The best way to prepare for your Fantasy Baseball drafts is competing for real money instead of mock drafts. At FullTime Fantasy Sports, we have 44s and 88s, which recently closed now that the season is less than two weeks away. There’s less maintenance with 0 waivers, and no trades. All you do is set weekly lineups. While the strategy does change slightly, it helps you get familiar with the player pool.
Here are my thoughts on an 88 draft that began Feb. 19. These are 12-team leagues with slow drafts and 44 rounds. Obviously, I am going to like most of my picks so the best picks of the round are other than myself.
One of the reasons I chose this draft to analyze is to illustrate how you need to adjust on the fly. We all have plans of what we want to do going into drafts, especially in the first few rounds. I always preach to be flexible and adapt to what’s going on in the draft.
This draft shows that in a big way. I had no intention of taking three starting pitchers in the first four rounds. If you said that would happen, I would have told you it’s highly unlikely. As with anything in life, there were some surprising curves thrown my way, with players falling into spots I didn’t expect. I had to change my strategy in a drastic way.
First 24 Rounds of Draft Board
Round 1, Pick 8: Mookie Betts, Boston Red Sox
Betts disappointed in average and power last season, but still had 101 runs, 102 RBIs and 26 stolen bases. Betts is a career .292 hitter and I expect the average to improve. The addition of J.D. Martinez is big for the lineup and I have several shares of Betts already with several drafts remaining.
Round 2, Pick 5: Chris Sale, Boston Red Sox
I was stunned Sale was here. He usually goes in the first round or early second round in 12-team leagues. I couldn’t click draft fast enough. He has pitched at least 200 innings in three straight seasons and struck out 308 in 2017.
Round 3, Pick 8: Noah Syndergaard, New York Mets
I didn’t expect Thor to land here. This was before he pitched in the spring and he has been dominant in spring training. He has moved up draft boards and I expect to see him go in the early second round of drafts leading up to the season. There’s injury risk, but there’s the ceiling of a Cy Young winner.
Best pick of round: Anthony Rizzo, Chicago Cubs (3.1)
Round 4, Pick 5: Jacob deGrom, New York Mets
Since this is a format with no waiver wire adds, getting starting pitching is important. I had no plan to get another one, but I didn’t think deGrom would be here. deGrom has been one of the best pitchers in the N.L. the last few seasons.
Best pick of round: Alex Bregman, Houston Astros (4.11)
Round 5, Pick 8: Edwin Encarnacion, Cleveland Indians
Encarnacion has at least 34 home runs and 98 RBIs in six straight seasons. He’s as consistent as they come and I have to load up on power with three pitchers already on the roster.
Best pick of round: Starling Marte (5.7)
Round 6, Pick 5: Justin Turner, Los Angeles Dodgers
Turner doesn’t have elite power, but he provides a high floor in batting average, which allows me to take on power hitters that don’t hit for high average. For more on Turner, click here.
Best pick of round: Aaron Nola (6.1)
Round 7, Pick 8: Yasiel Puig, Los Angeles Dodgers
Puig had 28 home runs and 15 stolen bases last season and he hit eighth in the order often. He will be hitting in the middle of the lineup and has immense talent.
Best pick of round: Will Myers (7.12)
Round 8, Pick 5: Lorenzo Cain, Milwaukee Brewers
Cain is in a good spot in the Brewers lineup. It’s a better park than Kansas City and he contributes across the board. He has at least 26 steals in three of the last four seasons and is a career .290 hitter.
Best pick of round: Nick Castellanos (8.10)
Round 9, Pick 8: Joey Gallo, Texas Rangers
This is where roster construction comes into play. I am behind in home runs and while Gallo is going to hurt the batting average, there’s still a chance he could hit .250, which isn’t terrible in today’s environment. If he can’t improve the batting average, I have several potential .290-.300 hitters that can negate some of it. I need the 40 home runs here.
Best pick of round: Brad Hand (9.12)
Round 10, Pick 5: Raisel Igelsias, Cincinnati Reds
Needed to get my first closer.
Best pick of round: Ryan Braun (10.10)
Round 11, Pick 8: Ozzie Albies, Atlanta Braves
Albies is going higher in recent drafts. For a 20-year old last season, he impressed in 57 games with the Braves.
Best pick of round: Travis Shaw (11.5)
Round 12, Pick 5: Ian Desmond, Colorado Rockies
Desmond was plagued by injuries last season, but playing in Coors Field he will have good counting stats with power and speed.
Best pick of round: Gregory Polanco (12.11)
Round 13, Pick 8: Trevor Bauer, Cleveland Indians
My first starting pitcher since round four as I needed to pile up on bats. For more on Bauer, click here.
Best pick of round: Luke Weaver (13.2)
Round 14, Pick 5: Welington Castillo, Chicago White Sox
Castillo has good power and hits for a good average. He’s a solid first catcher.
Best pick of round: Jameson Taillon (14.8)
Round 15, Pick 8: Blake Treinen, Oakland Athletics
This was the second closer I wanted. He’s being undervalued. After being traded to the A’s from the Nationals, Treinen had a 2.13 ERA, 1.15 WHIP and a 42:12 K:BB ratio in 38 innings. He threw more first-pitch strikes and induced a lot of grounders
Best pick of round: Kyle Schwarber (15.5)
Round 16, Pick 5: Kevin Gausman, Baltimore Orioles
For more on Gausman, click here.
Best pick of round: Team Mackey, Adrian Beltre (16.3)
Round 17, Pick 8: Jorge Polanco, Minnesota Twins
I love the value of Polanco. Find out why here.
Best pick of round: Charlie Morton (17.9)
Round 18, Pick 5: Yuli Gurriel, Houston Astros
This was before Gurriel got hurt. I liked getting good batting average this late.
Best pick of round: Taijuan Walker (18.11)
Round 19, Pick 8: Randal Grichuk, Toronto Blue Jays
This team needs some power and Grichuk could hit 30 home runs in a full-time role, and while the average won’t be great, I have plenty of high average players.
Best pick of round: Ian Kinsler (19.10)
Round 20, Pick 8: Marcus Semien, Oakland A’s
For more on Semien, click here.
Best pick of round: Amed Rosario (20.3)
The Rest of my Picks:
- J.A. Happ
- Jake Odorizzi
- Delino DeShields Jr.
- Joakim Soria
- German Marquez
- Chris Owings
- Brandon Belt
- Joe Musgrove
- Nick Pivetta
- Logan Forsythe
- Tyler Flowers
- Mikie Mahtook
- Homer Bailey
- Leonys Martin
- Joe Jimenez
- Albert Almora
- Matt Boyd
- Jed Lowrie
- Jorge Bonifacio
- Martin Maldonado
- Jose Reyes
- Zach Wheeler
- Franchy Cordero
- Matt Strahm
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