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The Dynasty Guru Experts League — August 2014 Update #TDGX

There is one month left to go in the inaugural season of The Dynasty Guru Experts League. Team McKahn has pulled out to a commanding lead, having gained 11 points in the standings since last month’s update. It is going to take a monumental comeback of epic proportions for anybody to catch him now. He has snared 191 of the 200 possible points and might not be done yet. It is shaping up to be a beatdown that will go down in legend. The rest of us are going to have our work cut out for us trying to dethrone Ian and Tim next year. I am up for that challenge!

As you know by now, all of the writers here at TDG have been playing in an epic 20-team dynasty league with fantasy baseball writers from all over the Internet. Matching wits with some of the best players in the country has proven to be quite a challenge and a ton of fun — exactly the way a fantasy league should be. Below you will find the complete standings as well as plenty of enlightening comments from the team owners themselves.

I will summarize the league setup here, but for a more in-depth overview of how it all got started read this: Welcome to The Dynasty Guru Experts’ League. The league is a dynasty league of course, with 30 man rosters plus a 10 man minor league roster. We can keep 35 players each year. There are 20 teams owned by experts (20 teams x 40 players = 800 rostered players plus about 50 on the DL, now that’s a deep league!). It is a 5×5 roto league with weekly lineups and transactions. We start 14 batters and 9 pitchers each week.

Our goal is to share with our readers all of our strategies. We want to let you know not only what we did but why we did it. Each week Bret posts an article detailing all the trades and waiver wire pickups complete with comments from the team owners who made them. You can see the last one here: TDGX Transaction Report. It is great to get inside the minds of the experts as their strategies unfold all season long. There have been lots of articles here on TDG and on several other websites as well. You can also follow the league on Twitter by searching #TDGX to see us brag and bellyache about our teams’ trials and tribulations.

A group of TDG readers got together and formed a clone of the #TDGX league. We have been wondering how their league is going, so perhaps some of them will chime in with a full report in the comments below to let us know what is happening there.

You can compare the standings below to the July TDGX Update to see how things have changed.

It seems like every team has employed a different strategy right from the start. Each owner’s plan was different starting with the Invisible Hand draft slot bidding process, throughout the draft itself, and proceeding into the season. Some teams have made a lot of trades, others none. Some teams spent their entire Free Agent Budget in the first couple weeks, some teams are still sitting on the full $100. A few teams never tried to win in 2014, instead scheming to build squads full of minor leaguers hoping they will mature in unison into a titanic powerhouse a few years down the road. Some teams tried to win this year but quickly shifted into rebuilding mode after starting off slowly. There are still several teams trying hard to win glory this year and luckily I am one of the teams with an outside chance of catching the leader.

Here are the Roto Point Standings:

TDGX August 2014 Update

The teams at the top are fairly well entrenched in their slots right now. I don’t think we will see much more jockeying in the standings near the top. There are still some close positions in the middle of the pack. The biggest question is how many points Team McKahn will end up with. 200 points is the maximum possible in a 20 team 5×5 league. It would be pretty embarrassing for us to let him take home the perfect score.

Comments from the team owners:

1st – Team McKahn — Ian Kahn (RotoRob, Actor — George Washington in AMC channel’s “Turn”), Tim McLeod (RotoRob)

We have had a fortunate run. Waiver wire pickups of Phil Hughes, T. Wada,Tony Watson, and Santiago Casilla have really helped our last couple of months. We were hit with the Tanaka, Cashner, and Ryu injuries, but we’ve been able to keep the ship steady. We’re feeling strong going into this final month. — Ian
 2nd – Team Doran — Nick Doran (The Dynasty Guru, Blazing Fastball)

My team has gained 5 points since the last update. I am actually quite pleased to have 172 points, but I am shocked that is not nearly enough to win the league this year. The biggest surprise for me this season was the number of teams who planned from Day 1 to punt this season in favor of competing in future seasons. Quite a few teams are building towards a competitive window of 2016 to 2018 or later. I figured more teams would try to win this year. The number of teams playing for the future has made this league very top-heavy this year pointwise, which in turn has made the top scores much higher than I expected. — Nick

3rd – Team Shlain — Nick Shlain (RotoWire)

4th – Team ChateSonn — Luke Chatelain (The Dynasty Guru), Adam Sonnet (The Dynasty Guru)

5th – Team Karaman — Wilson Karaman (Baseball Prospectus, The Dynasty Guru)

I held steady at the trade deadline, which basically served to confirm what I’ve been feeling and saying about my team for some time, which is that I’m in that awkward in-between stage between the top tier and the middle tier. No move, however dramatic, was going to let me sniff a run at Kahn this year, and the cost of doing business for even mid-tier moves at the deadline proved costlier than I wanted. I’m not far away from taking a leap towards title contention next year, but in the end I felt I’d be better served making the moves I need to make in the offseason.

On the field, my pitching staff has collapsed from injury attrition, as I’ve lost Cliff Lee, Matt Garza, and Charlie Morton, while Shelby Miller has continued his quest to become the most hated man on any of my fantasy teams with his maddening inconsistency and generally disappointing play. It’s been an unfortunately-timed stretch, as it has teamed with a run-of-the-mill down period of offensive performance. The result has been a frustrating inability to seize on a wide open opportunity to jump into the league’s top three. I’m down about 10 points from my high three weeks ago, and I’ve also lost significant ground in re-gaining those lost points. It’s looking increasingly like I’ll have to settle for the #5 slot, barring continued catastrophic collapse.
One interesting thing I’ve learned this season is that I need to do a much better job at persistently looking to move my prospects once I’ve determined I’m willing to move them. One of the more jarring realities of this league has been a significant discrepancy in prospect valuation from owner to owner. On the one hand, some owners have shown no interest or willingness to make prospects without significant AA success a centerpiece in deals, while on the other several trades have been consummated involving legitimate big league talent being exchanged for what I have viewed as awfully light prospect returns centered around packages I feel I easily could have trumped. It goes to show that unless you’re consistently hustling your guys and feeling out as many deals as possible the likelihood is that someone else will beat you to the good deals. — Wilson

6th – Team Sayre — Bret Sayre (Baseball Prospectus, The Dynasty Guru)

7th – Team Crawford — Chris Crawford (ESPN, MLB Draft Insider)

8th – Team Carsley — Ben Carsley (Baseball Prospectus, The Dynasty Guru)

8th – Team CielyMitch — Jake Ciely (RotoExperts), Chris Mitchell (RotoExperts)

10th – Team Rosenbaum — Mike Rosenbaum (Bleacher Report, RotoWorld)

11th – Team GoldRubio — Craig Goldstein (Baseball Prospectus, The Dynasty Guru, SB Nation), Mauricio Rubio (Baseball Prospectus, Cubs Den)

It appears an 11th place finish is the most likely scenario at this point, as cracking the top-10 seems out of reach points-wise. I would have liked to land there if at all possible, for ego related reasons, though by all strategic accounts I should be angling for draft position. I did make one major move since the last update, trading Jason Kipnis (my first round selection) for Dustin Pedroia, Nelson Cruz, and Yangervis Solarte. Far be it from me to be happy with a TDGX trade that didn’t include a 4th round pick, but I think it works well for our team. We have the benefit of not bidding any draft slots prior to the season, so we’ll be able to keep the full 35 players, which means depth is as important as talent consolidation. I didn’t want to get older at second base because the aging curve is brutal, but Cruz brings a level of power that’s not easily acquired, and Pedroia does about 80-90% of what Kipnis does anyway, without the stolen bases.
The emergence of Jake Odorizzi and Danny Duffy, as well as our focus on acquiring pitching talent has turned a weak spot into something of a strength, as we’ll have Latos, Ventura, Odorizzi, Archer, and Duffy heading into 2015, along with wildcards like Buchholz and Liriano. I wouldn’t say I feel great about 2015 right now, but I’m optimistic. With Nomar Mazara being pushed to Double-A, and Nick Kingham on the verge of the majors, we have some potential trade chips as well. — Craig

12th – Team Newman — Mike Newman (ROTOscouting)

13th – Team MBTDG — Mike Buttil (The Dynasty Guru, Razzball, ROTOscouting), Paul Clewell

We’re coasting to a bottom-five finish, but we had one more move in us with the Maikel Franco trade. We’re not in it this year, but it would still be exciting to see guys like Franco and Jorge Soler get some at bats in the majors when rosters expand. Losing Garrett Richards was a huge blow, but he’ll likely remain one of our twenty keepers heading into next year despite the injury. — Mike

14th – Team Hunt — Jason Hunt (FakeTeams)

15th – Team Kantecki — Alex Kantecki (Baseball Prospectus, The Dynasty Guru)

16th – Team Cwik — Chris Cwik (CBS Sports, FanGraphs)

17th – Team Sussman — JD Sussman (FanGraphs, Bullpen Banter), Nathaniel Stoltz (FanGraphs)

18th – Team Glaseau — Craig Glaser (Bloomberg Sports, MLB Advanced Media), Tom Trudeau (Bloomberg Sports, ESPN, MLB Advanced Media)

There’s no award for “best collection of young talent” in dynasty, but we accomplished our goal of ducking under the wave of 2014 competition in order to set ourselves up for 2015 and beyond. For anyone taking this build-for-future strategy, I’d caution that it requires some luck and it certainly doesn’t mean you can take the season off — we were as active as any owner and constantly leveraged our invisible asset (not caring about 2014) to add future value. Once we’re penalized in the standings for falling (way!) short of the minimum innings limit, Craig and I will likely have the number one overall pick to look forward to in the offseason. The future looks bright for this cellar dweller. — Tom

19th – Team Breen — J.P. Breen (Baseball Prospectus, FanGraphs, Disciples of Uecker)

20th – Team BaldBarn — Noel Baldwin (The Dynasty Guru), Andy Barnes (The Dynasty Guru)

To view more articles discussing The Dynasty Guru Experts League (#TDGX) just click here: TDGX Articles

That’s it for this update. We would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below. Got any advice? Want any advice? Ask all your questions below!


Nick Doran writes all kinds of cool stuff about the game’s ultimate flamethrowers at Blazing Fastball and will answer your baseball questions on Twitter @BlazingFastba11.

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Nick Doran

Nick Doran


  1. g2-bb45d87d2cd68ed0853b5dc63355e66e
    September 1, 2014 at 11:48 am

    So a team is rewarded with a better draft pick for failing to meet a min innings limit? I know there’s no ideal way to handle this, but that seems not great.

    • September 2, 2014 at 3:24 pm

      Yeah that is the rule for now, although I agree it might need a bit of tweaking in the future.

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