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August 20, 2013

Fantasy Freestyle

Should I Play for "The Money"?

by Mike Gianella


Your trading deadline has passed. In your 12-team league, you notice that half of the teams have packed it in and are playing for next year. Your team is one of these teams so you have no chance of winning… at least not this year. However, the more you look at the standings the more you realize that—with a little effort—you might be able to finish in fourth or fifth place. You won’t win, but you might be able to make a little money if everything breaks right.

Should you do it? Even though you can’t win, should you play for a “money” slot?

The knee-jerk response among fantasy experts is almost always no. “Flags fly forever” is a term coined by Cory Schwartz of MLB.com that many experts—including me—use when advising fantasy owners to throw caution to the wind when they have an opportunity to win now. A similar adage that I have espoused for years is “I’d rather finish 12th than finish second.” No one remembers who finished second; if I’m going to go for it, my goal isn’t to finish in a money slot but to win the whole thing. If I have zero chance of doing that, I’d rather pack it in and try again next year.

Is it possible that there could be situations where playing for a small piece of the pie this year is the right move, even after you have packed it in?

Sure. It’s a narrow path, but there are conditions where you could push for a money position without doing significant harm to painstaking rebuilding efforts you went through earlier in the year.

You Need a Foundation
If you already started playing for next year in a deep -only format, chances are strong that you are playing with less than a full complement of players. In a league with 14 offensive slots where the contenders are running 12, 13, or even 14 everyday players out there, you might only have nine or 10 regulars on your team… if you are lucky. Not all of your everyday guys are going to be studs, either. Some of your starters are going to be the worst regulars in baseball.

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<< Previous Article
Premium Article Daily Roundup: Around ... (08/20)
<< Previous Column
Fantasy Article Fantasy Freestyle: Inf... (08/12)
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Fantasy Article Fantasy Freestyle: Han... (08/26)
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Fantasy Article The Stash List: The Fi... (08/20)

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