Average Draft Position data is all the rage at this time of year as everyone is scouring drafts to see how others evaluate players. However, the overwhelming majority of that ADP data is derived from standard 5×5 scoring formats. What about those points based leagues that seem to be growing in popularity? Today, I’ll relay how a recent draft in this setup went for me (special thanks goes out to SportsIllustrated.com which asked me to participate in the mock draft. For those of you who aren’t aware, I write a weekly mailbag piece for SI.com that appears on Wednesday’s, and I also write a Monday column for them about fantasy hockey for those of you who are fans of the ice).
The league is a 12 teamer, though in a bit of a change there is only one starting catcher, three outfielders, no corner and middle infielders, and there are set spots for the pitchers.
Hitters: C, 1B, 2B, 3B, SS, OF, OF, OF, UT
Pitchers: SP, SP, SP, SP, SP, RP, RP
Bench: Five spots
Rosters set once weekly.
Despite that, what really sets this league apart from others is the scoring system. This league is a points based setup with the following parameters.
* Single (1 pt), double (2 pts), triple (3 pts) homer (4 pts)
* The following all net one point: walk, HBP, run, RBI
* You get two points for a stolen base.
* If you are caught stealing it’s a (-1), and strikeouts are (-0.5).
* 7 points for win or save.
* 3 points for a quality start or inning pitched
* 0.5 points for a strikeout.
* (-1) point for a walk, earned run, hit allowed, hit batter.
* (-5) points for a loss.
Given this scoring setup starting pitchers that win games and pitch a lot of innings are worth a ton, and that explains why 10 starting pitchers were drafted in the first 34 picks and 14 in the first 48 overall on the draft. This points out what I always talk about – you have to know the scoring system and positional setup of your league when you attempt to evaluate players. In addition to the fact that pitchers went early, catchers went late. Why would you dive in early on catchers if you only need to start one? Moreover, speedsters like Juan Pierre and Michael Bourn have a ton of value in 4×4 and 5×5 leagues, but in this setup 50 steals only nets you as many points as 25 homers (100 each). Actually, that isn’t true. Don’t forget you are awarded a point for runs and RBI which means that 25 homers actually equals 150 points (100 for homers, 25 for runs, 25 for RBI). Of course, that doesn’t count the other runners the batter might knock in on the homer. That’s why I was able to grab Pierre in the 20th round at the 230th pick even though his 5×5 ADP is something like 135 – the scoring system simply dictated that Pierre wasn’t as valuable in this league.
C: Kurt Suzuki (12th round)
1B: Miguel Cabrera (1)
2B: Chase Utley (2)
3B: Casey McGehee (11)
SS: Jimmy Rollins (6)
OF: Matt Holliday (3), Shane Victorino (8), Hunter Pence (9)
UT: Howie Kendrick (18)
SP: Dan Haren (4), Tommy Hanson (5), Chad Billingsley (7), Ryan Dempster (10), Ricky Nolasco (14)
RP: Jonathan Broxton (13), Matt Thornton (15)
Bench: James Shields (16), Joel Hanrahan (17), Gavin Floyd (19), Juan Pierre (20), Jhonny Peralta (21)
Some general thoughts.
* Jhonny Peralta isn’t exciting, but given the shallow bench in this league his 3B/SS eligibility is a big factor.
* My relievers are highly skilled but uncertain to rack up saves. That’s what happens when you draft this early, you just aren’t sure about roles. However, as you know from How to Evaluate Relievers piece I like to target skills over roles anyway. Also, I almost grabbed Brian Duensing as my last pitcher. Why? Because in this league he qualifies as a starting pitcher and a relief pitcher. Remember, check those rules (I went with Hanrahan because I truly believe he will close for Pirates and have a strong season).
* I really like the offense, except for third base. There’s nothing wrong with McGehee, but last season is as good as it gets, and I don’t know if there is anything more he can given in the HR or RBI columns. Still, he was the best option left at the time, and I don’t regret passing on Michael Young to add Dempster in this format.
* My starters are strong. Last season’s numbers, in this scoring format, would equal some big points totals for Haren (12 wins, 216 Ks, 235 IP), Hanson (10, 173, 202.2), Billingsley (12, 171, 191.2) and Dempster (15, 208, 215.1). Heck, even Shields was pretty solid in those three categories (13, 187, 203.1).
So there it is. Remember to check those rules and positional parameters when putting together your cheat sheet – certain setups can really alter the value of certain players.
FINAL NOTE: Here is a review of the entire draft which took place at CBS Sportsline.
By Ray Flowers