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Head to Head Drafting Strategy

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Head to Head Drafting Strategy

Postby Guest » Mon Jun 02, 2003 10:03 pm

I have only played in Roto leagues so I am brand new to Head to Head play. I am drafting a Head to Head team tomorow so please give me some advice and what are the major differences from a Roto league.
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Postby jdh » Mon Jun 02, 2003 10:26 pm

The biggest difference between roto and head to head is that with roto, you absolutely need to have a team that is balanced across all the scoring categories. If you try to dump saves and steals, you put the rest of your team in such a hole that you leave very little room for error.

With head to head leagues, if you dump just one or two categories, it doesn't hurt, because your goal is only to win the majority of categories each week. If you can dump saves and/or steals but give yourself a much better chance of winning in the six other categories, you are doing well. In a h2h league, having a balanced team might actually be a detriment, because your chance of winning individual categories is impeded if your opponent has stocked up in certain categories.

Here are the two most common strategies that work well for h2h. The first strategy is to simply forget about drafting closers, and forget about steals. If you're going to do this, you want to draft for power and for average. You also want to stock up on quality starting pitchers are solid in ERA, WHIP, K's and wins. For example, using this strategy, you'd take Bonds or Helton over Vladimir Guererro because they have better power numbers, and you aren't looking for the steals that make him so valuable in roto leagues. If you successfully use this strategy, you should give yourself a decent chance at winning AVG, HR, RBI, R, ERA, WHIP, Wins and K's every week. If you can win 6 of those 8 categories on average every week, you will make the playoffs.

The second common strategy to work well is to draft all hitters in the first 10 or so rounds, and then draft 3-4 low end closers and only draft starting pitchers with your last 4 or 5 picks and only enough to fill your required spots on your roster. The strategy with this is that every day you hit the waiver wire for available pitchers starting the next day. Then take the 4 or 5 that have the best chance of getting you wins and K's. This can be alot of work, as you have to go find new starters every day and waive your current starters.

However, this is why that strategy works well. Since your pitching will be accruing so many more starts and so many more innings than anyone using a static starting rotation, you will almost certainly be guaranteed of winning wins and K's every week. You will be dumping ERA and WHIP in the process, but hopefully the low end closers you took midway through the draft give you a 50/50 chance of winning saves. That gives you two, maybe three pitching categories each week. Also, since you didn't use any draft picks on starting pitching, your offense should be so much stronger than anyone else's that you can win all the offensive categories almost every week. Using this strategy, you should be able to win at least 6 of 10 categoriest every week. When picking offensive players under this strategy, you want to make sure that you are getting a balanced offense with lots of power, homers, average, and steals. You definitely do not want to dump steals if you also dump ERA and WHIP because it leaves too little margin for error.

However, a couple caveats with the all offense strategy. First make sure your league uses daily not weekly transactions, or else you won't be able to get pitchers every day. Also, you have to watch in the draft to see what other people are doing. If it looks like everyone else is dumping starting pitching, obviously you won't succeed too well by following the same strategy. If that's the case, you are probably better off stocking up on lots of pitching if everyone else is ignoring it.
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Postby bleach168 » Mon Jun 02, 2003 10:33 pm

What jdh said :p
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Postby Arlo » Tue Jun 03, 2003 7:09 am

Great strategies! ;-D (Ever thought about contributing an article, jdh? :-) )

One more thing to keep in mind is that there are many different types of head-to-head scoring, some of which demand unusual strategies. I've played in points-based h2h leagues, for example, where picking anything other than starting pitchers in the opening rounds was a ticket to catastrophe...
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Postby new » Tue Jun 03, 2003 7:53 am

Can someone explain why you need to be balanced in roto? If just getting points matters, what does it matter if you get it from a run or a stolen base? It seems to me that you need to be more balanced in head to head because one stolen base in head to head could screw you for that category. One stolen base in roto would be meaningless.
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Postby jdh » Tue Jun 03, 2003 11:50 am

Because in roto, lets say you have 12 teams in the league. If you forget about stolen bases and finish last in that category, you only get one point in that category. In general, to win or compete in most roto leagues you need to average third place across all categories. If you take a 1 in stoeln bases, that leaves 9 points you have to make up in other categories, and it narrows the margin for error you have. If you dump both saves and steals in a roto league, unless you finish first in every other category, you almost certainly can't win. Since it's hard to guarantee where you will place in a given category, since there will always be injuries and performances that don't meet expectations, your best bet is to be balanced.
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