NFBC: Replacing a Superstar
In the NFBC Main Event, one of the ridiculously challenging things to do is replacing the production of a superstar who’s injured. Remember, these are 15-team leagues with 30-man rosters. The pickings on the waiver wire are quite thin.
Unfortunately, this is exactly the unwanted predicament that many are in after first-round pick Jacoby Ellsbury separated his shoulder. He’ll be out anywhere between six-to-eight weeks by most estimates.
In attempting to achieve my targets on draft day, Ellsbury had been penciled in for somewhere in the neighborhood of 18 home runs and 45 stolen bases. Oh, and doing so with a plus average, top-notch run totals and solid RBI numbers to boot.
There are very few players in the entire league capable of putting up those kinds of numbers, let alone available as free agents. This obviously won’t be a simple fix.
The easiest path to hitting all of your offensive targets in the NFBC is to maximize your at-bats. The issue is that there aren’t any outfielders receiving full time at-bats available as free agents. The solution? Utilizing platoon players.
Currently, the sixth outfielder on my roster is Seth Smith. He’s playing nearly every day against right handed pitching and hitting in the middle of the Oakland lineup. While not even close to the level of Ellsbury, he does provide some pop and a bit of speed. If deployed properly, he can be an asset to my team.
As a free agent this week, I landed Andy Dirks who’s in a very similar situation to Smith. He’s in the Tigers lineup as either the left fielder or designated hitter against most right handed pitchers. He’s hitting towards the bottom of the lineup, but at least it’s a powerful lineup that should provide him with some RBI opportunities even hitting seventh or eighth. He also has an underrated bit of power and speed.
With the NFBC allowing midweek lineup changes for hitters on Friday, I can utilize my Smith/Dirks platoon best by playing matchups. If one of them is scheduled to face two left handers in a three day period, they obviously sit. If when the lineups come out on Monday and one of them is getting a day off, the move is simply to swap in the other.
While their combined numbers aren’t going to blow you away, the belief is that they can do enough to keep me in the game until Ellsbury returns. If they can get five home runs and three steals with decent counting stats over the next six weeks, they’ll do just that.
Obviously, should an attractive full time outfielder become available, a large FAAB bid will need to be made to acquire his services. In the meantime, the plan is to utilize this pair of sweet swinging lefties in an effort to keep the boat from sinking.
Questions, insights or comments? Leave em’ here or find me on Twitter @DaveShovein