You’re never going bench Robinson Cano, so a handcuff is not needed. Photo Credit: Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images
Roster construction is one of the most important factors in winning a weekly mixed league. Every roster spot is crucial and it is important not to waste a valuable roster spot on someone who will never contribute to your team. Ideally, everyone on your team either fills a need or has the potential to impact the final standings.
When in doubt, always go with a starting pitcher
Loading up on two-start pitchers is the easiest way to manipulate weekly results. The easiest way to load up on two-start pitchers is to have as many options as your league allows. If your league rules allow five bench spots, your goal should be to use at least four of those coveted roster spots on extra pitchers. This way, you can use a
-type pitcher when he’s facing the Mets and Padres in a two-start week. You should have five or six mediocre pitchers to fill out the last two starting rotation spots on a weekly basis. Just plug in the guys with the best matchups each week. Something this simple can really impact the final standings and help win you a championship.
Don’t waste roster spots on backups to superstars
This obviously doesn’t apply to keeper or dynasty leagues, where you could be stashing a youngster with potential. But in standard mixed leagues, it’s just silly to roster the backup to an elite player. For example, if your starting second baseman isRobinson Cano, keeping a Scooter Gennett-type bench player makes no sense whatsoever. You will never start Gennett over Cano under normal circumstances, and you’ll be able to find a similar replacement on waivers if Cano gets injured. Instead of Gennett, use that valuable roster spot on someone who could make a Fantasy impact at some point. Stash a top prospect or add an extra pitcher to stream when they face favorable two-start scoring periods. This isn’t Fantasy Football. You don’t need to “handcuff” your best players.
Injured Reserve spots can be your friends
You should have all the available injured slots that your league offers filled, regardless of whether or not anyone on your current roster is currently injured.
The next time you drop someone to pick up a trendy waiver name, pause and think. Drop the player you’d be dropping anyway, but pick up an injured player and immediately move your injured asset to the IR spot. Then, go ahead and add the previously mentioned trendy prospect without dropping anyone else. You’ll end up with an extra player, and players are assets in Fantasy Baseball.
The following pitchers are available in many leagues. They could be stashed on an injured reserve spot, eventually providing two-start weeks down the stretch.
CC. Sabathia, Yankees
Drew Pomeranz, Athletics
Bronson Arroyo, Diamondbacks
Jordan Lyles, Rockies
Tyler Skaggs, Angels
Michael Pineda, Yankees
James Paxton, Mariners
Joe Kelly, Cardinals
Robbie Erlin, Padres
Francisco Liriano, Pirates
Derek Holland, Rangers
The following injured hitters are available in many formats. They’re better off stashed on your IR than on waivers for your opponents to scoop up.
Brandon Belt, Giants
A.J. Pollock, Diamondbacks
Juan Legares, Mets
Yonder Alonso, Padres
Emilio Bonifacio, Cubs
Trevor Plouffe, Twins
David DeJesus, Rays
Corey Hart, Mariners
Carl Crawford, Dodgers
Juan Uribe, Dodgers
Michael Saunders, Mariners
Norichika Aoki, Royals
Justin Smoak, Mariners
Kolten Wong, Cardinals
Jedd Gyorko, Padres
Question? Hit me on Twitter @briansflood