Fantasy Baseball: Steals, reaches and takeaways from the 2021 Friends and Family draft

Scott Pianowski
·30-min read

We're finally seeing some light at the end of the tunnel.

The 2020 Friends & Family Draft was about 12 months ago, at a dark time. We weren't even sure if there would be a season. We ultimately watched a quirky 60-game sprint, later in the summer, and hashed out a roto season that was fun but not fully satisfying.

Back to the present. We're looking at six months, 162 games, and a fresh and fun season awaits. With that in mind, we assembled 16 managers and put the Yahoo Friends & Family League back into play, drafting this past Wednesday.

It's a 5x5 rotisserie league, with a transaction cap of 70. You can make roster moves every day.

It's Year 17 for this group. The Yahoo peeps have won nine titles, the guests seven. Who would you bet on this year?

Rosters and commentary follow. Follow us, fade us, learn from our mistakes, or drive into the same ditches. The choice is yours. Say hello to one new manager, Steve Psihogios of Yahoo Canada.

And away we go.

D.J. Short - NBC Sports

1. (1) Jacob deGrom (NYM - SP)

2. (32) Luis Robert (CWS - OF)

3. (33) Corey Seager (LAD - SS)

4. (64) Pete Alonso (NYM - 1B)

5. (65) Kenta Maeda (Min - SP,RP)

6. (96) Jeff McNeil (NYM - 2B,3B,OF)

7. (97) Ryan Pressly (Hou - RP)

8. (128) Ke'Bryan Hayes (Pit - 3B)

9. (129) Frankie Montas (Oak - SP)

10. (160) Jake Cronenworth (SD - 1B,2B,SS)

11. (161) Jarred Kelenic (Sea - OF)

12. (192) James McCann (NYM - C)

13. (193) Justin Turner (LAD - 3B)

14. (224) Greg Holland (KC - RP)

15. (225) Germán Márquez (Col - SP)

16. (256) David Peralta (Ari - OF)

17. (257) Brandon Nimmo (NYM - OF)

18. (288) Justus Sheffield (Sea - SP)

19. (289) Nick Wittgren (Cle - RP)

20. (320) Tarik Skubal (Det - SP)

21. (321) Starlin Castro (Was - 2B,3B)

22. (352) Jurickson Profar (SD - 2B,OF)

23. (353) Mike Brosseau (TB - 1B,2B,3B,OF)

24. (384) Scott Barlow (KC - RP)

25. (385) Jonathan Schoop (Det - 2B)

26. (416) Odúbel Herrera (Phi - 2B,OF)

D.J. Short, NBC Sports: Picking Jacob deGrom at No. 1 overall might be polarizing, but I thought I would be at too much of a disadvantage SP-wise when the board came back to me. Making up ground in homers and steals felt easier to me than finding that true no doubt fantasy ace. I think it was the right move given how my draft played out, though I’m going to need some more steals at some point. I took some big swings in this draft with the likes of Luis Robert and Jarred Kelenic and I’ll probably need them to pay off to make a real run. Still, I like this team a lot more than I probably have any right to.

Steal of the Draft: Whit Merrifield at No. 51 overall. With his rebound on the steals front last year, I think he should be going at least one round earlier. That Royals’ lineup is pretty interesting too.

Reach of the Draft: Alex Colome at 102 stood out to me as a potential reach, as Twins manager Rocco Baldelli doesn’t plan to go into the season with a primary closer. His main competition for saves, Taylor Rogers, didn’t go until pick No. 207. I don’t think there’s a ton of separation between them.

Razzball - Donkey Teeth

1. (2) Fernando Tatis Jr. (SD - SS)

2. (31) Blake Snell (SD - SP)

3. (34) Eloy Jiménez (CWS - OF)

4. (63) Aroldis Chapman (NYY - RP)

5. (66) Gleyber Torres (NYY - 2B,SS)

6. (95) Anthony Rizzo (ChC - 1B)

7. (98) Giancarlo Stanton (NYY - OF)

8. (127) Tommy Pham (SD - OF)

9. (130) Charlie Morton (Atl - SP)

10. (159) Dylan Carlson (StL - OF)

11. (162) Craig Kimbrel (ChC - RP)

12. (191) Jorge Polanco (Min - SS)

13. (194) Andrew Heaney (LAA - SP)

14. (223) Jake Odorizzi (Hou - SP)

15. (226) Andrew Vaughn (CWS - 1B)

16. (255) James Paxton (Sea - SP)

17. (258) Kolten Wong (Mil - 2B)

18. (287) Bryan Reynolds (Pit - OF)

19. (290) Joey Votto (Cin - 1B)

20. (319) Robbie Ray (Tor - SP)

21. (322) Daulton Varsho (Ari - C,OF)

22. (351) Maikel Franco (Bal - 3B)

23. (354) José Quintana (LAA - SP)

24. (383) Evan White (Sea - 1B)

25. (386) Garrett Crochet (CWS - RP)

26. (415) Gregory Soto (Det - SP,RP)

Donkey Teeth, Razzball: Last year was my first season in this prestigious league and I learned a few things — or at least I hope I learned a few things! Chasing saves last year with all the scavengers in this league was a nightmare made even scarier by the very limited league transactions allowed (only 70 per team for the entire season). So I bit the bullet and ponied up a fourth-round pick for Aroldis Chapman.

The strict moves limit also forces a premium on starting pitching since we can only cycle through so many arms from the waiver wire. I didn't love having to reach by spending pick No. 31 on Blake Snell, but he was the last of a tier based on my rankings. Like the age old saying goes, "When in Yahoo, do as the Yahooeans do."

Steal: Bobby Witt Jr. (18th round, Pick 285, Patrick Daugherty). Witt was at the top of my queue for several rounds but I kept kicking the can since I had already gambled on Andrew Vaughn. If Witt happens to break camp with the Royals big league club, there's a great chance he's a top 100 player this year with the possibility of much more.

Reach: Aaron Nola (1st round, Pick 14, Steve Psihogios). Even with the huge pitching premium in this draft, I can't get behind Nola in the first round.

Y! - Dalton Del Don

1. (3) Gerrit Cole (NYY - SP)

2. (30) Brandon Woodruff (Mil - SP)

3. (35) Tyler Glasnow (TB - SP)

4. (62) Javier Báez (ChC - SS)

5. (67) Yoán Moncada (CWS - 3B)

6. (94) Kenley Jansen (LAD - RP)

7. (99) Byron Buxton (Min - OF)

8. (126) Victor Robles (Was - OF)

9. (131) Kevin Gausman (SF - SP,RP)

10. (158) Travis d'Arnaud (Atl - C,1B)

11. (163) C.J. Cron (Col - 1B)

12. (190) Nick Senzel (Cin - OF)

13. (195) Kyle Schwarber (Was - OF)

14. (222) Miguel Sanó (Min - 1B,3B)

15. (227) Jake McGee (SF - RP)

16. (254) Myles Straw (Hou - SS,OF)

17. (259) Chris Taylor (LAD - 2B,SS,OF)

18. (286) Mauricio Dubón (SF - 2B,SS,OF)

19. (291) Justin Upton (LAA - OF)

20. (318) Alex Reyes (StL - RP)

21. (323) Brandon Belt (SF - 1B,OF)

22. (350) A.J. Puk (Oak - RP)

23. (355) Lorenzo Cain (Mil - OF)

24. (382) Kyle Crick (Pit - RP)

25. (387) Corey Knebel (LAD - RP)

26. (414) Brandon Workman (ChC - RP)

Dalton Del Don, Yahoo: I’ve been going pitching-heavy in all my leagues this year. It’s a bit different in this format with 16 teams and an innings limit, but I think the strategy worked mostly the same. Yahoo’s position eligibility being so generous certainly helps.

I raised an eyebrow when Mark Melancon went in round 8 given the crowded bullpen situation in San Diego, but Laz followed that up a few rounds later by swooping Shohei Ohtani (Batter) when I had my heart set on him. Ohtani becomes more valuable in daily formats, and he’s looked terrific this spring. The Angels have the best park in baseball for lefty power, will no longer use a humidor this season, and Ohtani will run too. He was an absolute steal here.

New York Yankees starting pitcher Gerrit Cole delivers a pitch during the first inning of a spring baseball game against the Detroit Tigers Monday, March 1, 2021, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)
Starting pitching was in high demand early, including Gerrit Cole coming off the board with the third overall pick. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

NBC Sports - Patrick Daugherty

1. (4) Ronald Acuña Jr. (Atl - OF)

2. (29) Luis Castillo (Cin - SP)

3. (36) Alex Bregman (Hou - 3B,SS)

4. (61) Carlos Carrasco (NYM - SP,RP)

5. (68) Michael Conforto (NYM - OF)

6. (93) Alex Verdugo (Bos - OF)

7. (100) Kris Bryant (ChC - 3B,OF)

8. (125) Alec Bohm (Phi - 1B,3B)

9. (132) Sixto Sánchez (Mia - SP)

10. (157) Christian Vázquez (Bos - C,1B)

11. (164) Matt Barnes (Bos - RP)

12. (189) Marco Gonzales (Sea - SP)

13. (196) Nick Madrigal (CWS - 2B)

14. (221) Daniel Bard (Col - RP)

15. (228) Anthony Bass (Mia - RP)

16. (253) Joc Pederson (ChC - 1B,OF)

17. (260) Cristian Pache (Atl - OF)

18. (285) Bobby Witt Jr. (KC - SS)

19. (292) Adam Wainwright (StL - SP)

20. (317) Josh Naylor (Cle - OF)

21. (324) Luis Arraez (Min - 2B,3B,OF)

22. (349) Gregory Polanco (Pit - OF)

23. (356) Nick Pivetta (Bos - SP,RP)

24. (381) Shogo Akiyama (Cin - OF)

25. (388) Oscar Mercado (Cle - OF)

26. (413) Jazz Chisholm (Mia - 2B,SS)

Pat Daugherty, NBC Sports: With the innings cap, *quality* innings are at such a premium in this league. Couple that with only a handful of pitchers likely to reach 200 innings — if that, coming off the corona year — and I place a greater emphasis on high-end starting pitching. Enter Luis Castillo and … Carlos Carrasco, who promptly tore his hamstring. So it goes. I had to have Nick Madrigal. I gambled on Bobby Witt since I get out-hustled on the wire in this league and won’t find as much untapped upside as some of the other managers as the season wears on.

Steal: I’m going to put on my old man hat and say Lance Lynn. Tony La Russa will make him the last 230 IP pitcher in baseball history.

Reach: I’m a Cardinals fan here to tell you Javier Baez took the worst at-bats of any player in baseball last season. God save the video screen.

Y! - Klabacha/Castillo

1. (5) Mookie Betts (LAD - OF)

2. (28) Bo Bichette (Tor - SS)

3. (37) Xander Bogaerts (Bos - SS)

4. (60) Corbin Burnes (Mil - SP,RP)

5. (69) J.D. Martinez (Bos - OF)

6. (92) Dylan Bundy (LAA - SP)

7. (101) Joe Musgrove (SD - SP)

8. (124) Ian Happ (ChC - 2B,3B,OF)

9. (133) Nick Anderson (TB - RP)

10. (156) Josh Donaldson (Min - 3B)

11. (165) Gary Sánchez (NYY - C)

12. (188) Christian Walker (Ari - 1B)

13. (197) José Leclerc (Tex - SP,RP)

14. (220) Matthew Boyd (Det - SP)

15. (229) Cristian Javier (Hou - SP)

17. (261) John Means (Bal - SP)

18. (284) Mitch Garver (Min - C)

19. (293) Giovanny Gallegos (StL - RP)

20. (316) Elvis Andrus (Oak - SS)

21. (325) Buster Posey (SF - C,1B)

22. (348) Blake Treinen (LAD - RP)

23. (357) Renato Núñez (Det - 1B,3B)

24. (380) Aaron Bummer (CWS - RP)

25. (389) Jason Heyward (ChC - OF)

26. (412) MacKenzie Gore (SD - SP)

Jason Klabacha, Yahoo: Picking fifth, we were hoping to take deGrom, but that quickly faded when he went first overall. Landing Mookie Betts at five was more than a fair consolation prize. We wanted to circle back on pitching in the second round, but it felt like a reach to go for any of the arms on the board by the time we were up. Lacking a clear ace, we chased pitching the rest of the way and definitely came up short. It's always fun to draft with this group, but in such a sharp room, you're better off picking a guy a round early than waiting. Waiting hurt us.

Steal: Pianow landing George Springer at 54 looks like a bargain.

Reach: Adalberto Mondesi at 24 seems like a reach, especially in the eyes of my co-manager.

[Draft Rankings: C | 1B | 2B | SS | 3B | OF | SP | RP]

Y! - Laz

1. (6) Juan Soto (Was - OF)

2. (27) Max Scherzer (Was - SP)

3. (38) Anthony Rendon (LAA - 3B)

4. (59) Luke Voit (NYY - 1B)

5. (70) Keston Hiura (Mil - 2B)

6. (91) Teoscar Hernández (Tor - OF)

7. (102) Alex Colomé (Min - RP)

8. (123) Mark Melancon (SD - RP)

9. (134) Dinelson Lamet (SD - SP)

10. (155) Yasmani Grandal (CWS - C,1B)

11. (166) Mike Soroka (Atl - SP)

12. (187) Shohei Ohtani (Batter) (LAA - Util)

13. (198) Triston McKenzie (Cle - SP)

14. (219) Andrew Benintendi (KC - OF)

15. (230) Paul DeJong (StL - SS)

16. (251) Elieser Hernandez (Mia - SP,RP)

17. (262) Ryan McMahon (Col - 1B,2B,3B)

18. (283) Sean Manaea (Oak - SP)

19. (294) Héctor Neris (Phi - RP)

20. (315) David Dahl (Tex - OF)

21. (326) Austin Slater (SF - 1B,OF)

22. (347) Luis Severino (NYY - SP)

23. (358) Sam Hilliard (Col - OF)

24. (379) Adam Eaton (CWS - OF)

25. (390) Dean Kremer (Bal - SP)

26. (411) Yandy Díaz (TB - 1B,3B)

Michael Lazarus, Yahoo: I was in podium contention all the way until a terrible final week, so of course I overreact to my mistakes from last year. Went for outfield power early and was very happy with Soto at pick No. 6. With my Rendon and Voit picks I felt good about HR/RBI but would up gambling on starting pitching. If Lamet and Soroka bounce back and are healthy, should be in great shape, if not it's going to be a lot of waiver-wire searching. Offensively the whole time I was thinking, there's plenty of shortstops, plenty of time and wound up with Paul DeJong — in hindsight maybe there weren't THAT many shortstops.

Steal: I liked a lot of the starting pitchers that went in rounds 7/8. Fried and Luzardo especially (Ian Anderson and Chris Paddock too). Somehow I focused on a closer in that round when I should have been paying more attention.

Reach: I like Aaron Nola. I never think of him as a first-round pick in any format. I would have taken Yu Darvish, Lucas Giolito and others over him. Overall I was surprised at the first-round emphasis on pitching.

Razzball - Grey

1. (7) Trea Turner (Was - SS)

2. (26) Rafael Devers (Bos - 3B)

3. (39) Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (Tor - 1B,3B)

4. (58) Lance Lynn (CWS - SP)

5. (71) Ketel Marte (Ari - 2B,SS,OF)

6. (90) Charlie Blackmon (Col - OF)

7. (103) Sonny Gray (Cin - SP)

8. (122) Matt Olson (Oak - 1B)

9. (135) Pablo López (Mia - SP)

10. (154) Franmil Reyes (Cle - OF)

11. (167) Rafael Montero (Sea - RP)

12. (186) Zach Eflin (Phi - SP)

13. (199) Raimel Tapia (Col - OF)

14. (218) Austin Riley (Atl - 3B,OF)

15. (231) Joakim Soria (Ari - RP)

16. (250) Brady Singer (KC - SP)

17. (263) Leody Taveras (Tex - OF)

18. (282) Drew Smyly (Atl - SP)

19. (295) Griffin Canning (LAA - SP)

20. (314) Emilio Pagán (SD - RP)

21. (327) César Hernández (Cle - 2B)

22. (346) Caleb Smith (Ari - SP)

23. (359) Josh Staumont (KC - RP)

24. (378) Hunter Renfroe (Bos - OF)

25. (391) Franchy Cordero (Bos - OF)

26. (410) Danny Jansen (Tor - C)

Grey Albright, Razzball: No idea what the rest of y’all are doing with starters but it needs to stop. You’re out of control with how high you’re drafting them, and it needs to stop. I’m putting on my Dad jeans, and saying that’s it. I have put my foot down. Since according to Fantasy Pros, I am the top expert for ranking starters, my strategy is 100% correct, undeniable and a show stealer like Cher. However, I will bow to Scott’s shortstop ranking. *licks pencil point, jots down notes* . . . so, Tatis Jr. is good? Interesting . . .

Reach: Tyler Glasnow at 35th overall, he has a near-4.50 ERA in his career and has never thrown more than 111 2/3 IP in a season. That’s a woof from me dawg.

Steal: Kyle Lewis at pick 176. If I wasn’t Mr. Bungle’ing my way through drafting saves, I would’ve taken him right before that. Funston’s Mariners clock is right twice a day, and this was one of those times.

RotoWire - Jenstad

1. (8) Mike Trout (LAA - OF)

2. (25) Clayton Kershaw (LAD - SP)

3. (40) Tim Anderson (CWS - SS)

4. (57) Eugenio Suárez (Cin - 3B)

5. (72) Brandon Lowe (TB - 1B,2B,OF)

6. (89) Stephen Strasburg (Was - SP)

7. (104) Nick Castellanos (Cin - OF)

8. (121) Chris Paddack (SD - SP)

9. (136) Will Smith (LAD - C)

10. (153) Josh Bell (Was - 1B)

11. (168) Richard Rodríguez (Pit - RP)

12. (185) Ramón Laureano (Oak - OF)

13. (200) Jameson Taillon (NYY - SP)

14. (217) Marcus Stroman (NYM - SP)

15. (232) Gavin Lux (LAD - 2B)

16. (249) Willi Castro (Det - 3B,SS)

17. (264) Josh Lindblom (Mil - SP)

18. (281) Jordan Montgomery (NYY - SP)

19. (296) Manuel Margot (TB - OF)

20. (313) Jon Berti (Mia - 2B,3B,SS,OF)

21. (328) Adam Ottavino (Bos - RP)

22. (345) Brent Suter (Mil - SP,RP)

23. (360) Tyler O'Neill (StL - OF)

24. (377) Mitch Moreland (Oak - 1B)

25. (392) Deivi García (NYY - SP)

26. (409) Niko Goodrum (Det - 1B,2B,SS,OF)

Scott Jenstad, Rotowire: Having 16 teams is really tough and while it is only one more than the 15 teamers I normally do, you really feel that extra pick each round, especially in a super sharp room like this one was. My goal was to pick in the middle of the draft (I have a top 8 and would love to have any of them) and end up with a power bat, an ace and some steals and then settle in from there and take the best players for a while since I have established that base. It’s very clear that closers are difficult this year and in a 16 teamer, that was even more the case as even below average closing options were pushed way up in this draft. I decided not to enter that fray since there is trading in this league, but this league really made me realize, whatever your plan is for saves, you sure better have one before you sit down in any deep draft.

Steal: Austin Meadows — He has been moving up and pick 82 was a great grab, I think going 30+ picks after his teammate Randy Arozarena is crazy.

Reach: Alex Colome. I know saves were in high demand, but I just think Round 7 is too early for a guy who is likely to share the role and won’t get you that many strikeouts to help out when not getting saves.

NBC Sports - Boyer

1. (9) Shane Bieber (Cle - SP)

2. (24) Adalberto Mondesi (KC - SS)

3. (41) Kyle Tucker (Hou - OF)

4. (56) Yordan Alvarez (Hou - OF)

5. (73) Edwin Díaz (NYM - RP)

6. (88) Paul Goldschmidt (StL - 1B)

7. (105) Jesús Luzardo (Oak - SP,RP)

8. (120) Kirby Yates (Tor - RP)

9. (137) Wil Myers (SD - 1B,OF)

10. (152) Jordan Hicks (StL - RP)

11. (169) Joey Gallo (Tex - OF)

12. (184) José Urquidy (Hou - SP)

13. (201) Drew Pomeranz (SD - SP,RP)

14. (216) Shohei Ohtani (Pitcher) (LAA - SP)

15. (233) Aaron Hicks (NYY - OF)

16. (248) Hunter Dozier (KC - 1B,3B,OF)

17. (265) David Fletcher (LAA - 2B,3B,SS,OF)

18. (280) Brendan Rodgers (Col - 2B,SS)

19. (297) Chris Sale (Bos - SP)

20. (312) Rowdy Tellez (Tor - 1B)

21. (329) Austin Hays (Bal - OF)

22. (344) Kiké Hernández (Bos - 2B,SS,OF)

23. (361) Framber Valdez (Hou - SP,RP)

24. (376) Tanner Rainey (Was - RP)

25. (393) Mitch Keller (Pit - SP)

26. (408) Elias Díaz (Col - C)

Ryan Boyer, NBC Sports: This is a group of guys that will keep you on your toes. With 16 teams, daily moves and transactions limits as well as an innings maximum to consider, it's not a league for the faint of heart. Admittedly, I immediately had some buyer's remorse with a Bieber-Mondesi start. I like both players on their own, but it made me feel like I was playing catchup in the power department for most of the draft. Gallo can hit 80 bombs, right?

Steal: I'm mostly out on Dinelson Lamet this year, but with his strikeout upside in this format, Round 9 feels like too far of a slide.

Reach: With a lack of whiffs and no clear hold on the closer job, Alex Colome was taken ahead of a bunch of relievers I had ranked higher.

Athletic-Salfino

1. (10) Christian Yelich (Mil - OF)

2. (23) Cody Bellinger (LAD - 1B,OF)

3. (42) Marcell Ozuna (Atl - OF)

4. (55) Josh Hader (Mil - RP)

5. (74) Jose Altuve (Hou - 2B)

6. (87) Trevor Rosenthal (Oak - RP)

7. (106) Salvador Perez (KC - C)

8. (119) Lance McCullers Jr. (Hou - SP)

9. (138) Carlos Correa (Hou - SS)

10. (151) Jorge Soler (KC - OF)

11. (170) Tyler Mahle (Cin - SP)

12. (183) Corey Kluber (NYY - SP)

13. (202) Jesse Winker (Cin - OF)

14. (215) Ha-Seong Kim (SD - 2B,SS)

15. (234) Kyle Seager (Sea - 3B)

16. (247) Tanner Scott (Bal - RP)

17. (266) Garrett Hampson (Col - 2B,SS,OF)

18. (279) Michael Pineda (Min - SP)

19. (298) J.D. Davis (NYM - 3B,OF)

20. (311) Willy Adames (TB - SS)

21. (330) Mike Minor (KC - SP)

22. (343) Noah Syndergaard (NYM - SP)

23. (362) Adam Duvall (Mia - OF)

24. (375) Victor González (LAD - RP)

25. (394) David Peterson (NYM - SP)

26. (407) Miguel Cabrera (Det - 1B)

Michael Salfino, The Athletic: In such a deep format where, unlike in an "only" league, quality is still paramount, it was just impossible to assemble a middle-round staff. I didn't even punt pitchers, as I invested in premium closers since I didn't want the impossible job of rotating through 30 guys first come, first serve with this many owners. The result is that I don't like my hitting much either. 

I did draft a lot of power. I think you can lean into variance with RBIs, runs and average. Steals you can't get too lucky in but there are a lot of guys who could steal 15 bases or 30 or 5 or 15. But there are just no fluke homers in today's game at the levels you need to compile to compete in a mixed league, even one of this depth. I was too disciplined in not reaching for hitters I liked (Ke'Bryan Hayes chief among them). It's not just the quality of the room but also the depth of the draft that makes waiting until the next pass so difficult. 

Steal: Teoscar Hernandez. Since returning from the minors in May of 2019, he has hit .265/.331/.560 with 39 round-trippers in 136 games. Plus he runs.

Reach: How can you even in a draft like this. I guess Luis Robert at Pick No. 32. There are just so many holes in his swing. And he's young but not THAT young. He fell off a cliff last year like Wile E. Coyote and is paying zero tax for it. He's more likely to be Byron Buxton (sans injuries) than Mike Trout. 

Y! - Pianowski

1. (11) Trevor Story (Col - SS)

2. (22) Jack Flaherty (StL - SP)

3. (43) DJ LeMahieu (NYY - 1B,2B,3B)

4. (54) George Springer (Tor - OF)

5. (75) Cavan Biggio (Tor - 2B,3B,OF)

6. (86) José Berríos (Min - SP)

7. (107) Matt Chapman (Oak - 3B)

8. (118) Mike Moustakas (Cin - 1B,2B,3B)

9. (139) Tommy Edman (StL - 2B,3B,SS,OF)

10. (150) Will Smith (Atl - RP)

11. (171) Chris Bassitt (Oak - SP)

12. (182) Isiah Kiner-Falefa (Tex - C,3B,SS)

13. (203) Jared Walsh (LAA - 1B)

14. (214) Brian Anderson (Mia - 3B,OF)

15. (235) Mitch Haniger (Sea - OF)

16. (246) Dallas Keuchel (CWS - SP)

17. (267) Pete Fairbanks (TB - RP)

18. (278) Robbie Grossman (Det - OF)

19. (299) Jackie Bradley Jr. (Mil - OF)

20. (310) Tommy La Stella (SF - 1B,2B,3B)

21. (331) Jorge Alfaro (Mia - C)

22. (342) Jeimer Candelario (Det - 1B,3B)

23. (363) Chad Green (NYY - SP,RP)

24. (374) Jake Diekman (Oak - RP)

25. (395) Jordan Romano (Tor - RP)

26. (406) Tyler Duffey (Min - RP)

Scott Pianowski, Yahoo: I had one of the latest KDS slots and 11th wasn't the ideal, but I was relieved to see Trevor Story still on board. Granted, in 2021, everyone should love their shortstop, it's an absurdly deep position. I missed pitching targets Darvish and Giolito in the second round, so I made an expectant (hopeful?) pick on Flaherty, remembering the closing run of 2019. Overall I leaned into hitting and I'll try to figure out the pitching; that's often a winning frame in a less-competitive pool, but given the size of this league and a transaction cap, you can never assume imbalance will become balance. Ah, screw it, I got a team of leggos, and we're gonna hit. It should be fun. I think we'll contend.

I didn't prioritize relief pitching and in this room, that's essentially a punt. When the draft was about 40 percent completed, the projected standings showed all 16 teams had addressed the handshake headache. That surprised me. The days of getting Iglesias at the nice Kirby Yates 2019 kind of ADP, that's gone now, I guess. I'll try to scrap 4-6 points out of that column, and maybe I'll wind up being the punter. I also need juicy K/9 from my relievers — saves or no saves — because I have some pitch-to-contact issues with my starting staff. Maybe I'm too sympathetic to the Kyle Hendricks movement (and I didn't even get Hendricks).

Steal: Cesar Hernandez is no longer exciting, but he's a boring veteran jam outside Pick 300. I can't assume the Rockies will ever leave Garrett Hampson alone, but he was certainly a target of mine. He's had runs before. Adam Ottavino dirt-cheap makes sense. I'm always sad when the Christian Vazquez team isn't me.

Reach: The price of Jose Altuve was fine, but given the flow of his steals and the calendar into the 30s, I can't take him proactively. I am also not a Realmuto type of guy in deeper mixers, especially off a thumb injury. I will always view Strasburg as Stressburg.

Houston Astros' Jose Altuve flies out during the first inning of a spring training baseball game against the Washington Nationals Monday, March 1, 2021, in West Palm Beach, Fla. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)
What kind of season to expect from Jose Altuve is among the pressing questions heading into 2021. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

RotoWire-Erickson

1. (12) José Ramírez (Cle - 3B)

2. (21) Lucas Giolito (CWS - SP)

3. (44) Zac Gallen (Ari - SP)

4. (53) Aaron Judge (NYY - OF)

5. (76) Nelson Cruz (Min - Util)

6. (85) Brad Hand (Was - RP)

7. (108) Mike Yastrzemski (SF - OF)

8. (117) Marcus Semien (Tor - SS)

9. (140) Sandy Alcantara (Mia - SP)

10. (149) Eric Hosmer (SD - 1B)

11. (172) Clint Frazier (NYY - OF)

12. (181) Anthony Santander (Bal - OF)

13. (204) Tejay Antone (Cin - SP,RP)

14. (213) Jean Segura (Phi - 2B,3B,SS)

15. (236) Amir Garrett (Cin - RP)

16. (245) Domingo Germán (NYY - SP)

17. (268) Carlos Santana (KC - 1B)

18. (277) Victor Reyes (Det - OF)

19. (300) Chris Martin (Atl - RP)

20. (309) Zach Davies (ChC - SP)

21. (332) Joey Wendle (TB - 2B,3B,SS)

22. (341) Trevor Rogers (Mia - SP)

23. (364) Lucas Sims (Cin - SP,RP)

24. (373) Josh Fleming (TB - SP)

25. (396) Yan Gomes (Was - C)

26. (405) José Cisnero (Det - RP)

Jeff Erickson, Rotowire: As always, this is a fun format and a tough league with good players, and of course a 16-team format means that you can rarely wait for your guys to come to you. This might be the best year to draft, precisely because there are so many uncertainties — pitcher usage, how juiced the ball will be, the effect of taking away the DH from the National League, etc... It allows for more strategies to work when there's less of an answer key.

Steal: Tony Gonsolin at pick 15.16 (240) is so good — even if he doesn't begin the year in the rotation, you know somehow he'll end up with 15-20 starts, and he'll be useable in the interim. I like that he also got Dustin May in the pair of picks before that.

Reach: J.T. Realmuto at 4.2 to Schwab. Realmuto is great, but in a one-catcher league I can't justify the early catcher pick, especially in a 16-team league.

Fred Zinkie

1. (13) Trevor Bauer (LAD - SP)

2. (20) Francisco Lindor (NYM - SS)

3. (45) Ozzie Albies (Atl - 2B)

4. (52) José Abreu (CWS - 1B)

5. (77) Raisel Iglesias (LAA - RP)

6. (84) Zach Plesac (Cle - SP)

7. (109) Eddie Rosario (Cle - OF)

8. (116) Zack Greinke (Hou - SP)

9. (141) Andrés Giménez (Cle - 2B,3B,SS)

10. (148) Michael Brantley (Hou - OF)

11. (173) Didi Gregorius (Phi - SS)

12. (180) Andrew McCutchen (Phi - OF)

13. (205) Trey Mancini (Bal - 1B,OF)

14. (212) Aaron Civale (Cle - SP)

15. (237) Eduardo Escobar (Ari - 2B,3B)

16. (244) Ryan Yarbrough (TB - SP,RP)

17. (269) Mark Canha (Oak - 1B,OF)

18. (276) Freddy Peralta (Mil - SP,RP)

19. (301) Alex Kirilloff (Min - OF)

20. (308) Alex Dickerson (SF - OF)

21. (333) Yimi García (Mia - RP)

22. (340) Kwang Hyun Kim (StL - SP)

23. (365) Brad Keller (KC - SP)

24. (372) Yadier Molina (StL - C)

25. (397) Nick Ahmed (Ari - SS)

26. (404) Mike Mayers (LAA - RP)

Fred Zinkie, Yahoo and others: Even for me, this was a high-floor team. But the projected standings seemed to like it, and I believe this is a horse I can ride. I didn’t love taking Trevor Bauer in the first round, but the elite starters are flying off the board so early this year that it makes sense to get ahead of the run. I made sure I grabbed some early steals (Francisco Lindor, Ozzie Albies) but didn’t obsess over it. The meat of this team is the run of boring veteran hitters (Eddie Rosario, Michael Brantley, Didi Gregorius, Andrew McCutchen, Trey Mancini, Eduardo Escobar, Mark Canha) in the middle of the draft.

Steal: How did Whit Merrifield make it to pick 51? We should all be in detention over that one.

Reach: I can’t get behind Walker Buehler as a first round pick. I just don’t believe the innings with be there.

Y! - Psihogios

1. (14) Aaron Nola (Phi - SP)

2. (19) Yu Darvish (SD - SP)

3. (46) Starling Marte (Mia - OF)

4. (51) Whit Merrifield (KC - 2B,OF)

5. (78) Trent Grisham (SD - OF)

6. (83) James Karinchak (Cle - RP)

7. (110) Max Fried (Atl - SP)

8. (115) Dansby Swanson (Atl - SS)

9. (142) Rhys Hoskins (Phi - 1B)

10. (147) David Price (LAD - SP)

11. (174) Gio Urshela (NYY - 3B)

12. (179) Sean Murphy (Oak - C)

13. (206) Max Kepler (Min - OF)

14. (211) Eduardo Rodriguez (Bos - SP)

15. (238) Diego Castillo (TB - SP,RP)

16. (243) Randal Grichuk (Tor - OF)

17. (270) Nate Pearson (Tor - SP)

18. (275) Jonathan Villar (NYM - 2B,SS)

19. (302) Jo Adell (LAA - OF)

20. (307) Bobby Dalbec (Bos - 1B)

21. (334) Garrett Cooper (Mia - 1B,OF)

22. (339) Dane Dunning (Tex - SP)

23. (366) Miguel Rojas (Mia - SS)

24. (371) Luis García (Was - 2B)

25. (398) Edwin Ríos (LAD - 1B,3B)

26. (403) Michael Kopech (CWS - SP)

Steve Psihogios, Yahoo: My plan was to make sure that I addressed starting pitching and stolen bases through the first five rounds of the draft, and I feel like I did a pretty good job accomplishing that. My Whit Merrifield selection drew some praise during the draft, and he's someone I feel always winds up being a great pick when reflecting at the end of the year. One player I was really happy to get later in the draft was Jo Adell. My outfield isn't going to draw many praises, but Adell is someone who has the potential to really boost the group. There's no way around how dreadful his rookie season was, but the tools are there for him to breakout. It's good to remember that it was just 38 games.

Steal: Framber Valdez, Pick 361. Given how hard it is to stay healthy for an entire season, I typically stay away from players who are already injured, but there was a couple of times during the draft where I almost mustered up the courage to select Valdez. There is still no timetable for his return, but the most recent news regarding his fractured finger is undoubtedly positive. There's very low risk involved with this selection and a strong 2020 he could build on when he returns.

Reach: Kevin Gausman, Pick. Maybe it's not fair to call Gausman a reach, but he's definitely a starting pitcher that I'm shying away from in drafts this year. He excelled as a member of the Giants' rotation last year, but again, it is very important to remember it is just two months. There were a handful of pitchers that went off the board afterwards I would've preferred.

Y! - Schwab

1. (15) Walker Buehler (LAD - SP)

2. (18) Bryce Harper (Phi - OF)

3. (47) Nolan Arenado (StL - 3B)

4. (50) J.T. Realmuto (Phi - C)

5. (79) Hyun Jin Ryu (Tor - SP)

6. (82) Austin Meadows (TB - OF)

7. (111) Zack Wheeler (Phi - SP)

8. (114) Max Muncy (LAD - 1B,2B,3B)

9. (143) Dominic Smith (NYM - 1B,OF)

10. (146) Patrick Corbin (Was - SP)

11. (175) Archie Bradley (Phi - RP)

12. (178) AJ Pollock (LAD - OF)

13. (207) Taylor Rogers (Min - RP)

14. (210) Nick Solak (Tex - 2B,3B,OF)

15. (239) Yusei Kikuchi (Sea - SP)

16. (242) Nathan Eovaldi (Bos - SP,RP)

17. (271) Avisaíl García (Mil - OF)

18. (274) Austin Nola (SD - C,1B,2B)

19. (303) Amed Rosario (Cle - SS)

20. (306) Kole Calhoun (Ari - OF)

21. (335) Jesús Aguilar (Mia - 1B)

22. (338) Dylan Cease (CWS - SP)

23. (367) Carter Kieboom (Was - 3B,SS)

24. (370) Scott Kingery (Phi - 2B,3B,SS,OF)

25. (399) Colin Moran (Pit - 1B,2B,3B)

26. (402) Donovan Solano (SF - 2B,3B,SS)

Frank Schwab, Yahoo: Spoiler alert — it's hard getting the 15th pick in a draft full of pros. I'm not going to compete swinging for singles, so whole Buehler and Harper are no sure things to be top-20 guys, they have league-winning upside. I regretted picking Realmuto, should have gone Springer or Merrifield and punted catcher. It's hard to come away from this draft feeling great — when you draft against experts, they'll never foul off a meatball down the middle. Nothing ever falls to you because nobody makes mistakes.

Steal: Nick Castellanos at 104 will pay off big. I considered him at 82. Can't imagine he won't finish top 100.

Reach: Surprise - I get the Adalberto Mondesi pick but don't need to like it. Not ahead of Devers or a second-tier ace.

Athletic Funston

1. (16) Freddie Freeman (Atl - 1B)

2. (17) Manny Machado (SD - 3B,SS)

3. (48) Liam Hendriks (CWS - RP)

4. (49) Randy Arozarena (TB - OF)

5. (80) Lourdes Gurriel Jr. (Tor - 2B,OF)

6. (81) Kyle Hendricks (ChC - SP)

7. (112) Ian Anderson (Atl - SP)

8. (113) Julio Urías (LAD - SP,RP)

9. (144) Willson Contreras (ChC - C)

10. (145) Dylan Moore (Sea - 2B,3B,SS,OF)

11. (176) Kyle Lewis (Sea - OF)

12. (177) Ryan Mountcastle (Bal - 1B,OF)

13. (208) Devin Williams (Mil - RP)

14. (209) Dustin May (LAD - SP,RP)

15. (240) Tony Gonsolin (LAD - SP,RP)

16. (241) Yuli Gurriel (Hou - 1B,3B)

17. (272) Stefan Crichton (Ari - RP)

18. (273) Taijuan Walker (NYM - SP)

19. (304) Wander Franco (TB - SS)

20. (305) Ty France (Sea - 2B,3B)

21. (336) Carlos Martínez (StL - SP,RP)

22. (337) Alejandro Kirk (Tor - C)

23. (368) Corey Dickerson (Mia - OF)

24. (369) Trevor May (NYM - RP)

25. (400) Asdrúbal Cabrera (Ari - 1B,2B,3B)

26. (401) Jorge Alcala (Min - RP)

Yahoo Friends & Family Podium History (First, Second, Third):

2020: Pianowski, Erickson (tie second), Schwab (tie second)

2019: Lazarus, Pianowski, Del Don

2018: Jenstad, Gamble, Albright

2017: Del Don, Gamble, Pianowski

2016: Boyer, Liss, Behrens

2015: Short, Liss, Boyer

2014: Pianowski, Singman/Johnson, Liss

2013: Short, Pianowski, Behrens

2012: Behrens, Salfino, Liss

2011: Erickson, Liss, Behrens

2010: Pianowski, Del Don, Razzball

2009: Liss, Pianowski, Behrens

2008: Pianowski, Buser, Falzone

2007: Behrens, Pianowski, Liss

2006: Liss, Buser, Wasserzieher

2005: Funston, Pianowski, KFFL/Bruce