It appears that my luck (or lack thereof) has followed me from fantasy football into fantasy baseball. I feel I drafted a very solid team, but my early season results have been nothing to write home about. I drafted Ryan Braun with the third overall pick and he has been as good as advertised. Braun is a fantasy stud who can carry a fantasy team throughout the year. My infield is very solid with the likes of Adrian Gonzalez, Ian Kinsler and Evan Longoria. Besides Braun, my outfield consists of some late round gems such as Dexter Fowler and Starling Marte. My top starting pitchers are Adam Wainwright, Max Scherzer, and Jake Peavy. But my closers have been a mixed bag. Sergio Romo has been excellent thus far, but Joel Hanrahan seemingly has lost his closing duties to the reinvigorated Andrew Bailey in Boston.
While trying to figure out why my team was not dominating in the early going, I quickly found some players to blame. I missed the boat towards the end of the draft with selections such as Brandon Belt and Aaron Hicks who were quickly sacrificed to the waiver wire. In hindsight, I really regret picking Brandon Morrow over Jon Lester. I also rue the day of my gamble on Corey Hart’s injured knee and not targeting a solid right fielder earlier in the draft. Hart’s placement on the 60-day DL has forced me to play Adrian Gonzalez in right field and start one of my bench players (Todd Frazier and Matt Carpenter) at first base. I am losing significant power numbers when Carpenter is slotted at First Base as opposed to filling in at other positions periodically.
Before the draft, I targeted Paul Goldschmidt and Matt Moore but missed out on them by a pick or two. I have been scrambling to make up for missing out on both players ever since. That is probably why I reached for Belt and reluctantly took Brandon Morrow during the draft. I blame my poor time management for drafting Morrow, as I was down to the final five seconds on the draft clock.
Despite those shortcomings, I have made some quality early season pick-ups such as Jed Lowrie and Kyle Seager to partially offset those draft day mistakes. I even took a flier on Mark Teixeira who was dropped after the draft. Hopefully he does come back and can fill my all-important first base slot. He and Hart are stashed on my DL waiting to be utilized in June (fingers crossed). I also picked up Jose Valverde to fill the closer slot vacated by Hanrahan, and Shelby Miller to add some strike out power to my pitching staff.
Being honest with myself, I really cannot blame my team for some of my early season losses. Instead, I had the misfortune of playing against some players who produced extraordinary results. Two that come to mind are Carlos Gonzales who battered and abused the Mets, as well as Mike Napoli when he was doing his best Tony Conigliaro impression. I swear, the Green Monster is a magnet for that guy. I watched him rain double after double off that little league fence with the bases seemingly always loaded. Then incredibly, I was up against Anibal Sanchez last week when he decided to set a Tigers’ record of 17 strikeouts in one game.
Weeks like that reminded me of some fantasy football weeks your quarterback throws for 300 yards and 3 touchdowns in the early game, only to be outdone by Drew Brees and his videogame-like numbers later in the day. Or if Chris Johnson (that would be CJ2K of the Tennessee Titans and not the pasty third baseman on the Braves) finally breaks out for you with a 100-yard day and a touchdown only to be outscored by Adrian Peterson during one of his record-breaking romps. I guess I didn’t realize that this type of misfortune also applied in fantasy baseball.
However, running into a couple of hot teams and players during the early part of the season is not going to get me off my game. I am going to stick to my strategy of playing match-ups and making some shrewd moves on the waiver wire. I will not hit the panic button and make a bad trade just to just to get a shaky closer or retread first baseman. After all, the fantasy baseball season is long and my luck is bound to even out. Right? Right???