Only one owner in your league is going to win. A quick crunch of those numbers and it’s easy to realize that the odds are that it won’t be you.
How do you swing those odds a little more into your favor? You have to draft a little bit differently than the other dudes in your league, hoping to find players that will outperform their draft position.
Projective accuracy is important, but a simple Google search will quickly pull up a good set of rankings and projections. What those projections can’t tell you is how they’ll be valued among the other guys in you league. You need to have a draft plan that relies more on the marketplace than on the numbers.
You are looking for guys that you think the other guys in your league are overlooking for some reason, while steering clear of the popular picks that you think might be a little overrated.
Winning at fantasy baseball isn’t just numbers; winning is better in draft strategy and a better sense of player value.
Entire tomes could be written on this topic but I know you are a busy guy. I’ll just give you a few broad tips that might swing the odds in your favor.
Pick Players With More to Come
Remember, you are drafting THIS year’s team, not last year’s. To many guys go into the draft overvaluing players based upon what they did a year ago. Draft players with more fantasy awesomeness yet to come!
Consider taking 10-15% off the total of the projections you are using. This acts a a safeguard. Then even if one player vastly underperforms (and one will), you’ll have drafted a team with a little cushion
Draft a Fragile Player
Many players who are labeled as injury risks can actually turn into a sleeper on draft day. The truth is that most injury risk is based in perception, not reality. Injury-prone players can be frightening in early rounds, which is why they fall on draft day. If you are willing to assume that risk you can score some early round talent, but much later in the draft. (You can even draft a guy and stash him into your DL until later.)
3rd Year Arms
Pitchers typically need about 4-70 major leagues starts before they’re arms are built up to handle 200 innings for the first time. This means that pitchers are often primed to come into their own on their 3rd year and fantasy owners could see a healthy boost in their numbers.
Get Greedy with 24-27 Year Old Players
On the aggregate, hitters improve in their early-to-mid-20’s, peaking around 27, only to decline form there. Cluster around these players mid-20’s players who are in the peak of their career curve and make them the building block of your fantasy roster.
Your Best Draft Tool is Last Year
Many owners are in keeper leagues and have been in the same leagues(s) for years. Your best drafting tool is the draft record from the previous year(s). Remember, you are trying to game the marketplace in your particular league, looking for angles that can give you an edge.
Will the above tips sound good on paper typed on the screen, the edge is finding out where the value lies in your particular league. Go back through previous year’s draft, digging for trends and making note of other owner’s tendencies.
Then you can swing the odds in your favor.