Articles by Jeff Erickson

Jeff Erickson is a co-founder of RotoWire.com 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).

The Agnostic Auction

Last Monday I participated in Brad Evans’s first annual Sin City Auction in Las Vegas, preceding RotoWire’s annual company trip there during the MLB All-Star break. It’s a 14-team league a pretty unique roster structure – QB Flex, another Flex, two TE’s, plus three WR’s – essentially patterned after the Stopa 10K League that a number of us have played in the last few years, but without kickers. It was a little bit of a bummer that the RotoWire Vegas League drafts occurred one day after instead of prior to this auction, only so that I could get a better feel for the position tiers before heading into an auction.

In auction leagues this deep (14 teams, 10 starting spots), I prefer a spread-the-risk approach rather than a Stars-and-Scrubs draft. Once you hit the bye weeks, it’s incredibly tough to start a full productive roster, especially when the league is full of engaged, experienced players. So while I didn’t have fully mapped out slots, I had a good general idea of how I wanted to stock my roster. Before I post the results, here are the participants in the league:

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Week 16 FAAB Results

There were three themes to this week – find out if Nate Lowe was available, go get your Giants, or otherwise lay low. I didn’t see a big bid anywhere this week. That doesn’t mean we can’t find some hidden treasures, just that … they’re more hidden.

AL Tout Wars

I “won” the only spirited bidding contest, for Bubba Starling. I was a tad more aggressive in going after Starling, with the mindset that he’s going to play a lot for the Royals down the stretch, and that my position in remaining FAAB budget meant that I wouldn’t get any potential big names coming across at the trade deadline, so I might as well instead go for playing time for 2.5 months.

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Vegas League Draft Review

Every year RotoWire gets together at the All-Star break in Las Vegas. It’s a great time for everyone to relax, do a football draft or two, play in a poker tournament or just hang out by the pool. It allows us to recharge the batteries for the baseball stretch run and NFL draft season.

This year we had two 14-team leagues drafting at the same time on Tuesday afternoon. The leagues are standard (non-PPR) – RotoWire President is the commissioner for each league and he *hates* PPR leagues, using three WR’s and a flex spot, along with team kickers instead of individual kickers. Before divulging the results, just remember when you look at the rosters that nearly every 14-team roster looks terrible if you’re used to playing in 12-team leagues, let alone 10-team leagues. That horribleness is exacerbated by the early draft date, when so much news happens in training camp and the preseason.

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Week 15 FAAB Results

This was a relatively quiet week, heading into the All-Star break. Unless Nate Lowe was available in your league, there wasn’t a premium prospect that called up, though Dylan Cease might be better than I’m giving him credit here, and there weren’t any major closer changes. That doesn’t mean that we’re done with big FAAB periods. The trade deadline will bring plenty of chaos, and I keep forecasting / wishcasting that many of these trades will occur earlier because of the singular deadline. I’m starting to see where I might be wrong about that, at least among NL teams, as the Wild Card races are so tight that even teams 4-5 games under .500 are still realistically close enough to be alive still. Only the Marlins, Mets and Giants are truly out of it – so we may have an inventory problem.

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Week 13 FAAB Results

This week in FAAB ended up being more eventful than I originally anticipated, though when you think about it that’s the normal evolution. Players get hurt and other players lose their fantasy-significant roles, creating value in our free agent pool, though we don’t always see it coming. In this case, Zac Gallen was an obvious free agent target and it was only a matter of when he’d get the call, not if. But then we had turmoil with three closer spots as well, plus a few other key drops that went sideways quickly. Aside from one of those key drops, the headliners this week were pitchers.

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Week 12 FAAB Results

This week we can see what a difference there is in the bidding between 15-team and 12-team mixed leagues, not to mention the difference between mixed leagues and mono leagues. In the NFBC the obvious attention was paid to Yordan Alvarez, and there typically was a pretty big gap between him and the next highest purchase. But one of my 12-team leagues also had some pretty big names available, which led to some interesting results.

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