2010 Fantasy Baseball: Preparing for the Unexpected

Fantasy KnuckleheadsCorrespondent IMarch 21, 2010

ST. LOUIS , MO - OCTOBER 10:  :  :  Albert Pujols #5 of the St. Louis Cardinals in Game Three of the NLDS during the 2009 MLB Playoffs at Busch Stadium on October 10, 2009 in St. Louis, Missouri.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

As the regular MLB season approaches, so does a myriad of fantasy draft days. And as explained in this Fantasy Baseball Advice piece by our own Rustyn Rose, your draft day doesn’t have to be a complete flop if you follow some simple rules.

But what if you are that intrepid manager who laughs in the face of conventional wisdom?

What if you are that out-of-the-box wing nut who opens his draft with a closer and a SP, back to back?

I was!

This short piece is to remind everyone of the importance of knowing your league, how your scoring system is set up, and the value of setting strategies in place, that is based on your draft order.

Scoring and league types are a given, yes, but they often will dictate who the best player for you to select is. Last year in a Yahoo League (H2H weekly), I thought I was golden when I drafted guys like Raul Ibanez, Jayson Werth, Geovany Soto, Brian Roberts, Cliff Lee, and Brad Lidge, to name a few, but as it turned out, I completely flopped.


Not enough categories settled at any one given time of the year; in essence, no balance. I spent the better part of the second half of the season making daily waiver wire moves just to try and remain competitive, but alas I failed.

The moral is, I paid attention to the name, stats only, and the year-prior’s performance, and spent little attention to the actual construction of the league until it was too late.

Ok, injuries hurt me a bit too, but you get the point.

Ironically enough, halfway around the web I was also participating in a draft and trade league that was also based on categories for scoring.

In that league I was called a moron, an idiot, and stupid (no lie here) because with my first two picks, which were back to back (second and third), I took Jonathan Papelbon and Zach Greinke.

Two pitchers with your first two picks? Sheesh, you are a moron aren’t you!

Or was I?

I also wound up with Chone Figgins, Mark Reynolds, Robinson Cano, Matt Kemp, and I also made trades for Nyjer Morgan, Brett Gardner, and Andrew McCutchen as the season wore on. I never left the top two and wound up placing second in the end by literally a point or so.

The point is, I knew my positioning was indicative to get away with some much unexpected picks because 14 picks later there would still be quality hitters out there.

In addition to that, it started a mini trend in the respect that people immediately jumped on that bandwagon of picking up pitchers for fear there would be none later on…all it takes is one or two guys to start it.

The table was set up before the draft opened up: Strikes were key, and SB players were being ignored.

The point to all of this: You can follow conventionality, or you can be a rogue trend setter and still have success with either approach; so long as you have all the other minor—often under-appreciated—details in order.

Walk into your draft under-prepared, and you’ll be left in ruination; trust me I know!