Is it time for the season to start yet or what? Maybe it's because my NFL team, the Green Bay Packers, made a quick exit in the playoffs, but it seems like literally forever since there has been a sporting event I've had a vested interest in. I need my fantasy fix. Let's get the show on the road!!!
Rant aside ...
In case you missed it, yesterday I reviewed/recapped four of the teams from the Fake Teams H2H Points League here. I assume a good time was had by all who read it and you will too once you do.
Also, if you've been glued to your TV watching Dancing with the Stars, The Voice and America's Top Model all week and haven't been on Fake Teams, on Monday I recapped my team and strategy here and on Tuesday Ray provided some thoughts on his team here. Both teams are very different and I imagine our showdown will be nothing short of LEGENDARY. Stay tuned.
As for today, I'll provide a review/commentary on the next four teams in the league - Joey's Buttafuocos, Swoop & Strut, Bacciagaloop and Clutch City - all ran by Fake Teams readers.
Oh, one more thing ...
Here is a link to the league itself. The Real McCoy, if you will. You can get a look at all the teams, follow the wheelin' and dealin' that's goin' down ( Paul Konerko was traded for Paul Goldschmidt/Henderson Alvarez earlier this week), monitor the matchups and set my lineup for me (not really).
Fake Teams H2H Points League team commentary below:
|Round||Joey's Buttafuocos||Swoop & Strut||Bacciagaloop||Clutch City|
|1||Ryan Braun OF||Troy Tulowitzki SS||Jose Bautista 3B/OF||Adrian Gonzalez 1B|
|2||Hanley Ramirez SS||Ian Kinsler 2B||Justin Upton OF||Carlos Gonzalez OF|
|3||Felix Hernandez P||Josh Hamilton OF||Carlos Santana C/1B||Tim Lincecum P|
|4||Starlin Castro SS||David Price P||Michael Young 2B/3B||Pablo Sandoval 1B/3B|
|5||Desmond Jennings OF||Craig Kimbrel P||Yovani Gallardo P||Nelson Cruz OF|
|6||Howie Kendrick 2B/OF||BJ Upton OF||James Shields P||Michael Bourn OF|
|7||Alex Rodriguez 3B||Aramis Ramirez 3B||Michael Morse 1B/OF||Josh Johnson P|
|8||Buster Posey C||Gio Gonzalez P||Drew Storen P||Adam Wainwright P|
|9||Matt Garza P||Jayson Werth OF||Ricky Romero P||Matt Wieters C|
|10||Rickie Weeks 2B||Jordan Zimmermann P||Cameron Maybin P||Jose Valverde P|
|11||Brandon Morrow P||Drew Stubbs OF||Jemile Weeks 2B||Brian Wilson P|
|12||Melky Cabrera OF||Anibal Sanchez P||Andrew Bailey P||Ike Davis 1B|
|13||Ervin Santana P||Miguel Montero C||JJ Hardy SS||Jordan Walden P|
|14||Francisco Liriano P||Mark Reynolds 1B/3B||Hiroki Kuroda P||Ryan Roberts 2B/3B|
|15||Joakim Soria P||Neftali Feliz P||Ryan Howard 1B||Emilio Bonifacio 3B/SS|
|16||Paul Goldschmidt 1B||Tim Hudson P||Alex Avila C||Edwin Jackson P|
|17||Ted Lilly P||Rick Porcello P||Jhonny Peralta SS||Bud Norris P|
|18||Brennan Boesch OF||Marco Scutaro SS||Kenley Jansen P||Peter Bourjos OF|
|19||Scott Baker P||Carlos Pena P||Ivan Nova P||Chad Billingsley P|
|20||Ricky Nolasco P||Alexi Ogando P||Clay Buccholz P||Colby Rasmus OF|
|21||Henderson Alvarez P||Austin Jackson OF||Maicer Izturis 3B/SS||Mitch Moreland 1B/OF|
|22||Geovany Soto C||Yoenis Cespedes OF||Jeremy Guthrie P||Jair Jurrjens P|
|23||Brett Cecil P||Greg Holland P||Tyler Clippard P||JD Martinez 1B/OF|
Joey's Buttafuocos (JB):
JB got off to a great start in the draft grabbing two 5-tool players with his first two picks, Ryan Braun and Hanley Ramirez. Some questioned Starlin Castro in the third round, but he was the fourth highest shortstop last season and should only improve in 2012. It also allows JB to move Hanley Ramirez to 3B starting Week 3, another talent scarce position. Rickie Weeks will man the cornerstone for JB while healthy and Howie Kendrick can slide into that spot when Weeks inevitably hits the DL. As mentioned above, JB traded Paul Goldschmidt earlier this week for one of the more consistent 1B in the MLB, Paul Konerko. In terms of outfield, If Melky Cabrera comes close to his 2011 season and Kendrick doesn't have to shift to 2B, both will nicely complement Braun. Buster Posey scares the snot out of me and I can't say I'd have used a 8th Round pick for his services.
My stance on Felix Hernandez in this format is likely now well-known as I have countless followers and fans (well, at least my mom) spreading my word. Simply put, his potential for a .500 record or worse considering the Mariners offense offers too little opportunity for the 7-point W multiplier and, sadly, more often than not, his exceptional performances result in a L or -5 point multiplier. Sad face. Matt Garza and Brandon Morrow should rack up the Ks and Garza could be traded to contender midseason for a better shot at W. My favorite pitcher of JB's has to be Ervin Santana. I'm predicting a sensational season from Santana in 2012. SENSATIONAL. Francisco Liriano, Scott Baker and Ricky Nolasco could all have value as well if healthy and able to shake some of their bad luck.
Biggest Bargain: Ervin Santana P
Santana made my Top 25 post in January and I'm stickin' to my guns.
Honorable Mention: Rickie Weeks 2B, Melky Cabrera OF
Biggest Reach: Felix Hernandez P
Last year Hernandez didn't crack the Top 20 in scoring amongst SP. Even if he had repeated his Cy Young 2010 season last year, Hernandez wouldn't have been a Top 5 SP in 2011 points scoring. He will need to at least duplicate that season while improving his W-L record to merit his selection as the sixth SP off the board.
Honorable Mention: Desmond Jennings OF, Buster Posey C
Swoop & Strut (S&S):
Troy Tulowitzki, Ian Kinsler and Josh Hamilton could win S&S the league on their own if able to stay healthy all season. I love the risks in these three picks, but make no mistake, they are risks. Aramis Ramirez in the 7th Round is a potential steal and I'm kicking myself as I write this for not drafting him there or sooner. Afterall, he was the third highest scoring 3B in 2011 and his surroundings have only improved. As for now, it looks as though S&S is stuck with Mark Reynolds, which isn't an enviable position in a points format with a -1 point penalty for Ks. In fact, BJ Upton, Jayson Werth, Carlos Pena and Drew Stubbs all strike out their fair share as well. S&S will need Tulo, Kinsler and Hamilton to stay on the field to combat some of the points lost via K in this lineup. I like Miguel Montero. Even more than Brian McCann.
David Price is my preseason pick for AL Cy Young. Like Pizza Hut, you can book it. Craig Kimbrel provides a TON of points from a RP perspective and Gio Gonzalez, Jordan Zimmermann and Anibal Sanchez should round out the rotation quite nicely. Neftali Feliz and Tim Hudson both have injury concerns at the moment, but both are in a position to put up big points when on the mound. S&S could have the steal of the draft if Greg Holland wins the closer role in KC.
Biggest Bargain: Marco Scutaro SS
There were a few options here, but I'll choose Scutaro as he was the 12th highest scoring SS in 2011 with somewhat minimal playing time. He figures to be in the lineup for COL almost every day this season and should have 2B eligibility after not too long. I'd be shocked if one (if not both) of Kinsler or Tulowitzki don't end up on the DL at some point and Scutaro should be an excellent backup when they do.
Honorable Mention: Aramis Ramirez 3B, Yoenis Cespedes OF, Greg Holland P (pending)
Biggest Reach: Drew Stubbs OF
According to my handy-dandy spreadsheet, Drew Stubbs just barely cracked the Top 50 outfielders in scoring in 2011 at 49 overall. If say each team drafted four outfielders, Stubbs wouldn't even make the cut due to his horrific strikeout numbers - over 200 last season. It's certainly possible he improves in 2011, but I don't think I'd have used a 11th Round pick to find out, especially with Chris Heisey potentially challenging him for playing time.
Honorable Mention: BJ Upton OF, Jayson Werth OF
No hitter outscored the rest of the players at his position more than Jose Bautista last season. In terms of point differential, he is the man. Boom! Justin Upton could compete for the NL MVP this season and offers point potential in every category. Carlos Santana is an uber advantage compared to most team's catcher situations. For one, he is the lineup every day when most catchers are not. For seconds, he is a really good baseball player. Although, I question the need to draft Alex Avila. Michael Morse could see a dip in BA, but the HR is legit and his position flexibility along with Michael Young's should be helpful for BP when injuries strike. Jemile Weeks could be a real sleeper in this format, but he'll need to improve his CS rate as each CS is worth -1 point. Ouch! JJ Hardy and Jhonny Peralta were both in the Top 12 scoring SS last season and its likely one can maintain (or come close to) their success last year.
While neither Yovani Gallardo or James Shields have reached "fantasy ace" status, it's hard to argue with their results in recent years. Ricky Romero, Clay Buccholz, Ivan Nova and Hiroki Kuroda could all benefit from their lineups and rack up the 7-point W multiplier. BP shares my love for all things RP and has a stellar group of his own with Drew Storen, Andrew Bailey, Kenley Jansen and Tyler Clippard. If Jansen takes over the closer role in LA not long into the season, watch out Mr. Kimbrel ... there's a new stud in town.
Biggest Bargain: Ricky Romero P
There's no looking back as Romero has emerged as a true ace in the MLB and could become a fantasy one as early as 2012.
Honorable Mention: Hiroki Kuroda P, Ivan Nova P, Jhonny Peralta SS
Biggest Reach: Alex Avila C
It's not so much that it is a reach to select Alex Avila in the 16th Round as I simply don't see the need for him when Santana could and should be in the Indians lineup every game at either 1B, DH or C. With weekly lineups and only 12 teams in the league, should Santana go down with injury, viable alternatives will always be available.
Honorable Mention: Ryan Howard 1B, Maicer Izturis SS/3B
Clutch City (CC):
The Gonzalez Brothers (no relation) are a pretty great start to a fantasy squad if I do say myself and CC should be pleased as punch to have them both. I think Pablo Sandoval continues to progress in San Fran and could find himself in the discussion as a Top 3 3B as soon as next season. I'm also excited about Ike Davis in Citi Field this season. After CarGo, outfield could be an adventure for CC as Nelson Cruz is nothing special in a points format and Michael Bourn and Emilio Bonifacio only offer one tool to earn points. If something should happen to their legs, their value plummets. Good news is with a small league like this, there are plenty of OF available on the FA list. Personally I wouldn't be surprised if Matt Wieters is within the Top 3 scoring catchers by season's end.
Tim Lincecum is trending downward, but his ace status is still firmly in place. The big story out of CC's camp will be the health and success of Adam Wainwright and Josh Johnson. Both have the potential to be in the Top 10 amongst pitchers in 2012 and, if healthy, I'd assume they will be. But that if is so big it has its own solar system. Either way, CC has some verrrrry nice RP options to slide into his rotation with Jose Valverde, Brian Wilson and Jordan Walden. Remember, there is no penalty for a blown save in this format.
Biggest Bargain: Adam Wainwright P
Could be a Top 5 pitcher by year's end and based on what I've seen from him in Spring Training, I'm starting to think it's a very legit possibility.
Honorable Mention: Matt Wieters C, Jose Valverde P
Biggest Reach: Nelson Cruz OF
"Don't Call Me Tom" Cruz was the 39th overall highest scoring outfielder in 2011. Simply put, dude cannot stay on the field, he is likely to start stealing less bases as he gets older and the injury concerns persist and he strikes out A LOT. In a weekly league if you start Cruz in your lineup and he tears his something or other on Tuesday night, you won't get another point from that slot in your lineup for the remainder of the week.
Honorable Mention: Josh Johnson P
Well, what do you think of these four teams? I think there is quite a bit of potential on each squad and it should be interesting to see how some of the risks taken amongst these teams pay off over the course of the year. Please, comment below and share your thoughts and questions.