The 2019 fantasy baseball stunk for me. No matter what I did, no matter what I tried, it just didn’t work out for my fantasy squads (hopefully it was different for you). Here is a quick review of my teams this season, and be prepared, because it wasn’t pretty.
Did you catch the season in review podcast where I talk preseason ADP, the best values of the season and if Felix Hernandez is a HOFamer?
TOUT WARS (15-TEAM MIXED): 9th Place
HITS: Jorge Soler for $2 (he led the AL in homers), Paul DeJong $6 (30-78-97), Amed Rosario $12 (.287-15-72-75-19), Michael Brantley $11 (.311-22-90-88-3), Stephen Strasburg $18 (18 wins, 3.32 ERA, 1.04 WHIP with 251 Ks in 209 IP), Julio Teheran $3 (3.81 ERA, 162 Ks), Archie Bradley $4 (eventually 18 saves), Ryan Pressly $2 (2.32 ERA, 0.90 WHIP, 11.93 K/9), Anthony DeSclafani free (3.89 ERA, 1.20 WHIP, 9.02 K/9), Carlos Martinez free (24 saves), Eric Thames free (25 homers, .346 OBP). I added Marco Gonzales off waivers on April 8th, Griffin Canning on April 29th, Homer Bailey for $9 on July 11th and Nick Solak August 26th. Some strong adds off waivers.
MISSES: Jesus Luzardo $2 was my last grabbed player. If he had been healthy it would have been a huge win. He wasn’t healthy though so it was a loss. Had to drop Martinez when he came back from injury with no role. Jameson Taillon was my most expensive pitcher at $23. He made seven starts. Nick Pivetta for $9 felt good on draft day. Boy was I wrong. Yoenis Cespedes was a reserve pick, but he never showed up. Jesse Winker at $14, in an OBP league like this one, was a strong buy. In the end, not so much though as he battled injury and ineffectiveness (16-38-51 with a .357 OBP). Jose Altuve was good when he played, but he stopped running and wasn’t worth the $34 bid.
LAST WORD: The team just couldn’t get over the hump. There were some clearly solid moves, but too many of those offensive guys just didn’t leave up to expectations, and I could never solve the bullpen concerns as I finished 14th in saves (at least I was second in strikeouts).
AL LABR (12-TEAM): 11th Place
HITS: When you add Liam Hendriks for $1 and Gio Urshela for $7 off waivers, honestly, you should win your mono fantasy league (or no worse a top-3 finish). Those two offered tremendous production and my team barely stayed out of the gutter. Those were two elite free agent adds, and the team was still horrible showing you how disappointing the overall squad was.
MISSES: At one point I had, no exaggeration, 12 players on the injured list. A further sign this club was doomed. I completed a trade at the start of September sending away Hendricks for Domingo German. Shortly there after German was suspended, a symbol of this team’s failure. Dellin Betances pitched 0.2 innings. Joey Gallo played 72 games. Byron Buxton played 89. Jose Altuve missed more than a month and stole six bases. Khris Davis forgot how to hit. Yonder Alonso, well he never knew how to hit, but .199 over 292 at-bats? Come on.
LAST WORD: It was a laughably horrible season. On the final day of April, I was in first place. Then reality, and injury, set in.
NFBC (15-TEAM MIXED): 7th Place
HITS: After dropping Carlos Martinez after drafting him (no IL spots in this league), I was able to roster him on waivers June 16th for $36. Added Bo Bichette (.311-11-21-32-4) for $48 on August 4th. Shohei Ohtani (15th) and Matt Olson (21st) should have been winning additions – like top-3 in the league type of moves – when you add in players like Bryce Harper, Alex Bregman, D.J. LeMahieu (22nd round). They weren’t.
MISSES: On draft day I missed out on Yoan Moncada and Anthony Rendon by one pick (the guy right in front of me grabbed both). That would have completely changed the complexion of my team. Justin Upton was hurt right after the draft and never found his footing all season long. Williams Astudillo (20th rd.) bombed. Carlos Correa (3rd) just couldn’t stay healthy. Ian Desmond (11th) stopped running. Wil Myers (6th) couldn’t stay in the lineup. Jesse Winker (12th) – see above. Wade Davis was hideous (9th), Alex Wood (23rd) never got healthy. Kyle Tucker (24th), Luis Urias (25th) never received a real shot to play until long after they had left my team. I drafted Lance Lynn in the 29th, but unfortunately dropped him to add Griffin Canning when he was called up. Ugh is right there in one of my worst moves in any league all year.
I added Brendan Rogers for $207 of the FAAB on May 19th, and he failed completely. I added Dylan Cease for $31 on July 7th. Great arm, but just didn’t produce.
LAST WORD: Another league where I struggled for saves finishing tied for ninth (this is the first time in years that I wasn’t able to solve that bullpen puzzle). I was third in ERA and second in WHIP at least. I was second in batting average, but generally speaking, the team simply lacked counting category production.
FSTA (14-TEAM MIXED): 12TH Place
HITS: Tommy Pham (6th) round drew jeers from some. He went 20/20. Thames (22nd) and DeSclafani (24th) were solid. Berrios (5th) wasn’t an ace, but he was way better than the room felt he would be at the draft. Kyle Hendricks (8th) continued to get outs.
MISSES: Austin Hedges and Jonathan Lucroy sucked butt. Jose Altuve missed games and didn’t run. Jean Segura was solid, but not worth his cost (4th round). Brian Dozier (7th) was a complete miss by me. Andrew McCutchen (11th) blew out his knee. Jake Arrieta (13th) was a mess. Drew Steckenrider/Dellin Betances/Jeremy Jeffress were hideous. Brendan Rodgers bombed in yet another league for me. For the first time – in my life – my team had zero saves. I could obviously have produced some through the year, but eventually I punted the category and tried to add arms to help in the other categories (I was fourth in wins and second in strikeouts and fourth in ERA).
LAST WORD: Losing 6.5 points on the final day of the season led to this horrible finish. No one surged, no one excelled, not many lived up to their draft day cost. It just went wrong from start to finish.
SIRIUS XM HOST LEAGUE (12-TEAM MIXED): 7TH Place
HITS: Yoan Moncada in the 10th round was a strong add. Also have to think that Shohei Ohtani (19th) and Miguel Sano (26th) were big hits. This team wasn’t very good, but all the derision that I took on the broadcast about my old and sucky starting pitching staff was completely off base as Greinke/Bumgarner/Kershaw more than justified their costs.
MISSES: Andrew Benintendi (3rd) had his worst full season. Lo Cain (4th) was hurt for a good deal of the year. Joey Votto (5th round) was terrible. Billy Hamilton (14th) finally failed completely (I had long predicted this, so I guess it’s on me for even drafting him). Craig Kimbrel (12th) never signed, and then blew chunks when he finally did. Cody Allen (15th) failed. Mychal Givens (18th) and his entire team also failed. Another bullpen miss.
LAST WORD: Second in batting averaged but last in homers. Yikes. Second in ERA and third in ERA but 10th in saves. It was halves and have nots on both sides of this squad.
SIRIUS XM DYNASTY LEAGUE (15-TEAM, 45-MAN ROSTERS): 7TH Place
HITS: Victor Robles nearly went 20/30, Austin Meadows went 30/10, Yordan Alvarez appears to be a superstar already (.313/.412/.655), Elvis Andrus returned to the 30-steal level, Javier Baez had another impressive season, Matt Chapman had a second straight 100 run season with a career best 36 homers, Starling Marte went 20/25 and Danny Santana came out of nowhere to go 25/20. Caleb Smith looked strong for the majority of the year on the hill, MadBum returned to being an upper level arm, Masahiro Tanaka and Jeff Samardzija were solid, and Reynaldo Lopez continued to titillate with his right arm.
MISSES: Injuries again played a big part as Gregory Polanco, Andrew McCutchen, Justin Upton injuries crushed my outfield. Carlos Correa couldn’t stay healthy either, Matt Carpenter forgot how to hit for about four months too. Griffin Canning got shut down, the Dodgers’ kept shuffling Dustin May to the bullpen and Kevin Gausman and Alex Wood never found their footing.
LAST WORD: The future is bright. There’s a great deal of young talent here with names like Canning, May, Sixto Sanchez on the come up on the hill with Yordan Alvarez, Nick Madrigal, Victor Robles, Trent Grisham ready to take the next step.
Ray Flowers can be heard Monday-Thursday 8-10 PM EDT, and Friday’s from 10-12 PM EST and Sunday’s at 9-11 pm EST on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio (Sirius 210, XM 87). Follow Ray’s work on Twitter (@baseballguys) and be sure to listen to his podcast work too.