So if you’re like me, not only do you love sports, you love fantasy sports, as well. Personally, I feel like managing a fantasy teams helps me be a better fan. But that’s a topic for another day. Today, I’m going to let you in on my drafting strategy. I know we’re just past the All-Star break, but it’s never a bad time to discuss the make-up of your team and how it came to be. Now is the time in the season where you take a step back and evaluate your talent.
It’s make or break time, people! If you’re looking for the answers to your fantasy team woes, this post may not be the best answer, but I can sure help you with some strategy for the future after the jump.
So let me start out by saying that I have officially become a fantasy junkie! While I’m not out buying all the magazines and pouring over mock drafts, I’m definitely checking out my team pages multiple times throughout the day and night. Sometimes, I leave up my scoreboard pages just to watch the stats update. I know what you’re saying, I’m sick!
Last year was my first encounter with fantasy baseball, and I discovered the many joys of managing my own team. I can’t believe it took me so long to appreciate the game of baseball from a different perspective. When I started up my team, I decided I needed a fun strategy to approach the season; otherwise I might not enjoy the experience. So here are some of my strategies.
Strategy #1: Draft players you like
For me, that turned out to be my favorite players and ones that I found attractive. Granted, I wasn’t going to skip over a talented player because I didn’t find him attractive. Don’t be dumb and pick up a favorite if he sucks. Some of my favorite players are guys you’ve never heard of. The reason you’ve never heard of them is because they stink. Trust me, even sentimental picks can ruin your season. Don’t fall prey to, say, a hot pitcher with a bad ERA. Last year, I managed to snag some of my favorites and quite a few hotties, and my team finished 3rd overall. Not bad for a beginner. Another thing I tried to avoid was players from teams that I disliked. I learned my lesson after last year. It’s hard to root for a guy when he plays for a team that you root against. Does that mean you don’t draft Mark Teixeira because you hate the Yankees? That’s your call, but don’t say you weren’t forewarned.
Strategy #2: Be smart with your first pick.
Now, with my first pick I always go with a stellar fantasy player. It’s also a bonus if that stellar pick is easy on the eyes. Hey, I’m a girl and sometimes it’s easy to root for the hot guy. Sorry boys! In two of my leagues, I drafted David Wright with my first pick. Of course, I didn’t have the first overall pick in those leagues, so he was a solid selection. In my league of O’s fans, I grabbed Albert Pujols with the first overall pick. While not the easiest on the eyes, his awesomosity is too great to ignore. If you were present for any of our HRD/ASG live blogs, you pretty much know how all of the Ladies stand on Albert, and I love him only because he is on my fantasy team.
Strategy #3: Draft the same core players.
This is more for people who manage multiple fantasy teams. That way you won’t be rooting against your own fantasy guys. Like I said before, I always try to snag my favorite players in all my leagues, that way I have a core group of guys that I’m not rooting against. Since I’m an Orioles fan, it’s usually not that hard to get my favorites, but this year one of my leagues was full of O’s fans. Apparently they all suck at drafting because I managed to snag Brian Roberts, Nick Markakis and Adam Jones in all my leagues. Score one for me.
Strategy #4: Do your homework.
So now after grabbing my stellar first pick and scooping up my favorites, I have to broaden my search for good picks. I always make a list of great players at each position. I, of course, gravitate toward the hot ones. Again, I apologize for being girly, but I love my hot ballplayers. Now once you have your starting positions filled, it’s time to find your diamonds in the rough. Every savvy fantasy player should be aware of the players that are listed for a ton of positions. The best steal in any league will always be Brandon Inge. I managed to draft Brandon in two out of my three leagues. I’ve since been entertaining trade offers all season. Brandon is listed as a catcher. This is what makes him so valuable. Good catchers are hard to come by, and Inge is a steal, considering he’s not really a catcher. It’s never bad to have good players on your bench. Players get hurt all the time and having a viable replacement available will only help you. Who wouldn’t want a good utility guy sitting on their bench? Be smart. Play smart.
Strategy #5: Don’t be afraid to add/drop.
This was my biggest problem last season. I compiled my team, and I fell in love with it. Here’s the thing: some of those people you drafted are going to suck. You are going to have to part ways with them if you want to survive the season. I hate adding and dropping early in the season. I usually wait at least a week or more before I start grabbing up new players. That way you can get a feel for everyone. The players I tend to add and drop the most are pitchers. There is always the story of the breakthrough rookie or the resurging veteran; it’s just a matter of monitoring the waiver wire and picking them up at the right time. I watch a lot of baseball because of what I do for a living. Sometimes if someone catches my eye as a good fantasy option, I hop on the waiver wire and check his availability. Don’t be afraid to click the drop button. I swear it gets easier after the first few times. No regrets in fantasy!!
So these are just a few of my fantasy strategies. I’m having a fairly good fantasy season thus far. I’m in three leagues. One is comprised of all women, one is a money league where I’m the only female and the last one is a fun league with a good mix of guys and girls. I’m first in the all-female league and the fun league. I’m third in my money league. I always get compliments from the people I play with about my drafting strategies, so I thought I would share them all with you. I’m always looking for some new strategies, of course, so please share your suggestions in the comments!