OK, so I didn't set out to do this before the season, but the way things shook out in the draft had me stumble on to this strategy. It seems a little risky, so I wanted to get some thoughts before I commit to it.
The basics of the strategy (for a roto league with maximum innings pitched) are these:
1) Overload on closers early in the season. If you drafted 3 or 4 closers and have picked up a few of the new guys early, this applies.
2) Carry fewer starters than you normally would. Have some anchors, but don't start mediocre guys.
3) Stick with this for the first couple of months of the season. You theoretically should rack up a nice lead in saves and stay well below the pace for innings-pitched. Your strikeout and win totals are likely going to be taking a hit.
4) When the summer months hit (usually when pitchers are really hitting their stride), shift gears. Start dealing the bulk of your closers for starters, only hanging on to a couple of closers to keep pace. This is also the time of year that desperate managers start overpaying for closers.
5) Start rotating your starters in and out and watching for good spot starts to pick up the pace and finish the season on your innings-pitched target. The saves lead you built early should keep you in a good position there, and you'll start to make up that win and strikeout ground while you're going with starters.
To use my team as an example (please look at the strategy, not just my team), mid-tier starters were going early, so I initiated a closer run (very successfully, I might add) by taking Street and Putz back-to-back, later adding Torres and Dotel. I've added Henry Owens and (possibly) Lidge to the mix.
I have my core of starters (Felix Hernandez, Sheets, Cain) and some key stashes on my bench (Clemens, Pedro Martinez, Brett Myers (he has to start again, right?)).
So is this strategy sound? It takes guts, because you are basically setting yourself up to make a late run in the standings, but that's part of the strategy.
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