The Dynasty Guru Experts League

TDGX Recap – Am I the Opposite of a Cougar?

I swear I didn’t mean to do this. No one heads into a dynasty league draft aiming to own half of the Phillies’ infield.

I, like my league mates, began the TDGX draft with a plan to draft a balanced team filled with young, productive major leaguers, high-upside minor leaguers and veterans who I could grab as bargains. I had planned to draft the ideal dynasty league team – young, flexible and balanced with upside and probability.

But then Robinson Cano was still there when I picked at 15 overall, and while sexy youngsters like Jose Fernandez and Xander Bogaerts were on the board, I couldn’t resist Cano’s immediate impact. Then on the turn, I eyed Justin Upton and Wil Myers, but I just couldn’t say no to David Wright. Fast-forward to my third pick, and I passed on Billy Hamilton and Gerrit Cole for the criminally underrated Hunter Pence. In round four, I had my eyes on Dom Brown and Jordan Zimmermann, but holy balls Justin Verlander was still around. How was I supposed to say no to that value?

And by that point, I knew I had to shift strategies. Other teams had better positioned themselves for 2016 and beyond, for sure. Prospects were flying off the board, as was every living soul with a bat under the age of 27, and I had none such players. But few had positioned themselves better for 2014-2015, and that was something on which I decided I needed to capitalize.

My team is older than I had planned. My draft has not earned me many oos and ahhs in the draft room chat (with the exception of Verlander). And yeah, I might be in some trouble in 2017.

But as you can see from this breakdown (average ADP courtesy of, my team is most certainly not in trouble for the next two years. To whit:

Rd Pick ADP Player
1 15 10.2 Robinson Cano, 2B, SEA
2 26 22.8 David Wright, 3B, NYM
3 55 49.8 Hunter Pence, OF, SF
4 66 48.2 Justin Verlander, SP, DET
5 95 65.4 Joe Mauer, C, MIN
6 106 118.6 Julio Teheran, SP, ATL
7 135 277.7 Oswaldo Arcia, OF, MIN
8 146 112.8 Curtis Granderson, OF, NYM
9 175 415 Jon Singleton, 1B, HOU (MiLB)
10 186 144.8 Chase Utley, MI, PHI
11 215 228.6 Corey Hart, 1B/OF, SEA
12 226 203.4 Jimmy Rollins, SS, PHI

Arcia may look like a reach, but had I waited even one more turn he wouldn’t have been there, and he’s a player I truly believe in. You can debate whether I should’ve popped Singleton where I did, but I had missed out on the elite first baseman and my team was short on long-term power. And Hart is a gamble, but again, he addresses power and could address my hole at first base, which was a priority.

Other than those three players, look at the value I recouped. I grabbed Mauer, Granderson, Utley and Rollins 20-plus spots after their average ADPs. The numbers don’t correlate perfectly, as this is a very deep dynasty league, but these selections put me in a position to win now nonetheless.

I can’t give away too much of my strategy just yet, but it’s fairly evident that I’m aiming to win in 2014 and 2015, and quite honestly I only see four or five other teams in a decent position to challenge me during that window. If my team really falls apart due to injury or underperformance, I have enough alluring pieces to get creative and younger via trades. And I believe my greatest strengths as a fantasy player – getting cheap, high-upside pitching and identifying young, unheralded breakout candidates – will come into play in the next few rounds.

J.P. Breen keeps needling me for making boring picks. Mike Newman keeps needling me for my team’s age. Chris Crawford keepings needling me because I’m not by my computer 24/7. Craig Goldstein keeps needling me because he secretly loves me. All have valid points.

But through the first 12 rounds of this draft I’ve put myself in a position to finish higher in the standings than the vast majority of the league this season, and have been able to add at least three long-term pieces in Teheran, Arcia and Singleton as well.

I have plenty of time left to screw this up, but I’m happy with the opportunity I’ve given myself for the next two years. Maybe I’ll hate this team in 2016, but if I capture a league title now, it will be worth it.

Flags fly forever, and the sooner I can get my name atop this league’s standings, the better.

The Author

Ben Carsley

Ben Carsley


  1. […] can check out the first 12 rounds of my team here, but here’s a look at the work I’ve done […]

  2. […] can check out the first 12 rounds of my team here, but here’s a look at the work I’ve done […]

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