This is a great time to blog about fantasy baseball. Spring Training is starting and there is a renewed interest in baseball. Fantasy leagues are forming and new people are being introduced to both the game of baseball and fantasy league baseball.
Rotisserie League Baseball book. Why? I love baseball and the game of fantasy baseball helps me enjoy it even more. But even if you aren't a diehard baseball fan and this is your first exposure to the game of fantasy baseball, there's no reason you can't enjoy the game as much as a 20-year fantasy veteran.
Here are some of the questions I'm often asked by people new to fantasy baseball at this time of the year.
I don't know a lot about baseball, can I still enjoy the game of fantasy baseball? Absolutely. Playing in a fantasy league is one of the best ways to familiarize yourself with the players. In some cases, it's better to play fantasy baseball if you don't have a favorite team. But then...
I'm a casual baseball fan and some friends have asked me to join their fantasy league but I don't have much time. Should I play? That depends on the league. The rules your fantasy league uses dictates how much time is required to play. For beginning players, I recommend playing in leagues that restrict lineup changes to once per week and limits the number of player transactions each team can make per week. This will reduce the time commitment necessary to play the game. Leagues that allow daily lineup changes require an enormous time commitment. I also recommend playing in a head-to-head league, rather than a traditional rotisserie league. Having a weekly opponent heightens the excitement for a beginning player.
I like the idea of playing in a fantasy league but drafting players is overwhelming. How can I make it easier? Have a plan. If you enter the draft without a plan, it will overwhelm you. I realize there are a million different plans on the Internet but reading those can be just as overwhelming. The draft is important but it should also be fun. Get together with other owners, have a glass of wine or a few beers, and talk about the players and where you think they should be drafted. Put together a list of players at each position. If you're playing in a Yahoo, CBS, or ESPN league and your draft is computerized, let the computer pick for you, especially late in the draft, when you have no clue who to pick.
I like the idea of playing in a fantasy league and I follow baseball but I don't know all the players. Will I still have fun in a fantasy league? What's taken you so long! Yes, you'll love the game but, depending on the competitiveness of your league, you might have to take your lumps for a year or two. So what? Some of my favorite fantasy league teams have finished in the second half of the standings. As you learn the players, you'll get better.
Fantasy baseball is all about numbers and I'm really not a numbers gal. How can it be fun for me? Fantasy baseball is a soap opera that unfolds week by week. Each team in your league will have a storyline. That storyline will change with the fortunes of the players. Turn on ESPN Baseball Tonight, or the MLB Network and watch a half hour of highlights at night and you'll see the story unfold before your eyes. The numbers help create the storyline but, the reality is this - baseball has a soul and numbers can't measure a soul. As silly as it sounds, your fantasy baseball team will develop a soul during the season. If it was just a game of numbers it wouldn't attract 40 million people per year.
I'm playing in my first fantasy baseball league this year. Do you have any advice? Yes, but it won't help you win your league. First, play out the entire season, no matter how well your team does. Replace your injured players, bench ineffective players, interact with other team owners. Remember, other owners are counting on you to field a competitive team. Don't give up!
Second, understand the rules of your league. What are the scoring categories? How many players are on your roster? How often can you change the starting lineup? Spend the time before the season starts to understand the type of league you are playing in and you'll enjoy the game more.
Interact with other league owners. If you are playing in a Yahoo, ESPN, or CBS public league, post on the message board. Get to know the other owners. Make some trade proposals. It's fun to play with active owners. If you are playing in a league where you already know the other owners, the game is much more fun. Encourage owners in your league to get together to watch games or hold a happy hour. Fantasy baseball should be a fun, social activity, not an exercise of sitting alone on your computer watching the numbers your players post on a daily basis.