The Reality of Fantasy

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The Reality of Fantasy
(Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

You study the offseason, compile data, create lists, read the rumors and Mock Draft like there's no tomorrow just to be ready when your draft day comes. You can't sleep, your significant other thinks you're having an affair, and your dogs and/or cats haven't eaten for days and are leaving you "messages" all around the house.

All this and you still can't believe your struggling to stay afloat barely half way into the season.

It's your worst nightmare! Nearly all your players are either not quite hitting their stride and/or are suffering from a freakish accident/injury.

For me, it's been one crazy "excuse" after the other. Elbows, shoulders, (the new "designer" injury) obliques, eye problems, dizziness and my favorite, Plantar Fasciitis! "Could we please rewind the season or just call a 'do-over'? How about a Mulligan!"

What went wrong? Probably nothing you have any control over. What you CAN do is take a moment to regroup and, please, take that rope off your neck, and get down from the roof.

I wouldn't pretend to show you any sympathy, I am in 19 leagues this year and have absolutely NO SHOT at winning in at least 12.

Not because I did anything wrong, but because these stupid players don't prepare well enough or engage in "momentary heroics" which leave them writhing in pain, sticking it to ME (and you) for one stinking out or that one harder pitch. "For Pete's Sake, it's just ONE GAME!"

Can you fix it? If you've got more than the average number of "frustrations," probably not. If your top projected contributors are nursing injuries, it's doubtful you'll win it all. Cheer up, you CAN wheel and deal your way to respectability.

Instill the same energy you did in the preseason, focus on the FA Wire or your best possible trade candidate (every league has at least one) whom you may be able to get talking trade and make a move.

If you need help with WHIP and ERA, you can focus on the "late inning" variety of arms who may even contribute K's and some "vulture" W's and S's.

Set-up guys and the guy right behind them (or the alternate choice of closer candidates) can be found on many competitive teams like CHW, SD, MIL, NYY, BOS and a few others. Guys who get HOLDS can be very useful even if you don't use them in your league.

DON'T get mesmerized by the "flavor-of-the-week" young or inexperienced pitcher. Mazzaro won't be lights out all season, and he's just one of about 20 guys who fit into that category. You can use guys like that, but you've got to be careful not to "hang them out to dry" too often. Focus on matchups!

You won't find the next "Ryan Braun" out there, so focus on the "Alberto Callaspo" types that will play almost all the AB's and contribute AVG with above average runs scored and an occasional power "gift" of HR's and RBI with a possible SB every now and then.

You can even throw caution to the wind and grab a "Xavier Nady" type guy on the mend and hope he can stay healthy upon return.

Diehard fantasy addicts will, no doubt, look for ALL the opinions and facts they can get to make an "informed" pick-up or trade so don't sell yourself short by not doing your homework. Sometimes, the best move you can make is no move at all. There's still a LONG way to go and your "deadwood" might come around in time to salvage your season.

That, my friends, is the "Reality of Fantasy!"

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