We’ve spent a lot time and bandwidth telling you the players to pick up, but let’s give it some context by breaking down everything going on in one of my leagues. You don’t need to do this each week or with each FAAB period, but it’s also easy to overlook what’s going on with your team on a macro scale, and what individual players on your team are doing. I’ll take a look at my first FAAB league drafted this season, the FSTA League that we drafted in January. It’s a 14-team mixed league with standard 5×5 scoring, $1,000 FAAB budget.
This is an exercise that Scott Jenstad wrote about two weeks ago in Oak’s Corner (you should be reading Scott every weekend here at RotoWire), and I thought I’d flesh that idea out here a little bit. I figure that the writing process will help me manage my teams better.
You can read my write-up of the first 10 rounds of the draft here. The full draft grid is after the jump:
This is a middling team, stuck in the middle of the standings and roughly in the middle of total points, at 73 points and seventh place. It peaked at third place so far, but has settled back down recently. This despite getting to begin the draft with Mike Trout. Here’s a quick peak at the standings:
It’s no surprise I’m struggling in stolen bases – that’s often an issue for me. The saves are a real disappointment, not just in my placement in the standings, but also because of the draft capital that I invested. Taking Arodys Vizcaino over Josh Hader is really going to leave a mark, especially when my 13.1 pick, Corey Knebel, never even made it to Opening Day. And of course thinking I had Vizcaino covered with A.J. Minter turned out to be false. I did get a handful of saves from Ryan Brasier, but that job remains far from settled and is also a source of annoyance.
RotoWire has the best daily fantasy baseball tools on the web.
Try Our Daily MLB Lineup Optimizer
The closers were far from my only disappointments. As alluded, stolen bases are a real problem for me. Picking Ozzie Albies at 5.1 doesn’t look so great now that he’s batting eighth and not running much for the Braves, but the real whiff was Garrett Hampson at 14.14. I can’t even blame the Rockies for sending him down when they did, and now that Brendan Rodgers is up it’s hard to see a path for Hampson to get extended playing time in the near future. Perhaps if the Rockies parted ways with Ian Desmond, Hampson could go to center field. I still think his upside would be worth it, so I’ve held onto him on my reserves.
What’s working so far? Despite losing Mike Clevinger early and now Carlos Carrasco, my starting pitching has been pretty strong. Getting Chris Paddack during the first waiver period was huge, even despite two recent poor outings against the Yankees and Phillies. Getting depth among my starters early helped cushion the Carrasco/Clevinger blows – both Charlie Morton and David Price have worked out quite well.
Let’s go position-by-position on my active roster to review exactly what they’re doing, and how that fits into my team’s needs to help formulate an action plan.
C: Jorge Alfaro – 20.14 (.282, 9 HR, 25 RBI, 21 R, 1 SB) – According to our Earned Auction Values, Alfaro has been the seventh most valuable catcher, and I got him in the 20th round.
C: Isiah Kiner-Falefa – 23.1 (.229, 1 HR, 13 RBI, 13 R, 1 SB) – Blech. I should have replaced him by now – I would have been better off waiting until the last round to fill my last catcher spot.
1B: Justin Smoak – 17.1 (.234, 11 HR, 33 RBI, 24 R, 0 SB) – Smoak is basically doing what was expected – on pace to hit around 25-30 homers with a low average. But in today’s inflated homer era, is that enough?
2B: Ozzie Albies – 5.1 (.259, 7 HR, 25 RBI, 33 R, 4 SB) – Albies isn’t killing me, but ugh, what an overpay. I repeated this mistake at 5.9 in the NFBC Main Event, too.
SS: Jurickson Profar – 11.1 (.206, 9 HR, 34 RBI, 26 R, 4 SB) – But hey, at least he can disappoint at four positions.
3B: Josh Donaldson – 6.14 (.253, 8 HR, 25 RBI, 35 R, 0 SB) – This hasn’t been great, but I’m still strangely optimistic that it could work out.
MI: Michael Chavis – FA (.248, 10 HR, 28 RBI, 22 R, 2 SB) – Chavis quietly has slowed down after making such an impression earlier in the season. It helps that he is eligible at three positions.
CR: Renato Nuñez – FA (.241, 15 HR, 35 RBI, 32 R, 0 SB) – I just picked Nuñez up this week, so I’ve missed on nearly all of his production so far. I was getting tired of having Tyler White as my starting corner.
OF: Mike Trout – 1.1 (.293, 16 HR, 41 RBI, 46 R, 7 SB) – Leads the non-Yelich and Bellinger tier of outfielders in production. No regrets here.
OF: Juan Soto – 3.1 (.295, 10 HR, 38 RBI, 36 R, 3 SB) – Got off to a slow start, but catching fire lately.
OF: David Dahl – 7.1 (.335, 5 HR, 24 RBI, 34 R, 1 SB) – More valuable to me to counterbalance my poor batting average hitters than to others, but … yeah, I’d like a little more power and RBI.
OF: Jesse Winker – 16.14 (.238, 10 HR, 18 RBI, 30 R, 0 SB) – More power than what was expected of him, though not much lately, and having Joey Votto in front of him during the worst year of Votto’s career has hurt. Overall a disappointment.
OF: Trey Mancini – 19.1 (.306, 13 HR, 31 RBI, 42 R, 0 SB) – On the other hand, Mancini was my fifth outfielder but is essentially my #3 outfielder in terms of value right now. Still – look at those five outfielders, and it’s plain to see I didn’t add enough speed. I might have to trade Mancini in a power-for-speed deal, though it’s getting perilously close to being too late. The next tier is eight stolen bases ahead, then 11, 12, and 12 for the next three spots.
UT: Shohei Ohtani – 12.14 (.250, 5 HR, 20 RBI, 10 R, 0 SB) – When I drafted Ohtani, it was in January still and I mistakenly believed that he’d be back sooner. I’m also paying the UT-only tax with him.
Bench & IL hitters: Garrett Hampson (14.14), Tyler White (21.1), Jeff McNeil (28.14), Ryon Healy (FA)
Carlos Carrasco – 2.14 (4W, 4.98 ERA, 1.308 WHIP, 79 K) – Obviously Carrasco won’t be active for me beginning next week, but short of the K’s, he’s been disappointing on top of it, and now we have an idea why.
David Price – 8.14 (4W, 2.70 ERA, 1.050 WHIP, 69 K) – Aside from a brief IL stint, and a shortfall in expected wins from the Red Sox, this has worked out.
Charlie Morton – 9.1 (7W, 2.30 ERA, 1.063 WHIP, 91 K) – My best pick in the draft.
Kyle Gibson – 24.14 (6W, 4.14 ERA, 1.277 WHIP, 71 K) – Fine for the price.
Brad Keller – 29.1 (3W, 4.29 ERA, 1.384 WHIP, 58 K) – Probably shouldn’t be on my squad any longer – even in a 14-team league, he’s generating negative values.
Chris Paddack – FA (4W, 2.97 ERA, 0.890 WHIP, 66 K) – Paddack’s last two starts are bothersome, albeit on thread against two tough opponents in the Yankees and Phillies. He is also getting spaced out a little bit to avoid having to shut him down early, which cuts down on his chances of having a two-start week. That hopefully works in our favor next week – he has a road start Tuesday against the Giants, and if form holds, he misses having to start in Coors on Sunday.
Chris Bassitt – FA (3W, 3.57 ERA, 1.151 WHIP, 53 K) – This isn’t quite as good as it looks, as I missed Bassitt’s first start, a win over the Rangers where he didn’t allow a run.
RES: Michael Wacha (22.14), Forrest Whitley (18.14)
IL: Mike Clevinger (4.4)
Shawn Kelley – FA (3W, 7 SV, 2.38 ERA, 0.971 WHIP, 20 K) – A couple of those saves came the week after Kelley just came off the IL, and the Rangers haven’t entirely written off going back to Jose Leclerc.
Steve Cishek – FA (1W, 6 SV, 3.12 ERA, 1.115 WHIP, 27 K) – With the Craig Kimbrel signing this week, Cishek’s already closing window on save chances will be gone soon.
RES: Ryan Brasier
IL: Pat Neshek
One cool thing that our commish site, RT Sports, does is provide the categories graphically, so you can see how close or far you are in a specific category. It helps you hone your strategy when plotting a comeback … or it can also demonstrate how far we have left to go.
Here’s that visualization in the FSTA league:
It’s pretty clear that stolen bases are not looking very promising, nor are saves. Meanwhile, there’s a lot of points to be gained in the power categories. The downside is I don’t have much in the way of stolen bases to trade in order to punt the category, either. But I should be looking to trade Albies and Shawn Kelley as a starting point, and do whatever I can to add more power. I also have $299/$1,000 remaining in FAAB – that should be in play in trade talks, too. Meanwhile, I think it could be beneficial to me to go with nine starters the rest of the way to bully wins and strikeouts.