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First Time Ottoneu Owner – Draft Strategy and Rationale

Posted By Brandon Warne On February 24, 2012 @ 10:15 am In Ottoneu | 24 Comments

On Tuesday night, we completed a second FanGraphs staff league Ottoneu draft, and after eight long hours — spread over two nights — I had my very first squad. I thought it might be fitting to have my first ever Ottoneu draft coincide with my first post at RotoGraphs, so feel free to skewer my decision-making but please keep in mind I was a first-timer.

With every auction draft I’ve ever been in — nearly all of them for fantasy football — I’ve been notoriously conservative. Most of the time, I just nominate players to get other owners to spend their budgets foolishly/lavishly, while I wait to pounce on bargains and only strike on players I truly covet.

Additionally, I make sure I have a nice, layered/tiered list of players that I covet, so that when the Jason Heyward‘s of the world go a little higher than I’d prefer to pay, I have backup plans in place. So have a look:

Lowdown: $400 budget/$399 spent (One waiver claim in on Matt Capps presently at $1)

C: Joe Mauer $20/Jesus Montero $17

Pros- I could very well have two mashing catchers here, and if durability issues plague Mauer, Montero should be good enough offensively to stem the tide.
Cons- Montero is still just in his first full season, and if he has any growing pains and Mauer has any pains himself, I could have a black hole in my catching ranks. (Grade: B)

1B: Joey Votto $49/Carlos Pena $5
3B: Chase Headley $5/Lonnie Chisenhall $4/Pedro Alvarez $1/Chone Figgins $1

Pros- Didn’t really overpay on any third basemen, and I love Pena at $5 back in Tampa.
Cons- I’m really wishing I hadn’t spent that much on Votto, but I think it’s not an egregious overbid. As for the third basemen, I didn’t want to go big on any of the studs, so I’m just hoping something sticks here. If Headley gets dealt, I could see a ton of benefit there by virtue of his home/road splits. (Grade B+)

2B: Jose Altuve $4/Gordon Beckham $3/Alexi Casilla $1
SS: Jose Reyes $44/J.J. Hardy $16

Pros- I think Hardy at $16 is about right, as long as he stays healthy. I didn’t get any great players at the keystone, but they are all pretty much entrenched with their clubs and should get plenty of opportunities. I still believe in Beckham.
Cons- I certainly overpaid for Reyes, but to be fair, he and Votto were my only real ‘indulgences’ and I think I was pretty even-keeled on just about everyone else. I have no idea if Altuve can hit in the bigs yet, but he’ll get the chance. Same goes for each of my other second-sackers. (Grade: C+)

OF: Jay Bruce $26/Josh Willingham $9/Jason Kubel $8/Lorenzo Cain $3/Ben Revere $3

Pros- Bruce could very well be a star going forward, and Willingham and Kubel might have 30-home run power in their new digs. Cain has full rein in centerfield in KC, and I leveraged these guys with a couple top-tier prospects in Cespedes and Harper.
Cons- Only Bruce really stands out, and the rest are more of a gamble. Certainly gambles I’m OK with, but others I’ve asked haven’t been as keen. (Grade: C)

SP: Jon Lester $28/Anibal Sanchez $14/Neftali Feliz $12/Scott Baker $10/Bud Norris $10/Jon Niese $9/Shaun Marcum $8/Homer Bailey $8/Johan Santana $6/A.J. Burnett $5/Drew Pomeranz $4

Pros- Really like this group. It may be relatively short on star-power, but I like the strikeout potential and felt like I did well to buy-low on a few solid arms.
Cons- I probably spent too much on Santana, Burnett, and Pomeranz. (Grade: B+)

MR: Rafael Soriano $5/Glen Perkins $3/Joel Zumaya $1

Pros- Soriano and Perkins could both grab save opps if their closer needs a night off/gets injured. Zumaya is high risk and high reward, as everyone is aware of.
Cons- Soriano was pretty bad last year, and Zumaya didn’t pitch at all. (Grade: I)

CL: Craig Kimbrel $12/Joakim Soria $6/Huston Street $4

Pros- Great group of strikeout pitchers; especially love Street’s skill-set in San Diego, where he should flourish. Three closers in a league of 12 teams means I’ve rostered more than average, which I usually shoot for (more so in saves leagues, obviously).
Cons- Maybe a little high for Kimbrel, but overall love this group. (Grade: A)

Prospects: Bryce Harper $18/Yoenis Cespedes $8/Miguel Sano $5/Wilin Rosario $5/Joe Benson $1

Pros- All are elite talents in their own way, and all but Sano could see MLB time this year.
Cons- Overspent for all but Benson, but badly wanted to inject some youth into my club for the future without adding too many MLB non-factors. (Grade: C-)

Overall Grade: C+

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