What’s up good looking people! So last season I made it clear as to how I wanted to approach joining NFBC leagues. In 2021 I focused on DC 50s (besides the occasional industry league) and the reason was to test my process.
DC 50’s are $50 12 team leagues and they are what’s called draft and holds. Draft and holds mean you draft big rosters (50 players) and there is no FAAB. Essentially you are stuck with who you draft and have to set your lineup twice a week with whoever you have.
Luckily last season I did pretty well, I cashed in three out of the five leagues I joined and won one of them. I was able to do so with some great advice from Rob DiPietro as well as others on how roster construction works.
Fast forward to this season and I am sticking to 12 team leagues but upping my game slightly. Not only will I be doing NFBC DC 50s but I will now be getting my feet wet into Online Championship leagues. Those are 12 team leagues as well except FAAB is involved and it is much more expensive to join.
With all of that said I thought it would be a fun exercise to go through my latest NFBC DC 50 team that I drafted just last week. It will go through my thought process with each pick and hopefully, you all can take something away from this.
Let the games begin!
Round 1, Pick 9: Bryce Harper
This season I have been leaning on hitters early on in drafts because of the starting pitcher depth. I have to say though, Gerrit Cole and Corbin Burnes went right before this pick and I certainly would have been tempted.
Some people don’t like Bryce Harper in the first round but I’m not one of those people. Harper can easily be a five-category contributor and I truly believe those stolen bases stick. Grabbing a first-round hitter that ATC projects to hit .275 with 37 home runs, 205 R+RBI, and 14 stolen bases is a great way to start. Early on in drafts, you want to make sure you are getting a little bit of everything in a player while emphasizing on speed and average.
Round 2, Pick 16: Rafael Devers
To me, third base is extremely shallow and I see a huge cliff. The last third baseman I am okay with taking is Austin Riley so I have been making it a point to grab one early. Here I decided to address the position in the second round by grabbing Devers.
It’s a bit unlike me to grab a hitter in the second round who doesn’t present speed but Devers certainly helps everywhere else. He has a super high floor and I know have two hitters that could hit anywhere from .280 to even .300. If I’m not getting speed I at least want to get average.
Round 3, Pick 33: Lucas Giolito
Round three has been a spot where I have been taking my first pitcher. In DC’s this year, I have been targeting hitters early on and maybe even a little too much but we will get to that later.
Lucas Giolito and Aaron Nola are the two last pitchers I am willing to take as my SP1. A lot of other people are waiting even later but it all depends on your own comfort level. Giolito is a shoo-in for over 170 innings and over 200 strikeouts. Additionally, he has the potential to grab 15 wins.
Round 4, Pick 40: Francisco Lindor
My mentality coming into drafts in terms of offense is a few things. 1) Get speed. 2) Focus on the infield early. I like to grab infield hitters simply because usually outfield is deeper and while that is a questionable notion for this season I still prefer it that way.
Lindor certainly has question marks but he is in a solid offense and gives me that infield position with speed. Projections love him and it’s likely because of what he did in 2017-2019. If Lindor can somehow put up 30 home runs and 15 stolen bases as he has in three seasons before, this pick is a massive hit.
Round 5, Pick 57: Nick Castellanos
Since I had the ninth pick I was on the end so I was able to see what type of player the teams after me were likely to take. With this pick I wanted my next starter and there were two pitchers there who I loved between Logan Webb and Lance Lynn. I figured only one team would maybe take a starting pitcher by the time it got back to me so I decided to go with the best hitter on my board.
Drafting Nick Castellanos was both good and bad. You’ll see later that I was looking for speed because of this pick but it was hard for me not to take who I thought was overall the best player available. Castellanos is another player with power and a high average floor so while I wasn’t grabbing speed I was once again at least getting average.
Round 6, Pick 64: Logan Webb
Lance Lynn was taken and that left me with Logan Webb. My gamble on waiting worked out and I basically had someone make the choice for me between the two pitchers.
This is my second share of Webb and while some have their reservations I do not. He is in one of the best ballparks for pitching and plays for one of the best teams for pitching. He will be more than fine.
Round 7, Pick 81: Kenley Jansen
Round 8, Pick 88: Giovanny Gallegos
Right now it is crucial to grab early relief pitchers in draft and hold formats. So far I have been double-tapping and while Gallegos is a bit risky in terms of job safety is by far the best arm in that bullpen. If the Cardinals don’t add anyone he will have the job. As for Jansen, he will be the closer wherever he signs so I don’t have any worries about him.
In another draft, I double-tapped Edwin Diaz and Ryan Pressly and I will say I very much prefer those two but you do have to grab them earlier. Relief pitcher strategy comes from preference, if you are confident in finding them later then by all means. That’s not the case for me so I always end up paying.
Round 9, Pick 105: Jonathan India
As I said I like to target the infield early and India steps in as my second baseman here. To recap through nine rounds I now have my starting SS, 3B, and 2B. India was a no-brainer for me here as he brings a little bit of everything. His ATC projection has him hitting .259 with 21 home runs, 94 runs, 67 RBI, and 12 stolen bases.
I currently have several shares of Jonathan India and Jorge Polanco. I think both are still undervalued in terms of ADP and both give you something in every category at the infield position. No brainers to me.
Round 10, Pick 112: Tommy Edman
Since I drafted Devers and Castellanos early I was falling a little behind in stolen bases so I jumped in on Tommy Edman. I’m still not sure if this was the right call and perhaps I should have went a starting pitcher here instead. This was a give-and-take suggestion because I was going to either fall behind in steals or pitching at this point. I decided to rely on my pitching analysis instead.
Always rely on what you are most comfortable with when making a decision like this, I find it best to trust your instincts. If you are stronger at finding pitchers later then do so or vice versa.
Round 11, Pick 129: Dansby Swanson
While I already have Lindor, Swanson seemed like the right choice here. Another player who I can put into my MI position that will produce on almost every level. I don’t think we see 27 home runs again but I think he is a lock to have 20 home runs and 9/10 stolen bases.
Again I needed some stolen base help at this point and Swanson certainly helps that.
Round 12, Pick 136: Logan Gilbert
I think Gilbert is a bit pricey this draft season. I truly believe in his skillset though and had to have at least one share. I think he is a future “Ace” but I don’t know if that will happen this season or the next.
I felt like I could risk the Gilbert pick because of the nice base I have from Logan Webb and Lucas Giolito. I will admit though, Logan Gilbert as my SP3 is a bit unnerving but the pitchers I get later make me feel a little bit better.
Round 13, Pick 153: Joey Votto
First base for me seems deeper than most positions, especially when you look at who is towards the top of the position. Players like Jose Abreu who provide you with power but no speed can be had later with players like Josh Bell and Joey Votto. I am not saying they are as good as Abreu but the categories they bring to the table are very similar.
Votto was a good choice for me to bring some power, and while age and health are somewhat of a concern the skills are worth the risk.
Round 14, Pick 160: Marcus Stroman
I wanted another high-floor type of pitcher to back up my Gilbert pick. Stroman seemed like a good option for both innings and a solid ERA. He did set me back in strikeouts but the next pitcher I take helps me with that.
Round 15, Pick 177: Blake Treinen
This pick made so much sense to me. I felt like no matter what happens with the Dodgers this pick can still work out for me. If Jansen closes elsewhere I will have three very formidable closers. If Jansen goes back to the Dodgers I still get a pitcher with great ratios and the backup to Jansen in case he doesn’t perform. I’ll take it.
Round 16, Pick 184: Avisail Garcia
Garcia becomes my fourth outfielder and helps me out in virtually every category. I again was trying to chase stolen bases without sacrificing other categories and Garcia does just that.
Garcia’s ATC projection: .264, 22 home runs, 69 runs, 77 RBI, and 8 stolen bases.
Round 17, Pick 201: Josh Donaldson
I wanted to target the corner infield position, and the bonus of it being a third baseman made this pick even more intriguing. I get that Donaldson has hurt many fantasy baseball players before but we need to rid our brains of preconceived notions and what has harmed us in the past.
Donaldson is a fantastic hitter and his power numbers are all towards the top of the league. I am willing to take on the injury risk with him as my CI or backup third baseman.
Round 18, Pick 208: Sonny Gray
I needed strikeouts and Sonny Gray was the guy. Yes, health is a worry but the upside is big here and he almost reminds me of Robbie Ray last year. He had a down year but has big strikeout potential. He has had a 27% strikeout rate or higher the last three seasons. We all know he has the stuff it’s just a matter of staying healthy and putting it all together.
Round 19, Pick 225: Enrique Hernandez
Round 20, Pick 232: Sean Murphy
Round 21, Pick 250: Gary Sanchez
Round 22, Pick 257: Rafael Ortega
These four picks end up completing my starting roster. I really like Hernandez because he gives you multi eligibility with a ton of runs and a little power.
Ortega isn’t my favorite pick but like I said I had to chase steals a little and he brings that to the table. This move got my steals 90% of the way to my target.
I double-tapped catchers here with Murphy and Sanchez. I toss back and forth between grabbing catchers early or late and I like both ways, to be honest.
At the end, based on steamer projections I hit all of my offensive category goals as for pitching though I fell about 20 points short in wins and 10 points short in strikeouts. I think the team competes overall but I think moving forward I need to address pitching a little earlier.
Here is the entire starting roster and bench. Keep in mind with this format the key is obtaining plate appearances and innings pitched. You never want to go a week where you to put up a zero in your starting lineup. Counting stats is key. Accumulating them is key. Something Rob DiPietro stressed to me a lot.
C) Sean Murphy
C) Gary Sanchez
1B) Joey Votto
2B) Jonathan India
SS) Francisco Lindor
3B) Rafael Devers
OF) Bryce Harper
OF) Nick Castellanos
OF) Tommy Edman
OF) Avisail Garcia
OF) Enrique Hernandez
CI) Josh Donaldson
MI) Dansby Swanson
UT) Rafael Ortega
P) Lucas Giolito
P) Logan Webb
P) Marcus Stroman
P) Logan Gilbert
P) Sonny Gray
P) Elieser Hernandez
P) Blake Treinen
P) Giovanny Gallegos
P) Kenley Jansen
BN) Luis Arraez
BN) Andrew McCutchen
BN) Yoshi Tsutsugo
BN) Seth Brown
BN) Joc Pederson
BN) David Fletcher
BN) Ramon Urias
BN) Rougned Odor
BN) LaMonte Wade Jr.
BN) Yandy Diaz
BN) Jacob Stallings
BN) Ian Kennedy
BN) Richard Rodriguez
BN) Ryan Tepera
BN) Brusdar Graterol
BN) Tyler Duffey
BN) Tyler Anderson
BN) Luke Weaver
BN) Dakota Hudson
BN) Ryan Yarbrough
BN) Mike Minor
BN) Kyle Muller
BN) JT Brubaker
BN) Tyler Anderson
BN) Justin Steele
BN) Griffin Canning
BN) Jose Quintana
BN) Kyle Freeland