Beat Chris Liss 2: NFBC $100K Online

I finished the second of my Beat Chris Liss NFBC Online leagues a couple hours ago. It’s a standard 12-team, 23-player 5 x 5 format, with individual league prizes and overall prizes. I drew the eighth pick. (For BCL 1, click here.)

Here are today’s results:

I picked eighth which meant I had a good chance to get a share of Bryce Harper. I’m happy it happened because I have only one more draft and drew the first pick, which means I’m definitely not getting him there.

While I was happy to take Syndergaard at 2.5, I had it in my head possibly to reprise “The Plan” from four years ago wherein I resolved to draft/buy Harper, Giancarlo Stanton and Stephen Strasburg in every possible league with the idea if all three reached their potential I could win everything. Of course, all three got hurt, and I had my worst year of all time. But who knows – sometimes a great artist is simply a man ahead of his time.

Here’s my pick by pick analysis:

1.8 Bryce Harper – He’s crushing it this spring which means he’s healthy. I wanted to have one share, as he owns the skills from 2015. The only questions are health and focus, and the first one has been answered.

2.5 Noah Syndergaard – I could have taken Bumgarner, but I have him in a couple places already, so I went with Syndergaard who probably has even more upside.

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3.8 Giancarlo Stanton – I just missed him in the Main Event, and I wanted to have a share. Moreover, as I said, I had the idea that “The Plan” from four years ago might have been the right idea at the wrong time, and there was a good chance Strasburg would fall to me in Round 4.

4.5 Stephen Strasburg – The plan from 2013 was now in full effect, with Syndergaard, to boot. I considered Ryan Braun who I love this year – basically Paul Goldschmidt three rounds later – but The Plan is The Plan.

5.8 Aroldis Chapman – You need closers in the NFBC, so this was an easy call this late – Chapman gives you 30 more Ks than your typical closer which turns a second-tier starter into an ace.

6.5 Carlos Gonzalez – He was my top player on the board at this point, but two negatives were that I had very little speed through six rounds, and Gonzalez was already my third outfielder. I considered Chris Davis to avoid overstocking outfield. but opted for Gonzalez’s batting average.

7.8 Chris Davis – I was happy he made it back to me. I now had the three players I’d deem most likely to lead the majors in home runs this year.

8.5 Alex Bregman – I needed a second closer and considered Jeurys Familia whose suspension was only 15 games and has touched 100 mph on the gun this spring, but I opted for another bat, thinking Familia might fall another round.

9.8 Dustin Pedroia – Familia was long gone as were the other closers I’d take in the top-10 rounds, and I wanted some batting average and runs to offset my Davis/Stanton picks. Pedroia fit the the bill without clogging another outfield slot. I also rarely take starting pitchers from this tier.

10.5 Andrew Benintendi – This was an odd pick. On the one hand he fits my team profile well with a few bags, likely decent average and plenty of runs in a loaded lineup to counterbalance my big sluggers. On the other, he clogs a fourth outfield slot, I had only two starting pitchers, one closer and very little speed. I just didn’t love the options at this point (next closers off the board were Sam Dyson and Cam Bedrosian, next pitcher off the board was James Paxton.)

11.8 Tim Anderson – I considered him at pick 10, but figured I could wait. Anderson gives me some speed and fills an empty shortstop slot. His plate discipline is terrible, but he just signed a long-term deal, so he’s more or less locked into playing time. He’s also hit for average at virtually every stop and slots second in the batting order.

12.5 Byron Buxton – As I’ve long maintained, I’m not a “Buxton guy.” I just draft him for the upside when he falls to the 12th round. Buxton should hit third this year, which could cut into his steals, but I can’t see him getting less than 25 if he plays all year.

13.8 David Dahl – Perhaps this was greedy as Buxton filled my last OF spot, and Dahl slots at UT when he’s healthy. But I wanted speed, average and runs, and he should provide all three if and when he’s healthy. A rib injury also doesn’t strike me as debilitating long term as say J.D. Martinez’s foot injury, either.

14.5 Jameson Taillon –  It was time to turn back to pitching. The Dahl pick didn’t cost me Taillon, thankfully, but collectively, they cost me Cam Bedrosian who went a few picks later. Taillon was only the fourth pitcher on my roster through 14 rounds.

15.8 Neftali Feliz – I was hoping for Jim Johnson, but when he went four picks ahead of me, I had to take Feliz, a closer in whom I don’t have a ton of faith. It’s easier to FAAB closers in the 12-team, but you don’t want to get behind the eight-ball in a category.

16.5 Garrett Richards – After Koda Glover went, I turned back toward starting pitching. Richards is in a tier with a bunch of guys I might have taken – Dylan Bundy, Jharel Cotton, Ivan Nova, Jake Odorizzi – but I settled on the guy throwing 98 mph this spring.

17.8 Raisel Iglesias – It looks like he’ll be ready for Opening Day, and there’s some upside here if he actually closes.

18.5 Robert Gsellman – He’s having a strong spring, has the job locked up and pitches in a good park.

19.8 Hernan Perez – I still needed speed and a corner infielder, and Perez fit the bill. He doesn’t have a permanent spot, but with Travis Shaw being shaky, Eric Thames being an experiment, Keon Broxton and Domingo Santana being far from established quantities, I think Perez will get 450-plus at-bats, enough to steal 30 bases.

20.5 Steven Matz – The news he needs an MRI and will definitely miss the start of the season broke maybe 5-10 minutes after I made this pick. I liked it at the time too.

21.8 Yadier Molina – This is the earliest I’ve taken a catcher in six drafts so far. I like Molina’s batting average from the catcher spot – he’s a sneaky guy to pair with Davis or Stanton, and he’ll get enough runs/RBI for the position despite the low HR totals.

22.5 Cesar Hernandez – I get him in every league seemingly. I see a 20-steal floor without hurting my average if he plays all year. With him and Perez, I think I got enough bags finally, despite investing very little there early on.

23.8 Carlos Rodon – I know he’s hurt, but it might not be serious. If it is, I’ll drop him. If it isn’t, this is a steal.

24.5 Josh Reddick – I needed one more productive bat with Dahl (my current UT) starting the year on the DL.

25.8 Hyun-Jin Ryu – He’s currently a member of the Dodgers starting rotation. I thought he drew the Padres opening week, but turns out he’s at Colorado (I think that switch happened after I drafted him.) Still, I like the upside at this stage.

26.5 Orlando Arcia – I love the Brewers offense this year. They’re young, talented and aggressive on the basepaths. With Scooter Gennett gone, Arcia should see full time work and steal 20 bases.

27.8 Alex Cobb – Dalton Del Don asked in one of our podcasts why Cobb, who was a top-five round pick two years ago, was getting so discounted. I gave him some reasons, but in Round 27 it seemed like maybe he had a point.

28.5 Travis Jankowski – In case I ever needed more speed, now I’m pretty sure I had it. Unfortunately, Jankowski doesn’t give you much else.

29.8 Charlie Morton – With injured pitchers like Rodon, Matz and Iglesias, I needed one more starter, and Morton is throwing 94 these days.

30.5 Tyler Flowers – He’s got a job, he’s not terrible, and he’s a catcher.

Team By Position

C Yadier Molina

C Tyler Flowers

1B Chris Davis

2B Dustin Pedroia

3B Alex Bregman

SS Tim Anderson

CI Hernan Perez

MI Cesar Hernandez

OF Bryce Harper, Giancarlo Stanton, Carlos Gonzalez, Andrew Benintendi, Byron Buxton

U David Dahl/Josh Reddick

SP Noah Syndergaard, Stephen Strasburg, Jamison Taillon, Garrett Richards, Robert Gsellman, Steven Matz, Carlos Rodon, Hyun-Jin Ryu, Alex Cobb, Charlie Morton

RP Aroldis Chapman, Neftali Feliz, Rasiel Iglesias

B: Oswaldo Arcia, Travis Jankowski