Fake Teams H2H League: Brian's Division

Mike Stobe

Brian Creagh breaks down his competition in the Fake Teams H2H Points League.

I apologize for being a day late on this article. I took a deeper dive than initially planned in order to make it up to you.

As I noted in my Initial Thoughts post here, Alex and I conducted the Fake Teams H2H Points League on Wednesday night. I won't re-hash any issues covered in my original post, so let's get right into the draft analysis. I will have a snapshot of each team's roster with a Best Pick and Worst Pick as well as a general analysis of the roster.

The Ginga Ninja

1.

(3)

Mike Trout(LAA - OF)

2.

(26)

Jose Bautista(Tor - OF)

3.

(31)

Justin Upton(Atl - OF)

4.

(54)

Johnny Cueto(Cin - SP)

5.

(59)

Ian Desmond(Was - SS)

6.

(82)

Matt Moore(TB - SP)

7.

(87)

Matt Wieters(Bal - C)

8.

(110)

David Freese(StL - 3B)

9.

(115)

Dan Haren(Was - SP)

10.

(138)

Danny Espinosa(Was - 2B,SS)

11.

(143)

Carl Crawford(LAD - OF)

12.

(166)

Huston Street(SD - RP)

13.

(171)

Justin Morneau(Min - 1B)

14.

(194)

Ben Revere(Phi - OF)

15.

(199)

Pedro Alvarez(Pit - 3B)

16.

(222)

Michael Morse(Sea - OF)

17.

(227)

Kyle Lohse(StL - SP)

18.

(250)

Jason Kubel(Ari - OF)

19.

(255)

Clay Buchholz(Bos - SP)

20.

(278)

James McDonald(Pit - SP)

21.

(283)

Tyler Clippard(Was - RP)

22.

(306)

Johan Santana(NYM - SP)

23.

(311)

Francisco Liriano(Pit - SP,RP)

24.

(334)

Cody Ross(Ari - OF)

25.

(339)

Kelly Johnson(TB - 2B)

Best Pick: Justin Upton (Pick 31) - An absolute steal to get Upton in Round 3 of a 14-team league. He has two straight seasons of a sub-20% K rate, which is my unofficial cut-off in points leagues for deciding whether a player is too strikeout-prone. If 2012 is his absolute floor for this season, Conan is guaranteed to get positive value out of his Round 3 pick - an impressive feat.

Worst Pick: Danny Espinosa (Pick 138) - Espinosa is a killer in points leagues. With a 25%+ K rate, he loses your team a point every 4th at bat. His contact deficiencies are compounded by his spot at the end of the lineup, which will hurt his ability to pile up counting stats. Consider that in 50 MORE AB's, Espinosa scored fewer points in 2012 than Darwin Barney, whom went undrafted.

Overall Outlook: I'm not crazy at seeing 3 OF's going off the board in a team's first three picks. It leaves you with very little flexibility going forward and I think that manifests itself in the Freese, Espinosa, and Wieters picks. That said, the team still appears to be in a position to compete. I do love the high risk/high rewards arms taken at the end of the draft in Johan, McDonald, Buchholz, and Liriano. I'm also in love with the Moore pick. The potential is there for the rotation's depth to makeup for the lack of a frontline ace.

The Dead End Kids

1.

(14)

Stephen Strasburg(Was - SP)

2.

(15)

Buster Posey(SF - C,1B)

3.

(42)

Adam Jones(Bal - OF)

4.

(43)

R.A. Dickey(Tor - SP)

5.

(70)

Jason Kipnis(Cle - 2B)

6.

(71)

Brett Lawrie(Tor - 3B)

7.

(98)

Shin-Soo Choo(Cin - OF)

8.

(99)

David Ortiz(Bos - 1B)

9.

(126)

Josh Rutledge(Col - 2B,SS)

10.

(127)

Mike Minor(Atl - SP)

11.

(154)

Curtis Granderson(NYY - OF)

12.

(155)

Jim Johnson(Bal - RP)

13.

(182)

Kenley Jansen(LAD - RP)

14.

(183)

Adam Eaton(Ari - OF)

15.

(210)

Corey Hart(Mil - 1B,OF)

16.

(211)

Ryan Dempster(Bos - SP)

17.

(238)

Shelby Miller(StL - RP)

18.

(239)

Brandon Beachy(Atl - SP)

19.

(266)

Hyun-Jin Ryu(LAD - SP)

20.

(267)

Jedd Gyorko(SD - 3B)

21.

(294)

Daniel Straily(Oak - SP)

22.

(295)

Stephen Drew(Bos - SS)

23.

(322)

Darin Ruf(Phi - OF)

24.

(323)

Jurickson Profar(Tex - MI)

25.

(350)

Aaron Hicks(Min - OF)

Best Pick: Adam Eaton (Pick 183) - My man-crush on Adam Eaton has been growing everyday. My heart skips a beat every time I see his FanGraphs page and see two projection systems predict a .800 OPS from this leadoff hitter. Throw in the low K%, above average walk rate and you're looking at maybe the best pick in the draft.

Worst Pick: Buster Posey (Pick 15) - The pick is defensible from this spot in the draft, if you're supremely confident in his ability to repeat 2012 because there's no chance he makes it all the way back here in Round 3. Unfortunately, I'm not inclined to believe he can duplicate .368 BABIP, 19% HR/FB, and I'm hesitant to pick a hitter who experiences such severe Home/Away or Lefty/Righty splits on an early pick in a H2H League. Posey's power output is far greater on the road, so you're automatically at a disadvantage any week your best hitter has an extended home stand.

Overall Outlook: Top to bottom, I really like this team. I may have gone David Price in Round 2, and taken a hitter in Round 4 instead of Dickey, but obviously it's easier to say that now after seeing how it played out. I was praying for a pick at the tail end to grab two aces in the first three rounds and this was sort of accomplished with Strasburg and Dickey (I'm not a huge Dickey believer). With Granderson, Hart, and Beachy all shelved for the first few weeks of the season, if DEK can remain competitive early on, a late season surge is a very real possibility.

Chen Music

1.

(9)

Prince Fielder(Det - 1B)

2.

(20)

Matt Cain(SF - SP)

3.

(37)

Jered Weaver(LAA - SP)

4.

(48)

Starlin Castro(ChC - SS)

5.

(65)

Aaron Hill(Ari - 2B)

6.

(76)

Desmond Jennings(TB - OF)

7.

(93)

Jason Motte(StL - RP)

8.

(104)

Nelson Cruz(Tex - OF)

9.

(121)

Hunter Pence(SF - OF)

10.

(132)

Mark Trumbo(LAA - 1B,3B,OF)

11.

(149)

Salvador Perez(KC - C)

12.

(160)

Ryan Vogelsong(SF - SP)

13.

(177)

Rafael Betancourt(Col - RP)

14.

(188)

Manny Machado(Bal - 3B)

15.

(205)

Wei-Yin Chen(Bal - SP)

16.

(216)

Tim Hudson(Atl - SP)

17.

(233)

Alexi Ogando(Tex - RP)

18.

(244)

Kyuji Fujikawa(ChC - RP)

19.

(261)

Jhonny Peralta(Det - SS)

20.

(272)

Chris Young(Oak - OF)

21.

(289)

Mark Reynolds(Cle - 1B,3B)

22.

(300)

Jeff Keppinger(CWS - 1B,2B,3B)

23.

(317)

Colby Rasmus(Tor - OF)

24.

(328)

Ervin Santana(KC - SP)

25.

(345)

Jarrod Saltalamacchia(Bos - C)

Best Pick: Aaron Hill (Pick 65) - Hill is tailor-made for Arizona's ballpark and should put up similar numbers to 2012. A 13% K rate is awesome in points leagues and it plays up due to his average walk rate and loads of AB's he gets from batting towards the top of the lineup. Love this pick in Round 5.

Worst Pick: Rafael Betancourt (Pick 177) - Relievers are volatile in this format. A 3-save week could net upwards of 30 points, but a 2-run blown save could end up in (-9) points for the day. In a league this deep, you're going to have to run with a garbage closer or two, but I wouldn't waste a 13th Round pick on my lower-tiered closer. This pick was reconciled a bit with the Fujikawa pick in the 18th Round.

Overall Outlook: There's a good amount of high-strikeout hitters on this offense, but it somehow seems to work. Jennings, Cruz, and Pence should contribute enough in counting stats to make-up for the high strikeout totals. The staff is solid with Cain and Weaver at the top, but it could use a little depth as Ervin Santana is itching to hurl a few (-15) point starts this season. Cy Chen has his best talent in the hard-to-fill positions, so any holes that may appear should be relatively easy to patch up.

The Hamburglar

1.

(8)

Joey Votto(Cin - 1B)

2.

(21)

Felix Hernandez(Sea - SP)

3.

(36)

Edwin Encarnacion(Tor - 1B)

4.

(49)

Madison Bumgarner(SF - SP)

5.

(64)

Joe Mauer(Min - C,1B)

6.

(77)

Jay Bruce(Cin - OF)

7.

(92)

Jake Peavy(CWS - SP)

8.

(105)

Austin Jackson(Det - OF)

9.

(120)

Derek Jeter(NYY - SS)

10.

(133)

Fernando Rodney(TB - RP)

11.

(148)

Jarrod Parker(Oak - SP)

12.

(161)

Will Middlebrooks(Bos - 3B)

13.

(176)

Dan Uggla(Atl - 2B)

14.

(189)

Casey Janssen(Tor - RP)

15.

(204)

A.J. Pierzynski(Tex - C)

16.

(217)

Wade Miley(Ari - SP)

17.

(232)

Torii Hunter(Det - OF)

18.

(245)

Michael Brantley(Cle - OF)

19.

(260)

Mike Fiers(Mil - SP)

20.

(273)

Yunel Escobar(TB - SS)

21.

(288)

Ryan Madson(LAA - RP)

22.

(301)

Paul Maholm(Atl - SP)

23.

(316)

Matt Joyce(TB - OF)

24.

(329)

Jon Jay(StL - OF)

25.

(344)

Joe Saunders(Sea - SP)

Best Pick: Jarrod Parker (Pick 148) - Excellent change-up, excellent home ballpark, excellent value, this pick has it all. Parker worries me a little bit with his heavy workload in 2012 as he's only 2 years removed from Tommy John Surgery. This also works in his favor as it typically takes a year or two for pitchers to regain form after the surgery, so we may have not even seen the best stuff from Parker yet. Having him as a SP4 is lethal.

Worst Pick: Fernando Rodney (Pick 133) - I just don't see it. Maybe I'm jaded and will always see Fernando Rodney as the reliever with a sub-1.5 K/BB ratio in three of the last 4 years, but I don't think it's that far of a stretch for Rodney to go all Jose Valverde on us in 2013 and comes no where close to his numbers in 2012. Similar to Betancourt again, if you're going to spend a pick on a potentially explosive reliever, save it for the later stages of the draft.

Overall Outlook: There were a lot of options for "Best Picks" as I liked Parker, Peavy, Fiers, Escobar, Joyce, and Bumgarner so I really like how the draft turned out for the Hamburglar. Pairing these nice value picks with Votto and King Felix could make for a tough team to beat. There is some undeniable risk here as Votto's health isn't assured, Felix has had recent arm issues, Mauer is always a health risk, Jeter doesn't look good to start the year, and high strikeout guys like Uggla and Bruce may struggle to carry the weight if any big stick goes down.

Brian - Fake Teams

1.

(2)

Clayton Kershaw(LAD - SP)

2.

(27)

Cole Hamels(Phi - SP)

3.

(30)

Hanley Ramirez(LAD - 3B,SS)

4.

(55)

Mat Latos(Cin - SP)

5.

(58)

Anthony Rizzo(ChC - 1B)

6.

(83)

Alex Gordon(KC - OF)

7.

(86)

B.J. Upton(Atl - OF)

8.

(111)

Jon Lester(Bos - SP)

9.

(114)

Nick Markakis(Bal - OF)

10.

(139)

Angel Pagan(SF - OF)

11.

(142)

Alcides Escobar(KC - SS)

12.

(167)

Neil Walker(Pit - 2B)

13.

(170)

Trevor Cahill(Ari - SP)

14.

(195)

Brian McCann(Atl - C)

15.

(198)

Yonder Alonso(SD - 1B)

16.

(223)

Glen Perkins(Min - RP)

17.

(226)

Dustin Ackley(Sea - 1B,2B)

18.

(251)

Wandy Rodriguez(Pit - SP)

19.

(254)

Brandon Belt(SF - 1B)

20.

(279)

Ernesto Frieri(LAA - RP)

21.

(282)

Jeff Niemann(TB - SP)

22.

(307)

Chris Tillman(Bal - SP)

23.

(310)

Zach McAllister(Cle - SP)

24.

(335)

Patrick Corbin(Ari - SP,RP)

25.

(338)

Chad Billingsley(LAD - SP)

Best Pick: Angel Pagan (Pick 139) - Pagan had a quietly productive 2012 and his low strikeout totals should really make him a steady contributor throughout the year. Injury concerns me a bit with him, but he was my 4th OF selected in a league that starts only 3, so he's an easy replacement if necessary.

Worst Pick: B.J. Upton (Pick 86) - I've spent the last 48 hours trying to rationalize this pick. I still can't do it. Let's just chalk this one up to a brain fart and move on.

Overall Outlook: I'm much more confident in my team right now than I was after leaving the war room. My offense is a bit underwhelming, but I'm trusting my strategy to rack up points in bunches with my rotation and just utilize my offense for steady contributions and not give any of the points back through a large amount of strikeouts. The development of Rizzo and a full season's worth of focus from Han-Ram could prove pivotal to my team's success.

Nola Rougarou

1.

(1)

Ryan Braun(Mil - OF)

2.

(28)

David Wright(NYM - 3B)

3.

(29)

Adam Wainwright(StL - SP)

4.

(56)

Elvis Andrus(Tex - SS)

5.

(57)

Yadier Molina(StL - C)

6.

(84)

Jose Altuve(Hou - 2B)

7.

(85)

Shane Victorino(Bos - OF)

8.

(112)

Josh Willingham(Min - OF)

9.

(113)

Tim Lincecum(SF - SP)

10.

(140)

Doug Fister(Det - SP)

11.

(141)

Mike Napoli(Bos - C,1B)

12.

(168)

Brett Gardner(NYY - OF)

13.

(169)

Sergio Romo(SF - RP)

14.

(196)

Derek Holland(Tex - SP)

15.

(197)

Coco Crisp(Oak - OF)

16.

(224)

Kevin Youkilis(NYY - 1B,3B)

17.

(225)

Jed Lowrie(Oak - SS)

18.

(252)

Andy Pettitte(NYY - SP)

19.

(253)

Jean Segura(Mil - SS)

20.

(280)

Vinnie Pestano(Cle - RP)

21.

(281)

Sergio Santos(Tor - RP)

22.

(308)

Logan Morrison(Mia - 1B,OF)

23.

(309)

Gavin Floyd(CWS - SP)

24.

(336)

Kyle Gibson(Min - SP)

25.

(337)

Chris Archer(TB - SP)

Best Pick: Adam Wainwright (Pick 29) - He's probably not great value compared to most other drafts, but in this format Wainwright could be a monster. I think he returns to his 230+ IP form and with the potent St. Louis behind him, finishes in the Top 15 for points.

Worst Pick: Mike Napoli (Pick 141) - I know he's moved over to 1B/DH in Boston, but I'm still doubtful that Napoli plays close to a full season. To not get 150+ games played from your 1B is a tough blow to take in fantasy. A lot of Napoli's value is also tied to his C eligibility, but he appears to be slotted into 1B at this lineup so I have less of an issue with the timing of the pick and more of an issue with the fit into the overall lineup.

Overall Outlook: I love Nola's first 7 picks. Filling the 4 most shallow positions with top options and pairing them with Ryan Braun and Adam Wainwright is a great strategy. Outside of Holland, Lowrie, and Segura there aren't many high-upside picks at the end of the draft and championship runs are typically aided from late round breakouts. This can very possibly be accomplished through Free Agency and the top of the order might be strong enough to carry the team all season so I like this team's chances.

Brick Squad

1.

(4)

Miguel Cabrera(Det - 3B)

2.

(25)

Giancarlo Stanton(Mia - OF)

3.

(32)

Paul Goldschmidt(Ari - 1B)

4.

(53)

CC Sabathia(NYY - SP)

5.

(60)

Jacoby Ellsbury(Bos - OF)

6.

(81)

Carlos Santana(Cle - C,1B)

7.

(88)

Asdrubal Cabrera(Cle - SS)

8.

(109)

Josh Johnson(Tor - SP)

9.

(116)

Matt Harvey(NYM - SP)

10.

(137)

Michael Bourn(Cle - OF)

11.

(144)

Chase Utley(Phi - 2B)

12.

(165)

Homer Bailey(Cin - SP)

13.

(172)

John Axford(Mil - RP)

14.

(193)

Todd Frazier(Cin - 1B,3B,OF)

15.

(200)

Jason Grilli(Pit - RP)

16.

(221)

Andrelton Simmons(Atl - SS)

17.

(228)

Dillon Gee(NYM - SP)

18.

(249)

Cameron Maybin(SD - OF)

19.

(256)

Jason Hammel(Bal - SP)

20.

(277)

Wily Peralta(Mil - SP)

21.

(284)

Erasmo Ramirez(Sea - SP,RP)

22.

(305)

Michael Saunders(Sea - OF)

23.

(312)

Adam Dunn(CWS - 1B,OF)

24.

(333)

Alex Avila(Det - C)

25.

(340)

Drew Stubbs(Cle - OF)

Best Pick: Paul Goldschmidt (Pick 32) - I debated taking Goldschmidt at pick 30 and still wonder if I should have taken him. I think he can put up Top 25 production in 2013 and this could be the last season you have a chance to get Goldschmidt outside of the first round. Also strongly considered Erasmo Ramirez, and Andrelton Simmons.

Worst Pick: Michael Bourn (Pick 137) - Bourn kept falling and falling on draft night and Brick Squad finally snatched up him in Round 10, and I think Bourn deserved to fall another 2-3 rounds. Bourn's value comes from his elite SB totals that can't be matched by many other players. In points leagues, no team has to match his SB totals to be victorious. Nullifying his enormous advantage in SB, Bourn becomes a .275 hitter who will likely never touch double digit HRs.

Overall Outlook: Star power (Cabrera, Stanton, Sabathia), 1st round value potential (Ellsbury, Goldschmidt), breakout youngsters (Erasmo Ramirez, Wily Peralta, Andrelton Simmons), underrated contributors (Dillon Gee, Michael Saunders) this team appears to have it all. It's a shame Brick Squad moved to auto-draft and had to settle for Dunn, Avila, and Stubbs to wrap up the draft. Could've had one of the most complete drafts I've seen in a while.

Follow me on Twitter (@BrianCreagh)!

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