This season, I’m trying to really expand my fantasy baseball competitive landscape. I am in a number of leagues with industry experts, and this one is no different. I jumped at the opportunity to compete against Bernie Pleskoff, founder of ClubhouseCorner.com and co-host of the Short Hops podcast with RotoWire’s own Derek Van Riper.
In two different seasons, I’ve come down to the final weekend for a chance at the Tout Wars mixed auction title and fell short. Last year … was not one of those times.
My fate was sealed by putting too much emphasis on top-end — or so I thought — starting pitching. $29 Noah Syndergaard, $24 Jake Arrieta, $17 Carlos Carrasco (that one worked) and $9 Felix Hernandez. Plus $17 Seung Hwan Oh. Yikes.
Overspending on just four starting pitchers and playing off lower-tiered offense did not work out well. I forgot one of the most effective ways to win a fantasy league is to take risks with pitcher variance, and with their reliability — and more importantly, statistical benchmarks — on the decline, you can search for potentially profitable bargains, after you set a steady base, of course.
Last weekend was my 18th year in AL Tout Wars, a league that to my everlasting chagrin I’ve won only once, back in 2007. Even a Nutless Monkey, one might even say *the* Nutless Monkey, Chris Liss, has two Tout Wars titles. Speaking of which, you can read more about his Red Cross garbage team here, as well as his nostalgic trip to Staten Island when he was five.
Our venue was pretty sweet – we were in the home team locker room of the Staten Island Yankees at Richmond County Ballpark, a Short-Season affiliate of the big league club. A number of the touts got their rips in the batting cage and a handful went out onto the field, which overlooks New York Bay, the Staten Island Ferry and the skyline of Manhattan with an absolutely gorgeous view.
It was a surreal experience last weekend taking the ferry from lower Manhattan and arriving at Richmond County Bank Ballpark, home of the Staten Island Yankees, for the 2018 Tout Wars auctions.
This was just my second year competing in Tout Wars, and there was a major change in my league: the decision was made to move from H2H categories to a H2H points format.
This change had a dramatic effect on how most of us valued players and production. Knowing your format is so important — if you play in anything other than a standard 5×5 Rotisserie league, you can’t just draft from a standard cheat sheet or gauge value based on ADP.
The scoring system:
Hitting Points: Single=1, Double=2, Triple=3, HR=4, BB=1, Strikeouts=-.5, Runs=1, RBI=1, Stolen Base=2, Caught Stealing=-1
On Saturday, I took a ferry to Staten Island, the first time I’d been to that borough since 1976 when at five I went to a bi-centennial celebration there, bought a cap-gun cannon and a pack of baseball cards with Tom Seaver in it. The occasion this time was the Tout Wars auctions, set up in the Staten Island Yankees locker room. I got there early to broadcast the Mixed-League and NL Auctions for SXM and had time to take a little batting practice in the cage.
My 15-team NFBC Main Event league took place this morning at a hotel conference room in midtown Manhattan. The Main Event consists of 32 15-team leagues that compete both for their individual league prizes ($6,500 for 1st, $3,200 for 2nd, $1600 for 3rd) and also for overall prizes ($125K for 1st) among the 480 total contestants. The overall works much the same way as the smaller leagues do, only instead of 15 points for being first in a category, you get 480 points if you’re first, 479 if you’re second… all the way down to one point if you’re 480th.
The offseason couldn’t have started much better for Pat Mahomes, as the Chiefs announced that they were shipping Alex Smith off to the Redskins and handing the starting QB job to their young signal caller. As great as his opportunity appeared to be, it got a whole lot better on the first day of free agency.