Fantasy

Entering a Test Draft is valuable

Chase Utley's hip injury didn't prevent him from being a first-round pick.
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - I always recommend you do an online fantasy draft for a league you don't care about, before going into your primary draft. That's because no matter what you see and read over the winter, you won't know what other fantasy owners really think until you go up against them.

Well, yesterday was my test draft and here are some of the things I noticed from my 10-team, rotisserie-style, online snake draft:

1) Only six of the team owners actually showed up for the draft, meaning the other four either pre-ranked their teams or went with whatever ranking the site gave them in their autodraft pick option.

2) Hanley Ramirez, Albert Pujols and David Wright will likely be 1-2-3 in your draft although the order might change.

3) Apparently Chase Utley's hip injury didn't prevent him from being a first-round pick.

4) Johan Santana is being picked before Tim Lincecum despite the latter being the Cy Young Award winner in 2008.

5) Ichiro Suzuki was picked at No.21, too high for the player he is today, one who hits .310, scores 100 runs and steals 35-40 bases, but has a slugging percentage under .400.

6) Evan Longoria was picked four spots ahead of Alex Rodriguez and 12 picks in front of Aramis Ramirez.

7) Ian Kinsler, despite being one of the top-five fantasy players in all of baseball until his season-ending injury, still isn't getting the respect he deserves at No.28.

8) Apparently playing in Oakland versus Colorado is worth 22 spots. Last year Holliday was a No.7 pick, this time around No.29.

9) One fantasy owner thinks Carlos Delgado is back, drafting in the 34th position after just one year ago having an ADP of 144. His current ADP is around 90 in most leagues.

10) Fantasy owners in my league didn't believe B.J. Upton found his stroke in the post-season because he went at No.42 in my draft versus an ADP of 21.5 in other drafts.

11) The first closer, Jonathan Papelbon went at No.53, just ahead of Mariano Rivera.

12) David Ortiz fell to No.56 in our draft, 50 spots below last year's ADP of 16.

13) Troy Tulowitzki, one of my candidates for best bargain of 2009, lasted until the ninth round when I plucked him at No.88.

14) Despite going 55 picks behind Aramis Ramirez, Adrian Beltre's stats are nearly equal over the last two years. Ramirez has two more home runs, eight more runs scored and 36 RBIs than Beltre, who stole 20 more bases.

15) Because of his elbow injury, Ervin Santana was picked in the 15th round, not a bad gamble for a pitcher who went 16-7 with a 1.12 WHIP and an ERA of 3.49.

16) Colorado catcher Chris Iannetta went in the 16th round (158th) although I have him as a top-10 catcher in 2009. One of us is wrong in our evaluation.

17) Just one year ago, Justin Verlander was a top-10 pitcher, but he went in the 17th round. At that spot it's definitely worth the gamble.

18) Kelly Shoppach, who hit 21 HRs last season, apparently still isn't getting any love. He was a No.204 selection in our draft.

19) Neither is Melvin Mora who hit 23 HRs and knocked in 104 runs in 2008 yet went No.216.

20) Mark Reynolds was picked in the 22nd round, yet hit more homers than every other third baseman except Rodriguez, Wright and Jorge Cantu.

Comments? Criticism? Applause? Contact Steve Schwarz at sschwarz@sportsnetwork.com.