Caution: Before you read this please realize that although fantasy baseball is just a game I, like many others, play to win. This means I strategize to win. If you are a casual fantasy baseball player this might be a little more strategy than you would use but maybe my advice can still help you out.
Last spring I talked about a few of the things I do to make fantasy baseball more interesting for me (Fantasy Baseball Time). One example that I talked about is making autograph only teams. These teams are only made up of players who I have gotten autographs from either personally or with help from Kelly my brother in law. My teams have been pretty competitive and let’s be honest, having an outfield of Kemp, Eithier, Upton and/or McCutchen is always a good start for a team.
For this fantasy baseball blog, and a few additional ones, I’m going to touch on my strategy for a fantasy baseball draft. I am going to go a little bit into what I look at for different positions as well as a break down for potential players to draft at each position.
Not every position is as important as others in the draft. A middle reliever is not going to be nearly as important as a good hitting catcher.
For this analysis I’m going to talk about the draft as being a live snake draft where every team drafts in a specific order. I may talk about my auction draft strategy in another post since things do change a lot with that.
For the first two rounds of the draft I focus on simply drafting the best player I can get. That way if I have the first pick of the draft or the 12th pick I can focus on taking talent and work my draft plan once I see what I can pick up. This also lets me see if some of the other teams are doing a draft strategy like drafting players only from their favorite team. I love getting a die hard Yankee fan who thinks that A-Rod is worth a 2nd round pick still.
My strategy usually begins with a starting pitcher. I know that here are a lot of starters out there but if you want to get one of the elite pitchers; Felix, Kershaw, Halladay, etc, then you need to focus on that early on before a run on starters occurs.
My next focus is at one of the positions that don’t have a lot of depth; Shortstop, 2nd Base and Catcher. Each of these has top level players but once you get past the first couple of guys there can be a big drop in talent.
I know there are people who just try and take the player who is projected to score the highest with each pick. That is great but it often fills up the 1st base and 3rd base positions really early on and results in a big drop off in talent in other positions.
One tip that I often tell people is be prepared to take a guy one round before where he usually goes. This helps to avoid the auto-pickers from stealing the guy one pick before you are about to take him.
You don’t have to do hours of prep work to have a successful fantasy baseball draft, but if you are going to play take a few minutes to at least look at the players and to put a strategy together. Having a last place team is rarely very fun.