Refresher: The 2021 Bat Flips & Nerds Fantasy Baseball Invitational was fun… but also a little boring for the teams not battling out for the championship. The Draft and Hold format was not conducive to league-wide participation. I wanted to shake it up. And I also wanted to make it harder for James Holden and Jonny Gould (Behind Home Plate Show) to retain their trophy.
Format: 24 teams with 23-player rosters. It is still Draft and Hold, but this time with a twist (see below).
Scoring: Points (mimicking CBS/ToutWars)
Elimination: After every scoring period, the lowest-scoring team is eliminated. The scores are reset to zero, and a new scoring period starts.
Twist: No one wants to lose more of their Sunday evenings to FAAB prep, so we introduced a new concept. The top free agents would be randomly distributed among the remaining teams. You might get a pitcher; you might get a closer; you might get Mike Trout.
There is a joy in competing against a high-quality field of 24. You know you cannot slip any players through. You know that value players will not just fall. And, unlike in some other high-quality fields, we didn’t have anyone attempting “look at me picks” or radical draft strategies for a future article.
My strategy was fairly basic:
- Four top-quality starters and four lesser starters who could be played when matchups were advantageous
- Two top-quality SPARPS (starting pitchers with RP-eligibility). The volatility of relief pitchers meant that RP-eligible pitchers like Kopech, Severino, Suarez, Quantrill, Rassmussen etc. were more reliable picks
- As many multi-eligible players are possible to provide cover in every position
- Leave first base and outfield to last. They are deep
- Leave catcher until the very end
The execution was less than perfect. The multi-position players went sooner than I wanted. I had to reach to take Jake Cronenworth in the fifth round! My first base, outfield and catcher are far weaker than I would have liked, but I guess every team in a 24-team league has holes.
The six-week qualification period was contracted due to the delayed start of the season, but the four lowest-scoring teams on 8 May were eliminated. Tom Pringle withdrew from the league before the draft, so the guillotine fell on Eric Gilde (one of four American participants in the league), Birds with Balls, and Joel Bailey (of Four Bases fame).
Russell Eassom just overtook reigning champs, Behind Home Plate Show, in the last couple of days of the scoring period, but really, who cares? The remaining 20 teams had their scores reset to zero.
Ownership percentage and point-scoring over the six-week period decided the top 20 free agents. Only non-IL players were considered, so no deGrom or Wheeler. Superstars Ronald Acuña jr. and Wander Franco were the best of the bunch, but Walker Buehler was also available, along with three of the four best catchers.
Arghhh! Reigning champs, Behind Home Plate Show, got Acuña jr. And they’re Braves fans. Sometimes life is not fair.
FIRST ELIMINATION PERIOD
The cuts come quickly from here on. Two-week scoring period, and the lowest team gets the chop. Russell’s and James’/Jonny’s fast start to the season means nothing now.
Follow this league on Twitter #FantasyBaseballEliminator
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