2018 Fantasy Baseball Draft Prep: 12-team Head-to-Head points auction results

Our recent 12-team Head-to-Head points auction ended up being much more than that.

It became a study of diametrically opposed approaches and a third that attempted to find middle ground. And because the three owners at the center are the ones you may know from the Fantasy Baseball Today podcast, that makes it all the more fun.

Over the last couple years, targeting starting pitching early has become less of a no-no in Fantasy Baseball, and that's especially true in this format, where there are fewer hitter spots to fill and no need to balance a variety of categories, some scarcer than others. Overall production is all that matters, which greatly reduces the margin for error when selecting a hitter.

And in a power-laden environment where everybody who's anybody hits 20-plus home runs, that margin for error is even smaller. How small? You could argue it's virtually nil, and I have theorized such. This auction put it to the test, though.

Right away, it became clear Heath Cummings and I entered with the same strategy: go hard after the four super aces (which, for the uninitiated, are Clayton Kershaw, Max Scherzer, Corey Kluber and Chris Sale). When the bidding reached $40, the two of us went back and forth, and I blinked first in each instance, not wanting to blow out my prescribed budget. Heath wound up with three of the four (all but Sale). I wound up with none.

Undeterred, I decided to grab as many of the second-tier starting pitchers -- all aces in their own right -- as I could, knowing I could still steer clear of the scarcity at that position while also leaving myself with more money to fill out the rest of my starting lineup. Together, Heath and I purchased eight of the consensus top 17 starting pitchers, giving us a big advantage at the position where there's arguably the biggest advantage to be had. It's just that Heath's four (Kershaw, Scherzer, Kluber and Justin Verlander) ate up $180 of his $260 budget while my four (Madison Bumgarner, Zack Greinke, Noah Syndergaard and Dallas Keuchel) consumed only $124.

On the other side of the coin was Chris Towers, who forsook pitching for high-end hitting, investing 75 percent of his budget in Jose Altuve, Nolan Arenado, Charlie Blackmon, Gary Sanchez and Aaron Judge. He had to go the thrifty route at starting pitcher, and it shows, with his two most expensive both presenting major risk and the rest of his staff offering little to no possibility of high-end production. That's not to say Tanner Roark and Dinelson Lamet aren't useful or intriguing, but if they're among the best he has, his disadvantage is pretty much locked in.

I spent significantly less on hitting than Chris, but you know what? I think mine is pretty good. I still got top-two players at two of the scarcest positions, catcher and second base, and six hitters in all who would go off the board in the first eight rounds of any draft. My outfield is weak, but it's competitive enough. 

And then there's Heath, who left himself next to nothing to spend on hitting, and as you might expect, the hitter portion of his lineup is ... wait, what? 

H-how did he do that?

Don't get me wrong: It's the worst collection of hitters among the three teams, but more because of downside than upside. Every one of his starting nine belongs in a starting nine in this league, and only two cost him double-digit dollars. Not a one cost him as much as $15.

Sure, there are potential pitfalls, especially given the age of some of the hitters. But the 2018 season won't go wrong for all of them, and where it does go wrong, he has plenty of other places to turn. Shoot, I got Ryan Zimmerman and Mike Moustakas on my bench for a buck each just because it seemed crazy nobody wanted them after the numbers they just put up. But it's not like I have a place to play them. Could Heath make me an attractive offer if it came to that? Yeah, he probably could. And I'm probably not the only one with that sort of hitter excess, some of which (by the way) is sure to wind up on the waiver wire.

Bottom line is it'll take significantly less for his lineup to measure up to mine than my pitching to measure up to his -- and I say that even knowing my pitching is clearly the second best. And while Heath may have taken it a little too far with the $15 he spent on Jon Lester, I came away thinking I myself should have gone farther.

There's just too much interchangeability among all but the highest-end hitters to shrug off the massive advantages that can be gained from high-end starting pitchers. 

So who all had a front-row seat to this madness?

  • Brant Chesser, Baseball HQ
  • Heath Cummings, CBS Sports
  • Kevin Jebens, Baseball Prospectus
  • malamoney, Razzball
  • Mike Kuchera, The Fantasy Man
  • Ralph Lifshitz, Razzball
  • George Maselli, CBS Sports
  • John Russell, Friends with Fantasy Benefits
  • Stan Son, Razzball
  • Jeff Tobin, CBS Sports
  • Chris Towers, CBS Sports
  • Scott White, CBS Sports

And the scoring, if you need the reminder, is as follows:

Hitter Stats

Pitcher Stats


1 pt


7 pts


2 pts


-5 pts


3 pts


7 pts

Home run

4 pts

Quality start

3 pts


1 pt


3 pts


1 pt


0.5 pts


1 pt


-1 pt


-0.5 pt

Earned run

-1 pt

Hit by pitch

1 pt


-1 pt

Stolen base

2 pts

Hit batter

-1 pt

Caught stealing

-1 pt

Position By Position
Team By Team
CatcherBrant Chesser
44Gary Sanchez, NYY$34 CEvan Gattis, HOU$6
42Buster Posey, SF$20 1BWil Myers, SD$11
65Willson Contreras, CHC$14 1BFreddie Freeman, ATL$38
108Evan Gattis, HOU$6 2BOzzie Albies, ATL$10
160J.T. Realmuto, MIA$4 3BNicholas Castellanos, DET$7
131Salvador Perez, KC$3 SSFrancisco Lindor, CLE$35
120Yadier Molina, STL$3 OFMichael Conforto, NYM$2
202Brian McCann, HOU$1 OFGregory Polanco, PIT$5
197Welington Castillo, CHW$1 OFAdam Jones, BAL$6
193Wilson Ramos, TB$1 OFChristian Yelich, MIL$26
177Jonathan Lucroy, TEX$1 SPJake Faria, TB$3
172Austin Barnes, LAD$1 SPJack Flaherty, STL$1
First BaseSPAlex Reyes, STL$3
24Joey Votto, CIN$39 SPLuiz Gohara, ATL$2
30Freddie Freeman, ATL$38 SPLuis Castillo, CIN$20
39Anthony Rizzo, CHC$36 SPAaron Nola, PHI$23
8Paul Goldschmidt, ARI$35 SPJacob deGrom, NYM$33
58Cody Bellinger, LAD$32 RPMike Minor, TEX$2
63Jose Abreu, CHW$30 RPBlake Treinen, OAK$6
32Carlos Santana, PHI$15 RPCody Allen, CLE$10
107Eric Hosmer, SD$13 Chris Towers
155Wil Myers, SD$11 POSNAMEPRICE
53Matt Olson, OAK$9 CGary Sanchez, NYY$34
163Miguel Cabrera, DET$7 1BBrandon Belt, SF$1
115Matt Carpenter, STL$6 2BJose Altuve, HOU$48
168Justin Smoak, TOR$5 3BNolan Arenado, COL$45
110Eric Thames, MIL$4 SSGleyber Torres, NYY$1
187Greg Bird, NYY$2 SSXander Bogaerts, BOS$12
245Brandon Belt, SF$1 OFDavid Dahl, COL$1
213Justin Bour, MIA$1 OFKyle Schwarber, CHC$1
206Ryan Zimmerman, WAS$1 OFMichael Brantley, CLE$1
191Yonder Alonso, CLE$1 OFCharlie Blackmon, COL$36
179Josh Bell, PIT$1 OFAaron Judge, NYY$32
Second BaseSPSean Manaea, OAK$2
16Jose Altuve, HOU$48 SPJimmy Nelson, MIL$2
22Brian Dozier, MIN$29 SPMichael Wacha, STL$2
17Jonathan Schoop, BAL$19 SPTanner Roark, WAS$6
23Robinson Cano, SEA$18 SPCharlie Morton, HOU$3
48Daniel Murphy, WAS$17 SPJake Arrieta, CHC$7
90Whit Merrifield, KC$13 SPMasahiro Tanaka, NYY$22
121Ozzie Albies, ATL$10 RPJoe Musgrove, PIT$1
106Dee Gordon, SEA$10 RPBrad Brach, BAL$1
153Javier Baez, CHC$2 George Maselli
230Yoan Moncada, CHW$1 POSNAMEPRICE
229Ian Kinsler, LAA$1 CBrian McCann, HOU$1
218DJ LeMahieu, COL$1 1BYonder Alonso, CLE$1
211Scooter Gennett, CIN$1 2BYoan Moncada, CHW$1
180Yangervis Solarte, TOR$1 2BYangervis Solarte, TOR$1
Third Base3BEvan Longoria, SF$1
21Nolan Arenado, COL$45 SSCorey Seager, LAD$32
49Manny Machado, BAL$37 OFJackie Bradley, BOS$1
37Kris Bryant, CHC$37 OFCorey Dickerson, PIT$1
41Jose Ramirez, CLE$35 OFOdubel Herrera, PHI$3
61Alex Bregman, HOU$29 OFLorenzo Cain, MIL$14
47Josh Donaldson, TOR$29 OFJ.D. Martinez, BOS$43
46Anthony Rendon, WAS$27 SPBrad Peacock, HOU$1
124Miguel Sano, MIN$17 SPCollin McHugh, HOU$1
118Rafael Devers, BOS$14 SPRick Porcello, BOS$9
88Justin Turner, LAD$14 SPTyler Glasnow, PIT$2
103Travis Shaw, MIL$12 SPSonny Gray, NYY$14
167Joey Gallo, TEX$10 SPGerrit Cole, HOU$22
127Kyle Seager, SEA$8 SPChris Sale, BOS$49
145Nicholas Castellanos, DET$7 RPBrandon Morrow, CHC$3
166Adrian Beltre, TEX$3 RPCraig Kimbrel, BOS$23
142Eduardo Nunez, BOS$3 Heath Cummings
247Evan Longoria, SF$1 POSNAMEPRICE
239Mike Moustakas, KC$1 CWillson Contreras, CHC$14
231Matt Chapman, OAK$1 1BMiguel Cabrera, DET$7
Shortstop1BMatt Carpenter, STL$6
11Trea Turner, WAS$42 3BAdrian Beltre, TEX$3
45Francisco Lindor, CLE$35 SSPaul DeJong, STL$2
10Carlos Correa, HOU$35 SSTrevor Story, COL$2
7Corey Seager, LAD$32 OFRonald Acuna, ATL$3
70Elvis Andrus, TEX$14 OFIan Happ, CHC$4
76Jean Segura, SEA$12 OFStarling Marte, PIT$10
74Xander Bogaerts, BOS$12 OFJay Bruce, NYM$6
119Didi Gregorius, NYY$11 SPSean Newcomb, ATL$1
221Paul DeJong, STL$2 SPJordan Montgomery, NYY$1
165Trevor Story, COL$2 SPJon Lester, CHC$15
249Gleyber Torres, NYY$1 SPJustin Verlander, HOU$33
189Andrelton Simmons, LAA$1 SPClayton Kershaw, LAD$50
102Zack Cozart, LAA$1 SPCorey Kluber, CLE$49
OutfieldSPMax Scherzer, WAS$48
1Mike Trout, LAA$65 RPMark Melancon, SF$2
13Giancarlo Stanton, NYY$48 RPKelvin Herrera, KC$2
6Mookie Betts, BOS$48 Jeff Tobin
20Bryce Harper, WAS$46 POSNAMEPRICE
28J.D. Martinez, BOS$43 CYadier Molina, STL$3
12Charlie Blackmon, COL$36 1BMatt Olson, OAK$9
34George Springer, HOU$35 1BPaul Goldschmidt, ARI$35
9Aaron Judge, NYY$32 2BIan Kinsler, LAA$1
33Andrew Benintendi, BOS$29 2BScooter Gennett, CIN$1
64Rhys Hoskins, PHI$28 2BRobinson Cano, SEA$18
52Christian Yelich, MIL$26 3BEduardo Nunez, BOS$3
18Tommy Pham, STL$25 3BManny Machado, BAL$37
73Marcell Ozuna, STL$24 SSCarlos Correa, HOU$35
72Andrew McCutchen, SF$17 OFKevin Kiermaier, TB$2
138Byron Buxton, MIN$15 OFAdam Duvall, CIN$3
97Khris Davis, OAK$15 OFJustin Upton, LAA$15
82Justin Upton, LAA$15 OFDomingo Santana, MIL$7
19A.J. Pollock, ARI$15 SPLance McCullers, HOU$9
93Lorenzo Cain, MIL$14 SPZack Godley, ARI$17
158Starling Marte, PIT$10 SPMichael Fulmer, DET$4
84Chris Taylor, LAD$10 SPAlex Wood, LAD$9
71Yoenis Cespedes, NYM$10 SPRobbie Ray, ARI$29
130Marwin Gonzalez, HOU$9 SPGio Gonzalez, WAS$12
55Domingo Santana, MIL$7 RPLuke Gregerson, STL$1
156Jay Bruce, NYM$6 RPRoberto Osuna, TOR$10
114Adam Jones, BAL$6 John Russell
96Eddie Rosario, MIN$6 CWilson Ramos, TB$1
162Gregory Polanco, PIT$5 1BJose Abreu, CHW$30
112Yasiel Puig, LAD$5 1BCody Bellinger, LAD$32
194Ian Happ, CHC$4 3BJoey Gallo, TEX$10
209Ronald Acuna, ATL$3 3BKyle Seager, SEA$8
190Adam Eaton, WAS$3 SSJean Segura, SEA$12
152Kole Calhoun, LAA$3 OFNomar Mazara, TEX$2
151Odubel Herrera, PHI$3 OFBilly Hamilton, CIN$2
147Adam Duvall, CIN$3 OFMarwin Gonzalez, HOU$9
91Steven Souza, ARI$3 OFKhris Davis, OAK$15
224Kevin Kiermaier, TB$2 OFGeorge Springer, HOU$35
216Willie Calhoun, TEX$2 UEdwin Encarnacion, CLE$24
215Ender Inciarte, ATL$2 SPGarrett Richards, LAA$2
203Nomar Mazara, TEX$2 SPJake Odorizzi, MIN$1
185Michael Conforto, NYM$2 SPLucas Giolito, CHW$1
164Billy Hamilton, CIN$2 SPBlake Snell, TB$9
252David Dahl, COL$1 SPDanny Duffy, KC$10
248Bradley Zimmer, CLE$1 SPChase Anderson, MIL$6
240Kyle Schwarber, CHC$1 SPJohnny Cueto, SF$12
237Jackie Bradley, BOS$1 RPKen Giles, HOU$10
234Michael Brantley, CLE$1 RPKenley Jansen, LAD$29
233Dexter Fowler, STL$1 Kevin Jebens
225Trey Mancini, BAL$1 POSNAMEPRICE
222Ian Desmond, COL$1 CWelington Castillo, CHW$1
212Corey Dickerson, PIT$1 1BGreg Bird, NYY$2
204Brett Gardner, NYY$1 1BJoey Votto, CIN$39
Designated Hitter2BWhit Merrifield, KC$13
79Edwin Encarnacion, CLE$24 SSZack Cozart, LAA$1
67Nelson Cruz, SEA$19 OFTrey Mancini, BAL$1
Starting PitcherOFWillie Calhoun, TEX$2
5Clayton Kershaw, LAD$50 OFByron Buxton, MIN$15
4Chris Sale, BOS$49 OFMookie Betts, BOS$48
3Corey Kluber, CLE$49 SPMiles Mikolas, STL$1
2Max Scherzer, WAS$48 SPTyler Chatwood, CHC$1
27Luis Severino, NYY$36 SPTaijuan Walker, ARI$4
38Madison Bumgarner, SF$35 SPRich Hill, LAD$9
14Stephen Strasburg, WAS$35 SPKenta Maeda, LAD$7
35Jacob deGrom, NYM$33 SPKyle Hendricks, CHC$10
29Zack Greinke, ARI$33 SPChris Archer, TB$26
15Justin Verlander, HOU$33 SPCarlos Carrasco, CLE$32
51Yu Darvish, CHC$32 RPCorey Knebel, MIL$9
40Carlos Carrasco, CLE$32 RPRaisel Iglesias, CIN$9
25Noah Syndergaard, NYM$32 malamoney
36Carlos Martinez, STL$30 POSNAMEPRICE
56Robbie Ray, ARI$29 CSalvador Perez, KC$3
50Chris Archer, TB$26 1BJosh Bell, PIT$1
68Jose Quintana, CHC$24 1BEric Hosmer, SD$13
62Dallas Keuchel, HOU$24 2BJavier Baez, CHC$2
92Aaron Nola, PHI$23 2BBrian Dozier, MIN$29
129Shohei Ohtani, LAA$22 3BTravis Shaw, MIL$12
75Gerrit Cole, HOU$22 SSDidi Gregorius, NYY$11
69Masahiro Tanaka, NYY$22 OFRyan Braun, MIL$6
57James Paxton, SEA$21 OFEddie Rosario, MIN$6
128Luis Castillo, CIN$20 OFMarcell Ozuna, STL$24
94Zack Godley, ARI$17 OFAndrew McCutchen, SF$17
60Jon Lester, CHC$15 SPJameson Taillon, PIT$8
143Luke Weaver, STL$14 SPKevin Gausman, BAL$9
83Sonny Gray, NYY$14 SPLuke Weaver, STL$14
77Jose Berrios, MIN$14 SPJon Gray, COL$13
66Jeff Samardzija, SF$14 SPDylan Bundy, BAL$12
26David Price, BOS$14 SPJose Quintana, CHC$24
123Jon Gray, COL$13 SPMarcus Stroman, TOR$9
104Johnny Cueto, SF$12 SPCarlos Martinez, STL$30
87Dylan Bundy, BAL$12 RPBrad Hand, SD$9
85Trevor Bauer, CLE$12 RPFelipe Rivero, PIT$8
54Gio Gonzalez, WAS$12 Mike Kuchera
144Danny Duffy, KC$10 POSNAMEPRICE
78Kyle Hendricks, CHC$10 CJ.T. Realmuto, MIA$4
159Rick Porcello, BOS$9 1BJustin Bour, MIA$1
157Blake Snell, TB$9 1BJustin Smoak, TOR$5
150Kevin Gausman, BAL$9 2BDaniel Murphy, WAS$17
146Rich Hill, LAD$9 3BMatt Chapman, OAK$1
105Lance McCullers, HOU$9 3BJosh Donaldson, TOR$29
81Alex Wood, LAD$9 SSTrea Turner, WAS$42
43Marcus Stroman, TOR$9 OFBradley Zimmer, CLE$1
169Jameson Taillon, PIT$8 OFIan Desmond, COL$1
101Kenta Maeda, LAD$7 OFBrett Gardner, NYY$1
98Jake Arrieta, CHC$7 OFRhys Hoskins, PHI$28
117Tanner Roark, WAS$6 OFAndrew Benintendi, BOS$29
111Chase Anderson, MIL$6 OFA.J. Pollock, ARI$15
134Mike Clevinger, CLE$5 SPDaniel Mengden, OAK$1
176Patrick Corbin, ARI$4 SPZach Davies, MIL$1
174Taijuan Walker, ARI$4 SPSteven Matz, NYM$1
133J.A. Happ, TOR$4 SPMike Leake, SEA$1
99Aaron Sanchez, TOR$4 SPLuis Severino, NYY$36
89Michael Fulmer, DET$4 SPStephen Strasburg, WAS$35
196Jake Faria, TB$3 RPEdwin Diaz, SEA$5
181Alex Reyes, STL$3 RPSean Doolittle, WAS$6
113Ervin Santana, MIN$3 Ralph Lifshitz
109Charlie Morton, HOU$3 POSNAMEPRICE
199Sean Manaea, OAK$2 CJonathan Lucroy, TEX$1
195Garrett Richards, LAA$2 1BEric Thames, MIL$4
184Dinelson Lamet, SD$2 2BDee Gordon, SEA$10
173Luiz Gohara, ATL$2 3BRafael Devers, BOS$14
154Cole Hamels, TEX$2 SSAndrelton Simmons, LAA$1
149Jimmy Nelson, MIL$2 OFYoenis Cespedes, NYM$10
148Michael Wacha, STL$2 OFBryce Harper, WAS$46
139Marco Estrada, TOR$2 OFTommy Pham, STL$25
135Drew Pomeranz, BOS$2 OFMike Trout, LAA$65
125Tyler Glasnow, PIT$2 SPCarlos Rodon, CHW$1
251Daniel Mengden, OAK$1 SPJulio Teheran, ATL$1
250Brad Peacock, HOU$1 SPTy Blach, SF$1
244Zach Davies, MIL$1 SPShohei Ohtani, LAA$22
243Collin McHugh, HOU$1 SPErvin Santana, MIN$3
242Carlos Rodon, CHW$1 SPAaron Sanchez, TOR$4
241Sean Newcomb, ATL$1 SPJose Berrios, MIN$14
238Steven Matz, NYM$1 SPJames Paxton, SEA$21
235Jordan Montgomery, NYY$1 SPDavid Price, BOS$14
232Nick Pivetta, PHI$1 RPShane Greene, DET$1
228Julio Teheran, ATL$1 RPArodys Vizcaino, ATL$1
214Dan Straily, MIA$1 RPAlex Claudio, TEX$1
207Miles Mikolas, STL$1 Scott White
205Chris Stratton, SF$1 POSNAMEPRICE
200Ty Blach, SF$1 CBuster Posey, SF$20
192Jack Flaherty, STL$1 1BRyan Zimmerman, WAS$1
186Tyler Chatwood, CHC$1 1BCarlos Santana, PHI$15
183Mike Leake, SEA$1 3BMike Moustakas, KC$1
182Jake Odorizzi, MIN$1 3BJustin Turner, LAD$14
170Lucas Giolito, CHW$1 3BJose Ramirez, CLE$35
137Matt Harvey, NYM$1 SSElvis Andrus, TEX$14
Relief PitcherOFDexter Fowler, STL$1
31Kenley Jansen, LAD$29 OFAdam Eaton, WAS$3
59Craig Kimbrel, BOS$23 UNelson Cruz, SEA$19
80Aroldis Chapman, NYY$15 SPCole Hamels, TEX$2
116Ken Giles, HOU$10 SPMarco Estrada, TOR$2
95Cody Allen, CLE$10 SPMatt Harvey, NYM$1
86Roberto Osuna, TOR$10 SPDrew Pomeranz, BOS$2
140Brad Hand, SD$9 SPDallas Keuchel, HOU$24
126Corey Knebel, MIL$9 SPMadison Bumgarner, SF$35
122Raisel Iglesias, CIN$9 SPZack Greinke, ARI$33
136Felipe Rivero, PIT$8 SPNoah Syndergaard, NYM$32
141Blake Treinen, OAK$6 RPJeurys Familia, NYM$2
132Sean Doolittle, WAS$6 RPAlex Colome, TB$2
171Edwin Diaz, SEA$5 Stan Son
178Brandon Morrow, CHC$3 CAustin Barnes, LAD$1
223Archie Bradley, ARI$2 1BAnthony Rizzo, CHC$36
219Jeurys Familia, NYM$2 2BJonathan Schoop, BAL$19
208Hector Neris, PHI$2 3BMiguel Sano, MIN$17
201Mark Melancon, SF$2 3BAlex Bregman, HOU$29
188Alex Colome, TB$2 OFYasiel Puig, LAD$5
175Kelvin Herrera, KC$2 OFSteven Souza, ARI$3
161Mike Minor, TEX$2 OFChris Taylor, LAD$10
246Shane Greene, DET$1 OFGiancarlo Stanton, NYY$48
236Arodys Vizcaino, ATL$1 SPNick Pivetta, PHI$1
227Greg Holland, COL$1 SPDan Straily, MIA$1
226Joe Musgrove, PIT$1 SPChris Stratton, SF$1
220Luke Gregerson, STL$1 SPMike Clevinger, CLE$5
217Brad Brach, BAL$1 SPJ.A. Happ, TOR$4
210Alex Claudio, TEX$1 SPTrevor Bauer, CLE$12

SPJeff Samardzija, SF$14

SPYu Darvish, CHC$32

RPArchie Bradley, ARI$2

RPHector Neris, PHI$2

RPWade Davis, COL$3

RPAroldis Chapman, NYY$15
Senior Fantasy Writer

Raised in Atlanta by a board game-loving family during the dawn of the '90s Braves dynasty, Scott White was easy prey for the Fantasy Sports, in particular Fantasy Baseball, and has devoted his adulthood... Full Bio

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