Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Pre-FAB tips

Hello to all the readers of these posts. Throughout the season I'll offer stories about my team, the Lyndon Bats, and insights to (hopefully) help your team. With the different forms of gameplay now available to all leagues (2 games/wk, virtual series, and others) I imagine some of my theories won't apply to you.

For the FAB, whether your league is new or dynasty, it is my firm belief that you should figure out what players you want on your team and target them with close to your best offer. You risk overpaying a bit but the reward is that you just might eliminate a lot of other owners from future bidding. And if someone else goes higher, then you already know you're not getting that player. The strategy works as long as you believe in the values you've created for each player. There is a lot of work involved, but if you have auction values (based on $260) you trust, I recommend converting them to GDR values. Finally, it's also premised on the idea that owners will be around for more than one year.

(The contracts listed are the original deals offered and accepted last year.)

I have the following hitters: David Wright (12M/3yr NT), Jose Reyes (6M/3yr NT), Travis Hafner (9M/3yr), Carlos Beltran (9M/3yr NT), Chase Utley (8M/3yr), and Justin Morneau (3M/2yr). I got lucky with Brian McCann (.5M/2yr). All averaged at least 3 ppg. Budget issues left me reaching for Austin Kearns and Curtis Granderson as my 2nd and 3rd OFs, but you can almost always find that position on the waiver wire.

My pitching staff was average at best and I clearly overpaid for several of them. I don't advocate giving any pitcher a deal longer than 2 years. There are just too many question marks. My staff is Josh Beckett (10M/2yr), Brett Myers (7M/2yr), Doug Davis (5M/2yr), Daniel Cabrera (4M/2yr), Jose Contreras (4M/2yr), Jeremy Bonderman (3M/2yr), Trevor Hoffman (4M/2yr) with flyers on Jonathan Papelbon (1M/2yr) and Brandon McCarthy (2M/2yr).

My extendable players were Nick Johnson, Chris Ray and Rich Aurilia. I chose Ray for 2 more years at 3M per (because of Hoffman's expiring contract and his age) and Aurilia for 1 year at 2M because he's starting for the Giants and qualifies at 3B, SS and 1B, which saves money and roster spots. With the changes to the backup scoring this season, utility players actually have good value.

So, entering the FAB this season I have 5M available to spend and need backups at C, 2B and OF plus at least 3 relievers. I've targeted a few players I'd like to get for multi-year contracts and will fill the remaining openings after the FAB, when we get the extra 10M.

One more strategy regarding the FAB. If you are in the last wave and have holes to fill or there is a player or more available you really want to get, try the following: After the last FAB wave is complete, waive an expensive player (even though it will cost GM points) that you don't mind possibly losing to free up money. Sign the player(s) you want, then after the FAB, when you have the extra 10M, claim the player you cut. The upside is you get everyone you want, the downside is that an owner with a higher waiver priority claims him first.

Study your lists, be flexible, have fun, don't overpay (in years or dollars), and good luck.

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