Before the preparations begin for 2018 fantasy baseball drafts, I wanted to post up what I feel was my "best" fantasy team last season.
This team is an NFBC (National Baseball Championship), 12-team, $150 Satellite league. It's $150 to play, and pays out the top three placers. I placed second, and won $375.
Looking back at how the season shook out, players drafted in the single digit rounds were risky.
End Of Season Team
I tried my best to draft a well-balanced team, and being able to draft in the middle of each round helped me with that. In a more casual league, I'm not as careful when it comes to balance, but I felt like I couldn't take the risk in a league like this.
I'm not surprised that I had more points in pitching categories than offensive categories. One thing that's usually my weak point are stolen bases. I don't draft for stolen bases, because many players who you would target for SBs are one category players.
Being in second in saves was surprising, but I really tried to keep on the pulse of closers to pick up before they emerge as closers that need to be on rosters. This included Felipe Rivero and Arodys Vizcaino.
Home runs and RBIs were light, and I will need to draft for more power for the upcoming season. Even though there has been a surge in power in the last two seasons, drafting pitchers early takes away from dependable hitters.
Overall, playing in a league like this was a great experience and I know I can do better this season. I'm trying to cut down on the total number of leagues that I participate in, so I can focus more on my NFBC teams. I've been playing fantasy baseball for a while, and it has turned into something that's more than just hobby - but not quite a job. There's so much time and effort put into preparation for drafts, research during the season, in-season managing, FAAB, etc., that I can't spread myself too thin and play in leagues where there's little to no payoff. Last season I took the leap to playing high stakes, and it's all about building on that from now on.
For the most part, season-long fantasy baseball can be played "safe." You draft your team based on what they'll do throughout the season, and make adjustments as needed. Now is the time to take risks and chances. If you don't, are you comfortable thinking, "what if?" You'll have to wait until next season to make your wrongs/inactions right.
It's that time of the season where you're in the middle or near the bottom of your league's standings and throw in the towel. Maybe you've completely abandoned your team, or you leave it as it is but make a conscious effort to start your starters. Or, you're in the playoffs and the real managing begins.
For me, if I'm in the middle or near the bottom and not in playoff contention, I'm one of those that will make the conscious effort to start my starters. I don't make (or rarely do) moves on the waivers to let those who are competing for something, have a chance to pick up available players. But if I'm in the playoffs, or in contention of winning the league...GAME ON! It's the time of the season where I'll admit, I'm pretty cutthroat. If you're not in it to win it, what are you here for?
Daily roto and H2H leagues can somewhat be treated like DFS, where you look at your roster day-by-day. You need to determine who your weakest links are, and shuffle them out. This is where streaming pitchers is absolutely crucial (and you can check out my weekly Pitching Streamers article on www.fakepigskin.com). Not all pitchers are for the taking. You really need to analyze where you are in the standings (for roto), and figure out what categories you need to gain more points. This goes for any league setup: you'll need to closely look at a pitcher's matchups, and their opposing pitcher too, especially if wins and losses are categories for your league.
Weekly leagues, whether their roto or H2H, involve a little more planning. Taking a look at the overall schedule is extremely important. If you don't already, take a look at Tristan H. Cockcroft's Fantasy Baseball Forecaster, where he provides projecting starting pitchers, starting pitcher rankings, and hitter matchup ratings. This article is updated as needed, and is a very useful way of mapping out your week.
My favorite league type: daily, category, H2H. Every single day is a grind, and it's about out-managing your opponent. I can do it 9 out of 10 times (nobody's perfect, or so they say). In some ways, having to stream pitchers is easier during the playoffs because there's a little less competition for those players since about half your league isn't playing for anything. A way that it's difficult - there's a reason teams make the playoffs and you'll be competing with other managers for highly sought after pitchers. Make sure to save those pitchers you're keeping your eye on, and make those transactions as soon as you can.
Those are some of my thoughts on season-long fantasy baseball playoffs. If you need help with your team, I'm here to help! And so are the guys at www.fakepigskin.com.
If you haven't signed up for any leagues yet, you will want to start looking into it now. Regular season of baseball is less than a month away, and you don't want to wait until the last minute to draft your team. To my surprise, there were several people who expressed their interest in playing season-long fantasy baseball. They play DFS, but want to give season-long a try, and that's great! I'm used to people who play DFS say that they don't play season-long anymore.
For those who only play season-long, give DFS a try. It'll help with streaming pitchers and deciding which batters you want to start. You need to look at each day individually, and the research that goes into DFS lineups will help with your season-long rosters as well. On the other hand, if you play DFS and want to start playing season-long fantasy baseball, I think you have a little bit of an advantage once the season starts. The part you'll need to prepare for is the draft.
Types of leagues
"Roto" scoring goes by rank for each category. The better you do, the more points you get in a category. The total of each team's points will determine their position in the league. In a league like this, you're competing with other owners and battling for points. In roto leagues, I've had success with drafting a balanced team throughout all categories.