Fantasy baseball draft cheat sheets?
Throw ’em away.
All your research on position scarcity?
Don’t need it.
Projections, sleepers, busts, and breakout players?
If you are a hardcore fantasy baseball fan, stay away. This is not the draft for you.
But if you are a man (or woman) who enjoys heavy drinking, chicken wings, disgusting shots, and watching a tiny computer screen automatically select baseball players for your team, then get ready. Buckle up.
Tomorrow brings one of the greatest days on the baseball calendar – the 14th annual PEGS fantasy baseball league autodraft.
What makes this league so unique from others? Why is this league, the one that I play in each year that requires no draft strategy, my ultimate favourite? Please, join me in the ultimate guide to the autodraft to find out.
It all started in 2008 when a group of 10 friends decided to set up a fantasy baseball league. The draft was set for 5 pm on a Wednesday. Each member of the league planned to stay in the office late in order to draft from work. Unfortunately, it turned out that the majority of the league was blocked from running Java, meaning they couldn’t access Yahoo’s live draft.
So, instead of drafting, the members of the league convened at a pub and drank multiple pitchers of beer, logged into a laptop, and watched as Yahoo automatically filled our rosters. The amount of fun, joy, and hilarity that ensued was unexpected, but amazing.
The autodraft was born.
From that point on, it was decided that the league would continue each year, and the autodraft would continue as well. In order to keep the draft standard each year, the following rules were established:
– Only one member of the league is allowed to log in, and only one laptop can be used
– No member of the league is allowed to alter his pre-draft rankings. Doing so results in his execution (figuratively).
– Every pick must be made by Yahoo.
– The draft must take place at a pub. Every member of the league must either be there in person, or at least be there in spirit. Sadly, this year the draft will take place via Zoom – but it will take place.
– Each member of the league must drink a least three beers, though the commissioner (me) would prefer to see everybody have at least twelve.
Believe it or not, it takes some very shrewd managing to win the league. Since all teams are essentially random, the GM who makes the best free agent pickups and trades will rise to the top.
In addition, the man who comes in last place faces one of two punishments:
1. He must purchase a round of rye shots for the entire league at the next year’s draft, or
2. He is ruthlessly cut from the league, tarred and feathered and paraded through the streets.
The Penalty Shots
Before the draft the league nominates several players, debates them, and ultimately confirms a final list. Whenever any of those pre-determined players are drafted, the owner who is stuck with that player must drink a pre-determined shot. In 2011, there were a total of six penalty shots. In every year since the number has been expanding. This year we are up to a minimum of 15. Meet this year’s penalty shot nominees:
- Vladimir Guerrero Jr.
- Luke Voit
- Any member of the Houston Astros
- George Springer
- Roberto Osuna
- Trevor Bauer
- Fernando Tatis Jr.
- Pete Alonso
- Aroldis Chapman
- Bryce Harper
- Byron Buxton
- Domingo German
- Jose Ramirez
- Franmil Reyes
- Any player who contracts COVID-19
The list of potential shots is endless, but preferred options are Fireball, Tequila, or Mother’s Breast Milk. Or, if possible, a Bear Fight (made of an Irish Car Bomb immediately followed by a Jagr bomb, as shown below).
As mentioned, it is important to be active in the trade market to win this league. Trading, especially at the draft, and especially before the draft is over, is highly encouraged.
Each year at least one trade has been made during the draft. Generally these trades are completely random, such as a 21st rounder and a 24th rounder for a 22nd rounder and a 23rd rounder. Generally these trades turn out to be ill-advised, including one of the first drafts when a meaningless swap of 23rd rounders ended up not being so meaningless when Mike Trout exploded onto the scene. Or one year, when one member of the league, a die-hard Detroit Tiger fan, unknowingly traded away Miguel Cabrera, and spend the next 90 minutes wiping away tears streaming down his cheeks. Or the infamous “longest last name” trade, resulting in a Kevin Quackenbush for Edwin Encarnacion swap. Brilliant. Other recent beauties include “First Player over 200 lbs”, “Latest Alphabetically”, “Same First Name”, and “I give you my 10th pick for your 6th pick if I can get this waitress to sit at our table and drink a beer with us”.
This year we already have some classics, including:
- Most Hair
- Longest and shortest place of birth
- First player born in Texas
- First player born in 1993
- Fattest man
The Final Words
Tomorrow’s draft would normally take place at the beautiful Gabby’s on King East in Toronto, with Jessica doing all she can to make us comfortable. This year it’s all virtual, which might be even worse.
Who will be this year’s champion and join this exclusive list?
2008 – The Forward Claps
2009 – ionionionionionion
2010 – Bear Fights
2011 – The Five Holers
2012 – Dad’s Magic Wiener
2013 – Pupusa Power
2014 – GOD
2015 – Monumental Dog
2016 – Two Enormous UECs
2017 – SUPERCOLLIDER
2018 – Starboard Vibe
2019 – Rocky Mtn. Bear
2020 – French Tickler
We’ll find out soon enough.
To all my competitors in the league – get ready. It’s time.