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“Foster Your Roster” – Winning your league by losing a trade

 One of the most entertaining aspects of fantasy baseball is the ability to make trades, even if they would never come close to happening in MLB.  We all want to be the guy who looks back and makes his friend seem foolish by getting the much better end of a deal.  Sometimes, however, “winning” the trade isn’t always the right move to help you win your league, which at the end of the season is what we all really want. Sometimes giving up the better total package will get you a key piece to put you over the top.  So, as the fantasy baseball trade deadline approaches here are few things to consider:

Do the Math – In a H2H league take a look at standings and make sure you understand whether or not your in contention for a playoff spot.  As long as you make the playoffs and have a good team when it starts, then your seeding isn’t incredibly important.  If you’re still in contention, take a look back at the last several weeks and take note of the categories you’ve consistently lost but may be able to win with the right trade.

In a roto league, look at the categories and try and determine where you can gain the most ground.  It’s often a category you’re currently in the middle of the pack in, and has several teams bunched together. Passing all/most of them would be a multiple point gain for you overall, while only requiring improvement in one category.

Single Category Players – By this time of the season you know where you stand compared to other teams.  If there is one category you can make up a lot of ground in, go get someone to do it, even if the player isn’t a stud.  If you’re down in steals, get a speedster like Ben Revere, Rajai Davis, Emillio Bonifacio, etc.  HR’s are a bit harder to find, but Pero Alvarez, Ike Davis, Todd Frazier and Cody Ross are guys to look at, based on what they’ve done lately.

Trade away your strength – There is no reason to consistently win categories by a large margin in H2H or roto leagues. Instead, trade away a player who contributes to that category in exchange for someone that can help make a difference in a category that has room for improvement.

Trading away potential keepers- If you’re at the top of the standings, play for this season. You never know how your team will perform next season. Injuries, bad luck, and bad drafting can all lead to worse seasons than expected. I’m not suggesting you trade away guys like Trout or Braun, who are producing and will clearly be keepers.  You should look for a team that is out of contention and give them players that may not be your elite guys, but would be keepers for them.

Out of contention (keeper league only) – If your team is clearly out of the race, then start giving up quantity to get one great piece in return, and fill the rest of your roster from the free agent pool. Losing is losing whether it’s 4th place or 14th place, so start building a better team for next season.  Another strategy is to target injured players who won’t help their owners much this season.  Guys like Tulowitzki, Votto, and Stanton could be acquired for much less than their healthy value if your offer gives the owner an upgrade over the replacements they picked up.  A month or more of missing production won’t hurt you, but it’s very damaging in a tight match up for those in contention.

10 Comments

10 Comments

  1. 65mustangs

    August 2, 2012 at 11:14 am

    Good stuff Marc, thanks. One of the most challenging parts of keeper leagues is deciding by your trade deadline if you are going for it or re-stocking for next season. I’m in a league this season where I am in 3rd place but a good 20 points behind. I nearly always play for this year, but it is not always easy to “do the math” and see if it is even feasible to make up that ground no matter how many trades I make. It is pretty tough to move the needle on BA, ERA and WHIP after the All Star Break if the gaps are big, while easier to move counting stats when the teams are bunched as you said. I’m still on the fence, and I guess like the MLB teams I’ll have to see where I stand in a week and then decide. Wish the Stangs luck.
    Joe Iannone
    65Mustangs

  2. Corey D Roberts

    August 2, 2012 at 4:15 pm

    So Marc you are telling me that the trade we are working is a loser for who? LOL

  3. Corey D Roberts

    August 2, 2012 at 4:16 pm

    It is a tough call Joe. I always air on the side of winning now! No one knows what the future may hold!

  4. Marc Foster

    August 2, 2012 at 10:35 pm

    Joe – It can be a tough call, but I definitely agree with Corey, if it’s on the border I’d always try and make a run at this season. You never know what happens next year. Hopefully you can make up some ground, good luck the rest of the way.

    Corey – I think we actually had a pretty even trade that helps us both, unless Youk reverts back to early season form, then I’d lose.

  5. Corey D Roberts

    August 2, 2012 at 10:43 pm

    I am hoping I am making the right choice!

  6. 65mustangs

    August 3, 2012 at 2:28 am

    I just got offered King Felix for A-Rod and Garza. I had to take that. The league has odd keeper rules in that you can only keep one player from the top 50 on the ESPN Player Rater, and then 12 more players from the player universe. He could not keep Felix as he has a top 10 hitter for his #1 keeper, so it was worth it for him to trade him to me for two guys he will be able to keep. Neither were doing me any good and even though they are certainly keepers in our set-up they are not exciting enough to turn down a chance to move those ratio needles with 2 months to go. The other offer on the table is Cain, Cuddyer and a closer to me for Hanley & Josh Johnson. Gotta think on that one as attractive as Cain is. I already have Felix now, CC, Dickey, Harrison, Lynn and Fiers. Hanley has not been exciting either but the thought of him being motivated in Hollywood is enticing. If I don’t win the league I can hope that Felix falls out of the top 50 (currently around 40). OK, I talked enough for one night. Thanks again guys for creating this forum.

  7. Corey D Roberts

    August 3, 2012 at 11:39 am

    That is an odd keeper arrangement. What is the logic behind it Joe?

  8. 65mustangs

    August 3, 2012 at 12:53 pm

    I was not an original member, but the LM’s goal was to create a keeper league with a large number of keepers (13) that would still have relevant drafts, as 40 of the prior year’s top 50 would still be available at the draft. However, as I’m sure you can well imagine, it makes for some bizarre and often imbalanced trades that are hard to stomach. Also, as I’m sure you know, the ESPN Player Rater is fairly arbitrary and weighs all cats the same, making SB greatly overrated compared to Power Cats. Also the bottom 20 of the “top 50” is very fluid, making it tough to plan your end game. An extra HR here or there or a cold week could be the difference between Teixiera or Dunn being a keeper or not. The league is 5 X 5 and has combined S & H into one cat (S/H) which I am not a fan of either as it seriously devalues closers and everyone just loads up on MR’s off the wire. If I were not good “fantasy friends” with the other owners I would have left the league by now, plus I have gotten fairly involved in creating additional strategies like minor league rosters (in its 3rd year) and franchise players (in its 2nd year) Once the kinks are worked out it may be time for me to fly as I am 100% sold on FAAB being the way to go, and this is my only remaining non FAAB league.

  9. Corey D Roberts

    August 3, 2012 at 6:33 pm

    That idea behind that is not bad but, the system is majorly flawed for sure. You should take a look at our format Joe you would enjoy the setup. I will be replacing Mick next season so I would have 1 opening for the original league next season.

    • 65mustangs

      August 3, 2012 at 7:46 pm

      A. Not surprised at the replacement. Been there done that. I think 1 season is the norm.
      B. Definitely interested and ready for it.
      C. Unless that Sowles character is in the league, then forget it. Kidding of course Bill, how is it going? Have not seen you much this season.

      Seriously, Corey, I want to know more of course, but as you know I am impressed by your whole FBB experience so far. I’m worried though that that beautiful editor of yours may just put a collar on my wordiness. Kidding again of course, Jessica, right? When you are ready, let me know Corey. I owe you a phone call still as well.

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@CraigMish No convincing needed. It was the set up for, in my opinion, the most lopsided trade of all time. I still can't believe MLB didn't block that deal. Smh

About 2 hours ago from Corey Roberts's Twitter via Twitter for Android

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