourth place finishes on my resume. But, I’ve been out of the money the past two seasons, so I went into this draft feeling like I had something to prove. With Fantasy 411 compadre Mike Siano unavailable, I was able to recruit Baseball Prospectus “resident fantasy guru” Derek Carty as my wingman, helping evaluate needs and picks along the way.

All that said, here is my draft in order of selection. ADP is NFBC March ADP as of Friday morning, RK is how I ranked the players, and PK is the overall pick number at which I took each player.


ADP    RK      PK      PLAYER                     POS

7         3         13       Ellsbury, Jacoby          OF

13       20       18       Fielder, Prince             1B

44       52       43       Sandoval, Pablo          3B

41       48       48       Upton, B.J.                  OF

70       55       73       Kimbrel, Craig              CL

74       73       78       Wieters, Matt               C

107     100     103     Hudson, Daniel            SP

105     98       108     Gonzalez, Gio              SP

152     156     133     Kipnis, Jason              2B

130     123     138     Hanrahan, Joel             CL

185     181     163     Encarnacion, Edwin     1/3

125     120     168     Montero, Jesus            DH

165     140     193     Jimenez, Ubaldo          SP

228     210     198     Rodriguez, Wandy       SP

269     268     223     Bedard, Erik                SP

274     189     228     Presley, Alex               OF

249     222     253     Cozart, Zack                SS

250     254     258     Martinez, J.D.              OF

308     234     283     Venable, Will               OF

266     250     288     Baker, Scott                SP

323     295     313     Infante, Omar               2B

315     292     318     Venters, Jonny            RP

271     269     343     Quentin, Carlos            OF

327     287     348     Furcal, Rafael              SS

459     N/A     373     Hanigan, Ryan             C

360     333     378     Melancon, Mark           RP

457     N/A     403     Schierholtz, Nate          OF

339     323     408     Bailey, Homer              SP

N/A     N/A     433     Anderson, Brett           SP

416     N/A     438     Teheran, Julio              SP

Value: Thirteen of my first 23 picks went after their ADP and 16 of the 23 went later than I had ranked them, so by any measure I got plenty of value on my roster. I reached where I needed to but overall I feel I was able to stay within my game plan.

Age: Nine of my first 23 are between the prime ages of 26 and 28, and 15 are between the ages of 25 and 29; only two of my first 23 picks are over the age of 30. On the whole, I have a team with plenty of youthful upside. Even Wandy Rodriguez, my second oldest player, has been relatively healthy and consistent throughout his career.

Health: Eight of my 30 overall picks are rated green in Will Carroll’s Team Health Report; 11 are rated yellow (including B.J. Upton, who will start the season with what is expected to be a brief DL stint), and 10 are ranked red. Julio Teheran is unrated but given that he was my 30th and last pick, I’m not terribly concerned how he grades out. On the whole there’s more injury risk here than I would typically like, but my outfield and starting pitching needs demanded it. My starting pitching is particularly risky, with Bedard and Baker, but my assumption is that both will pitch well when they do, even if it’s only for 40-45 starts between them.

Favorite picks: If Montero hits .273 with 19 HR and 72 RBI, and never qualifies at catcher, he won’t be an awful pick at 12.3 (168th overall). If he qualifies at catcher and hits .285 with 23 HR and 82 RBI, I get a huge profit on this pick, not only from his production as a catcher, but from the opportunity to open up my utility spot for all six of my outfielders. In the ideal world, Montero qualifies behind the plate just as Quentin is ready to come off the disabled list, and I jettison Ryan Hanigan in favor of the best available free agent. Alex Presley, Wil Venable and Zack Cozart all went below where I valued them, and while any or all could be huge values, any or all could be flops. Craig Kimbrel went below his ADP and far below where I ranked him, so I think I got a great value on the consensus #1 closer.

Least favorite picks: All of my top seven starters have promise, but none are nearly a sure thing; I missed Mat Latos by three picks and having him as my #1 over Hudson would’ve made a huge difference. I especially am not fond of Ubaldo Jimenez, who is having a poor spring and could sink my ratios with another slow start as he suffered last season. I love Jason Kipnis’ upside but had to reach for him even by my own valuation after missing out on Howie Kendrick and Erick Aybar.

Long-term vision: I drafted with the full season in mind; rather than just getting the best team on draft day. Montero will eventually qualify at catcher, replacing Hanigan, and Quentin will come off the DL to take his UT spot and give me an additional power threat. Schierholtz isn’t very good but should hold an everyday job long enough to fill in while Upton is out. Furcal may be a wasted pick, but he does still have skills between the injuries and provides a hedge against Cozart flopping. Brett Anderson and Julio Teheran are great arms to stash on my bench as long as possible with the second half in mind, and while Mark Melancon isn’t anything special, he’s backing up a closer who’s thrown a total of 90.2 IP over the past two seasons.

Love the players, hate the picks: I had targeted these guys, or at least hoped to grab them at various points during the draft, but they all went well before I expected, so hats off to the teams that were willing to take an even bigger risk on them than I would’ve:

RK     PK     NET   PLAYER

86      56      -30     Moore, Matt

89      63      -26     Bumgarner, Madison

104    65      -39     Darvish, Yu

117    88      -29     Ramirez, Alexei

135    92      -43     Morrow, Brandon

148    116    -32     Ackley, Dustin

151    134    -17     Boesch, Brennan

194    172    -22     Sale, Chris

209    166    -43     McCarthy, Brandon

319    295    -24     Niemann, Jeff

I was all set to take Boesch at 9.13 but needed a middle infielder so I took Kipnis, and Boesch went with the next pick. Morrow and McCarthy were in my queue for my “next” picks but, for all the love I have for both this season, both went far beyond even what I think they will be worth. At least I got all three in Tout Wars!

In closing: I think I can win my league with this team, but I doubt I can compete for the overall national championship. I don’t have enough power, I took some AVG risks, and my starting pitching could range anywhere from very good to horrendous. It’s a long season and I’ll be working the free agent wire to improve where and when I can, so even though I don’t think I have a great team, on the whole I feel a lot better about this team than I did last year.

Thoughts? Comments? Feedback? Let’s hear it… and let’s play ball!!




Love the back-to-back Kozart and Martinez picks. High dividends for those two, especially at 250+ … Not so crazy about the Bedard and Jiminez picks, especially with as pitching-rich as this year’s drafts have been from what I have seen, even at picks 200+ … Team looks strong, though. Good luck!

Sorry, I insulted Derek… resident fantasy “genius”, not guru!

You mentioned yourself that you liked all of those players that you feel went too high, they’re all really intriguing players with a ton of potential and a lot of people wanted the chance to be the team Darvish or Moore broke through on. High potential + high demand= you’re not going to get those players much later in other drafts, regardless of ranking. –

I like it. I have high hopes for Alex Presley and Jose Altuve in my NL ONLY

Probably the 2nd best team in the league. The guys drafting from the 11 hole look like the team to beat

Cory, if you don’t like Ubaldo (and I have to agree with you there), then why is your personal rank 25 spots higher than his ADP? Who were your options at 3B when you picked Kung Fu Panda? I know you are not bullish on Lawrie, but was he or Wright or another solid 3B option still on the board at that point that made the Sandoval choice difficult?

Great Melancon pick, but Montero is your best slot pick.

Morrow, Sale and Darvish are my targeted SP, along with late draft top targets Hughes, Niese and Niemann.

Would you deal Matt Holliday for Starlin Castro? Or would you prefer Holliday for Ethier and Dee Gordon?

@Evan – you have it backwards; by the SPG formula I plug the projections into, he came out ranked 165th, 25 spots below his ADP of 140, and I picked him at 193, so I did wait to take him at a pretty good discount. I would’ve taken someone else had a better upside been available, but given how I slow-played SP’s, he was the only choice with a realistic shot at 175-185 K’s so I took a chance.

Re. 3B, I am actually very bullish on Lawrie, but I wasn’t going to take him at 2.3 and knew he wasn’t going to last to 3.13, so he was never a realistic option for me. So, I actually targeted Panda at 3.13 for the AVG/power combo, knowing that I was giving up some runs and SB’s in the deal. The next best 3B’s on the board were A-Rod, Aramis and M.Young, and I thought Panda was the best option at that point.


12-team Mixed (5+ OBP/SLG)

M. Trout dropped. My OF has holes. Risky Combo of Rios/Pagan/Span/Ibanez for OF4/OF5 and UT.

Spent $10 already. Player pool is shallow, think Huff/Venable. What’s a reasonable ‘Max-Bid’ on Trout? (B. Harper is owned)

Assuming Bailey opts for surgery and misses some time, would you drop any of Marshall, Guerra, or Santos for Melancon?

Dear 411,
Love the show!!!
I’m in a 12 Team Keeper League….7×7 including (L and QS for Pitching, and K, TB and OBP instead of AVE for batters.)
This is my Pitching staff after my draft:
Shields (Round 10)
Cliff Lee (Round 2)
Beachy (Round 12)
McCarthy (Round 22)
Kuroda (Round 15)
Norris (Round 16)
Axford (Round 6)
Hanrahan (Round 9)
I think i need more pitching…….Should i drop Moustakas or Reynolds (Bench Player) who is hight K rate, for one of the following SPs:
Wandy Rodriguez, Jholys Chacin, Scott Baker, Trevor Cahill, Volquez, Danks, Bedard, Edwin Jackson, Floyd?
There is also Henry Rodriguez available, who should be a closer while Storen is in DL.

In case you need more info. This are my bats:
C – McCann
1B – Pujols
2B – Jamile Weeks
3B – E5
SS – Dee Gordon
OF – Holliday
OF – McCutchen
OF – Cespedes
UT – Choo
BN – Kendrys Morales
BN – Moustakas
BN – Reynolds
BN – Presley


Always interested in the thought process, but I think their is downside risk to your pitching staff…starters do not give me the warm fuzzies.

In my 5×5 16 teamer, 5 of 16 teams drafted w/o starters [took only relievers] and 1st 15 players in most ADP were kept so I’m trying a novel approach.

SP- F. Hernandez [ traded Holliday away]; Latos; Strasburg; Wainwright; D. Hudson;Norris; Billingsley; Hughes

OF- Braun; Gordon; Hunter; Fowler; Heisey; Harper
3B- Freese, C. Davis
SS- Andrus
2B- K. Johnson
1B- Hosmer, Moreland
C- Ruiz

I have Farnsworth but he won’t make the final cut now
I’m counting on comeback years from players that have produced previously or have unfulfilled potential. Recommend dropping any of these?
Should I stream a pitcher, stream a hitter matchup or pick up best available hitter

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