Sadly, this is not an open call for all beloved readers and lurkers of Walkoff Walk to join in the WoW league fun. The head honcho keeps a tight rap on all the fantasy comings and goings in order to maximize his
cheating collusive competitive advantage.
As always, it is important to take a holistic look at your fantasy baseball experience. Chances are you simply aren't going to win anything this or any other year. If you're playing fantasy baseball for real money, chances are you're a degenerate with precious little keeping you from loitering in airports wagering on arrivals. The point is, fantasy baseball is supposed to be fun. So is Walkoff Walk, despite our occasional self-seriousness and absenteeism. In that spirit, allow me to present a few tips for making your fantasy draft strategy and experience a little more shrimp-friendly.
- Whatever you do, don't draft a Met. Not only is showing mercy or affection to any or all New York Mets anathema to the Walkoff Walk ethos, it isn't sound fantasy baseball strategy. What good is first round pick whose joints and tendons could spontaneously combust at any time? Sure, picking up a five tool center fielder seems like sound strategy, but the egg will be on your face when he's sucked into the intake a passing jetliner.
- Be mindful of players switching leagues. Let us not understate the impact of moving from the American to National league and vice versa. While so-called experts will point to the difference in ballparks, the DH rule, and artificial turf as key factors, the bigger issue is the change in scenery. Jake Peavy swapped multiple jaunts up the Pacific Coast highway for 9 nights a year in Minneapolis. In baseball parlance, that's known as a fate worse than death. Javy Lopez may have dominated in Atlanta, but how will he fare after 3 or 4 good cavity searches at the Canadian border? Don't think the RCMP forgot about "The Incident" in Montreal, I know that girls rugby team certainly hasn't.
- Douche Will Be Served. Cheering for undesirables is a major part of fantasy sports. The mental aerobics and circular justifications can be exhausting. "So long as Roy Halladay pitches a complete game, giving up 2 unearned runs and Chase Utley hits a solo shot with three walks against my home team, I'm cool." It's ugly. This also applies to rooting for wholly unlikable goofs like Kevin Youkilis, Ryan Braun, or any player under the employ of one Mike Scioscia. They're necessary evils, part of the social Roto contract. Make your peace during the draft process, lest you spend the summer admiring how nice a guy Jason Bay must be after 15 strikeouts in 2 games.
- Prey on the predictable weakness of others. Know which end of the fanboy scale your fellow poolies lie. You know the Southern gentleman in your midst is going to draft Brian McCann in the second round, so plan around it. The Canadian guy is going for Halladay three rounds too soon, the guy that types in all caps without the petty intrusion of punctuation has his sights firmly set on any and all Red Sox. You can exploit these market inefficiencies to your benefit, freeing up some draft equity for a two-round-reach for "guy from your hometown" or "guy who said that one awesome thing that one time."
- Come prepared for the draft. Prepping for the draft is key. Read your magazines, buy your fancy draft kits, or pre-rank your players, of course. However, the draft is likely the only time all the members of your pool will be in the same place at the same time. So ready your barbs and daggers, your memes and screenshots. Between 12 and 20 people stand poised to rush to the same joke as you at any time, don't hesitate to get it out there as quickly as possible. Feel free to jump all over the fatalistic manager who renounces his/her team in the fifth round. Applaud good picks so long as it serves your master plan to steal every juicy prospect porn item three rounds later. Should you lose out on a long-term target two picks before your turn, it is fully acceptable to weep on your keyboard and pick the first available name out of sheer frustration.
Go forth and dominate, friends. Draft your team, set your lineup, and then promptly ignore your team for the remainder of the season. One of two things will happen: you'll have drafted an unstoppable juggernaut or 60% of your team will find themselves in Dr. Andrews' waiting room. Precious little is within your control! Enjoy!