Playing Fantasy Baseball

Making the Right MovesEven the most dedicated of baseball fans know how long the season can be. If you’ve ever played in a season long fantasy baseball league, you probably know this fact very well, too. That doesn’t mean that it’s not a fun game, it’s just very difficult to stay completely devoted day after day in a league like this, especially if you are able to make roster changes every day.

Daily fantasy baseball leagues help to alleviate this. You can still play every day if you’d like, but no longer are you negatively impacted if you forget to monitor your roster for a day or two. In fact, that’s the whole point of daily fantasy sports; they allow you to play, or not play, at your leisure.

How to Play

It’s very easy to play in a one day fantasy baseball league. You are given a salary to work with, and asked to draft a team of 9 or 10 players to fill each available slot, depending upon which site you decide to play at. You cannot use more money than what your salary cap dictates, which is what makes this such a challenging, and rewarding, endeavor.

Playing is easy. Winning is hard. Let’s take a look at what you can do to better your chances of winning some money.

Drafting to Win

Everything in a daily league revolves around the pitcher. These are the most expensive players on your roster, and they are, as a consequence, the place where you should be spending the most amount of attention. Looking at DraftKings, if a top rated pitcher costs $12,000, you need to ensure that you are going to get your money’s worth from him. Here, the salary cap is set at $50,000 and you have 10 players to draft. This would make a $12,000 worth almost 2.5 times as much as the average player in your lineup. This could be a good move in some cases, just be cautious so you will be able to use your money as wisely as possible elsewhere.

The whole point of the draft is to select the players that will score you the most amount of points. But, if you just choose all top scorers, you will only be able to draft half a team. You need to spread your money around, pick one or two top tier players, several mid-tier contributors, and hope that your lower level players will carry some weight.

That’s much easier said than done! To give you a little boost in learning the best way to draft, here’s a step by step guide to choosing a strong team.

5 Steps to Winning Daily Fantasy Baseball

1.) Look at all of your options Just because a player is ranked as the most expensive at first base does not mean they are the highest average point contributor. Sometimes you will see a player like Miguel Cabrera ranked as the most expensive, only to find someone slightly cheaper right behind him, but with a better likelihood of scoring more points. If Cabrera’s 10 game point average is 8.7, but you can see that Joey Votto is $200 cheaper and has racked up 12.4 points per game over the same span of time, you can take more immediate potential and save salary to use elsewhere.
2.) Focus on one position at a time Now that you know what you’re looking at, start with the big positions. Start with a pitcher, then at first base, then the outfield. These will be your three most important positions because this is where the bulk of your points will come from. At FanDuel, you draft one pitcher, at DraftKings, two. If you play at DK, draft one pitcher, and then a couple others before coming back to a second. It makes the shock of spending so much at once a little easier to process. After you get your top three scorers, go to catcher and then second base. These players are usually much cheaper and will boost your average remaining salary amount per player.
Fanduel Scoring Fun3.) Forget about season long stats Maybe you’ve played in a season long league or two in the past and you’re stuck in that mode of thinking. Get out of it! You are playing a totally different kind of game now, and thinking about the same concepts that lead to success in one league won’t work in another. Look at what scores points in your daily league, and focus on that. Homeruns are not a separate category here and don’t end up counting the same as overall batting average. Power is at a premium; at DraftKings, a homer is worth 10 points, even if that person doesn’t get another hit during the night. Going 3 for 5 at the plate with 3 singles will only get you 9 points. That one HR is worth more than 3 singles! It’s worth even more after you add up any RBIs that were accumulated.
4.) Pay attention to what you’re doing This is so simple, yet so many people forget about it. If a player is not going to play that night, do not draft them. That goes for players that have been sent to the Minors, for pitchers that are not likely to see any game time, for players on the DL, anything. It doesn’t matter if it’s a closer that might get some time, but probably won’t. Don’t bother. It’s better to buy a semi-decent starter than to try to put money into a closer that has a 50-50 shot of even throwing a pitch. In this type of league you don’t need a closer, so don’t look at them.
5.) Make adjustments You decided to take the top pitcher at $13,500. Great! That’s a decision that better return you at least 25 percent of your points at DraftKings. But now you don’t have enough to draft an outfielder worth more than $3,000, and you’re having issues. That’s to be expected. There’s no harm in going back to your roster before it’s finalized and changing things around. Get a pitcher that’s $2,000 less, but is still likely to return almost as many points on a good night. Now you can get a far better outfielder to finish things off. These tweaks along the way are how you learn and how you get better.
Play Daily Fantasy Baseball for More than Half the Year
With a little research, you should be well on on your way when it comes to picking a good lineup. If you should have any questions, you can always contact us for more information. Picking players can sometimes be monotonous, but give it the time and study and winning will come.