The time to prepare for the 2014 fantasy baseball season is here, and that means getting ready for the draft. There are many different forms of drafts, from the traditional roto to points leagues and the increasingly popular head-to-head format. This article addresses getting ready for head-to-head leagues, which requires daily rosters transactions to ensure that every player on your team has is actually playing. There will always be fantasy rookies who leave a player active on a routine and scheduled night off.
Different people have different ideas on how to prepare for a draft, but there are three main strategies that should be used when participating in a head-to-head draft. Some may seem like common sense, but in the heat of the moment, all the best laid plans go up in smoke. Here are the three things all owners should do during a head-to-head draft.
Draft Strategy: Head-to-Head Leagues
Get a Stud Pitcher in the 1st Four Rounds, but not...
Many people believe that loading up on offense is the way to go, but there is no reason to forget about starting pitching, especially early on. If there is a starter that you want in the first two or three rounds, go for it. The likes of Clayton Kershaw and Justin Verlander are nice, but they're not players that should be taken in the first round. Get a great hitter in the first and then maybe go after Kershaw, Verlander, Felix Hernandez or Yu Darvish in the second round at the earliest. Starters only help once every five days; a batter helps your roster every day.
Wait on Closers
The natural thought of grabbing Craig Kimbrel in the fifth round sounds good in theory, but there are only a select number of closers who are going to keep their jobs through the entire season. Unless there is suddenly a run on closers where every owner in front of your pick is taking one, wait until the mid to late rounds to get those pitchers. The difference between Kimbrel and Greg Holland or Jose Veras isn’t going to be great enough in the end to justify a jump of five rounds to get the elite closer. Be patient and stock up on solid starters if pitching is the name of your game.
Don’t Wait for a Run to Happen
There is going to be a point where every owner wants a certain position. It could be in the first couple of rounds or later in the draft. That’s why a savvy fantasy baseball owner will be proactive instead of reactive. If there is a player you like and your next pick isn’t coming for another 20 selections, make the move and grab that player before he is gone. It may start a run on that position, but instead of waiting for the run to happen, you started it. It makes every other owner nervous, not knowing in which direction you are going to go next.