Saturday, March 04, 2006

Baseball Season cometh- A Look at Fantasy Mags

The Counselor is in:

Well it is now March. It is a great time for sports. March Madness is upon us with Conference Tournaments this weekend. I love March Madness and cannot wait to see who the next Cinderella team will be. I am hopeful that a lot of Mid-Major teams will make it this year. I love seeing them rise up and beat the big boys unless of course it blows up my bracket. I am hopeful that our local university, Missouri State University, will get an at large bid this year because of their great RPI.

Now on to the fantasy sports part of this post. I want to briefly discuss Fantasy Baseball Magazines. All of the magazines are now out on the self. Most of them have to go to the press by early January so they may be out of date with the latest baseball moves.

Several different people have asked me what magazines I like best, since I have had good success at Fantasy Baseball (5 Championships in 9 years). What I tell this is that most of the magazines are going to be about the same. I don’t have a favorite one that I use every year. One will have a player ranked a bit higher than another but most of the time, there is not much difference. But let me tell you how I choose one. It is based off of the rules and set up of your league.

Here is how I choose a Fantasy Baseball Magazine (F.B.M.). I go to a big name bookstore (or sometimes more than one). I grab all types of their F.B.M. and read over them all. They usually have a reading area so I can do this. Now I don't read them thoroughly but I do take time to examine what each of them have to offer and the format that they offer it in.

One of the things I am looking for is if they have information on minor league players and not only the ones that are projected to be in the majors this year but also players for the future. This is important in my league because we have a 4-player minor league roster that follows you year to year and we have a minor league draft before our auction begins. If your league does not do this, then this will not be as important than in leagues that do this.

Another thing that I look for in a F.B.M. is an auction value dollar amount. My league is a traditional auction rotisserie league. We do use a salary cap of $300 instead of the normal $260. With the auction amounts, I usually adjust my salary projections to fit but I like to have a nice base reference in a magazine. If you are in a draft style league, then this will not be important at all.

Another thing that I examine is if the magazine is basing its projections on a 4x4 traditional point value or if it is 5x5 or head to head values. My league is a standard 4x4 so I want to make sure that magazine has this as its base.

Since I play in a league that is only American League, I want to know if they break down the values per league or at least make adjustments to that. If you are in a league that MLB instead of an N.L. or A.L., then you want a F.B.M. that factors that in.

Another consideration is if the F.B.M. will give you free Internet updates to their listings. Many of the F.B.M. will do this because they know that the information can change significantly from the time they have to go to the press. If you buy a F.B.M. that offers this, make sure that this service is free. Some are not.

My last piece of advice on this subject is to buy the Fantasy Baseball issue of Sports Weekly. This usually comes out in mid to late March. I believe this year’s issue hits stand on March 22. No I am not on their payroll. This issue will give you great up to date information. It usually has current $ values and several articles. It also breaks it down by league. This is a tool that helps me revise all of my projects of players.

The Counselor is Out:

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