I know Clave wrote about the importance of knowing your competition a while back, but I want to reiterate that, with a slight twist, of course.
Clearly you need to have a good understanding of baseball, and you also need to know your league’s settings to the T, but that’s boring to talk about over and over again.
Now JUST as important to both of those is to know your opponents. I say this is as important because this can very well level the playing field for you as a manager.
Take us three Crackerjacks for instance. I would have to concede to Dixon as the guy that knows the most about baseball, and Clave absolutely is the king of gaming the system and has a sick knowledge of players and advanced statistics. I truly cannot hold a candle to either of them in those regards.
However, I can admit that my strength is figuring out owners, and quickly when need be.
I thought it would be fun to profile Clave and Dixon for you. Of course I’ll throw out a little profile for me too, but mine is probably going to flatter me GREATLY!
I’ve decided that I am going to compare each of us to a mix of managers and general managers.
I’ll start with Clave:
Clave is like a mix between Bobby Valentine and Theo Epstein. He has that confidence like Bobby V, where you know he thinks he is the smartest guy in the room and well, much like Theo, Clave typically is the smartest guy in the room. I mean, the guy does have a 141 IQ. Clave really is going to win leagues with his intellect and ability to figure out how to game the system (in a non-cheating way of course).
He knows settings in and out, limits, trade deadlines and even which stats are more improtant to attack early and which he can go after later.
He also has an old school manager feel, he only rosters guys he likes, and he likes hard nosed defensive guys (that of course can hit!). He also LOVES a good looking kid, nice face eye candy test all the way!
If I had to draft Clave’s dream team I’d draft:
On to Dixon:
Dixon is throw back all the way. He is a great mix of Dusty Baker and Terry Ryan (their good features of course).
Dixon is a guy that wants to build a classically good team within the confines of fantasy baseball. He will not sacrifice classically good for fantasy baseball good BUT he will just find guys that are both!
Dixon is also great at letting his guys play it out and only patching things up based on injury or trading to fill VERY specific needs.
Dixon is going to beat you with his baseball knowledge, he knows that the numbers will typically match the back of the baseball card more often than not and he can stream with the best of them based on his vast real baseball knowledge (living in a two-team market with an AL and NL team is an advantage). As far as fantasy wise, he is going to live and die by the long ball and loves pitchers who grind it out. But above all, he is a sucker for a fanboy pick!
If I had to draft Dixon’s dream team I’d draft:
And then there is me:
I feel like I am a mix between Billy Beane and the recently retired Tony La Russa, which is unfortunate because I can’t stand Tony La Russa. He’s an over-manager and so am I. I like to make moves, A LOT of moves, and early on in my fantasy baseball days it was to my demise. I have however done a fine job of learning my league’s rules and catching up on a lot of baseball and player knowledge.
Still, I will always be playing catch up to guys like Clave and Dixon in those departments. That is why I have focused a lot of my efforts on learning my opponents. I know my league-mates’ favorite players, least favorite players, what stats they favor, and what stats they punt. I know if they are fanboy pickers or just want the best guys they can get. I try to learn their specific strategies as best as I can so that at anytime I am ready to make them an offer they will love and will help me all in the same stroke.
However, I am the biggest of the fanboy picks, I always carry too many A’s and Giants and I have VERY specific favorite players.
My dream team:
There was a purpose to writing this, and it wasn’t just to tell you about us. I do know both Clave and Dixon personally, but I didn’t come up with this profile just because of that. So, take the following steps.
- Ask question, you need to express interest so you can learn.
- listen, no sense in asking questions if you are not going to listen
- pay attention, look at who people kept, who they pick up, and who they have on their trade block pages.
- Pick up on subtle hints and clues and you might just get lucky!
Think about putting a guide like this together for 2-4 of your closest rivals. Maybe they’re friends, maybe you don’t like them at all. But if you can put a list like this together for league mates, you will be a successful player.
After reading about our styles as fantasy managers do you know your style? More importantly how well do you know your leaguemate’s styles?