Bleacher Report Fantasy League: How Not to Win in Fantasy Baseball

Jameson FlemingSenior Writer IApril 10, 2009

GOODYEAR , AZ - MARCH 06:  Kelly Shoppach #10 of the Cleveland Indians signs autographs for fans before the spring training game against the Milwaukee Brewers at Goodyear Ballpark on March 6, 2009 in Goodyear, Arizona.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Bleacher Report fantasy baseball gurus Scott Fender and Collin Hager of the Elmhurst Pub Roundtable put together a Bleacher Report fantasy baseball league for some of the brightest minds in fantasy baseball to fight it out for a championship. 

Now I'm a huge baseball guy, but my passion for the sport has waned a little bit even with the Phillies' World Series Championship.

I still enjoy fantasy baseball and I'm currently playing in half-a-dozen leagues. I've read Sam Walker's outstanding book, "Fantasyland," and marvel over the fact guys get to play fantasy baseball for a living.

For the members of the baseball community that have absolutely no idea who I am, I don't blame you.

I'm the Community Leader of College Basketball and spent the last six months or so living college hoops (my love for the game is evident in my team name, Undefeated in 6 OTs because Syracuse is the only team in college basketball to be undefeated in six overtimes). That means following baseball closely hasn't really been a priority. 

And when you're playing against some of the best baseball minds that's a problem. That's also the first strategy on how to get your butt kicked in fantasy sports.


Don't follow the sport's transactions during the offseason; you probably don't stand a chance. 

Now that strategy is going to play out a little later in the draft, but for now,  I'm going to focus on the beginning of the draft. My next strategy involves not being an idiot.


Screwing up the draft time and showing up a half-hour late without setting pre-draft rankings means an unbalanced team.

Draft was slated for 8:30 PM, I showed up at 9. I didn't have anyone pre-ranked. In return, Yahoo! drafted Miguel Cabrera with my the sixth overall pick. Not bad.

But then Yahoo! decided to screw with me. Second round.


Third Round.

Another outfielder and then another outfielder and another outfielder and in the sixth round, a fifth and final outfielder.

Didn't get a pitcher or an infielder at the valuable middle-infield position since those spots are also shallow. Nor did I get a catcher and all the good ones were off the board.

So at this point, I finally do something right. I try to piece together something that assembles a pitching staff and fill the many gaping holes in my infield.

Felix Hernandez is the best pitcher left on the board and J.J. Hardy is the top shortstop, so I grab them.

Mark DeRosa is next in round nine. He's got the multiple position eligibility so if I can't fill a position later, I'll have it covered with DeRosa.

On average, DeRosa was going around 140th in drafts, I took him in the top 100. His versatility is worth it if he puts up similar numbers to a year ago.

Here's where the strategy of not paying attention becomes a problem. I put off taking a catcher and multiple middle-infielders in favor of taking pitchers to build a legitimate staff.

I failed to realize Kelly Shoppach is no longer the starting catcher of the Indians. Apparently Ryan Garko, Victor Martinez, and Travis Hafner will be filling the 1B, C, and DH roles. It would have been nice to realize that when we drafted.

I also have Colorado's Ian Stewart and Clint Barmes in my starting lineup despite the fact both don't crack the Rockies' starting lineup on a nightly basis. Again, would have been nice to know that then.

Going back to the pitcher staff, don't take all starting pitchers and ignore closers.

I tend to punt saves in most leagues in favor of taking players that will help me in the other nine categories.

Well when your team sucks to begin with, punting an entire category is as terrible an idea as the Orioles signing Adam Eaton (yes, ragging on Adam Eaton never gets old for Rangers, Padres, and Phillies fans).

Halfway through the draft I did take one closer, Brendan Morrow, who I thought was a starting pitcher, but I was wrong and that mistake actually benefited me.

Finally we get to my last two picks. I took Rich Hill thinking he was going to start again in the Major Leagues. Not yet, he's no longer a member of my squad. I finished off the draft taking Dontrelle Willis because I purposely always make my last pick a joke.

I've yet to find suitors for my many outfielders or someone to trade me an infielder, or catcher, or closer.

I have begun to fix my roster by adding Armando Galarraga to my starting staff as well as Brewers closer (for now) Carlos Villanueva who isn't nearly as ugly as Charlie Villanueva.

I've also grabbed Jon Rauch in hopes he ends up being Arizona's closer. I've since dropped Rauch in favor of Dennys Reyes because who doesn't need a closer who could compete in Japanese Sumo Wrestling. 

Despite this hodge-podge roster, I'm tied 5-5 entering Saturday with Lou Cappetta.