The Game Haus presents its first installment of our fantasy baseball tips and tricks series. We intend to give fantasy baseball owners, new and old, some advice to improve their outcomes in 2017.
Fantasy baseball is complicated. Owners must adjust to the grueling 162 game season, deeper rosters, and longer drafts. To start, we have developed this quick guide to aid your difficult drafting decision. This specific guide is for re-draft leagues only, and does not discuss any keeper or dynasty league strategies.
Who do you draft?
With so many available options, it is often hard to make a selection. You will have to make a difficult decision between two or more players at some point in your upcoming draft. Before you come to a verdict, consider the following criteria.
What team do they play for?
Great teams produce great fantasy performers. The top five scoring offenses in 2016 were the Boston Red Sox, Chicago Cubs, Colorado Rockies, Cleveland Indians and St. Louis Cardinals. Players in these lineups have a greater chance of producing and scoring runs, as they have more talent around them.
An example of a possible draft dilemma could be between Edwin Encarnacion of the Cleveland Indians and Freddie Freeman of the Atlanta Braves. Both players will be selected around the same draft position, as they are both first basemen and offer similar upside. However, I would select Encarnacion, as Cleveland had a top five scoring offense in 2016, while the Braves finished with the third worst.
For pitchers, the more runs that their offense scores, the better chance they have to accumulate wins. A third pitcher on the Red Sox or Cubs, who finished with top five offenses, may be a more attractive pick than an ace on the Oakland Athletics or Philadelphia Phillies, who finished with bottom two offenses in 2016.
When are they getting drafted?
Draft position is an imperative factor when deciding who to select. Two players may offer the same amount of value, but will be drafted three rounds apart. One key to decision making is understanding alternative options.
Ranking players in tiers is a good strategy to help decision making. Tiers allow you to identify steep drop offs in talent at specific positions. If there are multiple players left in one tier, you will be able to pass on that position until a later round. Also, if there is only one player left in a tier, it alerts you that their will soon be a steep drop off in talent at that position.
Where do they bat?
We can all agree that runs (R) and runs batted in (RBI) are lineup dependent. In other words, players batting third, fourth, and fifth will have more RBI opportunities than someone batting seventh, eighth, or ninth.
A common drafting mistake is missing out on RBI opportunities. In order to avoid this mistake, make notes of players who will be batting in the middle of lineups, as even the worst offenses have middle of the order contributors.
Why are you selecting them?
If you are in a points league, selecting the best player on your draft board is a good strategy, but do you select a pitcher or a hitter? This depends on how your roster is already filled out. Keeping your team balanced is key. Filling out your pitching rotation and starting lineup simultaneously will help keep your roster balanced.
If you are playing in a categories league, you must know which categories you are covering when selecting a player. If you finish a draft and realize that Joey Votto will lead your team in steals, you may be forced to punt that category. In order to avoid these types of mistakes, make a list of your teams desired amount of home runs, rbi’s, runs, and steals. During your draft, add up the projections to see how your team stacks up.
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