Fantasy Baseball Takes Patience


Feb 14, 2014; Mesa, AZ, USA; Chicago Cubs catchers during camp at Chicago Cubs training facility at Mesa . Mandatory Credit: Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports

Fantasy baseball is a game of patience, much like the game of baseball itself.

I secretly don’t like going to baseball games with my wife, but don’t you dare tell her that! She quickly grows impatient with the pace of the game, and hasn’t developed an appreciation for a pitching duel, a 10 pitch at bat, or those little games that managers play when they are stalling for a pitcher warming up in the bullpen. In fact, in the amount of time it takes Mike Trout to get from the batter’s box to first, she’s typically forgotten all about the game and is chatting with a girlfriend.

But there is also an appreciation for the length of the season that she misses, and the grind on a pennant race. This is to say nothing of the patience it takes to develop a prospect with a patient approach at the plate. Baseball is a game of patience.

This is true in fantasy baseball as well, but most owners miss the appreciation of this. I’m going to talk about 4 areas where patience is needed if you want to be a winning fantasy baseball player.

Patience in the draft. 

We’ve all played with jokers who have no appreciation for the late rounds of a draft, particularly auction drafts.

But a patient fantasy baseball owner knows that the late rounds are where the real value is had and it’s those last few auction dollars that can be the difference between winning and losing. If you are patient and stay engaged and active at the end of drafts, you have found yourself and edge over many of your more impatient league mates.

Patience with your players. 

Around 2/3 of eventual roto winners were 1st, 2nd, or 3rd in their leagues at the end of April. The first month of the season is more important than people think.

Regardless, too many fantasy owners dump players off to a slow start, not having the patience to allow a slow start to mature into a fine season. Trust that you did your research on the guys you drafted and don’t make impetuous moves at the beginning of the season. Bold moves, yes, but temper them with patience.

Patience on trades.

I love leagues that trade a lot. If nothing else, it’s more fun and interesting to see players change teams and to know that owners are engaged and active in trying to improve their teams.

But don’t trade for trading’s sake. If it isn’t the right deal, it’s OK to wait for one that is better. That isn’t to say you should always hold out to play hardball, instead it’s to say being patient with trading can pays dividends for your team.

Patience in the standings. 

When you add a player to boost a specific category, you don’t see the dividends from that add in the first couple weeks. Trading a slugger for a speedster won’t rocket you up the stolen base standings the next day. You have to be patient and let his stats accrue.

I’ve seen too many impatient owners make quick fix move after quick fix move and they ultimately don’t gain in any category and simply dig themselves deeper into the hole.

Have a little patience and let your strategy take hold.

"“Why is patience so important?”“Because it makes us pay attention.”― Paulo Coelho"

Don’t have the patience for roto? Then try daily baseball. Every day is a new choice. But if you have the guts for roto, you need to have a little patience.