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And we’re back! Nothing like a little holiday weekend to throw you off your schedule, huh? Hopefully you used your time over the weekend wisely and stayed on top of things rather than fall into the usual traps and miss a day or two of the news and events. All too often we see people “check out” for the weekend and the next thing they know, they’ve lost two guys to injury, another gets demoted to Triple-A, they’ve missed out on two different rookie call-ups and the early games on Monday come and they haven’t adjusted their lineup. It may only be one week, but that’s how it all starts. That’s how your lead in the standings starts to dwindle and all that you built starts to come down.
Albert Einstein once said that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, expecting different results. As I watch and listen to so many fantasy baseball owners make the same mistakes each and every year, I can’t help but think of that quote. However, in this case, because this is supposed to be a fun game, my declaration of people’s insanity has much more of a Montgomery Burns “Oh Ziggy, will you ever win?” spin on it. It’s more of a sympathetic sadness than it is contempt. So when I now give you a list of potential pitfalls, don’t be insulted or get defensive. Just listen, digest and know that it’s all coming from a place of love. Fantasy baseball love that is.
I definitely enjoyed Ray Flowers’ article the other day in which he broke down a number of the pitching performances from some of the aces we saw on Opening Day. There were, obviously, a number of names we expected to see, such as Justin Verlander and Stephen Strasburg, but we were also treated to some outstanding performances from guys like Jeff Samardzija, Jhoulys Chacin and even Ricky Nolasco. While you shouldn’t expect to see some of these guys pitching at that level each and every time out, their performances do give credence to the belief that starting pitching is crazy deep and you can, in fact, build a winning pitching staff without investing heavily in one of the top aces out there.
As always, the most important aspect of your fantasy baseball draft prep is staying on top of all the latest news. There’s nothing worse than walking into your draft and grabbing a guy only to have that annoying league know-it-all chime in with news form two days ago saying that the guy you just drafted is banged up. But it’s more than just looking at injury updates. You need to take all of the information given and make certain assessments of how this latest news will impact the rest of the fantasy baseball world. Virtually every bit of information you get has a ripple effect and it’s important to look at how far the news carries. So here are a few of the latest headlines from spring training and what kind of fantasy baseball impact we can expect.
We spend a lot of time in fantasy baseball talking about who to draft in the first two or three rounds that we often times don't focus enough on the positional battles that teams are going through during Spring Training. Does the second base decision with the Blue Jays impact a guy like Emilio Bonifacio who has such huge upside given his wheels? What about the Cardinals second and shortstop decisions – do they matter? Of course you are going to care about what the Angels do in the 9th inning, but maybe what the injury ravaged Yankees do in the outfield should also be something you concern yourself with? We'll discuss those battles and more in this piece.
With your draft looming and barely three weeks to go before the season opens, studying up on all of the open position battles is key to your draft prep. Obviously you want the best at every position, but since you know that’s a pipe dream, unless of course you’re in a league of idiots, you have to know where to tighten up your budget. But if you are following the spring action and know who is likely to win a job outright, perhaps you can come in with a late, sneaky pick and still manage a quality pick at a particular position. Here’s a look at some of the bigger position battles we’re seeing this spring. Some should be settled sooner than others while you might see one or two linger into the season. But here’s a look and my take…
More often than not, the MLB record books and record-breaking moments have very little impact on the fantasy baseball world. Sure, it’s amazing to see a pitcher win his 300th game or to watch a player get his 3000th hit, but for the sake of the fantasy game, it’s just another win or just another hit. Usually the player already has a high-profile, so his cost is already pretty high and it’s not like you’re plucking a potential Hall of Fame candidate off your league’s waiver wire. But sometimes a record comes to the foreground and brings attention to a player who doesn’t often see the spotlight. That player today is Washington Nationals starter Edwin Jackson.