Fantasy Baseball 2023: January Best Ball

Trying to select a championship-winning team in January is a task that requires either a lot of skill or a lot of luck. This year, Nick Wilson-Smith @nick_dws proved that he had more than enough of both to defeat a competitive field of 14 other participants.

You’ve got to remember that when this league was drafted at the end of January, many sage baseball minds thought the Mets were on the brink of a dynasty. The dust was just settling on the Luis Arraez for Pablo López trade; no one was suggesting a Rangers v Diamondbacks World Series, and Spring Training was still a few weeks away.

Here are the final standings. I don’t know why I cropped it at the Top Six; I just did.

You can see that the two Nicks really did demolish the rest of the field, and it could have been Nick W (instead of Nick W-S) crowned 2023 Champion had his third pick, Carlos Rodon, not slumped to 14 starts for a 6.85 ERA.

Despite Nick Wilson-Smith’s obvious Yankees bias (three players in his first seven picks), he drafted two of the season’s Top 10 scorers (Gerrit Cole and Corbin Carroll) in the first five rounds.

However, it was the strength of his roster that secured the championship. Every one of his 40 drafted players scored points. Pretty sensational, given that 600 players were drafted.

My 40th-round pick was Jose Iglesias, who failed to make one appearance, whereas Nick drafted Griffin Canning, who, despite not pitching since July 2021, went on to pitch in more games in 2023 than Shohei Ohtani.

The scoring format benefited power and power/speed guys, as you can see from Ronald Acuña Jr.’s massive advantage.

Jonny Gould’s tactic of targeting Braves looked ingenious with Atlanta’s incredible season, but he was let down by his pitching. He won’t go for the Lucas Giolito/Lance Lynn combo next time.

In case you’re interested, the top players we missed on draft day were…

So, congratulations once again to Nick. A trophy will be winging its way to him shortly.

Want to get involved in Bat Flips & Nerds 2024’s fantasy leagues? DM me @GavTramps on the platform formerly known as Twitter.

Featured image of Ronald Acuña Jr. by Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

GREAT BRITISH FANTASY BASEBALL SUPERLEAGUE 2024 #GBFBS – entries open in January 2024. Stay tuned to Bat Flips & Nerds for further details.

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