Archive for Strategy

The Trade Counsel – How To Draft In Non-Trading Leagues

by Simon Jones

If you’ve seen this column before, you’ll realize that the Trade Counsel column ordinarily concerns itself will all matters trade-related (the clue’s in the name after all). However, for just one column a year I take a step back and deal with the flip side of the fantasy baseball world – the non-trading league.

Back when I first played fantasy baseball, truly non-trading leagues were few and far between. There were leagues I played in where the owners weren’t terribly active or comfortable with trading, but very few prohibited trading completely. Over the last few years there has been a trend towards sites handling money leagues, where the element of trust has been lost and the risk of collusion is such that trades aren’t permitted. I’ve even been spending time recently helping a friend prep and execute a slow draft for a 50-man roster which doesn’t allow for adds or drops. Read more

The Trade Counsel – Draft Day Strategies To Trade Down The Line

by Simon Jones

As you’ll be aware, the Trade Counsel columns focus on all aspects of trading – the psychology, the dynamics and the mechanics. However in order to start making trades to give you that competitive advantage, you need to construct your roster to give you the maximum opportunity to make and accept the right offers. Often I hear people talking about “winning the trade”, as if trades exist in a vacuum. You may get the occasional naïve new owner who will make or accept some ridiculously lop-sided deal, but most of us are in leagues where the owners have been around the block and know that an Anthony Rizzo for Hanley Ramirez trade only works for one side. So we’re on the lookout for any marginal gains that can steer our side to that fantasy championship. Step 1 in that process is the draft.

I’ll put in a caveat that most of these strategies apply only to active trading leagues, where you know that there are always other owners at least willing to listen to offers. If your league is less active or non-trading (like many of the Fantrax and NFBC leagues) then next week’s column will focus on other strategies.

Preparation is Key
If there’s one strategy that trumps all others, it is preparation. I will cover aspects of cheat sheets and mock drafts next week, but the main focus is that you can never be too prepared going into a draft. Knowing the player pool and having the confidence in your cheat sheets can give you a few extra seconds to make a careful and considered pick, rather than snatching at the first player at the top of the ADP list (and regretting it 60 seconds later). Read more

The Trade Counsel: Creating a Trade Friendly League

by Simon Jones

Welcome back to The Trade Counsel. Throughout the season I’ll be putting out columns featuring all things trading. Today I want to focus on setting your league up to make it as trade-friendly as possible.

Recruit Interested Owners
Undeniably the biggest driver to having an active trading league is to have the right mix of owners. No matter how you configure the settings and tweak the league, if the people there don’t want to trade then they won’t. Conversely if owners are determined to trade then they’ll get the deal done, no matter how restrictive the rules. My favourite memory of this was in a very active league I played in few years ago, where the trade deadline passed and then the owners with the top two waiver picks executed a deal by dropping a guy each so that the other could claim him.

Deeper is Better
Lots of scenarios can drive an owner to want to change their roster around. Lack of form, injuries, lack of a particular scoring category or just general dissatisfaction. The first instinct when you’re trying to fill a gap in your roster is to scour the waiver wire. If you’re trying to replace a second baseman and the free agent pool contains Devon Travis, Logan Forsythe and Ben Zobrist, then you have a number of passable options even if they wouldn’t be your first choice. However if your best free agent options are Joe Panik and Josh Harrison, then the motivation to explore a trade increases. Read more

Two-Start Pitchers 2016: September 26-October 2: Are There Any Gambles Worth Taking?

by Ray Kuhn

We have made it. After a long, challenging, fun, frustrating, and exciting (sometimes all at the same time) 2016 season, we have reached it’s final week. In general, pitching plans are not set in stone, but this week things are even worse. To say that this is subject to change could be an understatement, as there are multiple factors each juggles when making their decisions. Let’s take a look at how the pitcher’s taking the mound twice for this week. At this point, it’s all about finding value in places you might not generally look in the middle of the season, so that is the approach we will take in highlighting different options.

Tier One:

  1. Corey Kluber – Cleveland Indians – at Detroit; at Kansas City
  2. Justin Verlander – Detroit Tigers – vs. Cleveland; at Atlanta
  3. Chris Sale – Chicago White Sox – vs. Tampa Bay; vs. Minnesota
  4. Kyle Hendricks – Chicago Cubs – at Pittsburgh; at Cincinnati
  5. Felix Hernandez – Seattle Mariners – at Houston; vs. Oakland
  6. David Price – Boston Red Sox – at New York Yankees; vs. Toronto
  7. Noah Syndergaard – New York Mets – at Miami; at Philadelphia

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Two-Start Pitchers 2016: September 19-25: Are There Any Gambles Worth Taking?

by Ray Kuhn

Maximize, that is the key with two weeks left to go in the regular season as everything takes on an even greater level of importance. Not only must you pay attention to where you are in the standings and in what categories you can gain the most ground, but this is the time of year where innings limits come into play. If you don’t have to worry about said limits, or you are in a head to head league, then we have you covered as you look to maximize your starts. Just don’t force anything, as there are some risky and less than desirable options as we work our way down the list. Let’s take a look at how the pitchers taking the mound twice this week rank:

Tier One:

  1. Madison Bumgarner – San Francisco Giants – at LA Dodgers; at San Diego
  2. Johnny Cueto – San Francisco Giants – at LA Dodgers; at San Diego
  3. Noah Syndergaard – New York Mets – vs. Atlanta; vs. Philadelphia
  4. Jose Fernandez – Miami Marlins – vs. Washington; vs. Atlanta
  5. Clayton Kershaw – LA Dodgers – vs. San Francisco; vs. Colorado

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Two-Start Pitchers 2016: September 12-18: Are There Any Gambles Worth Taking?

by Ray Kuhn

Don’t do it. Your fantasy baseball season likely started some time in January or early February, so you’ve put in a significant amount of time and energy. Just because football season has officially started, that is not an excuse to take your foot off the gas now. If you are still in the race for a finish in the money, this is when you need to pay the most attention. Things become especially harder this time of year as rosters expand and teams tend to forgo the use of the Disabled List. There are a lot of young names on the below list of pitchers who either began the season, or spent a lot of time in the minor leagues and there most certainly is risk. Let’s take a look at how this week’s options stack up:

Tier One:

  1. David Price – Boston Red Sox – vs. Baltimore; vs. New York Yankees
  2. Carlos Carrasco – Cleveland Indians – at Chicago White Sox; vs. Detroit
  3. Kyle Hendricks – Chicago Cubs – at St. Louis; vs Milwaukee

Tier Two:

  1. Drew Pomeranz – Boston Red Sox – vs. Baltimore; vs. New York Yankees
  2. Anthony DeSclafani – Cincinnati Reds – vs. Milwaukee; vs. Pittsburgh
  3. Jeff Samardzjia – San Francisco Giants – vs. San Diego; vs. St. Louis
  4. Gerrit Cole – Pittsburgh Pirates – at Philadelphia; at Cincinnati
  5. Ivan Nova – Pittsburgh Pirates – at Philadelphia; at Cincinnati

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