Fantasy Baseball Project – We Joined a League

Okay so as we move ahead with the first update of the fantasy baseball project, I have some news to share. I have joined the league that we will hopefully win.

The league is an American League only format.

This means that we will only use players from the American league. I did consider joining another league that combined players from both the American and National leagues. However, much of my experience is with American League only teams and I thought that would be better in the long run. It seems that when you use both leagues’ players, you end up with something like an All-Star team. Whereas when you use just one league, you tend to have to prepare a little bit more and educate yourself with all players in that league.

Based on my experience, there was a little bit more skill involved when you're playing with just one league’s players. The reason for this, I believe, is because you need to really drill down and examine all of the available players. There are 10 teams in this league in each of them will draft 21 players for a total of 210. Therefore, you will have some players on the team that are definitely not star players. This makes it more challenging and more exciting in my opinion.

Nevertheless, there are many leagues that do utilize all the players in both leagues. If there is a great outpouring of interest in this approach, I can examine doing that next year. You can comment and let me know your thoughts.

Our new league will use a head-to-head format in terms of scoring. This means that you will play each week against one specific team in your league. There are other scoring systems that are used. You need to find one that works best for you. In addition, this new league will also allow for daily changes and updates to your roster in your daily lineup. Moreover, you can make unlimited changes. In the past, I've normally participated in leagues where you made weekly changes, not daily. Yet, I thought this would be fun to try. We will also be using a live draft format. This means simply that the draft will be held live through the league’s website. The draft will be March 8 at 10 PM Eastern time. So again, I will be drafting 21 players of which 16 will be active on a daily basis.

The remaining five positions are pretty much open.

These would be players that initially are on my bench. The Utility player can be a player at any position, including a player who only qualifies as a designated hitter.

The strategy for the draft is very important. It's not always as simple as picking the next best player on your list. In some cases, it is that simple. In other cases, it is more challenging. For example, there will be certain rounds in the draft where you need to focus on a specific position and not necessarily the best available player.

This could be for several different reasons, may be you already have a first baseman and you don't want to fill your utility position just yet, but the next best available player is another first baseman. If you are in that position, you will pass on that first baseman and select someone else.

Or, you may have somebody in mind that is still available when it's your turn to pick and you realize that that player will not be there when it's your turn again. In that case, again, you might pass on the first baseman and go with that other player.

Also, there may be a player who has certain attributes that you've determined your team needs. For example, you may have noticed as the draft unfolds that you do not have a lot of team speed. And there may be a player who ranks a little bit lower than that first baseman that’s next on your list, but as you surmise your team’s strengths and weaknesses, you determine that you want the speedster and you will pass on that first baseman.

Additionally, that particular player that comes up next on your list to select may also be in the middle of an injury situation. That fact may also deter you from drafting that first baseman. So as you can see, you do need to look at the entire picture on draft day. When you're in the middle of a live draft, you need to think quickly on your feet and make rapid adjustments. In many cases you will need to abandon your predraft strategy and improvise. How well you can do this will have a big impact on the team that you come away with.

One of the most important features of a fantasy baseball season is the changes that you make during the season. This particular skill can go overlooked at times. There will be many different occasions when you have an injured player that you need to replace, or a player that gets sent down to the minor leagues, or a player that's just not producing. Your job as the general manager is to find a replacement player.

Finding the right replacement player will go a long way to your success or failure as a fantasy baseball team owner. To be successful in this area you will be required to pay close attention to all pro baseball updates on a daily basis. As I mentioned, this particular league allows for daily changes, so you really have to be on your toes. If some hotshot minor league pitcher is being called up to the major leagues, you want to grab them first. If you can do this on a regular basis and you get lucky with a few players here and there, it can make all the difference for your team.

In our next update we will be examining each position and targeting certain players for our draft preparation. Again, much of this preparation can fly out the window in the middle of a live draft. However, you do need to be prepared and you do need to do your homework. Once the draft starts and you are on the clock expected to make a selection, you need to be ready.


Until next time… stay tuned

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