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RotoAuthority League Update: The (Very) Early Leaders

The RotoAuthority League is a highly competitive 12-team fantasy baseball league run by Tim Dierkes. The settings consist of standard 5 X 5 Rotisserie scoring and 23-man lineups along with 3 bench spots. In an effort to keep owners interested as well as to infuse new blood into the league, the teams that finish below 8th place are kicked out of the league each year. The author of this column just hopes he’s not one of them.

With only three weeks in the books, it's still a tad early to draw any reasonable conclusions as to which team is the favorite to win the RotoAuthority League. If we take a look at the standings through Sunday, though, it's interesting that three teams have jumped ahead of the pack:

  1. Men With Wood 88.5
  2. Smell the Glove 84.5
  3. Yu at the Animal Zoo 80
  4. Gramma Nutt Crushers 69.5
  5. Forty 2 Twenty 4 64.5
  6. Reedy 64.5
  7. A Century of Misery 63.5
  8. Say It Ain't So Cano 60.5
  9. UP 56.5
  10. Philly Cheez 56
  11. E-Z Sliders 54
  12. Brewsterville Bruins 38

As you can see, there's a 10-point gap between the top three and rest of the league. Let's take a closer look at how each of these squads has risen to the top. As a reminder, the RotoAuthority League utilizes a straight draft as opposed to an auction. This makes it a little tougher to determine the most profitable players relative to draft position. Thanks to the fine work by Bill Macey of BaseballHQ, however, we can convert ADP values into equivalent auction values. In this way, we can see not simply the best players thus far but which ones have been the best bang for the buck.

Men With Wood

In my draft recap for the league, I indicated that if I were forced to pick a favorite strictly based off the draft, Men With Wood would be my choice. Now this may just be a coincidence, but the fact remains that this roster looked solid at the time and still does. Men With Wood has benefited tremendously from three draft picks so far. Further proof that there's often wisdom in the masses, Josh Rutledge and Todd Frazier have more than lived up to their pre-season hype. A twelfth round draft pick, Rutledge is currently performing at a 5th round level. Even more impressively, Men With Wood came right back in Round 13 pick with Frazier, who has performed as a 2nd rounder to date. Meanwhile, in Round 19 Men With Wood somehow managed to snag A.J. Burnett, who has the 4th best SIERA  among qualified starting pitchers at 2.37. More so than anything else, however, this owner has outmanaged the rest of the league in free agent acquisitions. From John Buck and Travis Hafner to Daniel Nava and Gerardo Parra, Men With Wood has been able to grab several hitters who have produced at a $10 level at minimum. Long story short, Men With Wood isn't going anywhere.

Smell the Glove

In my draft recap I also described a positive outlook for the roster run by the Commissioner of the league, Tim Dierkes.  Three draft picks stand out as the leading contributor toward the success of Smell the Glove thus far. First of all, Tim wasn't afraid to select the maddeningly inconsistent Alex Rios in Round 7. All Rios has done so far is contribute significantly in all five Roto categories. Last year's bounceback campaign isn't looking so strange anynore. In addition to Rios, Dierkes made two of the best handful of picks with endgame selections of Dexter Fowler in Round 17 and Jed Lowrie in Round 23. Fowler and Lowrie are each playing at roughly a $30 level on a combined investment that equates to $5 in auction. With all of these offensive bargains, it's not surprising that Smell the Glove currently has the most hitting points. Sure, the season is young, but these draft day bargains may prove to vault Dierkes back in the money after a couple of down seasons.

Yu at the Animal Zoo

Finally, we have our owner who cleverly chose to wait until after the draft (and after he had Yu Darvish on his roster) to pick a name. I said in my draft recap that this owner had the top staff in the league, and the early results certainly aren't changing my mind. In fact, Yu at the Animal Zoo remarkably leads four of the five pitching categories at this point. Unlike Men With Wood and Smell the Glove, though, I actually don't see as many truly breakout performances on this roster. Sure, Round 7 selection Wilin Rosario and Round 17 pick Starling Marte are each providing over $10 in profit on their modest investments. Beyond that pair, however, this roster is simply filled with reliable players who are performing as they should. Led by top overall selection Miguel Cabrera and aces Felix Hernandez and Darvish, this team looks rock solid on paper. The scary thing for the rest of us is that last year's AL Cy Young Award winner David Price is off to a rough start, yet this owner is still running away with the pitching points. Overall then, this roster might just need an average number of hitting points to finish in the money.

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