Monday, March 30, 2009

Meet my fantasy team

Had my draft over the weekend ... it's a 10-team, 5x5, live-draft keeper league. We protected five players from last year's roster (as denoted by an asterisk). Here are the 2009 Fightin' Furloughs:

C Chris Iannetta
1B Ryan Howard*
2B Dan Uggla
3B Ryan Zimmerman
SS Stephen Drew
IF Lance Berkman*
OF Jason Bay*
OF Alex Rios
OF Jacoby Ellsbury*
OF Bobby Abreu
UTIL Howie Kendrick
UTIL Jim Thome

P Francisco Liriano*
P Brandon Webb
P Felix Hernandez
P Joba Chamberlain
P Bobby Jenks
P Matt Lindstrom
P Huston Street

BE Elvis Andrus
BE Mike Cameron
BE Alex Gordon
BE Brett Myers
BE Joey Devine
BE Max Scherzer
BE Chris Ray

I had the third overall pick and chose Webb over Jake Peavy to lead my pitching staff. That's the equivalent of getting a No. 1 fantasy starter in the sixth round after the keepers. I'll take it.

I'm counting on a good chunk of speed coming from Ellsbury, one of my keepers. Unfortunately my middle infielders aren't really speed guys, but I should have a good amount of steals from the rest of my outfielders - Rios, Abreu, Bay - plus Cameron and Andrus (assuming he develops as expected) on my bench. Maybe Kendrick and Berkman will cooperate too but I can't count on that, and I'm a little concerned about Berkman's recent tendinitis problem.

I waited a little bit for a catcher and got Iannetta since he was the last second-tier catcher available at that point other than Matt Wieters, and I didn't want to have to spend two roster spots on a fill-in catcher until Wieters gets called up.

I like my pitching, especially the strikeout potential of Joba, King Felix, Myers and Scherzer. I actually wanted James Shields over Felix but he went one pick before I could get him. I'm concerned about saves obviously - Jenks the only sure thing but he's probably not one of the top-tier closers. There is a lot of upside though and if all goes to plan, Street and Lindstrom will hold onto their jobs and Devine and Ray will rise to the top in their respective bullpens, where they're probably the most talented guys.

I got Thome really late and am banking on at least 30 homers from the big guy before he falls off. And I'm hoping one-time fantasy sleepers Kendrick and Gordon will finally reach their potential.

So that's my team.

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