Mid-Season Fantasy Baseball Strategies – Fake Teams
Considering this is my first post for sbnation.com, I wanted to focus on a topic like mid-season fantasy baseball strategies. A subject that I have already dealt with and on which I have received excellent feedback. Hope this can help guide some of you to the Promised Land, help solidify some of your reservations about a trade or a change of list. That’s the point, no one is perfect, and no one can predict the future, but being prepared for the unexpected is critical to success.
This weekend is the start of a much needed MLB All-Star Break. Injured players have time to recover or rest, and that of course gives us time for the writers to catch up and refocus.. The game is in my home state of Minnesota in 2014 which is exciting. I would have been crazy not to participate in the festivities this year. I’m gonna watch my favorite game of baseball on Sunday seeing the MLB Futures game. I love leads and this will be a way to see most of them in the field at the same time, plus it’s at Target field so it’s a close match.
Appreciate the strategies and feel free to comment, criticize or compliment. Thank you!
Middle of the pack
If you’re in the middle of the pack, but getting consistent results (similar point total each week, winning or losing by just a few categories, or wins / losses only with two starting pitchers):
There is something to do here. Maybe a big deal would increase your performance. Another arm can give you a stronger weekly rotation, no matter how many starts you get from it. Maybe, land a guy who is consistent and maybe doesn’t have roller coaster weeks such as Jay bruce, Pedro Allvarez, and Jason kipnis, but a player like Hunter’s pence, Buster posey, David wright, and Ian kinsler could help provide in the offensive categories EVERY week.
If these are special categories you need, find your highlights! If you don’t know how to do this, ask someone right away! If you dominate the power classes compared to the rest of your league, but constantly losing saves or stolen bases … well, I think you know what I’m going to say. Law??? Sell ââpower for speed, or whatever category you fight in.
If this is a points league, you should still be able to see which areas your team is fighting in. This is a great scenario to buy BAS. Manny Machado, Bryce harper, Ian desmond, Justin upton, Cole hamels, and Jeff Samardzija (Can be tough now that he’s in Oakland) are some of the players I’m targeting.
The inhabitant of the cellar
If you’re at the bottom of the standings, but within range of the last seed for the playoffs: you may need to make some drastic moves. That’s if you’re not in trouble just because of injuries or late calls.
Well, this is the hardest place to live, and I’ve been there every now and then. It may seem hopeless to catch up, and in reality it may be (especially in the rotisserie leagues), but giving up is not an option! Make a trade, make a few list moves, change your strategy, and as painful as it may be, it can be more than one. If you have an owner who offers a couple or three players who could help you add depth to your first or second round studâ¦ You may have to. Don’t take absurd offers or despair, but at some point you will have to make a splash.
Some of my teams this season are close to that position thanks to the abundance of injuries. Tommy John’s surgeries were needed every two weeks, position players were out for eight to ten weeks, you name it, it happened. You are probably not alone, but if you have more than three players on your DL right now, you are definitely feeling the pain.
If you’ve drafted a group of strong hitters and caught some late pitchers, you may need to trade sticks for weapons. Or you might have to give up a few underachieving players for some prospects, or newcomers. Take risks and have fun, but don’t give up or spoil the league with lopsided trades or insane additions or drops. Conclusionâ¦ DO SOMETHING!
Another aspect to consider is whether you are in a Guardian League or a Dynasty League. If that’s the case, you might want to consider moving older, but higher-level players to future, cheaper, younger stars.
The throne is yours!
You are in first place. You had an easy first half by simply destroying your opponents. Your pitchers are working as they should, or above their heads. Your bats mash and strike for a high average.
Sitting straight enough ?? Maybeâ¦ but NEVER sleep on your opponents. Your team has a weakness. Every team does it. Maybe you don’t have depth. Maybe you’ve had a surprising replacement outfielder all year (Charlie blackmon, Colin Cowgill, or any Colorado Rockies player) and it hasn’t hurt you yet.
There have been a lot of young pitchers getting injured, but you probably have an ace and several surprising (?) 1st half studs Corey kluber, Sonny Gray, Julio Tehran, Tyson ross and Dallas keuchel. What if they were closed earlier? Start to tire? Do you have enough pitching force to qualify for the championship? I’m not saying to swap Chris Sale, necessarily. Just make sure he’s not your ONLY ace or top 20 option. Try a two-for-one chord and build your starting lineup.
I’m sure you sat on add / remove, reject deal, and that’s understandable. Just be sure to keep an eye out for the 3rd place guy, who was 6th a few weeks ago, and has been playing pitchers, making trades and leading the league in terms of additions. They want you! They want your TRNE !! Defend him.
Find a less well-placed team, swap one of your unproven entry-level stallions or a hot unrealistic player for a solid and consistent contributor if needed. Replace that player of questionable position, who has not yet counted for your team. Do something. Build some depth on your bench. Prepare for the worst.
Then you can stay in power in the first place and step into the championship by being just that. A champion.
Breathable in the neck
These teams are currently in contention for the playoffs. Not in first or second place, but certainly not in difficulty either.
This is perhaps the most difficult position to occupy. You don’t want to dismantle your team via trade or add drops. You are still competitive and really aren’t too concerned about falling into contention.
I would suggest finding weaknesses, if any. It’s more than likely that you don’t dominate more than one or two categories and find yourself in the middle or top five of the other categories.
It’s hard, you’re doing well. You can ride it realistically or play with fire. Personally, I like to play with fire. Suppose you have one that is closer, due to an injury, demotion, or the drafting of just one. Other teams in your league can probably have two or three, or closer. So what are you doing?
Do you trade a first player for a closer one?
I do not think so. Closures are always on the move, and why risk swapping a player helping your team for another question mark. You may also not be able to gain traction in rotisserie formats or compete in head-to-head / points leagues.
So …. you exchange your closer one. Maybe drop the category. Strengthen yourself elsewhere (Power, speed, avg). Pack your door closer with a 50-100 better pitcher for a 25 better pitcher. Improve, but don’t sacrifice too much. Target another midfield team or a team out of action (currently) that might sniff a point or two in the saves category.
Like I said, it’s risky. I play high risk and it usually pays off, but it backfired a lot of times. Do what’s right for you, rate other teams and league settings. If it is a points league, for example, “Holds” can be as valuable in a category as a “save”. If this is true, then why bother with closures? Target the setup men who dominate right now, get lots of strikeouts, and have low era / whip. Dellin BÃ©tances, Pat neshek, Where Jake McGee
Now. Are you swapping a bench player for a closer one ?? Of course, that’s probably a smart move.