Winning a 50-round draft-and-hold requires that a number of things work out in your favor. Your players have to stay healthy. You have to draft sufficient depth at every position in order to maintain an active lineup all season. You have to diligently set your rosters every scoring period. And more than any other format, you have to draft well from the first round through the last round. 750 players is a deep player pool. You have to have some knowledge of who your late-round targets will be and you need a strategy for approaching those rounds.
On February 1, 2023, I appeared on the Draft Champions Podcast with Zack Waxman, The Shrimp Boat Captain, and the 2022 Draft Champions overall contest winner, Steve Maier. We conducted a truncated draft exclusively of players taken in the NFBC average draft position (ADP) of 400 and later. Take a minute to look at each roster and understand how players taken that late can play a big role in your team's success. Each team has a number of major hits:
Steve's team hit big on J.D. Davis, James Outman, and Hunter Harvey. By season's end, Campusano was in lineups regularly in most faab leagues. Will Brennan was useful on and off all season.
My team hit big on Candelario, J.P. Crawford, Jesus Sanchez, and Michael Wacha. McGuire was a helpful batting average filler. Vierling was helpful on and off all season. Straw's 20 SB would have been helpful in occasional weeks.
The Captain only drafted one catcher, but hit a bullseye with Gary Sanchez. Wade, Suwinski, and Kikuchi were all hits. Bae was useful for roughly half of the season.
Zack hit big on Steer, Bobby Miller, and Michael Lorenzen. Valdez, Turang, Julks, and Harrison were all helpful at various points of the season.
It's worth taking a minute to look at the players identified above as late-round "hits" and to think about why they were successful picks. It is commonly believed that prospects are the best way to profit in the late rounds of a draft-and-hold. It is true that prospects can yield big profit, but Zack's Bobby Miller pick is really the only pick that stands out in that way in any meaningful sense. Most of the big "hits" were veterans and journeyman types who finally got an opportunity for regular playing time or who were drafted for one reason or another and produced in an unexpected way. Here is my quick assessment of each "hit" draft pick:
So, as draft season ramps up this winter, think about the profiles that hit in our post-400 ADP draft, make a list of targets for those late rounds, and go get them.
Who won our post-400 draft? I did.
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