A little background on myself. I have been playing fantasy sports for over a decade now and through the years have gained the nickname “The Fantasy God.” My unique interpretation of sports psychology and split statistics have made me very successful in accurately being able to predict Major League Baseball. If you follow my advice you will win. I am highly accurate and never miss the playoffs in fantasy baseball, no matter how many leagues I am in. Since 2001 I have either finished in the top 3 or won a championships in 94% of my leagues. With all of that being said here are a few basic things to know about the 2011 fantasy baseball season.

Wait on pitching
It may be nice to have one top heavy ace on your team but caution yourself to taking pitchers early. You will be amazed at the great talent you will find after the 10th round in your draft. Stack up on hitting early and fill those spots that are thin. After all of your position players are filled then start worrying about your pitching.

Here is why. In a standard 12 team league based on Yahoo rankings here are a few great pitchers you can get. Round 10- Brandon Morrow, Chad Billingsley, Clay Buccholz. Rounds 11-12 Brett Anderson, Trevor Cahill, Wandy Rodriguez, Ted Lilly. Rounds 13-14 Josh Beckett, Gio Gonzalez, Madison Bumgarner, Ryan Dempster. Rounds 15-16 Ricky Nolasco, Javier Vazquez, Jeremy Hellickson, Brian Matusz, Matt Garza, Colby Lewis, Daniel Hudson. Rounds 17-18 CJ Wilson, Jorge De La Rosa, Brett Myers, Gavin Floyd, Jhoulys Chacin, Aroldis Chapman (if he starts), Edinson Volquez, Jordan Zimmermann. Rounds 19-20 Ian Kennedy, James Shieilds, Johnny Cueto, Scott Baker, Tim Stauffer. Rounds 21-22 Brett Cecil, Jonathan Niese, Jair Jurrjens, Clayton Richard, Edwin Jackson, Homer Bailey. If I wanted to I could wait until round 10 and draft an entire staff out of those guys I just listed and beat any rotation in my fantasy league on any given week. Now here are a list of guys who typically aren’t even being drafted this year who all will have enough value to be on your fantasy team. Bud Norris, John Lackey, Wade Davis, Anibal Sanchez, Derek Holland, Carlos Zambrano, Brian Duensing, Tommy Hunter, Travis Wood, JA Happ, Jeff Niemann, Jake Peavy, Mike Pelfrey, Erik Bedard, Brad Penny, James McDonald, Fausto Carmona, Randy Wells, Cory Luebke, Ross Ohlendorf, Jake Westbrook, Wade LeBlanc, Mark Buehrle, Brandon Webb, Chris Narveson, Carlos Carrasco, Daisuke Matsuzaka, Joe Blanton, Marc Rzepczynski, Mike Minor, Mike Leake, Rick Porcello, Jenry Mejia, Jake Arrieta, Luke Hochevar, Chris Tillman, Brad Bergesen, John Lannan, Aaron Harang, Justin Masterson, and Nick Blackburn. If this doesn’t convince you to wait on pitching then go ahead and pay your league salary in advance to make sure the champion gets it.

I would also wait on second base. If you have a high pick and your projected to get Robinson Cano then by all means do it. Also take Chase Utley, Dustin Pedroia, and Dan Uggla if your in a spot where you don’t have to overpay to get them. If you don’t get one of them I would wait until later in the draft. But that is a topic for a future blog. Make sure you fill your 1B, 3B, and SS early if possible since they are thin positions. SS is extremely thin and gets very weak after Hanley Ramirez and Troy Tulowitzki go off the board. After them its already thin pickings. There is “a big 7” this year at 1B. But you have to get one of the big 7 in the first two rounds. The big 7 would of course be Pujols, Cabrera, Votto, Gonzalez, Howard, Teixeira, and Fielder. If all of these guys are gone by the time you pick in round 2 then i would feel comfortable with Youkilis. There are a couple decent options a few rounds later such as Dunn, Morales, Butler, and Morneau but they all come with their own question marks. Try to get one of the big 7. You will be happy you did.

That pretty much covers each position for this season. I will go into more detail on each position over the next month. I will also address draft strategies, busts, sleepers, prospects, and anything else anyone asks for. As always don’t waste high picks on closers. Thats all for now. Leave questions or comments!

-Mark Brown
The Fantasy God