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.
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
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
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 then not have to worry about the long wait until you pick again.
If you go with one, I would target a first baseman, like Eric Hosmer or Allen Craig, or an outfielder for most value.
Typical Players Selected: Chris Sale, Eric Hosmer, Allen Craig, Hunter Pence, Matt Kemp, Starling Marte, Jean Segura, Matt Carpenter, Matt Holliday
Draft Strategy: ROUND 5
You’ve already built up your roster with four very solid players, not taking too many chances, and now, you have to start thinking about your rotation.
To me, this round is simple: Go pitching. Unless I ended up with Clayton Kershaw, or I already own two pitchers by Round 4, I’m going with a starter. Ranking and ADP doesn’t really matter as much to me here. If my strategy of top-tier bats in the first few rounds worked, then I will be stockpiling pitching for a few rounds.
Typical Players Selected: David Price, Zach Greinke, Adrian Gonzalez, Starling Marte, Matt Kemp, Joe Mauer, Mark Trumbo, Aroldis Chapman, Anibal Sanchez, Cole Hamels
Draft Strategy: ROUND 6
The last section of the early middle rounds — you have the ability to be flexible here.
There are some good outfielders hanging around to fill your second outfielder spot, or even your first with these picks (although, they are riskier at this point). Pitching is another option, as well, with many of the pitchers referenced above still potentially available.
If you haven’t drafted an outfielder yet, and you only have one pitcher I would target outfield here. If you are in a 5-OF league, you almost have to take one. There are some very good and speedy outfielders available in this draft range. I don’t draft closers early, but this a round where the elite ones often get taken.
The only way I don’t take an outfielder or starting pitcher here is if I need a third baseman. Then Josh Donaldson is my target.
Typical Players Selected: Wilin Rosario, Zach Greinke, Ryan Zimmerman, Wil Myers, Billy Hamilton, Yoenis Cespedes, Jayson Heyward, Cole Hamels, Kenley Jansen, Ian Kinsler, Josh Donaldson, David Ortiz, Brian McCann, Mike Minor
Draft Strategy: ROUND 7
Load up on some more pitching!
I have been going pitching heavy in this round for most of my leagues, as well. However, there are still some upside hitters available too, and you will need to use your cheatsheets and a draft plan to know which direction you will be going.
Typical Players Selected: Homer Bailey, Mike Minor, Starlin Castro, Matt Cain, Mat Latos, Aramis Ramirez, Gio Gonzalez, James Shields, Mark Trumbo
This is a great time to get a valuable middle-tiered hitter, if you don’t want to reach for a pitcher, or if you have two already. It all depends on how your roster is shaping up. If you need Corner Infield/Middle Infield spots for example, you should target a few of the hitters around this pick.
There are some very good catchers available, and often taken this early, but unless I am in a Two-Catcher League, I am not taking one early.
Typical Players Selected: Jordan Zimmerman, Ben Zobrist, Josh Hamilton, Everth Cabrera, Yadier Molina, Pedro Alvarez, Jose Abreu, Jose Altuve, Jonathan Lucroy, Salvador Perez, Gerrit Cole, Shelby Miller
Draft Strategy: ROUND 8
The end of the beginning.
I am looking for the best value based on tiers and roster need here. Any of the group mentioned above, or another pitcher, are all reasonable selections at this point. I should have two starters by now, but if not I am taking them with the next two or three picks. On a side note, Round 8 or 9 is where I have frequently been taking my 2014 favorite Jedd Gyorko.
Typical Players Selected: Jose Abreu, Jose Altuve, Salvador Perez, Michael Wacha, Joe Nathan, Alex Gordon, Jayson Werth, Masahiro Tanaka, Homer Bailey, Matt Cain, Jedd Gyorko, Alex Cobb, Anthony Rizzo, Carlos Beltran, Koji Uehara, Matt Weiters
Potential Roster Through 8 Rounds
I would gladly take any of these teams and all three would fulfill my draft strategy, as well. (Roster Requirements: C, 1B, 2B, 3B, SS, OF, OF, OF, UT, SP,SP, SP, SP, SP, RP, RP)
Miguel Cabrera-1B/3B, David Wright-3B, Ian Desmond-SS, Chris Sale-SP, Starling Marte-OF, Cole Hamels-SP, Jayson Heyward-OF, Alex Cobb-SP
Robinson Cano-2B, Adrian Beltre-3B, Jean Segura-SS, Justin Verlander-SP, Matt Kemp-OF, Zach Greinke-SP, Adrian Gonzalez-1B, Ben Zobrist-OF/SS
Hanley Ramirez-SS/3B, Evan Longoria-3B, Justin Upton-OF, Felix Hernandez-SP, Anibal Sanchez-SP, Mark Trumbo-1B/OF, Josh Hamilton-OF, Jayson Werth-OF
Hopefully, this review of what might happen between Rounds 4-8 will continue to help you get an idea of how you should build your roster. Stay tuned for more Fantasy Baseball draft strategy articles!
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