When it comes to fantasy baseball there are plenty of different league formats you can choose from. One of the more common league types you made find yourself playing is a fantasy baseball points league. If you’re new to points leagues, or maybe you’re just looking for a refresher, the goal of this is to ensure that you can build a solid plan around your points league draft as well as in-season management and we will touch on some strategic pieces to help you take home your points league crown as well. 


The Basic Points League Set-Up

As with all leagues, everything starts with the rules. Points leagues are no different. You need to understand how you are going to be accumulating points for the season. Often points leagues are not standardized so you will want to understand if you are getting points for innings pitched, if you are getting points for holds as well as saves, and how they are differentiated. We will use Yahoo as an example here to help outline the setup and how we are going to build a strategy and a plan to gain an advantage.

Hitter Scoring

Single - 2.6

Double - 5.2

Triple - 7.8

Home Run - 10.4

Runs - 1.9

RBI - 2.6

Stolen Base - 4.2

Hit by Pitch - 2.6

Pitcher Scoring

Saves - 8

Wins - 8

Strikeouts - 3

Earned Runs - (-3)

Outs - 1

Base on Balls - (-1.3)

Hits - (-1.3)

Hit by Pitch - (-1.3) 

Now that we understand how we are going to be awarded points, we now need to consider roster construction. How many roster spots do you have? Is there a maximum number of pitcher starts that you can have, or a minimum number of innings pitched required? If we use Yahoo as a guide, here again, they use 20 innings pitched as a minimum in their head-to-head points leagues, with a maximum of 6 roster moves per week. Now that we have a base to work with, let’s get into some strategies.

Keys to Success in Fantasy Baseball Points Leagues

Target Multi-Position Players

One of the biggest keys to being successful in a points league is trying to ensure that you have as many rosters’ spots in use each day as possible, this is for both hitters and pitchers. From the hitter’s side, this means you want players who are multi-position eligible and you will want diversity in positions on your bench. This will allow you on travel days to ensure you get as many players as possible. Every hit, every run, every RBI counts for something, so some of those super-utility type players who play all the time, even if their counting stats don’t look great hold some value for this reason. Last season, waiver wire darling Brandon Drury was eligible at three different infield positions helping ensure his fantasy managers the roster flexibility needed on a day-to-day basis. 

Don't Run from Relief Pitchers

For pitchers, high-strikeout middle relievers are your friend. Look at a player like Aroldis Chapman last year. Right now, you might be thinking, who is that guy? He made 61 appearances for the Braves last year and struck out 103 batters while accumulating 6 saves. He would typically be dismissed in a roto league, but in a points league, he has plenty of value even without the saves. So keep an eye on middle relievers who strike out batters, and don’t be afraid to move on to the next pitcher to try and ensure that you are getting those extra relievers in as they can easily account for an extra 10 plus innings each week, and even if you just get three outs, and a strikeout each time that would be sixty points each week which makes a difference. 

Don't Be Complacent When Managing Your Roster

You need to be active on waivers. You should have a portion of your roster that you can be willing to use and then waive for another player who is either playing well or is playing more in the coming week. This seems obvious but, in a points league, you are really going to be doing this en masse. And the planning for this should start at the end of your fantasy baseball draft. For example, we have a lot of cold-weather teams that are opening the season at home, so if you take a look at the schedule, you might want to finish your draft by getting some Dodgers and/or middle relievers and utility players. With the season starting on a Thursday, you will have extra moves that will allow you to move on to other players afterward, and there should be no concerns that the games will be rescheduled with the games played either indoors or in a warm climate. This idea sounds easy, but it is labor-intensive. You will want to be checking in on your team every few days and making sure you are checking on player trends for both hitters and pitchers.

These are some strategic items and planning that can help you be successful in your points league this year. By ensuring that you create roster flexibility by getting useful multi-position eligible players and added middle relievers, you should be able to gain an advantage over your competition and help you come out on top at the end of your season.