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While we were all preparing for the 2013 fantasy baseball season, I did a lot of work examining ADP rankings and many of the trends that were developing in both mock and real drafts right up until Opening Day. What I noticed was that a number of players who were receiving a lot of sleeper hype from the fantasy experts were climbing up draft boards at a fairly rapid rate and were, in my opinion, losing a lot of their value due to the unexpected increase in price you were paying for their services. They were the guys most of us coveted somewhere around the 18th round but were suddenly going as high as the eighth or ninth because the players went from unknown sleeper to mainstream selection. I called them the trendy picks and it’s now time to check in with some of them and see how their respective seasons are going.
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.
So it’s like that again, huh? Just the third day of the 2013 MLB season and we’re already staring at a perfect game? Well…..almost. Pretty damn close as Yu Darvish manhandled the Astros lineup and came just one out away from throwing baseball’s 24th perfect game and fourth in less than a full calendar year.
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.
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…
Doubleheaders can be a tricky business for fantasy owners. If you own players starting in a twin-billing, there’s nothing worse than opening up your live scoring page and seeing a big, fat 0-for-8, or worse in some cases. Right off the bat, you know it’s a batting average/OBP killer for you and you just have to sit and hope that someone else in your lineup had one of those 4-for-5 days just to help take the sting out of it. On the other side of the coin, there’s that jubilant feeling you get in your belly when you pop that live scoring page open and see a 6-for-8 followed by a whole slew of baseball abbreviations. Sometimes you see multiple home runs, sometimes it’s one of everything, and sometimes, in points leagues, it’s the bonus for a grand slam or hitting for the cycle. Sink or swim. Feast or famine. The doubleheader can be your best friend or your worst nightmare. But I’ll take my chances with it every time.
“I love my life. I love my wife. And I wish you my kind of success.” These are the words of legendary sports agent Dickey Fox, inspiration and mentor to Jerry Maguire, and they ring true for me almost each and every day. I spend the majority of my days watching and writing about the game of baseball – both real and fantasy. It doesn’t quite pay the bills yet, but I sling some drinks on the side and am married to a very loving and supportive woman whose job does more than just pick up my slack. But what’s even better than having a “sugar mama” like that is that she is a die-hard baseball fan as well, has two fantasy baseball championships under her belt, and never asks me to turn off the ballgame so that she can watch The Real Housewives of Who Gives a Crap. So I’ve got it pretty good. While some people sit there and lament over what their lives could have been and wish that they walked a different path, I’m pretty happy with the way things are here. I like who I am and I don’t wish to be anyone else.
I hate using that “any given Sunday” cliché here, but if there’s one thing you can take away from Philip Humber throwing the 21st perfect game in Major League Baseball history, it’s just that. Anyone, anywhere, anytime….so long as the stars are aligned, I suppose. I mean, how else do you explain a 29-year old journeyman who is on his fourth team in five years and whose biggest claim to fame is that he was one of the prospects the Mets traded to Minnesota in the Johan Santana deal achieving one of the most difficult feats in the game? Even if you were going to turn around and try to trivialize the moment and speak of the ineptitude of the Mariners’ offense and the fact that none of them are batting over .300, your argument still wouldn’t hold water. The moment is too tough to achieve and guys like Ichiro Suzuki, Jesus Montero and Dustin Ackley are still too good a group of hitters.
Catchers of the world, unite! Your time is now! The fantasy baseball community is officially warned – the catcher position is no longer an afterthought. Grab your bid dollars, hoard those early round draft picks and get yourself a quality backstop! They have arrived.
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.