If at this point in the season you find that are in 8th, 9th, maybe 15th place, then chances are you drafted like a chump. It’s OK. We’ve all been there. Sometimes you put together what you feel like is a pretty good team come April, then you unfortunately realize pretty quickly that they aren’t as good as you hoped they would be (a nice way of saying your team sucks).
But there is still time to finish like a champ.
The important thing to to keep your head about you and develop a plan. (First, read this to man up and see if you have a shot at first.)The biggest mistake I see from folks who fall behind early is that they try and retool their entire team to catch up in everything. Don’t do that. Instead, focus on where real gains can be made. Call it a cost-benefit analysis if you’d like. Here’s how:
Let’s use Runs as an example. You realize that several teams are clustered in the 160′s You can realistically get 10 points in this category, and you are for sure playing for 9. Your minimum is 7 points, with 8 or 9 being most likely. With just a little tweak you can get some gain in this category. It may be as simple as trading a solid #7 hitter for a leadoff guy, who will score more runs. Simple.
Next, let’s look at WINS. You are in a dog fight here. Definitely you need to keep pace or risk losing points, but you look ahead and the teams above you have created a gap. It’s unrealistic to think you’ll gain significant points in this category, so it’s not a good move to gut your team for WINS. Move on.
You’ll want to repeat this process for every category your league uses. Be honest and dispassionate. Don’t go for long shots; look for categories where a point gain is likely.
This process is step one and at the end of this process you should have a rough idea of how many points are reasonable for you to gain and you can begin to think about tweaks to your roster to reach these goals.
Let’s move to step two. This step uses wiles and subterfuge, which is why I think I like it so much. After you have made tough choices about which categories you are most likely to gain points in, you turn your attention to your opponents. In other words, which of your opponents is it most advantageous for you to target directly. Think specifically about the categories where a gain by you will create a loss for your adversaries. Choose wisely. Believe it or not, all of your opponents won’t want to be co-operative in this step.
|Ne’er do well||33||10|
Here is example B:
|Ne’er do well||19||6|
In example B, if you make a trade for a closer to make a run at saves, not only to you potentially go from 7 to 10 points, but you also take points away from your closest competitors. Jump on that like a june bug on a duck’s back!
Stop acting like a chump and do this analysis across all your categories. Remember, the biggest mistake you can make is to impetuously blow up your entire team, looking to make gains in every category across the board. Use strategery. You still might not end up as the champ, but you can sure make a run.