Fantasy Baseball 2012: Four Huge Mistakes to Avoid

Scott RussellContributor IIFebruary 7, 2012

Fantasy Baseball 2012: Four Huge Mistakes to Avoid

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    Mistakes help an individual, or in this case fantasy owner, learn for the future and produce better results. After doing my fair share of learning, I am now trying to help you avoid making the same errors by sharing four huge mistakes to avoid.

    Building a solid fantasy team takes some planning. In order to build a good team, it is important to generate some strengths or desired strengths of your team.

    Will you be in search of power bats or will you be a pitching based team?

    Either way, variables will force you to make managerial decisions due to injury and weaknesses that present themselves over the course of the season. 

    Drafting properly is where it all starts and also where a majority of the errors are made. Go into the draft with a plan and stick to it. 

Forgetting to Draft Your Ace

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    Not only will waiting to long to draft your No. 1 pitcher set you behind on pitching, you will be forced to pass on a valuable position player to add a mediocre arm.

    Part of drafting has to do with feeling out the other teams in your league and determining whether they are drafting pitchers early.

    If half of the teams in your league draft pitcher in the first and second round, you should be committed to taking a pitcher with your following pick.

    The spread between valuable fantasy starting pitchers and the mediocre talent left for the late rounds is huge.

    Once you build your pitching staff around one to two aces, you can fill out the rest of your pitching staff with ease. Picking up viable options as they present themselves in free agency or picking young pitchers in later rounds is a good strategy.

Reaching for Outfielders

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    The outfield position is extremely deep. There are going to be quality options on your free-agent market all season.

    Drafting outfielders too high is a mistake that occurs much too often. 

    Many outfielders may be more appealing when looking at the statistics alone, but the important analysis to take place is among each position.

    Shortstop, second base and catcher are shallow positions in this year's draft so, I want to pick these positions early. 

    Alternatively, outfield is a deep position with sleepers waiting to be drafted in the 10th round and provide third round results.

    Be confident knowing there are players left on the board at the outfield position when you have already set your infield with studs.

Drafting a Closer Too High

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    When you are thinking about drafting a top-notch closer, say Mariano Rivera, remember that a closer's contributions in fantasy baseball are limited.

    Other than the saves category, closers fall short on every other category.

    The argument can be made for ERA, but a pitcher throwing three scoreless innings a week won't affect your fantasy staff's ERA by much.

    I recommend passing on closers and instead using the pick on another starter or a hitter. Many viable closing options will present themselves on the waiver-wire after the draft.

Not Taking Advantage of Multiple Position Eligible Players

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    Position eligibility is one of the things to focus on when making selections in your upcoming fantasy draft.

    The ability to put an outfielder at the hot corner when your regular third baseman is out with a tweaked hamstring. This type of move will make the difference over the course of 162 games.

    Jose Bautista held eligibility at both third base and in the outfield a season ago. Compared to other outfielders he was at the top of the pack, but compared to third baseman he blew them out of the water. I chose to start Bautista at third base because I had other solid outfielders but not another third baseman.

    The point is be creative. Dual-eligibility opens up doors. Players may rarely play the position on the actual diamond, but can still produce stats for your fantasy team and help you get an edge over the rest of the owners in your league.