Glenn Colton and Rick Wolf’s Second Tout AL Win in Five Years

by Glenn Colton

It is always a challenge when you sit down at the fantasy baseball auction table with the best of the best. Of course, that is why we love Tout Wars. 2018 was very very good to team Colton & the Wolfman as we managed to take home our second AL title in 5 years. In 2018, Team Colton and the Wolfman made one change to the auction approach — rather than go value hunting in the middle and late rounds (i.e., bidding on anyone who is being priced below our predicted value), we had our list of mid-priced and low-priced guys we really liked and tried very hard to stay on track and get players from that list. Well, since we won both Tout Wars AL and Doubt Wars AL, I guess it worked (despite spending $30 on Gary Sanchez who hit well under the Mendoza line and $20 Robbie Cano who got suspended for half the season)

That we grabbed guys like Jose Ramirez and Andrew Benintendi is nice but hardly genius. The guys at the lower tiers we liked and grabbed were such “household” names as Kyle Gibson (3.62 ERA and 179K for $2); Matt Boyd (159K and a 1.16 WHIP for $1); Keona Kela (24 saves for $1); Marcos Gonzales (13 wins, 1.22 WHIP for $3). That was where the rubber met the road for us in 2018. You do your studying, you figure out who you like and you go get them! Of course, when you play against the best in the world, you also have to be lucky and this year, we were (when we traded Vlad, Jr. to Chris Liss for ERod only to have Vlad get hurt a short time later). I am sure Chris will forgive us for that (nah, he won’t).

Sadly, no review of 2018 would be complete without recognizing that we lost a very special member of the fantasy baseball community when Steve Moyer passed away unexpectedly in March. His skill, humor, and humanity will be sorely missed. That his good friend and fantasy baseball great Doug Dennis was the one to stand in for Steve and auction in his spot was appropriate, sad, touching and uplifting all at once. Doug showed composure, compassion and Moyer-like humor that day in March under very emotional circumstances which only left us even more impressed with Doug than we already were. Bravo to our friends both still with us and alive in our memory.

To end on a lighter note — as much as we admire Doug (and we do), we are still a little sore he bid $2 to steal Melky from us just because he knew it would get a roar. Of course Moyer would have loved the move!

Jake Ciely Wins Tout Wars Head to Head in 2018!

Jake Ciely has been one of the most energetic owners in Tout H2H, talking about the rules and format of the league. After a couple of years trying experimental hybrids of category based standings as well as points, Tout H2H went full points in 2018, and Jake soared.

All the talk after the March auction was about Justin Mason’s pitching heavy strategy, which turned out to be right, but wasn’t as well implemented as Jake’s was. With Monday and Friday roster resets, the game was obviously to load up on quality innings and have a decent offense.

Jake’s team did that better than any others. Which makes him the 2018 Tout Wars Champ. Well done.

Here are the final standings.

 

Doug Dennis’s First Tout AL Season

My story starts in early March when Steve Moyer died.  It made the entire 2018 season very strange/odd/bad for me.  The high point was probably drafting a Tout-AL team in his place and I wish I had done him more justice.  The projections after the draft (but before the season started (from both “Toybox” sources on the onroto.com website) projected me to come in first.  But I could hear Steve’s voice in my ear: “Oh no, Doug you did it all wrong!!  No one ever wins after being projected first!!” Probably true, too. I had very terrible pitching from Marcus Stroman, Mike Leake and from assorted relievers early on and I could never scramble it back into anything useful.  I won’t be as patient next time.  I did ok on offense at first, with the worst part there being Dee Gordon cratering and having to trade him at a discount and letting go of incremental SB points. It all led to me staggering around between seventh and ninth until the final week where I free-fell into a tie for tenth. Ugh. All around, a poor season, but I am hoping to be invited back in 2019 so I can get back on the horse—perhaps with a little less emotion this time.

 

Doug D.

Tout Wars 2018 End of Season Recaps

Here we collect the writings and multimedia of the Touts about their seasons, good or bad. If you see a piece that’s not linked here, please let us know.

Tout Mixed Auction: Jeff Zimmerman | Al Melchior Part 1 Part 2 | Zach Steinhorn |

Tout H2H: Clay Link

Tout Wars Mixed Draft: Rudy Gamble |

Tout Wars NL: Steve Gardner’s Post Auction Writeup (March 18, 2018) |

Tout Wars AL: Doug Dennis | Glenn Colton/Rick Wolf |

Clay Link’s Head to Head Season Recap

My second year in Tout Wars H2H was a big improvement on the first.

The move to a points-based scoring system (from categories), with every out recorded being worth a point, played into my strengths as a player. I’ve found that I am better at finding an edge on the pitching side, and in this format, I was rewarded greatly (more so than in standard 5×5 leagues) for my pitching finds. I finished second, and while it’s sometimes said that second place is “first loser,” I consider this a great accomplishment given the quality of the field.

I won six consecutive matchups to close out the season and felt like I really had the league down from a roster-construction standpoint late in the year. Unfortunately for me, by the time I had the pieces in place, it was too late to catch Jake Ciely. I emerged from the auction and reserve draft with a poorly constructed roster — four hitters on my bench. By the end of the season, I did not have a single hitter on my bench, and I think that’s the way you have to play this 12-team points format. With two lineup periods per week — Monday and Friday lineup submissions — it’s important to just have a slew of arms to rotate into your lineup to maximize points. I learned to treat the waiver wire as my bench for hitters, picking up hitters only when there was a need in my starting lineup.

 

My highest scorers:

    • Justin Verlander – 732 points
    • Aaron Nola – 665 points
    • Blake Snell – 639 points
    • Carlos Santana – 466.5 points
    • Xander Bogaerts – 461 points
    • Dallas Keuchel – 440 points
    • Jesus Aguilar – 439.5 points
    • Lorenzo Cain – 430 points
    • Stephen Piscotty – 423 points
    • George Springer – 420 points
    • Tyler Anderson – 387 points

Notable pickups:

  • Steven Matz ($1)
  • Tyler Skaggs ($61)
  • Tyler Glasnow ($0)
  • Hyun-Jin Ryu ($57)
  • Willy Adames ($0)

Interestingly, James Shields, who I streamed for only one week, would have ranked 12th on my team in points had I left him in for all of his starts (384 points), highlighting the importance of innings.

Busts: Willson Contreras ($11), Nomar Mazara ($11) — not a terrible year for Mazara in standard roto leagues, but he finished with fewer points than Kyle Seager in this format — Luke Weaver ($10), Dinelson Lamet ($5), Scott Kingery ($5).

–Clay

Steve Gardner Wins Tout Wars NL 2018!

In an up and down race, which saw 2017 champ Grey Albright take an early lead, lose it in May to eventual champ Steve Gardner, take it back again and open it up again through August, only to be pushed aside by Gardner in early September, and then be passed by Tristan Cockcroft, too. Whew.

Here are the final standings.

Gardner may have been challenged by three-time champ Cockcroft in the end, but he was able to hold on. And his victory was foretold by the draft day standings. He had the best auction in the league.

The closeness of the final standings may be because Gardner had a comfortable hand all season. he made no trades, and only one big FAAB pickup. That would be 707 samoleons for Eduardo Escobar, which helped, it may have made the difference, but wasn’t a difference maker.

Steve Gardner last won Tout Wars NL in 2011.

Colton and the Wolfman Win Tout Wars AL!

Colton and the Wolfman, with Stacie Stern

It wasn’t until the first week of June that Rick Wolf and Glenn Colton passed Seth Trachtman for the lead in Tout Wars AL, but once ahead they never looked back.

One week later they had a 17 point lead, by the end of June it was a 29 point lead, and they eventually won by 21.

Lawr Michaels, Seth Trachtman and Jeff Erickson round out the top four, but none threatened the famed radio duo the rest of the way.

Glenn and Rick won the AL title in 2014, too.

They didn’t win it on auction day. Here is the Draft Day Stadings for Tout Wars AL. (These are the stats the team’s opening day roster put up, as if they made no moves all season.)

It wasn’t trades that made the difference either. They made two, acquiring Eduardo Rodriguez in May and Melky Cabrera in June. So we have to look at their FA adds.

The big ones: Brad Hand, Jake Cave, Wily Peralta.

Big, but not huge. It is hard to see how this squad swung from 77.5 points to 100 in season. You can check out the standings and rosters here. I think we’re going to have hear from about how this title came about.

Tout Wars FAAB Report: Week of September 24

Welcome to the weekly Tout Wars FAAB report, on its new home right here on the Tout Wars site. Each week, we’ll review the free agent acquisitions from all five leagues, with commentary from a league member, as well as yours truly.

We changed the timing of the weekly run to 1 PM ET every Sunday, with the report posted later that afternoon so you’ll have time to digest and apply to your own leagues. In addition, I’ll be joining Lawr Michaels and Justin Mason on the Tout Wars Hour on the FNTSY Network every Sunday at 3:20 PM ET to discuss the results.

You can find the complete list of Tout Warriors here. Everyone starts with 1000 FAAB units, less any penalty incurred by finishing below a designated point in the standings. This is a means of keeping everyone motivated to keep playing all season long. The minimum bid is $0. FAAB units can be traded as well as rebated for players released off the DL. The report will list all winning bids along with unsuccessful tries and contingencies. This provides the maximum level of information to help gauge interest on the players.

The American and National League only formats are 12-team leagues, as is the new points-based head to head league, The Mixed Auction and Draft each have 15 clubs. All the leagues have four reserves with an unlimited DL, expect the head to head league, which allows six reserves. The headings above each league are links to publicly accessible sites where you can see standings, roster and a complete review of transactions. The initial auctions and drafts can be found here.

AMERICAN LEAGUE

SUCCESSFUL BIDS

PLAYER WINNING BID
AMeadows, TB Rick Wolf/Glenn Colton 29 Mike Podhorzer 8
MStraw, Hou Patrick Davitt 5
DCovey, CWS Mike Podhorzer 3
RTellez, Tor Rick Wolf/Glenn Colton 0

UNAWARDED BIDS

PLAYER
DStewart, Bal Rick Wolf/Glenn Colton 29
RHerrera, KC Rick Wolf/Glenn Colton 29
RLaMarre, CWS Rick Wolf/Glenn Colton 29
VReyes, Det Rick Wolf/Glenn Colton 29
WCalhoun, Tex Rick Wolf/Glenn Colton 29
HRondon, Hou Patrick Davitt 5
RBrasier, Bos Patrick Davitt 5
SRomo, TB Patrick Davitt 5

Todd’s Take

It was surprising that the Rays did not call up Meadows sooner, especially after he performed decently with the Pirates for a stretch earlier in the summer. He’s up now, and after a three-hit game Friday night, Meadows could get a few starts the last week of the season.

Aside from being fodder for “stirs the drink” or “broke the back” puns, Myles Straw is up to do one thing – steal bases as a pinch runner.

NATIONAL LEAGUE

SUCCESSFUL BIDS

PLAYER WINNING BID
AAltherr, Phi Phil Hertz 15 Tristan H. Cockcroft 0
MKoch, Ari Steve Gardner 1 Tristan H. Cockcroft 0
COswalt, NYM Tristan H. Cockcroft 0 Phil Hertz 5 Steve Gardner 1
EDiaz, Pit Tristan H. Cockcroft 0 Steve Gardner 0
POBrien, Mia Mike Gianella 0
AConley, Mia Tristan H. Cockcroft 0
PReyes, Pit Tristan H. Cockcroft 0

UNAWARDED BIDS

PLAYER
RRodriguez, Pit Phil Hertz 15 Tristan H. Cockcroft 0
CFerguson, LAD Phil Hertz 15
MAndriese, Ari Phil Hertz 5
GParra, Col Tristan H. Cockcroft 0
HPence, SF Tristan H. Cockcroft 0
JBrebbia, StL Tristan H. Cockcroft 0
KCrick, Pit Tristan H. Cockcroft 0

Todd’s Take

Much more was expected from Aaron Altherr, at minimum he was thought to be a solid contributor to the Phillies outfield, garnering a $9 bid in March from an unsuspecting owner (cough, cough). Well, he couldn’t even deliver in a platoon role and was sent to Triple-A. Altherr was recalled in September, seeing regular playing time with Nick Williams sidelined. He hasn’t played as much lately, but is still capable of a couple swipes the final week.

Tristan Cockcroft is doing all he can to catch Steve Gardner, who currently holds five point lead. Both combatants made bids, with Tristan aiming to maintain his overall lead in strikeouts while using solid relievers to capture some ratio points still in play.

MIXED LEAGUE AUCTION

SUCCESSFUL BIDS

PLAYER WINNING BID
JShields, CWS Scott Pianowski 55
WDifo, Was Fred Zinkie 23
TCahill, Oak Ron Shandler 8
ZDavies, Mil Fred Zinkie 4 Fred Zinkie 23 Ray Flowers 1
POBrien, Mia Ray Flowers 2 Jeff Zimmerman 0
TButtrey, LAA Jeff Zimmerman 2
KSeager, Sea Zach Steinhorn 1 Ray Flowers 2 Scott Swanay 0
TFlowers, Atl Ray Flowers 1
JVargas, NYM Al Melchior 0 Jeff Zimmerman 2
BHolt, Bos Scott Swanay 0 Ray Flowers 0
EAdrianza, Min Ray Flowers 0
AGarcia, SF Al Melchior 0
MMahtook, Det Fred Zinkie 0

UNAWARDED BIDS

PLAYER
JJames, Hou Ron Shandler 8 Al Melchior 0
TPannone, Tor Ron Shandler 8
AConley, Mia Jeff Zimmerman 2 Al Melchior 0
EHernandez, LAD Ray Flowers 0
MPina, Mil Ray Flowers 0
JJones, Det Fred Zinkie 0

Todd’s Take

While this can be construed as a backhanded dig at the other leagues, it isn’t. It’s just that nine of 15 participants still making bids despite leader Tim Heaney enjoying a over a 20-point lead is exemplary.

Most of the acquired names are familiar with a few exceptions. Ray Flowers grabbed journeyman slugger Pete O’Brien, who despite showing pop on the farm, has get to latch onto an MLB roster as he continues to exhibit defensive deficiencies along with a proclivity for punching out.

Jeff Zimmerman sees the Angels with an early week series against the Rangers, envisioning a save or two for Ty Buttrey, author of four ninth-inning conversions in five tries since being handed the closer gig in early September.

Al Melchior noticed Aramis Garcia is spitting time behind the plate and at first base, essentially filling in for Buster Posey. Garcia has an OPS of 1.000 with three homers since his promotion.

MIXED LEAGUE DRAFT

SUCCESSFUL BIDS

PLAYER WINNING BID
GAllen, Cle Charlie Wiegert 300
BreAnderson, Oak D.J. Short 100
LVoit, NYY Adam Ronis 16
WAstudillo, Min Adam Ronis 1
TButtrey, LAA Gene McCaffrey 0

UNAWARDED BIDS

PLAYER
TAnderson, Col D.J. Short 100
CStewart, Det Adam Ronis 16
LGurriel, Tor Adam Ronis 16
VRobles, Was Adam Ronis 16

Todd’s Take

With Josh Donaldson back pushing Jose Ramirez to second, Greg Allen is losing playing time to Jason Kipnis. However, the Indians are likely to give everyone some rest this week as they’re locked into the three-seed, availing more action for Allen, even if it is coming into games in the mid innings. His asset, other than excellent defense is running, so if you need bags this week, consider Allen.

 

HEAD-TO-HEAD MIXED AUCTION

SUCCESSFUL BIDS

PLAYER WINNING BID
TToussaint, Atl Peter Kreutzer 101
DPalka, CWS Peter Kreutzer 57 Andrea LaMont 0
ROsuna, Hou Andrea LaMont 1
AMondesi, KC Andrea LaMont 1
LVoit, NYY Andrea LaMont 1
JJames, Hou Andrea LaMont 0

Todd’s Take

As mentioned last week, Jake Ciely is your 2018 Head to Head champion. Peter and Andrea continue to grind, looking to finish as high as possible, perhaps conserving FAAB for next season as all the leagues are penalized for finishes below a threshold contextual to the respective leagues.