Quick updates on my three NFBC teams...
The slow draft team is still struggling, but at the moment it's moved up from last place to 13th out of 15. Surprisingly, the pitching has been adequate, despite my ending up with only 5 starting pitchers in major league rotations so far. However, my hitting has been awful. The main issue wasn't so much that I didn't try to draft depth. It was that I did a lousy job of identifying players who would receive full time at bats, and have ended up with several part time players in my lineup for part of the season. The most damaging situation has been having to use Kaz Matsui in place of Brian Roberts.
My first NFBC team (DailyBaseballData.com) has had a narrow lead for first place for the past couple of weeks. It's surprisingly that it's held an uninterrupted lead for that whole time, because it's definitely one of the lower ranked 1st place teams in the overall contests, varying from a high of 99th overall to a low of around 125th overall during that time. When I drafted the team, it looked like the starting pitching was weak, but getting Ricky Romero, Phil Hughes, and C.J. Wilson has really improved the situation. The one major weakness has been saves, with only Qualls and Dotel as healthy closers. In an attempt to fix that problem, I made my first expensive free agent purchase of the season, winning Jose Contreras for 151 FAAB yesterday. Hopefully he'll get most of the saves while Lidge and Madson are out, and will hold onto the closer job for a while.
My other NFBC team is still struggling, at 10th place out of 12 in its league. Both pitching and hitting have been problems, although the roster still looks respectable in all areas (to me). At this point I think it's safe to say that this team won't be winning me the $60,000 for first place overall, but I do think it has the potential to gain some ground and be competitive in its league. Another month near the bottom of the standings, and I'll change my opinion on that.
I also wanted to responded to a user comment on Chad Qualls. Yes, his statistics stink so far this year. But the last time I checked (a couple of days ago) he had 13 strikeouts and 5 walks (in 13 innings pitched) with a 48% groundball rate. That means he's pitching fine, and has just suffered from a little bit of bad luck so far. As long as Arizona remains patient with him, he should retain all of his value. Normally I'd be very worried that they wouldn't have patience, but their entire bullpen has been so bad this season that they don't seem to have any tempting alternatives for the closer role.