Playoff baseball is underway. That mean there is lots of exciting baseball to come, but it also means that the fantasy baseball season has come to a close. I enjoyed a successful 2013 and wanted to discuss what went right for me. This is a fun way for me to reflect on the moves and strategies I made this season, while possibly helping to succeed next year as well. This post is regarding a 12 team keeper ROTO league.
Keepers: Before the 2013 draft I took some key players into the draft already on my roster. Chris Davis, Dustin Pedroia, Carlos Santana, Mike Minor, Pedro Alvarez, Jay Bruce, and Adam Jones. These guys were all relatively cheap dollar amounts allowing me some spending cash going into the auction. Note: I had attempted in the off season to trade Chris Davis for… wait for it… Edwin Jackson… glad that one didn’t go through.
Pre-draft Strategy: I looked up the results from our last years league and what statistics were earned in each category. Through this information and the projections I was using for my keepers and the players in the draft, I could start trying to plan how I wanted to build my team to reach my statistical goals in each category.
The Draft: Aware of the possible PED scare, I drafted Braun at what I thought to be a discount (in a keeper league). I also added Adrian Gonzalez and Derek Holland. These three were pretty much my only contributors to my season. I did however draft Oscar Taveras, who I traded for Gio Gonzalez later in the season.
The Season: As the season started, I found that my team had a tremendous amount of power. At the time I didn’t know if Chris Davis was going to continue his production, but I very quickly jumped out to a sizable lead in runs, homeruns, and RBIs, while still doing very well in batting average. I was short on speed, but knew that would be the easiest to add later in the season, so I continued to just pile on the power numbers till the last month of the season. By that time I had such a sizable lead I could start adding stolen base guys to earn very valuable late season points. My pitching all season long was middle of the pack in about everything. I enjoyed cheap starters Minor and Holland, until I decided to make some moves to go for the win.
The Late Season Push: Being a keeper league it is easier to add high end talent for young promising (or cheap) players. I made the decision to go for the championship THIS year. Through a couple deal I traded away, Minor, Holland, Profar, Myers, Alvarez, Cishek, and received; Ellsbury, Hamels, Price, Cargo, Kinsler. I completely sold the farm to win this year, and would do so again.
Targeting Categories: After these moves, I wasn’t done yet. Once there was a month left in the season I started targeting categories that I could make up points in. I had a sizable lead in the power categories so I could drop guys like Josh Hamilton, Pablo Sandoval, etc. to add guys like Rajai Davis, and Craig Gentry. I also started steaming pitchers. I took huge point leaps in Quality Starts and Ks.
Summary: I won the league in large part thanks to Chris Davis. I expected 30 HRs from him and a horrible batting average and got much more than that. I also was able to add closers throughout the season and finished first in saves without having to invest heavily in the draft. I made trades to win NOW, though Wil Myers ended up producing more down the stretch than Cargo. I put almost all my money in hitting and traded for and streamed pitchers to win the league.