With early ADP data somewhat unreliable this early in the spring, most of us have been leaning on the numbers coming in from recent NFBC drafts, both real and mock. However, the draft value of certain players and positions in those leagues is often skewed due to the inability to make trades and the ADP numbers aren’t necessarily a true reflection of how drafts go in the “everyman’s” world.
That is why I have created something called the Mock Draft Army.
For those who haven’t heard of it, you can click the link for details, but the sum up is this — with a need for better ADP numbers and early mock drafts lacking in full, reliable participation, I have put together a series of mock drafts made up of a rotating group of 20-30 fantasy writers who participate alongside their readers, Twitter followers and fantasy radio audience. Each draft has anywhere from 6-10 writers and not only do they provide us with some new-look ADP data, but the chat rooms offer a nice, open forum for player discussions, debates, and a chance for readers to ask some of their favorite writers for some personal insight on both players and draft strategy. Thursday night was the Mock Draft Army’s second draft of the season, a 12-team mixed league for a standard 5×5 roto league, and here’s how it went down…
|Writers||Site Affiliation||Twitter Handle|
|Chris Rampe||Dynasty Sports Empire||@phdinweed|
|Michael Pichan||Fantasy Alarm||@FantasyNomad|
|Is It April Yet?||@BGoldenberg94|
While I would love to do a full run through of the entire draft, I will simply go through my picks of the first 10 rounds with reasons for my choices and thoughts from the rest of the round. From there, I’ll try and highlight a few picks from the rest of the draft as well. Twenty-three rounds, no bench, and with a computerized random draw, I ended up with the first pick.
Follow along here: Full Draft Results courtesy of Real Time Fantasy Sports
Other Thoughts: Less than a month ago, Andrew McCutchen was the consensus No. 3 pick, but over the past week or so, the Paul Goldschmidt love has rightfully grown. First base may be considered deep, but Goldy is a fantasy stud. Not a fan of Jacoby Ellsbury as a first-round pick, but that’s no secret.
My Pick: David Wright, 3B NYM — The position runs thin quickly, even in a 12-teamer, so locking in a potential 20-15 threat who hits .300 sounds good to me.
Other Thoughts: In all the mocks I’ve done so far, this is the furthest I’ve seen Clayton Kershaw, Joey Votto and even Chris Davis fall. But save for Ellsbury, I don’t have an issue with anyone who went before them.
My Pick: Matt Carpenter, 2B/3B STL — I love the position flexibility he gives you, I believe the batting average is here to stay and there’s nothing bad about 10 home runs and 120-plus runs scored from second base/middle infield.
Other Thoughts: Lots of Alex Rios love from the pundits this offseason so a slight surprise he fell to the third round. A little too high for Allen Craig for my liking and a big roar from the crowd for Edwin Encarnacion “falling” to the 35th pick.
My Pick: Eric Hosmer, 1B KC — Eight first baseman already off the board and I didn’t want to get stuck fishing through the bargain bin later. The position has a significant drop-off after the top10. Things really clicked for Hosmer last season (thank you George Brett?) and it looks like he’s ready to take his game up a level this year.
Other Thoughts: Fantasy Alarm’s Michael Pichan rocked my world with an early fourth round selection of Mark Trumbo. He’s on my breakouts list this year with the move to Arizona and I see 40 bombs in his future, strikeouts aside. I had taken him in the fourth in a pair of mocks prior and wondered if I was reaching. Guess not. Matt Kemp at No. 46 could/should be an excellent value.
My Pick: Wil Myers, OF TB — You’d be surprised how quickly the outfield thins out, even in a 12-team league. Twenty-one of the first 50 picks here were outfielders and in most drafts I’ve done, almost 30-percent of the first 100 picks come from the position. Myers is a power-hitter on the rise and I could see 25-30 home runs this year with a .265-.270 average.
Other Thoughts: Albert Pujols at No. 60 still makes me do a double-take even though I know he’s on the outs. The top eight starters are off the board and while pitching is deep, I was sensing a run coming very soon. I began the internal debate as to whether or not to take one next.
My Pick: Jose Fernandez, SP MIA — As expected, another three starters came off the board. I owned Fernandez last year and basked in the joy of watching him get better and better as the year progressed. I’ve seen him go as high as the third round in several industry mocks, so a pick here in the sixth round seemed like an excellent value too good to pass up.
Other Thoughts: I love Madison Bumgarner again this year, the usual time to see Craig Kimbrel come off the board, and I love the Elvis Andrus pick in the middle of this round. Given Manny Machado’s current injury status, this seems a little high for him right now. The position may be thinning quickly, but for me, he’s one of those players who might be better in reality than in fantasy.
My Pick: Wilin Rosario, C COL — In a two-catcher league and with the top two off the board, it seemed like an appropriate time to grab some Colorado power from behind the dish. Not so sure the .290 average holds up, but the 20-plus home runs sure will.
Other Thoughts: Billy Hamilton in the seventh round of a 12-team league? Not my favorite pick, but you know that already. Love the underrated Kyle Seager here and quite the debate from a Hisashi Iwakuma pick ahead of Cole Hamels, Anibal Sanchez and Justin Verlander. Personally, I don’t mind it so much, but there were a number of Hamels fans in the draft room.
My Pick: Greg Holland, RP KC — Kimbrel and now Aroldis Chapman were off the board and, in truth, there really aren’t a lot of high-end, trustworthy closers out there this year. I love what quality closers can do for a pitching staff and I’m a firm believer in investing in them around this time in the draft…especially with starting pitching being so crazy deep.
Other Thoughts: The guy I’m watching the most out of this round is Austin Jackson. I’m wondering if maybe he runs more with Jim Leyland gone. If he does, and maybe if he recaptures even just a little of his power from the year before, he could be a killer value here in the eighth.
My Pick: Joe Nathan, RP TEX — I told you, I really like high-end closers. The double-tap at the turn with Holland and Nathan sent a little shockwave through the draft room which is part of the reason I did it. The other part was that having both closers will allow me to take some risks on young, high-upside pitchers who may get bit in the ratios from time to time.
Other Thoughts: As expected, a couple of closers off the board after my cannonball into the reliever pool, but the eyes are on Josh Hamilton here in the ninth. Could be a great value, could be just another pick. The room seemed split on the notion, so we’ll just have to see how it plays out this season.
My Pick: Leonys Martin, OF TEX — I needed to add some speed to my team and even though he’s been pushed to the bottom of the order, I see a breakout year for him and something in the 30-steals range.
Other Thoughts: Michael Wacha and Gerrit Cole come off at their usual times in mocks I’ve done and it always sparks the debate of which young hurler you’d rather have. The rest of the ‘young studs’ haven’t come off the board yet but as soon as they do, the debate will continue.
As for the rest of my team, well, as you can see, I dipped heavily into the pool of ‘young stud’ pitching with Sonny Gray, Danny Salazar, Chris Archer and even Andrew Cashner. I went for some power in the middle infield, the upside of a Dusty-less Devin Mesoraco and took a chance that George Springer opens the year in the Astros outfield. Tommy Hunter gets a boost in value with Fernando Rodney signing with Seattle and who doesn’t love having three closers? I even found it in my heart, mostly because I still felt light on speed, to go another round with my fantasy Achilles heel, Cameron Maybin. Overall, I like the team on paper, but it’s young and needs for a lot of upside to pan out.
Some other memorable picks:
Tim McLeod’s 11th round pick of 1B Jose Abreu drew a big roar from the crowd. We all seem to be on-board with him this season.
Brett Lawrie in the 13th could be a great value if he puts together the season we’ve all been waiting on from him.
McLeod drew more praise for his 16th round selection of Oswaldo Arcia. Very underrated power, in my opinion.
Ryan Noonan’s Khris Davis pick in the 17th should prove to be a strong value if he holds the starting job in left field.
I like Justin Morneau in the 22nd round. Low risk, potential high reward. And by that I just mean close to 20 home runs with a decent average.
Look at those saves in the final round! Am I worried that I took my closers too early? Hell no. At least three of those four may not even be closing by the end of May.
If you’d like to be a part of the Mock Draft Army, feel free to email me directly at email@example.com or follow me on Twitter (@rotobuzzguy) and/or the RotobuzzGuy.com Facebook page and look for updates and announcements. All are welcome.
Howard Bender has been covering fantasy sports for over 10 years on a variety of websites. In addition to his work here, you can also find him at his site, RotobuzzGuy.com, Fantasy Alarm, RotoWire and Mock Draft Central. Follow him on Twitter at @rotobuzzguy or for more direct questions or comments, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org