You often hear fantasy analysts discuss the shares they have of a particular player, reducing them to the fantasy baseball equivalent of a financial instrument. The benefit of being in as many leagues as I am is that I can try to diversify my portfolio- owning at least one share of as many players that I like as possible, while limiting my risk of overexposure to any one hitter or pitcher. I thought it would be interesting to take a look at the players I own the most shares in across the ten ottoneu leagues that have already completed their auction drafts. These names represent the intersection of players I believe are primed for big seasons along with an auction price that I felt offered a good discount.
Domingo Santana (Owned on seven teams, $7 average salary)
This one is likely no surprise to those of you that read my bold predictions piece, but I am all in on Domingo this year, owning him in 70% of my ottoneu leagues. The trade of Khris Davis opened up a certain role for Santana as the Brewers RF, and I think he will do a passable imitation of George Springer this season.
Kyle Hendricks (seven teams, $5 average salary)
Hendricks also appeared among my bold predictions, and seemed to be a particularly cheap starting pitcher option given his performance in 2015 and projections for 2016. I think he is easily a $10 pitcher in FanGraphs points leagues, with upside to be worth quite a bit more than that.
Drew Pomeranz (seven teams, $2 average salary)
There is still some uncertainty as to what role Pomeranz will be given on the Padres pitching staff, with clarification expected to come sometime today. I think he is one of the rare pitchers that can be valuable either as a starting pitcher (if it is announced that he has earned the #5 spot in the rotation), or as a relief pitcher with high strikeouts and holds in the relatively weak Padres bullpen. I have no problems making a $2-$3 bet on a 27 year old pitcher who was once the fifth overall pick in the draft.
Justin Grimm (seven teams, $3 average salary)
With relief pitchers in ottoneu, I almost always prioritize targeting pitchers with good skills and a low acquisition price. Grimm is projected to strike out about 10.5 batters per nine innings, is on a very good team that should allow him to accumulate holds, and the fact that he is a Cub is just icing on the cake.
Neil Walker (six teams, $12 average salary)
I don’t think Walker is likely to be worth a whole lot more than $12, but I like him quite a bit as a middle infield option moving from a pitchers park to a neutral park. As August Fagerstrom pointed out in December, Walker has had an identical wOBA to Ben Zobrist over the past three seasons, with less fanfare.
Chris Carter (five teams, $3 average salary)
I am really high on Carter with his move from Houston to Milwaukee, and I think he can hit more than 35 home runs in Miller Park. He’s a very streaky player, but as a $3 Util option in ottoneu I think you could do much worse.
Hyun-soo Kim (five teams, $6 average salary)
It’s hard not to be worried about owning this many shares of Kim given the Orioles reluctance to bring him north with the team, and Kim’s refusal of an assignment to AAA. These could very well end up as wasted dollars spent, but Steamer and ZiPS both thought Kim could make a successful transition from KBO to MLB, so I am still holding out hope.
Jaime Garcia (five teams, $4 average salary)
Garcia is a pitcher that is traditionally overlooked due to injury concerns, but while he is healthy and pitching he has always been successful. I was encouraged by his 129.2 innings pitched last season, and think that even in only 140 innings he is a $10+ starting pitcher.
Clayton Blackburn (four teams, $2 average salary)
I couldn’t end this examination of my most owned players without mentioning Blackburn, even if he is only tied for my 12th most owned player. It’s quite possible that I am higher on Blackburn than any other ottoneu owner, but he is only owned in 14% of Fangraphs points leagues and is the type of player I can probably pick up at any time over the next month or so while he languishes in AAA.
A few more notes on my ottoneu portfolio:
218 unique players owned
93 players owned in at least two leagues
46 players owned in at least three leagues
27 players owned in at least four leagues
12 players owned in at least five leagues
Justin is a life long Cubs fan who has been playing fantasy baseball for 20+ years, and an ottoneu addict since 2012. Follow him on Twitter @justinvibber.