Fantasy Baseball 2012: 5 Tips for First-Time Fantasy Owners

Jonathan IrwinContributor IIFebruary 7, 2012

Fantasy Baseball 2012: 5 Tips for First-Time Fantasy Owners

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    I first started doing fantasy baseball in 2008. Luckily that season, I was an amateur playing with other amateurs.

    Even though we were all on the same page, it was still overwhelming. Fantasy sports can feel that way, and it takes a while to get a grasp on things. The season can move fast, and if you're not on top of your game it can cost you your season.

    But, never fear!

    I hope these five tips are enough to help you get a better grasp on draft day, and lead you to the glory of a fantasy baseball championship.

Come Prepared to Draft Day

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    The foundation to any successful fantasy baseball team is a good draft.

    There are a lot of ways to move through your draft, but without ample preparation you could be in for a big surprise.

    Doing your homework is the best way to plan for a fantasy draft. Know the players, research bounce-back candidates, have a list of sleepers prepared, set up contingency plans; all of these are simple things that can give you a leg up during the draft.

    Previously, I wrote this article listing 10 keys to a successful draft. Hopefully, you can find it useful to help you prepare for your draft.

    The draft isn't everything, and you can recover from a bad one; however, if you skip over preparing for it then you're making the uphill battle that much steeper.

Be Agressive

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    No one ever won a fantasy league by being timid.

    If you like a player, pick him up. How many people do you think sat on Buster Posey two seasons ago? How many sat on Alex Gordon last season? Every day you waste waiting to see if a player is for real is another chance you're giving your competition to beat you to the punch.

    If you want a player, try to make a trade. Start out easy, trying to give yourself the best optimal deal possible. If that doesn't work, keep making offers, changing things up until you get the deal done.

    Fantasy is fun, but it doesn't have to be nice. It's a competition, and one of the best ways to win is by being aggressive.

Don't Let Scarcity Control You

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    Honestly, I think people blow position scarcity out of proportion. 

    Sure, it's there. Sure, picking the 10th ranked shortstop isn't the best. But, wouldn't you sacrifice taking Troy Tulowitzki in the first round for Albert Pujols?

    Sleepers are everywhere, and positions like second, third and catcher are getting deeper and deeper every season.

    You should always draft the best player possible, no matter what round you’re in. If that means skipping over an infielder, then look for sleepers. It all comes back to preparation.

    If you have a list of sleepers and position rankings, then you never have to fear position scarcity.

Never Underestimate a Hardy Rotation

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    Pitchers can be the most rewarding, and most frustrating players in fantasy baseball.  No matter how enigmatic they are, a solid rotation wins fantasy leagues. 

    Because pitchers are the most unpredictable of players, having a rock solid rotation is the best way to get a leg up on the competition.

    So, how do you build that rotation?

    Here's the formula I follow for crafting my fantasy pitching:

    1. Have two "aces" by the end of the fifth round. By aces, I mean your 200-200 guys (200 innings, 200 strikeouts).

    2. Have at least three pitchers by the end of the tenth round.

    3. Round out your rotation with young, high upside, picks. These picks carry the most risk, but have the best chance at high rewards.

    4. Never reach for a closer in the early rounds. Their value is in saves, the most unpredictable of pitching stats.

Finally... Just Have Fun!

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    Fantasy baseball is intense and competitive, but that doesn't mean you can't have fun.

    Things can be frustrating at times, but just keep your head up and keep working at it. You can't win every year, but that doesn't mean you can't have fun.

    The guys that grace your fantasy roster are your players. Respective them, like them, but don't be afraid to let them go when they're not carrying their weight.

    Whatever skill level you are, this is a tip everyone can respect.

    I hope this slideshow helps you out, and good luck to you in your upcoming fantasy season!