There’s Always Next Year – Looking Ahead to Fantasy 2012

Melky finally started to break through in 2011. But was it enough to keep him on your roster heading into 2012?

With the fantasy baseball playoffs started, you may find yourself on the outside looking in, or perhaps in danger of losing in the first or second round. Either way, you will no doubt be looking ahead to next year. Even if you are moving on in the 2011 fantasy baseball playoffs, you will soon be considering your options for next year. You will need to decide which players will be keepers for 2012 and which players will not. You will need to assess which draft position you will be selecting from in 2012 as well as which drafting strategies to employ next season. Some key areas of interest to keep in mind:
Keepers for 2012 –
When deciding upon your keepers for 2012, you will need to choose wisely. Try to concentrate on players which are entering (or in) their prime as opposed to players who are aging. It makes much more sense to keep a player like Melky Cabrera, who is on the rise and entering his prime than it does to keep a player on the downside of his career like Todd Helton, for example. Do not forget to consider position scarcity either. Valuable players at catcher (Brian McCannVictor Martinez) are much more valuable than a power hitting first baseman like Ryan Howard or Carlos Pena. Other positions with a shallow talent pool include second base and third base. If you have a good player at one of these positions, they may be more valuable than an outfielder with better overall statistics.
Draft Position –
Know where you will be drafting in 2012 (based upon your overall finish in 2011). Get a list of the keepers from your league (if any) as well. This will help you determine which player you will take in your first round. This will often be a player to build around so being prepared will help you make the right choice. Some fantasy owners like to pre-rank just about every player in the big leagues (and some from the minors) in order to get the edge. Knowing where you rank in a snake draft helps determine some key players to target from your list.
Offseason Player Moves –
Be sure to keep a close eye on any free agent movement in the offseason as well as any players traded. A lot of activity seems to happen around the baseball winter meetings so keep an eye on the proceedings when they occur. If a particular player changes leagues, ball parks or divisions it may have a huge impact on his fantasy performance.
Spring Training –
Sure it seems like a long way away (and it is!), but spring training is where a lot of key battles for jobs and jockeying for positions takes place. Keeping a close eye on offseason talk can help predict what some of those key spring training battles may be.
Be sure to keep an eye on several of these things in the offseason. If you didn’t win it all this season, there’s always next year. One thing to know for sure is that fantasy baseball doesn’t end just because the baseball season has come to a close.
For those of us that love the game, this is great news indeed.

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