More than any skill, the most important part of succeeding as a fantasy baseball manager is being able to quickly realize that things aren’t going how you thought they would. The longer you drag on expecting significant change, the more doomed you’re going to be.
A specific example from a few years ago is what actually triggers this. I had one of the better teams in a league (which I eventually won), and was trying to get a bit of a jolt in a few stats I wasn’t as great in.
So, I saw one of the weaker teams in the league had some players that interested me, and made an offer. I can’t remember the players involved, but I will say that the trade would have benefited me. What I found interesting was the response I got, with this guy basically telling me that none of my players were worthy of being on his team.
It was an interesting thought, for sure, as my team was much better. Coming out of the draft, maybe he did have the better team. But I made a few nice adjustments on the fly and a few of the players I wasn’t sure about when drafted ended up being great, while some of his better names were a year past their primes.
This was about two months into the season, and the gap between my team and his only grew. The point of this story isn’t to put anyone on blast. After all, it is your team, your money (if you’re in that kind of league), so you have no obligations to do anything.
But if you’re in a league and actually trying to compete, you might want to think about changing some things up a little bit.
I don’t have a particular trade strategy that I apply to all leagues at all times. I have written in the past that I generally prefer many pitchers over one ace, and one stud hitter over many good ones, but that strategy can be broken depending on how well my season is going.
If my team is awful and someone offers me a trade, I may actually take it and deal with the texts from people asking me just what it is that I am doing. Conversely, if my team is doing well, I may turn down an offer that looks great on paper.
I don’t care what format you are dealing with, you will not win a fantasy league based on how well you draft. The season is too long, leaving plenty of doors open for positive and negative surprises. Nash is hands down the best, most prepared drafter I know, but he makes tons of moves in season, because he has to if he wants to win.
So if you really want to compete in your fantasy baseball league and things aren’t going well, change things up just a little bit. That’s not to say that you should make terrible trades or anything, but alter things a little bit. Look at the numbers the players are generating, not the names on their backs.
- Don’t have “untouchable players” if you’re struggling. No, don’t deal your best producers for nothing, but if someone makes an offer, think about doing a counter before shooting it down immediately.
- Conversely, if things are going well, don’t be so quick to make a move, even if it looks good. I mean, things are going well for a reason, right?
- What you have to realize is that things change very quickly in sports. A player who was a stud last year (or maybe even the previous five years), may all of a sudden fizzle without any real warnings.
In short, it’s okay to let preconceived notions dictate how you draft; that’s really all that you can do. But don’t let those dominate for the next six months. When the draft ends and the season begins, wipe your mind clear of all things. What you were used to before could easily be radically different than what you see in front of you.