Results tagged ‘ Fantasy ’

Forward Thinking

Hey Mike/Cory/Casey or Zach,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Thought I would drop you a question regarding my upcoming draft in another keeper league.  Just wanted some of your insight for my first pick.  It is a 14 team, 12 man keeper, no dollar values, mixed H2H 5×5 with OB%.  We also can protect 2 rookies.

Here are some of the top guys NOT protected, I have the 8th pick in the first round (essentially the 13th round).

Billy Wagner, Ellsbury, John Smoltz, Takashi Saito, Rafael Soriano, Chipper, F. Cordero, Rowand, K. Escobar, Oliver Perez, Carmona, Snell, and Howie Kendrick.

Here are my protected players.
Adam Jones (rookie)

Buchholz (rookie)

Just wondering who you would go with considering my roster, and what players I could wait on for a couple rounds.  Maybe rank them?  What weaknesses do you see in my roster?

Thanks guys…always value your opinions!  This will help me out for the draft this weekend.

Rokhed Brett


Wow…this is a tough one…so many players to choose from!  In the HR and RBI areas, you’re stacked.  The clear weakness in this keeper group is speed.  The two middle infielders (Cano and Peralta) might give you about 8 combined stolen bases at positions that almost always require steals.  Figgins and to a lesser extent Markakis are your only sources.  The one guy listed here who will help in this department is Ellsbury, someone you can wait a bit before drafting.  My first choice would be to get an SB specialist like Taveras or Pierre with your first pick.  If that’s not possible, I’d turn my attention to grabbing a starter and closer with the first two picks and trading for speed once the season starts.  In a 14 team league, the pitching depth is nowhere near what it is in a 12 teamer, and though your rotation can be an excellent one if Liriano’s healthy, snatching up another #2-3 type isn’t a bad idea.  I’m actually shocked that Smoltz may be available.  I’ll rank him first among the SP’s but be careful!  A 40 year old who will likely start the season on the DL with shoulder issues is scary.  Consider Snell a fallback option with Carmona close behind.  Snell offers more strikeouts while Carmona has the higher win potential.  As for the closers, I’d rank them Wagner, Saito, Cordero, Soriano.  If you wind up with Saito, make sure to get Broxton as insurance.  Addressing a weakness is always a first step, but don’t be afraid to go in a different direction and deal from strength later on.

Zach Steinhorn,      


3 down one to go

I have my 4th of 4 draft tonight in Jersey.

It is an AL Only 5×5 auction but very different from Tout so what I learned in Tout will only help so much.

Tout is a non keeper this is a keeper. We get to keep up to 5 players and the inflation is zero for year one and then $5 increments for year two and three.

I am keeping
Posada at $18
A-Rod at $42
Markakis at $20
Figgins at $15 (have to put him at CO)
Ervin Santana $11 (traded for him two years ago and this is final year) COME ON ERV MAKE DADDY HAPPY!!!!!!!

Tout has a 6 man taxi squad that is drafted after the auction. This league has a 3 man taxi squad that is filled with FAAB on sunday’s.

Tout has a $100 FAAB Bank, this league has a $260.

**** of a lot easier to trade in this league due to keepers and smaller taxi squads.

My results hopefully tomorrow, but I fly to Memphis for Civil Rights Game Weekend so not sure.



Friday night was AL Tout Draft. It was a fun exhausting day. You may not know this but this years AL Tout is the subject of a new documentary based on Sam Walker’s book titled Fantasyland. A regular joe named Jed Latkin was picked as the "lead" and he met with us on camera before the draft and I sat next to him during. He is good people and I like him already. We hung out all night after the draft. The whole league came to Foley’s for pints and dinner after the draft including Cory and Alex. After that Jed and I along with some others headed downtown to make me look and feel not so good the next day. Jed is not a shy guy but he by no means a loud mouth (that’s Berry’s title ;-). I don’t know how well he will do but nobody does since the draft is usually full of balance and a little luck goes a long way. Like when I missed out on Granderson and was bummed, but he goes on DL next day. Toutwars

Below is a full breakdown of my draft. I will list my targeted player with value, what he actually went for in Tout and who I got at that position with dollar vale and comment. I look forward to reading your comments.

Target: Navarro $5
Went For: $6
I Got: Jeff Mathis for $1
Comment: I stopped at 5 for Navarro because I didn’t feel need to go past my budget if $6 total for two catchers. I used the plus $4 elsewhere.

Target: Redmond $1
Went For: $3
I Got: Curtis Thigpen for $1
Comment: He’ll be back up. I like this buy.

Target: Gordon $20
Went For: $21
I Got: Brad Wilkerson for $8
Comment: I stopped at 20 for Gordon because I didn’t want to overspend and get in a war that my ego made me win. I also thought I’d still get Konerko but he went for $25  This is my biggest regret of draft the way I handled 1B. Silver linings. Wilk is a sleeper this year who plays OF and 1B and he will play everyday and McLaren loves him and I could have spent $11 on Millar who I got into a bidding war with Ron Shandler over because he was in same boat as me. We’ll see. 

Target: Asdrubal Cabrera $7
Went For: $13
I Got: Alexi Casilla for $3
Comment: I threw him out for a buck and am glad I got him. I think he will work his way to the big club and steal me some bags. I never spend high on MI in AL Only auction leagues. Prefer to get cheap speed with upside.

Target: Adam Everett $2
Went For: $2
I Got: Adam Everett for $2
Comment: If he can give me 2005 counting stats (11 HR and 21 SB) I’ll be giddy. Average is a concern but I like his change of scenery upside.

Target: A-Rod $48Arodhead_1
Went For: $45
I Got: A-Rod for $45
Comment: After winning Alex fairly easily Jeff Erickson of claimed nobody puts baby in the corner Dirtydancingmovie09_1 and nobody denies Siano A-Rod. I was willing to go higher but glad I didn’t have to. The guys try to get in my head that I like Yankees but it doesn’t bother me because they have good players plain and simple.

Target: Eckstein $3
Went For: $7
I Got: John MacDonald for $1
Comment: He’ll be used by John Gibbons and should give me a little something something. If Hill or Eck goes down maybe I get more then expected. Eck hasn’t played more then 123 game the past two seasons.

Target: Fields $10
Went For: $10
I Got: Aki Iwamura for $17
Comment: Missing out on Fields may have been a blessing. Aki went for $7 more but should run and will have 2B eligibility in a week plus so I really liked this audible.

Target: Markakis $24
Went For: $29
I Got: Bobby Abreu for $29
Comment: Abreu went a little high but to be honest with his steadiness this could be a wash between him and Markakis in 08′. Keeper league would have been different.

Target: Matsui $21
Went For: $20
I Got: Matsui for $20
Comment: Last year was a disaster for my OF in Tout. I had to make sure it didn’t happen again. If anything it was at the expense of Catcher and 1B which is half fine being that my MI is cheap on purpose.

Target: Melky Cabrera $4
Went For: $15
I Got: Coco Crisp for $14
Comment: This was a late game pickup and I had some money. I love this pickup if he gets traded since we keep the stats to the other league. If the prices surprise you this is typical, but I learned that the hard way last year.

Target: Jerry Owens $3
Went For: $14
I Got: Jonny Gomes for $10
Comment: See a trend for speed in the OF. No way I spend that much on Owens, too risky this year. Gomes had a good counting stat second half last year. Hope he builds on it to make this a great buy.

Target: Dollar OF $1
Went For: $1
I Got: Jason Botts for $1
Comment: For a buck I love this scrub pickup. My average is hurting but I can mash.

Target: Swisher $21
Went For: $25
I Got: Jim Thome for $16
Comment: Wish I had Swish at 1B and Thome here so really happy with the price for Thome. Like Abreu he is steady.

Target: Bedard $28
Went For: $33
I Got: Sabathia for $31
Comment: $30 on pitching is not really my style but with Lackey, Kazmir and Beckett hurt and Johan in NL this was a move I had to make and was comfortable with. I had Escobar and Carmona last year but that was a ton of luck so I wanted to come at the league with some legit arms which leads to…

Target: Verlander $26
Went For: $29
I Got: Dice-K for $23
Comment: Love it love it love it! Spent $3 over what I wanted on my aces but got two high K, high wins guys.

Target: Ian Kennedy $4
Went For: $9
I Got: Daniel Cabrera for $3
Comment: More K’s for Mikey but huge risk here. Sam Walker couldn’t believe nobody went to $4 and I was very pleased with this. If this is the year of Cabrera then I can smoke pitching this year.

Target: Ervin Santana $3
Went For: $7
I Got: Gavin Floyd for $4
Comment: I love big Erv but I love Floyd better for $3 less. This kid has potential and is in a good situation. Hoping like Cabrera this is his maturation year.

Target: Dollar Starter $1
Went For: $1
I Got: Luke Hochevar for $1
Comment: He got sent down 48 hours after the draft, but that’s fine. He’ll be back up and hopefully can contribute.

Target: Dollar Middle Reliever $28
Went For: $1
I Got: Cliff Lee for $1
Comment: Bailed on a $1 MR when I saw I had a shot at Lee. Jeffrey Ma’s favorite pick and it paid off with the news that Sowers and Laffey got sent down just now.

Target: Dollar Middle Reliever $1
Went For: $1
I Got: Jamie Walker for a $1.
Comment: Shot at cheap saves.

Target: Dollar Middle Reliever $1
Went For: $1
I Got: Brandon Morrow for a $1.
Comment: Closer if Putz gets hurt. Possible starter as well. Great buy.

Target: K-Rod $29
Went For: $23
I Got: Joe Nathan for a $27.
Comment: Nathan got tossed out before K-Rod ($23) and Papelbon ($26) and after Putz ($26). Not sure how Nathan went the highest and it bothered me but at least I got one of the big 4. This is one thing about Tout and auctions in general that is maddening. Sometimes things just go wacky.

After the auction is over we do a 6 round reserve snake draft. I had pick #7.
Round 1: David Price – Shocked and elated he fell to me.Price_1
Round 2: Kenny Lofton – Heard a few I should have done that groans
Round 3: Adam Miller – If Miller and Price get called up I’ll have depth to    deal from I hope.
Round 4: Freddy Guzman – Could be first break of 08 since he could fill in for Granderson.
Round 5: Bob McCrory – sleeper for saves in Baltimore.
Round 6: Taylor Teagarden – If Laird gets traded or hurt and Salty isn’t ready maybe this other prospect is.

Closing thoughts:
I spoke to Rick Wilton the next morning at the NL and Mixed drafts and I agree with his assessment that no team stands out which is what sets Tout apart from your normal 12 guys in a room draft. The luck of health, breaks and good use of FAAB are key to winning this thing. Trades are scarce because it’s a non keeper so both sides have to be 100% comfortable with the players they get back so there is a bunch of scouring the wires and pouncing.

Looking forward to your comments.


Banking on Oliver

Hi Guys,
Trade question for you, 12 team 5 X 5:
I give up Javy Vazquez and get back Oliver Perez and Manny Corpas.
My other pitchers are Haren, Kazmir, Cain, Hughes, Soria, Gregg, Accardo, Al Reyes and Heath Bell
Tom in Chicago


Go for it!  While Javy was underrated heading into last year, I think he’s a bit overrated as we enter 2008.  Don’t get me wrong, Vazquez will always be a valuable fantasy option due to his consistently high strikeout rate.  But last season was the first since 2003 in which he posted an ERA below 4.40.  And the home runs have always been an issue, resulting in a fluctuating ERA that’s largely based on how many runners are on when he serves them up.  Now Oliver Perez is far from a sure thing.  In fact, he’s probably the single most frustrating pitcher to own.  That being said, I’ve got two words for you…contract year.  Coming off his best season since the magical 2004 campaign with the Pirates, Perez has all the incentive in the world to perform at a high level.  The main criticism of Oliver throughout his career has been his lack of focus.  I just have a feeling that won’t be a problem this time around!  Perez will match if not exceed Vazquez’s strikeout total, and pitches in a much more favorable home ballpark.  Though it’s quite possible that Perez can have a better year than Vazquez, I’m not even counting on that.  But factoring in the addition of Corpas to what looks like a shaky closer situation (Gregg’s on a short leash and Accardo’s the setup man as long as Ryan is healthy), the swap is well worth the risk.

Zach Steinhorn,      

Tout Wars!

Tout Wars is this weekend and we wanted to make sure you check out the new and improved site!

I have AL Tout on
Friday at 5pm ET. Cory is NL Only on Saturday morning and Cushing has Mixed at
the same time Saturday.

-Siano (Blog

Today’s Chat and Recent Roundtable

This afternoon, Mike and Cory held their second 411 chat, answering all your questions as draft time is upon us.  Here’s the Chat Transcript

If that’s not enough to keep you busy, here’s the newest Fantasy Roundtable

Let the reading begin!


Preseason Picks

As heard on Monday’s 411 Preview Show, here are Mike and Cory’s sleeper and bust picks for ’08!


C     J.R. Towles
1B    James Loney
2B    Rickie Weeks
SS    Michael Young
3B    Pedro Feliz
OF    Matt Kemp
OF    Jason Bay
OF    Carlos Quentin
SP    Matt Cain
SP    Oliver Perez
RP    B.J. Ryan


C     Jarrod Saltalamacchia
1B   Carlos Pena
2B   Howie Kendrick
SS   Yuniel Escobar
3B   Mike Lowell
OF   Magglio Ordonez
OF   Corey Hart
OF   Josh Hamilton
SP   Fausto Carmona
SP   James Shields
RP   Jose Valverde


C    Dioner Navarro
1B   Adam LaRoche
2B   Howie Kendrick
SS   Julio Lugo
3B   Edwin Encarnacion
OF  Franklin Gutierrez
OF  Jason Kubel
OF  Luke Scott
SP  Dustin McGowan
SP  Zack Greinke
RP  Eric Gagne


C    Jarrod Saltalamacchia
1B   Adrian Gonzalez
2B   Placido Polanco
SS   Edgar Renteria
3B   Mike Lowell
OF   Manny Ramirez
OF   Hideki Matsui
OF   Vernon Wells
SP   Roy Oswalt
SP   Roy Halladay
RP   Chad Cordero 


Hold Off Till Later!

I’m in a 12 team roto league with 4 relief pitching spots and counts holds and saves. Where do you draft Top setup pitchers like Betancourt, Broxton, Bell and Okajima? If top Closers Papelbon, Putz, K-Rod and Nathan get drafted in the top 7 rounds, where should I be looking to draft for holds?

Thanks for the advice
Mike from Hamilton


Although it’s important to have two reliable middle relievers in this format, here’s why you don’t overpay for the “top” names:

2007 MAJOR LEAGUE HOLDS LEADERS  (2006 total in parenthesis) 

2.  Heath Bell   34  (0)

3.  Jon Rauch   33   (18)

5.  Jonathan Broxton   32   (12)

6.  Rafael Betancourt   31  (7)

10.  Ryan Franklin   25     (8)

These five guys all ranked in the top 10 in holds last year, but their 2006 totals are less than impressive.  Now some of this can be attributed to a significant hike in innings from ’06 to ’07 (Bell’s IP almost tripled), but the point I’m trying to make is that while saves are somewhat predictable (a closer is a closer), holds vary greatly from year to year.  Sure, selecting a name brand middle reliever gives you a better chance at piling up holds, but I’d much sooner wait and take a player with good WHIP and K numbers who figures to get plenty of late inning opportunities.  Continue to prioritize closers, and wait until at least the middle rounds (12 at earliest) before even thinking about middle relief.

Zach Steinhorn,   

Scrambling for Saves

I missed my draft and came away with Kevin Gregg and Brian Wilson as my only closers.  I’ve got some offense to deal with, but I don’t know who I should be looking to deal.  I’ve got Willingham and Garko on my bench with Berkman at first, with an outfield of Ichiro, Chris Young, and Andruw Jones.  Who are the one or two guys I should look to deal for a closer of a better caliber, like Jenks, Hoffman, etc…



My first piece of advice would be to not miss any more drafts!  It’s tough to answer this without knowing about your starting pitching, but of the hitters I’d try moving Jones.  Can Andruw have a bounce back year?  Sure.  30 homers and 90 RBI is a reasonable expectation.  But the average will always be mediocre, and unlike Young, Jones doesn’t run.  The chances of you getting Jenks in return for Jones are about as little as that of Kyle Lohse winning the Cy Young this year (Oh, I forgot he doesn’t even have a job right now!)  But Jones for Hoffman is a legitimate starting point.  There’s no question the 40 year old Hoffman is nearing the end, but he still finds ways to get the job done.  If there are no takers for Jones, you’ll likely be forced to shop Young.  In that case, demand nothing less than Jenks.  You just might be able to pull that one off!

Zach Steinhorn, 

Johnny Archive’s Blog

Check it out!  On today’s show, Sterno took exception to some of the comments made on here:

J.A.’s Blog