It’s time for some Best Ball drafts! Well, and subsequently, Best Ball draft recaps! Howard Bender has a best ball series going on at RealTime Fantasy Sports and these contests are eligible for the $10K grand prize. Also, in case you missed it, we livestreamed it, and you can watch it here on the Fantasy Alarm YouTube page.

Along with the Best Ball drafts at RTSports, you can join the fun over in some BB10’s on NFBC with me! You can sign up a few different ways:

  1. Head to the following link and sign up:
  2. Follow me on Twitter @colbyrconway and let me know you want in, via Tweet or DM.
  3. If you’re in the FA Discord, let me know in one of the MLB Channels that you want in!

Quick thoughts about the draft:

Holy pitchers! In Best Ball formats, pitchers are incredibly valuable, so it’s no surprise they get pushed up. The strategy around pitchers was quite interesting. While some zigged, others zagged, and the breakdown of pitcher selections in the early rounds were fascinating. Of the ten teams in the league, here is the breakdown of the number of pitchers taken within the first five rounds:

  • Four teams took four pitchers with their first five rounds
  • Three teams took three pitchers with their first five rounds
  • Two teams, including me, only took one pitcher in first five rounds

Cheyanne Bailey didn’t take their first starter until Round 13 with Nestor Cortes! I thought I was being stingy on pitchers, but I’m glad someone was with me in the early rounds on grabbing all the best hitters. Again, sometimes the board pushes you in a different direction.

Also, in Best Ball formats that are points based, speed isn’t king, and those guys that typically are drafted solely for their speed aren’t pushed up as much. In roto formats, you would never see Adalberto Mondesi make it to Round 15, or Tommy Edman in Round 19. However, in points formats, you do.

My Team

It’s hard to argue against a start of Trea Turner, Ronald Acuña Jr., Matt Olson and Manny Machado. Sure, my pitching suffered, but in a points format, those four provide such a high floor for points that it was hard not to continue loading up on the offensive side of the ball. After those first four, quality bats in Eloy Jiménez, Jonathan India, Christian Yelich, Mitch Garver, and others give me an elite offense.

How far this team goes will come down to pitching, but I like my upside picks to make my rotation play better than it may look. Shane McClanahan, Trevor Rogers, Carlos Rodón, Tyler Mahle and Logan Gilbert make for a good start to the rotation, and then maybe one of Jesús Luzardo, Mitch Keller or Patrick Corbin can be a nice later round surprise. Kenley Jansen and Gregory Soto are fine closing options, too.

The Fantasy Alarm Draft Evaluator gave my team a grade of a 74, which is a C, and a projected ninth place finish. Here are the projected results overall:

My three favorite picks

  • Matt Olson in the third, in a points league! His pull-side power is going to shine in Truist Park. 40+ home runs? Who’s with me?
  • Seiya Suzuki in the 17th, baby! On RTSports, he has third base eligibility, and there’s no reason he can’t hit 20+ home runs with 8-12 stolen bases. I love the upside and 3B eligibility.
  • Tommy Pham in the 22nd round was the steal of steals. He’s more or less on a prove it deal, and he goes to a great home park that will boost his numbers. With some added points to his batting average, his power and speed should provide plenty of points for my team.

Three favorite picks from other teams

  • Howard Bender’s selection of Patrick Sandoval in the 16th round was exceptional.
  • Paul Strinni snagged Bobby Witt Jr. in the 13th, and it’s hard to argue with the immense upside the youngster has.
  • The Battlebots got Willson Contreras in the 13th round, and four rounds after J.T. Realmuto. That’s great value for my must draft catcher in 2022.

Three picks that made me scratch my head

  • Cheyanne Bailey took a monopoly on the closing market, but I wouldn’t have expected Aroldis Chapman being selected before Liam Hendriks, as well as Chapman and Ryan Pressly amongst the top four closers drafted.
  • Damn Autodraft! Autodraft reared its ugly head a few times here, notably with Jack Flaherty in the seventh round.
  • I understand the logic with Trevor Bauer in the 17th, but it’s not something I would have done. Too much risk for me. To each their own!

Final Thoughts

I said it on the livestream, which again, you should check out, but I have no questions or concerns about my offense. It’s loaded from top to bottom with talent and production, not to mention a couple of guys that will easily be amongst the top performers at their respective positions. All of the questions lie with the starting rotation. Do Shane McClanahan, Logan Gilbert, and Trevor Rogers take the next step? Does Carlos Rodón stay healthy in 2022? Can Mitch Keller live up to his former hype thanks to increased velocity? What about Jesús Luzardo?

If my pitching exceeds expectations, watch out for this team.

We would love to have you in future Best Ball Drafts! Check out the MLB Channels in the Discord or hit me up on Twitter (@colbyrconway)! You can also sign up directly at the following links:

We’ll see you there!