Fighting Shamrocks: 2011 Draft Strategy

Fighting Shamrocks: 2011 Draft Strategy

Generally speaking, I don’t write about my own fantasy baseball team because I’m 50/50 about whether readers would find that topic very interesting.  However, I am going to break that rule for a single post because my draft is next weekend. 

The League
The “World League of Rotisserie Baseball” is a 23-team auction keeper league starting its 21st season (if I remember correctly).  The real World League folded, was restarted, and then folded again since our league was created.   The league was started at a law firm in Houston, and primarily, the owners are still lawyers in Htown.  The league is similar to the LABR and Tout Wars where teams can spend $260 on 23 players.  The differences are: (1) teams have the option of renewing those players for three years; (2) teams have four farm picks you can renew at $4 for their first three professional seasons; (3) teams are given a total season budget of $100 to bid in the “summer drafts” on players who have been called up to the major leagues and other free agents; and (4) teams are allowed to “cover” a disabled player with a free agent at a salary of $10 (i.e., player cannot be a DL cover until he goes through the summer draft). 

My Team
I have been playing in the league since I was about eight or nine years old (hard to imagine…maybe the league is not that old) because my dad worked at the law firm where the league was started.  Needless to say, the first team was pretty rough!  But the team improved as I got older, and the Fighting Shamrocks are now coming off back-to-back wins.  Unfortunately, two years of competing have left the roster in astonishingly bad shape.  My renewals are here.  The past two teams have been anchored by a great pitching staff, but because of trades and expiring contracts, the team is left without a single renewable pitcher.    

Strategy
Here, since it’s safe to call this season a rebuilding year, I have a competitive advantage coming into the draft knowing I don’t have the renewals to compete for a third consecutive title. Basically, my goal is to simply finish the season with 15 undervalued players that will allow the team to compete in the future.  In this draft, my basic strategy will be to target: (1) players I can trade for renewals; and (2) speculative players who might be more valuable next season.  

The challenge is finding the right speculative players.  I can afford to take risks because a few incredible busts won’t matter, but it’s still important to identify which speculative players have at least some chance of increasing their value.  I am not sure which players will be renewed yet and the value obviously depends on the price.  But using our spreadsheet, here are some ideas of “speculative players” who I thought might be good potential targets for a rebuilding team.  Any feedback here would be appreciated.   Who are some speculative players that you would target and/or not target?

Catcher:            Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Matt Wieters, Jason Castro.
First Base:        Matt LaPorta, Mark Trumbo.
Second Base:  Brad Emaus, Ty Wiggington, Will Rhymes, Darwin Barney.
Shortstop:        Alcides Escobar, Jason Bartlett, Jed Lowrie. 
Third Base:       Pablo Sandoval, Brent Morel, Alberto Callaspo.
Outfielders:       Alex Gordon, Mike Morse, Lance Berkman, Travis Snider, Felix Pie, Ryan Sweeney. 
Starters:          Adam Wainwright, Mike Leake, Chris Young, Scott Kazmir, Jair Jurrgens, Brandon Beachy, Ivan Nova, 
                          AJ Burnett, John Lackey, Josh Beckett, Javier Vazquez, Homer Bailey, Dice-K.
Relievers:          Josh Lueke, Kenley Jansen, Jordan Walden, Evan Meek, Jeremy Jeffress, and Tim Collins.