Tips for getting ahead of your teammates
Fantasy baseball is definitely a marathon rather than a sprint. That said, the statistics produced in April contribute equally to those produced every two months, which puts pressure on managers to get off to a good start.
Here are some tips for enjoying an exceptional month of April in Yahoo! leagues.
Maximize innings pitched
This tip can be ignored by those who have spent little draft capital throwing and instead choose to find it on the waiver wire throughout the season. But for most of us, getting ahead in leagues with a set cap is the way to go. Your pitching team will probably never be healthier than it is now. We will see many pitchers succumb to injuries in the first half of the season, and by August there will be so many starters who are simply unusable in the fantasy leagues. For this reason, savvy fantasy managers will now use their pitchers aggressively, hoping to rack up high totals of wins and strikeouts while maintaining strong ratios.
In Yahoo! leagues with daily transactions, this plan should include heavy use of relievers who can provide ratio assistance and a high strikeout rate. In fact, I plan to use almost all of my bench spots on the pitchers in April in Yahoo! League of Friends and Family.
As part of the launch plan described in the previous paragraph, Fantasy managers should aggressively pursue all possible closer options in April. This is especially true in 2022, as we entered the season with unstable bullpens in so many cities. The pursuit of good relievers who could make it into the ninth inning for their respective teams should provide ratio assistance, some vulture wins this month and could also lead to finding a full-time closer who provides at least 25 saves.
pitchers such as Art Warren Drew Steckenrider and David Robertson are examples of relievers that are useful now and could be very useful later.
Work the trade market
Loyal readers already know that I like to trade. And I don’t need a month of regular season action to start that process, because player values are already changing in April. My standard plan this month is to buy few players who start slowly but stay healthy and not likely to lose playing time. Managers will sometimes panic about slow starts, but the reality is that players Stats produced in the first few weeks of the season should not change our assessment of a player unless we see something that indicates the player is unhealthy. Plus, while selling a lot to someone who’s hot-starting is the hardest thing to do in fantasy baseball, it’s often the right thing to do.
For example, six players hit at least 8 homers in April 2021, with only one of those players (Shohei Ohtani) producing at least 20 more long bales in the last five months. In the flight category, Jazz Chisholm flew nine in April (14 more for the rest), ramon laurano swept eight (finished with a total of 12) and Marcus Semien stole six bags (en route for a total of 15). I’m not suggesting that you force trades for hot starting players, but you should consider all options.
Another April trading market tip: you should seek to consolidate your assets wherever possible. This means making 2 for 1 or even 3 for 1 trades when the opportunity arises. Roster spots are valuable, especially early in the season, because having more roster space allows a manager to be aggressive on the waiver wire. April’s best deal is one where you trade three decent players for a slow-starting star. By making this deal and then using the waiver thread wisely, you can quickly replace lost roster depth while improving your high-end talent.
Maximize plate appearance
This tip is especially for those who play on Yahoo! leagues with daily transactions. Your goal during each month should be to maximize plate appearances, but this is especially true in April when the season is cool and we pay great attention to our teams. You can optimize the appearance of plates in several ways. First, avoid players who appear to be in squad roles, even if they are quite productive in their part-time opportunities. And second, look at lineups and find players who often get extra plate appearance by being high in the batting order.
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Robbie Grosman is a prime example of this point from last season. Grossman didn’t have a good April, but it was clear from his opportunities that the Tigers used him as a full-time player and often hit him high in the lineup. I begged Yahoo! managers to choose Grossman because his power-speed mix was bound to pay off in a full-time role eventually. Sure enough, the veteran finished the year with 23 homers and 20 interceptions.