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Biddin' For Cubs
by Alex Ciepley
Did anyone else, when first introduced to the term "fantasy baseball", get a bit red in the face? I tend to associate the word "fantasy" with... ahem... other extracurricular activities, and had no idea what it was doing in front of the name of my favorite sport.
I guess "rotisserie baseball" is equally confusing to the uninitiated, though for different reasons. Would you like more sauce on your barbecued leather and twine?
At any rate, I do a couple fantasy leagues every year (One year I did eight. Kill me if I do that again.), but today is Draft Day for my favorite and most competitive league. We have some weirdo categories--doubles and triples for the hitters and GIDP for the pitchers--but it's bushels of fun, better than Cats.
We're also doing an auction format for the first time. I'll let you know if the bidding leaves me laughing and crying--if it too is better than Cats.
The Cubs have some draftable dudes, but I'm finding that a lot of the players don't make my "bullseye target" list.
Wood and Prior are, for fairly obvious reasons, too risky. And even with their current injuries, they seem like candidates to be overvalued.
My pre-draft cheat sheet tells me that Wood will likely be about as valuable this year in my league as Dontrelle Willis, Ted Lilly, and Adam Eaton. Out of that foursome, who do you think will cost the most?
Maddux would be fine, I guess, but again I think his name value will exceed his actual value in the draft. My sheet does think he'll be worth more than Wood, at least.
Nomar, A-Ram, Zambrano? These are three folks I'd pay full value for, but I think I can get actual bargains at their positions. David Wright or Aaron Boone, maybe? A taste of Julio Lugo or Kaz Matsui? John Thompson or Mark Buehrle on the side? All should be cheaper than the Cubbies, though maybe I'll spring for Zambrano just so I can do an extra jig whenever he strikes out Jim Edmonds.
Corey? Maybe next year. He frustrates me enough already, having him on my team might make me eat my bedsheets.
Leaving aside the candidates for closer, that leaves me with two targets on the Cubs:
Derrek Lee. Lee has a good chance to be the NL's third-most valuable first baseman, and he's going to be a lot less expensive than Pujols and Helton. Maybe not as good, but a lot less expensive.
Michael Barrett. Michael Barrett? Again, my cheat sheet thinks all the big-name catchers are going to be big-time disappointments when it comes to value, and Barrett could perform as well as many of the studs at a fraction of the price.
Barrett sneaks onto my catcher list with the fifth most valuable fantasy catcher projection in baseball, ahead of Posada, LoDuca, Kendall, and Piazza. Crazy talk! Call my cuckoo list cuckoo, but I'm going to stick with the methods and madness, and hope Mikey likes it in year two with the Cubs.
I guess that's it as far as draftable Cubs goes. Well, I suppose I could draft Neifi! and Macias! and just keep 'em on my bench the whole year.
Just to set an example, ya know.
Update: And I got my two Cubs: Barrett for $8 and Lee for $20 (less than half the price of Pujols or Helton, though not less than half their value).
I also picked up another Cub in one of the steals of the draft, I think: Nomar for $16!