DRAFT STRATEGY: AL & NL-only leagues. Warning: Not for faint of heart

Harry How

In a world of vanilla draft strategies, take the unconventional route and reap the rewards.

Duke & Duke: A Rotisserie Strategy

Think big, think positive, never show any sign of weakness. Always go for the throat. Buy low, sell high. Fear? That's the other guy's problem. Nothing you have ever experienced will prepare you for the absolute carnage you are about to witness. Super Bowl, World Series - they don't know what pressure is. In this building, it's either kill or be killed. You make no friends in the pits and you take no prisoners. One minute you're up half a million in soybeans and the next, boom, your kids don't go to college and they've repossessed your Bentley. Are you with me?

Let me preface this quote with an acknowledgement that the strategy I am proposing is not for the faint of heart. As in the American classic "Trading Places", it's an either kill or be killed strategy. It will cause you to question every single bone in your body as you ask yourself, "Am I f%^king crazy?" WTF am I doing? Why does this feel so wrong? Here it is:

YOU HAVE BEEN A VICTIM OF THE HERD. AND YOU ARE CREATING A NEW PATH. A BETTER PATH. A PATH THAT WILL MAKE YOUR TEAM CONSTANTLY FIELDING TRADE OFFERS AS YOU DEAL FROM A POSITION OF STRENGTH.

This strategy is not one you can abandon a quarter of the season in, halfway in, or anything other than over the course of a full season. It is not a strategy for every league. This particular strategy will only work in AL & NL-only leagues auction leagues. With the current school of thought that closers are overvalued, we are edging closer and closer to a tipping point where closers are being undervalued. Teams are waiting to spend very valuable dollars on closers when in fact it is opening a gigantic loophole for you to exploit. So, you may be wondering the strategy I am advocating, and here it is:

HOARD CLOSERS.

Let me say this again, as you may be thinking I am out and out crazy:

HOARD CLOSERS.

Now I am not advocating 1st round Craig Kimbrel, 2nd round Aroldis Chapman, 3rd round whoever.

Louis: My God! The Dukes are going to corner the entire frozen orange juice market!

Ophelia: Unless somebody stops them...

Coleman: ...or *beats* them to it.

Here is what I am advocating in your 12 team, traditional auction based NL or AL-only league. Accumulating the best four closers. The Fake Teams staff has given us the blueprint to use:

Craig Kimbrel

Kenley Jansen

Aroldis Chapman

Trevor Rosenthal

All four are great closers in the NL that the Fake Teams staff has penciled in as the four best options. The second tier would consist of the following:

Sergio Romo

Rafael Soriano

Addison Reed

Jonathan Papelbon

Over in the AL, the tiers look like this:

Greg Holland

Koji Uehara

Glen Perkins

Joe Nathan

And secondarily:

David Robertson

Casey Janssen

Grant Balfour

Jim Johnson

Now in a perfect world you would grab as many of the first tier as possible and accompany them with as many of the second tier to get to the aforementioned magic number.

Although it seems too easy, it will test your heart. Your offense will be anchored by several decent players. Your staff will be somewhat lacking. But as your season unfolds and you build and expand your greatest strength in the now-elusive Saves category, you now unfold your neatly planned strategy. At 40-55 games in, you should have close to 40 SVs. This is trade trigger number one: Take your best closer and make him available only to the teams who ended up shut out of the closer bidding. Deal him for the best hitter that team has. Insist on it, because if he has any chance of winning, god only knows he can't afford to have a 0 in the SV category. Second and third trade triggers comes at the All Star break. At this juncture, you should have enough saves to place no lower than second in the league. Now it's time to deal two more closers, and with it, the two best offensive players you can get, no matter who they are from. Now preferably it would be a team needing a few points in SVs, but that is less important. This should net you two very good offensive players.

Valentine: It was an experiment... to see how our lives would turn out... the Dukes arranged it... they made a bet.

Coleman: I'm afraid it's true, sir.

Ophelia: I believe him, Louie.

Louis Winthorpe III: The Dukes... ruined my life... over a bet? For how much?

Billy Ray Valentine: A dollar.

And here we are, at the conclusion of this strategy. All crazy, all fly-in-the-face, all unconventional. So unconventional it could work. And has. The season I tried this, I garnered a second place finish. Not a title, but a few breaks here and there on the offensive side and I would've riden the hoard closer strategy to a title. Now I pass this strategy on to you. Do with it what you must. Laugh at it. Consider me crazy. But somewhere, in an alternate universe, this strategy is worth attempting. I hope you give it a try this year, and I hope you win. Because that tipping point may indeed be here already.

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