Posts tagged fantasytrade411

Learning to Forgive & Forget Closers: Strategies for a Successful Fantasy Baseball Season

Will Mariano Rivera bounce back in 2013?

Will Mariano Rivera bounce back in 2013?

By Seth Klein (@SethDaSportsMan)


I like to go into a new fantasy baseball season starting fresh.  Many owners can harbor animosity towards a player who has let them down in the past, but I’m a forgiving guy, it’s in my nature.  Call me a sucker, but if I traded for a player last year and he injured his groin (I’m looking at YOU, Troy Tulowitzki!), I won’t let that determine the way I draft the following year.  I’m not stupid, if the player’s injury is still lingering I will usually err on the side of caution and I especially don’t like drafting players who have long histories of injury proneness, but I’m a realist, I don’t take it personally, I know that particular player didn’t injure himself purposely just so I would lose my fantasy baseball league (…right??).


I am also an owner who tends to not read TOO much into Spring Training numbers, at least until the end of March.  What we have to understand is that Spring Training is meant to be a way for coaches and GMs to evaluate their younger talent.  Sure, Albert Pujols and Miguel Cabrera need to limber up and get some game-speed action in, but those two could probably take a cruise around the world, only to get shipwrecked, contract malaria, get arrested in a case of mistaken identity, escape from a Guatemalan prison and STILL show up for Opening Day, go 3-for-4 with 2 RBIs and wave off the manager’s request for a pinch runner in the 9th inning.  These guys are ultimate pros, the “practice games” are mostly in place so teams can figure out which players they want to assign to each level of their organization.  Analyzing these stats too much will get you overexcited about a prospect who may hit 10 HRs in March, but is still only 20-years old and will undoubtedly be going back down to Double-A.  For keeper leagues there’s a greater benefit to this, but even your keeper league roster will only consist of a handful of prospects who are inching towards being “major league ready”.  When drafting your team it’s important to try and simplify things, and applying a few of the following techniques can really help.


My Top 5 Strategies for Draft Day:


1. Draft hitters early, especially power hitters (Bonus if they have speed, too)

2. Try not draft starting pitching until AT LEAST the 7th-8th round, unless a guy happens to fall into your lap and it simply can’t be ignored (starting pitching is always abundant on the waiver wire)

3. Don’t draft closers

4. Don’t draft closers

5. Don’t draft closers


Why am I so adamant about not drafting closers?  This applies mostly to category leagues (points leagues may have a different scoring system), but closers only really carry value in one thing: saves.  When you’re talking about a 5×5 league or even greater, I don’t mind punting one category in order to bolster others.  Sure, on a much smaller spectrum closers can help increase your strikeouts and lower ERA and WHIP, but the minimal advantage that may give you is heavily outweighed by the even larger risk of your week completely going in the crapper when your 10th round pick, John Axford, gives up 5 earned runs in .2 innings.  I’d rather build my hitting and starting pitching depth than take a gamble on a 9th inning guy.  The closer position is a very volatile one, and with the exception of a few guys, very seldom is a closer’s job guaranteed, so it’s not usually worth the risk to draft them.  Once the season starts and half the closers get demoted, their replacements will be there for the taking if you choose to do so.


I recently drafted a team, which I’d like to point out that I cleverly named “EncycloPEDia Braun”, and employed this strategy.  It is a 10-team, head-to-head league with 13 categories: W, K, ERA, WHIP, QS, S+H, HR, RBI, R, Total Bases, SB, BA and game-winning RBIs.  Having quality starts as a category as well as the combined stat of saves and holds, drafting closers was even lower on my list of priorities.  After 30 rounds, and zero closers to show for it, I emerged very satisfied with the team I had drafted.


By focusing on only drafting hitting and starting pitching, I believe I significantly improved my chances of winning.  Five of my first ten picks fell to me in spots that closers have routinely been getting taken at and you can see the massive upgrade I’m getting by going after multiple stats and forgoing saves.  Since this draft was done on, I’ve used their average draft positions as well as their 2013 Projected Stats:


Closer My Pick
38.5. Craig Kimbrel (41 SV, 4 W, 120 K, 1.99 ERA, 0.85 WHIP) 3.9. Edwin Encarnacion (36 HR, 99 RBI, 93 R, 10 SB, .283 BA)
69.8. Aroldis Chapman (37 SV, 6 W, 104 K, 2.57 ERA, 1.14 WHIP) 6.2. Chris Sale (15 W, 203 K, 3.37 ERA, 1.14 WHIP, 20 QS)
69.8. Aroldis Chapman (37 SV, 6 W, 104 K, 2.57 ERA, 1.14 WHIP) 7.9. Jason Kipnis (15 HR, 70 RBI, 90 R, 25 SB, .257 BA)
82.4. Jason Motte (he is already on the DL and out indefinitely) 8.2. Pablo Sandoval (23 HR, 90 RBI, 80 R, 3 SB, .309 BA)
90.2. Fernando Rodney (38 SV, 2 W, 61 K, 2.53 ERA, 1.14 WHIP) 9.9. Josh Willingham (32 HR, 105 RBI, 80 R, 4 SB, .264 BA)
91.6. Rafael Soriano (37 SV, 4 W, 61 K, 2.89 ERA, 1.14 WHIP)
96.5. Mariano Rivera (36 SV, 2 W, 50 K, 2.29 ERA, 0.91 WHIP)


Pick for pick, I believe each player I selected will be more valuable than the corresponding closer in the same average spot.  Even if, for example, you want make a case for Papelbon being better than Kipnis, it may cost you dearly in the end.  If you decide to draft him around the 7th/8th round, you are now locked-in to drafting AT LEAST 2-3 more closers in order to make it worth your while, which will inevitably deplete your overall depth.


Failing to follow these aforementioned rules could mean an early end to your fantasy baseball season, but choose to abide by them, and your name may be etched into your league’s trophy come October.  Good luck and Happy Drafting!


By Seth Klein (@SethDaSportsMan)
Seth is a contributing writer for, specializing in fantasy baseball, basketball and football. He was born and raised in Los Angeles, CA, but has been a die-hard New York Giants, Knicks and Yankees fan since birth. He has been playing fantasy sports since 1999 and has since developed a real knack for daily streaming and “working the wire”, which can be attributed to his keen analysis of in-season trends. He is also a writer for the Knicks site, and you can find him gracing the airwaves on @ThaSPORTSKRIB, a weekly show dedicated to sports. Seth attended the University of Arizona, where he majored in “tardiness”, and is now a certified personal trainer and fitness nutrition specialist. Feel free to send all your fantasy sports questions to Seth on Twitter @SethDaSportsMan

Fantasy Baseball Readers Leagues

This excellent trophy is not up for grabs, but bragging rights certainly are...

This excellent trophy is not up for grabs, but bragging rights certainly are…

So you think you have what it takes to beat me and the FantasyTrade411 staff at fantasy baseball?


Well, it’s time to show us what you’ve got!


Back by popular demand, we’ve set-up some FantasyTrade411 Fantasy Baseball Readers leagues for you guys to try to take us down! I’ve put together a few leagues below where you can take me on and as those fill, we’ll be adding a few more where you can take on the other members of the FantasyTrade411 staff (all leagues will be hosted on Yahoo and we’ll be setting up a few variations in terms of roto, H2H, snake, auction, etc so that you can join the type of league that you want).


League 4 – Thursday, March 28th (9:30 PM Eastern)
FantasyTrade411 Representative: Seth Klein (@SethDaSportsMan)
Draft Type: Snake
League Type: Head-to-Head
Join by clicking here and then clicking “join a league”
The league ID is 145125 and the password is california


League 5 – Friday, March 29th (9:00 PM Eastern)
FantasyTrade411 Representative: Richard Janvrin (@RichardJanvrin)
Draft Type: Snake
League Type: Roto
Join by clicking here and then clicking “join a league”
The league ID is 144848 and the password is raysbaseball3


Fantasy Baseball: 2013 Staff Rankings

Trout? Cabrera? Braun? Who's number 1? (and is there even a wrong answer?)

Trout? Cabrera? Braun? Who’s number 1? (and is there even a wrong answer?)

Those of you (aka the smart ones) who bought the FantasyTrade411 Draft Guide have had our rankings for over a month now, but for those of you who didn’t (there’s still time!)…it’s finally rankings time!


The 2013 Fantasy Baseball season is about to begin and I know a lot of you have drafts over the next week or so. To help you with your draft, we’ve compiled our FantasyTrade411 Staff Rankings with the help of our friends over at FantasyPros. For the past couple weeks, T, Tony, Cliffy, and I have been putting a fine-tooth comb through our rankings and have finally combined them all into one nice little chart for you below. You can go back to FantasyPros and see each of our individual rankings if you trust one of us more than the other, but the rankings below are a nice safe average of the four of us.


I hope these rankings give you a nice guideline for your draft, but I highly urge you to make these rankings your own. There’s a 100% guarantee that these rankings won’t be completely correct so if you like Johnny Cueto over Mat Latos (for example)…by all means, put Cueto above Latos. The rankings below (and really any other fantasy analysts’ rankings) are our best guess based on all the research we’ve done and will give you a great guideline if you want to use them exactly as we give them to you, but fantasy baseball is all about making it your own and I guarantee you’ll have a lot more fun if you tweak these to your own personal tastes.


And one last time…go check out the draft guide!!

2013 Fantasy Baseball Rankings powered by FantasyPros



Fantasy Baseball Draft Guide Preview: “Freshman Orientation”

As most of you have seen on Twitter, we released the 2013 FantasyTrade411 Fantasy Baseball Draft Guide right before Valentine’s day. The positive response has been absolutely overwhelming (and humbling), but I’ve also had some folks understandably ask for a preview of the guide before they spend their well-earned $9.99. Don’t worry…I don’t blame you. I waffle before I make a purchase all the time.


To help you make your decision(and hopefully sway you to the dark side), I’m going to start releasing a quick preview of each piece that we have in the draft guide over the next few weeks. We have a full list of what’s in the guide over on the site, but today’s preview is an awesome piece by our own Travis Rowe (also of GoProFantasySports) called, “Freshman Orientation”.


I’ve had a lot of folks on Twitter tell me that they’re really interested in trying out fantasy baseball, but they feel like the learning curve is too steep. I don’t blame them for feeling like that (since fantasy baseball is a lot more daunting than fantasy football), but Travis Rowe had put together a GREAT article to get any fantasy baseball newbie into the game. Travis did a great job of outlining all the basics for you in a very engaging (and humorous) way and even gives you some great external sources for extra “suggested reading”. If you’ve ever wanted to try fantasy baseball but felt in over your head, this article is just for you! Here’s a quick screenshot of Travis’ Freshman Orientation piece and there is another page and a half more pages of this article that go along with the preview below:


Freshman Orientation


I hope you enjoyed that quick preview, and again…there are four and a half more pages of that article in the draft guide, along with 134 more pages that you can read about here. And if you’ve ever wanted to try daily gaming, we’re also offering a special deal for first-time FanDuel customers that gives you $10 free on FanDuel along with the purchase of the draft guide!

2013 Fantasy Baseball Draft Guide Download

Cover (1)Thanks for your interest in the draft guide!


All you need to do now is click the TinyPass link below and enter your payment information. You’ll then be pushed behind the paywall where you can click the link provided to download the PDF of the Draft Guide using your credit card or PayPal ($9.99).

You are now behind the TinyPass Paywall…congratulations and thanks for purchasing the draft guide! Click here and the guide will be all yours!


If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me at

The 2013 FantasyTrade411 Fantasy Baseball Draft Guide

Cover (1)We’ve been teasing you guys with this for weeks now, but the 2013 FantasyTrade411 Fantasy Baseball Draft Guide is finally here!


We’ve been going HAM on this thing for over a month now and we’re extremely proud to bring you guys what I think is the best work that’s ever come out of this website.  We’re giving you a couple purchase options (more on that below), but to start…
Here’s a quick list of what you’ll find in the draft guide:


  • My Fantasy Baseball Commandments (by Nick Raducanu, aka “TraderX”)
  • Top 300 Rankings and Draft Cheatsheet (by Nick Raducanu)
  • Positional Tiers and Breakdowns (by Nick Raducanu)
  • 300 Player Projections (by Mike Gianella of Baseball Prospectus)
  • Expert Mock Draft (features Andy Behrens of Yahoo, Nando di Fino of CBS, Davis Gonos of Sports Illustrated, Dr. Roto of RotoExperts, Matt Deutsch of SiriusXM Fantasy, Jason Collette of Baseball Prospectus, Dalton Del Don of Yahoo and Rotowire, Jake Ciely of RotoExperts, Drew Dinkmeyer of Fantistics, Paul Sporer of Baseball Prospectus, Reggie Yinger of Baseball Press)
  • Draft Strategies for Snake, Auction, H2H, Roto, and Points Leagues (by our managing editor, Tony Mauriello)
  • Auction Values (by Tony Mauriello)
  • Is the Term “Injury Prone” a Myth? (by Will Carroll of Bleacher Report)
  • Daily Gaming 101 (by Ethan Haskell of RotoGrinders)
  • Sabermetrics 101 (by Moe Koltun of RotoAnalysis)
  • Fantasy Baseball Freshman Orientation (by Travis Rowe of FT411 and GoProFantasySports)
  • Trade Strategies and Etiquette (by Kyle Soppe of FT411)
  • Closer Report (by Nick Raducanu)
  • Sleepers and Busts (by Michael Clifford of FT411)
  • Who is the next Mike Trout?(by Davis Mattek of SportsWunderkind)
  • What We Can Learn From 2012 (by Joe Costello of FT411)
  • Why Fantasy Footballers Should Play Fantasy Baseball (by Rob Pallazola of FT411)
  • Streaming Pitching Strategy (by Dale Sokol of FT411)
  • 30 Team-by-Team Previews by 30 excellent contributors

How do you get your hands on it?


We currently have two options for you:
1. You can buy it below for $9.99 using your credit card or PayPal account
2. If you’re a first-time FanDuel customer, we’ve partnered up with the number one daily fantasy sports site around to give you all a special offer of $10 that will give you the draft guide AND $10 of FanDuel money.

  • If you’re already a FanDuel customer OR if you only want the draft guide, you can purchase the 2013 FantasyTrade411 Fantasy Baseball Draft Guide by clicking the “donate” button below. You’ll then be taken to a Paypal screen where you can pay using either your PayPay account or your credit card (make sure you enter $9.99 as the donation amount) and I’ll email you a copy of the guide as soon as I get your payment.



  • If you’re a first-time FanDuel customer and want to try your hand at daily gaming, you can come purchase the draft guide at FanDuel here and get $10 of free FanDuel money to go along with your draft guide (or you get a free draft guide to go along with a $10 deposit on FanDuel…however you wanna think of it).


If you’re still on the fence about whether or not to purchase, fill in the form below and I’ll be happy to send you a quick sneak-peek to help aid your decision. And if you’re REALLY on the fence after that…buy the guide and if you don’t like it, shoot me an email ( and I’ll give you a full refund with no questions asked (that’s how confident I am that you’ll like it).

As always, if you have ANY questions…you know where to find me. Good luck this season!