Hey everyone! CK here again.
With baseball season right around the corner, Half Street High Heat is going to be bringing out some killer content this year for fantasy baseball players, so keep your eyes out for something big in the near future…
Before the season starts and your fantasy drafts happen, I wanted to share some tips I learned last year when I played for the first time. In my first season of fantasy baseball, I finished 9 games above .500 and made it all the way to the semifinals of my league playoffs. Considering I didn’t even know how the scoring system worked when I started and kept forgetting to change out some things in my lineup (which happens to everyone sometimes), I think this was pretty impressive. So, here are five tips for those of you getting started in fantasy baseball, especially with HSHH releasing some new content soon.
Set your lineups. Set reminders. Set alarms. Don’t forget about it.
This seems basic, but it’s very true. In the beginning of the season I accidentally left one of my best pitchers on my bench and lost a 30 point performance simply because I forgot to set my lineup. Fantasy baseball isn’t something you set once a week then forget about it. You have to check your lineups every day, and it won’t take longer than two minutes. But it’s the most important thing, and the little things often matter once you’re fighting for a postseason spot.
2. When drafting, take the best player available, with one exception.
Just like in the real MLB draft, it’s not wise to worry about positions when drafting. Take the best player at every slot. Even if you already have a star shortstop with your first pick, drafting another one a few rounds later is advantageous due to flex spots, off days, and the constant risk of long-term injury.
There is one exception to this rule: starting pitchers. If you already have a good outfielder and are in position to pick between another one and a good starter, go with the pitcher. Always go with the starting pitcher as a pick.
3. Relief pitchers are deceptive. They are not worth your time.
In fantasy baseball, relief pitchers operate differently from starting pitchers. They get you 3-4 points a day on average, about 4 days of the week. Compare this to starters, who can get you 15-25 points on average if they have a quality start, or maybe even more if they have a career day (which does happen). You will find that some starting pitchers have eligibility to be dropped in relief pitcher slots in your lineup, and those pitchers have incredible value.
Relief pitchers are deceptively helpful, as they actually are low reward, especially when they get blown up and lose you points. Try to use relievers as little as possible. I lost my playoff matchup because my opponent killed me with nonstop starters in his lineup.
4. Check waivers on a daily basis.
This is huge. I picked up Freddy Peralta immediately after my fantasy draft and he quickly became my best pitcher for a good chunk of the season last year.
Checking the wire is important, because different people in your league can snag up decent players at any time. If a minor leaguer gets called up and breaks through? He could also be an asset. Someone in your lineup gets a major injury? Wait too long on the wire, and you could end up with a benchwarmer taking their spot for you. With the volatility of baseball, it is especially prudent to always be looking for guys to pick up. The more, the merrier.
5. Don’t feel obligated to make trades when everyone else does.
This last tip is pretty self-explanatory. Both at the beginning and end of the season, players in your league are going to be committing to trades at a rapid fire pace. Here’s the thing: you don’t have to jump in on this train. If you are comfortable with your team and players, do not feel like you have to make moves with everyone else. You’ll come across a lot of people who try way too hard to fleece others in trades, and it’s often tricky to figure out which players to keep or part with, especially when trades require dropping others from your lineup and bench.
Obviously, if a great trade is offered to or conceived by you, then accept or propose it. But just remember, trades are not always necessary. A good draft and smart waiver tactics will allow trades to be an assistant in your championship quest, rather than a necessity.
With my fantasy draft coming up on Sunday, I wanted to say it’s also a good idea to do some mock drafts to understand what might be coming your way in your own league.
Keep an eye out for more fantasy content from HSHH as we get closer to the season!