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Fantasy Baseball Writers League Review

Today I'll review my team in the '08 Fantasy Baseball Writers League.  I managed a first-place tie with 95 points in this roto league.

Description

Standard 5x5 12-team roto league.  Normal-sized rosters, 1500 IP limit.  David Chase of Brock For Broglio assembled this league of a dozen fantasy baseball writers.  Draft details and participating websites can be found here.  Transactions were unlimited, and the average team made 62 moves (I made 77).

Results

First-place tie with RotoRob at 95.0 points.  The RotoRob team made up several points in the season's final weekend.  Category points results for my team: 12 in runs, 6.5 in HRs, 11 in RBI, 11 in SB, 12 in AVG, 10 in wins, 7 in saves, 12 in Ks, 4 in ERA, and 9.5 in WHIP.  The 3.92 team ERA was my biggest flaw. 

Drafted Players Retained All Year

Of the 26 players drafted, I finished the season with 13 of them (round picked in parentheses): Russell Martin (3), Joe Mauer (6), Derrek Lee (4), Kelly Johnson (13), Jimmy Rollins (1), Carlos Lee (2), Matt Kemp (8), Nate McLouth (18), Roy Oswalt (7), Javier Vazquez (9), Ted Lilly (14), Bobby Jenks (11), and Kerry Wood (23).

Key Pickups

Cristian Guzman, Mark DeRosa, Milton Bradley, Fred Lewis, Aubrey Huff, Jason Giambi, Elijah Dukes, Nelson Cruz, Jose Guillen, Cliff Lee, John Danks, Gil Meche, and Joel Hanrahan helped me out.  Unlimited transactions really gives you flexibility to pick up anyone decent-looking.

Dumb Drops

If you make 62 moves, some of them are bound to be dumb.  I dropped Randy Winn, Derek Lowe, Bronson Arroyo, and Jon Lester at various points.  If I hung onto Lowe and Lester all year I would've had a better team ERA and won the league outright.  I didn't think Lester would be this good, but the Lowe cut was just an overreaction to the 5.34 ERA he had on May 18th.  After that point, Lowe posted a 2.49 ERA in 155.3 innings.

Trades

June 28th: Traded Cole Hamels for Prince Fielder.  At the time, I decided I had too many good starting pitchers.  I was on pace to go well over my innings limit, and even after the deal I had to sit many good starters in September to get back on pace.  I shopped around quite a bit before deciding on this deal.  Fielder hit .277 with 18 HR, 60 RBI, 41 runs, and 2 steals in 300 ABs after the deal.  I was thinking Hamels might get hurt, but instead he posted a 2.91 ERA, 1.14 WHIP, 101 Ks, and 7 wins in 114.3 post-trade innings.  I'm indifferent about the deal.

Summary

I'm mostly content with this performance, but with better pitching management I might've gotten the victory all to myself.  In hindsight my early-round picks were not fantastic - it was risky to take two catchers, and D-Lee was an overdraft.  My work on the free agent wire was much better, with big pickups like DeRosa, Cliff Lee (my third Lee), Danks, Bradley, and Huff.  Despite the Lowe/Lester blunders, I succeeded mainly due to an aggressive approach to free agency.


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