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CBSSports.com NL-Only Analysts League: Auction Draft analysis

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Be careful not to overcorrect, or you'll have a dozen $1 guys on your roster.

Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

When I was first learning to drive, I wasn't bad at steering. And I wasn't bad at gas/brake. What I was bad at was coordinating the two. As long as I was going a constant speed, heck, I'd steer the heck out of that car. And when I was going around a curve, my feet just stopped operating the pedals.

My brother took me out once to practice in his car. I started to accelerate coming out of a curve, like you're supposed to. Only, my steering wasn't quite in line. I tried to correct it and overcorrected. Then I jerked the wheel back left. Right. Overcorrecting all over the place. All the while, my foot was firmly down on the gas, because I was steering, and that meant my feet weren't doing anything.

My brother loves to tell the story now, about how I sucked at a thing. But hey, we never left the road, and I got it under control eventually. But I do very clearly remember ess-curving down a straightaway at something like 60, not sure how to get the whole dang thing under control.

I thought of that driving experience Wednesday, participating in the CBSSports.com Analysts League NL-Only auction draft. If you recall my recap of the American League side of the draft, I splurged on a few guys early, then got worried I was going to burn up all my capital and got gun-shy, leading to me leaving some money on the table at the end of the draft.

So Wednesday, I decided I'd go the other way. If there was a guy I wanted and I had the money, the heck with it, I was getting him. It led to a roster that, so long as my stars stay healthy, should compete, but there's little room for error, as this is one of the stars-and-scrubs-iest roster I've ever seen:

Position Player Price
C Jarrod Saltalamacchia $6
C Nick Hundley $4
1B Todd Frazier $28
2B Anthony Rendon $30
3B Matt Carpenter $20
SS Starlin Castro $21
MI Danny Espinosa $1
CI Will Middlebrooks $1
OF Andrew McCutchen $40
OF Starling Marte $28
OF Andre Ethier $1
OF Cameron Maybin $1
OF Gregor Blanco $1
U Jake Lamb $1
P Max Scherzer $30
P Julio Teheran $20
P Zack Greinke $21
P Tim Hudson $1
P Charlie Morton $1
P Mike Foltynewicz $1
P Vidal Nuno $1
P Anthony DeSclafani $1
P Jhoulys Chacin $1

(Reserve roster: Marco Gonzales, Nate McLouth, Chris Heisey, Jaime Garcia, Brandon Beachy, Clint Barmes, Matt Wisler)

In this league last year, I waited on outfield and ended up with Melvin (nee B.J.) Upton and Cameron Maybin as my top two. The same happened at second base, where I fell into Marco Scutaro. Both positions haunted me all season, so I said the heck with it and splurged on Rendon and McCutchen this year. I put down a handful of dollars on Teheran, Greinke, Frazier, Castro and Marte, simply because I wanted them.

Later on, an investment in Carpenter put me near my limit - I had $22 left to spend on 14 players, while I had no catcher, no middle/corner infielder, only two outfielders and only three pitchers. It was an overcorrection, giving me no room for error the rest of the way. Saltalamacchia and Hundley were the two catchers I came in wanting, and they cost me every extra dollar I had. With only $1 per player to bid the rest of the way, I knew I was punting on saves and never took a single guy in line for a closer role.

I ended up with some squeezed-out guys - Espinosa doesn't have a spot right now, Middlebrooks will get pushed out by Yangervis Solarte, Ethier and Maybin and Blanco are all fourth or lower in the group.

It's imperfect. I have to admit that splurged in places I likely shouldn't have. If the splurged-on guys come through, though, I should do well. If they struggle, well, my fates will rest with Charlie Morton and Jake Lamb and Will Middlebrooks, and I'll see you guys next year.

The league has 12 owners. They are:

  • Mike Gianella, Baseball Prospectus
  • Al Melchior, CBSSports.com
  • Scott White, CBSSports.com
  • Mike Kuchera, FanDuel.com
  • Jeff Boggis, Fantasy Baseball Empire
  • Pasko Varnica and Todd Zola, Mastersball.com
  • Bernie Pleskoff, MLB.com
  • Keith Cromer, Patton & Co.
  • Philip Ponebshek, Patton & Co.
  • Grey Albright and Rudy Gamble, Razzball
  • Andrew Fiorentino, RotoWire.com
  • Daniel Kelley, FakeTeams.com

It's more $1 players than I've ever had in an auction draft, by a factor of like four. It's high risk, but my roster also has the most potential all-stars of any of the 12. Here, look:

Position Razzball Price Position Fantasy Baseball Empire Price
C Wilin Rosario $16 C Yasmani Grandal $13
C Jordan Pacheco $1 C Christhian Betancourt $7
1B Michael Morse $17 1B Anthony Rizzo $32
2B Javier Baez $16 2B Corban Joseph $2
3B Kelly Johnson $6 3B Kris Bryant $18
SS Chris Owings $6 SS Jordy Mercer $4
MI Jedd Gyorko $12 MI Freddy Galvis $2
CI Yonder Alonso $11 CI Brandon Belt $19
OF Justin Upton $27 OF Bryce Harper $27
OF Jason Heyward $24 OF Corey Dickerson $28
OF Khris Davis $18 OF Nick Markakis $8
OF Grady Sizemore $2 OF Will Venable $1
OF Dexter Fowler $14 OF Zoilo Almonte $1
U David Peralta $14 U Cody Ross $1
P Alex Wood $17 P Jacob deGrom $18
P Mike Fiers $13 P Trevor Rosenthal $22
P Jason Hammel $7 P Gio Gonzalez $17
P Francisco Liriano $11 P Jose Fernandez $9
P Rafael Soriano $2 P Mike Minor $9
P Jenrry Mejia $12 P Jonathan Broxton $10
P Tony Cingrani $6 P Kyle Hendricks $3
P Yusmiero Petit $4 P Mike Leake $8
P Sergio Romo $4 P Jim Henderson $1
Position Patton & Co. (Cromer) Price Position Baseball Prospectus Price
C Miguel Montero $10 C Yadier Molina $14
C Martin Maldonado $1 C Derek Norris $10
1B Ryan Howard $9 1B Alberto Callaspo $1
2B Neil Walker $18 2B Brandon Phillips $10
3B Ryan Zimmerman $20 3B Cody Asche $10
SS Jimmy Rollins $17 SS Andrelton Simmons $10
MI Chase Utley $12 MI Daniel Murphy $16
CI Martin Prado $15 CI Mike Olt $1
OF Carlos Gomez $34 OF Ryan Braun $28
OF Hunter Pence $26 OF Charlie Blackmon $22
OF Jon Jay $6 OF Curtis Granderson $15
OF Melvin Upton Jr. $6 OF Marcell Ozuna $17
OF Juan Lagares $5 OF Carl Crawford $13
U DJ LeMahieu $4 U Norichika Aoki $8
P Gerrit Cole $18 P Jonathan Papelbon $14
P Mark Melancon $18 P Zack Wheeler $13
P Matt Cain $9 P Doug Fister $14
P A.J. Burnett $6 P Mat Latos $14
P John Lackey $7 P Jarred Cosart $5
P Jake Peavy $4 P Wily Peralta $5
P Carlos Martinez $4 P LaTroy Hawkins $5
P Kyle Lohse $4 P Bobby Parnell $5
P Jason Motte $2 P Shelby Miller $10
Position CBSSports.com (White) Price Position Patton & Co. (Ponebshek) Price
C A.J. Pierzynski $1 C Buster Posey $26
C Peter O'Brien $5 C Michael McKenry $2
1B Adrian Gonzalez $27 1B Adam Lind $15
2B Kolten Wong $22 2B Jose Peraza $2
3B Maikel Franco $4 3B Aramis Ramirez $13
SS Jung Ho Kang $4 SS Yunel Escobar $2
MI Yangervis Solarte $3 MI Tommy La Stella $2
CI Joey Votto $25 CI Mark Reynolds $2
OF Matt Holliday $20 OF Matt Kemp $26
OF Gregory Polanco $20 OF Carlos Gonzalez $28
OF Josh Harrison $17 OF Jayson Werth $18
OF Marlon Byrd $13 OF Denard Span $18
OF Arismendy Alcantara $9 OF Wil Myers $15
U Drew Stubbs $5 U Carlos Quentin $2
P Johnny Cueto $25 P Madison Bumgarner $27
P Jon Lester $22 P Aroldis Chapman $24
P Santiago Casilla $11 P Adam Wainwright $20
P Lance Lynn $15 P Brett Anderson $2
P Josh Collmenter $1 P Homer Bailey $8
P Tanner Roark $4 P Francisco Rodriguez $4
P Ken Giles $3 P Jonathon Niese $2
P Tom Koehler $2 P Casey Janssen $1
P Noah Syndergaard $2 P Trevor Cahill $1
Position FakeTeams.com Price Position CBSSports.com (Melchior) Price
C Jarrod Saltalamacchia $6 C Jonathan Lucroy $20
C Nick Hundley $4 C Devin Mesoraco $21
1B Todd Frazier $28 1B Paul Goldschmidt $41
2B Anthony Rendon $30 2B Joe Panik $2
3B Matt Carpenter $20 3B Pedro Alvarez $15
SS Starlin Castro $21 SS Troy Tulowitzki $35
MI Danny Espinosa $1 MI Zack Cozart $2
CI Will Middlebrooks $1 CI Freddie Freeman $28
OF Andrew McCutchen $40 OF A.J. Pollock $19
OF Starling Marte $28 OF Eric Young Jr. $5
OF Andre Ethier $1 OF Randal Grichuk $2
OF Cameron Maybin $1 OF Chris Coghlan $1
OF Gregor Blanco $1 OF Ichiro Suzuki $1
U Jake Lamb $1 U Darin Ruf $1
P Max Scherzer $30 P Cole Hamels $19
P Julio Teheran $20 P Michael Wacha $12
P Zack Greinke $21 P Ian Kennedy $13
P Tim Hudson $1 P Hector Rondon $16
P Charlie Morton $1 P Vance Worley $2
P Mike Foltynewicz $1 P Dan Haren $2
P Vidal Nuno $1 P Brandon Morrow $1
P Anthony DeSclafani $1 P Allen Webster $1
P Jhoulys Chacin $1 P Tyler Matzek $1
Position Mastersball.com Price Position RotoWIre.com Price
C Francisco Cervelli $6 C Travis d'Arnaud $15
C A.J. Ellis $2 C Carlos Ruiz $3
1B Mark Trumbo $22 1B Scott Van Slyke $4
2B Aaron Hill $7 2B Scooter Gennett $11
3B Casey McGehee $10 3B David Wright $25
SS Adeiny Hechavarria $3 SS Ruben Tejada $1
MI Wilmer Flores $9 MI Howie Kendrick $17
CI Juan Uribe $10 CI Cory Spangenberg $1
OF Jay Bruce $21 OF Giancarlo Stanton $36
OF Michael Cuddyer $17 OF Yasiel Puig $29
OF Joc Pederson $19 OF Ender Inciarte $3
OF Angel Pagan $15 OF Alex Guerrero $1
OF Domonic Brown $10 OF Gerardo Parra $1
U Jhonny Peralta $18 U Justin Turner $1
P Craig Kimbrel $25 P Matt Harvey $21
P Cliff Lee $15 P Stephen Strasburg $28
P Matt Garza $8 P James Shields $21
P Hyun-Jin Ryu $15 P Addison Reed $13
P Henderson Alvarez $5 P Jimmy Nelson $8
P Andrew Cashner $17 P Kenley Jansen $18
P Jorge De La Rosa $3 P Patrick Corbin $1
P Tony Watson $1 P Neil Ramirez $1
P Brandon League $1 P Robbie Erlin $1
Position FanDuel.com Price Position MLB.com Price
C Welington Castillo $2 C Wilson Ramos $15
C Jose Lobaton $1 C Brayan Pena $1
1B Lucas Duda $21 1B Justin Morneau $22
2B Dee Gordon $27 2B Luis Sardinas $1
3B Chris Johnson $14 3B Nolan Arenado $29
SS Ian Desmond $28 SS Jean Segura $19
MI Addison Russell $4 MI Brandon Crawford $3
CI Matt Adams $19 CI Sean Rodriguez $1
OF Billy Hamilton $29 OF Jorge Soler $23
OF Ben Revere $24 OF Yasmany Tomas $18
OF Alexi Amarista $3 OF Christian Yelich $26
OF Jonny Gomes $1 OF Peter Bourjos $1
OF Chris Denorfia $2 OF Jesse Winker $1
U Corey Hart $1 U Rymer Liriano $1
P Clayton Kershaw $43 P Jordan Zimmermann $22
P Brandon McCarthy $12 P Steve Cishek $18
P Joaquin Benoit $17 P Jake Arrieta $20
P Kevin Quackenbush $2 P Drew Storen $17
P Dillon Gee $1 P Tyson Ross $16
P Jeff Locke $2 P Jon Gray $1
P Chase Anderson $1 P Rubby De La Rosa $1
P Bartolo Colon $1 P Tim Lincecum $1
P Jeremy Hellickson $2 P Pedro Strop $1