Fantasy Baseball: 5 All-Star Break Tips to Guarantee a Huge Second Half

Jonathan IrwinContributor IIJuly 5, 2012

Fantasy Baseball: 5 All-Star Break Tips to Guarantee a Huge Second Half

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    If your fantasy team is like mine, you're suffering through a rough season.

    I play in a head-to-head league, and I'm currently going through one of my worst seasons to date, sitting well under .500.

    I'm hoping for a huge second half.

    And though that sounds simple, sometimes finding the right combination for a stellar second half isn't so easy.

    Here are a few tips that can help give you a push through the second half of the season and, hopefully, into fantasy glory.

Target the DL

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    Evan Longoria, Matt Kemp and Roy Halladay.

    All three are fantasy monsters who are currently on the DL. When these guys are on top of their game, it's hard to find anyone better.

    Looking for a huge push through the second half of the season? Why not power up your team with a "buy low" trade for a current DL resident.

    It's certainly risky. Just look at Kemp. He came off the DL in May and two days later was back on it—having reaggravated his injury. However, if you're getting a perennial all-star, it's well worth the risk.

Trust the Splits

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    We always hear about the first half vs. second half players, but these gems are sometimes difficult to dig up.

    But they are there, and if you get the right player they can drastically improve your team.

    Look at Ryan Howard: He is a great player, but post-All-Star break he's a monster.

    In his career, Howard has a first-half batting average of .262 with a .867 OPS; second half, he's hit .290 with a .996 OPS. That kind of stat differential could easily strengthen any fantasy team.

    Good thing Howard's set to return to action any time now.

Buy Low

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    Tim Lincecum is having a disastrous season, especially by fantasy standards.

    How much of it is him, and how much of it is bad luck?

    Despite his 6.08 ERA, Lincecum has a 3.77 FIP, a .330 BABIP, a 60 percent strand rate (versus a 74.4 percent career average) and a 10.7 percent HR/FB rate.

    In summary, Lincecum is dealing from some horrible luck this season. Yes, his velocity is down, and yes, he's walking more batters than usual.

    But he's still pitching well.

    Struggling stars like Lincecum are massive buy-low candidates. If you get the right guy and his numbers normalize, you could enjoy a great second half to your season.

Sell High

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    Paul Konerko had a resurgent 2011, putting him back on the fantasy radar. He's enjoying an equally strong 2012, batting .333 with a .954 OPS.

    Konerko was a monster through the first two months of the season, but he's starting to slow down. The 36-year-old posted a mere .696 OPS in June with just three home runs and seven RBI.

    Selling high is a great second-half strategy. It can help absolve your fantasy team of slumping slackers while putting your team in a position to improve.

Look for the Next Callup Great

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    This has certainly been the year of the rookie.

    Will Middlebrooks, Bryce Harper, Mike Trout, Jarrod Parker, Trevor Bauer and Anthony Rizzo are just a few of the rookies making a ton of buzz this season. Several of them have turned into fantasy baseball studs.

    If your fantasy league is like mine, chances are the majority of those guys aren't available.

    One of the best ways to stock up in the second half is to get to the rookies first.

    Some players to keep in mind for the second half: Danny Hultzen, Nolan Arenado, Billy Hamilton, Shelby Miller and Ryan Lavarnway.