Fantasy Baseball - Taking a Full Swing
By Chris Campbell
Fantasy baseball, in all it's incarnations and iterations may seem a little unwieldy to the uninitiated, but it's really not that difficult to participate in, just requires a little time and persistence to get started. Many camps seem to have a myriad of rules, regulations and procedures to follow. However; it wouldn't have the following it does, if it wasn't easy enough for the average beer swilling baseball fan to engage in. Don't even get me going on the stats these guys compile, I don't know what it is about baseball fans that makes them so obsessed with statistics. Although I'm sure Freud would have some fantasy theory as to how it all works. Oh, how I do digress, on with the article, and less about my little obsessions.
In The Beginning - AKA "The Draft"
So, it all begins with the draft. No not the kind that comes in a pint (later after we've won), I'm talking about the selection of players for your team. Having a great draft, really comes down to a couple of things. Current statistics, and past performances. The trick is to balance the two, and to know what weight to apply to each so you make the optimal picks. This of course requires a good knowledge of past performance, and experience. The past performance is easy to get, just ask your best baseball buddy, where he gets his info, or do some internet searches. Is there anything not on the net these days? I can't really help with the experience part, actually nobody can, not even the internet. Your just going to have to get out there play a few fantasy baseball games, and lose some of your hard earned cash to gain good experience. After all, it's not winning or losing that counts . . . it's how much money I win off you that really matters.
Research - Rocket Science for Fantasy Baseball Nuts
This could kinda go back under the draft section (no not the pint draft - later, much later), but it's really important enough to warrant it's own section, and since it's my article, that's how I'm gonna do it. Experience is beneficial here, but even if it's your first time, you should still do it, as it will be something to build upon in future years. At the very least you'll learn what now to do from your abysmal past disasters. Come up with some sort of grading system utilizing factors such as the worth of a player to their team, and not just how well they play as an individual. Flexibility is key here, so as some of your choice selections are grabbed by other players, you can react and still put together a winning team. Spontaneity is what makes life (and Fantasy Baseball) interesting you know.
Ouch! Hey That Hurts.
Yep, injuries happen, and yes, it hurts. But hey, if there were no surprises, what fun would that be. Everyone has to deal with injuries at some point. Players, owners, managers, coaches, and fantasy baseball fanatics. While it can be exasperating at best, there's always a good and bad way of dealing with things. Maybe it's time to consider trades. Perhaps, there's some unproven guys on the bench you could swap for a great player, that's just dying to play for your team. Maybe there's someone on waivers who could step it up, and play like a start for a short period of time. Just keep an eye on those fantasy baseball future Rookie of The Year hiding on your bench, I'd hate to be the one that let him get away.
Bottom Of The 9th
Just a couple of things to remember before we head off for that pint. Don't forget to keep an eye on the free agent pool. Of course you won't be the only one keeping tabs on it, strategy is important here. Also when you do decide to make trades, use the ole' noggin. That's what your momma gave it to you for. There's nothing worse then making a bad trade, that lets the other guy grab all the glory. Keeping track of the rising and slumping hitters will be a big help here.