Sometimes when playing in “expert” leagues, I feel a little overmatched.  The opponents have our game plan in advance because Glenn Colton and I have been posting it and refining it every year as we compete in these competitions.  Our opponents study baseball all day for their jobs while Glenn Colton and I have jobs that have us doing something different than analyzing, writing, shooting video and being on the radio.  Don’t get me wrong, those things are hard, but it gives our opponents a knowledge advantage.  Reminds of something Professor Moriarty says:

“You see, hidden within the unconscious, there is an insatiable desire for conflict. So, you're not fighting me, so much as you are the human condition. All I want to do is own the bullets and the bandages.”

Well, we need an angle.  We need a way to find gems for our drafts.  One way to do that is to examine other drafts.  Now you may believe that quote unquote experts are not any better than your league.  You are right.  However, they are consistent.  You will not get many wildcards who don’t know anything or much and in your league you probably have one at least.  So, one really good way to find some gems is to Shadow Draft.

What is Shadow Drafting, you ask? Well, I am not 100% of the origin, but for me, I saw Ron Shandler doing it at a LABR draft in the early 2000s.  Here is how it works:

Description – Take the expert’s draft from this past weekend for LABR.  This creates a salary listing of all players.  Each player is given a salary equal to his dollar value + $1.  All $1 + $2 players remain at $1 and $2 respectively.  Each participant will create team of 14 hitters and 9 pitchers in the standard Rotisserie format with a salary cap of $260. has been running a contest exactly like this that they call DoubtWars every year.  Glenn and I have won it with our Tout Wars AL draft each of the last two seasons.

LABR American League – Shadow Draft

Here is the link to the American League Draft for you to find the dollar values.

So take that link and go ahead and post in the comments your team.  Here are ours:

Rick Wolf Glenn Colton
PosLastnameFirstname$Tm PosLastnameFirstnameTm$
CMurphyJJohn1NYY CMcCannBrianNYY20
CSotoGeovany1CHW CSotoGeovanyCHW2
1BCabreraMiguel36DET 1BDavisChrisBAL27
2BBonifacioEmilio11CHW 2BCanoRobinsonSEA31
SSEscobarAlcides18KC SSCabreraEverthBAL6
3BDavisChris27BAL 3BFreeseDavidLAA7
MIRefsnyderRob1NYY MIRamirezJoseCLE9
CIMoustakasMike10KC CIMoralesKendrysKC10
OFTroutMike45LAA OFMartinLeonysTEX22
OFJacksonAustin13SEA OFCespedesYoenisDET26
OFArciaOswaldo 15MIN OFArciaOswaldo MIN15
OFMarisnickJake2HOU OFAckleyDustinSEA8
UTCarterChris25HOU UTCastellanosNickDET15
PosLastnameFirstnameTm PosLastnameFirstnameTm$
PAllen Cody18CLE PAllen CodyCLE18
PHutchisonDrew10TOR PHutchisonDrewTOR10
PVerlanderJustin12DET PGreeneShaneDET8
PEovaldiNathan9NYY PSabathiaCCNYY6
PKellyJoe4BOS PGibsonKyleMIN3
PHahnJesse9OAK PHouseT.J.CLE6
PBundyDylan1BAL PQuallsChadHOU5
PTropeanoNicholas1LAA PTropeanoNicholasLAA2
PShawBryan1CLE PSorianoRafaelFAN1

LABR National League – Shadow Draft

Here is the link to the American League Draft for you to find the dollar values.

So take that link and go ahead and post in the comments your team.  Here are ours:

Rick Wolf    Glenn Colton   
PosLastnameFirstname$Tm PosLastnameFirstname$Tm
CEllisA.J.1LA CMcKenryMichael3COL
CReckerAnthony1NYM CCervelliFrancisco5PIT
1BRizzoAnthony31CHC 1BRizzoAnthony31CHC
2BKendrickHowie21LA 2BKendrickHowie21LA
SSTulowitzkiTroy29COL SSCozartZack5CIN
3BFrancoMaikel5PHI 3BArenadoNolan25COL
MIMercerJordy9PIT MIFloresWilmer9NYM
CIAlonsoYonder11SD CIAlonsoYonder11SD
OFGonzalezCarlos24COL OFGomezCarlos33MIL
OFGomezCarlos33MIL OFKempMatt24SD
OFKempMatt24SD OFGonzalezCarlos24COL
OFInciarteEnder David7ARI OFTaylorMichael2WAS
OFBourjosPeter1STL OFGuerreroAlexander4LA
UTTaylorMichael1WAS UTUptonBJB.J.6ATL
PosLastnameFirstname Tm PosLastnameFirstnameTm
PCishekSteve15MIA PCishekSteve15MIA
PWoodAlex15ATL PAndersonBrett3LA
PMartinezCarlos7STL PAlvarezHenderson7MIA
PLynnLance9STL PNelsonJimmy6MIL
PMillerShelby7ATL PAndersonChase2ARI
PLeakeMike4CIN PMarshallEvan3ARI
PGeeDillon1NYM PLeakeMike4CIN
PParnellBobby3NYM PGonzalezGio14WAS
PSorianoRafael1FAN PMortonCharlie2PIT

Don’t Be Fooled By the Chess Game

So play the Game of Shadows (Shadow Draft) to learn where players fell in LABR to see where you might get bargains in your drafts.  Don’t think too much…meaning always take better talent over hype in the fantasy media. Also, know your opponent’s strengths and play to them.  In LABR AL, we needed more starting pitching when we got to the end.  In LABR NL, we were prepared for that because Doug Dennis and Steve Moyer always play to their strength of selecting great pitchers at the end of drafts. Like Sherlock Holmes said in Game of Shadows: “First, pillage the nest. Clip wings. Now, blunt his beak. Crack eggs. Scramble, pinch of salt. Touch of pepper. Flip the omelet. Additional seasoning required. Breakfast is served.”

Play Hard; Never Say DIE; and Eat Your Opponent for Breakfast!