Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Making a List, Checking it twice...

The Counselor is In:

How have I been spending my evenings lately? I have been making my Fantasy Baseball List. I am compiling it from my different resources. I am putting them in an Excel spreadsheet. I am making adjustments to it as I go.

This is a part of the work of owning a Fantasy Sports Team. My draft is going to be on April 8th. I should complete my initial list by this Thursday night. I will be working on the list, revamping it, adding to it, and removing players from it on a nightly basis afterward. I will be checking Rotoworld and RotoTimes for the latest updates on players.

I will then be re-checking the list before the draft. I will go through and double check that each player on my list is on the 25 man roster. I will see if they are in the starting lineup or if they are bench players.

Finally, I will check for the latest updates on player an hour before the draft. I want to have the most current information going into the draft. This will give me an edge in the draft.

The Counselor is Out.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Fantasy Baseball Draft Prep- basics

The Counselor is IN:

What are you doing to prepare for the upcoming Fantasy Baseball Draft? Here is what other owners are doing.

1) Some people are waiting until the night before and they will cram from the draft. These guys are the usual bottom dwellers. I have known a few exceptions. This is similar to cramming for a test in school. It is not often when you cram that you are going to be top of the class. They often don't even really understand what their team's needs are.

2) Some people will get there one magazine and absorb it. They will study it for weeks. They will know what their magazine from the front cover to the back cover. The problem that they run into is they are only getting one perspective. If they did not get the internet update, then they are also getting a lot of old information. They are much further along than the crammer but still are missing vital information. These are often the middle of the line owners but can pull out a good season here and there.

3) Some owners have multiple mags/cheatsheets and updates and are studying and making their own lists of players and values. They take the different information compile it with their own thoughts and needs for their league. These players are your upper level fantasy owners. These players will come in with a strategy and attempt to control the auction.

4) The final type of owner will do everything that the third type will do but be even more dedicated. These owners will know what transactions just happened right before the draft and will have an understanding of how that might affect things. They will use websites like Rotoworld to keep up to minute on what is going on.

I am the 4th type of owner. I am constantly checking the notes on Rotoworld, working and re-working my lists and values. This is the only way for me to stay on top.

My advice, become a type 3 or 4 owner. Hope that your league does not have very many of them. Identify who they are and know your competition. Know that they are prepared and you should be also.

The Counselor is Out:

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Fantasy Baseball Hub - Resource

Here is a fantasy baseball resource: Fantasy Baseball Hub. This site has a variety of links and articles. It has sections on Minor league players, $ Values, Draft Strategies, and many more- 30 sections in all. This site can help you in your preparation for the draft.

NFL Collective Bargaining Agreement 2

I just wanted to congratulate the NFL on getting their Collective Bargaining Agreement done. The NFL as we know it continues. It was a deep sigh from all NFL fans. Any given year my team has a chance to win the Super Bowl and that is a great thing.

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:

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:

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

NFL Collective Bargaining Agreement

The Counselor is now in:

The NFL and the Players Union are currently at a stand still for the Collective Bargaining Agreement. If this is not resolved, it will send about one third of the teams into salary cap crisis. The result will be for teams to be cutting players like crazy. It also will put things into motion for there not to be a salary cap for 2007.

The NFL has become the top watched sport in the U.S. There are a few reasons for this but one of the main reasons is parity. When baseball starts every year, there are a few teams that we know will make the playoffs. Occasionally, a different team will make the playoffs but it will usually be only for that year. With the NFL, any team can make it any given year. Yes, even the Arizona Cardinals have a chance to make the playoffs and win the Super Bowl.

The reasons that the owners and players are getting rich, is that this is the top watched sport. If you can not get along and ruin it, it will eventually not only ruin it for the fans and the owners, but also the players. The players must remember that it is in their best interests also for this sport to thrive.

Here is my plea as a fan and as a Fantasy Football junkie: Get it together and do it quick! We don't want this to be drawn out. Fix it and do it now. You are all adults- now act like it. Do not ruin your fan base for a few bucks. It will not help the NFL or the Players Union either one to get your fans upset with you. Take a look at the NHL. Now, see how bad it can turn out.

These sorts of things can send chills down a FF owner. It makes us insecure about the future of our players and how they will be on new teams. We have enough of that normally without this kind of thing.

The Counselor is now out.