Monday, March 28, 2011

FDH Fantasy Newsletter: Volume IV, Issue XII

Welcome to our 125th edition of the FDH Fantasy Newsletter, as we continue to bring you weekly fantasy sports updates in addition to our usual content on Our archive of past editions is available right here on The Blog and specific links to past editions are available at

This week, we bring you last-minute baseball draft/auction tips from FDH Managing Partner Rick Morris. Also, don’t forget the most important element to your draft/auction success, the FANTASY BASEBALL DRAFTOLOGY 2011 guide.

Last-Minute Baseball Draft/Auction Tips from FDH Managing Partner Rick Morris

At the end of any draft prep season, I always like to bring the focus back to the basics. Having had the auction for my keeper league on Saturday and the draft for my non-keeper league next Saturday, I can mix in my own perspectives to make my points even clearer.

^ Above all, stay focused on value above all else. You win by squeezing value more effectively than anyone else, period. It’s repetitive on our part, but I make no apologies for that, because it’s the sole non-negotiable element of your draft prep and it’s something that far too many people lose sight of at the worst times. Now, for those who are looking to scratch an excitement itch or don the wheeler-dealer garb, this may not be fun and fulfilling. As for me, I get my fun and fulfillment from winning (12-team mixed non-keeper league title last year, 20-team mixed keeper league title the year before). Hopefully it’s not seen as a jerk move to drop those credentials, because there is a point here. Even with the ’09 title, even being the one person in the league actively participating in the fantasy industry via the FDH brand, I was delighted to see on Saturday that I can still lurk in the weeds because my moves are boring and decidedly un-flashy relative to many of my competitors. And frankly, if I can still lurk at this point and not have the target on me that my flashier league-mates do, then I’ll always be able to since I will never change the playbook. Advantage, me. Let others try the attention-grabbing attempts to reinvent the wheel. Steady wins the race.

^ The previous point is not to suggest abandoning all efforts to find more effective means of accomplishing your goals – just to keep value in mind when doing so. I’ll furnish another example from Saturday’s auction. Top minor league players in our league get picked over well before they first make the bigs, due to the fact that you can hang on to them for up to 10 years with our format – which calls for five auction rounds, followed by a straight draft in which players can be procured for only $1. In recent years, not only are the top prospects snarfed up even before their minor league peaks in the draft rounds, they are also subject in many instances to insane bidding in the auction rounds. Truly, it is difficult to carry a player for a few years at $20 or above before they even make their major league debut, so I have tried at all costs to avoid this necessity. Although I tried to get some top minor league players in the draft rounds on Saturday, I was unsuccessful – so I went all-in on a strategy I have dabbled in before: I took five prospects who will be in this June’s draft, four college players and one high-school baller. Will they all pan out? Probably not; the burn rate on prospects is significant. But they’ve all got high ceilings and they won’t cost me an arm and a leg if I have to cut them. This was the kind of creativity we endorse.

^ Think about the specifics of your situation ahead of time as much as you can, not merely the league rules and parameters (one would hope you don’t need me to drill that part into your heads!), but any other relevant features. In the case of my auction, I familiarized myself with not only my cap number and needs going into Saturday, but those of all of my leaguemates so that I would know who my biggest threats were for the holes I had to fill. For this Saturday’s draft, my co-owner and I are able to spend the week contemplating the realities of our draft position (7 – and on a personal note, I really hate being 6th or 7th in a 12-team league since you can’t anticipate your next pick very well and that just bothers me) and the players most likely to drop to us in the early rounds. Look at the possibilities (including tendencies of your fellow owners, which I know very well in both of my leagues from many years of jousting with them) and just spend some time picking apart some options from different angles. For example, it’s no secret that FDH is higher on Tulow than most in the industry this year. He was critical to our title last year and given our competitors’ tendencies, we feel that we have a good shot to get him at 7. If we do, then we fill a need at the shallowest position and move on from there. If not, we’ll go with a Plan B or Plan C that we hatch during the week. Ruminate on all the angles. You wouldn’t be playing this game if you didn’t love it. Enjoy – and go take some caysh from your friends!


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