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.
"H2H" leagues are set up so you face a new team every week. You will need to outscore your opponent in categories or points. Each team is different, so you'll have to keep track of your match up for the week, and I also recommend looking into your next matchup before the current week is over. Planning ahead is key. In this type of league, you can take a little more risks than you would in a roto league.
If you're playing in a 12-team league, the first round will go in order from 1 to 12. The second round will wrap around and start with the team 12, team 11, etc., until team 1. The third round will start with team 1, and so on. If you're the first pick or the last, you'll have back-to-back picks.
In auction drafts, you have a certain amount of dollars to spend on your roster. Each team gets to throw out a player for bidding when it's their turn. For example, a player like Clayton Kershaw, could having the bidding start at $25 because he'll sell for at least $35. One lower ranked players, keep the bidding price low or at $1 if you're unsure of where to start. You don't need to win the bid for a player you select. These drafts can get out of hand easy because people will get caught up in the bidding.
In either format, you'll want to do your research. There are tons of rankings out there, and they're specific to league type.
Always be sure to check the settings of the league you're planning on joining. Most public leagues are pretty standard, but the way your league is set up could alter how you're planning on drafting your team.
Most leagues are 5x5:
Positional players could be limited by games played, so you'll need to be selective on which players to start if you have empty spots on the roster so you don't run out of the games you're allowed to play. Pitchers could also be limited by innings or game starts. I try to look for leagues that don't have pitching limits because I love to stream pitchers, and this is how I put myself in the best position to win.
Setting your roster
Most leagues are daily (not to be confused with DFS), meaning, you can edit your roster everyday. Some leagues are weekly, where you need to set your lineup before a certain day and time (ex: Monday before the first game of the day starts). There are also leagues that allow you to make changes twice a week (ex: Monday before the first game of the day, and again on Friday before the first game of the day).
This should be a good start in helping you decided which direction you want to go with your very first season-long fantasy baseball league. Like DFS, it is a grind, but in a different way. One of the things I hate the most about playing in season-long leagues is when other managers ditch their teams, lessening the competition. If you commit to a league, please make sure to see it through. Even if you're having a bad season, going through the motions until the end will make you a better player.
I hope this helps! Feel free to leave comments and ask any questions =)