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Base Advances
Fantasy Strategy Ideas from the Guru

Draft Seer
August 12, 1998

Who would you have drafted if you could have seen the future? I suppose that you could define the best draft several different ways, but for this discussion, I'll define it as the roster you could have drafted with $50 million at the beginning of the season (thus IPO's are excluded) that would have produced the maximum Smallworld points accumulated through the end of July.

I took a crack at this, and here's the best roster I could come up with:

PosPlayerDraft Price7/31 SWP
P Colon, Bartolo 620,000 1,666
P Rogers, Kenny 930,000 1,603
P Ashby, Andy 3,900,000 1,933
P Nen, Robb 6,770,000 2,350
P Maddux, Greg 9,400,000 2,675
C Kendall, Jason 4,670,000 1,461
1B Floyd, Cliff 1,840,000 1,618
2B Vina, Fernando 2,350,000 1,366
3B Walker, Todd 1,260,000 1,336
SS Rodriguez, Alex 7,120,000 2,178
OF Grieve, Ben 1,140,000 1,620
OF Jordan, Brian 2,000,000 1,609
OF Guerrero, Vladimir 3,690,000 1,868
DH Vaughn, Greg 4,130,000 2,136

There are several different angles from which to evaluate this team. First, how would it be doing in the actual standings? While it wouldn't be in first place, it would be in the middle of the top 50 worldwide teams. Not bad for a team with 75 trades remaining!

Second, what would this team be worth today? Based on prices as of the end of July, this roster had appreciated to a value of $89,260,000, for a net increase of $39.4 million. The biggest price increase belonged to Bartolo Colon, at $5 million (although he dropped $1.2 million of that last week). The next largest increase, $4.4 million, was for Greg Vaughn (although he also fell almost 600,000 last week). The smallest increase was Jason Kendall's $1.8 million.

Incidentally, the draft roster with the biggest possible value increase through July would have gained $43.1 million, which is not that much greater. That roster differs from the one above by only four players: Millwood and Mark Leiter replace Maddux and Nen, McGwire replaces Floyd, and Sosa replaces Jordan. But even though this roster increased in value by a greater amount, it racked up 1214 fewer SWP through July 31st.

Interestingly, a few of the most popularly drafted players don't appear on this roster. Robin Ventura was probably the most heavily drafted player at any position. But it turns out that Todd Walker not only cost less, but so far he has also produced more. Other heavy draftees not listed are Jaret Wright, Juan Guzman, Todd Helton, Kenny Lofton, and Travis Lee. But some of the other preseason favorites turned out to be the right choice - like Brian Jordan, Ben Grieve, and Greg Maddux.

Anyone have this draft? I didn't.

RotoGuru is produced by Dave Hall (a.k.a. the Guru), an avid fantasy sports player. He is not employed by any of the fantasy sports games discussed within this site, and all opinions expressed are solely his own. Questions or comments are welcome, and should be emailed to Guru<>.

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