Wacky Leagues Week 3: Chaos Is A Ladder

The King speaks, and all the other news from the Wacky Leagues!

This week I sat down with longtime PL+ luminary KingHippo in what I can definitely assure him is not a hit piece, and I thank him for the time after he had to spend a whole night with drunk me on a Discord call for the PitchCon Blind Draft.

Asher Dratel: Just for some background, how long have you been a PL+ member, and how long have you been playing fantasy baseball?

KingHippo: Let’s see. I think this will be my third season as a PL+ member. I started the same season the Discord started. That was the lure that pulled me in. I’ve been playing fantasy baseball for about 12 or 13 years, I think. My first leagues were back in the day when you had to pay on ESPN…but you got a shirt if you won your league. Sadly, I no longer have any of those shirts.

How many did you win?!

Two for baseball and one for football. I can’t remember how many seasons champ shirts were in play.

Very impressive. How many wacky leagues did you sign up for this year and how many “normal” leagues are you in?

This year I’m in Guillotine, Grand Theft, and [the PitchCon] Blind Draft. And I have one normal league–my home league.

And what’s the format for your home league?

12 team, H2H 6×6 (R, HR, RBI, SB, AVG, OPS | QS, K, ERA, WHIP, SV, K/9)

Word. You’ve been at or near the top of the rankings every week so far in Guillotine 1, which in and of itself means nothing since it’s Guillotine, but I would imagine it feels good to have your draft vindicated like this?

The real benefit of a strong start is that my weekends have been relatively relaxed. Stressful weeks are surely coming. But that is the thing I have enjoyed the most.
I’ve just remained active on the wire, finding value, making incremental improvements every waiver run.

I’m also just now looking at that and I see you’ve made the most moves in the league while only spending $5 of your FAAB…

And I don’t think I currently have any of the players I’ve spent on!

Are you intentionally trying to save up the FAAB or is it just a matter of letting it ride while you can?

I’ve put bids in on all the major free agents. I’m just not valuing players the same as “the market” so far. FAAB is everything once the season starts. There isn’t anything wrong, per se, about spending on a big piece, the “season” is 17 weeks long…so you just have to have a plan.

Yeah I’ve thrown a few real lowball bids in on some position players where I feel like I’m already pretty stable.

Guillotine is so fickle. you are a couple slumps and one blow-up from your ace away from death.

Speaking of, when I spoke to you during week 1 you said that “Pitching wins Guillotine” but also noted that Castillo wasn’t exactly helping your cause. Who has been your happiest surprise on the roster so far in your rotation?

As far as surprises are concerned, Jake McGee has to be the answer. He has so far scored like a mid-round starter. He has 66.5 points…which is in the same neighborhood as guys like Mahle and Ryu. Adam Wainwright has come through for me, too, I drafted him super late.

Always nice to end up with a stud closer out of nowhere…
As the current Guillotine 1 King, do you think I have another week in me? I feel like my making it to week 2 has utterly destroyed any semblance of humility I once had in this format.

Of course you do! You are 38 points clear of the cut after Day 1!

Shifting wacky gears, in Grand Theft, I’ve noticed that a lot of IL players seem to change hands during every thieving period. I know it’s complicated by the protection lists but how far ahead are you looking when you make your picks? Are you trying to fill a gap you noticed opening the previous week, or are you trying to build for a roster you want a couple of weeks down the line?

I think IL players are valuable because they let you keep your active players. Who to DROP is a big part of Grand Theft. Especially in a 10-teamer. We all love all our players, so stealing a player on the IL lets you put off the decision of who gets dropped.
Things will start getting more interesting in Grand Theft starting this week. Protection goes from 14 to 12 this week…and you are going to start seeing some really good players moving around. Up to this point…stealing a pitcher with two starts…or one great start has been a viable play because players with massive impact aren’t yet available for stealing.
Although Jazz Chisholm was left exposed in the Theft league I’m in…and that could be a decision that haunts someone all season…

Somebody forgot to protect Goldy one week in a league, their opponent didn’t forget to take him, it was fun to see.

Funny. I’m not sure I’d steal Goldy if left available to me, I’m kind of a low man on him.

Yeah I don’t want to necessarily grade the steal from a fantasy standpoint, but just the context of “I’ll take Goldy” “WAIT WHAT?!” was fun to see.

Ha! That manager is certainly going to change their process, I have Excel sheets for everything.

I believe it, given that you’re also the official scorekeeper for Guillotine now.

Apparently! Gotta get the updated scores out early for the East coasters!

And so for your final wacky league, Myles had you sit down with your co-manager Al Melchior prior to the big reveal, have you two been in touch as the season has gotten underway?

No, I don’t have “access” to him. [Author’s note: Hippo doesn’t have a Twitter account or anything] I honestly haven’t even looked at that team. I know we drafted Eloy (Al did, to be clear.) It was great to talk with Al, one of those cool things PitcherList makes possible.

On that note, what would you say to anybody who’s been reading these recaps and is thinking about getting involved next year?

Wacky Leagues are great! I can’t emphasize enough how fun they are. They give you a new perspective on fantasy baseball that you simply can’t get with home leagues and standard formats. And they turn into little communities within the season–shared experiences with like-minded folks.

And if you want to be one of those like-minded folks, a reminder that 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 calendar has rolled over to another week as time marches inexorably onwards. In League 1 we bid adieu to Anthony Tucker in a week that came down to the very end of the Padres/Dodgers game as Josiah DeBoer avoided the chop by less than 5 points. Mike Pergugini has found himself near the bottom of the standings a couple of times, and he went out and flashed his cash trying to keep it from happening again, spending $475 on Xander Bogaerts, setting the highest price for the week. He also spent $400 on Max Scherzer, who then proceeded to run into BSOHL Vlad Jr. and put up a measly 1.25 point outing against the Jays. Guillotine can be a mean one, sometimes. It also means we have our first active manager with $0 FAAB left!

Christopher Reeves also lived up to his Mr. Content nickname again, picking up Carlos Correa for $197, which was $100 more than the second-place bid, then dropping Gleyber Torres to make room, who was then picked up by SABRtoothTiger for a mere $22. It’ll be interesting to see how that shakes itself out from here.

League 2 held a moment of silence for Phil Moyer, in a much more clear-cut finish to the week, with 30.50 points separating him from the second-to-last spot. Phil’s last words? “I have disgraced my family.” The Moyer family’s embarrassment is everybody else’s riches, though. Well, kind of, I guess. FAAB action was pretty sedate this week, with only four players commanding triple-digit bids. Highest on the list is Aaron Nola who went to Justin Paradis for $420. Callen Elslager got himself Trevor Story for $270, which may end up a steal as he seems to finally be heating up. Callen also got Kyle Hendricks, although it cost him $164, almost $120 more than the second-place bid. Rounding out the group, we have the duo of Michael Ajeto and Austin Bristow II dropping $102 on their hopes for the Zach Plesac bounceback.

In both leagues there hasn’t been a ton of stratification in available FAAB as people seem to be playing a little close to the chest until they absolutely have to go out and spend. We’ll see how it works…


Grand Theft Baseball


Leagues 1 and 2 commissioner Adam Sloate is also adding historian to his title, as he’s started collecting some data on who is getting stolen and doing the stealing. With a few weeks under our belts, I can tell you all that across both leagues, Matt Olson and Steven Matz are the leaders for stolen players with a pair each. They’re probably not the names you would expect, but given the rather generous protection lists, you’re looking for marginal/upside plays at this point.

Tina Yu and Will Pratt are still looking for their first wins and thus first thefts, and one upside to wins as we go is you get a choicer selection from the rosters. Adam will be adding the info from Leagues 3 and 4 to his tracking, so I’m looking forward to teasing out the patterns across the format as a whole. Until that happens, I can tell you that over in League 4, Dave Cherman is once again looking to wheel and deal so hit him up if you want some pitching.

I also want to point out that given the vagaries of roster locks and whatnot, sometimes a theft can’t be processed for a day or so while the named player languishes on the waiver wire, untouched by any other managers. It turns out there is, in fact, honor among thieves.

Notable thefts:
League 1: Ryan D chose violence, asking “Can I steal a player just to have them be my dropped player as well? Aka just force the other team to drop someone?” which is some real good shade to be throwing around. In actual player news, Ben Bingham lifted the ageless wonder Justin Turner from KingHippo, so he has one less player to worry about dropping going forward.
League 2: Justin Paradis made the biggest name splash by snagging Christian Yelich who will hopefully be on his active roster sooner rather than later. Ben Brown also upgraded his rotation, pinching Charlie Morton and yeeting Patrick Corbin out into the FA pool.
League 3: Kyle Seiler and Josiah deBoer tied, with Kyle grabbing Marcus Stroman and Josiah adding Eric Hosmer. Avery Meyer stole Wil Myers from Mary Ankenbruck, who didn’t seem very crestfallen as she needed the roster spot to activate Anthony Rendon from the IL anyway.
League 4: SABRtooth added red-hot Tommy Edman to his team, and Wynn McDonald is now IL-stashing Carlos Carrasco.


Grand Theft Standings




Categories: Adam Howe’s team answered the question posed in their named “Howe Bad Can They Be?” as they won the week 7-1 against Nicole Cahill. Nicole did win in ERA on the back of a less-than-stellar week from Casey Mize, who gave up a pair of homers, 14 total bases, and a 11.57 ERA and 2.14 WHIP. That’s a WorstBall Ace line, right there. Justin Paradis continued his losing ways as The Sultans Of Suck remain atop the standings, but behind him there have been some big swings, as I find myself in 2nd place up from 7th.

Points: On the 21st, Myles Nelson got to see what it was like to roster a nine-inning no-hitter from Carlos Rodón, and this week he got his first seven-inning no-hitter out of Madison Bumgarner. Another -28.50 points from your WorstBall ace isn’t ideal. I’m actually looking at Myles’ rotation right now and I kind of wish I had a good chunk of it in my money league right now. Even with his loss last week, Myles still holds the 2nd place spot in the league, however.


WorstBall Standings


SP Only


I implored the managers in this league to come up with some way to challenge Justin’s dominance, although it seems like it will be hard to do. Shohei Ohtani’s OPS was higher than his ERA until this week, and the Angels are forgoing the DH when he’s pitching, which means Justin gets to reap the rewards of his 171 wRC+(!!!!!!!!!!) And of course, he’s also got Jacob deGrom:

His AVG is also higher than his ERA! Everything’s coming up Milhouse for Paradis, and his offensive lead is going to be a very tough hill to climb for the rest of the league.


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.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Account / Login