Wacky Leagues Week 1: Small Sample Size

Every weird avalanche starts with a Week One snowflake.

Week One of the fantasy season is always stressful, having to decide where your streamer spots are, and how you’ll be able to get back off the wire. But compare that to life in the Wacky Leagues, where two teams are already out in Guillotine, and 20 players have been stolen in Grand Theft. Small samples, big impacts.

These leagues are made up of a mix of PL staffers and PL+ members, so if you haven’t already, head on over to the PL+ sign up page and get on the Discord so you can start prepping for the 2022 Wacky Season.


The Guillotine Leagues


The bell has tolled and the blade has fallen in the Guillotine Leagues. In League 1, Mary Ankenbruck was unable to avoid an early exit. Yours truly was able to set a new personal record for league performance by making it through to the second week (wherein I scored less than three points total on Monday so, we’ll see how this goes.) We also got to see KingHippo with a patented Big Swing, going from 14th to first place in a single day last Wednesday, ending the week in second place. The King didn’t make any big splashes in the ensuing FAAB window though, sneaking through a successful $1 bid on Huascar Ynoa. The big-ticket players from Mary’s team were, unsurprisingly, Walker Buehler ($334 to SABRtooth) and Trea Turner ($426 to Adam Howe.)

In League 2, it was Avery Meyers who had to say goodbye, leaving us with these final words: “i hate yahoo”. Avery’s team set off a much more profligate FAAB spree on Monday, with four of his players fetching princely sums: Bo Bichette ($269 to Justin Paradis,) Max Fried ($300 to Tina Yu,) J.T. Realmuto ($313 to Charley Butcher,) and Cody Bellinger ($477 to Ben Brown.) Tina really took this opportunity to bolster the rotation, also winning the bidding for Jordan Montgomery ($150) and Dustin May ($170.)

All the managers across both leagues were relatively conservative with their bidding in the first week, with nobody blowing their whole wallet early on, and it’ll be interesting to see how things work out next Monday as the desperation ratchets up another step even as even more must-have players hit the wire.

Remember, there’s no leaderboard for Guillotine as all the points reset each week, so starting Monday it’s another race to avoid last place for everybody.


Grand Theft Baseball


This week I “sat down” with PL+ Lifetime Member Ben Bingham, who is playing in the Wacky Leagues for the first time this year. I have edited the transcript a bit for clarity.

Asher Dratel: You said this is your first year doing the Wacky Leagues, but if you were reading The List prior to the first PitchCon, I assume that means you have been playing normal fantasy for a while

Ben Bingham: Right, I’m in two home leagues. This is my fourth season playing FBB. I joined the PL Dynasty league last year and tried out the wackiness this year! My home leagues are standard 5×5 H2H Cats, so the Wacky Leagues were fun changes. I had tried a few Best Ball drafts for the first time before the Blind Draft, but doing the Blind Draft definitely put a fun twist on it.

What made you decide to take the plunge this year?

I knew some of the others playing Wacky Leagues from interacting with them on the PL Discord. It sounded like a fun way to interact with everyone and try some fun strategy at the same time. I think because of the shortened season last year, I was extra excited for all things baseball this year. So I’m in more leagues than I have been before. But it’s exciting and already a lot of fun. The Best Ball blind draft was nice because it’s a fun draft experience but doesn’t take any in-season attention. 

Which leagues did you end up in?

I did the Best Ball Blind Draft and Grand Theft.

I’ve actually never done the Grand Theft league. Did you do any special prep for that draft?

I prepped for the Grand Theft league along with my home leagues, which are very similar formats (10T H2H Cats). The fun twist with Grand Theft comes in-season, when you win a matchup. You get to pick a player to steal from the team you defeated. At the beginning of the season, the other team can protect most of their players so you can’t steal the big guns. But as the season goes along you can take bigger and bigger stars. Toward the end, it’s basically anyone goes. I won my first week’s matchup, and it was fun figuring out which available player on the other team would be a good fit for my team.

You won that first week and picked Matt Olson while also having Josh Bell and Christian Walker. Were you specifically trying to get some steadiness at 1B or was that just a Best Available Player type of deal?

Mostly best available player, Walker was a WW pickup after Bell went down, and at the time I didn’t know for sure when he’d be back. But the upgrade from Walker to Olson will be a big help to my team, and hopefully help me win some other matchups. Walker was my drop to get Olson, so that put me at three 1Bs still. The format of having two UTIL spots helps a lot, as does the Yahoo eligibility bonanza. That helps me get all the best bats in the lineup pretty consistently.

You approached the draft  straight-up, and I do think that in some ways GTB is one of the more “standard” Wacky Leagues on paper, but now that we’re a week in, do you think it’s played out like that? Has your experience in the normal H2H leagues translated well?

I hadn’t thought through the need for extra guys at each position; the potential for losing one of your guys at any spot makes your depth feel more important than ever. But of course you can’t always be prepared to lose a player, and have to be ready to shop on the wire if you lose a matchup. So my plan is to win a lot.

Haha, so far, so good on that front, I suppose.

I am super competitive but also try to be super nice, it’s hard to balance both of those sometimes. It’s cool to have the Discord channel for the league so we can do some trash talking.

I feel like I’m always turning the “trash talk” dial down in the PL leagues. I am used to such caustic friendships online in most places.

I have two older brothers, and I have spent my life since high school trying to calibrate my trash talking dial down to not hurt too many feelings haha. But I feel like for the most part all the PL people know it’s all in good fun and we have a great time.

What would you say to anybody who has been reading these recaps and thinking that maybe they want to get in on the Wacky Leagues?

Jump in, it’s a lot of fun! It’s easy to find a wacky league format that suits you. The strategy twists make you approach each league differently, and you get a league-specific Discord channel to chat with the other people in your league. I’m enjoying talking with everyone in my leagues and getting to know them better. I definitely expect to do more Wacky Leagues next year!

Big thanks to Ben for indulging me in my first ever experience doing anything approximating “real” “journalism” in this interview, and hopefully he convinces somebody on the fence to hop on the PL+ Discord and get in on this chaos with us next season!


Ben mentioned that he stole Olson this week after his win, but here are some of the other notable steals from each league:

League 1: Ryan D swiped Tyler Mahle, eliciting a single tear from his victim Justin Redler.

League 2: Justin Paradis upgraded at the hot corner, nabbing Josh Donaldson just in time for him to hopefully come off of the IL.

League 3: ZachTipp stole Yasmani Grandal, much to the surprise of his opponent from week one Myles Nelson. Zach now has two catchers on the roster, although Grandal has 1B elig, and Zach pointed out that this means he can pick which catcher to protect next week if needs be.

League 4: Doug Carlin was able to take advantage of a protection list oversight and snag himself a Paul Goldschmidt for the low price of free.

Grand Theft Standings




In the Categories League, Alexander Chase fell victim to weekly lineup locks (it’s tradition that somebody has to do it!) and set zero roster spots. Meanwhile, Justin Paradis had the best legit performance of the week, winning 6-2 despite Jacob Stallings having a fantastic opening week, putting up a .448 OBP and .364 SLG with only seven strikeouts.

Over in Points, Adam Sloate didn’t break 200 points for the week, mostly from non-production. However, I also noticed that he has Whit Merrifield on the roster? An interesting WorstBall choice to be certain. His opponent BigRedRocket had to overcome Danny Duffy’s rather good opening week, putting up -13.25 points in total.

WorstBall Standings


SP Only


I want to point out one thing about this league: the format is that you only collect your pitchers’ hitting stat on the day they start. This is something that no platform seems to actually support out of the box, so it means that our illustrious captain Myles has to manually go in and confirm the stats and make sure Ohtani isn’t getting credit for the other days. If you ever doubted his dedication to the wackiness, that should put it to bed.

In the early going, Justin Paradis’ team based on Jacob deGrom, Joe Musgrove, and Shohei Ohtani is absolutely crushing the pitching categories. A no-hitter and deGrom being, well, deGOAT will do that for you. He finished the first scoring period up by 23 points over second place.

SP Only Standings



Featured image by Justin Paradis (@freshmeatcomm on Twitter)

Asher Dratel

Asher hails from Brooklyn, wears a 2008 Joba Chamberlain jersey to every Yankees game he attends, and pronounces BABIP funny. Appreciator of Beefy Lad dingers and beers. @asherd.bsky.social on Bluesky.

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