Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Strategy of the Keeper List

The Counselor is in:

Many fantasy baseball leagues allow you to keep a number of your players from last season. The number of keepers change from league to league. This will lock in that player on your roster at the $ amount that you had them at. If your league is a keeper league, then this post is for you.

In my league, we are allowed to keep up to 12 players for our 24 man roster. Many leagues allow less. The strategy is pretty much the same. Here is the seven things that I look at to help me decide who to keep.

1) Contracted players: In my league and in many others, you can keep a player for a certain number of seasons (3 in my case) at the original draft or free agent price. After those seasons, you have to either cut them free or pay them a guaranteed contract at a higher price. If you have any contracted players, these will be automatically added on your keeper list. I have Soriano on a contract and he is now in the N.L. and I am in an A.L. only league. I have to keep him on my list and then after the draft, pick up a free agent for him.

2) Hitters v. Pitchers. Hitters are more consistent than Pitchers. If I have the choice to keep a pitcher or a hitter and the dollars are about the same, the dominance level is about the same, then I always keep the hitter. It is much easier for a pitcher to go from a 3 ERA to a 4 ERA than it is for a hitter to drop from a 300 BA to a 250 BA. Hitters are more predictable and consistent.

3) Value players. I believe that it is better to keep a player that has better value than to keep a stud. Example of this if I have A-Rod and his estimated value is $45 and I have him at $44 and I have Jim Thome for $5 and his value is $12, then I would be more inclined to keep Thome. More bang for my bucks.

4) Star power: Let me balance what I just said with this, you can not win your league without some star power. This also includes Star pitchers. I am going to keep Santana at a premium price because he the Stud of my pitching staff. You do have to balance it out with the need for enough money on draft day and to keep your high value players.

5) Infielders: There are few great infielders. In particular 2nd, 3rd, and Short stops are few and far between. If you have good to great quality at these positions, I would keep them. It is pretty easy to find good outfielders for a reasonable price. Catchers are not as consistent. 1st Base is a good position to keep players if you have room and value.

6) Closers: Closers are a commodity. Closers are often over priced on draft day. Saves are hard to come by. Be careful. Unless they are a top off the line closer, they could falter early and then loose their position. Closers can be a high risk, high reward type of players.

7) Gut instincts. When it all comes down to it, you have to use your gut instincts and not look back. This is year team and you are the General Manager.

The Counselor is out:

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