An Auto Draft Exclude List
For anyone who does fantasy sports, the auto-draft is never a good idea. Too often, the "logic" used by an auto-draft, especially if you haven't gotten your rankings down pat, leave you with five catchers and one second basemen, or a totally unbalanced team in terms of statistics.
But sometimes it's unavoidable. For instance, I'm in an upcoming league full of managers who not only know what they're doing, they (like me) write about it. And, the draft is scheduled for the day we'll be celebrating my father's 70th birthday, so I have to use Ye Olde Auto Draft.
Now...there are guys I wouldn't mind adding to my squad, but if I'm not actually doing the drafting, I just want no part of them. That is, unless I think it's the right time and place to take them, I won't feel happy about them being on my roster.
If that doesn't, here is a list of some players on my Exclude List, and why I don't want a machine drafting them for me.
Chris Carpenter -- When healthy, he's probably a top-10 pitcher. But he's not healthy, and is out at least until the All-Star break. Worth stashing on your bench until then? Perhaps - but I'm not wasting a draft pick on it.
Curt Schilling - And not just because of the self-righteousness. The dude is old, has lost a lot of his fastball and, like Carpenter above is probably out until July or so.
Noah Lowry - Perhaps not as obvious a choice as the above, Lowry is someone who can be great for your fantasy squad, getting double digit wins and not hurting you anywhere along the way. Even though the Giants say his wrist surgery won't have him missing much time, the Giants...also suck. Those wins will be harder to get and based on his ranking from last year, fine tuning my rankings enough to get Lowry down far enough to be fair value isn't worth the effort.
Dontrelle Willis - Unlike Lowry, I could rank Dontrelle just fine. But he's the kind of guy I'm never happy owning. He's just as likely to blow up and allow 8 ER as he is to pitch a shutout, and if he makes it through another full season without that motion seriously causing injury, I'll be suprised. On Detroit, there's a chance he could have a turnaround season, but I'll leave him for someone else.
Mark Mulder - You know how you're hearing how great Mulder feels, and from 2001-2005, Mulder averaged over 17 wins, with generally great ERA and WHIP to boot. But it seems like a lot longer since he's been "for real," and he's the kind of guy that I'd draft and be terrified of starting, probably just long enough to finally put him in my lineup the week he gets shelled.
Ken Griffey Jr. - Griffey was one of the best values in fantasy baseball last year - perhaps the best value. But he's ranked a lot higher this year, perhaps justifiably so. But it's personal with me and K-Griff. I owned him in consecutive years when he missed more than half of each season. If I have full say so on my draft, this guy won't ever be on my roster.
Brian Giles - Oh, how Bri-Gi has fallen. Now, he's a high average hitter with virtually no power or speed. That is simply never worth paying for.
Rocco Baldelli - You may note in the above that I'm a bit averse to injury-prone people. Baldelli needs no further explanation.
Pedro Feliz - Trust me, I'm happier than anyone that he's no longer on the Giants. And with Philadelphia, he probably has a better chance for RBI and R, and increased HR in a bandbox stadium, than he ever had in San Francisco. But...Peter Happy is a terrible player, and his OBP barely sniffs .300. I hate this guy.
Jarrod Saltamacchia - This guy is going to be good, and he's been drafted as a starting catcher in 10-team leagues...but the odds are just as good that he'll be in the minors instead. I'll let someone else waste a pick on a position with so few good options.
Jay Bruce - If this was a keeper league, or something happened during Spring Training, I'd want Bruce on my team BADLY. But Dusty Baker hates rookies and loves Corey Patterson and, like Salty above, might instead be in the minors to get regular at-bats. He'll be available to pick up - or if not, it's my loss.
So, why all of these guys? Because there is a good chance that they'll all be taken, and I'd rather waste my later picks on gambles I'm excited about. Guys with some playing time opportunities, youngsters with promise, that sort of thing. We'll see how it works out.