Hi, I participated in one Yahoo! public league draft last week, I guess I got the urge to dive into fantasy baseball due to being somewhat successful at FF and being impatient waiting for baseball season to start. I've done a bit of research, but I have some simple questions.
1. is it normal to not be able to fill in all of your starting positions during the week? I only have five bench slots, and I'm having a difficult time filling in for all of my starters' off days in this upcoming first week, already. I'm used to FF, where A. it's easy and B. you simply can't afford to start a player on bye. It seems like it would take a lot more dedication to manage a baseball team, than a football team, and multiple teams would be very difficult. 2. What are some general drafting strategies baseball players use? I know there are many in FF, and some prefer certain strategies, but I don't really know anybody who has played a fantasy baseball league before, so I'm clueless, other than figuring out using actual position players for your utility spot is better than using a DH for the "utility" (pun intended ) 3. How exactly does scoring work? I'm in a H2H league, and I'm not sure if the winner of each weekly matchup is the person who wins the most of ten categories for the week, or the most categories per day, for the week? It seems like there would be a lot of 5-5 ties if the categories for the week are used.
I am completely open to general advice, as my "cup" is pretty bare. Thank you for reading/responding. Keep in mind I am a pretty avid FF player so any parallels/analogies would be greatly appreciated
1B: Freeman, ATL - RD 8 2B: Kipnis, CLE - RD 13 SS: Tulo, COL - RD 1 3B: Beltre, TX - RD 3 OF: Granderson, NYY - RD 2 OF: Upton, TB - RD 6 OF: Young, DET - RD 15 UT: Ortiz, BOS - RD 11 UT: Lind, TOR - RD 14 C: Lucroy, MIL - RD 19 SP: Haren, LAA - RD 4 SP: Strasburg, WAS - RD 5 RP: Axford, MIL - RD 7 RP: Valverde, DET - RD 10 SP: Hudson, ARI - RD 9 SP: Marcum, MIL - RD 12 SP: Fister, DET - RD 16 SP: Jackson, WAS - RD 20
Bench: OF Hunter, LAA - RD 17; 2B Johnson, TOR - RD 18; SP Bedard, PIT - RD 22; OF Span, MIN - RD 23, SS Furcal, STL - picked up off WW; C Ramos, WAS - WW pickup
1. Usually on Mondays and Thursdays it is difficult to field a full roster. Most teams have either of those days off during the week. I wouldn't worry about this too much, just make sure you rotate your bench hitters in on those off days if they're playing.
2. There are a ton of draft strategies. Some I use and agree with, others I do not. Every draft is different and my personal opinion is no single strategy works well for all of them. I think the best strategy for any draft is to do your homework before hand. Try to get an idea of which players may or may not be available when it is your pick. Generally balanced teams tend to do better in fbb. By balanced I mean not all power guys, not all AVG guys, not too many closers, not too many starters... You want to have no real statistical holes if possible. Also take into account your leagues scoring when looking at a particular ranking. For example in an OPS league, a player like Dee Gordon is not quite as valuable as he is in a league that only counts AVG. His projected AVG is around .275-.280 and could be as high as .300 but hes probably only gonna slug about .350-.360. If your league counts OPS, move a guy like him down a few ranks when you're looking at whatever list your find.
3. H2H leagues are weekly match ups, your team vs one other owner. Typically during the beginning of the season, all star break, and final 2 weeks of the season they will be 2 week match ups. The way it works is simple, you need to win categories. You're right in assuming there will be a lot of 5-5 ties (if your leagues is a 5x5 H2H). Weeks are typically Monday through Sunday (expect the 3 long ones). Whatever the score is come end of play Sunday is what goes on your overall record for the season. Come playoff time all the records are tallied up and the top teams move on and the loser's season's are over.
As far as general advice all I can really say is fbb is like anything else in life. You get out what you put in (most of the time). Unlike ff, fbb is EVERYDAY! And MEAN everyday! In deeper leagues especially (leagues with more then 12 teams) you have to constantly keep your eyes on the news if you want to stay competitive. Look at this season for example. If my memory (and math) serves correct, 4 different projected #1 closers started the year on the DL. That is 4 different closers that could be yours for nothing if you're quick enough to be the first to add them. These types of scenarios play out A LOT with closers (which is why you're will often see fbb experts advising to never draft closers high, I agree with this).
When I first got into fantasy sports like most people I started with fantasy football. Now I'm all about fbb. Its a lot more fun then ff imo. Fbb does take a lot more time then ff though but that is one of the things I love about it. While I do LOVE football, ff is just plain boring to me. Way more luck in ff imo.
I hope this all helps, GL with your team this season.
There will be days that you can't field a complete roster each week more than likely. You need to weigh the advantages O's having a relatively mediocre player on your bench to fill a spot once per week or holding that spot for experiments (breakout/rebound candidates, etc). You don't need to have a DH in your U spot, in fact it kind of limits your flexibility, which is why you generally see a guy like Ortiz available past where is numbers should be valued.
As far as draft strategy, I generally target hitters at scarce positions first. After I've secured a few key positions, such as SS, 3B, and a top 10 OF, I may take an SP, depending on how the draft is going, but I'm more likely to spend 1 to 3 rounds taking the best hitters available, as close to five tool talent as I can find. SP gets filled later, I usually like to have one or two top rung guys and a collection of solid (think Tim Hudson) and potentially ace like SP (Brandon Morrow comes to mind) to round out my rotation. Good luck, and come back as often as you can to follow the discussions on the cafe. The Baseball Leftovers category will give you a leg up on the competition without a doubt.
"This guy leads the league in most offensive categories, including nose hair..."
Thanks for the replies. Yeah I realized the other day when checking out the projections that my team is going to have about 4x as many homers as SBs lol, that is one reason I chose to scoop up Furcal. I'm assuming he's the kind of guy that wouldn't be available in a more competitive league, as somebody probably dumped him after figuring he wouldn't be a leadoff hitter with a poor Spring.
Would you guys look to trade Ortiz? Or should he just remain my everyday UT starter? I'm thinking maybe package him with Upton to get an elite OF? Have no idea about trade values in FBB. Also nobody is on the block yet in this league.
SO I want to hit on trading a bit. trading in football and baseball is really different.
In football you have like 9 guys total active on your roster. so when you trade away a guy thats 10-12% of your team...but if you trade away adrian peterson - thats more like 40% of your weekly points output. hope that makes sense. kinda weird how i worded it but what I am trying to say is this - 1. don't go out trying to make trades just to have something to do. 2. look at your team - find an area you feel could be improved and offer a deal to someone. If they hate but it's within the realm os possibility they might send you a counter offer. If you totally piss them off with a ridiculous trade they might not even respond.
MOST IMPORTANT RULE to follow - In shallow leagues (12 teams or less mixed (AL+NL players) in shallow leagues - there is always plenty of replacement talent on the waiver wire. so any time you get an offer where you give up two medium players to get back one stud - its often a good idea to accept the deal. So in shallow leagues - if you are offering a deal - make it a point to start with I will give you these two good guys for that one really good guy. often times newbys accept those deals thinking two is better than one. But if you get back the best player and then add an average guy from the waivers - you get the best end of the trade.
**deeper leagues is not the same but its not polar opposites either.
New topic - what are you targeting? there are two things you need to figure out as you analyze a trade. Early in the season - (IE April-May30th) you always draft to try to get the best players onto your team. so in every trade you want to try to get the best players you can get. Middle of the season - (JUNE) you start to shore up your team and make trades which make your own roster the best it can be. after all star break - look for any categories that you are consistently weak in and see if there is a trade partner who needs what you got. **After all star break its not so important to get the best player in the deal - but more to get the player who will give you the stats you need the most and fits your roster.
examples you draft a team its pretty good you like it but you realize your short on SB in april a guy offers you a trade where you get michael bourn (a lock for 60SB) but in return he wants to get Stanton. you look at it at first and go I really need SB. A novice might consider this trade cause it helps his team. But in reality - he's getting the better overall player because bourn gets alot of runs scored and SB and helps you in two categories. he's drafted in the 6th-8th round or so depending how deep league is. Stanton will give you 30+ HR with RBI, + runs scored. so he helps you in three categories. (3 categories better than 2 in april) and stanton was drafted probably 4th round or so again depending on how deep league is.
Now if you go thru the season and never can find a good trade partner to get more SB mid season (after all star break) you still need stolen bases but the rest of your team is solid - then thats the time you might go back and make that deal because you need to fix your roster to get the stats you need.
1. know your scoring system and use it to your advantage. every league has shit set up differently figure it out and make decisions based on that.
2. overkill is useless. What does that mean> You'll see as the season progresses - but basically let's put it like this: If in your head to head matchup you have 9 SB and the other guy has 3 you get 1 point. Or if you have 5 SB and he has 3 - you still get one point.
So what I am saying is to find the players who will help you be better than your opponent but YOU CANNOT DOMINATE EVERY CATEGORY consistently. If you make moves to ensure you get 10 SB every week - then you will have a bad batting average or fewer RBI or fewer HR or something on your team will hurt because of it.
3. when looking at rankings/advice etc - make sure it's tailored to your style of league or it's useless. (If you are asking for advice on head to head and get an answer from a guy talking about ROTO then there a 50% or better chance they will not give you an answer that helps your team.) Or if someone thinks you're in a ten team league but it's really a 16 tm league there is a huge difference in the replacement level player and that makes huge differences in trades.
If you don't understand the idea of the replacement level player - look it up it's invaluable to understand if you want to get good at fantasy baseball. If you still don't understand or don't have time - then just reply here and one of us will explain it to you.
(In case you wonder if i know my stuff) last year 5 leagues - AL ONLY ROTO 1st place ($650) NL only ROTO 1st place($650) 16 team HEAD to HEAD mixed - 2nd place($550) NL only 5x5 - 3rd place($300) 12 team mixed - last place(-$50) 12 team league I had a few injuries early and realized I was better served to put my time into my bigger money leagues - so basically I gave up, to reallocate my time in the right leagues.
biggest difference between football and baseball -
football each guys plays 1 game per week and fantasy football owners often have a lucky day and the guy with the best team still loses.
baseball - each guys plays 6-7 games per week and in fantasy baseball - the guy with the best team usually wins. (USUALLY - every team has a bad week once in a while thats inevitable but it doesn't happen nearly as often as football)
football is fast like a sprint. baseball is long like a marathon.
(and if you want to get good and make money playing in cash leagues - baseball is way more predictable)