Justin Mason’s 2022 Apology Tour: Tout Wars Mixed Auction

2022 was the worst year I have ever had as a fantasy player. I played in 16 leagues and did not cash in a single one. The hard part is that I don’t even know what went wrong. I had teams I really liked coming out of the draft and some that were doing very well throughout the season. Over the next few weeks I will deep dive into each team in a series of articles to examine what went wrong and what the common threads were. This is my 2022 Apology Tour.

We begin with my Tout Wars Mixed Auction league where I finished 8th out of 15 teams.

Tout Wars Mixed Auction Final Standings
Derek VanRiper 15.0 15.0 15.0 6.5 15.0 14.0 1.0 9.0 12.0 15.0 117.5 0.0
Tim Heaney 14.0 13.0 13.0 15.0 3.0 5.0 9.0 11.0 8.0 5.0 96.0 0.0
Zach Steinhorn 4.0 7.0 12.0 9.0 11.0 10.0 6.0 6.0 13.0 13.0 91.0 0.0
Bret Sayre 7.0 11.0 7.0 8.0 12.0 15.0 5.0 12.0 7.0 6.0 90.0 0.0
Scott Engel 6.0 2.0 3.0 4.0 8.0 13.0 13.5 14.0 15.0 11.0 89.5 0.0
Scott Swanay 12.0 13.0 14.0 11.0 9.0 3.5 4.0 8.0 4.0 10.0 88.5 0.0
Alex Chamberlain 11.0 5.0 9.0 12.0 14.0 11.5 3.0 4.0 3.0 14.0 86.5 0.0
Justin Mason 13.0 13.0 11.0 5.0 7.0 6.0 10.0 1.0 5.0 12.0 83.0 0.0
Doug Anderson 1.0 9.0 4.0 13.0 5.0 8.0 2.0 15.0 14.0 3.0 74.0 0.0
Jeff Zimmerman 9.0 8.0 5.0 10.0 4.0 2.0 12.0 2.0 9.0 9.0 70.0 0.0
Scott Pianowski 10.0 3.0 10.0 2.0 6.0 11.5 11.0 13.0 2.0 1.0 69.5 0.0
Brent Hershey 8.0 10.0 8.0 14.0 1.0 1.0 15.0 3.0 1.0 8.0 69.0 0.0
Eric Karabell 3.0 5.0 6.0 1.0 13.0 7.0 7.0 10.0 10.0 2.0 64.0 0.0
Michael Rathburn 5.0 5.0 2.0 3.0 10.0 9.0 8.0 7.0 6.0 7.0 62.0 0.0
CJ Kaltenbach 2.0 1.0 1.0 6.5 2.0 3.5 13.5 5.0 11.0 4.0 49.5 0.0
Tout Wars Mixed Auction is a 15-team roto league with OBP instead of average.

Big congratulations to Derek Van Riper who ended up running away with the league in the last month of the season. In spite of the look of the final standings, about half of the league were in the race for the championship through most of August, including me. So what happened.


The Draft
My strategy coming into the auction was to build a balanced roster and try to take advantage of the soft points in the draft. During the early part of the draft I felt the starting pitching prices were really expensive so after rostering two top closers and a top starter I punted starters to build a good offense.

My Tout Wars Draft
Blue = Finished on my team
Red = Injured
Yellow = Traded Away

In retrospect, I love my offense, but hate my pitching, but that is how I felt after the auction. I ended up getting two great catchers for just $10 which would be huge for me later. Rodriguez was a huge boon for me as I got him before reports came out that he would make the team (huge shoutout to Matt Thompson of Friends with Fantasy Benefits for the tip that he could make the roster!) Clearly I made a huge mistake in getting Mondesi. He was just so cheap at the draft table, but I ended up needing him for stolen bases and was never able to replace those once he got hurt.

The top pitchers I got were fine. No one could have anticipated that Iglesias would be traded, but maybe if I had decided to spread the money around from Iglesias into other starters, I would have been better off. Like I said, I knew I needed to add pitching and it was something I made a priority early and often during the season.



Prior to the start of the season, Craig Kimbrel was traded to the Dodgers giving me three closers in Hendriks, Iglesias, and Kimbrel along with Floro who I thought could be in line for saves once he returned from the IL. I started asking closer needy teams and found a buyer in Brent Hershey. We quickly came to a deal on Shane McClanahan for Kimbrel. That was the good. Now to the bad. 

I also made a huge FAAB bid on Randal Grichuk who was traded from Toronto to the Rockies after our auction. My hope was that he would be a 30 homer guy with full time playing time in Colorado. This ended up being a huge overpay and because I had finished low in the standings in 2021, I had less FAAB to work with than others to begin with, so this hamstrung me even further. I also dropped Luis Arraez to make the Grichuk pick up. Arraez would go on to hit eight home runs, score 88 runs, steal four bases and have a .375 OBP. The stats are one thing, but the positional eligibility on top of it is what really hurt my team’s flexibility rest of the way. 

I also picked up Spencer Howard, Zach Thompson, and Spencer Patton, none of which did anything but hurt my ratios. 



This is where things take the first real bad turn. I lost Mondesi at the beginning of the month and had to drop him. As I said before, I was never really able to replace him. I spent a lot of money this month as well. 


May Tout Wars FAAB
Player Tm Transaction
WCalhoun Tex 17
ELongoria SF 27
JVillar ChC 27
MChavis Pit 35
DDunning Tex 44
MLiberatore StL 77
MMelendez KC 47
EOlivares KC 57
MPerez Tex 7
FBautista Bal 22
FSchwindel ChC 44
Total 404

Melendez was a huge pick up for me that I would be able to flip later on. Martin Perez would be a savior for my pitching staff. Chavis and Longoria would play roles on my team off and on for the rest of the season. Bautista would have been huge for me if I had not dropped him at the end of the month when he stopped getting saves.

All in all, I actually had a pretty nice month in spite of having some pretty awful pitching ratios due to poor streaming.



June is where I started to rehab some of my ratios. I made a big trade sending Jared Walsh to Scott Engel for Zack Gallen. That was pretty much the only good thing I did in the month outside of decent streams of Zach Davies and John Schreiber

Here is the bad. I picked up Michael Wacha who would stay on my team for the rest of the season, though I didn’t get a lot of his good work due to my poor usage of him (68.2 innings of a 4.59 ERA and a 1.25 WHIP. I also picked up Corbin Carroll, but was forced to drop him prior to his call up because of injuries. 

However, by the end of the month, I was in a four-way race for first. 



During July, I continued to rehab my ratios and took some closer dart throws on Alexis Diaz (good), Scott Effross (bad), and Brett Martin (bad). The big thing that happened was losing Rasiel Iglesias as a closer. Grabbing Diaz was big in helping, but that took me from crushing everyone in the save category to finishing sixth in saves. That real life MLB trade probably cost me from finishing as a top 4-5 team. However, I was still in the mix for first by the end of June. 



In August, I made another trade sending MJ Melendez to Eric Karabell for Jose Urquidy. I was hoping Urquidy would stabilize my ratios and I had too many catchers with Adley and Kirk already on the roster. Unfortunately, while Urquidy helped my WHIP, he hurt my ERA and I only got three wins from him the rest of the way. I had a couple of nice streams of Max Castillo, Joey Meneses, and J.D. Davis, but got murdered by Rowan Wick, Brad Keller, Nick Pratto, and Jarred Kelenic. I also had a pick up of Cade Cavalli, Eugy Rosario, and Estuary Ruiz all of who did absolutely nothing but waste roster spots for me. 

By the end of the month, Derek was starting to push ahead of everyone and I knew I would need to be perfect and take some chances down the stretch to catch him. 



Spoiler Alert: I was anything but perfect. 

In September I started by streaming Tomy Henry and Jon Heasley which put me in the coffin. A stream of Luis Castillo and some perfectly timed blowups by Josiah Gray and Jose Urquidy put the nail in that coffin. If I had played it safer, I would have finished higher in the standings, but I played to win no matter how unlikely it was at that point. 



I think my lack of pitching depth was my biggest mistake. I didn’t spend enough at the draft table on starters after Woodruff and while McClanahan and Gallen were huge trades for me, I was forced to stream too much and my inability to do so effectively put me in a hole that I couldn’t get out of. I feel like this may be a common theme throughout my teams. 

Relying on a rabbit like Mondesi was also a huge mistake. I should have left the draft table with more saves than did even with Mondesi because of his huge bust potential. When he went out, I was never able to compete in the category. 

In the end, I feel like while I made some mistakes in the draft, I could have overcame them with better FAABing and in-season management.

Justin is the co-host on The Sleeper and The Bust Podcast and writes for Rotographs covering the Roto Riteup as well as other periodic articles. In addition to his work at Rotographs, Justin is the lead fantasy writer/analyst and co-owner for FriendswithFantasyBenefits.com, and the owner of The Great Fantasy Baseball Invitational. He is also a certified addiction treatment counselor. Follow Justin on Twitter @JustinMasonFWFB.

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IV Thoughtsmember
1 year ago

Thanks for sharing the Post Mortem of your team(s) Justin. It has inspired me to do something similar for mine. Only want to improve it to learn from what worked and what didn’t!