Write a 15 Step list titled: “How to be”
How to have the most fun playing fantasy baseball
First – It’s important not to take the draft too seriously. Don’t completely blow the top few picks, but as long as the team ends up with good depth, it should be safe for the long haul.
Second – Most vital in teams I’ve won titles with is the pitching staff. I’ve found that if you have 2 or 3 top of the line starters, and then fill out with young flame throwers, the staff will finish the season at or near the top of all rankings.
Third – As long as the draft goes well enough in most positions, I generally skip on relievers. I never see a need to spend valuable draft picks on a player that will only contribute in one or two stats. Also, it’s usually easy to grab them during the season since most closing jobs are a revolving door anyway.
Fourth – I always try and find at least two players, if not more, that have a good mix of power and speed. Grady Sizemore used to a great example of this, he’d get 25-30 homeruns and 30-40 steals every year. He’d also have a lot of walks, so his OBP was always nice and high too. A few of these on the team and it frees up other positions to fill in for power or average.
Fifth – Pay attention to the free agents. Injuries happen all the time, and if the waivers are not followed and a big time player get hurt then in a quick second the team goes from hoping to make the playoffs to just finishing out the year. It’s tough when a team is out of the running to make the push to keep playing. I always find minor goals for myself if this happens to keep me interested until the final pitch.
Sixth – Don’t be afraid to have batters that struggle with average as long as they are above the scale in other stats. For instance, Ian Kinsler is an across the board stat filler, runs, RBI, homeruns, steals, walks, doubles. But his average is consistently in the mid .250 range. He doesn’t hurt a team because he gives much more than his lack of singles takes.
Seventh – I usually make this mistake, but it’s not advisable. Never take a favorite player, unless the favorite is Albert Pujols or Miguel Cabrera, etc. Players like Joel Zumaya and Ryan Raburn have graced my teams over the years, and I’ve paid for having such black holes in my roster. I would have been better with hated players like Fernando Rodney or Brandon Inge. Never get stuck on a player that isn’t a star.
Eighth – Whether they’re good, or terrible, I advise not to draft a hated player. All I ever want to do is trade the louse, and then when I can’t it sucks because he’s gotta play. I always wish I’d never drafted him or picked him up in the first place.
Ninth – Trades. Yes, the inherent ability to both screw someone over and always keep it looking fair. No matter who the trade is with, or for what players, it always screws someone. Whether it’s the player getting the short end of the deal, giving away studs for sandbags. Or whether it’s the player that wanted the players in the trade but was frozen out. Or, there could be a wild card, the player that is just above the team getting the studs and now has to fight that much harder to keep their spot with their closest competitor being stronger than ever.
Tenth – Then there’s sniping. The act of knowing that another team is in need of a player or position and getting to the waiver wire first and taking the player they need the most. Not a nice way to do business, but it’s either win or lose. I prefer to win, but if I can’t win, I want to make sure I can aid as many teams to lose with me as possible.
Eleventh – Nothing beats the week after I put a good whomping on a buddy and I get to trash talk to them until we play again. All they can do is say shut up, and live with the fact that they just got steamrolled. This is made especially delicious when my team sucks and I beat a playoff bound team. This should be the top point, but oh well.
Twelfth – I like to make bets with competitors. That way, even if my team or theirs is losing, we have something to play for. I have a yearly bet for a baseball jersey. I’ve lost once and won once, and it always gives a little more flair to the end of the season when the jersey comes down to one or two doubles or a single here and there. Not a big fan of betting money, I like to bet for things, or bragging rights, or even food.
Thirteenth – I always try hard to ignore the morons. That one guy that always rags on every trade or pick-up, but it’s usually only because HE didn’t make it first. If the move was so crappy, then nobody would care enough to complain. I also hate those people that try to say it’s not really important, that’s it’s just a game and fun should be the only objective. While having fun is important, there’s no way that’s all I’m playing for. I’m playing for titles, and destroying my friends.
That brings me to my final two points:
Fourteenth – I love to finish ahead of my friends. Doesn’t even matter if I’m only ahead of one of them, I love it. This kind of goes along with trash talking, but it’s slightly different. I know that even if I say nothing, they know that I’ve beaten them yet again, and it will burn at them until the next season. I make sure they never forget it either, too much fun to be had rubbing it in.
Fifteenth – Winning. Fun can be had in losing, like I’ve said prior, bets and little minor goals can make it interesting. But trust me, winning is all that matters. People play games to win, nobody plays to lose. The people who say they only play to have fun and it doesn’t matter if they win? Those are the ones that are easy to spot, they are the ones who lost. It’s gotta be a hard pill to swallow when all that can be said about a long season is “I only play for fun, doesn’t matter if I win or lose, it’s always fun.” Forget that! I play to win, every game I play, and I hate losing. I throw things, shout, whatever I can do to release the rage at the fact that I have to look at someone and know they just bettered me. The competitive fire should burn, and if it doesn’t, get the hell out of my league.