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The Buzz: What would a fantasy baseball draft look like today?

Usually the Yahoo Friends & Family Baseball Draft is a March endeavor, but when scheduling became impossible this year, a novel idea hit me.

Why not have the F&F draft in-season? We can make it a fun exercise about market correction and how to pivot with the fresh season.

The Fantasy Baseball Buzz. (Banner by Taylor Wilhelm/Yahoo Sports)
The Fantasy Baseball Buzz. (Banner by Taylor Wilhelm/Yahoo Sports)

So on Monday night, I assembled friends and colleagues and we made a collective statement, selecting 338 players. Below is a detailed audit of the results, with a keen eye for rising and falling players and draft nuances and strategies.

We're using 5x5 scoring, and everything to this point is merely an audition — the league scoring begins Tuesday, April 30. Managers were asked to fill 13 offensive players (one catcher, otherwise standard slotting) and nine pitchers. You're also allowed four bench players and two IL slots. Free agents will be distributed via twice-weekly FAB offers. There are no volume caps or restrictions.

Meet the managers and their draft slots:

And away we go:

  • 1.01: Lazarus — Mookie Betts (LAD - 2B,SS,OF)

  • 1.02: Del Don — Bobby Witt Jr. (KC - SS)

  • 1.03: Psihogios — Ronald Acuña Jr. (ATL - OF)

  • 1.04: Pianowski — Shohei Ohtani (Batter) (LAD - Util)

  • 1.05: Martin — Elly De La Cruz (CIN - 3B,SS)

  • 1.06: Castillo — Kyle Tucker (HOU - OF)

  • 1.07: Short — Juan Soto (NYY - OF)

  • 1.08: Zinkie — Corbin Burnes (BAL - SP)

  • 1.09: Behrens — Fernando Tatís Jr. (SD - OF)

  • 1.10: Samulski — Julio Rodríguez (SEA - OF)

  • 1.11: Erickson — Gunnar Henderson (BAL - 3B,SS)

  • 1.12: Schwab — Freddie Freeman (LAD - 1B)

  • 1.13: Jenstad — Aaron Judge (NYY - OF)

Elly De La Cruz headshot
Elly De La Cruz
SS - CIN - #44
2024 - false season
172
AB
.262
AVG
9
HR
30
SB
.838
OPS

Acuña drops to third overall after a full spring at the top spot. I can't fault Lazarus for wanting Betts, a three-position grabber on a loaded offense. De La Cruz has been fantasy's best player in April and he was going to land high in the first round — it was just a matter of where. Erickson admitted that Henderson was a FOMO fill for him, but Henderson's production and tie to a loaded Baltimore lineup justifies the slot. Burnes was the only pitcher selected, landing on Team Zinkie. That's going to be an early theme.

My Pick: I had one of the early KDS slot picks and I decided the top of the draft was rich enough for me to slide up to Pick 4, even as it wasn't as centralized a pick as I normally like. I have Betts and Freeman shares on other teams but had yet to snag an Ohtani interest; it's nice to have more coverage on the buzziest team in baseball. It's really not too complicated; identify the best offenses and take the best hitters from those offenses. Let's try to keep doing that.

  • 2.1: Jenstad — Zack Wheeler (PHI - SP)

  • 2.2: Schwab — Trea Turner (PHI - SS)

  • 2.3: Erickson — Yordan Álvarez (HOU - OF)

  • 2.4: Samulski — Austin Riley (ATL - 3B)

  • 2.5: Behrens — CJ Abrams (WSH - SS)

  • 2.6: Zinkie — Tarik Skubal (DET - SP)

  • 2.7: Short — Tyler Glasnow (LAD - SP)

  • 2.8: Castillo — Michael Harris II (ATL - OF)

  • 2.9: Martin — Matt Olson (ATL - 1B)

  • 2.10: Pianowski — Bryce Harper (PHI - 1B)

  • 2.11: Psihogios — José Ramírez (CLE - 3B)

  • 2.12: Del Don — Corbin Carroll (AZ - OF)

  • 2.13: Lazarus — Adolis García (TEX - OF)

Tyler Glasnow headshot
Tyler Glasnow
SP - LAD - #31
2024 - false season
62
IP
2.90
ERA
0.90
WHIP
81
K
16
BB

Most of these players were early-round staples all spring, so this round felt standard and familiar. Abrams rose a round, and Skubal jumped significantly after a strong April — again, to pitcher-gobbling Zinkie. I thought Carroll's horrible start to the year and the possible specter of a shoulder problem would push him later than this, but Del Don is always a fearless drafter. Glasnow's terrific push landed him a round earlier than his springtime ADP.

My Pick: Harper is an easy auto-punch for me, another star player tied to a deep, buoyant offense. Zero deliberation on this one.

  • 3.1: Lazarus — José Altuve (HOU - 2B)

  • 3.2: Del Don — Rafael Devers (BOS - 3B)

  • 3.3: Psihogios — Corey Seager (TEX - SS)

  • 3.4: Pianowski — Marcus Semien (TEX - 2B)

  • 3.5: Martin — Francisco Lindor (NYM - SS)

  • 3.6: Castillo — Mike Trout (LAA - OF) — pick made before news of his injury

  • 3.7: Short — Pete Alonso (NYM - 1B)

  • 3.8: Zinkie — Freddy Peralta (MIL - SP)

  • 3.9: Behrens — Ozzie Albies (ATL - 2B)

  • 3.10: Samulski — Luis Castillo (SEA - SP)

  • 13.1: Erickson — Logan Gilbert (SEA - SP)

  • 13.2: Schwab — George Kirby (SEA - SP)

  • 3.13: Jenstad — Edwin Díaz (NYM - RP)

This round started with seven straight hitters, making it 29 hitters out of the first 33 picks. But then the pitching run went into overdrive — five pitchers filled the second half of the round, and at one point between Rounds 3 and 4 there were 10 straight pitchers taken. Seattle is the AL's safest pitching environment, so it's reasonable that their three aces were all selected in a row.

My Pick: I expected the starting pitcher market would be an eyelash depressed compared to spring trends, so I opted for another hitter. Semien has long been a favorite of mine, a volume grabber and durable pro who is going to fill every category.

  • 4.1: Jenstad — Pablo López (MIN - SP)

  • 4.2: Schwab — Yoshinobu Yamamoto (LAD - SP)

  • 4.3: Erickson — Evan Phillips (LAD - RP)

  • 4.4: Samulski — Cole Ragans (KC - SP,RP)

  • 4.5: Behrens — Kevin Gausman (TOR - SP)

  • 4.6: Zinkie — Aaron Nola (PHI - SP)

  • 4.7: Short — Adley Rutschman (BAL - C)

  • 4.8: Castillo — Manny Machado (SD - 3B)

  • 4.9: Martin — Logan Webb (SF - SP)

  • 4.10: Pianowski — Jazz Chisholm Jr. (MIA - OF)

  • 4.11: Psihogios — Xander Bogaerts (SD - 2B,SS)

  • 4.12: Del Don — Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (TOR - 1B)

  • 4.13: Lazarus — Dylan Cease (SD - SP)

Vladimir Guerrero Jr. headshot
Vladimir Guerrero Jr.
1B - TOR - #27
2024 - false season
179
AB
.279
AVG
4
HR
1
SB
.759
OPS

And here's the great Pitcher run of 2024, as most managers look to land their ace (and Team Zinkie loads up with the best SP4 in the land). Generally, I am not going to prioritize catchers in a one-fill league, but Rutschman has earned the right to be an outlier, tied to the AL's deepest offense. Guerrero is off to a mediocre start, but Del Don likes to focus on upside and not floor with early picks. That's not for everybody, but it's a reasonable strategy.

My Pick: Obviously, I misread the SP room and it put me on tilt; I didn't like the Chisholm pivot and made it with just a second or two left on my clock. I had hoped for Webb (primary target) or Gilbert (secondary target) as my presumed ace, and missing Webb by just one pick was an uppercut to my jaw. I feel it was right not to pick a pitcher just to take one — since I felt like the tier was depleted — but this still was an emotional jolt.

  • 5.1: Lazarus — William Contreras (MIL - C)

  • 5.2: Del Don — Joe Ryan (MIN - SP)

  • 5.3: Psihogios — Shota Imanaga (CHC - SP)

  • 5.4: Pianowski — Marcell Ozuna (ATL - OF)

  • 5.5: Martin — Zac Gallen (AZ - SP)

  • 5.6: Castillo — Ronel Blanco (HOU - SP,RP)

  • 5.7: Short — Emmanuel Clase (CLE - RP)

  • 5.8: Zinkie — Ha-Seong Kim (SD - 2B,3B,SS)

  • 5.9: Behrens — Kyle Schwarber (PHI - OF)

  • 5.10: Samulski — Christian Walker (AZ - 1B)

  • 5.11: Erickson — Anthony Volpe (NYY - SS)

  • 5.12: Schwab — Bo Bichette (TOR - SS)

  • 5.13: Jenstad — Oneil Cruz (PIT - SS)

Anthony Volpe headshot
Anthony Volpe
SS - NYY - #11
2024 - false season
197
AB
.269
AVG
6
HR
9
SB
.762
OPS

Another pitching-influenced round, with Imanaga a notable riser from his March ADP. Volpe also received an April boost, landing in front of Bichette and Cruz. Behrens is going to keep drafting Schwarber every year until one of them retires. Blanco was a nobody a month ago; today, he's a fifth-round pick.

My Pick: Ozuna should have been my fourth-round pick, not Chisholm; something which occurred to me right after I clicked on Jazz. At least the wildly underrated Ozuna lasted to my next selection. He's been putting up borderline first-round stats for the past calendar year.

  • 6.1: Jenstad — Randy Arozarena (TB - OF)

  • 6.2: Schwab — Mason Miller (OAK - SP,RP)

  • 6.3: Erickson — Grayson Rodriguez (BAL - SP)

  • 6.4: Samulski — Ketel Marte (AZ - 2B)

  • 6.5: Behrens — Spencer Steer (CIN - 1B,2B,3B,OF)

  • 6.6: Zinkie — Teoscar Hernández (LAD - OF)

  • 6.7: Short — Nico Hoerner (CHC - 2B,SS)

  • 6.8: Castillo — Ranger Suárez (PHI - SP)

  • 6.9: Martin — Will Smith (LAD - C)

  • 6.10: Pianowski — Framber Valdez (HOU - SP)

  • 6.11: Psihogios — Paul Goldschmidt (STL - 1B)

  • 6.12: Del Don — Josh Hader (HOU - RP)

  • 6.13: Lazarus — Hunter Greene (CIN - SP)

Mason Miller headshot
Mason Miller
SP - OAK - #19
2024 - false season
20.1
IP
9
SV
0.89
ERA
41
K
5
BB

Schwab admitted to me backstage that he knew the Miller price was high, but he simply had to have at least one share of the electric Oakland closer. Hey, these late drafts are all about those FOMO fills. Steer gobbles up four positions and is a better offensive player than he's shown thus far. Del Don's "Don't sweat April" theme continued with a selection of the scuffling Hader; hey, at least the price was right.

My Pick: Valdez is a softer ace; he didn't finish last year well and he's already been hurt this year. But he induces ground balls and can get strikeouts off volume. I need to get lucky with my staff, obviously. He should be my SP2, but I'm not sorry I drafted him.

  • 7.1: Lazarus — Sonny Gray (STL - SP)

  • 7.2: Del Don — Chris Sale (ATL - SP)

  • 7.3: Psihogios — Jordan Montgomery (AZ - SP)

  • 7.4: Pianowski — Alec Bohm (PHI - 1B,3B)

  • 7.5: Martin — Bryan Reynolds (PIT - OF)

  • 7.6: Castillo — Camilo Doval (SF - RP)

  • 7.7: Short — Gleyber Torres (NYY - 2B)

  • 7.8: Zinkie — Salvador Pérez (KC - C,1B)

  • 7.9: Behrens — Josh Naylor (CLE - 1B)

  • 7.10: Samulski — Jhoan Duran (MIN - RP)

  • 7.11: Erickson — Taylor Ward (LAA - OF)

  • 7.12: Schwab — Tyler O'Neill (BOS - OF)

  • 7.13: Jenstad — Max Fried (ATL - SP)

Salvador Perez headshot
Salvador Perez
C - KC - #13
2024 - false season
175
AB
.343
AVG
9
HR
0
SB
.964
OPS

The St. Louis defense has fallen in recent years, but Gray still makes sense as a sneaky SP2 and a regular WHIP dominator. Is Pérez starting to assemble a Hall of Fame case? He's been amazing in Kansas City. Naylor might be the AL's most underrated hitter, and O'Neill is one of the few things that's gone right with the Boston offense this spring.

My Pick: Maybe I gave Bohm too much credit for his monster April, but he's always had star pedigree, he covers two positions and it's another path to the Philly lineup. And hey, my buddy and amateur Phillies scout Joe Dolan is a Bohm believer. I'm fine with the pick.

  • 8.1: Jenstad — Wyatt Langford (TEX - OF)

  • 8.2: Schwab — J.T. Realmuto (PHI - C)

  • 8.3: Erickson — Raisel Iglesias (ATL - RP)

  • 8.4: Samulski — Jared Jones (PIT - SP)

  • 8.5: Behrens — Ryan Helsley (STL - RP)

  • 8.6: Zinkie — Bailey Ober (MIN - SP)

  • 8.7: Short — Dansby Swanson (CHC - SS)

  • 8.8: Castillo — Kirby Yates (TEX - RP)

  • 8.9: Martin — Alex Bregman (HOU - 3B)

  • 8.10: Pianowski — Clay Holmes (NYY - RP)

  • 8.11: Psihogios — Tanner Bibee (CLE - SP)

  • 8.12: Del Don — Andrés Giménez (CLE - 2B)

  • 8.13: Lazarus — Jordan Romano (TOR - RP)

Jared Jones headshot
Jared Jones
SP - PIT - #37
2024 - false season
53
IP
2.89
ERA
0.91
WHIP
63
K
7
BB

Most of the room groaned when Samulski snagged Jones, one of April's hotshots. I wish I had listened more when Samulski promoted Jones this spring on our shared Rotoworld Fantasy Baseball Podcast. Yates quickly ascended to the Texas closing chair and went over a few name-brand stoppers here. Minnesota's staff is filled with underrated arms, Ober perhaps most symbolic of that.

My Pick: It's never fun to pick the closer for a team you don't like in real life; remember, I'm a New England kid from birth. But Holmes lasted longer than he should have.

  • 9.1: Lazarus — Jordan Westburg (BAL - 2B,3B)

  • 9.2: Del Don — David Bednar (PIT - RP)

  • 9.3: Psihogios — Riley Greene (DET - OF)

  • 9.4: Pianowski — Brice Turang (MIL - 2B,SS)

  • 9.5: Martin — Evan Carter (TEX - OF)

  • 9.6: Castillo — Steven Kwan (CLE - OF)

  • 9.7: Short — Zach Eflin (TB - SP)

  • 9.8: Zinkie — Bryson Stott (PHI - 2B)

  • 9.9: Behrens — Robert Suárez (SD - RP)

  • 9.10: Samulski — Yandy Díaz (TB - 1B,3B)

  • 9.11: Erickson — Jarren Duran (BOS - OF)

  • 9.12: Schwab — Christian Yelich (MIL - OF)

  • 9.13: Jenstad — Christopher Morel (CHC - 2B,3B,OF)

Evan Carter headshot
Evan Carter
LF - TEX - #32
2024 - false season
132
AB
.205
AVG
5
HR
2
SB
.687
OPS

Westberg is easy to overlook on that juggernaut Baltimore offense, but Lazarus makes the reasonable plunge here. I like Martin getting Carter at a discount; I can't unsee how unstoppable Carter looked at the end of 2023. Yelich's return date has yet to crystalize, but he was playing like a Round 2-3 player before his injury.

My Pick: Turang can steal a base anytime he wants, and even if the current average isn't real, he's capable of hitting for a plus average, and he'll mix in the occasional homer. I don't know if I jumped his price too much, but I was happy to land him.

  • 10.1: Jenstad — George Springer (TOR - OF)

  • 10.2: Schwab — Kutter Crawford (BOS - SP,RP)

  • 10.3: Erickson — Vinnie Pasquantino (KC - 1B)

  • 10.4: Samulski — Andrés Muñoz (SEA - RP)

  • 10.5: Behrens — Justin Steele (CHC - SP)

  • 10.6: Zinkie — Alexis Díaz (CIN - RP)

  • 10.7: Short — Ryan Pepiot (TB - SP,RP)

  • 10.8: Castillo — Michael Busch (CHC - 1B,3B)

  • 10.9: Martin — Ian Happ (CHC - OF)

  • 10.10: Pianowski — José Berríos (TOR - SP)

  • 10.11: Psihogios — Nathan Eovaldi (TEX - SP)

  • 10.12: Del Don — Kenley Jansen (BOS - RP)

  • 10.13: Lazarus — José Alvarado (PHI - RP)

Kutter Crawford headshot
Kutter Crawford
SP - BOS - #50
2024 - false season
58
IP
2.17
ERA
1.14
WHIP
57
K
18
BB

I love a boring value vet, so I nodded in appreciation when Jenstad scooped Springer at a bargain price. It can be difficult to know what to do with early pitching risers, but Crawford's 2024 breakout is also supported by what he did in the second half of 2023.

My Pick: The Crawford pick broke my heart. Berrios is all boring-value vet these days, and I'm asking him to slot higher than the ideal.

  • 11.1: Lazarus — Colton Cowser (BAL - OF)

  • 11.2: Del Don — Willson Contreras (STL - C)

  • 11.3: Psihogios — Brandon Pfaadt (AZ - SP)

  • 11.4: Pianowski — Jason Foley (DET - RP)

  • 11.5: Martin — Nolan Arenado (STL - 3B)

  • 11.6: Castillo — Travis d'Arnaud (ATL - C)

  • 11.7: Short — James McArthur (KC - RP)

  • 11.8: Zinkie — Isaac Paredes (TB - 1B,2B,3B)

  • 11.9: Behrens — Maikel Garcia (KC - 3B,SS)

  • 11.10: Samulski — Kyle Bradish (BAL - SP)

  • 11.11: Erickson — Reynaldo López (ATL - SP,RP)

  • 11.12: Schwab — Nick Castellanos (PHI - OF)

  • 11.13: Jenstad — Justin Verlander (HOU - SP)

I wanted to FOMO-fill some Baltimore hitters into my lineup, but Lazarus kept blocking me. At least Cowser is on some of my other teams. There are no sure things left with starting pitching, so Verlander at the end of Round 11 makes sense. D'Arnaud has hit like a monster for a few weeks, but what will his role be when Murphy returns?

Jason Foley headshot
Jason Foley
RP - DET - #68
2024 - false season
18.1
IP
10
SV
2.45
ERA
16
K
7
BB

My Pick: Foley hasn't been as sharp in the last couple of weeks, but he seems locked in as the closer for a team likely to finish over .500. Fine with me. I maintained a side list with all the closers and my current ranks of them, which was useful during the draft.

  • 12.1: Jenstad — Yainer Díaz (HOU - C,1B)

  • 12.2: Schwab — Jackson Chourio (MIL - OF)

  • 12.3: Erickson — Edouard Julien (MIN - 2B)

  • 12.4: Samulski — Cedric Mullins (BAL - OF)

  • 12.5: Behrens — Daulton Varsho (TOR - OF)

  • 12.6: Zinkie — Willy Adames (MIL - SS)

  • 12.7: Short — Ryan Mountcastle (BAL - 1B)

  • 12.8: Castillo — Rhys Hoskins (MIL - 1B)

  • 12.9: Martin — Walker Buehler (LAD - SP)

  • 12.10: Pianowski — Max Scherzer (TEX - SP)

  • 12.11: Psihogios — Tanner Scott (MIA - RP)

  • 12.12: Del Don — Nick Lodolo (CIN - SP)

  • 12.13: Lazarus — Jeremy Peña (HOU - SS)

Nick Lodolo headshot
Nick Lodolo
IL15
SP - CIN - #40
2024 - false season
35
IP
3.34
ERA
0.94
WHIP
43
K
9
BB

What's a star pitcher worth, coming back from a major injury? Talk about a wide range of outcomes. It was interesting to see Buehler and Scherzer land back-to-back. Del Don's pick of Lodolo gained some buzz after an 11-strikeout gem Monday at San Diego.

My Pick: Given how I didn't land the ideal top of a pitching staff, I need some upside dart throws. Scherzer has no floor, but he can still be a set-and-forget option if things click.

  • 13.1: Lazarus — Starling Marte (NYM - OF)

  • 13.2: Del Don — Nick Pivetta (BOS - SP,RP)

  • 13.3: Psihogios — JoJo Romero (STL - RP)

  • 13.4: Pianowski — Brenton Doyle (COL - OF)

  • 13.5: Martin — Yu Darvish (SD - SP)

  • 13.6: Castillo — Reid Detmers (LAA - SP)

  • 13.7: Short — Kodai Senga (NYM - SP)

  • 13.8: Zinkie — Max Muncy (LAD - 3B)

  • 13.9: Behrens — Michael King (SD - SP,RP)

  • 13.10: Samulski — Ezequiel Tovar (COL - SS)

  • 13.11: Erickson — Bryce Miller (SEA - SP)

  • 13.12: Schwab — Carlos Estévez (LAA - RP)

  • 13.13: Jenstad — Luis Robert Jr. (CWS - OF)

Carlos Estévez headshot
Carlos Estévez
RP - LAA - #53
2024 - false season
16
IP
7
SV
5.06
ERA
17
K
3
BB

Estévez has a closer gig to himself and has been excellent all month. Nice value the deep into the draft. Erickson scoops up another coveted member of that safe Seattle rotation.

My Pick: Colorado's offense is mostly a wasteland, but Doyle could easily be a 3-4 category contributor.

  • 14.1: Jenstad — Tanner Houck (BOS - SP)

  • 14.2: Schwab — Spencer Torkelson (DET - 1B)

  • 14.3: Erickson — Ryan McMahon (COL - 2B,3B)

  • 14.4: Samulski — Anthony Santander (BAL - 1B,OF)

  • 14.5: Behrens — Jung Hoo Lee (SF - OF)

  • 14.6: Zinkie — Lourdes Gurriel Jr. (AZ - OF)

  • 14.7: Short — J.D. Martinez (NYM - OF)

  • 14.8: Castillo — Justin Turner (TOR - 1B,2B,3B)

  • 14.9: Martin — Charlie Morton (ATL - SP)

  • 14.10: Pianowski — Kyle Finnegan (WSH - RP)

  • 14.11: Psihogios — Jonah Heim (TEX - C)

  • 14.12: Del Don — Blake Snell (SF - SP)

  • 14.13: Lazarus — Yusei Kikuchi (TOR - SP)

The Houck pick induced some groans, as he was targeted by much of the room. Professional hitters like Gurriel and Turner were often underrated in March draft season, but not here.

My Pick: Finnegan gets no respect, though he'll probably be shopped aggressively midseason and he might not close for a new team. Washington looks like a plucky .500 team to me, more fantasy fun than initially thought.

  • 15.1: Lazarus — Anthony Rizzo (NYY - 1B)

  • 15.2: Del Don — Matt Chapman (SF - 3B)

  • 15.3: Psihogios — Kyle Harrison (SF - SP)

  • 15.4: Pianowski — Jack Flaherty (DET - SP)

  • 15.5: Martin — Bobby Miller (LAD - SP)

  • 15.6: Castillo — Jonathan India (CIN - 2B)

  • 15.7: Short — Paul Skenes (PIT - SP)

  • 15.8: Zinkie — Gerrit Cole (NYY - SP)

  • 15.9: Behrens — Brayan Bello (BOS - SP)

  • 15.10: Samulski — MacKenzie Gore (WSH - SP)

  • 15.11: Erickson — Christian Encarnacion-Strand (CIN - 1B)

  • 15.12: Schwab — Brady Singer (KC - SP)

  • 15.13: Jenstad — Carlos Rodón (NYY - SP)

The Skenes Watch is on! His Triple-A stats are too good to be true. Given that Bello is currently on the IL, I feel like he would have lasted a few more rounds.

Jack Flaherty headshot
Jack Flaherty
SP - DET - #9
2024 - false season
54.2
IP
3.79
ERA
1.06
WHIP
72
K
8
BB

My Pick: Flaherty looked great all spring and very good in his first few turns. He was submarined by his defense at Minnesota, though, and that might be a recurring theme during the summer.

  • 16.1: Jenstad — Craig Kimbrel (BAL - RP)

  • 16.2: Schwab — Jake Cronenworth (SD - 1B,2B)

  • 16.3: Erickson — Jordan Hicks (SF - SP,RP)

  • 16.4: Samulski — Ke'Bryan Hayes (PIT - 3B)

  • 16.5: Behrens — Cody Bellinger (CHC - 1B,OF)

  • 16.6: Zinkie — James Outman (LAD - OF)

  • 16.7: Short — Casey Mize (DET - SP)

  • 16.8: Castillo — Nestor Cortes (NYY - SP)

  • 16.9: Martin — Eloy Jiménez (CWS - OF)

  • 16.10: Pianowski — Brandon Nimmo (NYM - OF)

  • 16.11: Psihogios — Nolan Jones (COL - 1B,OF)

  • 16.12: Del Don — Ceddanne Rafaela (BOS - SS,OF)

  • 16.13: Lazarus — Nathaniel Lowe (TEX - 1B)

Jordan Hicks headshot
Jordan Hicks
SP - SF - #12
2024 - false season
53
IP
2.38
ERA
1.11
WHIP
40
K
17
BB

Is Hicks going to be one of those rare relief-to-rotation wins? At least the San Francisco park is there to help smooth things over. Perhaps the seven-RBI game last week (with a homer and steal) will get Rafaela going; the Red Sox already extended him, so his job is secure.

My Pick: Nimmo has been underrated most of his career, and after two full seasons, I've stopped sweating his durability. I wish my roster had a little more position flexibility to it, but there's still time to fix that.

  • 17.1: Lazarus — Jorge Soler (SF - OF)

  • 17.2: Del Don — Cristopher Sánchez (PHI - SP)

  • 17.3: Psihogios — Luis Arráez (MIA - 1B,2B)

  • 17.4: Pianowski — Luis Rengifo (LAA - 2B,3B,SS,OF)

  • 17.5: Martin — Nolan Gorman (STL - 2B,3B)

  • 17.6: Castillo — Jackson Merrill (SD - SS,OF)

  • 17.7: Short — Jake Burger (MIA - 1B,3B)

  • 17.8: Zinkie — Thairo Estrada (SF - 2B,SS)

  • 17.9: Behrens — Kevin Ginkel (AZ - RP)

  • 17.10: Samulski — Seiya Suzuki (CHC - OF)

  • 17.11: Erickson — Ryan Jeffers (MIN - C)

  • 17.12: Schwab — Héctor Neris (CHC - RP)

  • 17.13: Jenstad — Carlos Correa (MIN - SS)

Carlos Correa headshot
Carlos Correa
SS - MIN - #4
2024 - false season
108
AB
.269
AVG
3
HR
0
SB
.800
OPS

A lot of the hitters here carry multiple positions, a key factor as we have no cap on games played and we set daily lineups. Everyone has a player we wouldn't draft on a bet; Correa is that guy for me.

My Pick: Rengifo quickly worked into Ron Washington's Circle of Trust and he can play almost anywhere.

  • 18.1: Jenstad — Garrett Crochet (CWS - SP,RP)

  • 18.2: Schwab — Royce Lewis (MIN - 3B)

  • 18.3: Erickson — Brandon Marsh (PHI - OF)

  • 18.4: Samulski — Aaron Civale (TB - SP)

  • 18.5: Behrens — Vaughn Grissom (BOS - SS)

  • 18.6: Zinkie — Paul Sewald (AZ - RP)

  • 18.7: Short — Alex Verdugo (NYY - OF)

  • 18.8: Castillo — A.J. Minter (ATL - RP)

  • 18.9: Martin — Joel Payamps (MIL - RP)

  • 18.10: Pianowski — Amed Rosario (TB - 2B,SS,OF)

  • 18.11: Psihogios — Jorge Polanco (SEA - 2B,3B)

  • 18.12: Del Don — Byron Buxton (MIN - OF)

  • 18.13: Lazarus — Kerry Carpenter (DET - OF)

A.J. Minter headshot
A.J. Minter
RP - ATL - #33
2024 - false season
19.1
IP
1
SV
3.26
ERA
21
K
5
BB

A few IL stash-and-wait picks hit the board, and Minter is one of those fascinating middle-relief heroes, tied to high-leverage work and a winning team.

My Pick: Rosario is another position-grab with more broad appeal than specific category juice. This also means I need to grind Tampa Bay's daily lineup, which is a pain in the neck.

  • 19.1: Lazarus — Triston McKenzie (CLE - SP)

  • 19.2: Del Don — Giancarlo Stanton (NYY - OF)

  • 19.3: Psihogios — Jake Fraley (CIN - OF)

  • 19.4: Pianowski — Jo Adell (LAA - OF)

  • 19.5: Martin — Michael Kopech (CWS - SP,RP)

  • 19.6: Castillo — José Caballero (TB - 2B,SS)

  • 19.7: Short — Jason Adam (TB - RP)

  • 19.8: Zinkie — Masataka Yoshida (BOS - OF)

  • 19.9: Behrens — Joe Musgrove (SD - SP)

  • 19.10: Samulski — Lars Nootbaar (STL - OF)

  • 19.11: Erickson — Seth Lugo (KC - SP)

  • 19.12: Schwab — Trevor Megill (MIL - RP)

  • 19.13: Jenstad — Brandon Drury (LAA - 1B,2B)

Nobody expects anything close to a full season from Stanton, but in Round 19, why not? Adam probably will be the Tampa Bay bullpen chairman for a while. Nootbaar was a nifty value grab this late.

Jo Adell headshot
Jo Adell
RF - LAA - #7
2024 - false season
120
AB
.242
AVG
9
HR
8
SB
.828
OPS

My Pick: Adell looks like the classic Post-Hype sleeper. I like what he's shown so far (power, speed, good batting slot), and he's still just 25.

  • 20.1: Jenstad — Sal Frelick (MIL - OF)

  • 20.2: Schwab — Keaton Winn (SF - SP)

  • 20.3: Erickson — Reed Garrett (NYM - RP)

  • 20.4: Samulski — Reese Olson (DET - SP)

  • 20.5: Behrens — Jon Gray (TEX - SP)

  • 20.6: Zinkie — Nelson Velázquez (KC - OF)

  • 20.7: Short — Josh Lowe (TB - OF)

  • 20.8: Castillo — Adam Ottavino (NYM - RP)

  • 20.9: Martin — Jackson Holliday (BAL - 2B,SS)

  • 20.10: Pianowski — Joey Loperfido (HOU - OF)

  • 20.11: Psihogios — Mark Canha (DET - 1B,OF)

  • 20.12: Del Don — Esteury Ruiz (OAK - OF)

  • 20.13: Lazarus — Nick Senzel (WSH - 3B,OF)

Winn's early returns look legit to me and, again, you can't beat that San Francisco backdrop. Canha needs some day-to-day roster attention, but he usually bats second for the Tigers and is still a plus offensive player. Garrett's start to the year is too good to be true, but the only fear I have with him is potential injury. The stuff looks electric.

Reed Garrett headshot
Reed Garrett
RP - NYM - #75
2024 - false season
25
IP
2
SV
0.72
ERA
41
K
11
BB

My Pick: I had no idea when to take Garrett, who is on almost all of my other teams. Okay, you can't draft everyone. Loperfido crushed in Triple-A all spring and the Astros likely will give him a chance to take a job and run with it. There's pop here, and sneaky speed, too.

  • 21.1: Lazarus — Erick Fedde (CWS - SP)

  • 21.2: Del Don — Max Kepler (MIN - OF)

  • 21.3: Psihogios — Chris Bassitt (TOR - SP)

  • 21.4: Pianowski — Hunter Harvey (WSH - RP)

  • 21.5: Martin — Orlando Arcia (ATL - SS)

  • 21.6: Castillo — Ryan O'Hearn (BAL - 1B,OF)

  • 21.7: Short — Luis Severino (NYM - SP)

  • 21.8: Zinkie — Bryan Woo (SEA - SP)

  • 21.9: Behrens — Brent Rooker (OAK - OF)

  • 21.10: Samulski — Zach Neto (LAA - SS)

  • 21.11: Erickson — Jacob Young (WSH - OF)

  • 21.12: Schwab — Oswaldo Cabrera (NYY - 2B,3B,SS,OF)

  • 21.13: Jenstad — Alex Kirilloff (MIN - 1B,OF)

Fedde appears to have reinvented himself in a season abroad, and even tied to that lousy White Sox roster, he makes sense. here. Neto is better than what he's shown of late and is occasionally getting looks in the No. 2 slot.

Hunter Harvey headshot
Hunter Harvey
RP - WAS - #73
2024 - false season
22.2
IP
0
SV
2.38
ERA
26
K
6
BB

My Pick: I rostered Harvey strictly as a ratio smoother and a K/BB dominator, though I suspect he also makes sense tied to my Finnegan pick. Generally, I am not an "insure your bets" fantasy player; I think it ignores getting upside on different teams. But both of these picks made sense individually, and as I said earlier, I think Washington is a little better than initially projected.

  • 22.1: Jenstad — Mitch Haniger (SEA - OF)

  • 22.2: Schwab — Yennier Canó (BAL - RP)

  • 22.3: Erickson — Tyler Freeman (CLE - 2B,3B,SS,OF)

  • 22.4: Samulski — Wilyer Abreu (BOS - OF)

  • 22.5: Behrens — Junior Caminero (TB - 3B)

  • 22.6: Zinkie — Tommy Pham (CWS - OF)

  • 22.7: Short — Harrison Bader (NYM - OF)

  • 22.8: Castillo — Edward Cabrera (MIA - SP)

  • 22.9: Martin — Sean Manaea (NYM - SP,RP)

  • 22.10: Pianowski — Mike Tauchman (CHC - OF)

  • 22.11: Psihogios — Mitch Keller (PIT - SP)

  • 22.12: Del Don — Clarke Schmidt (NYY - SP)

  • 22.13: Lazarus — Lane Thomas (WSH - OF)

I'm never surprised when Short picks up a sneaky value, especially if it's someone on his beloved Mets. Bader qualifies. None of these pitchers offer a realistic floor, but that's life in Round 22 when it's a competitive draft. Pitching runs out quickly.

Mike Tauchman headshot
Mike Tauchman
RF - CHC - #40
2024 - false season
149
AB
.262
AVG
4
HR
3
SB
.789
OPS

My Pick: I don't know how long Tauchman will carry relevance, but he's an OBP and run machine locked into Chicago's No. 2 slot. An underrated professional hitter.

  • 23.1: Lazarus — Jesús Luzardo (MIA - SP)

  • 23.2: Del Don — Jose Siri (TB - OF)

  • 23.3: Psihogios — Jordan Walker (STL - OF)

  • 23.4: Pianowski — Zack Littell (TB - SP,RP)

  • 23.5: Martin — Lance Lynn (STL - SP)

  • 23.6: Castillo — Logan O'Hoppe (LAA - C)

  • 23.7: Short — Jeimer Candelario (CIN - 1B,3B)

  • 23.8: Zinkie — Bryan De La Cruz (MIA - OF)

  • 23.9: Behrens — Brendan Donovan (STL - 1B,2B,OF)

  • 23.10: Samulski — Pete Fairbanks (TB - RP)

  • 23.11: Erickson — Cristian Javier (HOU - SP)

  • 23.12: Schwab — Spencer Turnbull (PHI - SP)

  • 23.13: Jenstad — John Means (BAL - SP)

I wasn't going to play the wait-and-see game with Walker, but there's no denying the talent, and you would think his demotion will be temporary. If Means can stay healthy, he'll love Baltimore's roomy left field (I always felt like the dimension change was done with him in mind) and the support of that loaded offense.

My Pick: Tampa Bay's rotation always has some under-appreciated assets; Little checks that box.

  • 24.1: Jenstad — Ty France (SEA - 1B)

  • 24.2: Schwab — Zack Gelof (OAK - 2B)

  • 24.3: Erickson — Dane Dunning (TEX - SP,RP)

  • 24.4: Samulski — Cal Raleigh (SEA - C)

  • 24.5: Behrens — Andrew Vaughn (CWS - 1B)

  • 24.6: Zinkie — Marcus Stroman (NYY - SP)

  • 24.7: Short — Jameson Taillon (CHC - SP)

  • 24.8: Castillo — Griffin Jax (MIN - RP)

  • 24.9: Martin — Andrew Heaney (TEX - SP,RP)

  • 24.10: Pianowski — Luis Campusano (SD - C)

  • 24.11: Psihogios — Jarred Kelenic (ATL - OF)

  • 24.12: Del Don — Michael Conforto (SF - OF)

  • 24.13: Lazarus — Josh Rojas (SEA - 2B,3B)

Conforto and Haniger feel like the same guy to me, a pro hitter tied to an injury-laden past and a big park. Conforto was two rounds cheaper, of course. Stroman is never going to be a star but he's good enough to approach set-and-forget status in this deep a league.

My Pick: I don't prioritize catchers in leagues that require just one, but Campy is going to hit for a plus average in San Diego.

  • 25.1: Lazarus — Gavin Stone (LAD - SP)

  • 25.2: Del Don — Taj Bradley (TB - SP)

  • 25.3: Psihogios — Gabriel Moreno (AZ - C)

  • 25.4: Pianowski — Dean Kremer (BAL - SP)

  • 25.5: Martin — Jordan Beck (COL - OF)

  • 25.6: Castillo — Javier Assad (CHC - SP,RP)

  • 25.7: Short — Will Benson (CIN - OF)

  • 25.8: Zinkie — Bryan Abreu (HOU - RP)

  • 25.9: Behrens — Jeff Hoffman (PHI - RP)

  • 25.10: Samulski — Andy Pages (LAD - OF)

  • 25.11: Erickson — Triston Casas (BOS - 1B)

  • 25.12: Schwab — Jurickson Profar (SD - OF)

  • 25.13: Jenstad — Yimi García (TOR - RP)

Pages has been cautiously added in Yahoo leagues despite a decent profile and a spot in the loaded LAD lineup. Good value grab. Bradley has no floor but his strikeout upside is exciting.

My Pick: Kremer links to the loaded Baltimore offense, and although he's not a strikeout ace, he did whiff 10 in his last start. He's unlikely to be great, but all I'm asking for is serviceable.

  • 26.1: Jenstad — Eugenio Suárez (AZ - 3B)

  • 26.2: Schwab — Blaze Alexander (AZ - 2B,SS)

  • 26.3: Erickson — MJ Melendez (KC - C,OF)

  • 26.4: Samulski — Luis Gil (NYY - SP)

  • 26.5: Behrens — Connor Wong (BOS - C)

  • 26.6: Zinkie — David Robertson (TEX - RP)

  • 26.7: Short — Tobias Myers (MIL - SP)

  • 26.8: Castillo — Davis Schneider (TOR - 2B,OF)

  • 26.9: Martin — Landon Knack (LAD - SP)

  • 26.10: Pianowski — Andrew Abbott (CIN - SP)

  • 26.11: Psihogios — Carlos Santana (MIN - 1B)

  • 26.12: Del Don — Hunter Brown (HOU - SP)

  • 26.13: Lazarus — Chas McCormick (HOU - OF)

Erickson opts for a second catcher and someone who also covers a field position, which will help towards volume accumulation.

My Pick: I needed a pitcher with some plausible upside, and Abbott checks that box. The home park is scary, the division less so.

— I wish I had gone with a middle-of-round pick, so I wasn't flattened by the pitching run that happened in Rounds 3-4.

— With most slumping stars, someone (often Del Don) was willing to draft them semi-optimistically.

— Closer feels quasi-deep in a league of 13 managers or less; you feel a lot more pinch when it hits 15 managers and up.

— Everyone has a varying degree of confidence and comfort when it comes to managing expectations with IL players. We only have two IL spots though, so I suspect the managers in this room will be facing difficult decisions quickly. And that's always a feature in my mind, never a bug.

— I so often go into these drafts wanting to be a little more strategy-fixated and often lose that focus because it's just a blast to hang out and kid around with so many good friends. I don't love or hate my team, though I know I could have drafted a little better. But two hours with great friends? Always worth it.

The Yahoo Friends & Family League is one of the oldest industry expert leagues in the fantasy baseball space. The esteemed OG Brandon Funston started the league back in 2005. Here are the league champions, year by year. Sometimes the friends win, sometimes the family wins.

  • 2005: Brandon Funston

  • 2006: Chris Liss

  • 2007: Andy Behrens

  • 2008 Scott Pianowski

  • 2009: Chris Liss

  • 2010: Scott Pianowski

  • 2011: Jeff Erickson

  • 2012: Andy Behrens

  • 2013: D.J. Short (Streamed a no-hitter on the final day! Baller move.)

  • 2014: Scott Pianowski

  • 2015: D.J. Short

  • 2016: Ryan Boyer

  • 2017: Dalton Del Don

  • 2018: Scott Jenstad

  • 2019: Michael Lazarus

  • 2020: Scott Pianowski

  • 2021: Dalton Del Don

  • 2022: Ryan Boyer

  • 2023: Scott Jenstad