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Fantasy Baseball: Jason's 1st AL-only League

I've been playing fantasy baseball for about 6 years now, but I decided that this year would be the first one where I played in an AL or NL only league.

I signed up for a standard ESPN 10-team AL only league. Snake draft, 25 rounds.

My team, and then some thoughts on this team and its' chances:

C - Kurt Suzuki (OAK)
1B - Miguel Cabrera (DET)
2B - Ben Zobrist (TAM)
3B - Gordon Beckham (CHW)
SS - Erick Aybar (LAA)
MI - Jose Lopez (SEA)
CI - Jake Fox (OAK)
OF - Adam Lind (TOR)
OF - Torii Hunter (LAA)
OF - J.D. Drew (BOS)
OF - Coco Crisp (OAK)
OF - MIlton Bradley (SEA)
UT - Chris Getz (KC)
P - Brett Anderson (OAK)
P - Rich Harden (TEX)
P - Mark Buehrle (CHW)
P - Chris Perez (CLE)
P - Matt Thornton (CHW)
P - Justin Duchscherer (OAK)
P - Brandon League (SEA)
P - Joey Devine (OAK)
P - Pat Neshek (MIN)
BN - Fausto Carmona (CLE)
BN - Chris Carter (OAK)
BN - Brett Cecil (TOR)

Projected Finish:1st
Projected Stats based on ESPN's projections:

  • 991 R, 243 HR, 968 RBI, 135 SB, .286
  • 79 W, 23 SV, 1026 K, 3.81 ERA, 1.30 WHIP

My thoughts:

  • The thing that stands out to me about this team is the ridiculous amount of positional flexibility I will have soon into the season. In ESPN leagues, Zobrist (OF), Beckham (2B), Lopez (3B potentially), Fox (OF and potentially C) will all qualifiy at more than one position, giving me a lot of possibilities as the season progresses.
  • I went offense early, and didn't really get a true #1 starter as a result. After doing that, I decided to punt saves, and went with high strikeout relivers who have a possibility of closing sometime during the season.
  • It was a bit of a mental shift, but I found myself going toward players who, while they wouldn't always provide a huge number in any one category, would not hurt me in any category particularly. A perfect example was UT Chris Getz, who they had projected to post a .270+ average with 20+ steals. Definitely a mental shift from my normal drafts.
  • I wanted to take someone with a lot of potential upside, and when I was looking in the draft, Chris Carter was the best option available. I think he'll be up by the All-Star break, and could provide double digit homers in that short time.
  • Batting average is a huge strength according to the projections, as I am currently projected to hit almost 10 points higher than the next closest team. If that plays out over the span of the season, I could see moving someone with a high batting average around mid season to pick up whatever I am missing.
  • There's a lot of risk, but I think with an AL-only you're going to have some of that. MIlton Bradley, Justin Duchscherer, Rich Harden, Coco Crisp, and Joey Devine all pop out at me as players who could cause a problem.
  • Playing time doesn't look like a huge concern, except at CI (Fox), and of course injury concerns of J.D. Drew, Bradley, and Crisp.

Overall, I think it went pretty well and am looking forward to seeing how the season goes.

Your thoughts?