18 team, 10×10 Keeper League; year 9 and I’m sitting in 11th, 7 1/2 out of the 8th and final playoff spot. I thought this article would be of interest to those in deeper leagues as most talk in the fantasy world revolves around 10 and 12 team leagues. The dynamics are considerably different and the waiver wire can really make to break you so it’s uber important to stay tuned in and constantly scour the wire for a gem or even a good match up.
I have had some decent success on the wire with players like Ben Revere, Coco Crisp, Andrelton Simmons, Marco Estrada and Santiago Casilla. Here’s a quick look at my scenario and how I hope it plays out, yeah I know that doesn’t get you to excited but again we’re talking an 18 teamer here and top managers.
Of course with no games the last four days I have had plenty of time, well to much time to go over my team and what I need to do to strengthen my playoffs aspirations. Should I make a trade or stand pat, I believe in my team and made the trades I wanted to earlier in the season. What I need is guys like Brian McCann and Shane Victorino to play up to their usual caliber and I think the second half will play out well for me.
Sitting in the middle of an 18 team Keeper League at the break can be ok if you think your team has a lot more upside based on previous seasons numbers. That’s where I feel I’m at, well at least the hitting side of things anyway.
The pitching is another story altogether after losing Beachy and Jaime Garcia to injury right after trading away Brandon Morrow and Tommy Hanson, I have found myself combing the waiver wire and offering up trades to bolster a decent staff for the second have.
I targeted pitchers who were on the DL and coming back soon and I felt I lucked out with getting Marco Estrada who was still a week or two away from coming back, he has looked good but Shaun Marcum will be back soon so who knows who will get sent down or to the pen
I also went after young guns who have potential and I was happy to find Zach McAllister on the wire too. I also decided that i would have to grab a few starters that were mostly being streamed all season long like Mike Leake who got off to a bad start but has turned it around and Joe Blanton who if nothing else gets me the K’s, man the Phillies have been a very frustrating team this year, but I’m sure their frustration is very high, some rumblings and grumblings going on there.
So here’s what my staff looks like at the break;
Yeah I know, right, not much to get excited about but times are tough, better than Outman, Francis, Marquis as that’s about all that’s out there.
I also snagged a few DL guys who I hope can contribute soon, Brett Anderson and John Danks, Anderson may be closer as Danks just had another setback. Brandon Beachy is one of my keepers and for now I have him stashed. There may be an opportunity to trade him to another team who is building for the future and already out of the hunt this year.
When the season started I had planned to punt saves and focus on holds, sometimes the best laid plans are none as they say as I drafted Kenley Jansen who became a closer and Santiago Casilla who I picked up for holds and he ended up closing for the Giants, I added Ryan Cook of the A’s and he started getting save opps, oh well, no holds now, just saves and I’m ok with that.
Back to the sticks and here’s a quick look at my current lineup;
C Brian McCann
1B Paul Goldschmidt
2B Robinson Cano
3B Brett Lawrie
SS Jed Lowrie
LF Ben Revere
CF Shane Victorino
RF Jason Heyward
Util Lucas Duda
Util Mike Aviles
Bench: Zack Cozart, Peter Bourjos, Coco Crisp, Aldreton Simmons and Scott Moore.
One thing that has been very beneficial for this team has been the multi positions I get out of Aviles, Lowrie, Duda, Revere and Crisp.
In the last month Cano, Lawrie, Heyward, Goldy and even Crisp have been playing very well. Picking up Revere before he got the starting gig was big for me as was finding Crisp before he got going. The last 7 days of ball before the break it was McCann who was the number 1 overall hitter in Yahoo, so I have to hope he continues to bounce back and cross my fingers that Victorino can clear his head and regain his confidence, or get traded which is a possibility.
So here I sit 7 1/2 games out of the final playoff spot (top 8) and I like my chances. Having said that I face three top 6 teams in the next three weeks so anything less than winning two out of three won’t get it done.
I like the depth in my hitting but i am a bit nervous about the pitching. Trying to trade a bat for an arm would be a good move but I am waiting for Cozart or Aviles to have a hot streak and then make a move. There’s just not a lot of pitching out there on the wire and certainly with so many arm injuries this year, managers are holding on a bit more tighter making pitchers a bit more valuable than recent years.
We need 35 innings to qualify each week so you must carry at least 5-6 starters and even 7 like myself because when you have no real ace and a lot of number 3-5 staters in the rotation, you need to play matchups more often to keep the ERA and loses in check.
So here’s to Victorino getting hot, McCann staying hot and the young guns, Heyward, Lawrie, Goldy and Revere continuing to grow whilst my pitchers stay healthy and win some games! Hey I’m not asking for much just a spot in the playoffs, this team has the talent to go all the way, right?