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Fantasy Baseball: Ray's NL-Only Draft Strategy

With baseball season starting today, I still have two drafts to participate in. One is a NL-only keeper league draft on Wednesday night-the UBA league I mention alot in my posts, and the other is my "BIG" NL-only non-keeper 5 x 5 league draft which I have tonight. I say BIG because it is my most expensive money league I play in. I came in 5th place last year after having been in the money in each of the previous four years.

My strategy in this draft is to draft some pitching early. Not first or second round early, but more like third or fourth round. I assume pitchers like Tim Lincecum and Roy Halladay will be drafted in the first round, so I will target guys like Ricky Nolasco, Clayton Kershaw and Ubaldo Jiminez in the 3rd or 4th rounds. I want one of those 3 guys, and would prefer to wait till the 4th round to select a starting pitcher. In this league, one can usually draft a top 10 starting pitcher going into the 4th and 5th rounds.

One thing I will change in this draft compared to my 30-round draft last Wednesday is that I am going to draft guys that I like, no matter who is available. I may draft a guy like Kyle Blanks as early as the 6th round because I think he can have a very solid season this year. Another guy I will not hesitate to draft early is Andrew McCutchen. I hope to snag him in the 3rd round, if he is available. In my 30 round draft, he was selected with the last pick in the 3rd round, or the 30th pick overall. I decided to draft Manny Ramirez with my 3rd round pick in that draft, but was very close to drafting McCutchen.

And should I get the #1 pick in the draft for the third time in four years, I will not hesitate to draft Matt Kemp. Kemp is on the cusp of a 30-30 season, and the mere fact that he will be hitting second in the Dodgers lineup tells me he will continue to steal bases.

I am not afraid to draft guys I like earlier than expected, and I will continue with that strategy in my Monday night draft.