OK friends, it’s time to shake off the All-Star Game hangover. Much like the players that take advantage of the physical rest of the All-Star Break, I hope you fantasy managers took advantage of the mental break! No need to worry about who is heating up or cooling down, which pitchers to stream, or who to not start against a tough opponent.
Yes, there will still be planning and plotting for when baseball resumes, BUT with a four-day break from watching the day-to-day stats affect your league standings, you are able to really sit back and assess your team and strategize for the end of the season.
Now that we’re at the halfway point of the season, the cream has risen to the top and the deadbeat owners have been exposed. Your league should be seeing far less significant swings in the standings and teams should be settling into positions for the final stretch.
Where are you at?!
If you are in a 10-team league and in the bottom half, you are almost 100% out of the running for first and are probably not going to crack the top three. If you are in a 12-team league or deeper, you need to be in the top third to have a good shot at first (and the point differentials really matter a great deal on your chances). If you are in the bottom third, you better hope to not end up last!
Even if you are near the bottom of your league, that is no excuse to just throw in the virtual towel–have a little pride, my friend! You need to set goals, or find a rival that will motivate you to play it out! Clave, Dixon and I all have rivalries who shall remain nameless (and probably don’t even know they are our rivals) and that helps us to stay motivated when we realize that we are out of the running for the number one spot.
- Perhaps you’re dead last right now. In that case, getting out of dead last should be motivation enough!
- Let’s say you’re 8 of 10 — you should figure out a point total to get to, or a realistic spot in the standings (e.g., fifth place or 70 points or something that you can build on for next year).
I am just learning how to play golf this summer, and I was playing nine holes on Friday with a dear friend. I wasn’t doing terrible for my first time on a real course and he was great at teaching me the whole way. My scores weren’t great and we came to the last hole, which happened to be the toughest hole of the course. I made a legit par on the hole and my friend got a two-foot tap in for birdie. We were both ecstatic and he said, “That’s how golf is, you play a round and the whole time you are terrible and thinking you’ll never play again. Then you have the one hole that makes you think, ‘I can do this!’”
When you can finish strong, you end up excited for your next chance, and that type of excitement can carry you through a long off-season!
Head to Head Leagues
No matter what, you SHOULD still have an outside shot in making the playoffs. Once you make the playoffs anything can happen. You need to be on top of your team, know your strengths and weaknesses and just take it one week at a time.
I like to go to the standings tab and click on all the categories as if it were a Roto league and see how my team is faring. If I am on top of the steals categories and dead last in HRs, then I know the strength and weakness of my offense. I know what types of moves I can make to strengthen my squad the rest of way.
With four days to look at stats without any games being played, you can really start to look at just how productive or unproductive a guy has been for you.
Let’s look at some lines from the first half, shall we?:
Player A: 226-35-5-20-11-.301
Player B: 214-22-3-18-16-.234
Player C: 313-38-5-33-15-.288
Player C is Angel Pagan and he is owned in 100% of leagues reported
Player B is Coco Crisp and he is owned in 55.6%
Player A is Norichika Aoki and he is owned in just 24.8%
A player like Aoki who is now getting everyday playing time can be just the spark your team needs if you lack steals!
If you’re looking for power I also have a couple of suggestions:
- Logan Morrison: With Giancarlo Stanton out of the line-up it is gonna come down to Lomo or Carlos Lee to fill in at the cleanup spot. If Morrison can stay comfortable at the plate, he could be a GREAT addition to any fantasy roster! Lomo in the last two weeks: 46-8-4-13-0-.304
- Another guy that is getting going–and is known as a slow starter–is Delmon Young. His line for the last 2 weeks is: 60-7-4-120-.283
Nothing is impossible friends. Two years ago in our 15-team Roto league the leader had near a 30 point lead at the All-Star Break, and another team had just started to ascend the standings. A few key injuries and some terrific streaming and we witnessed one of the most epic comebacks in Tunacorn history. So take a good long look at your squad, at all the free agents, and your league’s trade block (encourage league mates to keep it up to date) and make the most you can out of the rest of your fantasy baseball season.
Maybe you too can shock the fantasy baseball world!