End of the Fantasy Baseball Season Strategy
- Updated: August 27, 2010
By now, many of you have already put yourself in a good position to make a trip to the playoffs – if not officially clinched a spot altogether. There are many more of you, though, that are on the bubble; and with a good or bad 1.5 weeks your ticket could be punched to the postseason or your time could be freed up to focus 100% of your attention on fantasy football. Here are a few strategies to employ if you are scratching and clawing to find your way into those last two or three playoff spots that are up for grabs. Yes, I realize that this particular article might be a week or three too late, but there’s nothing we can do about that now. If it can’t get you to the promised land this year, file it away for 2011.
Most of you are familiar with the practice of dropping/adding pitchers (and position players too for that matter) on a daily basis to rack up counting stats (wins, strikeouts, etc.). This practice is most popular in leagues with categories similar to the traditional Roto stats (wins, saves, strikeouts, WHIP, ERA). Streaming can still be effective in more complex leagues as well. You will have to determine, based on your league’s settings, just how effective that practice would be, but perhaps it is something worth trying. As far as offense goes, there is no reason for you to have unnecessary voids in your roster on Mondays and Thursdays. Every category is way too important at this point.
2. Say Goodbye to Your “Studs”
All of us have drafted a big name who was supposed to have a nice season in 2010. Curtis Granderson and Adam Lind are just two guys who were supposed to do big things this season. It is hard to let these guys go as the chance at missing out on 2-3 weeks of All-Star production is too much for us to stomach. Murphy’s Law paralyzes us and we do nothing. I’ve been there, I know what its like. Guess what though? They’re not helping us win so changes need to be made. Don’t be stubborn. Not at this point in the season. Right now, whether you’re fighting to make it to the playoffs or if you’re going to be fighting to remain in the playoffs, it doesn’t matter who gets you the hits, runs, RBI, HR, WHIP, ERA, K’s, saves, etc. You just need the stats. If your squad of John Jaso, Casey Kotchman, Nick Punto and Livan Hernandez puts up better stats in that small championship sample against Joe Mauer, Albert Pujols, David Wright and Jon Lester you’re going to be the champion regardless of how far it tips the bullsh*t meter.
3. Work the ‘Pen
This is kind of the anti-streaming strategy. In leagues that play with a lot of ratio categories (K/9, K/BB, etc.) it could pay to ditch the middle of the pack starters and just load up on electric relief pitchers – whether they’re recording saves or not. The degree of effectiveness will depend on the number of pitching slots on your roster and the innings pitched minimum for each week. The idea behind this is that the better relief pitchers generally have good stuff and will provide nice numbers over their short stints. If you have enough quality relievers, its almost like having one or two stud starters each week. Over 14 innings you might find yourself with 14-20 K which is a nice chunk to add to the counting stats, but also a stellar K/9. The best part about the end of the year is that you will always find relief pitchers that get on a roll late in the season. A lot of guys will neglect middle relievers because they don’t provide saves, but they can be instrumental in the success of a pitching staff down the stretch.
4. Hold a Team Meeting
(If you have a life, you are free to skip to the final paragraph)
Now, despite implementing this strategy from time to time, I can’t honestly say that it helps. However, sometimes you just need to create some positive energy (some people believe in this type of stuff more than others). If you’re desperate and willing to try anything to get your team into some meaningful games over the next few weeks you may be willing to shove aside any feelings of self-embarrassment and try something different and potentially fruitless. If my team gets a bit stagnant or is facing off against a rival or playoff contender, I’ll give them a little pep talk and address them individually letting them know what I need from each of them. Clearly, my obsession for achieving fantasy sports success is bordering on unhealthy territory. Perhaps you’re the same way. If that is the case go ahead and call the squad into your “office” and go to work.
Like I said, it is pretty late in the year and those of you who have a big hole to dig out of may ultimately need to focus on 2011. Those of you that still have any shred of a chance should not be afraid to try something radical if it gets you the last few categories needed to make it to the postseason. Good luck.