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How much value is there in having a good bench? (fantasy)

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How much value is there in having a good bench? (fantasy)

Postby DSheppard » Fri Mar 30, 2007 2:14 am

i was thinking about this today.

here is one of my lineups.

c: Jason Varitek
1b: Mark Teixeira
2b: Ian Kinsler
SS: Jose Reyes
3b: Ryan Zimmerman
OF: Matt Holliday
OF: Hideki Matsui
OF: Delmon Young
UTL: Adrian Gonzalez
BN: J.D. Drew
BN: Hank Blalock
BN: Felipe Lopez

J.D. Drew and Lopez go pretty early in the middle rounds.
Do you think its valuable to have good backups on the bench?

or would you make any trades you can using those guys to upgrade a starter?

i like the idea of using kinslers better overall hitting (at least when considering the ballparks), but having felipe lopez ready to sub in mid week in a h2h league either at 2b or utility to try to make up ground in steals and such.

and JD Drew seems like someone i could trade off with Adrian Gonzalez at utility depending on who is going well and be a good backup for my OF.

of course, thats just my situation- im asking the question in general.

always trade everything you can to get the best starting lineup, or are you ok with leaving some value on the bench in case of injury and to have better options to play when some guys are cold and such?

and yes, i know lopez goes much earlier then kinsler, i just like kinsler enough im starting him for now anyway. i took lopez because he slipped down pretty far and i couldnt pass him up.
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Postby Eagle Baseball » Fri Mar 30, 2007 8:16 am

I don't use bench hitters. I just think you put your best 9 hitters out there and go from there. I think there is a reason they are your best hitters so you might as well use them. I feel the negitive stats that a sub will put up outweights the positive ones. The only stat that you might be able to gain in the last day or so imo is steals but even so if they steal 40-50 bases a year they will be in somebodies lineup thus the steals guy you have on your bench is likely a 20-30 steals guy so that is only a steal every 5-6 games so I feel the chance he will catch you up in steals on a weekend is slim.
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Postby AcidRock23 » Fri Mar 30, 2007 9:42 am

If you do H2H w/ daily lineup changes, you can goose your 'counting' stats w/ bench player sometimes although that seems a bit chancy given that top players will go 1 for 3 and the rest of them it's a crapshoot...
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Postby George_Foreman » Fri Mar 30, 2007 10:18 am

Eagle Baseball wrote:I don't use bench hitters. I just think you put your best 9 hitters out there and go from there. I think there is a reason they are your best hitters so you might as well use them.
Yeah.... This might work in shallow/non-competitive leagues, but effective use of your bench can be the difference between victory and defeat in deeper ones.

Three Simple Rules For Using Your Bench to Improve Your Lineup:

1. Make sure, between your bench players and UTIL players, you have a backup for every position on your roster. You don't want to be in a position where you'll have to rely on the WW for any number of starts if one of your starters goes down. Multi-position eligible guys (Rich Aurillia is a great example this year) can go a long way here.

2. Platoon players if you can. You can either draft to a platoon (taking someone like Craig Wilson and starting him over one of your "regulars" when he faces a lefty can work out nicely) or just use what you've got, because chances are, you'll have a bench player with better splits one way than one of your starter's splits. Maybe this is just not playing one guy on the road against lefties or always playing a bench guy at home against lefties or something like that. But look for this kind of thing; even marginal improvements are improvements, and in tight leagues, they can make the difference. ;-D

3. Have a backup C. If your league only starts 1 C, there should be at least a few decent ones on the WW. Your starter will likely get between 450 and 500 ABs, so what's wrong with making up the other 150 ABs with a backup? I mean, we're talking about 1/4 of the production from one of your positions here! That's huge.

Anyhow, you should ideally be able to complete all of this functions with 3, *maybe* 4 bench spots, which should leave you enough room to fill out your starters. ;-D
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I havn't even read everything I've bought"

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Postby hot4tx » Fri Mar 30, 2007 11:15 am

George_Foreman has it. Backups during off days can always add a few stats here and there, plus they help you not lose too much when (not if) the injury bug strikes.

Backups can serve to suplement even some of the top hitters' numbers. I look for those guys will consistent, severe splits and use that to get better total number over the course of the season. Sizemore has hit .223 against LHP since he's been in the league. In my 5x5 HTH league, I'll sit him and play A Rios or B Hawpe when a good LHP is starting against Cleveland, granted that Rios or Hawpe don't also have a bad matchup. Will Sizemore burn me and go 4-4 with a couple HRs and a SB against a LHP this year? Probably, but over the course of the season he'll hit .230 against them and .330 against RHPs, so why not use decent backups to suplement his already stellar stats?

Another usage for backups in HTH 5x5 leagues is stat category flexibility. Get backups with different stats than your starters, like if you have Tejada as your starting SS and snag F Lopez to backup your 2B/SS. If you find yourself way ahead or way behind in HR and BA but close in SBs on a friday, you could plug in F Lopez for the 3 weekend games. Lopez should average about 1/3 SB per game, but also steals come in bunches so you could get a stolen base or 3 out of him, instead of playing your starter who helps you in categories that don't matter to you then.

Finally, because SBs come in bunches (usually when the thief is playing against a poor defensive catcher like V-Mart) backups with speed can be especially effective. I'll start a Ryan Freel all week at 2B over a Barfield or Lugo if he's healthy and if Cincy is playing against a weak-armed catcher. It's tons of fun hearing the "Oh you got lucky that Freel stole 4 bases last week" whining of a beaten opponent!
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Postby bloul11 » Fri Mar 30, 2007 11:18 am

I only use my bench for prospects. Pick up a couple of guys i have hopes and questions about too see what happens.
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Postby decoy562 » Fri Mar 30, 2007 11:29 am

I agree with Foreman. Two guys I've targeted (and picked up) in my leagues for bench are:

Aurilia 1B,2B,3B,SS
Wigginton 1B,2B,3B,OF
Freel 2B,3B,OF
Betemit 2B,3B,SS


As far as catcher, I've targeted Piazza, since he should get 500 AB's as the DH this year. I then pick up a good backup catcher like Estrada.

So in a league with 3 Bench spots (talking H2H here), I'd take Aurilia, Wigginton, and Estrada, and I have all positions covered with my bench. This gives me a leg up on the competition, because I'm getting these 3 guys in the lineup almost every day.

Make sense?
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Postby rainman23 » Fri Mar 30, 2007 12:17 pm

Sorry, gotta disagree with this. Sure, it's nice to have a couple guys on your team (hopefully multi-position guys) who can provide you with numbers when your main guys have off-days. But it's not efficient to feel like you must have every position covered all the time. You could be using those roster spots more efficiently with pitching. And it's a much worse idea if you plan on using these same guys to help you on a long term basis when your starters go down. This means these largely unused guys have to be quality players -- which means you're reducing your quality of pitching at draft time. I'd rather have 9 guys that I want in there every day. If one of them goes down, I'm scrambling a little. That sucks, but I think it's the way you get the most value out of your roster throughout the year.

Note -- I'm assuming you don't have a dozen bench spots on your team. That changes everything, of course. Help won't be available on the FA wire in that kind of league, so you better make damned sure you've built the strongest bench you can.
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Postby MissingOakley » Fri Mar 30, 2007 12:23 pm

I also disagree with having multi-position guys on the roster just for the sake of their eligibility. But while it's easier to spot-start pitchers, it is good to have a couple of offensive bench players, in case one of your regular hitters has a slump. Going hot and cold definitely happens in baseball so it's good to be able to take advantage.
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Postby jfg » Fri Mar 30, 2007 12:27 pm

It's nice to have a backup catcher but how do you know (where do you go to find out) that a catcher will be benched or will be starting?

I guess Sunday day games can be somewhat consistent as off days.
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