Teachable moments in fantasy baseball stashing

      May 18, 2012 @ 16:58:26 PDT

Free-agent SP Roy Oswalt
With Oswalt for the long haul

I'll admit it: I cut Bryce Harper early on in the season in the 12-team Fantasy Sports Trade Association league. Yup. Omar Infante took his place - not a bad pickup for short-term gains, but potentially not a good one for later on in the year.

Harper's arrival timetable wasn't exactly sped up in early April, nor did his statistics show anything remotely resembling being deserving of a call-up. Mike Rizzo and the Washington Nationals organization thought differently.

So, after using a Round 19 pick on him in that draft, I lost him. Of course, he hasn't exactly been a plate beast, and since he's an outfielder I had plenty of replacements at the time anyway, but you can see in his current game hints of improvement that could have him reaching a higher level by season's end.

Now, I had more patient stash instincts with the mixed branch of the League of Alternate Baseball Reality, where I'm currently tucking away Roy Oswalt, who's reportedly on the verge of being fantasy-relevant once again. I drafted the bulldog in Round 21 of the 15-teamer, when it was known that he'd pitch only a partial season.

My SP corps has been my downfall in that league, so I've had more reason to latch on. The fact that so many of my LABR players hit the DL allowed me to keep reloading around Oswalt. I came close to dropping him for a temporary closer last week but decided against it, thanks to my distaste for the chased options and my already thinning FAAB budget.

So, in one case, I dropped an elite long-term prospect, and another held onto a reliable SP vet. When stashing, consider your short- and long-term needs; what you think will become a weak spot in the standings; which players are truly expendable; and whether that player's contribution will be worth waiting for. Knowing which commodities you can cycle and which you should protect another element to being as flexible as possible for your squads.

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About Tim Heaney

Tim's work has been featured by USA Today/Sports Weekly, among numerous outlets, and recognized as a finalist in the Fantasy Sports Writers Association awards. The Boston University alum, who competes in the prestigious LABR and Tout Wars, has won numerous industry leagues in both baseball and football.

He appears frequently, including every Sunday, on Sirius XM Fantasy Sports Radio, as well as every Wednesday on 1570 AM WNST in Baltimore.

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