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2014 New York Gameday HQ

APRIL: Practice Patience The most important thing about the first month of fantasy baseball is to not panic. A lot of fantasy baseball owners have so much optimism after thinking they nailed the draft, only to drop a bunch of their players because they’re hitting just .150 through the first two weeks. Every year a lot of highly drafted players stumble out of the gate. Mark Teixeira in particular is notorious for struggling in April as he has just a .238 career batting average in that month. Most of the time, good players will turn their season around and end up being very valuable for their fantasy teams. Be sure to give your players enough time to prove what they can do one way or the other, especially if you drafted them highly. Meanwhile, there’s almost always a team owner looking to dump players who don’t get off to a good start. If your 8th-round pick is off to a great start while a rival’s 5th-round pick is struggling, it could make for a great opportunity to trade those players and upgrade your team. It can be tough to part with a player who’s doing so well, but odds are that your player won’t keep up his hot start. Making little moves to improve your team early can pay off big later in the season. It can be difficult to avoid becoming discouraged if you see your team at the bottom of the standings, but remember that fantasy baseball is a marathon, not a sprint. MAY: Close in on Closers Closers are always in high demand in fantasy baseball, because there are only 30 of them for a standard league of 12 teams. However, MLB teams can be very fickle when it comes to who their closer is. Often injuries or under-performance can cause a team to look for other options to earn saves, even as early as May. In 2013 players like Boston’s Koji Uehara and Los Angeles’s Kenley Jansen emerged as top tier closers despite starting the season in as setup men. Watch out for closer changes and make sure you add new closers to your team before anybody else can. This can be particularly helpful in rotisserie leagues. Often there will be one team owner who decides to hoard closers in an attempt to lock down the saves category. While that team will often succeed in scoring the maximum number of points for saves, it creates a shortage of relievers for the other teams in the league. You can overcome that shortage by paying close attention to the closer situation for each of the 30 MLB teams. Each injury creates an opportunity for a new reliever to earn saves, even if he only gets the role on a temporary basis. While injuries can open up opportunities to add saves, they can also impact your team in a very negative way. It’s inevitable that some players will hit the 60-day DL, causing fantasy teams to have to make June typically marks a point where teams call up their splashiest prospects. Case in point: The Dodgers promoted Yasiel Puig last June, setting off Puig-mania. MIKE EHRMANN/GETTY IMAGES SPORT


2014 New York Gameday HQ
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