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Season Long Fantasy Strategies

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Season Long Fantasy Strategies

Postby ultrazero » Mon Jun 11, 2007 10:37 pm

A guy in my league does the closer thing. Drafts as many closers as he can and holds as few starters as he can. What he's losing in W/K's he makes up for in S, ERA, WHIP. Chases those three stats all year and forfeits the others.

How do you feel about a strategy like this? And what are some other season long strategies you guys employ?
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Re: Season Long Fantasy Strategies

Postby OneLoveBoomer » Mon Jun 11, 2007 10:46 pm

ultrazero wrote:A guy in my league does the closer thing. Drafts as many closers as he can and holds as few starters as he can. What he's losing in W/K's he makes up for in S, ERA, WHIP. Chases those three stats all year and forfeits the others.

How do you feel about a strategy like this? And what are some other season long strategies you guys employ?


Most "I'll win every week by following this quirky strategy" plans almost never work. The reason is usually that crap happens every week that you don't expect. Your closers blow saves, your SB guys do nothing, your power guys go cold, etc. What looks like a sure thing on paper can often end up leaving you on the losing side of H2H matches or in your roto rankings.

For me, I tend to focus on three things, in the long term.

1) Are my positions reasonably maxed-out? Find the weak spots on your roster, and make trades, gambles, etc. until you improve it. Move on to the next weak position.

2) Is my team well-balanced? Instead of trying to nail categories or punt categories with certainty, you should generally put yourself "in the game" in every category. For instance, I have Suzuki and Abreu. I'm not over-killing the SB category, but I can definitely win several weeks of H2H play with their production. I don't over-kill the closer situation either. My opponent last week had K-Rod and some other closer; I had Valverde and Capps -- each was cheap. I won the Save category. Next week I could lose it.

3) The "J" curve. Buy low, sell high. Like a "J" dips before it heads up, I am often near the middle or bottom of the rankings in the first third of the season. This is because I spend this time making moves on underperforming players that will skyrocket for the remaining 2/3 of the season. To boot, my playoff team will be comprised by these players at the end.
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Re: Season Long Fantasy Strategies

Postby OT2000 » Mon Jun 11, 2007 10:56 pm

Nice post Boomer. ;D

Those gimmiks never work in H2H, but I have seen the "throw W's & K's" strategy in a 5x5 Roto. The guy front-loaded on hitting and got a few good closers. Worked really well. (No innings min.)
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Re: Season Long Fantasy Strategies

Postby os_gamejunkie » Tue Jun 12, 2007 12:38 am

I think that "active roster management" and luck are the only real strategies for fantasy baseball. Strategies like the one posted or category punting can work...sometimes. Injuries and slumps can wipeout a strategy.
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Re: Season Long Fantasy Strategies

Postby EP3 » Tue Jun 12, 2007 1:39 am

OT2000 wrote:Nice post Boomer. ;D

Those gimmiks never work in H2H, but I have seen the "throw W's & K's" strategy in a 5x5 Roto. The guy front-loaded on hitting and got a few good closers. Worked really well. (No innings min.)


i agree i've seen this work against me >:# in a roto league. you just have to check the league settings and plan accordingly.
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Re: Season Long Fantasy Strategies

Postby MikeYoung4President » Tue Jun 12, 2007 3:56 am

In Roto, I usually go 2/3 starters, 1/3 closers, but it really depends on your league's settings. I find in my league that this strategy works fairly well, though I am next-to-last in wins (this is mainly because some of my pitchers either can't get run support *Cain* or have terrible bullpens *Hill*)...

In H2H, I agree that "active roster management" is a neccessity. But I try to fill all my RP/P with Closers (or an even closer/setup mix if there's Holds). I am also a fan of using my bench spots for starting pitching. I've never liked getting hitters on my bench and having to pick and choose who to sit (I always choose wrongly). Using lots of SP helps me get wins and strikeouts often, and if I pick the matchups carefully, ERA and WHIP too. Also, when it's possible, I pick up the closers with SP/RP eligibility, Gregg and Hennessey come to mind, to maximize my SV chances when I don't have too many starters that day.

As for hitting, the most important thing is definitely getting good balance and keeping yourself in competition for all categories. That's why I like guys like Kinsler, Byrnes, Rios, and Sizemore so much...

My ROTO strategy's working well (1st in my 3 leagues), but my H2H has garnered mixed results (1st in 2 leagues, middle of the pack in 3 leagues).
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Re: Season Long Fantasy Strategies

Postby hot4tx » Tue Jun 12, 2007 11:56 am

I've currently been doing the low IP strategy in my 5x5 HTH and not having much success. I think most of the lack of success is the fact that my opponents have a 2.81 ERA, 1.07 WHIP against me so far. Several have benched borderline starts, but most haven't caught on and are starting them all. I think it's just mostly a severe bad luck through 2 months.

That said, I ended up using this strategy to begin with more out of necessity than anything. I felt pitchers were going way too high and focused on hitting early. Even though I've had a rough go at it early on I'm still 7th and have been crushing people offensively. I've been slowly building up a SP staff and by playoff time I'll be a lot more traditional.

...but I do think it can work in 5x5 HTH. It just takes a lot more planning ahead and puts you playing behind the 8-ball if your opponent has a couple great starts early in the week. But even if you break even in pitching stats over the course of a season, your hitters should (in theory) be pretty dominant and make up for it most weeks. You win a lot more 5-4 weeks, and never have a 9-0 week so your overall W-L is never tops in the league. But all you gotta do is make the playoffs.
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Re: Season Long Fantasy Strategies

Postby TN_Titans_05 » Tue Jun 12, 2007 12:40 pm

MikeYoung4President wrote:My ROTO strategy's working well (1st in my 3 leagues), but my H2H has garnered mixed results (1st in 2 leagues, middle of the pack in 3 leagues).


You are in EIGHT leagues?!? How in the world can you keep up with all of them? Seems a bit overkill.

Im my leagues I really like going with only 2 starters and fill the rest with closers with the exception of 1 spot which I use to stram starters. This has worked out really well for me most weeks with the exception of those times I pick crappy spot starters.
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Re: Season Long Fantasy Strategies

Postby doyourealize1 » Tue Jun 12, 2007 1:53 pm

I've got several roto leagues and I'm 1st, 1st, 1st, 2nd, 2nd, 4th in them. They're all 12 team leagues.

1. Your bench is extremely important, especially if you tend to stay active during the season. You probably will not max out your games limit because to put it simply -- stuff happens. You'll forget to put someone in your lineup one day, or you'll have several guys on the DL. The guys that you will want to have on your bench should be high BA, high steals guys. Think of them as guys that'll get you free steals, runs, rbis, etc without being a liability.

2. Prioritize having a deep offensive bench over grabbing a mediocre starter over the waiver wire. The offensive guy is much less of a liability than a guy like Bush or Lowe who you don't know will give you a 2 ERA one day and 9ERA the next. If you need pitching, consider trading your offense for pitching. Hot batters often will come up on the waiver wire.

2. Don't fall in love with your stars. I drafted Dye, Delgado, Howard, A. Jones in some leagues, adamant that they would do well this season. I"ve benched them from the start in favor of guys like Victorino, Tavaras, O Cabrera, Kazuo Matsui etc how are solid and have the "opposite" skillset that these guys have (power vs. speed). You have to remember that your stats are based on what you have in your lineups every day, not what your players have at the end of the season -- so you will want to ride the hot player at all times. If Dye and Delgado heat up, I will put them in the lineup and be glad that I got steals and runs while they were slumping. When they're hot they will catch me up in the power numbers. I even benched Howard for much of the season. If you have a guy who has been slumping for 3-4 days, consider benching him if you have a hot or reliable alternative.

3. Go for well roundedness, but lean towards power and BA. Like I said, high steal guys are a dime a dozen, but a power hitter that has a high BA is a very rare find.

4. Have 4 closers or 3 closers + 1 solid MR. You have 2RP slots and 3P slots -- utilize them to cover for starters who might be less than stellar. Chances are you'll have at least 1 SP who will drive you crazy throughout the season, so a solid MR might help you with the ERA and the K.
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Re: Season Long Fantasy Strategies

Postby bigh0rt » Tue Jun 12, 2007 2:36 pm

doyourealize1 wrote:The guys that you will want to have on your bench should be high BA, high steals guys. Think of them as guys that'll get you free steals, runs, rbis, etc without being a liability.


Wow, I couldn't disagree more. That's wasting a valuable roster spot, if anything. Stashing a guy on your bench for steals, and then plugging him on off-days, etc. in hopes that you'll actually get a steal out of him is not sound strategy, at least not in the leagues I play in. As for AVG, that's even less predictable. A .300 hitter is as likely to go 0 for 4 on a given specific day you plug him in than he is 2 for 3. That's why stocking your bench full of Starting Pitchers in order to provide yourself flexibility on playing wise matchups as well as maximizing two start weeks without streaming is a wiser use of bench players, in my opinion. I wouldn't carry more than one or two bench bats total, and they are likely players who have multi-position eligibility so I can utilize them as frequently as possible, given that they are likely not going to contribute much to my team to begin with. This is assuming you are not platooning players, in which case, using a bench spot for a wise platoon can be a very intelligent move.

2. Prioritize having a deep offensive bench over grabbing a mediocre starter over the waiver wire. The offensive guy is much less of a liability than a guy like Bush or Lowe who you don't know will give you a 2 ERA one day and 9ERA the next. If you need pitching, consider trading your offense for pitching. Hot batters often will come up on the waiver wire.


You're not only ignoring sample size here, but you're contradicting yourself at the same time. Stock your bench full of bats, because you find them more frequently on the waiver wire? What sense does that make? If I can more readily and easily find a replacement bat on Waivers, why do I want to waste bench spots on them?

2. Don't fall in love with your stars. I drafted Dye, Delgado, Howard, A. Jones in some leagues, adamant that they would do well this season. I"ve benched them from the start in favor of guys like Victorino, Tavaras, O Cabrera, Kazuo Matsui etc how are solid and have the "opposite" skillset that these guys have (power vs. speed). You have to remember that your stats are based on what you have in your lineups every day, not what your players have at the end of the season -- so you will want to ride the hot player at all times. If Dye and Delgado heat up, I will put them in the lineup and be glad that I got steals and runs while they were slumping. When they're hot they will catch me up in the power numbers. I even benched Howard for much of the season. If you have a guy who has been slumping for 3-4 days, consider benching him if you have a hot or reliable alternative.


Not falling in love with your stars is sound advice. However, suggesting you bench a player after 3 or 4 off days (even depending on what you consider an off day) is just foolish. If there's one thing about hitters it's that they are pretty predictible. Your suggesting super micromanaging, and by the time you put your star back in the lineup, you've likely missed out on valuable numbers you've drafted him for, replacing those at bats with (fantasy) replacement level statistics. I can understand losing patience with a player, and benching him for a more favorable replacement, but what you're suggesting leads to a much greater chance for failure than success.

3. Go for well roundedness, but lean towards power and BA. Like I said, high steal guys are a dime a dozen, but a power hitter that has a high BA is a very rare find.


What do you consider a 'high steal' guy? What do you consider a true power hitter, and a high BA? .300? .320? .285? Let's consider guys who stole 30 bases, guys who hit 30 homers, and guys who bat .300. Only 19 players stole 30 bases last season, 6 of which bat .300, good for 20%. 34 players hit 30 HR, 13 of which bat .300, good for 38%. Sounds like you're generalizing more than actually looking at the available statistics.

4. Have 4 closers or 3 closers + 1 solid MR. You have 2RP slots and 3P slots -- utilize them to cover for starters who might be less than stellar. Chances are you'll have at least 1 SP who will drive you crazy throughout the season, so a solid MR might help you with the ERA and the K.


I think you've got to truly deal with this on a case by case basis. Having a strong setup-man or other reliever can be sound strategy for helping your ratios, or carrying a closer in waiting. However, it's not a necessity, more of a fall back. The Lovable Losers posted a great analysis here of what ratios a pitcher must carry vs. how many saves he must record to make him worth owning in standard roto leagues back earlier this season.

I don't want to take any personal digs at you, but given that you used your current position in the standings to help validate your stances, I question the quality of the leagues you play in based on some of your views, and how you've succeeded using them. In my experience, many of these strategies will land you towards the bottom of the standings in more competitive leagues.
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