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).

Week 3 FAAB Results

For the second consecutive week, bidding in my NFBC leagues was fervent, as some viable options presented themselves after a tepid first week of bidding. Unlike last week, I “won” some of my options, though I still came up short on my top priorities once again. Bid results after the jump:

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Week 1 FAAB Results

With the early games today (remember to set your lineups early!), I’m going to post quick FAAB results now and hope to jump in after the fact with some commentary. A pair of A’s, Santiago Casilla and Kendall Graveman, were the two most frequent targets in my leagues.

Mixed LABR (15 teams, standard 5×5 scoring, draft in February, had one FAAB period last week):

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NFBC Main Event – Drafting From the 14 Spot

Saturday was my Main Event NFBC draft, live from Las Vegas and the Bellagio. I arrived mid-day Friday, luckily avoiding the apparent Mad Max-like dystopian landscape left in the wake of a massive windstorm in the desert Thursday. RotoWire colleagues and friends Scott Jenstad, Vlad Sedler, Ronny Mor and Russ Prentice encountered overturned semis and terrible visibility issues on their drive Thursday. Scott and I prepped for the draft on the golf course Friday, playing Vegas National for the first time. Because of the wind storm the day before and the still-high but not quite as bad winds on Friday, the course was nearly empty. It was perfect to play a quick yet leisurely round, discussing strategy most of the way. Scott had the 13-spot in his Main draft, as did Vlad, I had the 14-spot in mine, alas right next to Ronny and Russ sitting at 15. That proved to be critical later – we spent a good portion of the draft taking players from each other.

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Players That Have Not Been In My Fantasy Kitchen

There’s one more draft weekend remaining, and I still have four drafts left, but I thought now would be a good time to take inventory and share who I have *not* selected in any of my various leagues. Sometimes it’s more educational to identify who you are avoiding and why than to illustrate who you are taking.

I play in a lot of leagues – too many leagues, really. But doing so helps me learn various formats, which helps me learn the player pool and help more customers do well in their leagues. It also provides a lot of content for my SiriusXM show and the RotoWire podcast. I get to represent RotoWire in many of these leagues within the industry, and stay in contact with my friends in others. Most importantly, it’s a load of fun. Here are my leagues this year:

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AL Tout Wars Review

The 20th Annual (really? 20 years? Damn we’re old) Tout Wars weekend took place at Rock ‘N’ Reilly’s patio bar this weekend. The venue is the home of the FNTSY Radio Network’s beautiful new studio, so along with SiriusXM we had two networks covering the draft, which is pretty awesome for the industry.

If you want to skip the preamble or even my article and just see the results from all the auctions this weekend – you can go here.

When we last wrote about Tout Wars, we discussed the unrelenting disaster that was my 2016 team. For those that don’t want to read the whole thing, the short of it was that both my draft structure and my player evaluation was tragically off. In a year where hitting budgets were grossly inflated by Steve Moyer’s strategy, I spent less overall on hitting than I typically do, and I apportioned it awfully, rostering six hitters at either $2 or $1. I then lost Prince Fielder, a $27 purchase, for most of the season after he did so little prior to the injury. The result was I had the fewest at-bats in the league, and ended up with just 12 hitting points over five categories.

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NFBC “Beat Jeff Erickson” Draft Results

Wednesday night was the “Beat Jeff Erickson” draft as part of the NFBC’s RotoWire Online Championship. As a reminder, the NFBC features both your individual league and an overall contest, and a good chunk of the $350 entry fee goes to that overall prize. There’s no trading within the league, for obvious reasons. The individual leagues have 12 teams apiece, and you can enter as many leagues as you want.

This is the sixth year that we’ve offered this particular contest as part of our partnership with the NFBC. I’ve done better in this 12-team format than in the 15-team Main Event. I’m not really sure why that’s the case – beyond just the statistical likelihood of finishing worse when there are more teams. I’m comfortable with both formats.

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What Went Wrong – NFBC Main Event

Let’s continue my “learn from my mistakes” tour. Take my NFBC Main Event team. Please. I finished in ninth place (of 15) in my league with 69 points, and never really challenged. That translated into 333/450 in the overall contest. Just terrible.

For those unfamiliar with the NFBC, the National Fantasy Baseball Championship is a series of high-stakes leagues run by Greg Ambrosius and Tom Kessenich. There are multiple live and online events, both with an individual league component as well as an overall contest. The Main Event is a series of 15-team mixed league teams where one can compete for the individual league title in addition to an overall grand prize of $125,000. Teams are selected via snake draft, and there’s no trading allowed.

I agonized about how to tackle starting pitching from the 12th spot in the draft in my league, debating whether to leap early to take Max Scherzer in the first round, leap early to take Chris Sale, Jake Arrieta or Madison Bumgarner at 2.4 (19th spot), or take what came to me in the third round or later. The NFBC pushes starting pitching harder than any other format both because of the trading ban and because of the overall contest, so waiting much later really wasn’t a viable option. I decided to open Door #3, and take what was given to me in the third round.

I chose ……. poorly.

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