Thursday, September 29, 2011
Lessons Learned from the 3rd Annual Fantasy Baseball Leage
By Ian Hunter
Incredibly, both of the semi-final matchups ended in a 6-6 tie. Having been familiar with all the tiebreakers from last year, it came down to which team had the better record against the other team during the regular season.
It continues to amaze me each season just how close the matchups are. If I'm ever fortunate enough to make it into the playoffs in the BJH Fantasy League, I know that drawing a tie sometimes isn't even enough.
Here's a look at how the playoffs went down:
Pitching at a Premium
After our draft, I was so proud of myself for spending a grand total of $36 dollars on my pitching staff. That strategy definitely came back to bite me in the ass, because I placed dead last in the ERA and WHIP categories.
Luckily, a pre-season trade to bring in Madison Bumgarner was the only saving grace on the pitching staff, as the rest of the squad was a revolving door of waiver wire pickups which included Barry Zito, A.J. Burnett, and Bruce Chen.
It was a lesson well learned; do not be afraid to pay top dollar for top starters. I'm convinced it takes at least two solid starting pitchers to even have a shot at cracking the playoffs in a 20 team league.
Revolving Door Closers
Speaking of revolving doors, again it's very apparent by my choice of closers why my team only managed to finish 14th out of 20 teams. A duo of Kevin Gregg and Javy Guerra as closers would fail more often than not.
The problem with closers is that it's such a difficult position to gauge prior to Opening Day that drafting any closer can be a crap shoot. Just like the real world, you'll probably have to overpay for a big name early on, and try to swoop in late to close a dark horse closer candidate.
Also, make sure to watch the waiver wire like a hawk, because at any given moment a reliever can go down and other can take their place at a drop of a hat. That's why following @CloserNews on Twitter is a must.
Know when to cut the cord
It's the same conundrum for all managers every year - when to sell high, and when to buy low. Gauging talent and hot streaks is crucial to fantasy baseball triumph, and distinguishing between the two of them can be the key to success.
The decision to either trade or drop somebody altogether is a very tough decision which is amplified even more so by an auction draft. I justified keeping Alex Rios on the roster until July because I stupidly paid $30 dollars for him on draft day.
I should have cut the cord many months prior, and maybe could have picked up somebody off the waiver wire for $0 dollars and their production would have doubled that of Alex Rios.
On the other hand, you don't want to give up on a player too early, either. If players historically have bad April's or May's, take that into consideration. Otherwise, tread lightly when dropping premium talent.
I'm not sure if I really should be offering any fantasy baseball advice here because last year I finished in 12th place out of 20 teams, and this year I slipped a couple of positions down to 14th place.
Just like in real baseball, the margin of error is very slim in fantasy baseball. One bad week can come back to haunt you big time, and especially when it comes down to a tiebreaker situation.
Thanks once again to all the managers who participated in the 3rd Annual BJH Fantasy League Baseball, and congrats to this year's champion Team Balco. See you all again next year!