Most players base their
entire season on the Fantasy Baseball Draft. Your team does
not live and die with the draft, but you do need to build
a solid foundation for your team. Here are 10 quick tips to
improve your draft.
1. When conducting your Fantasy
Baseball Draft the best advice is to play it safe. Don’t
try to out smart yourself, draft a balance of pitching and
2. Look at positions that
are thin (Scarcity), like 2B or SS for example, and make sure
you get yours.
3. Draft a “sure thing”
veteran starting pitcher.
4. Draft a veteran big bat,
but beware of players with only 1 good season, although some
may pay big a proven is more of a sure-thing.
5. After filling those needs
as soon as possible, use player rankings and team needs to
guide the remaining of your fantasy baseball draft.
6. Save gambles for middle
and late rounds. Let some one else take the big gamble early.
7. Go into the draft with a
small draft plan and some sleepers. Then throw away your plan.
The most important thing during the draft is to ADAPT! Notice
what positions are and are not being drafted. Can you hold
off on drafting your first basemen because everyone has already
drafted one? Was there a run on starting pitchers? You better
get one, even if it is a slightly over-priced player. Go with
the flow of the draft and you will do better than sticking
to a plan.
8. If you are new to drafting
and your league offers an auto-draft option, use it. This
will give you a safely drafted team.
9. Check your point system.
Seems obvious and it is. Most point systems are a basic system,
some high points and some low, but they generally are equal
in proportion. Sometimes there are point strengths and weaknesses,
if there is one find it and exploit it.
10. One last tip for the draft
may be the most important. Draft a dominant closers at some
point. They do not grow on trees. They score big and use few
innings. In most Fantasy Baseball leagues closers are valuable
and can’t really be replaced. They will get you more
than just saves in their usual inning of pitching. They have
low ERA's, great WHIP's and a high strikeout ratio. Draft
enough closers to try to fill all P-slots and RP-slots. Consider
a closer who qualifies as a starting pitcher and stick him
in the SP-slot to gain an extra closer.
2014 Draft Strengths
If you examine the 2014 Mock Draft and Player
Rankings you will see that the strengths of the draft are
the following positions: Starting Pitching, Closers,
First Base and Outfield.
Starting Pitching continues
to be an area both difficult to predict and plentiful in free
agency. The lesson of the past is after you draft your #1
pitcher, back off and wait for bargains. You should shy away
from drafting a pitcher in the first two rounds (12-team draft).
It is wise to let someone else draft Justin Veralnder Roy
Halladay unless they fall into round three.
It is a guess who will finish #1 in 2014, so
the longer you can wait to get your ace, the less risk is
involved. If you can wait until round 3 (or later) you can
easily find a starting pitcher who can potentially finish
Don't ever waste high picks on your #2 or #3
pitchers. In 2011 pitchers who were mid-round draft picks
ended up amongst the best and other pitchers like Adam Wainwright
and Josh Johnson as well as countless other good fantasy starters
were found later in the draft or in free agency. Wait until
the mid and late rounds for drafting most and feel comfortable
that you will be able to fill you 3rd, 4th & 5th slots
with free agents if necessary. DON'T OVERDRAFT STARTING PITCHING!
First Base is loaded coming
into 2014. From the rise of Michael Morse, Freddie Freeman
and Eric Hosmer to the upcoming Ike Davis and Paul Goldschmidt
there are plenty of good first basemen to go around. You add
the possible return of injured Kendry Morales and Justin Morneau
and you truly have a logjam at first base.
The fact that a 26-home-run-hitter, Adam Lind,
is the 16th ranked first basemen or Mark Trumbo at #22 shows that there is plenty
good bats in the lower tiers as well.
When you start looking at leagues that require
a corner infielder, first base is still loaded. You can get
a solid young hitter with potential like Gaby Sánchez
or Justin Smoak late in the draft. Finally, there are several
rookies who get the call and qualify at first base who can
be picked up in free agency. Watch for Brandon Belt, Brandon
Allen, Anthony Rizzo and Jesús Guzmán.
Closers are always a tricky
game. They have such importance, yet are so risky. Closers
provide great K/9-ratios, low ERA's, low whips and of course
can win the saves category if you build a strong bullpen.
A stud is a must, yet studs are found in free agency every
2014 is one of the first seasons where it may
be very wise to just wait until the middle and late rounds
to pick up your closer because of the several new closers
who look to be possible studs. Number one ranked Craig Kimbel
is the new "stud" while and number two ranked Jonathan
Papelbon and third ranked Heath Bell return as accomplished
studs. Then there is the Drew Storens, Andrew Baileys or John
Axfords who can possibly put up big numbers in 2014 as well.
So the word on closers in 2014 is be patient,
but don't wait too long either.
Outfield is usually a weak
position simply because of the shear number that it will take
to fill your roster. To some effect, that will always be true,
but it also means there are a lot more possibilities for new
players to develop. In 2014 there is some very good outfielders
ranked as low as 50,
click to see, so filling up a 3-4 man outfield with quality
starters should be easy.
If there is any sacristy in the outfield position,
it is in the top tier. There is basically 10 outfielders who
can be considered in the top-tier or close. That means one
top-tier outfielders area premium.
2014 Draft Weaknesses (Position Scarcity)
If you examine the 2014 Mock Draft and Player
Rankings you will see that the weaknesses of the draft are
the following positions: Third Base, Shortstop and
Shortstop is weak because of
the huge drop off after studs Troy Tulowitzki, Hanley Ramirez
and Jose Reyes.
The next shortstop ranked is Starlin Castro,
who is capable of joining the top three, but may not have
enough power to do so.
With players like Erick Aybar and Alexei Ramírez
ranking at #11 and #12, you would be very wise to grab a shortstop
ASAP. If you miss out on the top three, you will want to wait
for the right time and grab someone like Emilio Bonifacio,
Dee Gordon or Zack Cozart. Other than that, the fantasy cupboard
Second Base As it has been
for years, second base is still a weakness in the 2014 draft.
Robinson Canó and Dustin Pedroia are currently on planet
by themselves. The often-injured Ian Kinsler could finish
as a stud, but is way too risky to draft in the first round
and Chase Utley has fallen, but he could still have another
couple years of greatness in him. Youngsters Danny Espinosa,
Dustin Ackley, Jason Kipnis and Jemile Weeks give some hope
for the position and if you miss out on a stud, you may be
best off waiting till the late rounds for a second basemen.
Third Base Once a strength
in fantasy baseball, third base has quickly become a weakness.
Hanley Ramirez is moving to third, but he may be a bit more
valuable as a shortstop. Brett Lawrie is the one of the first
third basemens to come around in years to be the next possible
stud while World Series hero, David Freese, could take a big
step up in 2014. After that, there is still hope for Mike
Moustakas, Lonnie Chisenhall, Brent Morel and Pedro Alvarez
to make it as starting fantasy third basemens and return the
position to one of strength.