The fantasy football season has come to a close. That signals that start of fantasy baseball for me. Here are some important things to look at as your prepare for the 2014 baseball season.
1. 2013 Reflection: What worked well for you last year? What did not work well for you? What worked well for the people that won your leagues? Did your team just get plagued by injuries last year? Did some of your top picks bottom out? Did the guy who drafted only power hitters in your league do well? Maybe this year you draft with less injury risk, or take safer but lower ceiling early picks, or draft for power. If you have statistics available from last year, take a look at them, use those numbers to set goals for your team, which will help with how to construct your roster.
2. Identify draft strategies: Now that you have an idea of how you may want to construct your team, you can start focusing on how. Are you just drafting for the most rounded players? Waiting on pitching? Collecting the power hitters? With these ideas, you can start planning how you should approach your draft.
3. Identify target players: Here is the best place to find hidden values. What players fit well into your strategies? Some of them might be hidden lower/cheaper in your drafts. What players seem to be getting overrated? Look at their stats, and their history, are they worth the hype? Look at players you find yourself coveting, but are still down in the rankings. Why are they lower than you would have them? You may need to change your thinking on that player, or you may have found a value. In keeper leagues you can also evaluate target players to trade for, that may not be as valued by other owners than you.
4. It is still early: This early in the off-season, don’t get too carried away with developing draft strategies or making off-season trades. A lot can still change by the time drafts start. Some free agents don’t even have teams yet! Start planning now, but allow yourself to be flexible during your off-season planning.