RIP Mancies. We finished in 7th place, narrowly missing out on the playoffs.
In the end, we just weren't a great team down the stretch; I lost 6 of my final 7 matchups. The chance was there, and we couldn't capitalize. And I have to admit that I'm a little butthurt about it, because the #6 guy is roaring through the playoffs and has made it to the Finals:
But hey. Tom Hanks tells me there's no crying in baseball, fantasy or otherwise.
So let's review. What went wrong?
I had a great draft plan based on the availability of M names at certain positions, which I practiced across half a dozen mock drafts. But it just didn't turn out the way I'd hoped.
- There were 6 players with M names in the Top 20: Trout, Betts, Machado, Cabrera, Scherzer, and Bumgarner. In all of my mock drafts I was able to get 2 of the 6 (usually Machado and a pitcher), but in the actual draft Bumgarner and Scherzer were taken in the two picks before mine. This left me with an ENORMOUS gap, requiring me to draft Tanaka with my second pick.
- Marcel Ozuna was averaging as a 10th round pick. My plan was to reach for him in the 8th. Someone else super-reached for him in the 6th, and he ended up having an MVP caliber year.
- Mike Moustakas was another player I was targeting, but who got scooped up by another player much earlier than his draft position led me to anticipate. He also went on to have an MVP caliber year.
I made some mistakes.
- I had my eye on Marwin Gonzalez as a waiting-in-the-wings super utility player. He plays every position, and he's never been any good, so I suspected he would always be available on the waiver wire in case I suffered an injury. Nope: he has a monster first week of the season and is scooped up by someone else.
- Closers was my big weak spot all year. I drafted Mark Melancon and Matt Bush, with the assumption that the latter would win his closer's role. He did, but only for a time, and I mismanaged my waiver wire and lost him. It ended up not mattering because he only collected 10 saves all season, and Melancon only collected 11. Tough to win when you're unintentionally punting on a category.
- I made a big trade mid-season: Matt Kemp and Michael Fulmer for Mookie Betts. Mookie then posted a .695 OPS in July, and .658 in August. He bounced back in September, but by then it was too late.
- Another difficult part of this year: trades were rare. Most of the fantasy owners completely ignored all trade requests, which makes it tough to juggle an M-name only team.
Yeah, it's shitty to blame failure on injuries, but it's especially damaging to a gimmick team with very little depth. Especially late in the season.
- Michael Conforto: season-ending injury on August 24.
- Mitch Haniger: missed 6 weeks from April 25 to June 11, and another 2 weeks in August.
- Matt Holliday: missed all of August.
- Miguel Sano: my team MVP went down on August 19 and hasn't been back since.
- Michael Brantley: missed 2 weeks in June, and then a season-ending injury on August 8.
- Matt Shoemaker: season-ending injury on June 14.
- Matt Harvey: missed most of June, all of July, and all of August.
- Michael Pineda: season-ending injury on July 5.
- Matt Andriese: missed all of June, July, and August.
- Michael A. Taylor: missed 6 weeks in July/August.
Those are just the big injuries that affected me in August; I went 1-9, 4-6, 2-8, and 2-8 that month. Needing to scrape the bottom of the barrel for roster spots certainly didn't help. The pitching injuries were especially debilitating; I was using a quantity-over-quality strategy for starting pitching, and the losses to Shoemaker/Harvey/Pineda/Andriese made this strategy impossible.
But hey, them's the breaks when you run a gimmick fantasy baseball team. Overall, I'm pleased with how the Mancies did. We were solid, always in the hunt and hovering around a playoff spot until the very end. It was fun, even when it wasn't, and that's all you can really ask for.
Thanks for keeping up with the team all year! I'll absolutely be back again next season with a new smile and a new gimmick, hopefully competing a little more, well, competitively.