The way my league allows you to select your keepers is pretty cool. It's a tiered system, based on which rounds you drafted players last season. Let me break it down for you:
- -There are five tiers, one player for each
- -Tier 1 includes draft rounds 1-4, Tier 2 is 5-9, Tier 3 10-14, Tier 4 15-19, Tier 5 20-25
- -Tier 5 also includes all free agency or waiver additions.
- -You can move a player up to cover a tier, but not down. I'll explain that more in a bit.
- -You can keep your tier 1 and 2 players for three years, and your 3-4-5 players for five years.
- -Did I mention I won the league last year?
Miguel Cabrera, Grady Sizemore, C.C. Sabathia, Cole Hamels, Justin Morneau.
Okay, a bit extreme. I know. But now you realize how deeply I immersed myself into this league.
-OF Nick Markakis, Baltimore - Tier 2
-OF Matt Kemp, Los Angeles - Tier 3
-SP James Shields, Tampa Bay - Tier 3
-SP A.J. Burnett, New York Yankees - Tier 4
-OF Johnny Damon, New York Yankees - Tier 5
-SP Ricky Nolasco, Florida - Tier 5
-SP John Danks, Chicago White Sox - Tier 5
-RP Brian Fuentes, Anaheim - Tier 5
-SP Chris Volstad, Florida - Tier 5
-SP Ryan Dempster, Chicago Cubs - Tier 5
Now for the hard part. I was never high on Brian Fuentes, even though he was in a much more pitcher-friendly ballpark in Anaheim now. He's out. Nick Markakis and Matt Kemp bring a lot of the same things to the table, but it seems that going into this year that Kemp has much higher value. Not to mention, when the Dodgers finally do sign Manny Ramirez, it will only go up. Markakis is out.
Video courtesy of Bob Mantz
Chris Volstad, one of my waiver wire gem pickups of the season. In a Florida rotation that already has Ricky Nolasco, Josh Johnson, Anibal Sanchez and Andrew Miller, Volstad seems to fall by the wayside of the Yahoo! pitcher rankings. It makes no sense to keep him, when I can very possibly re-draft him in the later rounds. So farewell, for now Mr. Volstad. Did someone say sleeper pick?
Shields is a tier 3 guy, so I could move him up to two to maximize the amount of years I can keep Matt Kemp.
2. Ryan Dempster - Dempster heads into the 2009 campaign as a potential ace for the Cubs, along with Carlos Zambrano, assuming they hold off trading for Jake Peavy. Dempster won a career-high 17 games in 2008. There is no doubt he feels very comfortable in Chicago, as expressed by the four-year extension worth $52 million he signed in the offseason. The National League all-star had an ERA of 2.96 and 8.14 K per 9. Dempster also had 21 Quality Starts in 33 starts. Like Nolasco, he's got an advantage over many American League starting pitchers in fantasy baseball because he plays in Senior Circuit.