Wacky Leagues Week 10: For the Gram

Big swings and sky-high scores on tap this week.

Thankfully I didn’t end up interviewing recently departed managers three times in a row, but it was a close thing. I got to do a virtual sit down with Mr. Content himself, Christopher Reeves.

Asher Dratel: To kick things off, how many leagues are you in this year, wacky or otherwise?

Oh, man. I’m in four dynasty leagues and three wacky leagues.

Oh that’s a perfectly reasonable number of leagues. What are the formats of the dynasties?

Two are H2H Cats, one is Roto, and, oh, another Roto.

Alright, and you’re in Guillotine, Grand Theft, and one of the Blind Drafts, right?

Yessir! Oh, wait. I’m in two blind draft leagues! One BestBall and one “normal.” So I’m in eight leagues total!

Ok, now you’re verging on too many leagues, but how are you finding the in-season-moves Blind Draft league?

That one is kind of rough. I kinda went slightly rogue in the draft — sorry Will! — but I really think we’ve got a strong team! I never really want to drop any of our guys but we’re kind of getting destroyed. I’m not used to Yahoo so I’m —somehow — never sure how to value guys.

We’ve got a Tier 1 team name though in my opinion. We just combined my name with my partner’s to form Team Chris Pratt. With good ol’ Star-Lord himself as our logo.

That is a serendipitous pairing for the team name. And I guess I’m burying the lede here, because you were the one who first floated the idea for the Blind Draft, right?

I don’t like to take full credit for that but I’ll take the credit here and say yes! I think my original idea was to have staffers take over each individual MLB team and run it like a dynasty team. Even one season would’ve been a cool thing in my opinion, but I knew it would be kind of hard to make work right. I then likely had a few adult beverages and checked on the thread. I saw Colin Charles (I think) had said, “that would probably be a co-manager situation” and then it happened. Now that I think of it, I’m almost positive I came up with the idea because Cherman was anti-Aquino and I just wanted to see someone draft Aquino onto a team that Cherman then had to play and BOOM!

So the original intent was to cause chaos, that tracks.

In fact, here’s the message!

Legends were born that day ❤️

Oh indeed, I still lay awake at night thinking about how I could have done the PitchCon draft differently.

That’s funny. I lay away thinking about how all my teammates could have done the drafts differently.

The difference in the experience between a BestBall Blind Draft and the Guillotine leagues was like night and day, I had forgotten how utterly brutal 18-team drafts are.

The only redraft leagues I do are the wacky league drafts so I really come into these things unprepared as h*ck. I think I had just finished a 30-team dynasty draft before the wacky league drafts so it felt… okay? But not touching prospects made everything a bit hard too. The BestBall draft got rough because I really had no idea where to go after the first day when I had to complete the team.

Yeah, trying to guess at playing time in the late rounds is always hairy. But speaking of Guillotine, how are you feeling about that offensive explosion that got you out of trouble this Sunday?

I have no idea how I’m still alive in Guillotine. I picked up a few guys recently just because they were cheap and I think they were Yordan and Teoscar… who just happened to account for 28 points for me on Sunday! I really appreciate too that I needed a SS really bad and overpaid $100 for Correa, caught a bit of slack for it, and now have gotten more points from him since that day than all but two players on my team. I joke that I am the epitome of “it’s not what you know but who you know.” I think it’s time I start claiming the “it’s better to be lucky than good” saying too!

Luck will get you a very long way in Guillotine, I’m so incredibly impressed with myself for making it this far into the season. Did you have any specific strategy going into this season?

I think “strategy” is a strong word for anything relating to me and a wacky league draft. Ever since my first dynasty league, which started in 2018, I believe, I’ve been all about “Relief Aces.” (I remember someone wrote a story about Relief Aces on the PL Site in 2018/19 maybe and further drove my hype train) So I kind of wanted to go RP heavy and just snag a couple of SP. Once the season started, my goal became “fewest moves, largest budget.” That worked for a bit but I think it may have backfired going into the home stretch here…

I’m being incredibly stingy with my remaining FAAB as if it matters against you guys with a couple of hundred bucks left.

Yeah, I think I have the third-largest budget or so and putting in a bid for Giolito last night nearly ruined me! I was torn between keeping my moves low and trying to stay alive. It’s literally all for the content at this point and I’m not even using any of said content for anything.

Speaking of strategy and #content, you’ve run into some tough times in Grand Theft, but I feel like your steals have been quite shrewd, is it always just “Best Available Player” or are you looking for specific things?

Oh it’s almost 100% BPA! That and I think I’ve lost most matchups purely because I forgot to start one or two SPs who would have me the matchup. So at a certain point, even my steals have been a bit content-y. There’s something about Grand Theft that I just don’t do well with for some reason and I still haven’t figured out what it is. I think I’m just so used to Fantrax that I’m still figuring out how to “read” Yahoo. I just go for guys I like at this point and hope they score in our settings — whatever they may be.

Never read the rules, right? That’s the only rule.

“Rules are for thee, not for me.”

So if you get a WorstBall team doing you’ll have sampled all of the tentpole Wacky franchises, any other formats you have percolating around in that #content factory of a noggin?

Man, I think I’ve had ideas that just make no sense or are likely impossible on any current website. Think adjusted points per position, or counting pitchers hitting stats and position players pitching stats but multiplying them for high risk/high reward. If we were really going to go for chaos… I think we start adding more co-owners to the blind draft teams. Imagine four co-managers drafting for one team. All blind.

Haha, yeah I was talking to Myles about the limitations of current fantasy hosts, I guess I’ll have to learn to code and make PL+ Fantasy a PL+ Reality (thanks Michael Kay.)

I think a fun rule for the blind drafts might be a regular league but with no transactions unless you’re replacing an injury. So you guys can’t just drop a guy you didn’t like from the other owner. You’re all just stuck with what you got.

The ultimate in accountability. I am looking forward to the breakdown of points-per-player by drafting manager in the BestBall leagues. Well maybe not “looking forward to” but, interested in seeing.

Oh man. Do leagues exist where the settings change every week?! That would be fun! Now NONE OF US know the rules!

CalvinBall will be the ultimate goal of my fantasy site that will totally exist. But with all that out of the way, what would you say to somebody who’s thinking about joining PL+ and getting in on the action?

If you’re coming just for the wacky leagues, dive on in, then stay for the community! I kind of came in knowing I wanted to get involved with the group, but I didn’t expect to meet so many people and now even be low key working for PL! A lot of really good people here in the discord. Always kind of surprised how good the group stays/continues to get even with how many people we’ve got in the group now!

And do you have anything else you want to get out there “on the record”?

This is 1000% where I would plug myself and my content if I actually made any. Best I can do is my Peloton account? OH! Which brings up a good point. If anyone is selling a Peloton bike, hit me up!

Much like SilverSnail, Mr. Reeves isn’t on Twitter but encourages people to get at him on Discord, so if you haven’t already, head on over to the PL+ sign-up page and get on there so you can start prepping for the 2022 Wacky Season.

 

The Guillotine Leagues

 

It was utter madness in League 1 this weekend, as three teams fought for their lives on Sunday. At 11:00 AM, the bottom of the standings was as follows:
6: Josiah DeBoer, 11 points ahead of the cut
7: Christopher Reeves, 1 point ahead of the cut
8: Mike Perugini, facing elimination

As mentioned, Reeves’ offense decided they weren’t ready to split up, and he got 55 points over the course of the day, elevating him out of the danger zone. By 9:30 PM it was Mike holding onto a 5.75 point lead over Josiah…until the dust settled on Domingo Germán’s start. When all was said and done, Josiah survived by a mere 2.50 points. Farewell Mike Perugini, there can only be none.

Mike’s departure led to more restrained bidding on his erstwhile players, although Lucas Giolito did command $149 from Josiah (I guess staring down the blade lights a bit of a fire.) Other notable bids were Xander Bogaerts going to KingHippo for a mere $5 (originally a 3rd round pick, Mike paid $475 for him back in April) and in what is an absolute steal, Josiah also got Taijuan Walker for only $1, although Mike originally picked him up for free.

There was a similar fight to escape the bottom in League 2, as Sunday morning saw all but two teams within 25 points of elimination (that’s one good pitching performance!) At that point it was Charley Butcher facing elimination, down 5.75 points to Jordan White. But the Butcher’s Bill wasn’t to come due this week, as a 70-point day from his team moved him up out of the bottom, and Myles Nelson found himself sliding from sixth to ninth place over the course of the day. Myles ended Sunday trailing Nicole Cahilll by 9.50 points, and so we must bid him adieu.

The FAAB pool is smaller in League 2, but the managers there are much more willing to spread it around. No player fetched triple digits in bidding, but Clayton Kershaw came closest, going to Alex Tran for $76, Alex also picked up José Ramírez for $52. That’s two first-two round picks for under $150 combined. The economics in this league get weird. Meanwhile, Rich Holman valued Xander Bogaerts a little more than KingHippo, paying $49 to get him on the roster. The dynamic duo of Bristow II and Ajeto also snuck in and grabbed Luis Castillo for $2, which might end up being a perfectly timed buy-low.

We’re into the point of Guillotine where streaming becomes mandatory, so managerial acumen and actual strategy will start to separate the wheat from the chaff (I’m the chaff, just so we’re clear.)

 

Grand Theft Baseball

 

This is almost completely anecdotal and I wish I had thought to keep historical standings for the leagues, but I feel like every time I go to update them, I’m shocked at how simultaneously some Grand Theft leagues will have big moves in the standings, and how some will not change at all week-to-week. I don’t really know what my takeaway is from that, but it does kind of jibe with the “executive summary” of the format in that a well-timed steal can really make your own luck, and winning will beget more winning as long as you make the right calls.

Protection lists are down under 8 for next week, so some tough choices are coming down the pike for every manager from here on out.

Notable thefts:
League 1: Ben Bingham made a switch at closer, stealing Alex Reyes from Tina Yu, and dropping J.P. Feyereisen to make room. Reyes does have the closer role locked down, but his walk rate is frankly terrifying, so let’s see if this works out for him.
League 2: Alex Tran also decided to make a straight positional switch, stealing Will Smith from Adam Sloate and dropping Sean Murphy. As somebody who drafted Will in my money league, this author distinctly hopes that move pays dividends.
League 3: Several managers missed their protection list deadlines and were only able to protect 7 players, including Myles Nelson who ended up losing Sandy Alcántara to ZachTipp. This was after he had to deprotect Gleyber Torres, too, and asked Zach which of the two he would prefer. A model sportsman.
League 4: SABRToothTiger decided it was his turn to be the Luis Castillo believer, snatching him up from SilverSnail for his two-start week. So far, early returns have been promising.

Grand Theft Standings

Asher Dratel

Asher hails from Brooklyn, wears a 2008 Joba Chamberlain jersey to every Yankees game he attends, and pronounces BABIP funny. Appreciator of Beefy Lad dingers and beers.

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