Fantasy Baseball: Tumbling Dice
by Lawr Michaels, MastersBall.com
on January 4, 2011 @ 06:30:00
New Year's Resolutions, Fantasy Style
I am not really sure arbitrarily set dates, like New Year's (why not June 15 as a start?), should be the determinating factor in self improvement. After all, I want to keep changing and hopefully growing as a human being as I go, because, well, it is easier.
That said, well, we all have our weak moments as fantasy owners. So, to help us out - and keep us from having to discuss the failures of Homer Bailey at a 12-step program - I offer the following resolutions, to ideally save us from ourselves. Use as many as you deem appropriate. Share accordingly.
I will not be attracted to shiny prospects. Now, I am not saying not to grab prospects. For example, Jason Heyward last year was fine, as he had a job going into the start of the season. And, I am not saying don't grab John Lamb for the reserve list on your Ultra team. But, I am saying don't grab Lamb in a non-keeper league under any circumstances. What I am saying is, to be competitive you need starters, and you need them now. Not after the break or next year. You need to grab as many points as you can from the get go. So, get players who will give you totals from opening day, even if that means taking a player you don't covet. Meaning Cliff Pennington is a better pick than right now than Manny Machado.
Jeter, April '04: a lesson in patience
- I will ensure two contingencies to support basic draft plan. Ok, you are the GM of your team, right? The Project Manager of the squad? That means you have to have a plan. And at least two contingencies. So, if you wanted Troy Tulowitzki for $35, and he goes for $41 and you dropped out of the bidding, figure how you can get Eric Aybar for $12 and then parlay the $23 difference into another player. If that fails, think of how you can adjust your steals and saves according to your point total. And, be thinking this before the draft. That way you will have backup plans, which will keep you from panicking. And that will put you in charge of the process.
- I will not watch my pitchers pitch, intentionally. The surest way for your pitchers to fail is to watch them. I am not sure why, and I am not suggesting if you bought tickets to the Yankees/Red Sox game and Jon Lester is going against CC Sabathia, to go home. I am saying if Justin Masterson (whom you own) is throwing against the Rays, and you can watch, don't. Look at the box later and find another game to watch. Or go play croquet or something. But don't watch. At best you will be overjoyed after the fact. At worst you will be spared enormous grief and angst.
- I will be cautious with my FAAB bids early in the season. Don't blow your wad in April. There will be other players. There is the trade deadline. So, the opportunity to parlay your money and augment your team and fill a gap will not go away. Plus, you must give your drafted team - provided you have all starters - a chance to do their thing. Ideally you drafted them to produce over 162 games. Don't bail on them after 17 (check out Derek Jeter's April 2004 and then his season totals as an example).
- I will be aggressive with my FAAB bids early in the season. Just seeing if you are paying attention. Actually, if you do have a hole, and an appropriate player is promoted, it is OK to take a shot. For indeed the best shot at promising full season of stats occurs in April. Similarly, if you are in an AL- or NL-only format, and an interleague trade makes Ryan Sweeney available, and you need a flychaser, well, go for it. For he will likely be a starter.
- I will not play in too many leagues. Really, the worst offense is a mediocre defense. And, unless you are retired and have all day free, just play in a handful of leagues - at most - and do it seriously. For if you don't, you will wind up with a bunch of seventh place teams. Worse, your pitchers will almost always be facing your hitters, and you will need a lot of Zoloft to counter that.
- I will not bid on Brandon Wood. Just let it go. He stinks.
So, there you have it. I don't know about you. But I feel better.
About Lawr Michaels, MastersBall.com
Lawr Michaels has been a player in the fantasy baseball industry since he began writing for John Benson in 1993. He has written for STATS, Inc, was the first fantasy columnist for CBS Sportsline, and has appeared in numerous journals and on websites. In 1996, he founded CREATiVESPORTS, a staple for serious fantasy players, which he merged into Mastersball in 2010.
Over the years, Lawr has participated in a wide variety of playing formats and won numerous titles, including AL Tout Wars crowns in 2001 and 2009. Along with his Mastersball duties, Lawr works for MLB.com as a statistician.
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