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RotoAuthority League Update: The Commish's League to Lose?

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.

As we sit here in the first week of June, Tim Dierkes currently sits atop the RotoAuthority League standings with a nice round total of 100 points. Let's see how the Commissioner and founder of the league has been able to lead his squad into first place. 

In my recap of the league's draft two months ago, here's what I wrote about Tim's team, Smell the Glove:

"I’ve drafted with Tim for 5 years. I have a good feel for his general draft approach. He values positional scarcity and multi-categorical production, and this year was no different. After Round 5 Smell the Glove already had a player at each infield position. As usual, Tim also selected several hitters who should contribute across the board in David WrightIan Desmond, and Alex Rios. While the bulk of his offense reflects his basic drafting principles, Tim did chase upside late to fill out the bottom half of his offense more so than in years past with talented players who have yet to put everything together like Dexter FowlerPedro AlvarezChris Carter, and Domonic Brown. If there is a hole on this roster, it is the starting pitching. Jeff SamardzijaDerek Holland, and Lance Lynn all have some downside in the WHIP category with their shaky control. On the other hand, the strength of this roster lies in the fact that Tim has 4 legitimate closers. In a league in which it is a daunting task to grab a closer from the waiver wire, Smell the Glove has trading leverage. Overall then, I think Tim bounces back from his recent struggles."

Dierkes clearly entered Draft Day with a plan. After building a foundation of reliable multi-category producers, he embraced increasingly more risk as the draft continued. In addition, he wisely grabbed four closers, a true luxury in this league. I thought Smell the Glove looked strong on paper following the draft, but today it appears dramatically more so.

First of all, this squad has received expected superstar-level production from Robinson Cano, Buster Posey, and David Wright. In the early rounds the goal should be to return fair value, and each of those studs has certainly been worth the investment. As good as that trio has been, though, the best player on this roster thus far lasted until Round 8. One of the top Draft Day valuesCarlos Gomez looks like a 3rd round pick entering 2014. 

While I had questions about Smell the Glove's staff, those concerns now look foolish in retrospect. Jeff Samardzija, Lance Lynn, and Derek Holland have all returned profits on their Draft Day prices. In today's game of a depressed run environment, it's more and more challenging to build a solid offense yet still reach categorical goals in pitching. The key, of course, is selecting the right starters, and Dierkes has certainly done just that.

As I said, unlike in years past, Tim chose to embrace risk at the end of the draft. Well, he sure is reaping the rewards today. Entering Monday, Round 17 pick Dexter Fowler is one of only four players with double-digit production in HR and SB. The other three such players include consensus first-rounders Mike Trout and Carlos Gonzalez as well as the aforementioned Gomez. The long-awaited breakout seems to finally be taking place for the talented Fowler. 

Let's end with a player whom if one were to describe as on fire, it would be the understatement of the year. Since the calendar turned to May, former top prospect Dominic Brown has been hitting like he came down from a higher league. With another HR on Sunday, Brown now has 13 HR in 116 at-bats since May 1st. While he did receive some hype this spring, nobody could have seen this type of breakout coming. It's a daunting task to acquire a player who can lead the league in HR outside the first couple rounds of a fantasy draft. Well, don't look now, but Brown currently leads the NL in HR. Somehow, my fellow leaguemates and I let him slip all the way to Round 20. Here's Exhibit A in support of those who annually recommend drafting post-hype sleepers.

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