Written by Tony Meale
Published: 28 April 2009
It’s still only April, but it’s never too early to look back at your draft and agonize over all the coulda-woulda-shoulda blunders you made. Some moves that look bad now will surely look better – even good – as the season progresses. But others, well, they were bad. And that’s all there is to it.
It was arguably the worst stretch of any draft of any fantasy sport of any league I’ve ever been in.
Look, we’ve all been there before. You’re drafting along, you’re eyeing a player and you’re ready to snag him with your next pick. Only he doesn’t make it to you; in fact, he’s taken the pick before yours, and now you’re on the clock frantically searching for another option.
Watch out, here comes Pablo Sandoval!
If you’re a good fantasy player, this doesn’t happen to you. Good, conscientious fantasy players plan ahead. They load their queue with several options to ensure that no pick is ever made with a gun to their head.
At least, that’s what I told myself.
But in Round 11 of the FBL (my league) draft on March 29, all my theories about planning ahead and what it means to be a good fantasy player went out the window. There were five picks before my next selection, and I had four guys I was thinking about grabbing: Zack Greinke, Nelson Cruz, Andre Ethier and Javier Vazquez (in that order).
You know where this is going.
The five picks before me went like this: Nelson Cruz, Carlos Delgado, Javier Vazquez, Zack Greinke and Andre Ethier.
Really? I mean, really?
So I panicked, of course. I took Pablo Sandoval, a player I had planned on waiting another round or two to take. But when four players on your draft board get knocked off like mob bosses, you get a little rattled. So I reached.
As the draft gods would have it, the four guys I missed on are all off to great starts this season, while Sandoval is batting exactly his weight – .246 (entering play on April 26) – with no home runs and just one RBI.
If you want specific stats on the aforementioned foursome, have at it: Greinke (four wins, 0.00 ERA, 36 strikeouts and a 0.86 WHIP), Cruz (.277, six homers, 15 RBI, 10 runs scored and two steals), Ethier (.308/5/20/15/1) and Vazquez (2/2.63/34/1.21).
So much for planning ahead.
Meanwhile, I’m currently in ninth place in my league (out of 12 teams). Now, can I blame Round 11 for all of my early season struggles? Certainly not. It’s still early, but here a few other drafting miscues I made that may (read: will) come back to bite me:
• I took Mike Aviles (.169/0/4/3/0) two spots ahead of Joey Votto (.358/3/16/8/1)
• I took Ricky Nolasco (1/6.86/17/1.67) 14 spots ahead of Greinke (see above)
• I took Matt Lindstrom (1 win and three saves to go with his 10.80 ERA and 2.25 WHIP) two spots ahead of Josh Johnson (2/2.20/29/0.91)
• I took Kevin Gregg (1 save, a 6.43 ERA and 1.86 WHIP) one spot ahead of Matt Capps (5/1.42/1.11)
The moral of this story is two-fold. First, in terms of the phenomenon that was Round 11, the number of players in your queue should always be equal to or greater than the number of picks before your next selection. And second, in terms of poor drafting decisions?
Pray to the draft gods.
It might be a long season.