Announcing Skip's Rules to Win Your 12-Team 5x5 Fantasy League This Year:
1. Know who is injured, and draft them accordingly (or not at all). Examples: Lance Berkman, Matt Morris, and Frank Thomas.
2. Know who was injured, and why their stats were down last year. Examples: Wade Miller, Richie Sexson, Nomar Garciaparra.
3. Have a top 12 at the C, 1B, 2B, 3B, and SS postions. Make a list of the top 75 SPs and the top 60 OFs. Print out the "Closer Watch " thread on the Cafe. Don't forget about Erubiel Durazo.
4. Don't "punt" or overlook any category.
5. Draft a "balanced" team, in all regards. After 10 rounds I like to have at least one solid closer, at least one starter with a high K total, and at least one starter with a good ERA/WHIP history. Of my 6 or 7 hitters, I'd like to have a good mix of power and speed, with very few category "killers." For example, I like the 30 HR, 5-10 SB potential over the 40 HR, 0 steal potential (i.e. Teixeira over Thome this year, for me). By the end of the draft, I like to have a mix of young players and "aged" veterans (nothing wrong with Mussina, Durham, Alou). I hate having more than 3 guys on the same team. Sometimes, strange things happen to teams as a whole, especially in H2H. I wouldn't complain with Nomar/Prior/Aramis/DLee/Wood on my team, but enough is enough!
6. If 5 of the last 6 picks were closers (or catchers, shortstops, whatever), I am not picking that position.
7. Do not pick a player because they play a certain position. Values are to be had all over.
8. My last pick will be a complete off-the-wall type of flier. I never like to fall in love with my last pick, because that is the guy who I am probably going to drop first if I have to pick someone up from the Waiver Wire.
9. Pay attention. Don't spend time thinking you are going to draft Mr. Smith, and when you are about to pick him, realize that he was picked a few spots ahead of you.
10. Don't let feelings get in the way of Fantasy. I hate the Yankees, but I also have no problem with drafting Jeter, Posada, or Matsui. The only exception to this rule is Barry Bonds. I can't stand Barry Bonds. This sounds ridiculous, but I would rather lose without Barry Bonds than win with Barry Bonds. Barry Bonds, ugh.
11. The first round should include (in my personal order): ARod, Pujols, Vlad, Beltran, Tejada, Soriano, Abreu, Helton, Manny, Santana, RJ, Bonds.