The Boys of Spring: Fantasy Baseball Overview

Cliff LeeWhile fantasy football is a calculated risk based on who is playing each Sunday, their matchups and history as well, fantasy baseball is a study in attrition, having to work laboriously through a lot of statistics to reach a decision that might not even matter in the end. Case in point: last year I had a team with Cliff Lee on it. Lineups had to be set before the first game on Monday night, and they could not be changed thereafter. Lee was scheduled to pitch on Tuesday and there was no indication he was hurt. However, the Phillies decided to skip his start and he didn’t end up starting again until the following week. That was how I lost the matchup by 23 points. I admit I utilized a few choice words towards the Phillies’ brass after that one.

There are two distinct game choices when considering fantasy baseball: rotisserie leagues, and head-to-head leagues. A rotisserie league is where everyone in the league has a team, and they’re judged against the other teams in the league throughout the entire season based on 8 key components: team batting average, RBI’s, home runs, stolen bases, team ERA, wins, saves, and team WHIP. In a head-to-head league everyone in the league also has a team, but they play each other on a rotating week-to-week basis in a schedule not unlike a fantasy football schedule. In head-to-head leagues each week goes from Monday through the following Sunday.

That being said, I think there are positives and negatives to both choices. If you choose a rotisserie league, you don’t have to worry about record against other teams in the league, but if you lose players to injury it’s harder to replace them. If you go with a head-to-head league you can run into the problem I outlined earlier, but so could other teams you might have to play. More trades generally occur in head-t0-head leagues for this reason and a host of others.

Each year around this time I participate in drafts, both for rotisserie leagues and for head-to-head leagues. I like to choose early because I like to tinker with my teams, to figure things out. I’m a big proponent of just going out there and doing mock drafts if you’re too gunshy to actually draft a team right now, but do something proactive at least, because the season is coming faster than you think, which means the fantasy season is also coming faster than you think.

So get out there and pick your players. Coming soon: who to go with. And you’d be surprised, but the answers aren’t anywhere close to the same depending on which format you’ve gone with.

The Fantasy Ace

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