Fred Zinkie said, “When I joined Tout Wars, I didn’t think it would take years off my life! I seem to get into these races often, but I can never figure out a way to separate. This year has been no different.”
When Fred says “separate” he means get a big enough lead that he can trot to the finish line. As a two-time champ, he has found ways to come out on top.
As we enter the last seven days of the 2015 season, Fred has opened a six point lead over Tim Heaney and Scott Swanay.
Swanay isn’t confident of his chances. “My team would have to be extremely lucky the rest of the way to win. Bats have been asleep since mid-August, so a lot of things would need to break my way to come out on top. Fred’s team has the highest point ceiling of the three, but Tim made some very shrewd late-season roster additions (e.g.- Yordano Ventura for a buck off the waiver wire) that enabled him to regain the lead. It’s not often that you have different leaders 3 consecutive days with just over a week to go – whatever happens the last 7 days, it’s been a fun ride. Good luck, Tim and Fred!”
Heaney noted that Fred increased his lead Sunday night. He has a three-prong path to victory:
“My team needs many things:
1. My recent power surge to continue. The runs, home runs, and RBI columns are volatile and vulnerable. Yoenis Cespedes just about single-handedly carried my offense for almost two months but is running out of gas.
2. I must also keep pace in strikeouts and wins, so I’m going to have to play off the final week of pitching. I shifted my focus away from starting pitching in the last few months as I’ve tried to rebuild my offense and load up at closer. I’ve lost some traction in WHIP (to Fred Zinkie, of all people) and strikeouts as a result.
3. Have to watch for players who might be resting with postseason berths either officially or all but clinched.”
In Sunday night’s waivers Heaney added Tanner Roark and Dan Haren. Swanay countered with Nick Tropeano, Jorge Lopez (who makes his major league debut Tuesday at Petco), and Chris Bassitt, plus JJ Hardy, and Zinkie stood pat.
To win, Zinkie says that “in short, my team needs to hit. I have little room to move in the pitching categories. But I could go in either direction in most hitting categories. With good hitting across the final nine days of the season, I could add 5-6 points to my overall total. With poor hitting, I could lose just as many. Many of my hitters are bunched on the Yankees, Royals, Indians and Orioles. Having those teams succeed down the stretch will make a big difference.”
Some of those plus points came Sunday, after a period when Fred said his team “has been chasing a pack of teams in homers all month, but I have made little progress. The emergence of Darren O’Day as the O’s short-term closer is going to cost me a point in the saves category, and I definitely didn’t see that coming. But overall, I have been mostly treading water in each category.”
Tim Heaney was in second place at the All Star break, 26 points ahead of Swanay and Zinkie, who were a half point apart, virtually tied for fifth place. Since then Swanay and Zinkie have been, by far, the league’s two best teams. Heaney has been the third best.
Tim said about what has happened since: “Despite my starting pitcher decline, I’ve had minor success with rentals Tim Hudson and Erik Johnson the last few weeks. So playing the matchups again the final week is ideal. My $1 of FAAB might hinder that plan.
Didn’t help having Cespedes’ slump and dead weight players like Justin Turner and Greg Holland in my lineup this week — players who can’t be placed on the disabled list because their major league team didn’t put them on theirs — left me behind in warm bodies with at-bats.
I finished third in my rookie mixed auction season and in several years have flashed a few stretches when I’ve been first or close. Fred and Scott are seasoned, smart players. Year after year, this league proves that it’s one of the toughest in the fantasy world.
Good (but not that good) luck to Fred and Scott. This is exciting.”
A look at the volatility index, an assessment of possible points go be gained or lost, supports the claims of all three.
Zinkie could gain up to six points and could lose 7.5. His top score could be 114.5, his worst would be 101.
Heaney could gain 9.5 points, and could lose 8.5. His top score could be 111.5, his worst could be 93.5.
Swanay has a potential seven points of upside, and nine points of downside. His best score could be 109.5, his worst could be 93.5.
To see the current rosters and standings, visit ToutWars.com