How Did I Do?
As human beings we all look for affirmation. Even those of us that don't really care can't help but think to ourselves at times 'should I wear these pants?' or 'I wonder if he really likes me or not?' It's human nature. However, it's gotten totally out of control in the fantasy game. Here is what I mean.
I get, an I'm not exaggerating, at least 100 emails/calls/comments/tweets a day that all start out the same way. “I had my draft last night and I was wondering if you could tell me how I did?” There are so many problems with this line of thought that I felt the need to let it all out (I'm about ready to be my cantankerous best, as they say on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio 'Ray is about ready to turn heel,' so you might want to have a belt of booze before you continue reading).
(1) Asking me how you did AFTER your draft is pointless. It's too late. The time to worry about your team is BEFORE you draft. Once the die has been cast on your team there's only so much you can do to change it. Inevitably I get this question about 'how did I do?' an I send a reply. What then happens is a series of emails, rarely is it just one mind you, in which a handful of potential moves are brought up. Not to be rude, but I just don't have the time to answer 125 emails a day. The easiest way to avoid this situation is to pick up a copy of my Baseball Guys 2012 Draft Guide (you can also follow me on Twitter where I answer questions all day and night). There are over 600 players ranked in that Guide so you know just how I think players should be evaluated. This leads to...
(2) Why are you asking me if you should drop Rafael Furcal to pick up Yunel Escobar? Clearly you haven't picked up a copy of the Baseball Guys Draft Guide where Escobar is ranked 12 spots ahead of Furcal. I'd say a good 50 percent of the questions I get from people after drafts would be answered if they just employed the strategies and rankings that can be found in the Guide. There's a reason I spent all the time needed to craft the 55 page PDF document, and why I continue to update it on a daily basis. If you're going to use me a source for fantasy sports knowledge, how about trusting my rankings of players?
(3) Why are you looking to trade players three hours after your draft was completed? We've all been in leagues with people who have a disease that pushes them to constantly monkey around with their lineups either through trades, waiver-wire additions or by mixing and matching their lineup on a daily basis. Games haven't even started yet and you're already going to start messing around with your lineup? Really? That seems pretty harsh to me. Remember – most of the time what we do in fantasy sports is reactionary. You bench Yunel Escobar only after you notice he has hit .188 for the past 10 games. The problem with that is that he'll then go out and produce seven hits in his next three games. Noticing this “hot trend,” you then activate him yet again. However, he then goes 1-for-13. Given this example you've basically had Escobar in your lineup hitting .145. If you had never messed around with the lineup that average would have been .250. Exercise patience, especially when games haven't even been played yet.
(4) For goodness sakes people, why are we turning fantasy baseball into fantasy football? One of the most beautiful aspects of fantasy baseball is that 5x5 scoring accounts for about 90 percent of leagues. Moving to more involved leagues, 6x6 or 7x7 or even larger is fine with me, but keep the format the same. By that I mean starting lineups should include:
14 hitters: C,C,1B,2B,3B,SS,MI,CI,OF,OF,OF,OF,OF,UT 9 pitcher: Any mix of starters and relievers
You can jimmy-jack around with the scoring categories if you'd like, but keep the starting lineup standard. Don't do a league with only five pitchers, or one with one catcher, or one that starts only three outfielders. Just don't.
By the way, auctions should be $260. Not $280, not $300, but $260.
(5) Speaking of roster sizes, let me address league sizes. I realize that 10-team leagues are “standard” for some of the biggest purveyors of fantasy sports, but I'm here to tell you that's a total joke. I do leagues where there are 12 teams in an AL-only league and 13 teams for NL-only setups. If you're doing a 10-team mixed league the player pool penetration is so shallow it's nearly a waste of time. For goodness sakes, if you're going to do a 10-team league you had better at least have 14 hitters and nine pitchers in your starting lineup. If you don't, please don't waste my time asking me to analyze your team. If your club starts 10 hitters and seven pitchers doesn't look like an All-Star squad in a 10-team league you need to quit playing fantasy baseball.
(6) If you are going to send me a question to rank your team, realizing you are taking your life in your own hands after the above rambling posting, please at least tell me how many teams are in your league and how many players are in your starting lineup. If you start eight hitters or 14 kind of makes a big difference.
Now that I've got that off my chest, you can return to your normally scheduled program.
If you're looking to do a fantasy league this year, why not give Fleaflicker a try?
By Ray Flowers
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The co-host of The Drive on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio (Sirius 210, XM 87: Mon-Fri 7-10 PM EDT), Ray also hosts his own show Sunday night (7-10 PM EDT). Ray has spent years squirreled away studying the inner workings of the fantasy game to the detriment of his personal life. Specializing in baseball, football and hockey, some consider him an expert in all three.
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