Lets play ball!
This is my favorite time of the year. I'm an avid baseball fan, and every year the one thing I look forward to is Fantasy Baseball. It all started for me in 1997 when a bunch of my friends and I sat around one weekend in March and drafted our teams. Being a rookie, I had no idea what I was doing. I didn't have a draft strategy, nor did I do any research. I only agreed to play because of the idea of eating pizza and drinking beer all day with a bunch of friends. When the season ended, I finished first in the league and have been hooked since.
Ah those were the good'ol days. We played with a salary cap and did a live draft. Then the commish would enter our teams into cbssportsline.com so we could track it online. Subsequent years, I tried out some other fantasy services like Smallworld, Yahoo, etc. I found that I prefer roto style and Yahoo probably provides the best FREE service out there.
I've been playing on Yahoo leagues since 1998 and have been very successful. To give you an idea of my success, take a look at my performance in the last 5 years. You can see I have won 10 out of 12 times.
This year, I have decided to share my knowledge and experience. So for those of you able to find my blog and are competitive managers, like me, I hope this will help you.
Let me just quickly add that everything I am referring to is based on Yahoo Fantasy Baseball.
Ok, so here goes...some generic draft guidelines for everyone...Rule number
- Avoid drafting a pitcher in Round 1 or round 2, for that matter (especially this year)
- Focus on 5-category players early in the draft
- I like to take care of SB and HR early
- Have a list of sleepers for the final 4-5 rounds (more explanation in part 2)
- Outside of the first 2-3 rounds, you should aim for players that will most likely end the season ranked higher than their draft position.
- Don't draft a top closer like Papelbon, Rivera, etc...in fact, don't draft a closer until you have at least 2 SP's or around 9th to 11th round (more explanation in part 2)
- Aim for the following total (I didn't calculate total AVG or ERA)
For 2010 specific draft strategies:
- SS is the most limited position this year and should be targeted first (if possible). However, if Han Ram or Tulowitzki are off the board go to next point
- 2B is the next most limited. Again if Utley and Kinsler are off the board go to next point
- 1B. Obviously if you had the #1 pick, you should pick Pujols. But assuming you don't then I would suggest getting someone that is the closest guarantee for 110R/40HR/110RBI. I like Fielder, Gonzalez and Teixeira. If these guys aren't available go to next point
- 3B or OF. A-rod, Longoria, Braun and Kemp should do.
- Fill your roster gap according to the draft order above.
- Remember try to pick up guys that are multi-category players
- Here's where I pick up my first elite pitcher like Santana, Carpenter, CC Sabathia, Greinke or Verlander.
- If they are not available I would take someone like Jayson Werth (30/30 guy) and settle for Lester, J. Johnson in next round
- Try to pick up another elite or former elite pitcher here
- I also like former top 5 guys like Alfonso Soriano here
- Here's where I take a chance on potential breakout players or multi-position players that contributes in all areas like Julio Borbon, Carlos Gonzalez, B. Anderson, Jason Bartlett, etc
- You should be able to nab your 3rd tier 1 pitcher like Lackey, Hanson, Billingsley, etc.
- Pick up 2 closers here
- Pick up a catcher. I like Montero or Suzuki here.
- I also like to pick up top prospects here...like Heyward, Strasburg
- Also a good place to pick up 3rd closer like Hoffman, Aardsma, R. Soriano
- I also like to take a chance on injury recovering stars or high risk players like C. Quentin, C. Beltran, Berkman, Guerrero.
- Finally, I'd grab my 4th and 5th starter with ace potential or soon-to-be-back starters like Bedard, Webb, Price, Daisuke, Hudson
- I also go with guys that are strong in 2-3 categories with more playing time i.e., Swisher, Chamberlain, etc
- Or remaining rookies like Chapman and Matusz