Welcome to the 2011 National Fantasy Sports Examiner fantasy baseball draft tips, your home for the top fantasy baseball information.
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If you want to play fantasy baseball, there are plenty of great choices and numerous styles to enjoy the National Pastime. Before we get into the position breakdowns, here are some choices for your fantasy baseball enjoyment.
If you want to play fantasy baseball, there are a number of websites that offer the game.
- Yahoo.com offers free fantasy baseball leagues and you can either join a preexisting league or start one of your own.
- ** hornface.com has a roto daily transactions league that needs a few more entries, ran on Yahoo.com. E-mail me if you are interested in playing and I will consider you for the final spots.
- CBSSports.com has a variety of fantasy baseball leagues, both free and for money for those who want to put their money where their mouth is. You can run your own league, play for free with a chance to win a $10,000 grand prize or play their CBSSports.com premium fantasy baseball games in four different leagues with prizes ranging from $150 up to $3,500 per league.
- Espn.go.com also offers free fantasy baseball where you can create your own league or join a preexisting one.
The most popular choice for fantasy baseball lovers is the Rotisserie Leagues. These leagues are not concerned with the head-to-head aspects that fantasy football players are used to but, instead, pits each owner against an entire league for the full season.
These leagues reward owners for a variety of positions, normally in the 5×5 categories. Each player in your starting lineup accrues points based on each of the categories. For example, in 2010, Albert Pujols hit 42 home runs, 118 RBIs, stole 14 bases, scored 115 runs and ended up with a .312 batting average. If you started him in every game he played over the season, you get those points in your standings. Add all the players you started up and that is your final numbers for the year.
The next step is to end up with the most points for the entire season out of everyone in your league. In a 10-team league, if you end up the season with the most stolen bases of all the other teams, you get 10 points for that category. The next best team gets 9 points and the team with the least stolen bases ends up with only 1 point. In a 12-team league, the points start at 12 and works its way down.
This is done for every category and, by the end of a typical 5×5 league, there are 100 total points possible in a 10-team league (120 in a 12-team league, 150 in a 15-team league, etc.). Whoever has the most points, which means the team best in the majority of the categories, wins the league.
This is a different challenge than head-to-head leagues because your team needs to be good for the entire year. One of the complaints of fantasy football is that a team can be awesome the entire year but, thanks to one down week in the playoffs, they lose the league. The Roto leagues rewards the team which is the best from the start of the season to the end.
When playing in a Roto League, it is important to understand the rules of that specific league as well. For example, some leagues may not award batting average and instead uses the more realistic on-base-percentage. This makes some players more valuable than they would be since the men who walk the most get more love that the ones who strike out more often. In a batting average league, walking and striking out are treated the same since the player did not get a hit.
It is also important to know how the league deals with setting lineups and transactions. Some leagues set the lineups on Sunday and you are stuck with your starters for the entire week. This allows people with less time on their hands to just set their lineups on Sunday and then ignore it until it is time to set it again the next week.
However, another method of playing is one I prefer and that is to set your lineups daily. This allows you to make some switches based on matchups you can’t do in weekly leagues. If you see a pitcher has a tough matchup on Monday but a favorable one on Thursday, you can start him in one and not the other, taking advantage of the positive points on Monday without risking ERA in the Thursday game. It is not as time consuming as it sounds, you just need to make minor changes here and there, mainly on the pitching side, to maximize your potential.
Finally, make sure the league is a regular drafting league or an auction league. Auction leagues can be a lot of fun but, with less experienced players, can be a labor to get through.
I won’t take as much time to talk about head-to-head leagues here because most fantasy players know what they are all about. Just like Roto Leagues, H2H uses various stats, once again normally the 5×5 system, to accrue points.
In this situation, a team plays another team and whoever gets the most points in each category gets a point. If Team A gets more home runs, they get a point and if Team B gets more stolen bases, they get a point. In a 5×5 league, there are 10 points possible and if one team outguns the other in 7 categories, they win the game 7-3.
One of the categories can be eliminated or an extra added (OBP) to eliminate the possibilities of a lot of ties, but it is pretty simple how it works. In this format, the league almost always sets the lineups on Sundays and then accrues points for the specific starters throughout the week.
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