Above you’ll see what is probably my favorite piece of content to produce every season. This is a flow chart designed to help you get through a 12-team snake draft. The chart is primarily designed for 12-team leagues that use the standard 5×5 roto format and have the following roster composition: C 1B 2B 3B SS MI CI OF OF OF OF OF UTIL SP SP SP SP SP SP RP RP RP BN BN BN.
The chart is broken up into to three tracks that start with the three positions you’re most likely to end up with in the first round. You’ll notice there is no track starting with a third baseman, and Miguel Cabrera is obviously a first rounder. But I haven’t included a track starting with Miggy because you basically have to be drafting out of the two hole to end up with a third baseman in the first round. But you could end up with a first baseman, outfielder or starting pitcher from any spot in the first round after the first two picks. I personally wouldn’t take Clayton Kershaw until pick six, but he actually comes out third in my valuations, so I’m being literal when I say any pick in the first after Trout and Miggy.
As you can probably tell, I’m a “wait on pitching” fantasy player. There are many reasons for this, but probably the main one is that I feel like starting pitching is the only position where I can get useful players at the tail end of the draft. And I can also pick up high quality middle relievers late to help with ratios and offset the penalty of waiting on pitching. That’s why the last five picks I recommend in all three tracks are two starters and three middle relievers.
Below is a round-by-round list of the players I would consider in each round with my overall ranking of them in parentheses. You’ll notice that I have some players listed in rounds lower than players I have ranked behind them. This is me accounting for ADP trends. For example, I have Bautista ranked 30th and Pence 25th, but I have Bautista in consideration in the third round and Pence in the fourth because those are the rounds they’re going in. And finally, this seems obvious, but make sure you check to see if players from previous rounds are still available at each selection.
SP: Darvish (decent chance he falls to the second), Adam Wainwright (14)
1B: Freddie Freeman (27)
I realize there is a ton of risk having these guys as your second starter. But I’ve been doing this for the better part of a decade, and I have had a lot of success utilizing streaming and middle relievers to compete in the pitching categories. That said, I feel the risk as well looking at those names for SP2. Ideally guys like Cain, Anibal, Zimmermann would fall to this point. But if not, I can live with one of these riskier names.
CI: Moss, Adams, Butler
MI: Dozier, Brad Miller (145), Profar, Walker
MI: Dozier, Miller, Profar, Walker, Xander Bogaerts (170)