On Tuesday night, I have the first of my five drafts. This one is a 12-team 5x5 mixed league that is shallower than one would expect. There is just one catcher, three outfielders, no corner or middle, and just seven active pitchers of which two must be starters and two must be relievers. You can D.L. two players and use five bench slots.
Given the shallow active rosters, I'd expect the wisest course of action would be to focus on the elite players at each position and focus more on less risky players at the expense of trying to grab sleepers. This also leads one to focus more on position scarcity than one normally would.
The question is how soon should one jump at scarcity rather than production. Does one use the ADPs of the scarcer positions like 2B, SS and C and try to be one round ahead of them? Two? Should a team take C Brian McCann, 2B Alexi Ramirez, in the 3rd round over OF Matt Kemp or 1B Adrian Gonzalez?
Another concern in a league with so few active hitters is the effects of low AVG hitters like 1B Ryan Howard and OF Adam Dunn. Normally, these players are high draft picks thanks to their reliable HR production. However, a team was able to dilute the negative effects of their AVG with four hitting slots that are not in this league.
Do you downgrade the low AVG hitters?
As for pitchers, do the fewer active pitchers make the top starting pitchers more valuable? Does this merit taking a couple more pitchers in the earlier rounds than conventional wisdom dictate or do the fewer spots mean there will be many more quality pitchers available late in the draft?
As for the bench spots, are these better off being filled with starting pitchers who can be streamed in and out of the line-up or should they be used to take the best available players as there should be plenty of corners and outfielders undrafted?
These are the types of questions/strategies I am contemplating and would like to hear how others change their strategies in shallow leagues.