There have been ten days of baseball since the Major League Baseball opened on April 1st and fantasy owners now have not just a drafted fantasy team built on hope but now can see their team placed into league standings. For the 645 NFBC Main Event owners organized into 15-team leagues, their reaction most likely differs depending on whether they have broken on top into the first five places; have settled into a middle-tier from 6th through 10th, or have been mired in the lower tier of 11th through 15th.
The primary tension for fantasy managers is that they must recognize that they are working with a finite budget that must last the entire season – in this case, Main Event owners have $1000 of FAAB dollars and must bid at least $1 (no $0 bids, as is permitted in some formats). Obviously, a large bid in the first month limits flexibility later in the season, but experienced fantasy managers must balance that against the prospect of gaining control of the services of a player for 5 or 6 months rather than making a pickup in July or August.
Despite a few eye-popping bids, most of the 645 Main Event teams have not dramatically overspent in the first two FAAB periods. In the third FAAB period held on Sunday, April 11th 11 players were picked up in 27 or more leagues (see below) with Tyler Naquin targeted the most as he played his way into a regular gig in the Cincinnati outfield. Naquin was added in 42 leagues, and Lou Trivino was added in 40, who might have the inside track on the Oakland closer role. Also included in the chart below is the average winning bid for the top player additions and the average runner-up bid for each player. You can see that in order to have a 50% chance of winning Naquin, a Main Event owner would have needed to pony up $128. You can scan the average winning column for the same information on all the players listed. The average runner-up bid shows how competitive the bidding process was for each top addition. For example, Lou Trivino had solid bids in all leagues, and even the runner-up bids averaged $134.
Looking at winning bids over $100, there were 135 SUCCESSFUL bids for players during this FAAB run – 27 for Naquin and all 40 for Trivino. Also, 8 players had at least one winning bid over $200 – Naquin, Trivino, Corey Knebel (who may get saves in Los Angeles), Phillip Evans (NYM third baseman), Stefan Crichton (could he be the Arizona closer?), Yermin Mercedes (CHW designated hitter), Yimi Garcia (there were a few leagues where he was available and he appears to be the Miami closer), and Josh Donaldson (who was dropped in one league).
The ten players dropped the most are listed below – it’s a combination of players sent to alternate sites, dropped from an expected role in the rotation, or struggling in their initial appearances. Expect there to be a lot more churning of players in the NFBC Main Event, as fantasy owners look for the best combination of value and production.
We’ll be following the Main Event chase all season in this space, and showing the overall leader board as it shifts throughout the season. First, here are the top 20 in the overall standings after on the morning of April 12th.
Congratulations to Tyler Jung for earning 1st and 4th place overall! Last week’s leader, Brian Slack is still doing well – with a team in a 9th place tie, although he was disappointed that the season did not end last week. Kudos also go out to John Pausma, Phillippe Dussault, and Jon Stadtmueller for their top five early-season positions. Also notable is Alan Mitchell’s placement in 9th and 12th overall. Certainly, none of the top 20 can feel secure about their position after just eleven days, but it is also true that it’s much more preferable to get off to a fast start than to stumble out of the gate. All of these 20 can feel good about posting a nice solid beginning.
In addition, we’re following the individual league races this season. It is no small feat to win a league championship in the Main Event regardless of a fantasy owner’s overall place, and the top three in each league earn a cash prize and deserve recognition. You can see the 43 leagues listed in the chart below – if you are a Main Event participant, you can find your assigned league number for the purposes of this article number by referring to the chart at the end of this article – which displays the league draft location, draft date and time, and Official NFBC League Number.
There are multiple NFBC players who are in the top three of not only one league, but two or more. Even at this early stage, that is impressive. The most notable players to me after a week and a half are highlighted in blue – Phillippe Dussault (winning three leagues!), Tyler Jung (a first and two-second places), Alan Mitchell (one first and one second), Brian Slack (two firsts and one second), Scott Waggener (one first, one second and one third), and Matthew Shepherd (also one first, one second, and one third). Apologies if I missed anyone, but everyone on this leader board has certainly done a great job! Good luck to everyone the rest of the season!