Articles by Jeff Erickson

Jeff Erickson is a co-founder of and the only two-time winner of Baseball Writer of the Year from the Fantasy Sports Writers Association. He roots for the Reds, Bengals, Red Wings, Pacers and Northwestern University (the real NU).

Week 1 FAAB Results

Usually the first week of FAAB is huge – last year brought K-Rod and Dee Gordon, for instance. I didn’t get that feeling this year, but the earlier the draft, the more valuable that first period typically is. Here are the results from my three NFBC leagues.

NFBC Main Event (Draft 3/28, initial FAAB budget in all NFBC contests is $1,000):

Taking Inventory

Chris Liss may not be proud of doing 10 leagues this year, but I’m even more of a degenerate, clocking in with 13 non-Scoresheet or Strat-o-Matic leagues – those formats are so dramatically different that I won’t include them here, but I’ve got four Scoresheet Leagues (BL Kings, BL DwMurphy, AL Phillips, NL Neifi if you care to look them up) and one Strat league (MWStrat – a crazy 30-team league).

In the past I haven’t done a good job of record-keeping post-draft – who do I have commonly owned, is there a trend, etc … But inspired by Chris’s post, here’s the damage in my leagues.

NFBC From The Wheel – Jeff Erickson’s Draft

At the same time that Chris Liss was drafting in the NFBC Main Event, I was also drafting, albeit in a different league. I had the 15-spot in the draft, meaning that I was going to miss out on the clear top-8 players, plus a handful of other first-round quality players. Drafting on either end, but especially on the wheel, requires extra planning on when you are going to attack certain commodities – especially closers and catchers. With 28 selections between your two picks, you need to be able to begin “runs” rather than try to react to them.

While my draft didn’t have the big names like Chris’s draft did, there were still some awesome players – including two of the top-50 career earnings leaders, Jeff Dobies (#17, and second overall in career auction earnings there) and Michael Edelman (#49). For the second time in four years, I’m also playing against actor/director Nick Cassavetes, who won the league the last time I played against him. I don’t mean to insult anyone else by omission – there were plenty other skilled players at the draft. I also had the unique problem of facing off against RotoWire’s Vlad Sedler, with whom I’m sharing a team in the RotoWire Online Championship. There was also one less-prepared player in the draft – more on that later.

Charging The Mound – Adjusting On The Fly

Chris (Sunday March 15, 11:35 PT):

There was some chance I wound up in Swanay’s situation, but actually the bigger risk was I’d panic and overpay to avoid it. I knew from prior experience what players typically fetch, and I had a keen eye on the diminishing talent remaining, so I knew most of the way there were still players on whom I could spend all my money. The one moment where I thought I might have screwed up was when I filled my corner, OF and UT slots because I had only a catcher, two MIs and five pitchers to buy with $48. Essentially I had shut myself out of potential players like Joe Mauer (who went for $11 late, and on whom I would have gone $12 had I been able to bid), so that hampered my ability to spend on some of the values still on the board. Had all the pitchers gone for $3-$5 instead of $6-$10, I might have left a few bucks on the table (though I could have bought more expensive end-game MIs in that case.) But I wanted to leave $0 on the table and overpay for no one. I feel I was able to do that, though in a perfect world, I might have passed on Ervin Santana rather than buying him for $8.

Moving the Needle – Snakes Draft

Here are a couple of items from Sunday that caught my eye. Each day it seems as if the news coming out of each team’s respective camps is more relevant, with more items moving the needle.

Diamondbacks Nuggets:

Yasmany Tomas is already getting slated for outfield time during the first week of spring training. While the Diamondbacks want him to win the third base job outright, it’s pretty clear that they’re not quite all-in on the decision. They want Jake Lamb (who has some upside potential) to get some third base reps, and they want to preserve the possibility of Tomas playing in the outfield as well. There’s a non-zero chance that Tomas will have to begin the year in the minors if his defense at third base doesn’t improve – such a scenario would at least alleviate the playing time squeeze that they have between Lamb, Ender Inciarte (so good, he’s already had a movie made about his game) and David Peralta. If Tomas does win a starting job at either spot, it’s also possible that one of my pet favorites, A.J. Pollock, could also lose a handful of at-bats. One of the tricky parts of handicapping this race is that Arizona has a new management team in manager Chip Hale and GM Dave Stewart – we don’t really know yet who their favorites are, though one would have to think that with the amount invested in Tomas, they want him to win one of those jobs.