This is a league I just can't figure out. Year after year the folks from KFFL.com invite me, and season after season I fail to finish in the top-5. I'm not really sure why that is, but I have a theory to explain part of the reason for my struggles. This draft is done via a long clock while everyone is at work (we often have like 3-6 hours to make a pick since not everyone does this full-time like me). I think what happens is that I simply over analyze the situation while I'm waiting. Looks like I'm just better on the fly making picks when my big brain doesn't get in my way. Plus, there's always a second issue – timing. Since the draft literally takes more than a week to complete, what if there is an injury during the draft? A guy that wouldn't have been drafted three days ago now is thrust into a starting job. He goes from a free agent fodder to a guy who will be taken in the 20th round in most leagues. But what if the injury happens late in our draft? That means Team X gets the 20th round player in, what, Round 28 when the story breaks? Better yet, what if a middle reliever isn't worth drafting in this 12 team mixed format but some teams closer blows his arm out in Spring Training? Whomever has the chance to pick right after the news breaks gets to take the “new” closer for team whatever merely because it was there turn on the clock, not because they had any real insight into the player. Honestly this is all probably just me crying over split milk though as that clearly doesn't explain why I continue to wallow in mediocrity in this league.
WHAT WENT RIGHT
Miguel Cabrera in the first round. Yadier Molina in the 7th round. Jon Lester in the 14th round. Jarrod Saltalamacchia in the 21st round. Domonic Brown in the 26th round. Francisco Liriano in the 28th round.
Those last two were special bargains though I only was able to bask in the glory with one (more on that below).
Scooter Gennett was added off waivers and he hit .331 over 133 at-bats for my club.
I added Eric Young Jr. off waivers and got 33 steals in 80 games from the Met.
So you see some of the values there and you have to be thinking to yourself 'Ray's team finally crushed it as he broke the streak of struggles in K-BAD.' If you thought that you would be sorely mistaken.
WHAT WENT WRONG
You know what happened... injuries.
Kevin Youkilis, Hanley Ramirez, Austin Jackson, Dexter Fowler, Ben Revere all missed time. On the hill Shaun Marcum and James McDonald struggled before being shut down. Bobby Parnell was great but he too was shut down early with injury.
Unfortunately, all those injuries crippled me. The situation was made even worse by a few of my guys who just didn't get it done despite relative health.
Starlin Castro was my third round pick. He was abysmal and I don't stay that lightly. He was an absolutely hideous performer in 2013. Even with a late surge he hit .245. He was so bad that his .284 OBP was only one point higher than his career batting average. He averaged 72 RBIs and 85 runs scored with 24 steals in 2011-12. He was a little off that pace in 2013 with 44 RBIs, 59 runs and nine steals. See how the term abysmal really does fit?
Yovani Gallardo finished strong but he had a five year low in wins (12), a five year low in innings (180.2), an a five year low in Ks with 144 (he had been at 200 each of the previous four seasons). His 4.18 ERA was also a career worst.
Dan Haren righted the ship at the end, but he was lost at sea for most of the season. The recently turned 33 year old had a 4.67 ERA, his worst mark since his rookie season in 2003. He won 10 games, his lowest total since 2004. He tossed 169.2 innings. His worst mark since 2004. Terrible.
Jarred Cosart had a 1.95 ERA over 10 starts for the Astros. The three games he started for me that mark was 7.36. Edwin Jackson had a 5.46 ERA over five starts. Kevin Gausman rewarded my FAAB bid on him with a 7.20 ERA over two stats. Scott Kazmir was on my club for three starts. Thanks for the 7.20 ERA Scott.
My team finished 9th in wins, 9th in ERA, 9th in Ks and 8th in WHIP as my hurlers just couldn't get out of their own way.
FINISH: 8 out of 12 teams. Injuries killed me yet again resulting in me having to drop players who were struggling at the time to fill current needs only to see the those released players go on to good seasons (Liriano, Kazmir, Joaquin Benoit in particular. Don't forget that Liriano was hurt to start the season and didn't throw a pitch until May).
By Ray Flowers
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The co-host of The Drive on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio (Sirius 210, XM 87: Mon-Fri 7-10 PM EDT), Ray also hosts his own show Sunday night (7-10 PM EDT). Ray has spent years squirreled away studying the inner workings of the fantasy game to the detriment of his personal life. Specializing in baseball, football and hockey, some consider him an expert in all three.
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