Fantasy Baseball Mock Drafts (and other assorted fantasy baseball bits)

Since I have way too much free time on my hands these days, I’ll be doing a mock draft every few days or so. Yahoo has them going around the clock over here - they’re sorted by straight draft or auction draft, and range from 8-12 teams. Also, MockDraftCentral.com is an excellent place to mock as well - the benefit there is that the quality of drafters is higher, they have excellently written articles, there is user feedback for every draft, and their rankings are constantly updating and sortable by draft type.

If anyone wants to join me, just speak up and let me know when you’re thinking about drafting. Additionally, if you’re prepping for a specific league and want someone to fill in as a specific drafter, I can do that (for instance, you have a heated rival who always goes pitcher heavy and you want to prepare for that, I can focus on grabbing a bunch of pitchers early - things like that).

What’s the difference between roto and head-to-head?

Roto: here are the categories for the season, now everybody competes over the entire season and gets ranked in those categories, and gets points for every rank they achieve in those categories. Most commonly there are 10 categories, so if you have the most home runs of any team in the league over the entire year, you get 10 points for home runs, and the guy with the fewest gets 1 point for home runs. Person with the most points wins the league. Roto means rotisserie, incidentally. That isn’t really that intuitive, so.

H2H: here are the categories for the season, now here is your schedule. Every week you “play” against another team, and for that week, you are having a little roto contest, you vs. them. Whoever wins the most categories wins that week’s head to head matchup, and then instead of being ranked league-wide by individual categories, you are ranked by “wins” and “losses.” E.g. at the end of a week, if I’m playing against you, and if I have more home runs, steals, saves, pitcher wins, strikeouts, runs scored, and RBI, but you have a better ERA, better batting average, and better WHIP, I win that matchup 7-3, so I get 7 wins and 3 losses added to my overall record. Team with the best overall record wins, in the end.

Okay, I think that makes sense. Thanks. For a newbie, which is the easier to play? I’m thinking head-to-head sounds like it, but I’m not sure.

Head to head requires more maintenance, and also opens the door to more gamey kinds of strategies. In that sense, I would say it’s arguably more advanced if there’s such a comparison to be made.

In rotisserie, variance basically plays no role, except in terms of when you pick a player up and when you drop him. If you have a guy for the entire year, you get his entire year’s worth of stats, and you get ranked according to them against every other guy’s guys’ stats. Head to head is an exercise in variance, because of the compressed time frames - you can win a category by a single run scored, and that counts for that week the same as it would have counted to win strikeouts by four billion.

I should admit that I don’t like head to head at all because of that variance, so I may not be giving you a neutral perspective, though I’m trying.

Roto is both much easier than head-to-head (H2H) as well as more challenging. H2H is, in my opinion, inherently broken and a terrible format. It works great for the weekly, short season format of football - but for the marathon that is baseball, breaking it up into unnaturally small chunks just doesn’t work. (You can also completely get away with ignoring 2-3 categories, which defeats the purpose.)

H2H has gained popularity as the filthy masses from fantasy football have decided to give baseball a whirl, and are familiar with H2H and refuse to make the adjustment. They then come to the conclusion that fantasy baseball sucks because someone like me comes in, punts 3 categories while stocking up on the other 7 in the draft, and destroys them.

faithfool, one thing that I’ve always found useful is reading write-ups of drafts. Sometimes a writer will go through an entire draft, round by round and highlight the best and worst, as well as his thinking on his own pick. Other times, they’ll just analyze their own team.

Here’s a write-up of an AL-only league. It won’t be as applicable to our draft (the prices are completely different, considering the AL-only format - so don’t copy them), but the thought process is great.

Note: things like “If i can get 450 at-bats from him, I’ll be happy” also aren’t exactly applicable - playing time is scarce in an AL-only league, so you get production where you can.

Oooh! Here’s a full MLB mock draft with analysis. It’s not an auction, but it’s a good place to start as well.

What if an owner overbids on the first few players and has no money for the latter part of the draft? Does he sit out and pick up the table scraps after the draft is over? If so, does he have to use part of his FAAB to acquire these picks?

Yahoo makes sure you can’t do that. It’ll adjust your max bid so that you’ll still have $1 left for every empty roster slot.

I’ve been getting geared up for fantasy baseball this season as well. Don’t want to create a team yet until Spring Training, so injuries can settle themselves out.

ESPN has their Draft Kit up. Very useful.

So named because the original creator of the game “launched” it at a now-defunct New York restaurant called La Rotisserie Française.

I may not be that good at it, but I know the history!

what is the difference in strategy drafting roto vs drafting for head to head.

playing with the mock drafts in Yahoo, i don’t see a difference.

granted, these mock dratts are often plagued with a-holes who muck things up…

i’m not too keen on h t h for baseball anyhow, but i was just wondering

It’s a totally viable strategy to not draft any starting pitchers, and go with high quality relievers and get your wins and Ks from streaming pitchers. Aim for 3 of the 5 batting strategies, and you can completely ignore entire chunks of the whole player pool.

Thanks for the quick reply

For instance, in hockey head to head, I picked up on if I have a nice stock of good centermen (good at face offs, and face off wins is a stat cat) I get an easy win (point) each week. Took me a week or two to pick up on this…

Football head to head was cool for the week to week , anybody could win aspect.

I think I’ll stick too playing roto more often, seems to be a more even playing field.

I’m doing a 10 team NL only snake draft today. I haven’t played an NL only league in a couple years. I’m thinking that I should draft pitchers much earlier than I would in a standard league. What other strategies should I consider? I’m planning on waiting until very late to fill the C and SS (unless I can grab Hanley or Tulo) slots.

Waiting for an SS or C late is always a good idea. Hanley is a lock at #1 in my opinion, but I’m not sold on Tulo. He’s a stud, but he’s missed 120 games in the last 3 years. I still wouldn’t take pitchers early. There’s such a quick drop-off in offensive talent, and there’s always pitchers to grab later, that I’d solidify your offense first. You’ll buy yourself some value by holding off on SS and C though. (But don’t be the last person to pick up a SS - Desmond and Castro are serviceable, but they’re at #8 and #9.) Here’s MockDraftCentral’s NL-only ADPs:

http://www.mockdraftcentral.com/report_adp.jsp?period=0&sport=1&type=254&color=1

(I think that should work for those without accounts. If not, it’s free - and highly recommended.)

I’m thinking of joining a 12 team roto 5x5 league that uses two catchers. I’ve never played a 2 catcher league. How does this affect draft strategy? Catcher is such a tough position and in standard leagues, I just try to find someone that won’t kill my offensive stats too much. I used Ryan Doumit in most leagues last year, which didn’t work out so well.

My points league was 2 catchers for a long time. We only had 9 teams, and you could get away with reaching (because there was always talent available). I think as the league expands, you’re still going to end up with a flawed catcher or two - the key is to minimize the damage to your AVG. You can’t get away with not starting a 2nd catcher - even 5 HRs and 50 RBI can really contribute (or rather, the lack of 5/50 can really hurt).

I have an unhealthy attraction to Carlos Ruiz as a 2nd C (but I’m usually in OBP leagues). Ramon Hernandez isn’t going to really hurt your AVG, will definitely hit 5/50, and has the potential to do more (but his playing time might suck this year with a prospect on his heels).

Hey, would it be ok for me to post a couple of mock drafts that I did here and get some feedback? This is my first go around with fantasy baseball and I am in a 14 team yahoo standard 5x5 roto mixed league, and feeling a bit out of my depth.