Monday, March 17, 2014

Here's a look at the first of my two fantasy teams

Manny Machado
I'll be participating in two fantasy baseball leagues this summer. In addition to talking about actual baseball, I plan to post about fantasy baseball from time to time once the regular season begins. I'll talk about the progress of my own teams, and hopefully hand out some decent advice to readers of this blog.

I was nowhere near a computer last night and therefore unable to participate in the draft for the first league I'm in. This is my first year in this keeper league, where I inherited a last place team. I did have the first pick in the draft, and the league commissioner selected a team for me based upon player rankings. Here is my roster:

C: Jason Castro
1B: Prince Fielder
2B: Ian Kinsler:
SS: Troy Tulowitzki
3B: Manny Machado
LF: Starling Marte 
CF: Michael Bourn
RF: Josh Reddick
DH: Matt Kemp

BN: Domonic Brown
BN: Aramis Ramirez
BN: Daniel Murphy
BN: Todd Frazier
BN: Alexei Ramirez

SP: Jordan Zimmermann
SP: David Price
SP: Gerrit Cole
SP: Mike Minor
SP: CC Sabathia
SP: Dan Straily

RP: Steve Cishek
RP: Addison Reed
RP: Joaquin Benoit
RP: Mark Melancon

The league allows owners to keep four guys from the previous year's team. My four were Tulowitzki, Machado, Fielder and Zimmermann.

Zimmermann was the easiest choice. I can see why last year's owner finished last. His relief pitching was terrible, and Francisco Liriano was his second-best starter. I figured I had to keep one pitcher, and Zimmermann was the only guy on that roster I liked.

I'm always a little reluctant on Tulowitzki. He always seems to have injuries, but he's still the best offensive shortstop in the game. It's hard not to keep him if you have the chance.

I kept Machado because third base is a hard position to fill. Even though he's coming off an injury and may not be ready to start the season, I feel like he's a good fantasy option over the long haul. At least I have Ramirez and Frazier as backups at third base to get me by in the short run.

Finally, I had to decide whether to keep Fielder or Josh Hamilton as my fourth guy. I chose Fielder because I think he will thrive in hitter-friendly Texas, and Hamilton hasn't been healthy this spring. I was already keeping a couple health risks in Tulowitzki and Machado, and didn't want to take another one.

At first glance, it looks like right field and relief pitching will be my two weaknesses. Reddick, who was chosen for me in the 21st round, is my only option in right field. Once Machado is healthy, I might be looking to deal one of my third basemen to fill that spot.

As for relief pitching, well, closing situations are always so fluid. Things change quickly, and if you're on top of things, you can sometimes find some good options for your team on waivers. We'll see.

I have another draft next Sunday. It's not a keeper league, and I'll actually be able to go to the draft. I'll post the results and my thoughts on it in this space next week.

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