5 Reasons to Still Care About Fantasy Baseball at This Point in the Season

Jonathan IrwinContributor IIAugust 14, 2012

5 Reasons to Still Care About Fantasy Baseball at This Point in the Season

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    It's mid-August. You're in, or near, the bottom of the barrel. Your playoff hopes are completely toast. You just don't care.

    Well, start caring.

    Fantasy sports are a thing of pride. But at some point, it becomes too easy to give up—especially this late in the game with your team completely blocked from glory.

    Still, it's never too late to build for next year. Never too late to get in one last victory—no matter how small or pointless it may be.

    Believe it or not, there are reasons to be paying attention to fantasy baseball this late in the season.

No One Likes a Sore Loser

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    No one likes a sore loser. Just because you're out of the playoffs doesn't mean you should give up on your team.

    We've all seen 'em: Guys are 10 games back and just stop caring. Their team becomes filled with demotions and injuries. Their roster sports a few serviceable players a week and become an auto-win.

    Believe me when I tell you, no one likes that guy.

    So, just don't be that guy. Roll with the punches and fight until the end. Your leaguemates will respect you all the more for it, and they'll be more apt to invite you back next year.

Scouting Talent

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    If you're not going to win this year, then you might as well look to the future.

    Now is the perfect time to scout rookies and upcoming talent. It's about that time where teams start prepping for the future and give their prospects MLB time.

    Pay attention to these crucial at-bats. Study them closely. It'll really help when it comes to finding sleepers in the future.

    It will also give you a first-hand vantage point. It's always easier to build your own conclusions instead of following someone else's.

Injury Watch

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    Injuries don't have a timetable. They can happen in August, September and sometimes even October.

    You should never sleep on injury news. If a player suffers an injury at this point in the season, chances are he'll be back in time for the next season.

    However, if you're not paying attention, you might not see that Player X went down with a wrist injury in September. Then you spend a high pick on Player X, and now you have a struggling hitter who's never going to be the same.

    Should have paid attention.

Strategy

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    If you're out of the race, chances are your leaguemates know it. They're no longer considering you a threat. Let that be their mistake.

    Late season is reconnaissance time! Put on your 007 baseball cap and watch the competition closely. Get an idea for the moves they're making down the stretch. This can help you in two ways:

    1. If their moves are successful, find a way to emulate them in upcoming seasons. Sometimes you have to learn from the best to beat the best.

    2. You'll learn how to block these moves in the future. What better way to stop your opponents than making their favorite strategies moot. If you have an fantasy rival, try to block his moves now—nothing like frustrating your biggest competition!

Every Win Counts

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    Just because you're completely out of the playoff race doesn't mean you should give up.

    Every win is a bragging right. If you're in a head-to-head league, maybe you'll beat the guy with the best record. Maybe you'll shatter someone's playoff run. Maybe you'll beat a close rival. Or maybe you'll just avoid being the worst player in the league.

    All of those things matter. Fantasy is as much about ego as it is about fun and sports. Any opportunity to trample the competition should be savored.

    Never underestimate momentum, even this late in the season.