So the Season has Started, Now What?
Now that your draft or auction is over and the baseball season is in full swing, what's a fantasy baseball owner to do? The GNUru has compiled a list of the dos and don't to help guide you to a fantasy baseball championship.
Over-Tinkering: So you spent all winter compiling draft lists, targeting sleepers, and digging for upcoming rookies. While your team looked great on paper, a few guys have gotten off to slow starts and your team is struggling. It's every owner inclination to tinker with something that isn't working. Over-tinkering is probably the most common mistake among fantasy baseballers- but make no mistake, impatience in the early season can cost you a chance at a championship. First let's differentiate the difference between tinkering and over-tinkering:
Good Tinkering: Finding the best second baseman among the likes of Wilson Betemit, Aaron Hill, Luis Castillo etc. Hopefully you didn't invest a lot of money or a high draft pick on any of these guys, so, go ahead and do whatever you can to address a potential weakness.
Bad Tinkering: We've all done it. That player you thought was a sure thing starts the season off in a major slump. You then either simply drop them or deal them at less than their prime value. You need to show some patience and give a player time to turn around though there is a fine line between holding onto a player to long and giving up to easily. If you can determine that, you probably don't need to be reading any advice columns.
Fashionable Free Agent Fishing: Again something everyone, the GNUru included, is guilty of doing- picking up the guy that went 4-5 with 2 homeruns last night. While fishing the free agent list for players is a fantastic way to find breakout players, more often than not these players fall into slumps just as fast as they got hot. If you have some holes to fill, try to make sure the guys you target are young and finally getting a chance to play. These are the players that often breakout- not the 33-year old journeyman filling in for an injured regular.
Hoard the Handicapped: Most owners fail to take advantage of roster space reserved for injured players. If you are lucky enough to have a healthy roster to start the season, browse the list of injured free agents. Often times, valuable players were over-looked during the draft and can be stashed away. If you have the room, you may as well use it. Chances are guys that can help you later on like Pedro Martinez, Cliff Lee, Kerry Wood, Kenny Rogers, Jon Lieber, or a Bartolo Colon are available in your league.
Waiver Wire Watch: Just as the GNUru warned in his Don'ts list, many owners will discard players who don't meet early season expectations. The GNUru loves to anger fellow owners by snagging players who rebound in a big way.
Test the Trade Waters: Often times owners wait until mid-season to hit the trade market- that is a big mistake. There are 3 main situations where the GNUru looks to deal.
Draft Day Duelers: If you had yourself a solid draft, some of your picks inevitably received the moans and groans from the gallery of grumpy owners who got outfoxed on draft day. If you were smart, you made note of who wanted who. Dangle that player to the groaning owner and see what you can get as he just may be willing to overpay.
Tinker with the Over-tinkerers: Another good strategy is to target under-performing players from teams with those over-tinkerers running the show. These owners will likely deal the stud who went 9-50 in his first 2 weeks for a lesser player off to a hot start. Be careful not to throw insulting offers their way as that could hinder future trade relations.
Add Insult to Injury: Many times owners that get off to bad starts do so because of injuries to core players. No one likes getting into an early season hole and owners may be hasty in dealing some injured star players at a low cost to get quality healthy bodies?
These tips should help you stay one step ahead of your opponents. By knowing and understanding the strategies and tendencies of other owners (as well as your own), you will be better prepared to improve your team as the season rolls along and not be the boob that dropped the guy competing for the CY Young Award. Remember it's perfectly fine to take the gambles listed in the Don'ts sections but be aware of the potential consequences.
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