A little bit of preparation for your fantasy baseball draft will go a long way. Though many of your drafts are not for a couple of months, starting your preparation now will only enhance your prospects of a successful draft and, in turn, a winning fantasy baseball season. Everyone has seen an owner walk into a draft with little more than a magazine they bought that morning and a blank piece of paper. While there may be some thrill in “winging it”, the potential for a horrific draft is obviously way too high.
Preparation will come in all forms as we sit a little more than two months out from the start of spring training. It’s important to take the time now to start looking towards draft day 2014.
Don’t Turn Your Back: Though it is very tempting to focus on only the 2014 campaign, pulling together projections and rankings from everywhere possible, the most important first step is understanding where we ended the 2013 season. Take the time to go back to your league and see what trends emerged. As you prepare your rankings and tiers for this season, it’s important to have the perspective of last year, as well as trends over the past three seasons, at your disposal.
Revisit Your Format: This goes for everyone. It may sound completely absurd that you may not know the entirety of your league format, but approach it like you don’t. It will take you five minutes to pull up your league rules or constitution. It’s important to be aware of every rule and scoring structure. All of these pieces will help you construct your draft strategy.
Do Your Best to Diversify: It’s not that we don’t like the attention or the pressure, but it’s a good idea to seek out multiple takes on fantasy baseball. Take the opportunity now to get out and see which publications, websites, and social media accounts suit your format and sensibilities best. You will want as much information as possible for when you start to put the pieces together yourself. If you can (and you will) put together your own tiers and rankings created specifically for your own league, you will be lightyears ahead of your competition.
Be Open To New Ideas: It seems really clichéd and almost not worth mentioning, but so much has changed over the past five to ten years in baseball statistical analysis. To go along with my note above about finding as many sources of information as possible, I think it’s important to remain open to knew ways of looking at things. Sabremetric stats are a great example. While I don’t think any single statistic should be relied upon for accurate predicitions, they are highly informative. When used in the proper context and with the proper “eye-ball” tests, things like xFIP, BABIP, and wOBA all can be great tools to helping to create your draft strategy. Take some time now to read up on the different stats and see which ones make sense to you.