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Final Fantasy: Get Your Spreadsheets Ready

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We're closing in on the draft in one league, and sewing things up in a few more. Are you ready for the upcoming season?

For instance, where will you draft Josh Johnson, of the Canada Canadian Birds?
For instance, where will you draft Josh Johnson, of the Canada Canadian Birds?

We're in the final stretch of the offseason, as pitchers and catchers report. Thank God. But as the warm and fuzzies start cropping up as you see images of Chase Utley taking grounders or Roy Halladay soft-tossing, there is possibly a small nagging voice in the back of your mind: "When will I draft them? Who will I draft if not them?" If this sounds like you, it likely means only one thing: you've decided to sign up for one of our fine TGP fantasy leagues, and draft day is fast approaching.

For some of you, this is imminent, as the keeper league is beginning to draft this very Sunday, the 17th, from 7-10 PM EST, and will finish up drafting this coming Wednesday, the 20th. The CBS league is looking to draft sometime in early March, tentatively (based on the comments I've received) on Sunday the 3rd. If this is a no go, or if you have other better thoughts, let us know below. Finally, the Yahoo! league has opened up its season, as well, and signups are active. Co-commishes Ant and Rujasu have most of your emails, but Vince1129, if you could either post your email here, or send it to me at trevor.strunk [at] gmail [dot] com, that'd be great.

With all of this coming upon us like a freight train, there's a chance a good number of you have already started game planning your draft. Or, maybe that's not really your style: maybe you're more of the devil-may-care, draft where I want to, ADP-be-damned sort of owner. (And hey, that's cool too, really -- it's a little late for Valentine's Day, but I hear everyone's turned on by a dangerous fantasy baseball owner.) But whether you're Andrew Friedman or Ruben Amaro, Jr in terms of your risk analysis, inquiring minds want to know your secrets. The erstwhile fantasy czar himself, WetLuzinski, assisted mightily in coming up with these questions to you all, in the spirit of sharing and sharing alike with those to whom you'll be cordial in game threads and curse in the standings:

  1. Without tipping your hand too much, which strategies do you use on draft day? Spreadsheet? Classic graph paper? Dartboard? Eldritch rituals invoking Shub-Niggurath, the black goat of the woods with a thousand young? One or more of these methods helped Joecatz pick up Fernando Rodney off of waivers last year.
  2. In the spirit of helping new recruits, what sites do you use to help you gameplan your draft? Any secret ingredients you add to the process?
  3. How do you deal with draft day rushes on various types of players? When, by the third round, seven shortstops have been taken, do you panic? Or do you play it calm? For instance, I picked Miguel Tejada in the seventh round of the 2011 draft: I, clearly, play it cool as a cucumber.
  4. Do you go for Phillies specifically, or do you avoid them? Another way to ask this is, do you get more frustration knowing that the failure of, say, a Ryan Howard at bat hurts you doubly, or do you get more joy knowing that the success of such an at bat helps your doubly?
  5. You don't need to divulge them or anything, but how do you find sleepers? What, to your mind, even constitutes a sleeper in this post-Fangraphs world of ours?
  6. Finally, a scenario: in an unlikely-if-impossible series of events, it's the fifth round, and you find that Bryce Harper, Jason Heyward, Giancarlo Stanton, and David Wright are the best four players on the board. The dropoff is steep. Do you draft your hated enemies, or do you risk your season and grab Chase Utley?
I am as always fascinated to hear what you have to say. Fantasy stewardship is something of a perpetual subject, which sadly takes away from my more poetic and philosophical pursuits here (sorry, the 12 fans of the poem I put up!). That's a drag. But, if there's one thing that keeps me excited about fantasy, it's the various ways that the intelligent people here deal with it: you're all first round picks to me.