- I violated the cardinal rule of fantasy sports play: I didn't know my league's rules completely prior to this draft. More accurately, I reviewed them rather quickly and made an assumption about them, so I wasn't oblivious, just hasty (which makes wasty - like a few of my picks, probably).
The default limit for games started by a pitcher in ESPN fantasy baseball leagues is 180. I allowed my eyes to drift right past that delineation and to the box which indicated that the minimum number of innings pitched per team is 1,000, and then I assumed that the proprietors of the Razzball Experts league had altered the 180-start parameter. Big booboo.
- I became suspicious that I'd missed something approximately halfway through when I noticed that relievers were going earlier than I expected. By two-thirds of the way through, I'd reviewed the settings again, so I did what I could in an effort to build a team that can compensate for my error. In-season execution will be vital to continuing that effort, naturally, because I'll be incredibly fortunate if that change in direction is enough to make me competitive immediately.
- The restriction on starting pitchers can really increase or decrease their utility, depending on how good and injury-free your group of starters turns out to be. Although it seems counterintuitive to think of relievers in this manner, a more risk-averse strategy in this particular kind of setup may very well be to identify and target the most dependable closers and setup men and have them comprise half of your pitching staff (or, as crazy as it sounds, more). Of course, as with any strategy, the effectiveness of the suggested one is related to how many opponents are doing something similar.
- This league is fairly shallow, with short benches. Because of that, it surprised me that a pretty large number (I thought it was large, anyway) of prospects who are unlikely to join their respective parent clubs within the season's first two months (most of them, probably not for the first four months, if they do at all) went. Roster spots are much too valuable to wait for wings and prayers like that, in my opinion. There may be a couple of players who prove to be exceptions to that axiom, but not by any means enough to convince me that this tactic is worthwhile.
- What I dislike about formats like these: The deep free-agent pool gives owners who made mistakes plenty of choices when they attempt to make up for them. The penalty for multiple poor draft decisions is nil. Someone will hit the lottery with the players they choose to pick up, in fact. But, to circumvent that, I'll choose to be less attached to some of the players I've drafted, as well. "Value" is, after all, relative. Besides, I clearly made a mistake before the draft even started, so I'll do what I can to take advantage of that chance.
About Nicholas Minnix
Minnix is baseball editor and a fantasy football analyst at KFFL. He plays in LABR and Tout Wars and won the FSWA Baseball Industry Insiders League in 2010.
The University of Delaware alum is a regular guest on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio and Baltimore's WNST AM 1570.
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