Oct 6, 2013; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates players including Starling Marte (6) , Russell Martin (55) , Jason Grilli (39) , Marlon Byrd (2) and Andrew McCutchen (22) celebrate after game three of the National League divisional series playoff baseball game against the St. Louis Cardinals at PNC Park. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

How to Take Home Fantasy Baseball Gold (by Being Completely Average)

I actually know a billionaire. He says the most influential book in his career was The Tortoise and the Hare.

I have to be honest, I was really let down when I heard that. I thought he was going to share something flashy, knocking my socks off. Then my mind wandered to how many pairs of socks you can buy with a billion dollars.

But this billionaire’s point was that success isn’t necessarily achieved through flashiness, it was achieved through consistency. Ah! I get it…it’s the consistent tortoise that wins in the end…


You can win your fantasy baseball league without a hint of flash and by not winning a single roto category. I’ll show you how your team can be drafted to be consistently average and you still take home the trophy at the end of the season! Take that, hares.

For the sake of illustration and to keep the math crazy simple, we’ll assume a 10 team league. We’ll also assume you played in a league last season and have a little historical data you can refer back to.


Back of the Napkin Math

Go back to last season and see what was the number was that got 8 out of 10 roto points in each and every category. Let’s use Home Runs as an example:

Team Dixon had 115 HRs to lead your league and get 10 points in the HR category.
Team Nash had 93 HRs to get 9 points in the HR category.
Team Clave had 91 HRs to get 8 points in the HR category.
Team Meadows had 80 HRs to get 7 points.

You’ll want to do this for every category your specific league uses. If it’s a standard 5×5 you want the number that got 8 points in AVG, Runs, HRs, SBs, RBIs, Wins, Saves, Ks, ERA and WHIP.

These will be your target numbers for the draft! 

From the example above, you can see that 91 home runs were needed to get 8 points in the HR category.  As you draft this season you’ll want to put forward a realistic plan where you draft a team of guys that when added together are reasonably projected to hit – at minimum – 91 total home runs.

And you’ll do this for every category. If your drafted team has a realistic shot to get 8 out of 10 points in every category then you’ll be within spitting distance of 1st place. Guaranteed.

This may seem obvious, but you’ll be surprised at how many fantasy baseball owners go into the draft with zero idea of what a good target figure is that allows them to be competitive in each category. Those jokers are just drafting names and positions.

If you are an owner that goes in with solid target numbers and a researched lists of players that will help you achieve those targets, you’ll have a leg up on managers that are just taking a wild guess.


Three other things to keep in mind.

1. Once you draft your team with these targets figures in mind, you can’t just let them ride for the course of the season. Drafting with a target in mind will assure that you have a competitive team after the draft, but you still have to manage your team by watching the trends of the league and upgrading underperforming players (Kim Kardashion can help us here).

2. There are more sophisticated ways of doing this that you’ll graduate up to. Tanner has just released a book on Standing Point Gains, which is a fantastic eBook for the fantasy baseball player who wants to take his game pro. But for now, this isn’t about a spreadsheet, it’s about the back of a napkin.

3. Experiment with the balance. For example, you can target winning every hitting category, while dropping your targets down a titch for pitching. You can decide to “punt” a single category like steals, opting to draft another slugger that will give you a boost in HRs and RBIs. The point isn’t necessarily to have “straight 8s” across the board.

The point is that you go in with TARGET FIGURES and a DRAFT PLAN to help you reach that target. In fantasy baseball, winning requires a plan.

Tags: Draft Fantasy Baseball MLB Scoring

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