Articles by Vlad Sedler

Vlad Sedler covers baseball and football for RotoWire. He is a veteran NFBC player and CDM Hall of Famer, winning the Football Super Challenge in 2013. A native Angeleno, Vlad loves the Dodgers and Kings and is quite possibly the world's only Packers/Raiders fan. You can follow him @RotoGut.

Early-Round Draft Trends

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).

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2017 SiriusXM-FSTA experts baseball draft – Recap and early ADP/strategy observations

For the fourth consecutive year, I joined CDM Sports co-founder and FSTA Hall of Famer Charlie Wiegert  at the annual SiriusXM-FSTA experts baseball draft in Nashville. As always, the FSTA conference, and specifically this draft, provides an opportunity to rub elbows with many of the top baseball minds and a few of fantasy baseball’s forefathers.

Charlie and I drew the fifth spot among 13 teams and came up with a rough plan on how we were going to attack. The ‘projections game’ is typically a futile one, especially this early in the year. But we still set category targets to attain (ie, 300 HR, 160 SB), reviewed the player tier drop-offs and identified a few players at each position that we wanted to draft.

You can find the full draft results here.

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Week 1 Notes: No Gronk on Sunday

Unfortunately the Patriots are forced to begin their season without the services of Rob Gronkowski. Gronk has been dealing with a hamstring injury for most of training camp, but Belichick has played coy regarding the true nature of the injury, having it listed as “undisclosed” for some time. Reports were out earlier today about Gronk missing the team’s flight and he was declared to be “out” shortly thereafter. Those who drafted Gronk as their second round pick will have to sweat it out another week as there are no guarantees that he will be ready for Week 2. As for this Sunday, expect fellow tight end Martellus Bennett to be quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo’s safety valve throughout the matchup with the Cardinals. Bump Bennett up to a top six option at tight end in DFS, especially because of his low price across all sites.

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Training Camp Notes: R. Kelley hits the Ignition

It’s not the R&B star, it’s undrafted rookie running back Rob Kelley who is about to secure a spot on the Redskins’ roster. Seventh round rookie RB Keith Marshall hit the IR earlier this week, which all but assures a roster spot for one of Kelley or Mack Brown. Both Kelley and Brown impressed in Wednesday night’s final preseason game against the Buccaneers. Kelley amassed 99 yards on 16 carries while Brown led all backs in the game with 149 rushing yards and a touchdown on 19 carries. With starter Matt Jones on the shelf and pass-catching back Chris Thompson currently dealing with a shoulder issue, Kelley could be the team’s starting RB in their Monday night opener against the Steelers. Kelley has looked agile and decisive hitting holes this preseason. With a week until opening kickoff, Kelley deserves our attention after Round 12 of 12-team drafts and will now likely cost more than a buck in auctions.

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Fantrax: Salary cap football fever

Fantasy football salary cap games date back almost as far as traditional drafts and auction leagues. Cap games served as the inspiration for DFS and are essentially the season-long version of daily fantasy. Veteran fantasy games provider Fantrax has been running their salary cap points challenge for almost a decade. Their popular budget option is the Bronze Points game, which costs just under 30 dollars to enter and offers league prizes (first place nets $100) in addition to an overall prize of $2,000.

The premise of Fantrax Bronze Points is simple: select a team of 34 players (22 starters, 12 bench players) and accumulate points from your starters each week all while staying under a $60,000 salary cap. That averages out to $2,700 per starting roster spot where the game’s most expensive player this year (Aaron Rodgers) is listed at $5,710 and the base price for players in this format comes in at $1,500. Salaries are preset and do not change week to week like in DFS. The goal is to identify and roster the best values at each position, building a roster that blends surefire fantasy studs with cheaper breakout players with upside.

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Training Camp Notes: Waiting for Eifert

Harsh reality set in for folks who drafted Bengals’ tight end Tyler Eifert as a top 10 TE over the last couple of months. Last year’s touchdown leader among tight ends (13) has been on the mend since suffering an ankle injury that caused him to miss most of the playoffs last season. Eifert had surgery in the offseason and only recently began jogging. Ian Rapoport of reports that the Bengals and Eifert are targeting a Week 4 return, though the delay could last until Week 6 or perhaps longer. Eifert’s ADP has ranged between the seventh and tenth rounds in most 12-team formats – an ADP that will will immediately take a deep dive into the late teen rounds.

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Training Camp Notes: Gronk returns to practice

The world’s best tight end, Rob Gronkowski, returned to practice on Wednesday, according to NFL insider, Adam Schefter. Gronk rejoins teammates for the first time since August 15. He was sidelined with an undisclosed injury that was later declared to be a small bruise. Gronk may not see much preseason action as coach Bill Belichick will likely continue to play coy in all matters regarding his big man’s health. Gronkowski has been slipping into the middle and late parts of second rounds in MFL and NFFC drafts over the last week as drafters are wisely choosing healthier and safer options in that range.

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