How To Win Your Fantasy Baseball Draft
I would like to preface this article by saying that I play in a head to head league on Yahoo.com with ten total teams. Over the past three years (starting in 2006), I have never finished below second place, winning the championship once. My draft strategy always remains the same and is a virtually fool proof plan.
The first thing to remember about fantasy baseball is not to play favorites. If you are in it to win it, forget who your favorite team is. As a Mets fan, I can't stand Jimmy Rollins and Shane Victorino, but if they are there and it's time to take them, you take them!! That point seems painfully obvious but often overlooked as players from your favorite team get drafted many rounds early.
The main key to my draft is the balance between hitting and pitching. It is important to remember that pitching is very marginal. Pitchers in early rounds are not that much better than pitchers in late rounds. Here are some interesting statistics to think about.
The #1 pitcher in pre-draft rankings is Tim Lincecum.Last year, he was 15-7 with 261 strike outs and 2.48 ERA. His average pick in drafts is 9.4. Jon Lester is currently being picked 70.7 on average. His stats are as follows: 15-8, 225 and 3.41. Is Lincecum really worth that early pick when you can wait almost six round and get Lester?
Picking pitching in the early rounds is a ridiculous method. Solid, reliable hitters are much tougher to come by and therefore must be picked much earlier. There are some rare situations in which you are left in a position, forcing you to pick a top flight pitcher. In those rare cases it is important to bite the bullet and take them. My point is, pitching is easy to find in deep rounds, hitting is not.
The entire basis of my strategy is marginalizing what type of true production you get out of your top players. In a ten team, head to head mock draft I participated in recently, my picks were as follows:
- Mark Teixeira
- Joe Mauer
- Ichiro Suzuki
- Kevin Youkilis
- BJ Upton
- Curtis Granderson
- Josh Johnson
- Dan Uggla
- Matt Cain
- Chad Billingsley
- Jason Bartlett
- Ian Stewart
- Jake Peavy
- Rick Porcello
- AJ Burnett
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