Dynasty baseball is a whole new ball game and I started my first leagues this year on Dynasty Sports Empire.com. The first team I drafted was an expansion team so I got to draft a new team while there were 10 other teams in the league that had established teams with keepers and such. Before I go any further, let me tell you about the league. It is a head-to-head points league with daily lineup changes. Each team gets 40 roster spots and you keep 25 players at the end of the season. Just like any H2H points league with daily lineup changes, getting a lot of pitchers is a big deal, but I seemed to be the only person that knew that (will explain why later). Also, people drafted a lot prospects which aren’t going to help them this year. I learned a lot from my first draft and was ready to DOMINATE my 2nd dynasty draft where all the teams were starting from scratch.
1st thing that you have to decide is whether you’re going to play for this year or for the future. It sounds like a simple concept but this rule gets broken all the time. What I mean by that is if you’re going to draft a bunch of young players then don’t spend a pick on a David Ortiz or any other player that only has a couple years left. The flip side of that is if you’re playing to win this year then drafting 5-7 prospects that aren’t going to help you in the next year or 2 is a waste of a roster space. My team is filled young players that are young and can contribute this year.
My Draft Strategy for Dynasty Draft #2
Scoring system: go here to check out the scoring system. http://www4.fantrax.com/fantasy/leagueRulesSummary.go?leagueId=mrjqzr8ehc99yk0v
I ended up with 7th pick of the draft out of 16 teams. My strategy going into the draft was to draft a great pitching staff with a lot of starters, get established young players (players aged 24-28), and avoid prospects. The “avoiding prospects” is an idea that only I go by, but why? Simple, I want to win EVERY year, including this year. We have 40 roster spots, so why would I waste 5-7 roster spots on prospects that aren’t going to help my squad for years? One argument is well you have so many spots that it doesn’t matter if you waste 5-7 slots, but that is throwing away points to me. I would much rather draft a starting pitcher that gets my team 9 points every start then a player that will get me ZERO points for the next year or two no matter how great he is PROJECTED to be. Also, I try to have a very limited number of hitters on my bench; this is a strategy you can use in any daily lineup leagues because having hitters sitting on your bench is a waste of space. Think about it…I can have a starting pitcher that gets me 12 points a week on 1 start or a bench hitter that I might start once or twice a week that will at most get me 6-7 points.
Before I talk about my roster, I want to go in-depth at the last point I just made about maximizing your pitching staff. If I have 15 starting pitchers on my roster and I figure 5-7 of them will be starting 2 games that week, then that gives my team 20-25 starts per week. That is a lot of points and puts my team at huge advantage when I’m facing a team that only has 12-15 starts per week. It is a lot easier to make up the difference between poor offense vs a good offense if I can double the amount starts the other team has. If that better offense generates about 6 more points than my offense a day then that’s only about 36-40 more points than my team over a week long matchup which equals only about 4 or 5 extra starts from my pitchers (that’s if my pitchers only get 8 points per start, ie Barry Zito averages 12 points per start).
Now it’s time for me to gloat..I mean to tell you about my team. I picked Andrew McCutchen with my first pick because he is young and is about to hit his prime. Then it came back around to me and I needed an ace to anchor my staff so I picked Matt Cain, who is young and averaged the 6th most Fantasy points per game (FP/G) with 29.03 points. Compare that to Cutch who averages 4.61 FP/G which is 15th amongst hitters. Before I go any further, let me break down to you how pitchers are more valuable then hitters despite popular belief. Let’s say Cutch has an awesome week and averages 6 points per game for 7 games ( that would only happen a couple of times a year) then that’s 42 points for the week. Now Matt Cain starts two times in a week ( which happens probably about every 3 weeks so 33% of the time he will be starting twice a week) and gets his averages points per start. Well that’s almost 60 points for the week and a HUGE advantage over Cutch ( I like to call him predator because of his dreads). Back to the draft, I wanted to get another starting pitcher so I picked Chris Sale in round 3 over Madison Bumgarner. This was one of my toughest decisions because they are both young (24 years old), but Sale averaged 22.1 FP/G (17th overall) while Bumgarner averaged 20.6 FP/G(23rd overall) last year so I went with player who averaged more points per start. Remember I am trying to go young but productive. 4th round was an easy selection as Billy Butler, who I like a lot, was still around. Then I selected Johnny Cueto, a player that has performed at an elite level, but doesn’t get the credit he deserves. He had a 2.78 ERA in 217 IP with a 1.17 WHIP plus he is only 26. Then went with Austin Jackson, another youngster just now coming into his prime and then took Matt Harvey, 24 years old, with my next pick. My team is shaping up perfectly with a bunch of young talent that can produce this year and years to come. Here is my roster and I put some side notes of why I took/like certain players and what round they were drafted in.
My Roster ( age of the player, round he was drafted, & FP/G is average fantasy points per game last year)
C- Alex Avila (age-26, 12th round, 2.09 FP/G)– Has a great career OBP (.352 OBP in 2012 & .389 OBP in 2011, .359 career OBP) and was hurt most of last year, plus he is hitting in of the best lineups in baseball
1B- Billy Butler (age- 26, 4th round, 3.84 FP/G)
2B- Gordon Beckham (age-26, 17th round, 2.42 FP/G)- while he clearly isn’t the best option at 2B, he is young and I just wanted a player that will start every game as he has played in 150 games or more in his last 2 season.
3B- David Freese (age-29, 12th round, 2.86 FP/G)- Freese is solid and this late in the draft couldn’t go wrong as I needed a third baseman.
SS- Alcides Escobar (age 26, 8th round, 3.16 FP/G)- Love Escobar as he was one of the top SB leaders last year among SS and one of the best up and coming SS. Considering he outperformed Elvis Andrus last year who went about 25 picks ahead of Alcides, was very happy getting him were I did.
INF- Brandon Belt (age 24, 13th round, 2.42 FP/G)- another player with a lot upside, is young, and has a starting gig. What’s not to like?
INF- Brandon Moss ( age 29, 23rd round, 3.34 FP/G)- it is amazing how many people sleep on this dude. He hit 21 HRs in 84 games. If he plays 140 games this year then he can easily smash 30 HRs
INF- Brett Wallace( age 26, 28th round, 1.78 FP/G)- This is a big year for Mr. Wallace, but he will be the starting 1B for the Astros…ha, yea that’s not that special but he could have a breakout year or continue in mediocrity which is fine with me.
LF- David Murphy ( age 31, 18th round, 3.22 FP/G)- finally went with a player who is over 30 years old, but this is another player that is consistently good and could see 100-150 more ABs this year. .his line was .304 BA, 15 HRs, 10 SBs, 65 runs, 61 RBIs last year in only 457
ABs and could increase those numbers to 20 HRs, 15 SBs, 80 Runs/RBIs this year which would be great value considering where I drafted him.
CF- Andrew McCutchen (age 26, 1st round, 4.61 FP/G)- Hes the anchor of my franchise
RF- Lucas Duda (age 27, 22nd round, 2.23 FP/G)- this is an intriguing player with high upside who could also flop. At this point in the draft I wanted a player that could help me this year and also starts. See a theme here about getting starters?
OF- Lorenzo Cain (age 26, 10th round, 3.25 FP/G)- If Cain can stay healthy then he could produce some really good numbers. he is my 3rd Kansas City player so that is kinda scary.
OF- Austin Jackson- (age 26, 6th round, 2.83 FP/G)- This kid has all the makings of a 5 tool player with a good BA and has a chance of going 20/20 this year.
Util- Josh Donaldson (age 27, 29th round, 2.27 FP/G)- whether you think he can produce like last year is irrelevant because he is the starting 3B for the A’s and should get plenty of ABs.
Jemile Weeks- traded F. Cervelli & Kolten Wong for him. This could be a bad trade, but I think Weeks could be solid this year and could be the future 2nd basemen for the A’s for a long time.
Fernando Martinez (HOU, 34th round) & Mike Baxter (NYM, 36th round)- just wanted a couple of players that could play every day that I could sub in if needed. Don’t plan on sitting anyone on my roster so I don’t need a strong bench of hitters.
Pitchers (FP/G is per start last year)
SP- Homer Bailey (age-26,round 9th, 18.94 FP/G)- A consistent pitcher.
SP- Matt Cain ( age-28, round 2nd, 29.03 FP/G)
SP-Johnny Cueto (age-26, round 5th, 21.18 FP/G)
SP-Matt Harrison ( age-27, round 11th, 20.47 FP/G)- I do see Harrison regressing a bit but always feel confident in a players true talent when a team gives a player a lot of money as the Rangers signed Harrison to a big deal this winter.
SP- Chris Sale (age 24, round 3rd, 22.1 FP/G)
RP in H2H points leagues is different than other leagues and could be a very complicated situation. I chose to not spend a high draft on a RP and instead get a couple of pitchers that will be starters who qualify at RP. Those pitchers can be more valuable than most closers. Also, saves are 10 points while holds are 5 points so there is still good value in RP that won’t be closers
RP- Jared Burton (age -31, round 33rd, 3.19 FP/G)- He is young and should be the setup man for Glen Perkins and could get a couple of saves throughout the season
RP- Scott Feldman (age-30, round 40th, 3 FP/G)- before you throw up in your mouth..this is a player that would not make most fantasy rosters but he could provide 8-10 points per start at the RP position since he is penciled as a starter for the Cubs.
RP-Ernesto Frieri (age-27, round 16th, 5.87 FP/G)- LOVE this is guy (no homo) as he will be the closer when/if Ryan Madson gets injured. Just has filthy stuff and should be a solid closer for the next couple of years
RP-Kyuji Fujikawa (age-32, round 24th, n/a FP/G)- only thing more fun than saying his name is watching him dominate MLB hitters while piling up saves. The Cubs don’t trust Carlos Marmol so neither should you. Think he could easily collect 20 saves this season and should be the Cubs closer for the future
RP- Stephen Pryor (age-23, round 30th, 2.26 FP/G)- This is a prime example of a young prospect who will contribute this year. He is the setup man
RP-Erasmo Ramirez (age-22, 27th round, 8.5 FP/G) – Should win a starting rotation, SP with RP eligibility, young stud. Nuff Said
Bench (aka starters galore)
Matt Harvey (age- 23, 7th round, 16.5 FP/G)- Harvey has all the tools to be a dominating pitcher. I drafted him pretty high, but I believe in this kid. He had a 2.73 ERA, 1.15 WHIP, & 10.62 K/9 , those are ridiculous numbers especially for a pitcher as young as him.
Daniel Bard (age-27, 35th round, -1.76 FP/G)- listed as SP, Bard has dominate stuff as long as he is coming in from the bullpen and is still young.
Wei-Yin Chen (age-27 , 21 round, 12.72 FP/G)- nothing special here..just another SP in the arsenal.
Alex Cobb (age-25, 15th round, 14.61 FP/G)- was surprised how far he fell. This kid could be a stud for years to come and I really think he can improve on last year’s numbers.
Danny Duffy (age-24, 31st round, 6.83 FP/G)- one of the key pitchers in the Royals organization. Another youngster & another SP.
Juan Nicasio (age-26, 37th round, 5.27 FP/G)- not sure if he will be much of a factor this year, but he is young and throws gas, plus I got him really late in the draft.
Mike Pelfrey (age-29, 39th round, 12.67 FP/G)- will be perfectly satisfied if he can average the same amount points he did last year.
Martin Perez (age-21, 26th round, -2 FP/G)- Fits my mold of young stud who can contribute this year ( I sound like a broken record). Kind of hope he starts in the bullpen so he can gain RP eligibility as well.
Chris Tillman (age-24, 19th round, 20.33 FP/G)- His FP/G was spectacular last year and think he could have a huge this year and is clearly flying under the radar (Iron Eagle style)
Vance Worley (age-25, 25th round, 8.3 FP/G)- Hope he makes the rotation. The Twins gave up Ben Revere for him so they must think highly of Worley
Barry Zito (age-34, 32nd round, 13.19FP/G)- I got nothing
In total that is 17 starting pitchers on my roster. Easily the most in the league and the best part is most of them are young studs. Every day I should have around 2-3 SP going, which means it doesn’t matter how great my opponent’s offensive is because there is no way they are going to compete with my pitching. I will breakdown some of the rosters in the next article. Hopefully this provided with some valuable fantasy baseball knowledge.