Fantasy baseball: Tout Wars NL-only draft recap

With the DH now in effect in all games, Milwaukee pitcher Corbin Burnes can put all of his focus on being a fantasy baseball ace in 2022. TANNEN MAURY/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

Know your competition.

The annual Tout Wars National League salary-cap league tends to be one of the more challenging, and after a disappointing 2021 draft in which, after passing up the entirety of the highest-price players, I felt pressed to chase mid-range players, I told myself entering this season that was not happening again. Knowing this group, the highest-priced fantasy baseball players should remain reasonably close to their projected values, so my aim was to strike there, get ahead of the game, then sit back and hunt for bargains.

The bargains didn't really arrive until the draft's final stages, when we're talking about mostly leftover scraps, but I was right on with my initial assumption, which is why I wasn't at all surprised by a fact shared with me midway through: I spent $27-plus on four different players (Francisco Lindor $27, Ronald Acuna Jr. $36, Corbin Burnes $32, Max Scherzer $29), all of whom were nominated within the first 15 players, after having not spent more than $26 on anyone in 2021.

It's illustrative of the importance of knowing the room, and this is one I know well, as seven of the 11 other managers have been part of Tout Wars-NL for more than a decade, with an eighth (Peter Kreutzer) being a longtime member who spent a couple of recent years playing in another format. There's a reason I remind you to always acquire past years' results of any salary-cap draft, because there are always managerial tendencies you'll find that you can potentially exploit.