Alan HarrisonFantasy BaseballUncategorized

2024 Fantasy Baseball: Tout Wars Draft & Hold Draft Review

Tout Wars Draft & hold is a 15-team, 50-man roster “Draft Champions” style slow (the slowest) draft. Once the draft is complete there are no FAAB periods – your team is your team for the entire season.

Tout Wars, similar in fashion to LABR, is a room full of some of the sharpest analysts/players in the fantasy baseball industry. The difference between Tout Wars and LABR are the rotisserie categories used. LABR uses the traditional 5×5 rotisserie categories while Tout Wars removes batting average from the hitter categories and replaces it with OBP (on-base percentage). A completely different strategy, which is why the draft board looks a bit different than your traditional 5×5 leagues.

Tout Wars Draft & Hold

15-team rotisserie – 5×5 – snake draft

Hitting categories: on-base percentage, runs, home runs, RBI, stolen bases

Pitching categories: wins, saves, ERA, WHIP and strikeouts

50-man rosters with six reserves (2 C, 1B, 2B, 3B, SS, 5 OF, MI, CI, Utility, 9 pitchers)

No FAAB or adds/drops for the entirety of the season.

The room/draft order:

  1. Alan Harrison (@TheFantasyFix)
  2. Fred Zinkie (Yahoo/Rotowire)
  3. James Anderson (Rotowire)
  4. Matt Williams (TheGameDay/TheAthletic/NBCSports)
  5. Eric Cross (FTNFantasy/RotoBaller)
  6. Chris Welsh (FantasyPros/BettingPros)
  7. Vlad Sedler (FTNFantasy)
  8. Michael Stein (FantasyJudgement)
  9. Anthony Perri (Fantistics)
  10. Jorge Montanez (Rotowire)
  11. Kyle Elfrink (SiriusXM)
  12. Corbin Young (RotoBaller/RotoWire/BaseballHQ)
  13. Paul Sporer (Sleeper & the Bust/RotoGraphs)
  14. Mike Alexander (Razzball)
  15. Dan Strafford (Dan Strafford)

As the returning champion, I was afforded the opportunity to select my draft position first using a KDS style selection process. Normally I would like to be in the top 5-6 spots but given I was able to select at the top with my top player valued significantly higher than anyone on the board, I went with #1.

Goals for this “Draft Champions” style draft: Acquire players projected to get the most at-bats, players with high-floors and high-ceilings, players with multiple position eligibility, at least 3-4 per infield position, at least 10 OF, closers and their handcuffs, high-leverage relievers who can contribute to most pitching categories – especially ratios, at least 10 SP and some players who are starting the season on the IL that are projected to return to their respective teams at some point in the season.

You can view the entire draft board here.

Round 1 – Ronald Acuña, Jr. (OF) – ATL

No brainer here. Checks off an outfield spot and contributes a healthy amount to all five offensive categories. He was leaps-and-bounds above the next potential player in the model. Praying for health.

Also considered: Juan Soto, Spencer Strider, Julio Rodriguez, Mookie Betts

Round 2 – Ozzie Albies (2B) – ATL

A Braves stack to start. Right up my alley. I took a good look at Jose Altuve who projects to have a higher OBP but I wanted the upside of the younger Albies to pair with Acuña who I like to out-perform Houston’s second-baseman in R+RBI+HR+SB categories.

Also considered: Jose Altuve, Gunnar Henderson, Pablo Lobez, George Kirby

Round 3 – Elly de la Cruz (SS/3B) – CIN

Arguably the most polarizing player in ’24 fantasy baseball drafts, de la Cruz comes with what some consider a low-floor and high-ceiling. A wide range of outcomes that could see him sent to the farm or selected to an All-Star team. He’s fast, hits the ball extremely hard and carries multiple position eligibility. There was no chance Elly would make it back to me in the fourth round so we’re shooting for the stars here. With my first three picks in the books, I’m hoping for 80 HR/100 SBs with full, healthy seasons.

Also considered: Jose Altuve, Gunnar Henderson, Pablo Lobez, George Kirby

Round 4 – Manny Machado (3B) – SDP

On the heels of a risky Elly de la Cruz in the third-round, I wanted to back that up with a more conservative pick. Manny Machado fit that mold as a veteran third-baseman who I consider to have a high-floor/high-ceiling. I was also a bit worried about the drop off at the hot corner after my two selections on the wheel. Projections think Machado could add another 30 HRs, 90 R, 100 RBI with a handful of stolen bases and a .330+ OBP.

Also considered: Grayson Rodriguez, Will Smith, Camilo Doval, Evan Carter

Round 5 – Emmanuel Clase (RP) – CLE

In a non-trading, non-FAAB format like Tout Wars Draft & Hold, closers tend to go early and often. The first closer run started just before I selected Machado with Devin Williams, Edwin Diaz, Jhoan Duran and Josh Hader going off the board. For a minute I thought about double-tapping closers (Clase + Doval) but opted for the safer option in Machado to pair with a closer since I already took on some risk in the third-round with de la Cruz.

Like all closers, Clase doesn’t come without some worts. There were rumors he could be dealt before the season started, his K%-BB% dipped from 24.7% in ’22 to 15.9% in ’23 and he also lost almost a full tick on both his fastball and slider last season compared to ’22. Even with the red flags I went with Clase, who I felt was the best closer on the board, and the plan to back him up with other potential closers in the Guardians’ bullpen later in the draft.

Also considered: Grayson Rodriguez, Will Smith, Camilo Doval, Evan Carter

Round 6 – Jesús Luzardo (SP) – MIA

For those that know me, I tend to wait on starting pitching then load up in the middle rounds. This was a good time for me to start building that staff. Jesús Luzardo was at the top of my list despite playing for a team that may not provide him with enough run support to pad the win category.

Luzardo showed a bit better in my K%+IFFB%-BB% research compared to the other arms available around the current ADP so I nabbed the Marlins’ starter.

Also considered: Joe Musgrove, Justin Steele, Tanner Bibee, Alexis Diaz, David Bednar

Round 7 – Christian Walker (1B) – ARI

Double-tapping starters crossed my mind with a few other available arms that peaked my interest. However, the options at first-base seemed slim and I wanted get a power bat that I could set and forget. Walker provides good enough power production for the position with a solid OBP on a team that should be highly competitive in the NL West again in ’24.

Also considered: Joe Musgrove, Justin Steele, Tanner Bibee, Alexis Diaz, David Bednar

Round 8 – Hunter Greene (SP) – CIN

Continuing the build the starting rotation out with Hunter Greene in the eight-round. It seemed like the end of a tier here. Greene’s ceiling is high – the K%+IFFB%-BB% model isn’t particularly in love with him due to the walks – so I’m hoping he can stack the strikeouts and develop better control to limit the walks. This is a bit of a risky selection, but again, I’ve started building the staff late so these are the risks you tend to take on when doing so.

In hindsight, I might’ve take one of the three starters listed below instead of Greene – King, especially.

Also considered: Merrill Kelly, Chris Bassit, Michael King, Paul Sewald

Round 9 – Jordan Romano (RP) – TOR

Truth be told, I was hoping one of Andres Munoz or David Bednar would slide to me here at the end of round eight/start of round nine. That didn’t work out as both were taken late in the eighth-round just prior to my wheel picks.

Romano has a nice team situation and felt like the best available closer. His K%-BB% has slid in each of the last few seasons which is cause for concern.

Also considered: Merrill Kelly, Chris Bassit, Michael King, Paul Sewald

Round 10 – Gabriel Moreno (C) – ARZ

It’s round 10 and I still don’t have a backstop. Gabriel Moreno provides a good OBP, should get double-digit homers and sprinkle in some stolen bases. I love the team context and mini Diamondbacks stack with Christian Walker already in the fold. I felt this was a good value at this point in the draft for a high-pedigree catcher on the rise.

The selection of Moreno came at the end of a run on catchers so I felt it was a timely selection.

Also considered: Christopher Morel, Riley Greene, Anthony Santander, Hunter Brown

Round 11 – Jackson Chourio (OF) – MLW

Similar to Mixed LABR, I was hoping to grab Wyatt Langford around this point in the draft. However, Langford’s Spring performance caused him to start moving up draft boards quickly. I pivoted to who I felt was the next best prospect available in Jackson Chourio.

Chourio signed the big, team-friendly extension and should be in-line for an Opening Day spot on the Brewers’ roster patrolling CF. Although he may not have the high OBP that we’re looking for in this format, he can put balls over the fence and swipe a bunch of bases. Although a 15/20 season may be more reasonable, I’m hoping for a 20/20 (or 20/30) season from one of baseball’s top prospects.

Also considered: Christopher Morel, Riley Greene, Anthony Santander, Hunter Brown

Round 12 – Yu Darvish (SP) – SDP

An aging starter that’s seen his K%-BB% in steadily decline over each of the last three seasons and some injury issues to boot? Sign me up. Still filling out this starting rotation and felt like Darvish would be just the oatmeal this team could benefit from.

Also considered: Lars Nootbar, Shota Imanaga, Ryan Pepiot, Nate Lowe

Round 13 – Tyler O’Neill (OF) – BOS

New city, same biceps. Tyler O’Neill landed in Boston this offseason in a deal with the Cardinals. He’s projected to hit fifth in what should be a good lineup. A power/speed combination guy that should provide a nice OBP felt like a great value in the 13th round as my third outfielder.

Also considered: Lars Nootbar, Shota Imanaga, Ryan Pepiot, Nate Lowe

Round 14 – Jonah Heim (C) – TEX

In serious need of a second catcher at this point. Mostly looking for a backstop who’ll get the bulk of their team’s at-bats and contribute to a few categories while minimizing damage as best as possible. Heim won’t be the best OBP backstop out there but projections like him to get 15+ homers and 110-120 R+RBI in a potent lineup for the reigning World Series Champions.

Also considered: Byron Buxton, Brayan Bello, Starling Marte, Tristan McKenzie 

Round 15 – Daulton Varsho (OF) – TOR

We were all paying early round picks on Varsho last season due to his power/speed combo and catcher eligibility. He struggled quite a bit in his first season in Toronto and lost the catcher tag. However, he still posted 36 HR+SB and played 158 games. There may not be as many at-bats coming his way this season but the power/speed combo still appealed to me as my fourth OF in round 15. Let’s run!

Also considered: Byron Buxton, Brayan Bello, Starling Marte, Tristan McKenzie 

Instead of writing up the final 35 rounds, here are some highlights I think are worth mentioning:

SP – Taj Bradley, Seth Lugo, Dean Kremer, Paul Skenes, Jordan Hicks, Michael Soroka, Clayton Kershaw, Robbie Ray, Ross Stripling, Martin Perez, David Peterson, Dustin May and Randy Vasquez.

Injured starters all over the place. If Kershaw, Ray and May come back with strong summers this would be a huge boost to this staff. Time will tell. Bradley (on the IL, now) seemed like a good value. Lugo, Kremer Stripling are super vanilla picks – just trying to stack some innings. Upside with Skenes, Hicks and Soroka depending on when the Pirates’ top prospect arrives (after super-two?) and how Hicks/Soroka do with their new clubs.

RP – Robert Stephenson, Bryan Abreu, Scott Barlow, Erik Swanson, Lucas Sims, Tyler Rogers and Josh Sborz

Some handcuffs (Barlow/Swanson) for the closers I already drafted and some other closers with steady ratios and chances for saves (Stephenson/Abreu/Sims/Rogers and Sborz).

IF – Carlos Correa, Luis Rengifo, Ryan Mountcastle, Brendan Rogers, Alex Kirilloff (1B/OF), Wilmer Flores (1b/3B), Enrique Hernandez (2B, SS, OF), Tom Murphy, Kyle Higashioka, Oswaldo Cabrera and Nicky Lopez.

This group is a mix of steady veterans with job and players with multiple position eligibility. Correa, Mountcastle and Rogers are my favorite of the bunch at their respective points in the draft. And it’s always important to have versatile players to plug in during the season as players get tired or injured.

OF – Andrew Benintendi, Alex Kirilloff, Harrison Bader, Dylan Crews, Jurickson Profar

Mostly the same theme with this group. Veterans who should get plenty of at-bats and contribute a bit throughout the five categories. Then you have super prospect Dylan Crews of the Washington Nationals who may or may not see time in the first-division this season.


Hard not to love a team you drafted when you’re able to select Ronald Acuña, Jr. I feel like I did a nice job drafting a balanced offense – should all stay healthy, my projections believe I should be a threat in the runs, RBI, HR and SB categories, although I may be a bit light in the OBP. There is upside as well with de la Cruz, Chourio and Crews later on.

I was able to secure plenty of depth around the infield/outfield but I’m sure they’ll be some points in the season when I struggle to fill out all of my roster spots. It always seems to happen in this format.

My pitching staff seems to be my weak link. There’s depth and upside when players return from the IL, but in general, it lacks the impact ace that most other teams have. You hate to bank on Skenes, Ray, Kershaw and May but here we are. I suppose we’re praying for a healthy return from those guys for a strong second half for a run at the title.

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