This past weekend New York City was graced with some of the most brilliant minds in the Fantasy Baseball industry, who participated in the esteemed Tout Wars drafts. The owners represented all of the most well-known sites in the business, including: ESPN, RotoWorld, RotoWire, Fantasy Alarm, RotoExperts and many more.

New this year to Tout Wars was the Head to Head auction, which not only featured an entirely different format, but incorporated several heavily requested statistical categories, such as. OBP (On Base Percentage), NSB (Net Stolen Bases) and K/9 (Strike per 9 innings).

After the conclusion of the draft, I was able to sit down and analyze some of the best “buys” of the draft, which I’ll provide below. Please keep in mind that my mentions factor in my own personal rankings of the players, their current ADP, and their tier respective to similar players.

Catchers

Salvador Perez ($9 – Jeff Boggis) – The catcher position has historically been regarded as a priority for managers who believe in positional scarcity, but things have certainly changed for the better in 2016. No longer is this simply a matter of “Buster Posey vs. The Field”, but several other viable options are available, one such being Perez. While he might not have the ceiling of Posey, or hit for the power of Brian McCann, Jeff was able to acquire him for four dollars less than other players in his tier, such as Jonathan LuCroy or Russell Martin.

J.T. Realmuto ($2 – Jeff Zimmerman) – I’m quite high on Realmuto this season not only based upon his surrounding lineup in Miami and how he performed in 2015, but the statistic that he can assist in that no other catcher can – stolen bases. Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t the next Billy Hamilton, but Realmuto can chip in 12-14 steals, which puts him head and shoulders above his colleagues. Additionally, the second half of 2015 Realmuto flashed some decent power, while maintaining an average of over .270. Count me in.

First Basemen

Jose Abreu ($29 – Jeff Boggis) – Jeff did exceptionally well here, grabbing Abreu for several dollars less than players who will grade out similarly to him based upon my projections. Case in point? I have Abreu hitting .296 this season, a full 14 points higher than Anthony Rizzo, while hitting just one home run less, and being dead tied in RBI. Rizzo went for $47. Other players in this tier also went for much more, such as Miguel Cabrera ($38), and Edwin Encarnacion ($34).

Albert Pujols ($12 – Andrea Lamont) – Is Pujols the player that he once was? No. Is he boring to draft? Sure. But you can safely pencil him in for 30 home runs and nearly 100 RBI. Andrea had an absolute steal here, since she was able to acquire Pujols for several dollars less than other players in his tier, such as Prince Fielder ($23) and Freddie Freeman ($20). Well done!

Second Basemen

Rougned Odor ($9 – Michael Beller) – Although second base isn’t as weak as shortstop, it certainly comes close. To find a player who is capable of hitting close to 20 home runs while carrying a .270 plus average in the process (and for several dollars less than his closest competition) is a job well done. Comparable players here would include Brian Dozier ($15) and Anthony Rendon ($17).

Starlin Castro ($2 – Paul Sporer) – Is this the inner Yankees homer in me surfacing? Perhaps. Consider this though – what a change in scenery is just what Castro needed to take the next step in his development? Early returns in Spring Training have been through the roof, as Castro has hit for nearly .450 with a .464 OBP and a ridiculous 1.205 OPS. This is a flyer well worth taking.

Third Basemen

Nolan Arenado ($28 – Michael Beller) – I’m still debating what happened here. Either the other managers didn’t want to spend up to acquire Arenado because of the overbids which occurred early, or they didn’t value him to the same extent as myself. Regardless, I’d be doing cartwheels if I was able to secure Arenado for $10 less than Josh Donaldson and $9 less than Manny Machado.

Todd Frazier ($18 – Jake Ciely) -  The “All In Kid” didn’t have to push many chips in on this one. While Frazier won’t hit for the same average as other players within his tier at the position, he will still crest the .260 point. Additionally, he has the ability to provide double-digit steals, something which Donaldson/Arenado/Carpenter can’t. He was half the price of Kris Bryant, which is crazy value.

Shortstops

Addison Russell ($11 – Paul Sporer) – Highly touted prospect on the upside? Check. Hitting in the midst of an extremely potent lineup? Check. There isn’t much to dislike about this pick. Owners saw glimpses of Russell’s upside in 2015 – his upside could have him hitting .265 with 15 home runs and 10 steals. Sporer strikes again.

Jung-Ho Kang ($6 – Jeff Zimmerman) – Reports in early March had Kang starting the season on the DL, but he will return to the Pittsburgh Pirates prior to the end of April. To say that he surpassed expectations last season is a massive understatement – few thought that he would hit .287 with 15 home runs in just 420 at bats. The power is real, and Kang will flirt with 15-17 home runs again, even if he misses a full month.

Outfielders

Chris Davis ($30 – Jeff Zimmerman) – There are few players that Fantasy owners can project for over 40 home runs, but Davis is certainly one of them. Let’s compare my projections between Davis and fellow first-tier option Giancarlo Stanton, shall we?

Stanton - .275 AVG, 81 R, 38 HR, 102 RBI

Davis - .255 AVG, 90 R, 42 HR, 109 RBI

Similar, right? Yet Stanton cost $12 more. I’m a fan of this purchase.

Adam Jones ($14 – Jeff Boggis) – Jones is one of the most consistent Fantasy players over the last five to six seasons, and Jeff had to be ecstatic to claim him at this price. I won’t elaborate too much since the bid already received its fair share of recognition on Twitter and on Sirius XM radio, but this was truly one of the best purchases of the entire draft.

Starting Pitchers

Zack Grienke ($19 – Jake Ciely) – I get it. Owners and magazines alike were quick to point to Grienke’s XFIP and how he performed better than his numbers suggested in 2015. All that being said, when comparing other “aces” that will have 16 plus wins, 200 plus strikeouts and a sub 2.80 ERA, Grienke went for several dollars less than other players within his tier, such as Jacob deGrom ($27), Matt Harvey ($27) or Madison Bumgarner ($28).

Felix Hernandez ($18 – Michael Beller) – Just another example of a ho-hum veteran going for a discount. I’m a fan of acquiring proven talent at a discount, and this pickup sums up that philosophy nicely. King Felix may not have the upside of Jake Arrieta or David Price, but I’d be happy to acquire his services for a full $10 less than the other two.

Relief Pitchers

Ken Giles ($9 – Doug Anderson) – Giles doesn’t carry the same name-recognition that a Craig Kimbrel or Kenley Jansen do, but at season’s end his statistics won’t be terribly far apart from them. My own projections have Giles locking down 42 saves with an ERA floating right around 2.05. Considering where some of the other “safe” closers went (Jansen - $25, Kimbrel - $17, Wade Davis - $20) I’m a big fan of this discount.

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