Fantasy Baseball Tumbling Dice: I'm a League-aholic

by Todd Zola, on August 7, 2012 @ 09:50:56 PDT


(Lawr Michaels is away, filling in is Mastersball's Todd Zola)

Detroit Tigers SP Justin Verlander
As many leagues as Verlander K's

Hello, my name is Todd and I'm a league-aholic.

They say the first step to finding a solution is admitting you have a problem, right?

Well, the piece written by my Mastersball comrade Brian Walton may as well have been an intervention directed right at me.

In it I confess to playing in twenty leagues. The breakdown is as follows:

  • Six industry (Tout Wars, LABR, XFL, FSTA, Roto500, RotoRob)
  • Eight NFBC or NFBC-style leagues
  • Four private leagues (2 AL-only, 1 NL-only, 1 Mixed)
  • One Scoresheet League
  • One Strat-O-Matic League

I am finally embarrassed to say this is too much. And that's with half of the leagues being of the no-trading variety.

Part of my the reason for admitting this is excessive is I don't have the desire (note - not time, but desire) to conduct what are best considered as professional trade discussions in the remaining eleven leagues. Maybe it's just me, but I find trade talks uncomfortable and even emotionally draining. It's not so much that I have trouble negotiating and saying "yes" to an offer, it is for every time I say "yes, I probably say "no" ten times. I have trouble saying "no" (which in part explains why I am in twenty freaking leagues). I know I should treat trade talks more business than personal, but for some reason I can't. Perhaps the solution here is to take on a co-manager in some of the trading leagues whose primary responsibility will be to talk trade with the rest of the league.

But trades are only part of it. Truth be told, this is not the first year I have played in this many leagues. However, this is absolutely the only year I have become "that guy." You know, the guy that focuses on the teams doing well while ignoring the rest or turning one's attention to football. Oh, did I mention I also play in five fantasy football leagues with the strong likelihood that will grow once my new workplace finds out who I am?

I'll spare you the reasons, or perhaps excuses why I have shamefully morphed into "that guy." The bottom line is the reasons do not matter. What matters is as soon as you sense yourself losing interest in one of your teams, regardless of their stead, it is time to do something about it. For me, finding a partner to handle trades will help, but I am going to have to make the difficult decision to drop several leagues.

So let's see....

No way am I dropping Tout Wars, LABR, FSTA or the XFL.

And I really like the formats of Roto500 and the RotoRob league.

Heck, the NFBC leagues take up no time; I can handle even more no-trading leagues.

I can't imagine dropping any of my home leagues. This whole so-called expert stuff is pretty cool, and it is kinda neat to be referred to as Lord Zola by my industry brethren, but the camaraderie of drafting live in home leagues is what it's all about.

Scoresheet and Strat-O-Matic make a great diversion from the grind of standard roto. I need to keep them if only to keep my sanity.

Damn it, I'm screwed.

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About Todd Zola,

Focusing primarily on the science of player valuation and game theory starting in 1997, Todd Zola and Mastersball carved out an important niche in the fantasy industry. In 2006, Todd became the Research Director for, and in 2009, he relaunched Mastersball and is now a managing partner.

Todd competes in Tout Wars and the XFL, and has been a multiple-time league champion in the National Fantasy Baseball Championship. He has been a contributor to the fantasy content at and, is a frequent guest on Sirius/XM and Blog Talk Radio and is an annual speaker at the spring and fall First Pitch Forum symposiums. Fantasy Baseball

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