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5 Tips to Help Beginners Crush a Fantasy Baseball Draft
Drafting your team is one of the most enjoyable aspects of playing season-long fantasy baseball. If you’re new to the arena, this guide is a terrific starting point.
I’m here to take the stress and feeling of being overwhelmed away.
Competitive leagues where everyone is passionate about the ultimate goal are highly intense, but that’s what makes the process so invigorating. By familiarizing yourself with the rules and employing sound draft strategies, you won’t be behind the eight-ball when the big day arrives.
Read through this post thoroughly and incorporate the fantasy baseball advice into your draft plan. By applying the following fantasy baseball tips for new drafters, you’ll actually have a leg up on your competition.
Soak Up All the League Details
One of the most basic fantasy baseball draft tips is to get familiar with your league’s details. Spend some time in your league’s lobby, getting familiar with the particulars.
Are you playing in a standard-scoring league or a league where certain statistics are weighted more heavily than normal? Is the league’s scoring system head-to-head (H2H) or rotisserie (roto)?
Those are some basic questions you should be asking yourself, and here are a few more topics to contemplate.
- Do I set my lineup weekly or daily?
- Is there a limit to the number of transactions I can make?
- Is there a cap on the number of starts or innings my pitchers can pitch?
The good news is all of these answers can be found on the home page of your fantasy baseball league. Being aware of the details in your league before you draft is crucial.
Before you can figure out how to draft in fantasy baseball appropriately, you first need to fully understand your league. Master your league’s scoring and roster settings, and you’ll be well on your well to mastering your fantasy baseball draft.
Keep Depth Charts/Lineup Cards Handy
It’s easy to project playing time for the players you’ll be targeting in the early rounds. Once you get to the middle rounds and beyond, things get a little murky.
I make sure I keep depth charts and projected lineup cards nearby at all times to help me feel confident in my decisions. The operators at rotochamp.com and fangraphs.com do a marvelous job updating their pages to provide authentic and real-time probabilities, so I suggest using those two as your foundation.
For example, you may find yourself in need of a catcher in round 22 and be unsure of who to pick.
However, a quick look at a Mariners lineup card reveals that Tom Murphy is slated to bat cleanup. A little more digging unveils that Murphy smacked 18 homers in 75 games in 2019. Voila. You just found yourself one of the top fantasy baseball sleepers in 2020, all by having MLB depth charts and lineup cards handy.
Document Your Draft
I’m a little bit old-school and like using pen and paper. Chances are your screen is already cluttered with MLB depth charts (ala my recommendation) and last year’s statistics, so make things easy and just grab a sheet of loose-leaf and a writing utensil. I even draw out a baseball diamond so that I can fill players in exactly where they’ll plug in.
Each time you make a pick, write that player’s name and his positional eligibility down and keep it organized.
This way, you don’t find yourself spending two of your first three picks on first basemen. It’ll help you avoid selecting a second shortstop before you’ve found your starting third baseman.
If you want to crush your fantasy baseball draft, the significance of proper organization cannot be understated.
Draft Two “Aces” Early
Streaming starters is a totally acceptable strategy to live by. In fact, it’s a fantasy baseball tip for new drafters that I completely endorse. Keeping a revolving door open at the back end of your rotation is really the only way to ensure you’re taking advantage and maximizing the scoring potential from your pitchers.
With that being said, it’s a strategy that works much better if your staff is anchored by a pair of aces. Not just good pitchers, but the ones who can be counted on to deliver innings and rack up strikeouts.
The best evidence to support this claim is to go back and look at the rosters of past champions in your league. A commonality will be finding household names on their pitching staff.
Take ADPs and Experts’ Rankings With a Grain of Salt
ADP (average draft position) is a term all fantasy baseball drafters inevitably become familiar with. They are a good rule of thumb and are important to know exist, but they aren’t the “be all and end all” when it comes to your draft strategy.
A mistake many individuals make is safely assuming they can select a player in a specific round just because his ADP says he’ll be available.
Likewise, an expert’s opinion when it comes to fantasy baseball rankings is still just an opinion. One thing I can promise you is that the first ten players who come off the board won’t match up with the top ten of the end-of-the-year fantasy baseball rankings.
Using ADPs and experts’ rankings is appropriate as a baseline approach, but integrating specific details pertinent to your league and fine-tuning your methods are what will make you stand out.
After all, the first step to winning your league is crushing your draft!
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