So you have decided to declare war, AKA play fantasy baseball, and your intent is to come out victorious. Beautiful! Now is the time to prepare for D-day and take those first steps towards glory.
There are 3 essential objectives that must be accomplished for an effective draft. Failure in any of these categories will likely ensure that you are in for a long season.
1) Extensive & Thorough Research
2) Accurate Analysis of that Research
3) Being well Organized on Draft Day
Today we address issue #1, more specifically, finding the right resources for your research. But before we begin our quest, I have an important piece of advice for all fantasy players. Take a deep breath, inhale, hold it for a second, & then release your fandom. It is imperative that you are completely objective while doing your research. Likes & dislikes have no business in the building of a championship fantasy team. Fantasy baseball is only about one thing, cold blooded numbers. To be an elite fantasy owner you must evaluate only statistics, not the names on either the front or the back of a jersey. If you are a true die-hard fan of a player or team, I will later explain how you can somewhat reincorporate your fanaticism into final draft preparations. But any emotion allowed to seep into your research or to influence your analysis will put your team at a severe disadvantage.
Ok, now as I was saying before I so rudely interrupted myself, knowledge is your weapon! If you outwork your rivals here, and are more diligent with your research, it will likely show up in your final standings.
Where to begin:
The good news here is that no research is bad research. So wherever you get your baseball fix is a good place to start. Typically, I start each season from scratch as if I knew nothing of the year before. (This is to clear myself of my own bias’ from the prior year). My first step is to preview each team in the major leagues. I want to know what personnel changes have occurred since last year? I want to get requited with how the team did the year before, hitting, pitching and standings wise. Are they expected to improve or decline? I look for the names of potential future stars, especially if the future may be this year. Most importantly, I want to know what the teams overall expectations. Is the team expected to contend for the playoffs? This may limit a youngsters ability to break into the line-up. Are they rebuilding? This may mean that the phenom in AA will be arriving sooner than later. What positions are not decided yet? I do not go too in-depth about any of these questions in this first review. I just want to get a general grasp of where teams are at before I start looking at individual players.
As a future fantasy general of your own team you may not feel the need to do this part and rather just delve directly into talent assessment. I certainly would not fault you for that. But just remember there is one element that always comes before talent in baseball, and in all walks of life, and that is opportunity. A players numbers, no matter what talent level, is influenced by the opportunities provided by the team he is on. It may be something as obvious as playing time, or something more discreet like losing a couple of rbi’s because the teams leadoff hitter was traded in the off season. Understanding the structure of each team can only help your talent assessment.
Following this preliminary research it is time to move onto the true battle ground, the players themselves. You have a million and one options on where to find your research, and for the most part, none are horrible choices. Amongst the major fantasy baseball draft kit publishers, 95% of the information will be similar. So a major part of deciding what site or magazine you choose as your base of research is basic comfort. With that said, that 5% of difference may be the difference between losing and winning. So to cover that 5% difference I suggest that you choose at least 2 sources of information. Then you can use your own judgment to decide which is more accurate.
The second part of Fantasy Baseball is War #2 is a quick rundown of some sites that you may choose….
About the Author
Written by Mo Johnson