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December 27, 2013

Fantasy Freestyle

A Review of Larry Schechter's Winning Fantasy Baseball

by Mike Gianella


Like many fantasy baseball players, my first exposure to fantasy baseball came when I stumbled across “Rotisserie League Baseball” at the mall bookstore. Ten minutes later, I knew I had to buy this wonderful book and figure out how to play this game. Ten hours later, I was plotting how I’d con the guys I talked baseball with in my study hall into playing in a league with me. The game itself sounded great, but it was the book’s witty and irreverent sense of fun that won me over forever.

However, while the original book was filled with great writing and jokes, it was lacking a coherent message when it came to strategy or tactics. While this deficit has been remedied over the years through many terrific web sites and expert advice, fantasy baseball has never had a definitive how to manual to guide enthusiasts through the competitive landscape of what Rotisserie League Baseball called “the greatest game for baseball fans since baseball.”

The latest entrant into the fantasy baseball how to book arena is Larry Schechter. Schechter needs no introduction if you have even a basic knowledge of the fantasy baseball arena. He has won the title in the Tout Wars expert competition six times, and if Rotisserie-style fantasy sports aren’t your thing, Schechter has also won the CDM Sports salary-cap league twice. I have competed against Schechter twice and have watched him purchase teams in auction-style leagues on three other occasions. It is a grand understatement to say that Schechter knows what he is doing.

Schechter’s how to guide does what few before it have done. It provides a cohesive, coherent, and logical blueprint that will help the novice as much as it will help the intermediate and more advanced fantasy players. The advice in Winning Fantasy Baseball is concise and to the point, and eschews long-winded theory in favor of targeted guidance for every facet of the game.

The first two chapters of Winning Fantasy Baseball are geared toward beginners. They explain the origins of the fantasy game as well as the various game formats you can choose from, but do not cover any new ground. The meat of the book starts in Chapter 3, where Schechter starts talking about general strategies for auction and draft formats. Here, Schechter drives home a simple point: there is no winning strategy beyond ensuring that you obtain the best value you possibly can at your auction or draft that suits your format. Schechter breaks down the mythology of other “systems” (e.g.: “I employed a Stars and Scrubs approach”) and explains why pigeonholing yourself in an auction with a specific philosophy is a losing proposition.

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Fantasy Article Sporer Report: Top 20 ... (12/27)
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Fantasy Article Fantasy Freestyle: Wha... (01/06)
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