I attempted to make lemonade out of my lemons this season and build for 2011. I made some deadline deals in my 12-team, N.L.-only (6X6 with D=T and holds) to salvage what appeared to be a very weak keeper list for next year.Someone fretting over his 2011 freezes in early September? Awesome!
With that said, I'm trying to get a handle on potential keepers for next season. Usually, I'm pretty good with this, but my list is driving me crazy. Is this an OK list of keepers, or is it terrible? Tommy Hanson, $12, Edinson Volquez, $1, Jordan Zimmerman, $1, Jhoulys Chacin, $3, James McDonald, $3, Yunesky Maya, $3, Evan Meek, $3, Luke Gregerson, $5, Gaby Sanchez, $5, Neil Walker, $3, Ian Desmond, $3, Nyjer Morgan, $10, Roger Bernadina, $3, Brandon Allen $2, Nick Hundley, $7, Cameron Maybin, $12, Jordan Lyles, $1.
As excited as I am by RL's question, it is too early to accurately answer it. The biggest disadvantage of dumping is that a team that looks great in September can look average the following March...or vice versa. Guessing what Yunesky Maya's role is going to be in 2011 is an exercise in soothsaying, and not any kind of solid advice.
The simplest advice I can give is to look at what the players have earned this year as a jumping off point to see what they might earn next year.
On offense that gives you Ian Desmond ($20, +17), Gaby Sanchez ($21, +16), Neil Walker ($16, +13), Roger Bernadina ($15, +12) and Nyjer Morgan ($17, +7). On the pitching side, you have Evan Meek ($13, +10), Jhoulys Chacin ($12, +9), Luke Gregorson ($13, +8), Tommy Hanson ($17, +5).
Everyone else kind of has to go in to the unknown/uncertain/need more data bucket. However, those nine players give you $134 in value for $47 in salary. If your league has a 20% inflation rate, you would buy a $311 team if you simply bid inflation par. This would give you a good team. How good your team would be would depend on how deep the other freeze lists were, what the inflation actually is, and how much these values hold from this year to next year.
The last part of this equation is obviously the most important. One reason I like using players like Sanchez and Desmond rather than Maybin and Zimmerman to establish early baselines is that the former pair have already provided a performance baseline while the latter have not. As you get closer to Opening Day, you will want to tweak your values (and, if you're like me, you'll tweak them endlessly), but it is easier to rely on a baseline if your player has at least one of your of Major League experience under his belt.
Keep in mind that I'm using 5x5 values here. As I've noted before, in 6x6 there's a drop-off in the average hitter value and an increase in the average pitcher value...and the best hitter and pitcher values tend to get flattened. But hopefully this is a good jumping off point for RL.