Anyway, were I Scott trying to dig out of a hole, or just a prudent owner trying to insure the interests of my squad, here are some thoughts.
- Play the pool very aggressively through mid-May: Coming out of spring camps, some roles are set, but it doesn't take much over the first month for a cold bat or lack of control to send a prospect packing. Similarly, an older struggling vet can lose a gig to a hot youngster in the wings. So, watch carefully who is playing every day and be prepared to swap out for the surprises, letting go of marginal players over the first six weeks.
Now, this doesn't mean dropping Albert Pujols coming off an awful April, but, it could mean grabbing a Bryan LaHair or Michael Morse over the first month and sitting Albert till he warms up.
It also means if you are sitting on Eric Sogard at second, and Joaquin Arias is playing every day and raking, drop Sogard grabbing Arias. And, later on, if their performance switches, don't feel sheepish about spending a few bucks to reverse the move.
But do remember, the earlier you grab players over the course of the season, the more they will produce for you.
- Grab pitchers for most of your reserve spots and stream: In Tout, barring an injury, we can change our rosters only once a week, Sunday nights for Monday's games. And streaming is the practice of moving pitchers in and out of the rotation, taking maximum advantage of the number of starts as well as favorable match-ups.
As noted above, over the first month-plus rosters spots can be volatile, and no spot experiences more movement than starting pitcher. So, if I had money to spend, I would load my pitching staff and reserve list with as many starters as I could.
I would stream them, using seven starters, getting the most innings I could, and try to grab some counting stats in wins and whiffs, hoping to also get enough innings to stabilize my ERA and WHIP as rapidly as possible.
I would do this at least until June, trying to stockpile, and then ideally trading some of my arms for some bats that can help me pick up extra hitting numbers.
- When trolling the free agent pool for hitters, I would look for speedsters before homers: That is because even a part-time player, like Craig Gentry, might swipe 20-plus bases, and even score some runs, and again steals are generally a commodity that can be bartered.
And, like the pitchers, I would stream these guys, taking advantage so I got as many at-bats as possible week to week.
About Lawr Michaels, MastersBall.com
Lawr Michaels has been a player in the fantasy baseball industry since he began writing for John Benson in 1993. He has written for STATS, Inc, was the first fantasy columnist for CBS Sportsline, and has appeared in numerous journals and on websites. In 1996, he founded CREATiVESPORTS, a staple for serious fantasy players, which he merged into Mastersball in 2010.
Over the years, Lawr has participated in a wide variety of playing formats and won numerous titles, including AL Tout Wars crowns in 2001 and 2009. Along with his Mastersball duties, Lawr works for MLB.com as a statistician.
Don't miss these great reports....