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Draft & Hold Strategy


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Would like to start a thread on draft & hold strategy.  These leagues are a little different because there are no transactions during the season.  Who you draft is who you have.  

 

This isn't cutting edge analysis, but I want back and looked at the top 5 for the NFBC draft champions the past two years.  These are 15 team 50 player per team leagues.

On the average, these teams typically took 2 SP in the first two rounds and had 3 SP by round 10.  One team out of the 10 took 3 SP in the first 5 rounds.  Only two teams had 2 SP by the end of round 10.

Closers fluctuated a little.  5 teams drafted a closer by round 10, 4 teams waited and hit on a closer later.  Only one team took two closers the first ten rounds.  

Teams averaged 10 pitchers by round 25 and generally took 22 or 23 pitchers overall.  

Interestingly, nobody took a catcher early unless you count Grandal at round 8-10 as early.  Most teams waited until after round 15 to fill one if not both catchers.  Kurt Suzuki was a popular player on all of these teams.  

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You really need to hit on two closers at least. 
 

I could see why waiting on catchers is beneficial. The margin between most catchers is so small. Generally speaking the 4th-6th best catchers don’t move the needle much, let alone anything after 10. And in a 15 team 2 catcher league. I’m guessing 30 Home runs for both catcher spots combined is really good.

Edited by brockpapersizer
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40 minutes ago, brockpapersizer said:

You really need to hit on two closers at least. 

I haven't played draft&hold at all, but the logic of needing 2 closers makes sense to me to win it all.

With that being said, doesn't this line of logic show how awful draft&holds are?

If you *need* to get lucky and hit 2 closers to have a chance at winning the league, then that is pretty garbage IMO. 

 

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Just now, CrypTviLL said:

With that being said, doesn't this line of logic show how awful draft&holds are?

If you *need* to get lucky and hit 2 closers to have a chance at winning the league, then that is pretty garbage IMO. 

 

People get different things out of fantasy.  Sometimes you just want to play an intense poker game, other times you'd rather just throw a few shekels on red 19 and see what happens.  Obviously there's a lot more luck involved in draft and hold, particularly if you're drafting now when the offseason hasn't really played out, but there's nothing inherently wrong with that.

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2 hours ago, CrypTviLL said:

I haven't played draft&hold at all, but the logic of needing 2 closers makes sense to me to win it all.

With that being said, doesn't this line of logic show how awful draft&holds are?

If you *need* to get lucky and hit 2 closers to have a chance at winning the league, then that is pretty garbage IMO. 

 

 

With 50 players drafted, you can draft a few closers in waiting or potential saves guys.  That takes some skill and thought to figure out who those guys are, which closers to avoid.

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1 minute ago, murraygd13 said:

 

With 50 players drafted, you can draft a few closers in waiting or potential saves guys.  That takes some skill and thought to figure out who those guys are, which closers to avoid.

Er, no? It takes absolutely no skill to look at a depth chart and locate the secondary guys that have decent enough stuff to close and throw darts everywhere. It's lottery tickets. 

At least in a season long fantasy league you have to make the moves on limited roster spots or use FAAB to acquire them. 

Not saying this because I am anti-draft/hold or not, but I think it's a serious flaw in the game. I don't know why they wouldn't just avoid saves and go with a different category in those types of leagues. 

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9 minutes ago, CrypTviLL said:

 

Not saying this because I am anti-draft/hold or not, but I think it's a serious flaw in the game. I don't know why they wouldn't just avoid saves and go with a different category in those types of leagues. 


One of the draws is the very minimal in season maintenance.  It’s a popular way to spend non-spring training months when the real drafting takes place.  
 

one reason why you can’t take is because there are leagues associated with an overall prize.  If these are a stand alone league you can try to tank a category.  

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7 hours ago, murraygd13 said:

 

With 50 players drafted, you can draft a few closers in waiting or potential saves guys.  That takes some skill and thought to figure out who those guys are, which closers to avoid.

 

The problem is you can't really see who is pitching well in season to make reliever decisions because all decisions are made pre season. It's really even more flukey than in standard leagues.  I think I did amazing the year I drafted Vazquez super late as a potential closer and he was great. I placed in the overall that year. I mean I thought he had an OK chance at being a closer and decent, nothing more, and he was a big reason I did well.

Edited by brockpapersizer
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Main things I always do esp early season:

1) Only take one *secure* closer in the first 10 rounds. I typically jump ADP by 20 spots to get a good one.  Then typically roster 6-7 .5 closers or spec guys starting around pick 200 or so.

2) PA, PAs, PAs.  Esp in the OF. There are 5 spots.  You need to at least double that number to have the right back ups. I usually leave with around 11-12 OF

3) Don't get too many minors guys.  I max out at 3 if that.

4) Don't take avg SPs just to eat innings even in the late late rounds. You need Ks.  Not IPs. And wins are fickle.

5) Focus on boring vets like Heyward, Segura, Carlos Santana etc.  You don't need the kind of upside like in reg season long league.

6) In building pitching expect to lose 1-2 guys at least for the year in formulating your pitching strategy.

7) It's the most war of attrition format in all Roto.  You don't need to hit on lucky breakouts as much as you need to hit on health so to speak.

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On 12/27/2020 at 11:48 AM, tonycpsu said:

 

People get different things out of fantasy.  Sometimes you just want to play an intense poker game, other times you'd rather just throw a few shekels on red 19 and see what happens.  Obviously there's a lot more luck involved in draft and hold, particularly if you're drafting now when the offseason hasn't really played out, but there's nothing inherently wrong with that.

+1 for the shekels use

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When I played D/H I always liked to draft at the very end.  I know you can get better deals on guys if you draft in November, but it seems way more difficult. You also run the risk of drastically overpaying for someone, not to mention, you could be drafting a guy who is drawing dead by March.

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43 minutes ago, brockpapersizer said:

When I played D/H I always liked to draft at the very end.  I know you can get better deals on guys if you draft in November, but it seems way more difficult. You also run the risk of drastically overpaying for someone, not to mention, you could be drafting a guy who is drawing dead by March.


Its difficult to draft a closer now.  There’s like 5-6 guys who are guaranteed jobs.  So closer is a dart throw unless you go for a Iglesias or Chapman.  Maybe Barnes or Rodriguez in pitt aren’t dealt. I think If I’m drafting now I may bump up a guy like syndergaard.  Doesn’t sound like we’ll start in April 

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13 minutes ago, kidtwentytwo said:


Its difficult to draft a closer now.  There’s like 5-6 guys who are guaranteed jobs.  So closer is a dart throw unless you go for a Iglesias or Chapman.  Maybe Barnes or Rodriguez in pitt aren’t dealt. I think If I’m drafting now I may bump up a guy like syndergaard.  Doesn’t sound like we’ll start in April 

They already said it’s likely a committee in PItt. Rod being waaaay over drafted since that news got lost or not picked up by rotoworld 

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I've been debating if it makes sense to draft now in the large payout leagues like the NFBC.  Obviously we have less information on the value of players, but this would mean more uncertainty and possible values.  

 

Or does it make more sense to wait until very close to the season, where more is known.

 

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  • 1 month later...

I've followed Matt Modica and leagued with him a few times so far trying to pick his brain.  He's big on taking good OF.  You have to start 5 of them, so you don't want to get into a position where you're starting guys who platoon.  

 

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I listened to a podcast with jeff zimmerman from rotowire and phil dussault hosted by rob dipietro who won the overall with 1 bullet in the weird 60 game season that was drafted. Zimmerman won last years draft and hold with industry drafters at first pitch arizona and I'll share this years draft board when I get to my cpu but he mentioned getting 2 closers and early stud pitching. Phil dussault starts pocket aces or 2 in the first 3 rounds, 2 early closers and 2 more pitchers he likes best per adp then all hitters until round 30 then 20 straight pitchers (last year Plesac and Wainwright he hit on, dont recall who else.

I went over his two DC teams he smashed in 1 and won 3 of his 5 main events so he is a good high stakes player. But the 1 DC he won in his solo league he was head and shoulders above the other 14 teams in at bats and innings pitched, when i get to the computer I'll check his other one and see and also see in the overall how he did.

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Here's the DC with Jeff Zimmerman, he works for fangraphs not rotowire, Jeff Erickson also in this draft is the one who works for rotowire.

https://twitter.com/Jeff_Erickson/status/1355954155274158085?s=20

Phill Dussault finished 6th overall in last years DC in at bats and 15th in innings pitched with his above strategy.

In his 2nd DC league he finished 5th in at bats and 1st in pitching, the at bats wasn't in contention and his IP was in the low 100's overall. He also says in the podcast that he doesn't know prospects so it is why he goes 20 straight pitchers to finish instead of stashing prospects. I'll leave a link to said podcast.

https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/ep-36-talking-strategy-w-phil-dussault-jeff-zimmerman/id1519361907?i=1000506757732

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