Two months ago, I drafted in a 12-team auction draft league (5×5) in which I used my talent concentration philosophy without reserve. I got some big guns that evening, but unfortunately it left me with a gaping hole in pitching. Now that we’re one-and-a-half months into the season (Week 7), I thought I’d give an update about my team’s fortunes.
First, as the unfortunate owner of A.J. Pollock, I ended up starting off the season on a bad note. He cost me $38 in my draft, which was about 15% of my budget. I’m holding on to him in my DL spot, so at least he could give me two months of production at the end of the season, but otherwise it’s just a bad situation I can’t spend much time reflecting on.
As for my season in general, as expected my batting has flourished while my pitching has suffered. Here are my rankings in the 5×5 categories (12-teams):
- Runs – 3rd
- HR- 3rd
- RBI – 7th
- SB – 2nd
- AVG – 4th (tie)
- W – 3rd
- SV – 10th
- K – 3rd
- ERA – 11th
- WHIP – 10th
I am currently sitting in fourth place, but only 2.5 games behind the leader. Right now, I like where my team is at. Let me go through this in a business-like fashion by applying a SWOT analysis to my team:
The reason I love talent concentration is because of what it’s given me right now: two of the top give offensive players to date (Nolan Arenado and Bryce Harper), and three of the top fifteen (Josh Donaldson). The corrollary to talent concentration is that other talent will emerge on the waiver wire as the season progresses, and so with that said I was able to pick up Jackie Bradley Jr. and Ian Desmond off waivers. Those two are in the top-25 for batters right now, so my team’s offensive prospects are strong and should continue to give me an advantage over my opponents throughout the season.
My pitching started out horribly, though it has improved modestly over the past few weeks. Out of the draft, Masahiro Tanaka was my ace, which tells you all you need to know. I ended up trading for Matt Harvey and Jason Kipnis in exchange for Jose Abreu and Matt Moore before opening day, but so far Harvey has sputtered. Since then, I have had to be aggressive on waivers and was able to pick up the following players who have been producing nicely thus far: Rich Hill, Chris Tillman, Adam Conley, Kevin Gausman, Jerad Eickhoff, Steven Wright, and Tyler Duffey. I was able to pick up so many pitchers by eliminating my bench players on the offensive side, and this is why I have been able to compete in pitcher categories such as wins and strikeouts.
Unfortunately, closers have not been as easy to come by as I had hoped for. While Steve Cishek and his 11 saves have been a pleasant surprise, my snag of Kevin Jepsen has been rotten. Since these are the only two closers on my team right now, I have been weak in the saves category. I hope that changes soon one Brad Boxberger, whom I picked up off waivers and stashed on my DL, comes back from his injury in a few weeks.
Opportunities lie in my pitching. I can try to trade at some point for a more established starter, or a well-established reliever, but at this point in the season I would like to see if someone already on my team develops into a top tier or even second-tier pitcher. I’m also betting on some other relievers to emerge during the season to take over as their teams’ closers, which could allow me to scoop them up without trading away a quality player. At the same time, I’m willing to punt a category like ERA or WHIP if that means I can consistently win in other pitching categories.
Right now my threats are minimal. Except for saves, my fantasy team’s production isn’t carried by one or two individuals. Therefore, an injury to a top player is unlikely to cause my entire team to falter. Once Boxberger gets healthy and resumes his job as the Tampa Bay closer, the threat of an injury to Cishek will pose less of a problem.
All in all, my season has progressed nicely. Although I do not yet have the number of wins in my league that I would like and still do not have great pitching, I think that the foundation of my team is pointed in a positive direction that can sustain me over the rest of the season.