I hate deadbeat owners. No, I don’t hate owners who always finish towards the bottom of the standings because they don’t have the time or knowledge to compete. If you give your best efforts, you’re okay with me and should be okay with anyone. No, the kind of owners I hate are the ones who leave injured players in active spots, or often leave starting pitchers on the bench. The sooner a league can root those guys out, the better it will be.
Still, I understand that this isn’t exactly the most riveting time of the year in fantasy baseball. The NFL Preseason is upon is, meaning that your fantasy football drafts are right around the corner. We’re past the point of enjoyment of a new season, beyond the excitement of realistically possibly seeing your guys end up in new uniforms (the Phillies can put Cliff Lee on waivers all they want, he’s in Philly through the rest of the year), and we’re still not quite into the real championship race season.
I love fantasy baseball, hate deadbeats, but understand how it happens right now. August isn’t exactly the most exciting month of the baseball season, and that translates right over to fantasy. On top of that, while most fantasy trade deadlines haven’t hit yet, I was venting to Nash not that long ago about members in one of our leagues, saying it seems like I’d have to package Prince Fielder and Matt Holliday together if I wanted to pick up some holds specialist middle reliever with a 5.16 ERA. In that same conversation, I basically told him that I don’t care what the deal is, I’m not making any trades in that league, which is an attitude I’ve never taken. I don’t like deadbeats, but right here and now, I can sympathize.
But given some time, I came up with a few ways to handle this time of the year.
- Play a spoiler: No, this is not the first time you’ve heard this from me, nor will it be the last, but it’s always fun. The best part about this idea is that it best applies to people not on contention. Every league seems to have a few personal rivalries in it, and this is the time for you non-contenders to get the better of your contending rival. Set aside two categories, maybe one hitting and one pitching, where you can really make up some points and wreck a contending team’s chances. This is perfectly acceptable. Maybe jump a few points in steals, as that’s the easiest offensive category to make up ground in. Have a run at them and try to steal a point or two from the rival. It may not make a difference to you, but it could seriously impact the winner of the league.
- Set goals: I’m sort of piggybacking off of something Nash talks about a lot here, but set benchmark targets for each category and then try to fit it. Now, if you’re contending, it may make more sense to just let things ride out, or try to pick up whatever points are there. But if you’re not contending, make a challenge for yourself and then try to meet it.
- Don’t be afraid to shake things up: I can at times be this person, but don’t fall in love with your preconceived notions, especially if you’re not contending. Now, if you are contending, try hard to see where you can improve and then try to do it. Don’t just assume that your team will win it all as is. Nothing creates a jolt to a dead time of a fantasy league like a big time trade. You’ll then get the fun of watching everyone else struggle.