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Recapping the 2019 Fake Teams and Friends Draft

Heath hits the highlights of last night’s 30-round extravaganza.

New York Yankees v Tampa Bay Rays Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images

I introduced this league a day ago, so you can read more about it if you wish. But here are the names of those participating, for easy reference:

From Fake Teams: Joe Gentile, Ghoji Blackburn, Heath Capps, Mark Abell, Natty Wallach, Pete Rogers, Garrett Atkins (Punk is Dead), Zack Waxman

From Other Sites: Mike Kurland, Brian Entrekin, Matt Williams

Friends: Gus Brand, Shaun Capps, Daniel Bunch, felsenraster

Remember, we’re talking rotisserie, 5x5. TGFBI-styled rosters, except the second catcher spot was switched to a second utility spot. I made the league public, so anyone can check it out.

The disclaimer heading into the draft regards Joe’s All-Sleeper team. Joe participated in this year’s TGFBI and got the “worst” value out of his picks. In other words, Joe trusts his projections and isn’t afraid to go get his guys. So in #FTF2019 he decided to take that idea to the extreme, and to abide by this rule:

I don’t believe there were any live streams involved, as the Yahoo draft applet was a little glitchy. I couldn’t really live-tweet, either, as a result. I know everyone is disappointed. I do think you should check out the next “Benched With Bubba” pod from Brian, though. I think the draft might have garnered a mention towards the end. And if not, just listen to a good podcast!

Anyway, Joe’s sleeper squad made Austin Meadows a Round 1 pick. Here’s where Joe shared his squad on Twitter:

“Interesting” is certainly a word for it. We shall see. Other things that stuck out were:

Giancarlo Stanton falling to Brian at pick 26. Of course, it helped that Joe’s first two picks were Meadows and Chris Paddack. Still, starting off with J.D. Martinez and Giancarlo is LIT.

Andrew Benintendi at pick 36 to Punk is Dead sure was nice, as was Anthony Rizzo at 42 to Natty.

My baby bro (OG Two-Tone) had a quality start with Aaron Judge, Manny Machado, and Walker Buehler...but he’s got some explaining to do with Miggy in Round 4 (pick 51). He did redeem himself with Jackie Bradley Jr. at pick 190, three picks before I was going to snag him. Asdrubal Cabrera (231) and Robinson Chirinos (441) should offer solid return, too.

Luis Severino went 90th to Mark. Not enough of a discount for me, but it gives you an idea as to where he might be drafted in your league.

Ghoji sure did draft a balanced team, though it looks like his primary speed source is Mookie. Touki Toussaint at pick 302 is nice dart-throw.

Jung Ho Kang went at 243 to longtime Fake Teams commenter felsenraster, as Kang is now the starting third baseman in Pittsburgh. Matt Strahm (208) is another buzzy name climbing up the boards. Seranthony Dominguez (273) looks like a screaming value to me, as does Kike Hernandez (328). I really, really wanted Kike.

Matt Williams’ best pick in my opinion was A.J. Minter (274). Sure, he’s not 100% right now, but long-term in Atlanta I think he’s the guy they trust the most. That’s never a bad thing, right? Matt did decide to take on a lot of injury risk starting in Round 21, drafting Carlos Martinez, Didi Gregorius, and Yoenis Cespedes back-to-back-to-back. We do have five IL spots in this league, so I suppose it’s a worthy thought. I’m just not an optimist when it comes to injuries.

I’m not inviting Brian back after the draft he had. He soaked up a ton of value, and he took guys like Ross Stripling, Joe Musgrove, and Hunter Strickland from me. I’m not bitter. Here’s his full squad:

For Garrett, I dig the Johan Camargo (336) pick, as Camargo is one injury (or some good old ineptitude) away from a starting gig in Atlanta. Also, Domingo German (396) has looked good this spring and has a good chance to start the year in the Yankees rotation. There are worse teams to pitch for...

Gus has some risk/reward guys, especially in his infield. Javier Baez, Ozzie Albies, and Gleyber Torres is an upside trio. Unfortunately, there’s some downside too. Time will tell. Willson Contreras at 174 seemed really nice for value, as did taking a dart on Freddy Peralta at 384.

Joe’s All-Sleeper team really is stacked, and I’m not joking. My favorite value pick was probably Nick Senzel at 218. I really feel like Senzel could pay off that ADP in a big way. Chad Pinder went to Joe at pick 368, in case anyone was wondering. He batted fifth for Oakland in Japan in the wee hours of this morning, and was 2-for-3 at the time of this writing.

Mike Kurland of the Bases Loaded podcast landed Clayton Kershaw at pick 99. Pretty safe spot to assume the risk, if that’s what you’re into (I’m not). Yasmani Grandal at 159 was noice. Ryan Pressly (309) feels like a trap, but hot darn if he repeats the, after pick 300, who cares?

OG Two-Tone went really early on Miggy (51) and Matt Barnes (160). Maybe he knows something we don’t...Dee Gordon (111) and Billy Hamilton (130) are a formidable speed duo. Gordon batted first for Seattle in today’s game.

Zack, like Brian, is another team that looks really strong. I don’t really see a weakness here. The pairing of Jack Flaherty (50) and Mike Clevinger (71) is really solid. And having a pair of closers in Brad Hand (110) and Jose Leclerc (131) might bolster some league-winning chances. I had Leclerc in my queue...alas...

Natty took on a lot of speed and batting average early with Jose Altuve, Trevor Story, Rizzo, Bogaerts, Haniger, and Castellanos. That average help should cover for Wil Myers and Mike Moustakas, who bring the pop. His pitching staff may need to get lucky, but the hitting group is solid.

My draft unfolded about how I imagined, though picking at 13 wasn’t really what I wanted. I took some risks on injuries with Francisco Lindor, Andrew Heaney, and Tyler Skaggs. I do feel like I have plenty of pop across my infield, and I dig German Marquez as my third starter (after deGrom and Berrios). I was happy to snag Raisel Iglesias (138) as what I perceived as the last “safe” closer, after Zack stole Leclerc from me. Drew Steckenrider (288) as my second closer is pretty thin, but that’s an area where I’m fine playing the waiver game. Also, we can trade in this league. So that avenue is there if I feel it’s necessary. Danny Jansen (283), Jorge Soler (313), Christin Stewart (318), and Martin Perez (433) are all picks I was excited about for one reason or another late in the draft. Mainly, playing time is nice...

So, editor Pete was out to dinner with his lady, but he logged in long enough to draft Chris Sale (14) and Juan Soto (17). A little aggressive on Soto, but I won’t argue with it. The rest of Pete’s draft was auto’d if I’m not mistaken, and that obviously resulted in Pete being projected as the top overall team. If the football editor who autodrafted wins this things, I quit!

Bunch (Quinary Apparatuses) rocked out with Harper (15) and Bregman (16) at the end of Round 1. Vladito at 45 feels really aggressive given his injury and guaranteed funky service time game. Overall this looks like a solid group, though. Jean Segura at 75 was excellent, as was Marcus Semien at 226. Dakota Hudson (315) appears to be the No. 5 starter in St. Louis and has impressed this spring.

And that’s it for my quick-hitting thoughts on last night’s draft. It sure was different to be on a 45-second timer instead of a four-hour timer! Who do you guys think had the best draft? How crazy is Joe’s All-Sleeper experiment? Remember, you can check the league out because it is public. Let us know how we did!