David Manning-USA TODAY Sports

Fantasy Baseball Draft Strategy Part 2: Targeting Players

Click here if you missed Fantasy Baseball Strategy Part 1: Setting Goals.

Once you have your goals and know your per player needs (roughly) you can start to organize your draft depth chart as it were. It is first important to set your core group of guys—the guys you are building the team around. In a snake draft it is easier to know who you might pick better than in an auction, and if you have keepers it makes this even easier. 

Tier Targets

Position
Tier 1
Tier 2
Tier 3
Tier 4
CatcherBuster PoseyCarlos SantanaJonathan LucroyYan Gomes
InfielderDustin PedroiaMatt CarpenterChase UtleyDaniel Murphy
OutfielderAndrew McCutchenBryce HarperMatt KempNelson Cruz
UtilityDavid OrtizBilly ButlerAnthony RizzoMark Teixeira
Starting PitcherFelix HernandezJordan ZimmermannHomer BaileyHiroki Kuroda
Relief PitcherKenley JansenJim JohnsonErnesto FrieriSteve Cishek

Again, a crude version of what this should really look like, but I think you get the idea.

It is important to have some perspective on which players really are going to be available if you have to go to second, third, and even fourth tier. Don’t list Robinson Cano, Jason Kipnis, Ian Kinsler and Dustin Pedroia as your hopeful guys and leave yourself no late-round options. You just never know how a draft is going to unfold.

Work the entire draft, don’t just focus on the early portion.

The reality is that the draft is won in the later portion. No matter if you are participating in an auction draft or a snake draft, you need to be at your sharpest late. Some guys want to land their big name stars early, and then just check out—some people even nicknamed this “stars and scrubs strategy”, to make themselves feel better about it. I am mostly just teasing those guys, but in all seriousness it is important to be sharp throughout your entire draft.

The best way to do this is to mock draft, and mock draft to the very end. I have found mock draft less and less beneficial in a lot of ways, but practice fighting though boredom and staying focused until the last pick can be the biggest help from mock drafting.

You need to have a plan, but that plan needs to be flexible:

In a snake draft I am a proponent of mapping out your hopeful picks. While guys like Clave and Dixon—whom I have drafted against numerous times—are more likely to scribble some notes on a napkin and just trust their instincts and knowledge to roll through a draft. I need to have a plan, and that plan needs to have a flow to it so if things go awry, I can be on top of a success strategy.

A lot of my planning is having multiple players lined up per spot needed to and round of draft if I am planning for a snake draft.

Everyone really can have success in a draft:

Do not concern yourself with others during the draft. Even if people are poaching your targeted players, you have to have a sound enough fantasy baseball draft strategy to be able to fill in with other options.

Sure, if you are going for Jacoby Ellsbury as your center fielder, you may be hard pressed to find another CF like him. You might be able to get creative and draft an Ellsbury type player at another position. Someone like Jose Reyes who will go a few rounds later.

Tags: Fantasy Baseball Draft MLB Strategy

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