To be the best, you have to beat the best. That’s a major philosophy that drives what I do in life, so I thought I should also apply that to my fantasy baseball portfolio. Just before the new year turned, I joined a “Beat Todd Zola” league that slow drafted over the course of roughly two weeks. With 15 teams, 50 rounds and no trades or drops during the season, this was certainly going to be a change from other drafts I had done before.
The uptick of fantasy baseball chatter on Twitter came suddenly with the end of the NFL regular season. Though it’s a year-round endeavor for so many of us, the excitement of the 2018 baseball season approaching is accentuated with us diving into the player pool and having kicked off our first few rounds of slow drafts.
I say it often, but if you’re a fantasy baseball enthusiast, do yourself a favor and enter one of these NFBC Draft Champions leagues. They’ll help scratch that itch despite very little familiarity of 2018 Average Draft Position (ADP) and so many players who have yet to be signed . The four-hour clock for each pick slows down the pace of the draft in a way where the actual draft becomes a very valuable research tool. You’ve got plenty of time to toggle between player stats each round and strategize how you want to build your squad. You’ll all the while inherently be building the much-needed confidence for your actual March drafts by participating in these slow drafts as you get a strong feel for the player pool, positional tiers and identify who the helium players are (those pushed up the draft boards because they are loved by all). You do have to make weekly moves, but there is no Free Agent Acquisition Budget (FAAB, aka waivers).
I don’t even remember what happened Saturday. The Jags-Steelers was an insane game, and then the Vikings-Saints possibly the most insane I’ve ever watched. It also knocked me out of all my playoff pools and cost me against the spread. I couldn’t fall asleep after it, I was so stunned. It helped to imagine the outcome would have been the same had Drew Brees simply failed to complete the 4th-and-10 pass to Willie Snead, three drives – an eternity – earlier.
It was the first time I saw commercials all year as I had been on the red-zone channel during the regular season and watching the condensed version of standalone games. I’ll just say once you’ve watched commercial and stoppage free, it’s hard to go back to the old way of consuming the product.
I was in Porto, Portugal for New Year’s Eve, and I honestly didn’t watch a single snap of the action. So consider these more my reactions to the results than actual “observations.” However, I did follow along on my phone from a pizza place while convincing people to buy bitcoin over large carafes of white wine.
This could have been another horrible week, but it wasn’t. I was playing for third place in the Stopa Law Firm league, and I had hedged with finalist Scott Pianowski, who had the most points. The rule in that league is if you win it and also have the most points, you get everything. If the owner with the most points does not win, then payouts go four places deep, i.e, to all the semi-finalists.