5 Fantasy Baseball Draft Tips


Know the Rules Inside and Out

Are you gunning for sluggers for your fantasy team?
Are you gunning for sluggers for your fantasy team?
Donald Miralle/Thinkstock

Henry Lee, author of the manual "Fantasy Baseball Strategy: Advanced Methods for Winning Your League," says that one of the most common mistakes made by fantasy baseball competitors is not taking into consideration their own league's distinctive rules and setup. Some competitors, for example, base their draft picks upon projections made by fantasy baseball magazines, without bothering to notice that those evaluations are based on the Rotisserie 4X4 scoring system, rather than the Fantasy 5X5 standard that his or her league uses.

Your league's rules may also weigh certain statistical categories more heavily than others. For example, your league may favor pitchers more than hitters, so the dollar amounts of pitchers in those magazines may be low [source: Lee]. And there are other factors to consider. For example, it matters whether your league uses on-base percentage instead of batting average, or whether a relief pitcher is allocated a "hold" for leaving the game with his team's lead intact, even if the team ultimately loses [source: Harmon].

If you're playing in a league with a relatively small number of competitors, for example, you might want to try a "pitch and ditch" strategy. The principle behind this is that the shallower the league, the more quality starting pitchers will go undrafted and unsigned. Rather than drafting expensive starting pitchers, build a strong offense and bullpen, and then simply pick up new starters on the free agent wire and continually replace them with whomever else becomes available, based upon their statistical trending and the favorability of their upcoming matchups [source: Fantasy 411].