2013 FSIC NL Roster Thoughts

Earlier today, I completed my very first non-pretend fantasy draft of the season.  And when I say draft, I mean draft.  Most experts leagues use an auction format to distribute players, but the Fantasy Sports Invitational Challenge (FSIC) uses an old fashioned snake draft.  I can say with absolutely no reserve or remorse that I hate snake drafts.

They are surely the more expedient form of player allocation, but they pale in comparison to an auction draft, which allows for far greater flexibility in roster construction and never informs the participant that a player is unavailable to him because someone else said his name first.  I can’t count the number of times that the player I wanted was picked one or two picks before I was on the clock in this draft.  Yes, everyone faces the same challenges and likely faces this very same situation, but I’d rather avoid it altogether with an auction, where every time a player’s name is brought up, you have a chance to acquire him.

There’s far too much guesswork in snake drafts for my liking, and that guesswork often leads to smaller bargains if you pull the trigger too early or opportunities missed entirely if you wait too long. I’m very much looking forward to a slate of leagues that will exclusively (save the Yahoo! Friends & Family draft) be using the auction format over the next month.  Now, onto my roster:

Position Player Round
C Wellington Castillo R23
1B Adam LaRoche R7
2B Neil Walker R6
3B Ryan Zimmerman R3
SS Martin Prado R4
CI Tyler Colvin R12
MI Cliff Pennington R15
OF Carlos Gonzalez R1
OF Matt Holliday R2
OF Jayson Werth R8
OF Gerardo Parra R14
OF Eric Young R17
UT Chris Denorfia R19
BN (3B) Nolan Arenado R24
BN (CI) Taylor Green R27


Position Pitcher Round
SP Roy Halladay R5
SP Matt Garza R9
SP Tim Lincecum R10
SP Brandon McCarthy R13
SP Johan Santana R16
SP Francisco Liriano R20
CL Huston Street R11
RP Tyler Clippard R18
RP Sean Marshall R22
BN (SP) Brandon Beachy R21
BN (SP) Jason Marquis R25
BN (RP) Casey Kelly R26

I was awarded the sixth pick in the draft (11 teams total) through random selection, and my initial target was Andrew McCutchen (assuming the chance of Ryan Braun falling due to steroid allegations was a mere pipedream).  McClucken, surprisingly, went second overall, perhaps due to last night’s news that he’s been studying elite basestealers in an attempt to ramp up his running game this year.  I see Carlos Gonzalez as a similar category in the five-category mold, albeit with a bit less upside.

Matt Holliday was the pick in the second round. I was hoping for Adrian Gonzalez and then for David Wright, but they were selected with the two previous picks.  I also debated Buster Posey and Justin Upton at this spot, but I wanted to mitigate risk (the early rounds rarely warrant taking chances), and Holliday is as solid and reliable as they come.  The venue change isn’t particular favorable for Upton following his trade this winter, and in a league that only drafts one catcher, I decided to pass on Posey.  As a result, I wound up waiting until near the end of the draft to get my catcher, Wellington Castillo, who should get regular at-bats and has quality skills and decent upside.

This reliability concept may seem to present itself quite a bit throughout most of my early-round picks, as I didn’t take chances on players like Adam Eaton or Starling Marte that have high upside but also a high risk of struggling or fizzling out entirely.  This isn’t so much because I’m in love with the concept of reliability, but rather that I tend to think older, unsexy veterans like LaRoche and Werth are often undervalued, so I’m happy to scoop them up during the rounds everyone else is chugging the soup of the day and hoping they don’t get burned.

My pitching staff has a lot of risk, but I’ve found in past years that this is a solid strategy for the FSIC.  I don’t need everyone to throw 200 innings, but if the innings that guys like Garza, McCarthy, Santana, and Beachy are quality, I can plug and play match-ups to eat some innings while they’re on the DL, all the while my elite relievers holding down my ratios.  There’s rarely a lack of (relatively) non-terrible starters on the waiver wire, and the league contracting an owner will continue to assure that’s the case.  The only drawback to this strategy is a lack of DL spots, but it’s not as if bench spots are super valuable in deep leagues anyway, especially once you hit mid-season.

While I don’t consider my roster to be efficiently structured (at least relative to how I would do it in an auction league), I do think I wound up with a very solid club.  Missing out on a number of players was tough and cut into my profit margin a bit (I won’t say who yet, as I imagine I’ll be targeting these guys in LABR next weekend too), but I feel I have a very strong team.  I’ve finished second in this league twice in recent years, so hopefully this is the year I pull out a victory.

What do you think of my team?


Comment from Andrew
Time February 24, 2013 at 6:48 PM

Offense looks solid with a lot of ABs. Pitching could be dynamite, but it’s certainly not without risk. You think Halladay and Lincecum bounce back?

Comment from Derek Carty
Time February 26, 2013 at 12:35 AM

Yeah, maybe not to their once ridiculously dominant selves, but definitely sub-4.00 ERAs, possibly sub-3.50s.