After reading Marc’s post yesterday regarding his two squads for the Rotoderby Longball Challenge, my first reaction was that maybe I hadn’t put enough thought into constructing my rosters as he apparently had. At the very least, while my approach in essence was based on the same basic principles, I did not go down the path of constructing two squads so uniquely different. Rather, my two squads are both anchored by the same core of six players, so instead of taking two very different paths to the 220 home run cap, after identifying who I wanted that core to consist of, I only shuffled four cards from one team to the next.
As I hinted at above, my method of selecting which guys I wanted was pretty basic. Having only HR, RBI’s and strikeouts to consider, my first consideration was to look for players who don’t strike out too much. Next, I tried to identify who I thought had the most room for improvement in their power numbers, since the cost to “buy” a player is his home run total from a year ago. Here is the Core 6 I decided to roll with in both leagues:
Albert Pujols (17) - I agree with Marc’s assessment that Pujols is too good to pass up at this price. A rebound to 30 homers looks good and he has never struck out more than 100 times in a season.
David Wright (18) - Again, I like the combination of price, lack of strikeouts and lineup position here. There isn’t a ton of HR upside here, but I think he can get back to 25 and make a push for 30.
Hanley Ramirez (20) - He has nice power upside, hits third in a great lineup and doesn’t strike out out too much. The best value in my book at SS.
Edwin Encarnacion (36) - I wanted a guy with 40 home run potential as a lynchpin, and EE has the added plus of not killing you when it comes to strikeouts, averaging only 72 the last three years.
Wil Myers (13) - Myers is priced at the bottom of the scale, and as such I decided to roll with him on both teams based purely on upside. He doesn’t have a ton of power potential and is the most strikeout prone of my core, but he will hit fourth for TB, which should mean he has a great chance to improve significantly in his first full season.
Bryce Harper (20) - Again a bet on the upside of a young hitter breaking out, this time with a little health risk added. Still, hitting third means if he can stay on the field, the results will come.
So after locking down the core of my teams, all that was left was to figure out how to allocate the remaining 96 home runs to maximum effect: You have to roster 6 IF and 4 OF, so I was looking for two of each to fill out both squads.
Team 1 - Anthony Rizzo (23), Adrian Beltre (30), Alex Rios (18), Carlos Beltran (24)
This group is anchored by Beltre, and then mixes in Rizzo’s upside with two hitters moving into nice power ballparks. All four are locked into the middle of their lineups and Rizzo led this quartet in K’s a year ago with 127.
Team 2 - Miguel Cabrera (44), Allen Craig (13), Jason Heyward (14), Giancarlo Stanton (24)
This quartet is led by the best player in the format, and a guy I wanted on at least one team. That led to searching for bargains and Craig and Heyward fit the bill. Like Cabrera, I wanted to take the shot on Stanton’s power upside at least once, so I paired him with the MVP.
So for the most part, my approach was to focus on guys with RBI upside who don't strike out too much and are locked into the middle of their respective lineups. We'll see if it works.
The staff at Mastersball is joining our colleagues at Fantasy Alarm in a private Rotoderby league. Over the next several days, those of us participating will write a blog discussing our strategy. A few of us are so enthralled that we're also playing for real. So if you've always wanted to be in a league with one of us, now's your chance. Just click on the logo below and sign up!