Why the moves you decide to make in-season can be a function of how you frame your team's problem.
It’s midseason and we all have some work to do to get our fantasy baseball teams to where they need to be if we are going to maximize our chances of winning. Luckily, we all know what to do: find our weaknesses and the areas where we can improve the most, figure out what we can afford to give up to improve, and then make it happen. We have spent a lot of time discussing why we so often cannot act optimally, why we cannot execute against our strategies or our goals, and how we can take advantage of the instances when our leaguemates fall victims to these obstacles. These discussions always come with some big assumptions: (i) that we are able to find the proper strategy and (ii) that the proper strategy at the point of the discussion will remain the proper strategy. Today we will take a look at these assumptions.
Before we get into process, strategy, and decision making, we should revisit an oft-told fable from my time growing up in this country. Luckily, it is short. It goes something like this,
Helping you get the most out of your swaps this summer.
Flags Fly Forever. Hey, that’s the name of the podcast I co-host weekly with Bret Sayre and producer George Bissell. So I know a thing or two about going for it at all costs, decimating my team’s future in pursuit of a title, and sacrificing the potential plum of back-to-back championships in favor of a “certain” win this year. As a rule of thumb, this is sage advice. If you are on the fence about a trade in a keeper or dynasty league because you are worried you are giving up too much value, odds are good that you should make the trade immediately and worry about 2017 and beyond later.
Yet there are cases where you can go too far and sacrifice too much future in exchange for the present. This seems to fly in the face of the advice that every fantasy expert has ever dispensed. But there are cases where it can happen.
Considering the sequence of a fantasy trade, from research to completion, can help us to avoid missing out on the best deals.
Trades are coming. We have discussed different types of trades, the importance of trades, and a lot of other things to do with trades. We have taken a look at the actual mechanics of trades here and there (we have discussed trading with different negotiation types, how we can use choice architecture when crafting trades, and so on), but we often overlook the supply chain of a trade. If, as the internet states, supply chain is “the sequence of processes involved in the production and distribution of a commodity,” then the supply chain of a fantasy baseball trade is the sequence of processes involved from the time a trade is conceptualized to the time it is agreed upon or disbanded.
The important (for this conversation) thing about supply chain, whether that of a fantasy baseball trade or that of a new-product launch, is that it is easy to overlook. It is easy to assume everything will just work out so long as we have the right idea and the right plan. This assumption, though, causes product launches to be delayed or less profitable, and it causes us to miss out on beneficial trades. Because we want to make as many beneficial trades as possible, we do not want to make this assumption—we do not want to overlook the supply chain of our trades. Maybe you do not overlook the supply chain of your trades. If so, well done. If not, or if you want to take read about the concept, then please find the below discussion around a critical concept of supply chain: lead time.
Identifying the two costs associated with each fantasy trade, and the best ways to ensure you make the optimal move.
The real baseball teams have been playing for over a month and, consequently, so too have our fantasy baseball teams. As always happens, our perfectly planned team has proven itself to be imperfect. Maybe our hitters are underperforming, maybe are starting pitchers have fallen victim to injury, maybe our closers are no longer closers. It happens. The lucky (and/or skilled) among us have been able to address these weaknesses via the waiver wire or early season trade, but most of are or will be in the position of looking to the trade market for an upgrade.
Groundbreaking stuff, I know. But a big thing we see in a lot of trades or trade discussions is improper framing of the decision being made. The most pervasive error in this regard is to simply look at what our team is missing and then trade from a strength or redundancy to improve that weakness. This is not inherently a mistake and this process might lead to optimal decision-making and strategy, but there are other factors we need to consider to improve our odds at getting to optimal that optimal choice.
Court is in session as J.P. picks the winners and losers in reader-submitted trades.
I’m back, once again, judging your fantasy trades after you’ve already made them, deciding who won and who lost. I don’t always know which side is which when readers submit their fantasy trades, so I hope that I’m not crushing too many dreams. A few, though, for sure. At least a few.
Court is in session as J.P. evaluates three reader-submitted trades involving Trevor Story, Jacob deGrom, and more.
This is a project I started a couple of weeks ago, and with the help of some of kind BP’s readers in the comments section, I think we’ve developed a quality structure to this series. In short: You send me some of your recent fantasy trades on Twitter, and I lay down the definitive judgment as to who won and who lost. No tying. Bud Selig ain’t presiding in this fantasy court of law. I am.
A look at the obstacles to fantasy blockbusters and how we might overcome them.
Onward—always onward—the calendar tacitly mandates. Auctions and drafts are now the past. Closing in on us is the in-season trade market.
Most of the leagues in which I participate do not see heavy trade activity at this point of the season. The adjective “heavy” in this instance (when affected by the preceding “not”) describes both the volume of trades (minimal) and the magnitude of trades (minor). But, once every so often, maybe once a season, maybe even less frequently, a big trade gets made. If we expand our requirements to include the entire season, not just the beginnings of the trade season, then we will still usually only find a few big trades.
J.P. evaluates the merits of three barters submitted by readers on Twitter.
Between the Bat Signal and Twitter, the Fantasy Team gets hundreds of hypothetical trade proposals each year. Should I trade Player A and Player B for Player C? Am I giving up too much? Would you do that trade? We do our best to offer thoughtful advice in an attempt to aid your quest for a fantasy championship.