Fantasy Secrets: Drafting Tips

Posted: April 4, 2012 by centennialsports in Baseball, Fantasy Sports

By Tom Ruminski

Probably not who you want to take in the 1st round...or at all

Okay guys and girls now that we are up to date on our knowledge of impact rookies, it is time to turn our focus to the second secret that could win you your league.

Rule Number Two: Drafting by Position Strengths and Weaknesses.

First and for most, if your buddy ever tells you to draft a closer in the first round you should tell them to go f*ck themselves and possibly do this to them.

The second part of course all depends upon your relationship with such individual and/or what closer they have recommended to you.

The message is clear; closers can be had in later rounds, usually have minimal impact in head-to-head and rotisserie leagues, and are a dime a dozen. For example, injuries to closers Ryan Madson and Joakim Soria began the drama that is known as the closing carrousel, a continuous revolving cycle of relief pitchers gaining the coveted position, or losing it through injury or ineffectiveness. Fantasy owners have been burned by these two already and there is sure to be plenty more casualties in the up-coming season. In light of this, you should fill out the rest of your roster before taking care of your bullpen.

Everyone wants this guy on their Fantasy team.....well except Ubaldo Jimenez

The positions with the least amount of premium players are the ones that you want to fill out first. Accordingly, one should be looking to acquire a stud catcher, shortstop, and second baseman in the early rounds of the draft.

The shortstop position has the biggest drop of between tier one and two. As a result one should look to acquire one of Troy Tulowitzki, Hanley Ramirez, or Jose Reyes with an early pick.

This is a man you should draft high

The same kind of thought process can be applied to selecting a second baseman. Moreover, owners should be looking to select Robinson Cano, Ian Kinsler, or Dustin Pedroia if possible. However for second base, the production drop of is not as drastic as short. In particular, Dan Uggla, Ben Zobrist, Brandon Phillips, and Michael Young are not as far of in production in comparison to the shortstop second tier, which includes such players as Starlin Castro, Elvis Andrus, and Asdrubal Cabrera. To demonstrate, the first tier second baseman averaged .288. 27.95.858, while the second-tier second baseman averaged a line of .285.18.90.800. On the other hand, the trio of Tulowitzki, Ramirez, and Reyes averaged a line of .313.19.75.882, while the second tier class had a combined line of .286.13.72.757.

The catcher position is also filled with a lot of question marks. Outside of Carlos Santana, Mike Napoli and Brian McCann, there is a limited selection of difference making backstops. In particular, Joe Mauer, Matt Wieters, and Buster Posey may all have significant fantasy value at the position, yet, provide a degree of uncertainty.

Mauer is coming off an injury-plagued year that saw him produce a line of .287.3.30.729. These numbers are way down in comparison to his career year in 2009 that saw him produce a monster line of .365.28.96.1.031.

Buster Posey will be a fantasy stud one day, however, coming into the 2012 season there is a big question mark surrounding him. First off, how will he come back from a devastating home-plate collision that left him with three torn ligaments in his left ankle and a broken bone? In addition, will he be able to produce in a weak Giants offence that finished second last in runs scored in the majors last season and had the third worst team batting average with a mark of .242.

Finally, the simple fact that Matt Wieters plays for the lowly Baltimore Orioles can raise questions. Yet, all signs point to Wieters having a solid season as he is surrounded by some good bats in Adam Jones, Nick Markakis, Brian Roberts, and Mark Reynolds. In addition, the former fifth overall pick is coming off a career year that saw him post a line off .262.22.68.778.

This drafting strategy is of course one of many that can be applied, but I have found it the most successful so far. Next week, the third secret to success will be revealed.

Here’s a hint: look at large sample sizes over small ones.

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