With Opening Day just a couple of days away, here are five tips to make sure you have a successful fantasy baseball season.
The MLB regular season is technically underway but it starts on March 28 for the other 28 teams. Most of the fantasy baseball owners have drafted already. Even you are waiting until the last day, you can still follow along. Whether you are a rookie or veteran to fantasy baseball, these tips could lead you to a successful season.
There is a lot you can’t control in fantasy baseball. Once you draft the players, their performance is up to them. You have no control on how many home runs Mike Trout hits or players Max Scherzer strikes out.
Injuries, unfortunately, happen all the time, sometimes not even in game action. Knowing how to navigate through those hurt players will separate the good and bad fantasy baseball owners. That’s where the waiver wire comes into play.
You do have control over how you manage your team and composure. Knowing when to start a pitcher or sit a hitter is important to your team’s success but it goes deeper than that. Here are five tips that will help you all season long.
Do No Overreact
The fantasy baseball season is long. It’s a six-month marathon that takes a lot of research, stamina and maneuvering in order to make improvements and win your league.
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If Nelson Cruz goes 0-for-12 in his first three games, it’s not the end of the world. He still has 450 at-bats to give you 35 home runs and 90 RBIs. If a pitcher gave up six runs in four innings, your ratios won’t be the best to start but there are plenty of innings left to correct that.
There is no need to drop any players (unless they’re hurt) or make other drastic moves. You have until September to make any improvements. Don’t jump the gun too soon.
Check the Waiver Wire
Speaking of making improvements, checking the waiver wire is crucial. There is a zero-percent chance that you will have the same roster at the end of the season compared to Opening Day.
Monitoring the waiver wire is a good strategy to see which players are on a hot (or cold) streak who could improve your roster. It also allows you to see which players your opponents dropped.
Maybe they didn’t listen to rule one and cut someone a week too early. This overreaction could lead to you adding a star player.
Know Your Team’s Needs
This goes hand-in-hand with the second tip. If you’re adding players just because, you will likely not win your league. Adding another power hitter when you’re struggling with batting average is not a good strategy.
This also works with trades. Don’t just trade for another team’s best player when you don’t need him. If you need speed, trading for Justin Bour isn’t going to do anything. Fantasy baseball players do not like people who don’t pay attention to their team.
This isn’t just about stats. It’s also about adding replacements for injured players. I’ve been in leagues with people who gave up after a couple of months. It’s not fun to play against someone with four injured players in their lineup.
Trading is an integral part of fantasy baseball. An opposing owner has a player you want and you have one they want. If that owner offers you a trade, don’t just ignore or decline the trade.
If that owner was willing to send you an offer, the doors of communication are open. This is now your time to send a counteroffer. Maybe you can offer up a player similar to the one they want or maybe add players to offset the loss of stats.
If you constantly ignore or decline trades (or an owner is doing it to you), they may not want to trade with you when you’re ready to. Communicate with your leaguemates throughout the season.
You joined a fantasy baseball league to have fun. You like the game of baseball, fantasy sports and competition. If it becomes too stressful or you’re constantly arguing with leaguemates, it may be time to step away or find a different league next year.
The baseball season is a long one. If this is your first fantasy baseball season, I hope you enjoy it and continue to play. If you’re a veteran, try to get more people involved. If you know people who like baseball, try to introduce them to fantasy baseball. The more, the merrier.