I participated in the We Talk Fantasy Sports draft last weekend, and I enjoyed the changes in categories for OBP and QS in a 12-team H2H league. I decided to draft the best bats available, draft closers to lower my WHIP and ERA, and try to take a chance on lower-priced starters to fill QS. It seemed like a good plan, but the statistics say that I did not spend enough money on a quality staff while my bats should be in the top three.
Andrew McCutchen's lower body injuries let him fall to number five in the draft, and I couldn't help but take him, even though Jose Abreu was tempting me at 1B. My next plan was to fill my corner infielders, and I drafted Josh Donaldson at 3B and Freddie Freeman at 1B. I debated taking Chris Sale with either pick, which my cost my team this year, especially when it faces strong staffs. I kept focusing on bats, and I took at chance on Jose Reyes at SS in the fourth round before grabbing my first closer, Greg Holland, in the fifth round.
The bats kept falling as more arms went off the board in rounds 7-9. I missed my chance on James Shields and Carlos Carrasco, but Jake Arrieta found his way to my team in round 8. Arrieta's upside is incredible, but he is very risky as a staff ace. I was hoping for Carrasco as my number two, but the RotoRankers took him in the ninth so I looked for a strong second closer. Steve Cishek, saving games for an improved Marlins team, should provide 30 saves this year. I was hoping for one more closer with a job, which would lower my ERA and WHIP while saving games, but Drew Storen was drafted three picks earlier in round 10. Yan Gomes found his way onto another team of mine in 2015, and I hope he can keep his 20-HR power in order.
Starlin Castro lasted until the 12th round, and The Champ should reap the benefits because I reached too much for Reyes in the fourth. I kept grabbing infielders, but I grabbed Manny Machado at Utility and Zobrist at 2B. Castro would've been a better utility guy over Machado, especially with Machado's knee problems. I continued to grab more depth at bats with Neil Walker in the 13th before grabbing my second starter, Chris Archer, in the 14th round. I like Archer in 2015, but he needs to cut down on his BB/9 for him to be a #2 SP. Brett Cecil, the Blue Jays closer, found his way to my team in round 15, and I hope he can keep his job this year. I missed out on Wil Myers, Jose Quintana , and Joc Pederson, which could end up hurting my team in 2015. Quintana would've provided solid depth as a #3 SP, but Mr. Lott was smarter than I was by drafting him in round 15. I was too locked in on finding saves, and I should have focused on the best players available, which were Myers and Quintana.
I tried to make up for the SP mistake with my next two picks, Francisco Liriano and Shelby Miller, but both pitchers have huge question marks this year. Liriano's strikeout ability will help my staff, and I hope that Miller can find a way to pitch well in Atlanta. More owners focused on closer in round 18 with McGee and Doolittle helping out with saves, and I took a chance on Andrew Miller in New York, especially if he can save 15 games with 100 K's. I continued to look for SP's that offered QS's at a cheap rate. I found Wily Peralta and Dallas Keuchal, which could provide enough QS to land my team in the middle of the league standings, but both will hurt my ERA and WHIP. Khris Davis was another cheap source of TB and RBI.
Drew Hutchison, the last pick of my draft, could provide plenty of K's and some QS's this year, but he could also damage my team's ERA and WHIP. I am hoping that my relievers, which I added Sergio Romo in the 22nd round, can stabilize my ERA and WHIP enough to account for more cheap SP. Holland, Cishek, Cecil, Miller, and Romo should even out my weak staff, and their help could propel my staff to an average finish in pitching. (6 out of 12 teams) The RotoRankers and The Champ have the best staffs in the league, and they are projected to finish in the top three in pitching, which is easy to do with Kershaw and Carrasco. It appears that my team will be looking up at them in the standings, but I hope that my bats can carry my team to the 2015 playoffs.