Thursday, March 13, 2008
It's Fantasy Baseball Season so it's time to do some Prep Work. Bare in mind that these Preps are as much for me as they are for any other schmuck that happens to read them. If perchance you are in any of my leagues please avoid reading all of this until after our respective drafts. Thanks.
One of the key aspects to your draft is realizing when you should just table a position. As I've discussed in both my SS and 2B there are points in each draft where it's key to realize what your basement options are and to not just draft a position to fill a need.
Many people will advocate the usage of tiers. To a certain extent this makes sense. If you group similar players together you should be basically as happy to get one player as you are an other. Part of me thinks that this over complicates things. During the draft if you have a generic view of the overall value of players than you should be drafting on that basis rather than on the basis of tiers. I prefer to print out a massive list of the typical draft order and pinpoint guys to target throughout the draft rather than a tier list by position.
What I do advocate is more of a plateau approach. A realization that the difference between drafting a player in the 14th round or the last round creates little difference. This plateau point will vastly depend on the roster depths you have in your leagues. If your league requires only 1 starting catcher than if you miss out on the top 4 stud catchers than just forget about the position entirely. Not many other teams are going to use a bench spot on a catcher. If your league uses 2 starting catchers than there is a much larger benefit to snagging a mid-tier catcher like Johjima, Pudge, or Pierzynski. Than in this case your plateau point would come when you know 8 or so catchers need to be drafted in the league. Everyone is a bum at this point, there's little difference between all of them
No matter how you plan out your draft you will always stumble over a position where you should reach this point. And it is key to not waste vital mid round picks on a player who won't be much better than the scrub you would have drafted in the last round.
One way to try to avoid reaching plateau points is planning them prior to the draft. Deciding that you are going to table catcher or 2b until one of your last draft picks should help you avoid reaching that point for other positions. The position I typically table until the final rounds is starting pitching. With starting pitching the numbers are so vast that it is much more likely to find deals in the late rounds than others. If you identify a handful of pitchers you would be willing to draft in the final rounds than you will do less scrambling throughout the draft.