The Counselor is IN:
The majority of Fantasy Baseball Drafts occur during the next two weekends. Since I has won 6 out 11 of his fantasy baseball league seasons, let me give you my top 13 draft rules and hints.
1) Know the rules of your league. It is important to know if you are in a 4x4 standard auction league or if you are in a 5x5 draft style head to head league. It makes a difference on how you draft. There will be other owners that will not pay attention to this and you can have a better team to start off with.
2) Be over prepared. Do not just buy a magazine and head to the draft. Prepare your own list. You need to know what players are injured, the ones that have been traded, and the ones that have been demoted. There are great tools out there like Rotoworld that can help you research players.
You should come with a long list of players in each position. You should have a bunch of Outfielders and Pitchers left on the list at the end of the draft. It is much better to over prepare than under prepared. Do not let yourself be the owner that is looking over the opening day roster to find his last two pitchers.
You need to know what players are starting and what ones are coming off the bench. You need to know who the 5th starter for Kansas City will be but hope that you never need it. You need to know who won the closing job for each team. Many of your fellow owners will not know who is closing for Tampa Bay.
This will also assist you later in the year when you need to pick up for injuries.
3) Do not put too much stock in Spring Training. The players do not take Spring Training seriously and neither should you. The only time I put any stock in spring training is if you are checking on a player that was injured last year (especially a pitcher). Otherwise, ignore these stats.
4) Do not punt any categories. This strategy has never worked for me. It is more difficult to find a trade partner to recover these categories than promised. The punt strategy may have worked when it was first introduced but most fantasy owners know about it and do not want to help you out with a trade if you are going with this strategy.
5) Know your fellow owners. If you are in a reoccurring league, then get to know the other owners typical strategies. Most of them will not change their strategy from year to year. You will know who is willing to over pay for the superstar and who will wait to the end to pick up the sleepers.
6) Know what other teams need. If it is a keeper league, take a list of who other teams kept and track who they pick up. If not, then track the positions that other owners need. You need to know what teams need what players continually through your draft.
7) Don't be a jerk. Giving other owners misinformation may help you win this year but it will not help you in the future. No one wants to trade with the jerks out there. They will want to see you lose. They may even trade players to other teams to see you lose. I have seen this bite people in the butt.
8) Do not give away too much information. If someone asks you if A-Rod is injured, you should let him know if he is or not. Being seen as an expert can be used to your advantage. But if you give him too much information, then this can harm your strategy. You do not have to tell him that A-Rod may be out for 2-4 months (This is just an example- he is not actually hurt). Do not share your strategy or who you are targeting with other owners. They will use it against you.
9) Bluffing is acceptable. It is alright to moderately talk up a player that you do not want to own. It is also okay to moderately talk down a player you really want. Do not get carried away with it . If you bluff too much or too intensely, then you will be seen as a jerk. (see #7).
10) Look at position scarcity. There are positions where talent is always thin such as Second Base. You should be willing to pay an extra few dollars to get a top quality player. There are other positions that have an abundance of talent such as Outfield and First Base. This will vary if it is a keeper league. You might find that in your league all of the good Third Basemen were kept but two.
11) Outfielders can be a dime a dozen. I am not telling you not to draft a top Outfielder or two. But this position does have the most talent of any out there. I have found it easy to find good quality Outfielders for a cheap price at the end of the draft. You can live with a dollar Outfielder much more than a dollar Starting Pitcher or Short Stop.
12) Know the prospects. It is important to know who the prospects that are available. You can find steals at the end of the draft with high upsides. Be cautious of pitching prospects because they tend to take longer to develop in the Bigs. This is extremely important in keeper leagues.
13) Have fun. Fantasy baseball is meant to be enjoyable. You draft should be also. Enjoy the comradeship at your draft. The draft is my favorite part of any fantasy season (other than winning).
The Counselor is OUT: