Fantasy Blockbuster Championships 2019 Draft Recap and Draft grades – Part 1

This year we decided on Fantasy Blockbuster to create a fantasy league with a couple of writers and the rest of the league members would be readers/followers. Everyone is an expert but can the readers beat the experts? This is might also be a good way to interact with our readers. We compete for bragging rights in a 20-team league, with the format head-2-head each category. The draft was done March 17 and here you have part 1 of the draft recap.

In a 20-team league everyone team will have its weaknesses and to create a league champions you have to make smart moves throughout the season. To find the next breakthrough player or players are vital. However, you build your foundation draft day and a couple of smart picks the first day of the season can be useful the entire season.

The league is in the format head-2-head each category, because this way the members will have their chance to beat the expert. Eight of the 20 teams will be in the playoffs. Standard roster was used with Catcher, 1B, 2B, SS, 3B, 5 x OF, UTIL, 2B/SS, 1B/3B, 9 P and 3 Bench spots.

With 20 teams and 25 rosters spots 500 players were drafted, and of course every team will have some holes to fill. This is real life and we had some teams that went with the autopick, and some members had a bad internet connection, but here you have the full recap:

Our Fantasy Blockbuster writers/experts are Fantasy Blockbuster (FB) and Fantasy Dugout (FD). For every round we have the best pick and a question mark. The question mark can be for several reasons; such as unclear role on the team, health concerns, current free agent, drafted a lot higher than expected or simply not that high potential.

Round 1

1 Mike Trout LAA, CF Random Sports

2 Mookie Betts Bos, RF DETROIT GOBLUECOOP7

3 Jose Ramirez Cle, 3B Team Gonzalez

4 Max Scherzer Wsh, SP Diamond Kings

5 J.D. Martinez Bos, LF Team JT the Brick

6 Nolan Arenado Col, 3B Team Egense

7 Francisco Lindor Cle, SS Kippers Rippers

8 Trea Turner Wsh, SS Cardington Short GamblerS

9 Chris Sale Bos, SP Jacksonville Phillies

10 Christian Yelich Mil, LF Jersey Jokers

11 Giancarlo Stanton NYY, RF Vandalay Industries

12 Jacob deGrom NYM, SP Fantasy Blockbuster

13 Manny Machado SD, SS Heroes of Flatbush

14 Jose Altuve Hou, 2B FBB Freak

15 Justin Verlander Hou, SP Lakeland Tigers

16 Corey Kluber Cle, SP East Ilg

17 Aaron Nola Phi, SP South Bend People’s Elbow

18 Ronald Acuna Jr. Atl, LF NY Rocafellas

19 Alex Bregman Hou, SS Team Thrushman

20 Bryce Harper Phi, RF Fantasy Dugout

 

Best pick: 1 Mike Trout LAA, CF Random Sports

Question mark: solid first round picks

 

Big surprise, Mike Trout was the first player drafted. Even if Fantasy Blockbuster has Trout as number one, a case can be made for Mookie Betts first overall. The first pitcher taken was Max Scherzer with the 4th pick. In a 20-team league to get a solid anchor to your own rotation is a popular strategy. FB went with the same strategy and got Jacob deGrom as the third overall starting pitcher. For FD the best player available was Bryce Harper and he went 20th. Overall no big surprises in the first round.

Round 2

1 Gerrit Cole Hou, SP Fantasy Dugout

2 Javier Baez ChC, SS Team Thrushman

3 Aaron Judge NYY, RF NY Rocafellas

4 Trevor Bauer Cle, SP South Bend People’s Elbow

5 Blake Snell TB, SP East Ilg

6 Noah Syndergaard NYM, SP Lakeland Tigers

7 Freddie Freeman Atl, 1B FBB Freak

8 Paul Goldschmidt StL, 1B Heroes of Flatbush

9 Trevor Story Col, SS Fantasy Blockbuster

10 Charlie Blackmon Col, CF Vandalay Industries

11 Kris Bryant ChC, 3B Jersey Jokers

12 J.T. Realmuto Phi, C Jacksonville Phillies

13 Starling Marte Pit, CF Cardington Short GamblerS

14 Walker Buehler LAD, SP Kippers Rippers

15 Juan Soto Wsh, LF Team Egense

16 Carlos Carrasco Cle, SP Team JT the Brick

17 Whit Merrifield KC, 2B Diamond Kings

18 Anthony Rizzo ChC, 1B Team Gonzalez

19 Anthony Rendon Wsh, 3B DETROIT GOBLUECOOP7

20 Andrew Benintendi Bos, LF Random Sports

 

Best pick: 20 Andrew Benintendi Bos, LF Random Sports

Question mark: 12 J.T. Realmuto Phi, C Jacksonville Phillies

 

With the first pick in the second round FD drafted a SP to get his anchor in Gerrit Cole. A solid pick and potential top 5 pitcher in 2019. The trend with good starting pitchers early in the draft continued in the second round with Gerrit Cole, Trevor Bauer, Blake Snell and Noah Syndegaard all drafted high. Syndegaard was drafted by Lakeland Tigers and maybe a bit high, but with his massive potential and now healthy he can be a great pick up. Lakeland also took a pitcher in the first round with Justin Verlander and has set himself up two great pitchers. In a 20-team league this strategy is generally more accepted. FB went with a potential 5-category player in Trevor Story and felt it was vital to get an impact bat early. With the 32nd overall pick J.T. Realmuto was the first reach in the draft. No question, the best catcher but at 32 he might be a little too high.

Round 3

1 Xander Bogaerts Bos, SS Random Sports

2 Cody Bellinger LAD, 1B DETROIT GOBLUECOOP7

3 Khris Davis Oak, DH Team Gonzalez

4 Rhys Hoskins Phi, LF Diamond Kings

5 Carlos Correa Hou, SS Team JT the Brick

6 Ozzie Albies Atl, 2B Team Egense

7 Lorenzo Cain Mil, CF Kippers Rippers

8 Patrick Corbin Wsh, SP Cardington Short GamblerS

9 Clayton Kershaw LAD, SP Jacksonville Phillies

10 James Paxton NYY, SP Jersey Jokers

11 Joey Votto Cin, 1B Vandalay Industries

12 Kenley Jansen LAD, RP Fantasy Blockbuster

13 Tommy Pham TB, CF Heroes of Flatbush

14 Nicholas Castellanos Det, RF FBB Freak

15 Eugenio Suarez Cin, 3B Lakeland Tigers

16 George Springer Hou, CF East Ilg

17 Jean Segura Phi, SS South Bend People’s Elbow

18 Zack Greinke Ari, SP NY Rocafellas

19 Eddie Rosario Min, LF Team Thrushman

20 Gleyber Torres NYY, SS Fantasy Dugout

 

Best pick: 3 Khris Davis Oak, DH Team Gonzalez

Question mark: 9 Clayton Kershaw LAD, SP Jacksonville Phillies

 

Clayton Kershaw has been great for a long time but injuries have slowed him down the last couple of years. It looks like he will not be ready to start the season with the Dodgers. It is always hard to determine the value of Kershaw. If he is healthy and plays he will almost certainly give you a top 5 performance, but if he is injured he will give you nothing. In other words, the Kershaw pick could be great or a bust. FB took the first closer with the 62nd pick overall. In a 20-team league with Saves as one of the categories, Jansen is probably a good bet to be the closer all year. Teams around the MLB tend to use a committee more often, which makes it tougher for fantasy players. But in a league with 20 teams, great closers will be hard to get. Carlos Correa is another interesting pick, he has the potential for a bounce back season. The 60th pick for FD was an autopick, due to a bad internet connection. Gleyber Torres with the Yankees was a good pick so no harm done really.

Round 4

1 Edwin Diaz NYM, RP Fantasy Dugout

2 Mitch Haniger Sea, RF Team Thrushman

3 Jose Berrios Min, SP NY Rocafellas

4 Michael Conforto NYM, LF South Bend People’s Elbow

5 Aroldis Chapman NYY, RP East Ilg

6 David Price Bos, SP Lakeland Tigers

7 Blake Treinen Oak, RP FBB Freak

8 Jameson Taillon Pit, SP Heroes of Flatbush

9 Mike Clevinger Cle, SP Fantasy Blockbuster

10 Jack Flaherty StL, SP Vandalay Industries

11 Corey Seager LAD, SS Jersey Jokers

12 Gary Sanchez NYY, C Jacksonville Phillies

13 Marcell Ozuna StL, LF Cardington Short GamblerS

14 Stephen Strasburg Wsh, SP Kippers Rippers

15 Vladimir Guerrero Jr. Tor, 3B Team Egense

16 Brad Hand Cle, RP Team JT the Brick

17 Luis Severino NYY, SP Diamond Kings

18 Justin Upton LAA, LF Team Gonzalez

19 Matt Carpenter StL, 3B DETROIT GOBLUECOOP7

20 German Marquez Col, SP Random Sports

 

Best pick: 15 Vladimir Guerrero Jr. Tor, 3B Team Egense

Question mark: 17 Luis Severino NYY, SP Diamond Kings

 

The 61th pick Edwin Diaz was the second closer taken. He had a monster 2018, but a regression is likely. However, even with a regression he can still be great. Other closers taken in the round were Aroldis Chapman, Blake Treinen and Brad Hand. In the 4th round this was probably very smart because if you want a “safe” closer you have to draft them high. Mitch Haniger taken by Team Thrushman is an interesting player which can give you solid production all around. FB took another starting pitcher in Mike Clevinger, which means he has drafted 3 pitchers in the first 4 rounds. The strategy in 20-team leagues are different. Jacksonville Phillies took his second catcher Gary Sanchez (J.T. Realmuto in the second round) in the first 4 rounds. This is generally not recommended, but could Gary Sanchez be a trade chip? Players tend to value good catchers very different, so it is not impossible someone will overpay to get Sanchez (or Realmuto). Diamond Kings made yet another interesting pick in Luis Severino. He will start the season on the IL, but if he is healthy in May this may turn out great. Young phenom Vlad Guerrero Jr was drafted by Team Egense. When 8 of 20 teams go to the playoffs you need a strong finish and Guerrero Jr will help you with that. A mid-April early May callup is possible for Vlad. Jersey Jokers took Corey Seager, and a healthy Seager might dominate again, and a potential great find in the 4th round.

Round 5

1 Yasiel Puig Cin, RF Random Sports

2 Daniel Murphy Col, 2B DETROIT GOBLUECOOP7

3 Jose Abreu CWS, 1B Team Gonzalez

4 Roberto Osuna Hou, RP Diamond Kings

5 Mike Foltynewicz Atl, SP Team JT the Brick

6 Nelson Cruz Min, DH Team Egense

7 Felipe Vazquez Pit, RP Kippers Rippers

8 Miguel Andujar NYY, 3B Cardington Short GamblerS

9 Joey Gallo Tex, LF Jacksonville Phillies

10 Jesus Aguilar Mil, 1B Jersey Jokers

11 Matt Chapman Oak, 3B Vandalay Industries

12 Adalberto Mondesi KC, SS Fantasy Blockbuster

13 Scooter Gennett Cin, 2B Heroes of Flatbush

14 Jonathan Villar Bal, 2B FBB Freak

15 Craig Kimbrel FA, RP Lakeland Tigers

16 Josh Hader Mil, RP East Ilg

17 Justin Turner LAD, 3B South Bend People’s Elbow

18 Dee Gordon Sea, 2B NY Rocafellas

19 A.J. Pollock LAD, CF Team Thrushman

20 Mallex Smith Sea, CF Fantasy Dugout

 

Best pick: 15 Craig Kimbrel FA, RP Lakeland Tigers

Question mark: 16 Josh Hader Mil, RP East Ilg

 

Random Sports took Yasiel Puig with the first pick in the 5th round, which might turn out great. Puig with a new ballpark with the Reds might be a real 5-category threat and become one of the biggest surprises of 2019. Two words, Great pick. Vandalay Industries drafted Matt Chapman, one of the most underrated players in the league. Lakeland Tigers made a great pick in Craig Kimbrel. Hard to imagine Kimbrel not ending up in a team which will give him all the save opportunities. In this round we also saw several stolen base specialists drafted such as Adalberto Mondesi, Dee Gordon and Mallex Smith.

Round 6

1 Zack Wheeler NYM, SP Fantasy Dugout

2 David Dahl Col, LF Team Thrushman

3 Sean Doolittle Wsh, RP NY Rocafellas

4 Victor Robles Wsh, CF South Bend People’s Elbow

5 Corey Knebel Mil, RP East Ilg

6 Charlie Morton TB, SP Lakeland Tigers

7 Aaron Hicks NYY, CF FBB Freak 8

8 Kirby Yates SD, RP Heroes of Flatbush

9 Edwin Encarnacion Sea, 1B Fantasy Blockbuster

10 Madison Bumgarner SF, SP Vandalay Industries

11 Andrew McCutchen Phi, RF Jersey Jokers

12 Rougned Odor Tex, 2B Jacksonville Phillies

13 Jose Peraza Cin, SS Cardington Short GamblerS

14 Masahiro Tanaka NYY, SP Kippers Rippers

15 David Peralta Ari, LF Team Egense

16 Wil Myers SD, 3B Team JT the Brick

17 Josh Donaldson Atl, 3B Diamond Kings

18 Ender Inciarte Atl, CF Team Gonzalez

19 Amed Rosario NYM, SS DETROIT GOBLUECOOP7

20 Max Muncy LAD, 3B Random Sports

Best pick: 15 David Peralta Ari, LF Team Egense

Question mark: 5 Corey Knebel Mil, RP East Ilg

 

Team Thrushman took David Dahl with the 2nd pick in the sixth round and if Dahl can stay healthy, he can be a beast in fantasy. This season he has a clear path to playing time and can contribute in every category, great pick. FD went with pitcher Zack Wheeler which is a solid addition. FB instead went with the power bat in Edwin Encarnacion. He has changed teams to the Seattle Mariners, which will probably hurt his overall numbers. However, a 30+ HR season is still very possible. Madison Bumgarner has fallen the last couple of seasons and even if his elite days are over, he can still be a good SP2-3. Team Egense made another good pick in David Peralta, who still is a bit underrated. He might not get the same great stats as in 2018, but even with a little regression he will still be very useful. Diamond Kings went with a smart pick in Josh Donaldson. A little gamble because of health problems but how can you go wrong with a healthy Donaldson in the 6th round. It looks like Victor Robles will get a regular role in 2019, and a 40+ SB season is possible, yet another good pick. The Milwaukee Brewers have several potential closers which makes the Corey Knebel pick a bit risky.

Round 7

1 Jose Leclerc Tex, RP Random Sports

2 Matt Olson Oak, 1B DETROIT GOBLUECOOP7

3 Tim Anderson CWS, SS Team Gonzalez

4 David Robertson Phi, RP Diamond Kings

5 Brian Dozier Wsh, 2B Team JT the Brick

6 Michael Brantley Hou, LF Team Egense

7 Travis Shaw Mil, 2B Kippers Rippers

8 Miles Mikolas StL, SP Cardington Short GamblerS

9 Eloy Jimenez CWS, LF Jacksonville Phillies

10 Chris Archer Pit, SP Jersey Jokers

11 Raisel Iglesias Cin, RP Vandalay Industries

12 Mike Moustakas Mil, 3B Fantasy Blockbuster

13 Ian Desmond Col, 1B Heroes of Flatbush

14 Robinson Cano NYM, 2B FBB Freak

15 Yu Darvish ChC, SP Lakeland Tigers

16 Paul DeJong StL, SS East Ilg

17 Cesar Hernandez Phi, 2B South Bend People’s Elbow

18 Nomar Mazara Tex, RF NY Rocafellas

19 Eric Hosmer SD, 1B Team Thrushman

20 Rafael Devers Bos, 3B Fantasy Dugout

Best pick: 9 Eloy Jimenez CWS, LF Jacksonville Phillies

Question mark: 17 Cesar Hernandez Phi, 2B South Bend People’s Elbow

 

In this round Eloy Jimenez stands out as a potential great pick. He will get a lot of AB this season, and even if he doesn’t steal bases he will hit for average and power. Very good pick by the Jacksonville Phillies. Vandalay Industries made a safe pick with Raisel Iglesias. Even if the Reds won’t use him in every save situations, he will be a good addition to lower the overall ERA and WHIP. FB went with Mike Moustakas, and if he gets 2B eligibility he will be even more valuable. Rafael Devers with 140th overall can be a breakout candidate in 2019. He will probably get a lot of AB in one of the best teams in the league, Boston Red Sox. Early indications are Andrew McCutchen and not Cesar Hernandez will lead off for the Phillies, which will hurt Hernandez value.

Round 8

1 Luis Castillo Cin, SP Fantasy Dugout

2 Stephen Piscotty Oak, RF Team Thrushman

3 Wade Davis Col, RP NY Rocafellas

4 Eduardo Rodriguez Bos, SP South Bend People’s Elbow

5 Willson Contreras ChC, C East Ilg

6 Jurickson Profar Oak, SS Lakeland Tigers

7 Elvis Andrus Tex, SS FBB Freak

8 Corey Dickerson Pit, LF Heroes of Flatbush

9 Yoan Moncada CWS, 2B Fantasy Blockbuster

10 Yasmani Grandal Mil, C Vandalay Industries

11 Robbie Ray Ari, SP Jersey Jokers

12 Rich Hill LAD, SP Jacksonville Phillies

13 Billy Hamilton KC, CF Cardington Short GamblerS

14 Byron Buxton Min, CF Kippers Rippers

15 Adam Eaton Wsh, RF Team Egense

16 J.A. Happ NYY, SP Team JT the Brick

17 Buster Posey SF, C Diamond Kings

18 Brandon Nimmo NYM, RF Team Gonzalez

19 Harrison Bader StL, CF DETROIT GOBLUECOOP7

20 Austin Meadows TB, RF Random Sports

Best pick: 11 Robbie Ray Ari, SP Jersey Jokers

Question mark: 20 Austin Meadows TB, RF Random Sports

 

Interesting to see Billy Hamilton in round 8. A couple of years ago he would have been drafted much higher, but due to his one-dimensional overall contribution he is valued correctly. You need your stolen bases and to get a standout is not a bad idea, in such a deep league format. Byron Buxton has had a great spring training and if he can stay healthy, he might not only be a stolen base threat. He might also show the power-speed combo every fantasy owner wants. FD went with a potential breakout SP in Luis Castillo and FB went with the power-steal potential in Yoan Moncada. Can he finally live up to expectations? If Robbie Ray can find back to his 2017 performance he will be the steal of the 8th round.

Round 9

1 Luke Voit NYY, 1B Random Sports

2 Ken Giles Tor, RP DETROIT GOBLUECOOP7

3 Kyle Hendricks ChC, SP Team Gonzalez

4 Wilson Ramos NYM, C Diamond Kings

5 Yadier Molina StL, C Team JT the Brick

6 Miguel Cabrera Det, 1B Team Egense

7 Jose Alvarado TB, RP Kippers Rippers

8 Cole Hamels ChC, SP Cardington Short GamblerS

9 Andrew Miller StL, RP Jacksonville Phillies

10 Kyle Schwarber ChC, LF Jersey Jokers

11 Rick Porcello Bos, SP Vandalay Industries

12 Nick Pivetta Phi, SP Fantasy Blockbuster

13 Ryan Braun Mil, LF Heroes of Flatbush

14 Shane Bieber Cle, SP FBB Freak

15 Shohei Ohtani LAA, DH Lakeland Tigers

16 Carlos Santana Cle, 1B East Ilg

17 Jackie Bradley Jr. Bos, CF South Bend People’s Elbow

18 Jake Arrieta Phi, SP NY Rocafellas

19 Odubel Herrera Phi, CF Team Thrushman

20 Justin Smoak Tor, 1B Fantasy Dugout

Best pick: 3 Kyle Hendricks ChC, SP Team Gonzalez

Question mark: 17 Jackie Bradley Jr. Bos, CF South Bend People’s Elbow

 

Kyle Hendricks seems to be underrated every year. It might be because he is not a flashy player, but in the end he gets the job done on a good team. Team Gonzalez will get a steady SP with a reasonable low ERA and WHIP, with the possibility for many wins. Diamond Kings got Wilson Ramos who is a low-risk catcher worth drafting, if you don’t want to pay the price for J.T. Realmuto or Gary Sanchez. FD went with Nick Pivetta who has been mentioned as a potential sleeper by almost every fantasy expert this spring. With the last pick of the round FD took Justin Smoak, who has some upside and can probably get you 30 HR.

Round 10

1 Will Smith SF, RP Fantasy Dugout

2 Andrew Heaney LAA, SP Team Thrushman

3 Jonathan Schoop Min, 2B NY Rocafellas

4 Cody Allen LAA, RP South Bend People’s Elbow

5 Eduardo Escobar Ari, SS East Ilg

6 Tyler Glasnow TB, RP Lakeland Tigers

7 Yuli Gurriel Hou, 3B FBB Freak

8 Jorge Polanco Min, SS Heroes of Flatbush

9 Yusei Kikuchi Sea, SP Fantasy Blockbuster

10 Andrelton Simmons LAA, SS Vandalay Industries

11 Jose Quintana ChC, SP Jersey Jokers

12 Brandon Morrow ChC, RP Jacksonville Phillies

13 Hunter Renfroe SD, LF Cardington Short GamblerS

14 Marcus Semien Oak, SS Kippers Rippers

15 Dallas Keuchel FA, SP Team Egense

16 Kenta Maeda LAD, SP Team JT the Brick

17 Asdrubal Cabrera Tex, SS Diamond Kings

18 Jose Martinez StL, 1B Team Gonzalez

19 Nathan Eovaldi Bos, SP DETROIT GOBLUECOOP7

20 Joe Musgrove Pit, SP Random Sports

Best pick: 3 Jonathan Schoop Min, 2B NY Rocafellas

Question mark: 15 Dallas Keuchel FA, SP Team Egense

 

Eduardo Escobar is a good pick by East Ilg. He will probably be an every day player for the Diamondbacks, and will contribute with some power. Jonathan Schoop will get a fresh start with the Minnesota Twins and it looks like a 30 HR season is possible. If Hunter Renfroe plays, he will give you home runs, but the question is how much he will play. Still in the 10th round it is a good pick. FD took a closer, but will he end the season with the Giants or will he be traded to a contender for a bullpen role? Yusei Kikichi is a wild card. He has signed with the Seattle Mariners and play in a good pitcher’s ballpark. The elite K/9 will not be there, but an ERA below 4 is possible. Asdrubal Cabrera is a great pick by Diamond Kings, as he looks to get plenty of playing time for Texas Rangers.

Part 2 will soon be published

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