10-team Auction draft in a weekly points league. Scoring is geared for power hitters. Lineups include a CI, MI, and UTIL. Next year this starts as a keeper league with each players costs going up by $5. I was livid had to draft an OF since site claimed I needed one. Dropped Pinder and grabbed Cozart the next morning for $1. I write down all the players I like and bid when they are nominated. Players I missed out on due to lack of funds were Nomar Mazara, Aaron Sanchez, and Brandon Morrow. I’m a huge Cubs and White Sox fan. Grabbing 4 out of the 5 Cubs starters wasn’t my plan, but costs made it possible. Overall I’m pretty happy with my allocation of funds. Feel free to comment on how you’d grade this draft.
Career numbers in Seattle(.235) and Anaheim (.167) could be cause for concern, however Kipnis has been on fire this spring. Spring slash rate of .375/.434/.833 shows that Kipnis may actually be healthy entering this season. Owned in 57.1% of ESPN leagues.
Giants 3B Evan Longoria
Slash rate of .371/.450/.993 so far this spring. In the drafts I’ve done so far Evan Almighty has been viewed as an afterthought. I got him late in a draft for $6. Isolated power went down last season, but I think Longoria can still provide solid numbers going back to Cali. Owned in 89.1% of ESPN leagues.
Cubs SP Jon Lester
Was able to draft Lester in a pair of auctions for $8. I find it hard to believe the veteran lefty has a 4.33 ERA again in 2018. Average velocities dropped down in 2017, but Lester will provide a lot of value in his age 34 season. Don’t be afraid to use Lester in your lineup vs. the Marlins. Owned in 96.6% of ESPN leagues.
4-game slate this week with home matchups with the Pacers and Bucks, to the road with the Kings, then back home vs. the Suns. Cook is the playoff lottery ticket with Steph Curry out until the postseason. Has scored in double figures in 6 straight games. No-brainer to pick him up, was surprised at ownership in just 36.9% of ESPN leagues.
Celtics PG Terry Rozier
Owned in just 58.3% of ESPN leagues. 3-games this week on the road vs. the Suns then Jazz, followed by a home matchup with the Raptors. Averaging 19 PPG and 5 APG since Kyrie Irving went down with a knee injury. Picture is starting to become clear why Danny Ainge has resisted trading Rozier.
Warriors PF Kevon Looney
Has a block in 6 straight games and 2 or more steals in 5 of 6 games. Owners looking for blocks and steals may want to stream Looney. Owned in 1.8% of ESPN leagues.
12 team Auction Draft with a weekly lock points scoring setup. The scoring in this league is slanted to power hitters. Here’s my draft.
Aaron Judge, NYY OF K
Luis Severino, NYY SP K
Rhys Hoskins, Phi 1B K
Lucas Giolito, CWS SP K
Gleyber Torres, NYY SS K
Nolan Arenado, Col 3B
Freddie Freeman, Atl 1B
Addison Russell, ChC SS
Manny Machado, Bal 3B
Jason Kipnis, Cle 2B
Jon Lester, ChC SP
Starling Marte Pit OF
Evan Longoria, SF 3B
Didi Gregorius, NYY SS
Yadier Molina, StL C
Tyler Chatwood, ChC SP
Miguel Cabrera, Det 1B
Luiz Gohara Atl SP
Aaron Sanchez, Tor SP
Cole Hamels, Tex SP
Yoan Moncada, CWS 2B
Wilson Ramos, TB C
Jeurys Familia, NYM RP
Stephen Piscotty, Oak OF
Jon Gray, Col SP
Greg Holland, FA RP
Avisail Garcia, CWS OF
Matt Harvey, NYM SP
I believe I was able to spend big on a few players I really liked due to my cheaper keepers. Arenado was my player regardless of cost. Machado can play SS, 3B, MI, CI. Eligibility justified whatever cost. I wanted the cheapest player out of Votto, Rizzo, Goldschmidt, and Freeman. Power throughout my lineup was the goal. The red flags are I bought some older All-Star players that are on the decline in Molina, Longoria, Hamels, Lester, and Cabrera. I do believe their cost justified the purchase. Bouncebacks that will outperform costs are Ramos, Kipnis, Piscotty, Russell, and Sanchez. Rotation has some solid arms with upside that didn’t break the bank. I feel strongly that I built a good rotation while keeping costs down. My Bullpen will be a work in progress throughout the season, but we get points for Holds. Spent very little for a few lottery tickets in Gohara, and Harvey. I’ll spend a dollar to find out if the Dark Knight rebounds. I’m happy with the depth and upside of my team. Let me know what you think feel free to leave comments.
With injuries to Curry, Durant, and Thompson, Swaggy P is getting more run. Has scored in double figures in 3 consecutive games, including 3 from downtown in each contest. Owned in 7.9 % of ESPN fantasy leagues. Owners know what they’re getting with Swaggy P. If you need scoring and 3-point shooting, feel free to use him in a 3-game slate. On the road vs. the Spurs, followed by home matchups with Hawks and Jazz.
Bulls PG Cameron Payne
4-game slate this week on the road vs. the Knicks, home against the Nuggets and Bucks, then back to the road vs. the Pistons. Kris Dunn is dealing with a toe injury and Payne should see more run for the Tank Bulls. Owners looking for Assists, may want to use Payne for this scoring period. Owned in 4.1% of ESPN Leagues.
Pistons SG Reggie Bullock
Has hit 3 from downtown in 5 consecutive games. Averaging 16.4 PPG in the month of March. Ownership is at 17.3% of ESPN leagues. 4-games this week on the road with the Kings, Suns, and Rockets, followed by a home tilt with the Bulls. Great schedule for this scoring period vs. 3 tank teams.
Owned in 65.7% of ESPN leagues. Averaging 16.8 PPG and 12.0 RPG in 4 games as the starting Center. Fantasy owners should look to ride the hot streak during this 3-game week with games on the road vs. the Suns, Blazers, and Bulls.
Grizzlies SF/SG Dillon Brooks
A 17-game losing streak has dropped the Grizzlies into the top lottery slot at this stage of the season. Brooks usage rate in March has jumped up to 26.3% There’s no reason for the team to play veterans to decrease lottery odds. I anticipate Brooks getting an extended look to the end. Owners looking for scoring stats my want to use Brooks for this week. Owned in 11.8% of ESPN leagues. 3-home games this week vs. the Bucks, Bulls, and Nuggets. I picked up Brooks in my league as a block to other players in my league.
Clippers PF Montrezl Harrell
Scored in double figures in 9 straight games. Usage rate has increased up to 29.6 % in March, while his Field Goal percentage is 72.3%. These rates are unrealistic to sustain long term, but owners looking for help in FG% and FT% from a big should target Harrell. Owned in 28.5% of ESPN leagues. 4-game slate this week on the road vs. the Bulls, Rockets, and Thunder followed by a home matchup with the Blazers.
Indians 2B Jason Kipnis is one of my favorite bounce back candidates to target in upcoming drafts. Last season the wheels fell off for Kipnis to the tune of a .232./.291/.414 slash rate. A .581 slugging percentage vs. the Cubs in the 2016 World Series may have led to Kipnis to being a bit overdrafted by owners in 2017. Owners that took the plunge were disappointed in their return .232/.291/.414. Kipnis season was delayed by a right rotator cuff strain, then hamstring problems limited him to 90 games. His 5 consecutive seasons of double digit stolen bases was snapped. One stat that jumps out from 2017 is his 44% fly ball rate went up from 37% in 2016 and 28% in 2015.
In the big picture, his career slash rate during 7 seasons is .268/.340/.422. KIpnis is raking so far this spring with 6 dongs and 12 RBI in 17 plate appearances. This small sample size shows me that Kipnis may be more comfortable with his swing adjustment to get the ball in the air more and that he is healthy entering the season. With the logjam of talent on the Tribe last season, Kipnis moved around the diamond appearing in 11 games as an outfielder. ESPN still lists him as just a 2B, while Yahoo gives him dual position eligibility.
Kipnis is much higher in my rankings than many analysts. I believe Kipnis can finish as a Top 12 2B this season. The high teens-low twenties is where I’ve seen Kipnis in preseason rankings. I play in 1 daily league and 2 weekly leagues. I will draft him sooner in the daily league more so than the weekly league in case injuries creep up again. Even though I have him ranked higher I’ll try to get him as my first 2B taken late or as a high-end backup. I believe Kipnis could end up being a nice upside pick in 2018.
Starting Pitching is the most volatile position to draft in fantasy baseball in my opinion. I would rather spend an early draft choice or auction money on hitters since they play more and are less likely to suffer a season-ending injury. Hitters don’t typically have Tommy John, Rotator Cuff, or Shoulder Labrum surgeries. I play in multiple leagues each season and tend to build up my lineup, then take pitchers on the upswing. Avoiding older pitchers is also a priority because they typically don’t go deep into games. WHIP and SO/9 are the metrics I pay attention to the most. My viewpoint is based off what I believe they will do this year, not so much what they’ve done in the past. If my pitchers don’t pan out, the eject button is hit quickly for the next hot pickup. These are the pitchers that I will try to draft based off draft slot, auction price, and upside. Some of these pitchers are going to be late round lottery tickets.
4-games this week on the road with the Spurs then Bulls, home vs. the Jazz, then back on the road against the Mavericks. Martin has scored in double figures with 6 or more rebounds in 3 straight games. Has played 23 or more minutes in 9 consecutive games. Short-term add with all the injuries in Memphis. Owned in 3.1 percent of ESPN leagues.
Raptors PF/C Jakob Poeltl
3 or more blocks in 5 out of last 6 games. Owned in 7 percent of ESPN leagues. Raptors play a 4-game slate home with the Hawks, road vs. the Pistons, back home against the Rockets, then back to the road vs. the Knicks.
Bulls PF Bobby Portis
4-games this week at home with the Celtics and Grizzlies, followed by road games with the Pistons and Hawks. As the Bulls embrace the youth movement Portis should continue to see big-time minutes down the stretch. 11 consecutive games with double digit scoring. Owned in 42 percent of ESPN leagues. Players looking for help in scoring should add Portis.
Best collection of names so far this season on The Circle Of Trust.
Lakers C Ivica Zubac
Scored in double figures in back-to-back games. Brook Lopez should start to see fewer minutes as Zubac’s playing time goes up. Zubac has a 3-game slate this week on the road vs. the Hawks, Heat, and Spurs. Daily play right now that could develop dynasty league appeal in short order. I recommend picking up Zubac and seeing what happens. Owned in just 1.7% of ESPN fantasy leagues.
Pelicans C Emeka Okafor
Great story coming back after years out of the NBA. Deserves a lot of credit. Owned in 0.6% of ESPN fantasy leagues. Has 12 blocks combined in his last 4 games. Seeing over 14 MPG in that span. The Pelicans are starting Okafor as a defender next to Anthony Davis. Daily players looking for blocks and boards may want to use Okafor. 3 games this matchup home with the Suns, on the road vs. the Spurs and Mavericks.
Wolves SF Nemanja Bjelica
Playing time should go up with Jimmy Butler’s knee injury. Short term scorer for fantasy owners while Butler is out. Shooting 85% from the free throw line and 44% from downtown. On the road for 3 games this week with the Kings, Blazers, and Jazz.