Draft Week! Are you ready?

As always, I'm bringing together a sort of 'Draft Day Survival Guide' for readers that sums up the preseason work here on the Harper Wallbanger blog. Keep up the good work people. By being here, I'm guessing you're more than ready to draft, but that's just half the battle - after this, onward to in-season management!

First, the Player Valuation series all in one place for easy reading:

Tip #1: Know where player values come from
Tip #2: Set your Hit/Pitch split
Tip #3: Value your Picks and Make Preseason Trades
Tip #4: Customize your Projections
Tip #5: Draft with tiers
Tip #6: Use the best projection systems
Tip #7: Draft undervalued players

If you're using the Big Board, you'll also find these helpful:

Big Board Tutorial
Patch Notes

My sincerest thanks go out to all the supporters of Harper Wallbanger and the Big Board. It's been a banner year here, with hundreds of people signing up to use the Board. Here's hoping that every single one of you dominates your drafts this year, and manages to ride that to the 'ship in your respective leagues.

Big Board's Picks: Relief Pitcher

Big Board's Picks: Relief Pitcher

Over the next couple of weeks at Harper Wallbanger, I'm sorting through the Big Board for 12-team 5x5 leagues to find the must-draft and must-avoid players at each position. It's the position I love, and everybody else hates, relievers!

The story is more or less the same every year. Relievers are volatile, and in certain league formats, vital to your success due to their elite ERA/WHIP numbers. I like the old addage that you should 'draft skills', and so I always focus on drafting relievers I believe will be good, regardless of role. Others chase saves and that is a losing game unless you're lucky. At the high end, I want one of the top guys like Jansen, Kimbrel, or any of the next 4 or so. After that, I'm out, I'll take what drops. The mid-range is generally a terrible investment if your league only counts Saves. So today, I'm identifying a number of guys that fit into the mold of what I'm usually looking for: good skills, possibility of future saves, and cheap.

Big Board's Picks: Starting Pitcher

Big Board's Picks: Starting Pitcher

Over the next couple of weeks at Harper Wallbanger, I'm sorting through the Big Board for 12-team 5x5 leagues to find the must-draft and must-avoid players at each position. Welcome to the final stretch, it's starting pitchers!

More and more, the debate about SP value is all about innings. The high-velocity, high-breaking-ball usage, along with the 10-day DL and extensive bullpen use means that SPs are throwing less innings than ever, with only 15 guys clearing 200IP last year. Whoever your SP1 is, you should probably hope to get at least 180-190IP out of that guy! That, combined with elite performance, is what sets the top 10 or so SP apart from the rest. As always, there is a tier of overvalued mid-range guys that follows that. I love these guys too, but there is a real trick to drafting them. How sure are you that you'll see the breakout season (Castillo, Ohtani, McCullers)? Or get the innings you need (Paxton, Wood, Hill)? Or see regression in the right direction (Darvish, Tanaka, Archer)? There is risk associated with all of these guys, so you have to pick your spots wisely. What follows is my list of guys where the value seems to outweigh that risk!

Big Board's Picks: Outfield

Big Board's Picks: Outfield

Over the next couple of weeks at Harper Wallbanger, I'm sorting through the Big Board for 12-team 5x5 leagues to find the must-draft and must-avoid players at each position.  Now I wade into the deep depths that is the Outfield pool...

I tend to think of outfielders as the complement to the rest of the hitters I draft. As my infield fills out throughout the draft with power-, speed-, or average-focused players, I push for the remaining stats with outfielders. I also try to let outfield come to me, waiting to see what guys fall well below their value. I hate the FOMO that comes with filling all your OF slots too early. That means finding good late round options, but sometimes the value at those early rounds is too good to pass up, so I have a mix of both here today!