Disclaimer: If you're a fantasy baseball expert, you will probably not learn anything from this article. Or maybe you will. If you're a newbie, you should learn something from this article. But maybe you won't. It's still worth a try if you're getting ready for your first year of Roto ball. It could be the difference between having or not having hair by the end of your draft.
Concept 3: The Draft
There's two ways of selecting your team: steers and...er, that's something else. I'll start over.
Disclaimer: If you're a fantasy...no, we don't need to do this over.
Concept 3: The...Larch
Okay, this is annoying.
Seriously now...there are two ways of selecting your team: Draft and Auction. In the Auction, you have a chance at getting anyone you want. You can get 2 or 3 of the best players in the league with relative ease.
In Auctions, you get a budget of, let's say $260 (that's a fairly standard number) for your auction. You will need a cheat sheet to have some idea how much these guys are going for (unless you can really narrow down who you're going to bid on and you can write really small on a notecard, then you can maybe get away with just that. A player gets nominated for sale, let's say, SP Roy Halladay, and your cheat sheet has him pegged at $28. If you really want Halladay, you have to know how much higher than that you might be willing to go. If you're not very interested in him, then you probably won't get him, but if the bidding stalls out at $23, and Halladay for $24 sounds good to you, then hey, put the bid in. Why not? At the very least, you've made an opponent bid $2 more than they would have otherwise. It's a small thing, but I find joy in annoying people like that.
Beyond that...well, maybe tune in next year because that's about all the advice I can give you about an auction draft for now. If you're prepping for your first year of FB, I'm going to suggest you stick with the draft. It's more structured, less chaotic, and as much as I'd love to give you tips on creating chaos around your opponents, the draft is something you need to experience as a newcomer. If you have any control over it, a 10 teamer is probably about right. 8 is a little shallow, 12 is a little tougher, but I wouldn't recommend going higher or lower than that, 8-12. If you're in a 6 team league, the drafting process is too easy (if you're 9 or 10 years old and just getting started, then maybe it'll be enough, but if you're of adult age, no lower than 8, for the love of the game!)
So how does one draft? Several things should happen before you start your actual draft. I've covered these points in an article last year called “Everything I Learned, I Learned From Mocking Kindergarteners.”
The basic points there still apply. I've talked about prep work, looking over the stats, arranging your rankings, and mock drafting (more so for drafts, not as much for auctions). Next time, we'll get into tiers for your rankings.
For now, I want you to get this concept about drafting: Be ready for anything. You remember how I started this article? Didn't expect an article to start like that? That is exactly my point. Drafts can surprise you in many ways. Dumb picks made in the 1st Round that allow a stud to fall in your lap, your favorite player being picked a round early and ruining your game plan, just about anything.