2014 Fantasy Baseball Draft Strategy Pt III: Rounds 9-16

Mar 19

2014 Fantasy Baseball Draft Strategy Pt III: Rounds 9-16

You’ve made it nearly halfway through the draft, and you’ve enacted a flawless Fantasy Baseball draft strategy. Whether you are following mine to the tee or not, doesn’t matter (I hope you are though), but now you are literally to the point of the drafts where you mold your championship squad. Knowing which positions to prioritize, which players to avoid, or wait on is critical. Utilizing your studying, tiers, and monitoring your rivals’ Fantasy Teams is also imperative, if time allow, of course. Be sure to go back and read my earlier works if you haven’t already, and ask questions via twitter, or email if you have them prior to your draft, or even during it and I will try to help! 2014 Fantasy Baseball Draft Strategy: Early Rounds Fantasy Baseball Draft Strategy II 7 steps fantasy baseball draft strategy A reminder that the players listed below are based on NFBC ADP as well as personal draft results from my recent FSWA draft. Draft Strategy: ROUND 9 At this point in the draft, and if you’ve been following my strategy, your hitting lineup should be nearly full. You should have at least two pitchers, hopefully three pitchers by Round 9.The next few rounds are needs based rounds. If you need a second baseman for example, there are players such as Jose Altuve, Daniel Murphy, and Jedd Gyorko who are likely still around. If you need outfielders or pitching, they are plentiful. Go with value and whatever you may need here. Picks 96-100 Typical Players Selected: Jedd Gyorko, Gerrit Cole, Michael Wacha, James Shields, Anthony Rizzo, Alex Gordon, Jose Altuve, Desmond Jennings, Michael Cuddyer, Homer Bailey Picks 102-107 Typical Players Selected: Jose Altuve, Mike Minor, Brandon Phillips, Mat Latos, Domonic Brown, Daniel Murphy. Picks 108-111 Typical Players Selected: Aaron Hill, Julio Teheran, Glen Perkins, Billy Butler, Sonny Gray, Shane Victorino, Kyle Seager Draft Strategy: ROUND 10 Same as Round 9. Utilize Tiers and ADP to determine best available and fill your needs. Picks 114-118 Typical Players Selected: Everth Cabrera, Hisashi Iwakuma, Manny Machado, David Robertson, Shelby Miller, Doug Fister, Chase Utley Picks 119-124 Typical Players Selected: Michael Cuddyer, Starlin Castro, Evan Gattis, Alfonso Soriano, Sergio Romo, J.J. Hardy Draft Strategy:...

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2014 Fantasy Baseball Draft Strategy II: Rounds 4-8

Mar 18

2014 Fantasy Baseball Draft Strategy II: Rounds 4-8

I’m back again, this time with part two of the 2014 Fantasy Baseball Draft Strategy Series. If you followed my Draft Strategy Part 1 you should be well on your way to a solid draft. You shouldn’t rest easy, however, even though your first three picks can be critical, the picks which follow can truly carry your team to the promised-land. Be sure to go back and read my earlier work, which included 7 Steps to a Succesful Draft Strategy. Also, feel free to ask questions via twitter @FantsyChillpony, or email if you have them prior to your draft, or even during it and I will try to help! 2014 Fantasy Baseball Draft Strategy: ROUND 4 A reminder that the players listed below are based on NFBC ADP as well as personal draft positions. Picks 37-40 This has been a hang-up round for me in several drafts. It all depends on which pitchers are still available, and which hitters are still out there. I have literally been taking players at about a 50/50 ratio between hitters/pitchers this season, and I am perfectly fine with both decisions. If the first-tier of pitchers have all been taken off the board, then I am fine waiting until Round 5. If there are only one or two elite, or near-elite arms left, I will snag one, and then take another in Round 5 or Round 6 Typical Players Selected: Ian Desmond, Justin Upton, Jose Bautista, Shin Soo-Choo, Albert Pujols, Felix Hernandez, Cliff Lee, Buster Posey Picks 42-46 More pitchers are going off the board with these picks, so if you have the 7th pick, or around that pick in the draft, it isn’t a bad idea to take one here. Otherwise, you could grab a second-tier shortstop if they are still available. Owners like myself may have reached for their shortstops already. Typical Players Selected: Cliff Lee, Felix Hernandez, David Price, Ian Desmond, Jean Segura, Madison Bumgarner, Justin Verlander, Chris Sale, Elvis Andrus, Matt Carpenter Picks 47-51 The same philosophy as above, but with this pick you will be looking at two picks close together, or back to back. This means you may need to grab two pitchers now, or at least one.  I would lean towards two, and...

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2014 First Base Rankings

Mar 17

2014 First Base Rankings

Out of all the positional rankings this season, the 2014 Fantasy First Base rankings may actually be the deepest. Sure, Starting Pitching is still deep, and has plenty of young, high potential arms to fill out your squads, but it has been a while since Fantasy Baseball has had this many strong options at first base. If you’re in a 12-team league this season, you should be in luck, and if you don’t take one of the elite options early, you will have plenty of options, and most importantly some power to choose from, in later rounds. I am not saying to punt first base by any means, but of the top 12 first basemen going in drafts, I would be happy with most of them. I am more than willing to draft scarce positions first, and then get my first baseman later on. Some have power, some hit for average, and of course some have both. If you look at Paul Goldschmidt, he may even get you some steals! 2014 First Baseman Rankings The rankings for our other positions are posted at the bottom of the page. Fantasy Baseball Rankings powered by FantasyPros Stars Paul Goldschmidt, Miguel Cabrera, and Chris Davis all have elite power, can hit for fantastic average, and knock in plenty of runs. These three are givens to be drafted in the first round, and more than likely top 8 in most drafts. The Next Wave: Players who are exciting to watch and develop into potential first rounders can also add plenty of value, and although they may not fill the categories as full as the elite First Baseman, they have two things going for them — potential and price tag. If you are willing to wait a few rounds and snag scarcer positions players, such as Eric Hosmer and Freddie Freeman, they can fill the need at first, while offering plenty of upside. Potential Breakouts Last season, I waited on first base and ended up with Allen Craig , who did a more than adequate job, and is still grossly undervalued. However, my steal of the draft was taking a guy by the name of Chris Davis in Round 14. I saw his power surge, and career minor-league average and...

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7 Steps to a Successful Fantasy Baseball Draft Strategy

Mar 16

7 Steps to a Successful Fantasy Baseball Draft Strategy

It is midway through March and that means you have likely drafted some teams, or you still have time to prepare for Fantasy Baseball Drafts, or as I like to put it “Prepping for the Prep.” Whether you are an established owner in one or more leagues, brand spanking new to the game, or are testing the waters of a new format (Auction/Dynasty Leagues) preparation in some capacity should happen prior to your Fantasy Draft. How much you study or prepare is completely up to you. Over the upcoming weeks, I will help guide you through your preparation round by round and based on what pick you have in the draft, while also trying to encompass most formats. Disclaimer: Auction leagues are a completely different beast, so check this post on 25 Dos and Don’ts of Auction Strategies out by Gonos. I will primarily focus on Redraft/Dynasty formats. So, if you are new to Fantasy Baseball, or even if you’re not, you may be feeling overwhelmed. You may be concerned about not knowing all of the players, when to pick certain positions, or concerned you will not be able hold back your adoration for your favorite local team player and reach for him in the drafts. That’s where draft tools come in to play. Many owners will simply buy a “Fantasy Guide” (use code “gonos14” to save $1) of their choosing, highlighting a few players, and utilizing the top 300 enclosed. Others will solely use the draft site rankings. Can this work? Sure. However, you need to be aware there is more you can do, and having a draft strategy is critical to continued success. So what do you need to do to prepare for prepping in your leagues, you ask? Let me help you prep for the Draft Prep. 1. Know Your League(s) Rules and Scoring This is the most critical step of all in my opinion. Many Re-Draft leagues (YAHOO, ESPN) have a standard format by default for Head-to-head leagues, Points leagues or Rotisserie. 5×5 categories typically make up standard scoring (R, RBI, HR, Steal, AVG./W, Ks, ERA, SV, WHIP). It is YOUR job to know and understand your roster requirements, as well as the scoring. Having...

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2014 Fantasy Baseball Draft Strategy (Part 1)

Mar 15

2014 Fantasy Baseball Draft Strategy (Part 1)

Now that you have prepped, completed your cheat sheets, perused your draft guides, and burnt through highlighters it is time to focus on your 2014 Fantasy Baseball Draft Strategy. I will be focusing on the first three rounds in this article. Also, make sure to utilize mine, and many others rankings over at Fantasy Pros. They will certainly help you in your drafting and studying. Positional tiers are also a great tool and they should be posted on davidgonos.com soon, as well. Now, let’s dip into these first three rounds to see what it gets us! 2014 Fantasy Baseball Draft Strategy   ROUNDS 1-2 To me, there is no hard-line Fantasy Baseball strategy one must follow, but it does help to have a gameplan, and to evaluate what you want your draft plan will be. If you have a top four pick, for example, essentially any format your top four picks are stable and consistent. Picks 5-12 can get murkier, and decisions will need to be made based on your strategies, interest, and how you value players or positions. If I can get an elite shortstop or second baseman in the first three rounds I will be very happy. If I can get both, I am very confident in my team already. If not a shortstop, or second baseman, I would like to get a top tier third baseman (likely in Round 2) depending on my draft position, of course. In the breakdowns below, I considered the turns at the end of the draft, so I consolidated a few sections to cover this, rather than split it up. Picks 1-4: As I said earlier, picks one through four are all but locked in, no matter the format. Mike Trout, and Miguel Cabrera are typically fighting for that top pick overall, while Paul Goldschmidt and Andrew McCutcheon usually swap between the third or fourth pick overall. I will be just fine with any one of those players, and depending what strategy I want to use it comes down to wanting a 1B or OF. Both positions are deep in 2014, although, one could argue after the second tier of both positions, outfield is far weaker. Regardless, if you have a...

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2014 St Louis Cardinals in Daily Fantasy Play

Mar 07

2014 St Louis Cardinals in Daily Fantasy Play

Our Fantasy Baseball friend, Kyle Soppe, takes a closer look at the 2014 St Louis Cardinals in Daily Fantasy play for the upcoming Fantasy season. You can follow him @unSOPpable23 on Twitter. The National League champions had another quality season in 2013 when it comes to providing Daily Fantasy Baseball owners with consistent players. Gone are the days of Hall-of-Fame production from Albert Pujols, but the production he once brought has been divvied up through a handful of players that proved worthy of rostering with regularity in 2013. Matt Carpenter was able to breakout with 199 hits, 126 runs, 11 homer, and 78 RBI, the equivalent of Fantasy gold at the second base position. His .873 OPS was better than fantasy studs like Evan Longoria, Jose Bautista, and teammate Yadier Molina. Allen Craig regressed a bit statistically from 2012 (76/22/92 with a .522 slugging percentage dropped to 71/13/97 and a .457 slugging percentage) despite a 34-point rise in BABIP and 39 more at-bats. On the mound, it was more of the same, as Adam Wainwright notched at least 19 wins, 200 strikeouts, and a sub 3.00 ERA for the third time in four seasons. St. Louis used the postseason to establish what appears to be a dominate closer in Trevor Rosenthal (11.2 innings pitched, seven base runners allowed, 18 strikeouts, one win, four saves, and a 2.64 ERA), potentially providing some added value to all members of the starting rotation. As a team, the Cardinals boasted the third-best scoring offense that ranked fourth in batting average but only 27th in home runs and 29th in stolen bases. The offense is station to station, which has the ability to win ball games, but can be frustrating at times for Fantasy owners chasing tremendous upside. Their pitching staff ranked fifth in ERA, a repeatable feat if they continue to attack the strike zone (sixth fewest walks) without giving up the long ball (only the Pirates allowed fewer bombs). With Molina behind the dish, the Cardinals were once again one of the hardest teams to steal on (actually led the league in 2013, catching 40 percent of base stealers), making them the worst team to start a leadoff hitter against. 2014 St...

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2014 Fantasy Profiles: Prospect Byron Buxton

Mar 06

2014 Fantasy Profiles: Prospect Byron Buxton

The ongoing series of 2014 Fantasy Profiles continues, this time with Twins prospect Byron Buxton. I will be looking closer at MLB’s top prospects all offseason, as well as throughout the season, focusing on players who will have a real Fantasy impact on the 2014 season. When the top prospects got released, or continue to get released from sites and writers across the world, no one is at all surprised to see the Twins No. 1 prospect Byron Buxton at the top. There is nothing more exciting to baseball fans and writers than Buxton right now. He is drawing comparisons to Mike Trout in Baseball America. Buxton wowed in his first professional season, and although chances of a call-up prior to September, if at all in 2014, are slim. All eyes will be on Buxton this season. Expectations are high, and his ceiling is just as high. Prospect Byron Buxton, OF, Minnesota Twins Age: 20, Ht:6’1”, Wt: 190, Bats/Throws: R/R What We’ve Seen So Far Drafted second overall in the 2012 draft by the Minnesota Twins, Buxton raised plenty of eyebrows in 2013. Reaching High Class A last season, his numbers dipped ever so slightly — so slightly that it was insignificant. In brief, in first season of play in the minors, he showed his amazing defensive ability, as well as his fantastic speed, swiping 55 bases between both stops in Class A. His power grade 3 of 5, (according to MLB.com scouting grades) also flashed with him hitting 12 home runs between both levels. With the comparisons to Trout seeming rather risky and lofty when made originally, Buxton has done nothing to sway scouts from those comparisons so far. He is a legitimate five-tool player, with plenty of room to grow physically and mentally. His power, body and tools will follow right along. Buxton’s Prospects Going Forward Buxton will be honing his skills and impressing scouts and fans even more in Double-A and Triple-A in 2014. The Twins could likely use Buxton this season, but there is no rush and the Twins will take their time to ensure he is really ready for the call. He likely won’t be in Target Field until 2015, but who knows, if...

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