Friday, June 19, 2009

Avoiding the Fantasy Baseball Blues

posted by Jon Williams
There comes a time in the Fantasy Baseball Season when a certain type of owner begins to lose interest. This is usually because they realize that the team they have built is not capable of winning as presently composed. Although I am not a fan of giving up or rebuilding, (rebuilding is for wussies) I thought I would write a series of articles about how to deal with the Fantasy Baseball Blues as you struggle through the rebuilding process. Whether you choose to keep trying to win in the present season or to set yourself up for the next season, it requires incredible patience. I will deal with how to handle the rebuilding process itself but I think it is still a bit early for that.

Sports Betting
When your team is not competitive you have to find ways to keep the adrenaline flowing. One of the extremely fun ways is to bet on baseball games. This will give you a reason to dig through the box scores and study the MLB totals. You need that drive to win and be the best to succeed at MLB betting. The same skills that make you a success at Fantasy Baseball will also help you when you are betting on baseball. Studying match ups and MLB run lines (just like NFL point spreads for the unfamiliar) will give you an edge if you can do it well. You will not find information for betting on baseball in your local paper as easily as you will the NFL lines and the NFL game spreads but there are websites that can help. Betting can be a ton of fun.

Short-Season Fantasy Games
There are also plenty of short season fantasy games available. It seems as if a new one pops up every day. These games are getting very popular as mid-season distractions. I wrote a review of Paper Sports a few months back. You pick a fantasy team but the season is much shorter. You can set-up week long or even just day long seasons. To excel at this version of the game you really need to study your trends and match-ups. Picking up Ryan Braun and CC Sabathia is not always the best choice. Figuring out the best choices is a major part of the challenge.

Second Half Competitions
More and more fantasy commissioner sites are offering fantasy games that feature just the second half of the season or the playoffs. This is like traditional fantasy baseball but with a much more intense season. Drafting in a league where the players are already off to horrible, bad, mediocre, good, or great starts may seem easier but it is not. You will have to decide if the hottest players are for real or if the worst players will come on strong. Those with a keen eye for sabermetrics can really rack up the wins in games like this. You can use the advanced metrics available on sites like Fan Graphs and The Hardball Times to measure the impact that good or bad luck is having on a player’s seasons.

Fantasy Football
The Fantasy Football season is also just around the corner. The magazines are just hitting the stands and the Fantasy Football Blogs are just starting to crank out the advice. Mock drafts are starting and the forums are heating up. Fantasy Football is a different beast than Fantasy Baseball. Football has the vast majority of its games on just one day of the week. If you have a big-screen TV and the right premium subscriptions you can watch essentially every one of your players perform. Fantasy Football prep can be a fun way to distract yourself from the Fantasy Baseball Blues. Some of you have even discovered the infancy stage of Advanced Fantasy Football. I am only currently posting just once or twice a week at this point but soon I will start cranking out my sleeper alerts and reporting on mock drafts.

However, by far the best way to rid you of the Fantasy Baseball Blues is to turn things around. Get aggressive and stomp your opponents for the rest of the year. Make trades; spin your roster through the waiver wire. With a little creativity you can really drive your rivals crazy with a stunning comeback. I guarantee you it can be done. If you don’t see it yourself, send me your league rosters (Jon@advancedfantasybaseball.com) and I will find it for you.

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