Leagues offering daily transactions, instead of weekly, open themselves up to losing owners.
A few weeks ago, there was some talk on the message board in one of my leagues about moving from weekly transactions and lineups to daily. I’m firmly on Team Weekly because I prioritize sustainability.
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A few simple but important steps you can make, regardless of overall strategy, as we hit the stretch run.
In one of the first fantasy leagues I ever joined, for years the trade deadline was Aug. 1. This is an AL-only league, so the Aug. 1 date gave fantasy managers 24 hours to try and fill any holes created by trades to the National League. This gives away how old the league is. -Only leagues are becoming a thing of the past, and the ones that do exist have mostly switched to permitting players traded to the “other” league to remain on a team’s roster until the end of the regular season.
Most of the leagues I play in now have a trade deadline in late August or early September. In a typical keeper league, nearly everyone already has decided if they are in or out for 2017. But unless your season is going perfectly, you probably are going to need to make some free-agent pickups or trades down the stretch in order to win. This advice is not limited to teams in contention. If you have already given up on your season the last thing you want to do is let your team lie fallow and miss potential keepers for 2018 and beyond.
Webster’s dictionary defines “utility” as... just kidding. The positional flexibility craze in baseball didn’t start with Ben Zobrist, but his ability to play several positions at a high level certainly brought more attention to the modern utility player. Every year fantasy rosters are crippled with injuries. It’s terrible and awful and frustrating. It’s also inevitable. Having a super utility player stashed away on the roster is the ultimate luxury, and can help bail you out of such pickles, Benny “The Jet” style. This season, a handful of players have embraced the task of playing multiple positions and have thoroughly excelled in the process.
Sal Perez isn't striking out, but he's swinging more than ever and his batting average would be a career high. Is that why his fantasy value has been higher in 2017?
Coming into 2017, fantasy owners felt like they had a good handle on Salvador Perez. He was a safe bet to make regular starts at the position who would give you something like a .250 batting average, 20 home runs, 50-60 runs, and 60-70 runs batted in. These totals landed him in the “three star” tier of Baseball Prospectus’ preseason catcher rankings. He was a player who was supplying increasing power at a cost to his batting average.
Jose Quintana moving from the AL to the NL is the rare case when players in an -only league discover "found money" in FAAB free agency. Those who saved can prosper. All-too-frequently however, it can be shrewder to use FAAB money earlier, incrementally, because "big-fish" free agents simply never come.
Craig Kimbrel seems to be a common denominator among leading clubs.
With a light week of free-agent bids in LABR and no free-agent bids in Tout Wars until Thursday at midnight thanks to the All-Star Break, I decided to glimpse at the top of the standings in the three LABR leagues. Today, it is Tout Wars’ turn. This analysis is not designed to be a top-to-bottom review of all five Tout Wars expert leagues, but rather a brief look at what has gone right for some of the teams at the top of the standings to date. Can it help you in your leagues going forward? Let’s find out!
Table 1: Tout Mixed Auction Top Four with Categories
Dodgers use of 10-day DL and six viable starters has aided their rotation and might give them an advantage all season. How can fantasy players take advanatge?
When the 10-day DL reemerged into our collective consciousness, the idea was relatively simple. Teams wanted to maintain roster flexibility while also protecting their players from “gutting it out” through lingering injuries that might not warrant missing two full weeks of the season. A secondary function of the new, abbreviated DL has unearthed itself over the first half of the season. The shorter DL trips have allowed teams to manipulate the traditional five-man starting rotation, and nobody has gamed the system quite like the Dodgers.
Jeff Samardzija, Hanley Ramirez and Ender Inciarte are not-so-obvious possibilities who could improve your team down the stretch.
We are currently in the final full week of the first half, and we’ll spend most of the next week recharging our fantasy baseball batteries and getting ready for the stretch run. Most of our trade deadlines are about a month or so away, so now is the time to decide whether you want to stick with someone for the rest of the year or try to sell on them now. Every roster is different, and you can’t just trade for your favorite players, particularly in a roto league. Obviously, the ideal scenario for any manager at the deadline is to shore up areas of weakness. With that, here are—generally speaking—my three favorite trade targets for the second half. Keep in mind this is simply for redraft leagues, or maybe even contenders in longer-term leagues.
In a breakthrough campaign, Travis Shaw is having one of the top seasons of any third baseman in fantasy. Will he continue to be elite at the hot corner?
Travis Shaw wasn’t considered a hot fantasy commodity prior to this season. He was coming off a disappointing 2016, and owners weren’t quite sure what to expect following his move to Milwaukee. Shaw didn’t appear on Baseball Prospectus’ preseason tiered rankings, and he barely snuck in “The Top 300 for 2017.” However, as we approach the All-Star break, Shaw has been one of the most valuable fantasy assets at his position.
Allow me to set a scene. In my deep NL-only league (a fairly standard 5x5 NL-only roto league with 12 teams, 14 hitters, 9 pitchers, a $260 auction budget and weekly transactions) we had a bit of an incident over the weekend. On Sunday June 4, Randal Grichuk’s owner (let’s call him Chris) released him to acquire Atlanta Braves utility infielder Danny Santana with a $0 bid in our FAAB processing. The context for this move was that the Cardinals had demoted Grichuk on May 29 to work on his approach after a rough month in the majors. Chris was trying to fill a dead spot in his lineup with a warm body who might actually get some plate appearances the following week. If you read my weekly column, the Deep League Report, you know how slim the pickings can be in the free-agent pool in deep NL-only leagues. Sometimes, Danny Santana is the best you can do.
Looking back and projections for Justin Bour, Mike Moustakas, Kevin Kiermaier, Daniel Norris, Yadier Molina, Daniel Murphy, Aledmys Diaz, Aaron Judge.
It is difficult to believe, but we are almost halfway through the 2017 season. While a lot will change in the second half, enough of the season has been played so that some assessment can be offered of how well (or poorly) some of our preseason predictions have played out. While it is easy to make preseason calls and never bring them up again, it always is worth looking back at what we got right—and what we got wrong, and why.
I’ll start with the players I told fantasy players to target, and then finish with the players I advised fantasy managers to avoid.