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Salary Cap Chronicles: Get Your Rockies

Scott Jenstad

Scott Jenstad is a veteran of both NFBC and CDM fantasy games. He has won three NFBC Main Event league titles and finished twice in the Top 10 Overall. Scott is a hardcore fan of the San Francisco 49ers, Oakland A's and Golden State Warriors. Follow him on Twitter @ScottJenstad.

Wow, what a crazy first week of baseball. I have never seen more blown saves and as someone who drafted Andrew Bailey in the NFBC Main Event last weekend, it has not been a fun start of the season to me. I hate chasing saves and I have been backed in that corner in the first week of the season. I dropped a good amount of my FAAB on Hector Santiago, which is a risk, but in the NFBC, where there is no trading, I didn't have much of a choice and I knew he would get heavy bidding with so many closer situations in flux. Hopefully he can keep the job, but saying I don't trust Robin Ventura is a massive understatement.

In other salary cap games, I have started a bit slowly in the CDM Diamond Challenge, mostly due to batting average and a complete lack of saves. I also had Miguel Cabrera on the bench Week 1 to get the expensive SP's in, which backfired in a huge way. The Braves getting swept by the Mets was a surprise to say the least. Not to mention the Yankees and Red Sox at 0-3, craziness!

The first week at H2H has been a bit better. I am writing this Monday morning so there are still two days of games left in Week 1, but the team I shared with you last week has a good sized lead in my head to head matchup and is in third place out of 30 in my league. One team is my league is at 182 for the week (I am at 150) so they are going crazy, but so far so good here. Let's see how Week 2 is shaping up:

We get some normalcy finally this week as only 3 teams have 5 games in the Week period: Cleveland, St Louis and Toronto. Take note of this, as unless you see a huge value, you probably don't want to give up 1-2 games to the field at a position. There are 11 teams with a 7-game week, so we will likely try and get as many guys from those teams assuming good matchups. Even more of note is Colorado who has seven home games in the friendly offensive confines of Coors Field. Coors isn't quite as good in the spring as it is in the summer, but this will still be a nice week to try and get some Rockies in. The Diamondbacks are also an interesting play with seven games, including two at home and three at Coors, but they do get two in Petco.

Catcher: Matt Wieters has been just ok for Week 1, but still has two home games left. He is only at 9 points for the week, but hopefully he can build on that. With games at Toronto and at Chicago this week, both nice ballparks to hit in, I will probably save a move here and leave Wieters in. If I were going to swap Wieters, it would likely be for Miguel Montero at $8.3 with his nice schedule and 7 games. I think he is the best play for Week 2 at Catcher. Alex Avila is also hot (and proving me wrong to start) and has seven games this period so he could also be a nice play at $8.4.

First Base: Joey Votto has been just ok so far with only one nice game this week. With only six games this week and the Reds going on the road, I will take the opportunity to swap out Votto at his high price. Prince is a solid option with seven games, but note that he does face 3 lefties. How freaking good is Eric Hosmer?  It's starting to look like he might be the value of the year at only $9.0. He does only have 6 this week and one of which is Verlander, but Hosmer is a flat stud at that price. If you want to save some cash, Kendrys Morales is a very intriguing option at $7.4 with seven games, assuming you think he doesn't sit more than once. Of course, Albert has that same schedule and is the play if you have the cap this week. After deciding on the rest of the team, I decided to play the value here with Hosmer and spend the cap elsewhere. If he stays healthy, he might play for me a whole lot this year. I would also have no issue if you went with Cuddyer at $9.5, but I decided three Rockies were enough.

Second Base: Ian Kinsler has had a solid week so far with 2 games at home still left. I am tempted to leave him in (even without the all home schedule) and save the trade, but let's see whom the other good options are. Howie Kendrick is a nice play with 7 games at $7.8 as is Ben Zobrist at $8.2, but overall nothing jumps out at me as a must swap so I will keep Kinsler in who I think is going to be a monster this year.

Third Base: Adrian Beltre was struggling until last night when he broke out with an opposite field home run. Miggy Cabrera is clearly the obvious play for 7 games, but with my Rockies guys in this week, I just can't afford him. If you can find a way to slot him in, more power to you, he is an odds-on favorite for most points in Week 2. If I were going to swap someone in, it would likely be Pablo Sandoval at $8.5 with 7 games, including 2 at Coors. He will be a very solid play for Week 3.

Shortstop: Alexei Ramirez was easily my worst call so far this week. He did nothing in the Texas series, which was very disappointing. Zack Cozart was clearly the play this week as he was cheap and has 20 points so far this week. This week is a slam-dunk to me with Colorado having seven home games. You don't get weeks like that often and when you do, it's time to play Troy Tulowitzki. I know he is very expensive, but with seven home games, I think you have to pay the price.

OF: My OF Week 1 of Josh Hamilton, Cameron Maybin and Matt Holliday has been solid, but unspectacular so far to start. Maybin, however, is such a sweet cap saver that his 18 points have been a huge find. I am going to leave Maybin in since he is such a value at the meager price tag, especially since he has 7 games and gets 3 in Denver too. In addition, I think Carlos Gonzalez is a slam-dunk play for me with 7 at home in Coors. Along the same lines, I am going to use another OF spot to save a little cap and play Dexter Fowler with 7 home games. He has not looked good so far this year (including an awful Spring Training), but I am hoping for a breakout week. Other plays I like a lot this week include 7 gamers Justin Upton ($11), Shane Victorino ($9) and Desmond Jennings ($9.2).

DH: Carlos Beltran has been great with 22 points so far at a tag of only $7.6. He is a guy I will look to play often this year at his price until he is hurt, but will have to swap him out this week with only 5 games. I am going to grab a guy I love with a little extra cap I have and play Andrew McCutchen for his seven. I know he gets 3 @ SF, but he does miss Lincecum and Bumgarner.

Pitching: The Dodgers have had a very solid week with only one day of negative points, and that is even with Kershaw leaving early with the flu. We still have another Kershaw start left for this week, so at 33 points already, the Dodgers look like they were a very solid play for Week 1. Detroit is an obvious first option with 7 games and Justin Verlander will start 2 of the games. Of course, Detroit is also a pricey option at $24.2. At a similar tag, the Angels are also interesting with 7 games. You get two starts from Haren and Big Erv, but note that the 3 of the games at in Yankee Stadium. On the flip side though, they also get 2 @ Minnesota and 2 home vs. the A's. Clearly this is a week for the pricey pitching staffs as the Phillies are also a play with 2 Doc Halladay starts in the mix. The Giants present a very interesting option at a much better price tag of $19.7. With 7 games this week (albeit 2 @ Coors), you get two starts from not only Tim Lincecum, but also 2 from Madison Bumgarner. The last 5 games are also at home. The Giants' stud starting pitchers have struggled so far, but at a 5 million dollar savings from the top end teams with 7, I think I will ride with them and hope they get it turned in the right direction. Another solid option if you are looking to save some cap is the Washington Nationals at $19.2. If you play them, you get two starts from Strasburg and Gio Gonzalez. They are a solid off-the-radar option, but I think I will stick with SF here.

In summary, here is my team this week. I used a lot (7) of changes this week, but we knew that would happen with the odd Week 1 setup with big game differences. In addition, the rare Colorado 7 game home week calls for some definite shuffling.

C: Matt Wieters ($8.2)
1B: Eric Hosmer ($9.2)
2B: Ian Kinsler ($9)
3B: Adrian Beltre ($9)
SS: Troy Tulowitzki ($11)
OF: Carlos Gonzalez ($11.5)
OF: Dexter Fowler ($7.2)
OF: Cameron Maybin ($5)
Flex: Andrew McCutchen ($10.3)
P: San Francisco Giants ($19.7)

Good luck to everyone in Week 2!