Monday, March 12, 2007

Position Scarcity, Position reliability and You

I'm now in the middle of three FABs, have competed one, and am getting a healthy dose of not only the new rules, but the same old mistakes that teams continue to make every year. Don't let yourself fall into these traps:

1. Check your lineup page before you start your FAB. Aside from the lovely drawing of a baseball diamond, you should call your attention to the lineup card. You get to start a player at each position on the field, 1 DH, 5 starting pitchers, and three relief pitchers. You can have a player back up these positions, but in general, these are your starters. No matter how many starting pitchers you draft, you'll still only get to start five of them. No matter how many outfielders you draft, you can only start three of them. When you get a bargain basement price of 1 million on that hot rookie, that's a bargain only if you have some place to play him. Avoid overpaying for backups. If you draft more than about 25 players in your FAB, you've wasted a ton of money that should be in your starting lineup. It's a huge mistake, but I see it made over and over again. You could have taken that extra 5 or 6 million, put it toward Albert, and those points would be in your lineup instead of on your bench.

2. Relief pitchers are notoriously unreliable. And, there are lots of them. Don't overpay for the guy that is rumored to be the closer in waiting on a bad team (see Jonathan Broxton). It's like hitting on 16 when the dealer is showing a six, or going all in with 7-2 offsuit. It might work once in a while, but the odds are against it. If you had waited until after the season last year, you could have snagged Papelbon, Putz, Julio, Saito and more. Closers lose their jobs all the time. Roles change from year to year. Don't be the guy that pays 8 million dollars for a closer, when you can buy one for less than half that will produce almost the same value. The same is true to a lesser extent for Starting pitchers. Offensive numbers are more consistent, especially at first base and the outfield, so when you plunk your money down there, you usually know what you're getting.

3. Identify scarce positions, and get the best players. Don't throw a ton of money at outfielders. Look for dropoffs at positions that are scarce, like 2b, ss, and catcher. Get one of the good ones, the OF will take care of itself.

Finally, for you '24' fans out there, don't rely on a CTU perimeter, don't go into a foreign embassy, and for pete sake, don't let crazy people play with knives. I'll bet if some of these presidential candidates watched the show, that might thin out the field!

1 comment:

Crash Test Dummy said...

I find myself in respectful, but near-total disagreement with the primary tenets of your advice. I'll explore my philosophy in more depth in a separate post. The opposition of our philosophies will certainly provide for an interesting study as this season rolls on. Of course, the study is a bit tainted in that your team arrived for this season with its core already established, after you had the entire MLB population to choose from in your year one FAB. I inherited a team with very few players and stepped into a FAB that was missing all of the players already inhabiting other teams' rosters. Not a complaint, just pointing out that if we pressed the reset button and each "drafted" according to our philosophies, the results might look quite different.

Best of luck this season -- I look forward to reading your posts as we go through the year.