To win now or invest in the future? That is the question facing potential owners in the upcoming franchise auctions for Ultimate Fantasy League Baseball. There is no easy answer and this promises to be a topic of much debate in the lead-up to next month’s monumental event.
Between now and then, we’ll be highlighting franchise players of interest through The List, which is debuting with the first edition today — followed by a new version every Monday afternoon as a primer with varying perspectives on potential targets and tiers of talent.
From November 5-7, potential owners will be bidding on 30 spots that represent a franchise in UFLB. The higher the bid, the higher the franchise will pick in every round of the one and only 26-player draft to be held March 5-6, 2022.
“I’m really intrigued to see how much priority is put on the top 10 or five spots during the franchise auctions,” mused Dean Millard, Head of Baseball Operations for Ultimate Franchise Fantasy Sports. “I mean, you set yourself apart from the pack in any sport if you’re drafting in the top five or 10, but I know there are fantasy geniuses out there who see it as a personal challenge to build a champion while drafting near the back of the bus!”
To help potential owners in that decision-making process, here is the first of what will be many 30-player lists from different people in the baseball world, starting with Millard, who will also serve as UFLB Commissioner.
“I really wanted to focus on the top 10 or 11 and go with guys who are great young stars who should have long careers. The oldest guy in that Top 10 is 30-year-old Mike Trout, who will be No. 1 on some lists, and I know Trout was banged-up this year, so he’s not top of mind for some, but the Legends League appeal for him will be next level,” said Millard, referring to Legends League Baseball, which will feature the best players of all time facing each other in video game simulation play. “After that, it was a mixture of young stars, guys in their prime, and guys who are nearing the end but still get it done and will have value for LLB.”
Creating this kind of list means making a lot of tough choices, and here are some of the players who were just outside the top 30 but knocking on the door for Millard’s list.
The oldest player on Millard’s Top 30 is 37-year-old Max Scherzer, who is turning back the clock with the Dodgers in the playoffs right now. At the other end of the spectrum is 20-year-old Tampa shortstop Wander Franco, coming in as the youngest player.
Joining Millard this week on The List is Jordan Blundell, the Head Coach and Assistant General Manager of the Edmonton Prospects in the Western Canadian Baseball League. Blundell led the Prospects to the league championship series this year and started playing fantasy baseball more than 20 years ago. Blundell and Millard have hosted a couple of baseball podcasts together and always end up chatting fantasy when they are in the same room.
“For me, the two best players are Trout and DeGrom. After that, I’ve got the two best hitters in my opinion next and then Ohtani,” said Blundell, who is busy recruiting players for the 2022 WCBL season. “Ohtani is absolutely special. Tatis playing SS for me is so important in the middle of the field. Vlad is looking like a young Albert Pujols!”
Like Millard, Blundell also had Max Scherzer and Wander Franco as the oldest and youngest players, with 20 out of 30 appearing on both lists.
There was also one player both had on their ‘just missed the cut’ list, as Blundell also had Baltimore Orioles 30-30-man Cedric Mullins among his 5 players just outside the Top 30.
“Last week I said I’d be shocked if any list came in without Shohei Ohtani at the top, and while I am surprised it happened already, I shouldn’t be considering the source,” laughed Millard, who has worked closely with Blundell and considers him a good friend. “Jordan considers R.A Dickey’s season in 2012 one of the top 5 pitching seasons of all time, so if anyone was going to go in a different direction, it’s him.”
Look for a new edition of The List every Monday afternoon leading up to the franchise auctions, November 5-7. All bidders must be registered in advance.
To become part of the UFFS community, join these Telegram groups of interest:
UFLB (baseball) = https://t.me/UFLBaseball
UFFS Hockey = https://t.me/joinchat/GiszlBA8Eqpg10t5
UFAFL (American football) = https://t.me/joinchat/mvNznB1EA1w1YjBh
AFLL (American Football Legends League) = https://t.me/joinchat/CgnjW6_Kmfo4ZDcx
UFBA (basketball) = https://t.me/UFBAchat
UFGA (golf) = https://t.me/joinchat/eEZ3_P-jaeViZGIx
UFFL (MMA/boxing) = https://t.me/joinchat/pcF5Cg5mWVI0NGIx
UFFS Football/Soccer = https://t.me/joinchat/4jBFgeiq-VwzMWJh
UFFS Volleyball = https://t.me/joinchat/t57JtZGWm1plM2Ix
UFF Sports (Main/General) = https://t.me/joinchat/SDREStKluqvTA9tX
UFFS Announcements = https://t.me/UFFSAnnouncements
SCORE Coin Chat = https://t.me/SCOtokenlaunch
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