Do you want to know how to give yourself the advantage to win every week? There are little things that you must do to win. They aren’t hard to do, but so many people just don’t do them. Follow these rules and you’ll start to be a contender in all of your fantasy leagues.
#1- Stream two start pitchers. Every Sunday you need to be counting up the number of starts that you and your opponent will have in the upcoming week. You can use the “upcoming pitchers” tab on any website like MLB.com or ESPN.com to see who is starting. If a guy is starting on Monday or Tuesday, he’s probably going to pitch again on Saturday and Sunday. The more Monday/Tuesday starters you have, the more starts your team will have. If you find yourself at a pitching disadvantage heading into the week then do something about it. The more starters you have the more chances you will have at getting “wins” and the more “K’s” your team will have.
Don’t hold a lot of bench hitters. I use one max. A bench hitter may give you one or two extra hitting starts per week. That isn’t really a whole lot. But using that spot to have another pitcher could potentially give you a win and another 5 K’s. Which is easier to get? A win, or an extra hit and run scored? Your probably already getting two times the amount of runs scored than you are wins. So wins become more precious. Dump all those bench hitters you have. Chances are that if you carry a lot of bench hitters, you’ll always be at a pitching disadvantage.
Have a designated spot that you can dump each week for another two start pitcher. At the end of the week you can dump your two starter for another two starter the next week. If your current two starter goes on a tear he may be worth keeping. In that case you need to dump someone else. A revolving door helps increase your total starts. If you can at least have the same exact number of starts each week you give yourself a chance to take Wins and K’s. If your league has a category like Quality Starts or K/9 you certainly must do this. Don’t worry about it elevating your ERA, because if you pick up the right guy it’ll actually help your ERA.
How do you get the right guy you ask? Read their splits. Look at how each guy does against their opponents in the coming week. Don’t go with guys who have been struggling lately. I’m sure you’ll find that guy who has decent numbers against the opponent and has been pitching well lately. That’s your guy. Look for a quality start percentage. If the guy has thrown 3/5 quality starts recently and has good numbers against the opponent, he could make a good add. Especially if he’s been putting up a decent strike rate too. Now there are some weeks when you just can’t help yourself. You just have to eat those weeks and hope for the best. These are the weeks that you are down 3-4 starts or face guys like Halladay and Verlander twice in one week. Sorry about your luck. That will happen. On the contrary you’ll have your own “power weeks” at least once a month. This is the week where most of your guys are going twice. These are the weeks that you don’t need to worry so much. Use those two start moves on your down weeks.
#2- Make sure your starting hitters are playing. There’s nothing worse than starting Peter Bourjos who sat out, while you have Lucas Duda on the bench with 2 HR. That could have been someone’s real life situation this past weekend. You have to check your team before game times to get those guys in and out. Twitter is the greatest invention ever, especially for this. Beat writers post team lineups as early as 6 hours before a game. Once its up in the clubhouse, its a race for them to get it on Twitter. Simply search “Angels lineup” and bam. You’ll be able to see immediately that Bourjos is out. Then you can get Duda in. Be sure to keep your utility spots open as an emergency. This will burn you at least once a year. You’ll find out that Robinson Cano has the day off will want to get him out, but your only backup, Ryan Raburn is frozen in your utility spot because he already started playing. If you would have moved Raburn to the 2B spot because you knew he was in, then you could have had Cano in the utility spot to get out of there for anyone playing any position.
#3- Trade up. As your guys start to do what you thought they would do, package them together and trade up. It may take another manager awhile to realize that Chris Sale was as good as you knew he was. 5 starts in and another manager wants him. Now you can pair him with Dan Uggla and upgrade to Robinson Cano. Now you have the best 2B in the game to go along with your first rounder. Collect these big names over time and you have a championship team. Never be afraid to deal pitching, because it’s incredibly deep. Guys like Jake Arrieta and Jason Hammel threw gems this week and are rarely owned. There will be dozens of unknown and undrafted guys who will perform well and be worthy of a temporary roster spot throughout the season. Keep trading your pitching depth and streaming these guys while they are hot.
Never trade down unless your in deep trouble and need depth badly. If you have an awful 2B/3B and low pitching, and aren’t in a playoff spot in the middle of the year, go ahead and deal Albert Pujols for Gordon Beckham, Pablo Sandoval, and Mat Latos. But if your in the drivers seat you need to be targeting lower guys who need depth to do the same thing. Offer them a few good pieces like that and acquire Pujols for yourself. Then you can put Pujols together with other studs on your team like Matt Kemp and create a championship team.
It’s not that hard to do this stuff guys. Once you understand and practice this stuff you’ll be a winner. You will simply outsmart your opponent. I could seriously use these strategies and pick up a whole new team out of the bank every single week and contend with anyone in the league. You can too.
Here are a couple good two starters that could be available in week 2.
Chris Sale (CWS)- If he’s available you need to grab him to keep him. He has the highest ceiling of any WhiteSox pitcher. He is projected to be a #1 starter eventually. His strikeouts should be pretty high this season. He could be a K/IP. He gets Cleveland Monday. The Detroit matchup later in the week is a little scary, but oh well. He could be fine.
Henderson Alvarez (TOR)- I’ve praised this kid all spring. He’s going to break out. I’ll take a young breakout guy twice in week one week no matter who he’s facing.
Brian Matusz (BAL)- He had a good spring. The matchups are tough against NYY and TOR, but when won’t they be tough? I can see him pitching well in both outings, going long enough to get a quality start or two, and being close to a K/IP.
Ross Detwiler (WAS)- Earned his spot in the rotation. High ceiling as a former 1st rd pick. Will pitch twice next week because the Nationals do not have an off day. Faces NYM and CIN. The later is at home. Good matchups.
Tommy Milone (OAK)- His opponents are KC and SEA. Enough said.
Hector Noesi (SEA)- He pitched to a 1.50 ERA this spring and earned a rotation spot. His first matchup against TEX could be shaky. After that he gets Oakland, which anyone can pitch against.
Blake Beavan (SEA)- I like this guys upside. His first matchup against TEX is scary. His matchup against OAK is not.
Luis Mendoza (KC)- He will probably be mediocre in every start. Which can be a good thing for a two starter. He may add consistency. Anyone scared about his matchups against OAK and CLE this week?
Chris Volstad (CHC)- You never know. A change of scenery may help. He faces MIL first who he has a career 1.71 ERA against. Then he faces the Cardinals.
You can get my projections on every player in the league with my fantasy cheat sheet. For a preview and information click here.
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