Been taking heat from people about my “homer” pick, a pitcher in the first round of our fantasy baseball team.
I’m still laughing at that one.
I posted here my entire fantasy draft. There are 10 people in my league to give you some sort of idea of how long it took people to draft. As noted before, I took Tim Lincecum fourth overall. That’s the same Tim Lincecum that led the majors in strikeouts and took the Cy Young last year.
What I realized, before any criticism could be leveled and my draft had occurred, is that some players are invariably more valuable than any particular formula designed for fantasy sports. Football is a good example.
In fantasy football, generally speaking, users are encouraged to select a running back with their first and possibly second picks. But if you’ve been following the league in the last three years, there really is only five top backs. After that, they are all middle of the road in terms of production (rushing yards, touchdowns, receiving yards). After that top five, if there is a player that equates in terms of production points, it would be wise to take that player. Most recently, quarterback Tom Brady filled that role. Fifty passing touchdowns in one year will do that to a formula. Tony Romo also comes to mind. When Michael Vick returns, he’ll also be a player to look at in that situation.
My point is, Lincecum fills that role. With 265 strikeouts in 227 innings last year, he averaged 1.16 an inning. One in every 3 1/2 batters, he struck out. That’s absolutely amazing. In fact, so amazing, they gave him a nice piece of hardware for it. That’s pretty valuable. More so than some corner infielder that will possibly slump for a month.
Admittedly, after Lincecum’s rough start, I worried that he was making the “homer” remark look very accurate. But he’s bounced back, tallying 13 strikeouts in his last start. (That’s the Timmy I love.)
But I digress. If I didn’t pick Lincecum at the No. 4 spot, I would’ve had some very nice options available to me. In fact, you could say I jumped the gun in that regard. (What can I say, I’m a biased Giants fan). There were easily seven players to choose from who are absolutely dynamic. I was lucky enough to pick up two of them in the next two rounds. But out of my reach and off the table at No. 4 were Hanley Ramirez, Albert Pujols and Jose Reyes.
Personally, I don’t think Ramirez was worthy of the hype. And if Pujols was there at No. 4, I would’ve grabbed him. He’s just dope.
While I don’t regret taking Lincecum, I could see with conventional wisdom going after Josh Hamilton (went No. 8) or Dustin Pedroia (No. 11 in 2nd round).
(How sad is this, I can’t even make a decision between those two.)
It’s weird, after I took Lincecum, the guy after me took Johan Santana. CC Sabathia was the next pitcher taken in the second round, 16th overall.
What’s your fantasy baseball draft strategy? Top player on the table? Or your favorite player on the table? By need first, or want first? Answer below.