6 Things Fantasy Baseball Experts Do That You Don’t
The term “Fantasy Baseball expert” gets bandied about often, and more often than not, it’s thrown around as a sarcastic remark. But there are, for all intents and purposes, Fantasy Baseball experts out there, and their opinions are valuable in that some like to use them and some like to refute them.
I prefer the term, “Fantasy Baseball Analyst,” like some of my other colleagues wish. As someone that has been paid as a Fantasy Baseball expert through the years, including five years with CBSSports.com and four years with SportsIllustrated.com, I thought I’d point out some things that Fantasy Baseball drafters might be interested in.
By the sound of this headline, you might think I’m standing on high, looking down on Fantasy players, telling them how Fantasy Baseball experts do things much better than they do.
As a matter of fact, this column is the exact opposite. I’m going to tell you six things we do that you should know about that aren’t very smart. With that said, most of the things I mention are necessary for our jobs, but they do affect the end results.
6 Things Fantasy Baseball Experts Do, But Shouldn’t
These are things we do for different reasons, none of which are meant to screw up Fantasy Baseball owners. Instead, some of these things are done because we’re trying to help readers, but instead, it could screw them up even more!
1. Start Drafting Right After the Previous Season Ends
This sounds like it would be a good thing, but in the end, these drafts are unnecessary because free agents haven’t changed teams yet, big trades haven’t gone down and some summer injuries are nowhere near being healed.
But we have to do these for our own prep work, like for assessing depth at positions, figuring out which players have moved up to the early rounds and which ones moved out of the top 10 rounds, etc. Many of us start writing for draft guides immediately, and these early drafts help us – but they don’t help you. By the way, here’s an early draft we did last November on MLB.com. They’re still fun to do!
2. Draft Starting Pitchers Late
Every spring, before you go into your own drafts, you read to wait on start pitching, over and over again.
When Fantasy Baseball experts get together for a draft, it’s often a game of chicken, as we all try to wait as late as possible before we start taking pitchers. The only thing worse than this is when Fantasy Football experts tell you to wait on quarterbacks, then by the time you wait for a QB in your draft, nine are gone by Round 6 and you’re staring down the barrel at Philip Rivers.
As correct as the writers are, that pitchers are not as valuable as hitters and should definitely be waited for in drafts, the fact is 11 other players in your league aren’t going to wait like you will. So what happens is, you end up with a pretty bad rotation and a really good roster of hitters. Ideally, you could grab a good pitcher or two before big pitcher runs happen in your draft.
3. Draft Young Players Too Early
One thing Fantasy writers DO like to do is expound on a great young player. Since writers often do a lot of research on prospects and rookies, they sometimes get enamored with them. That leads to them taking a rookie or a second-year player a little earlier than he should, in comparison to some veterans.
4. Draft Dozens of Teams
Fantasy Baseball writers have to do a lot of mock drafts – and then they have to draft in their regular leagues, too! For example, it’s mid-February, and I’ve already taken part in five different Fantasy Baseball mock drafts. And that’s on the low end for me at this point usually. (I’m in the middle of yet another analysis draft right now on MLB.com.)
When they draft dozens of teams, they often overreact to news or underreact as they try to figure out how values have changed.
Writers need things to write about. Crazy, huh?
This means that since they do draft so many different teams, they can take different angles in some of these mock drafts in order to write about how they worked out later on. For instance, a writer might choose to wait on pitching until the middle or even the end of the draft. Or they could decide to take Clayton Kershaw with the third overall pick, just to see what their team would still look like by draft’s end.
6. Become Ambivalent After Their Drafts
Since we have so many mock drafts, we quickly move from one to another and we really don’t care about the drafts we’ve already done. We’re usually looking forward to the next one, whereas Fantasy Baseball owners are ready to make moves and pick up players off the waiver wires. You’re likely already thinking of players to pick up as your draft begins to wind down, and we’re just thinking about our last players to grab in the draft.
As you can see, there are a handful of things Fantasy Baseball experts do that readers don’t do, and that’s probably a very good thing in the end.
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