Right about now, most of you are still chowing down on Christmas cookies, or finding new and exciting ways to utilize that last bit of Eggnog, so the last thing on your mind would be some fresh hot peanuts, and a hot dog or two wrapped in really crappy tinfoil.
Soon my friends, soon.
But as January and old man winter continue to blanket most of us with arctic days and nights, the approach of the 2010 Fantasy baseball season looms not so far behind; a reality that is more important than you think.
As we get closer to really buckling down and figuring out what we’re gonna do with our hundreds of draft note pages, and that lousy corrugated draft board that cost 20 bucks—what, you don’t have one—we should take some time out to remember some sound advice that often gets overlooked; advice that could go a long way.
Whether you’re a newbie or a veteran, there are some key principles everyone should follow.
Knowing Your Players:
It seems with every fantasy sport that knowledge is key, and in baseball, knowledge really counts. There are so many players, on so many different teams, and the movement of players alone is enough to throw your whole draft strategy out the window.
But that’s not the only problem.
Because there are so many players to keep track of, we often forget the accomplishments of last year’s waiver wire gems, and late blooming players, opting to go with safer—more household-ish—type players.
Keep in mind that Fantasy Baseball is a game of balance.
If you overload your team with power hitters, you suffer the slump blues that often follow. If you overload your team with speedy thieving base runners, you suffer the “why can’t I get any RBIs out of these guys” blues…and so on.
Keeping your team AND your bench filled with quality consistent hitters, sluggers, and runners will keep you competitive all year long, and doing that may mean passing up on a few big name players.
Starting Pitchers vs. The Pen:
One of the more difficult issues in Fantasy Baseball is the choice between having more starters or bull pen guys on the active roster. Starting pitchers can carry a team alone if you have the right combination and consistent play out of them, but injuries can also cause an unwanted sea change that can leave your team in ruination.
Relievers and closers have special overall value, if they are playing well and throwing strike after strike, but these players can become victims of injuries as well, and sometimes, they can become the victim of under usage if the team has an over abundance of relievers, such as the Cardinals, the Cubs, the Yanks and the Dodgers.
So what do you do?
In the early goings, favoring relievers over starters in numbers can go a long way—strength in numbers. The pen’s duties never change: get in there throw a bunch of strikes and try and get a win or save. Starting pitchers need time to fall into their own and get warmed up, so as the months progress adjusting the ratio of starters to relievers eventually favors the starters; it’s all about balance.
Utilizing Streaks and Watch List:
Baseball is a game of hot streaks; players get hot and give us nothing but gold, then turn cold and piss us all off. The more hot streaks you ride, the more consistent fantasy points you can afford yourself all year long, as opposed to riding the ups and downs of a few good players.
These streaks dictate the waiver wire and watch lists. Utilizing the two in a tandem can make your team unstoppable. The best teams I have ever seen have been teams that make more moves than your local yokel at the bar, so put the streaks and watch list and waivers at your forefront all year long, and the wave of success will never end.
Remember, knowledge, balance, and momentum are the beginning tools of the trade towards Fantasy dominance.