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Fantasy baseball: Tips to win your league in the 2017 MLB season

Johnathan Villar could have been had in April of last year.

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Happy Opening Day! All leagues have held their drafts, and now it’s finally time to play the games. Here are some tips to help you start the season on the right track.

Forget draft costs.

The second you’ve won the rights to a player, it no longer matters what you paid for him (barring keeper and dynasty league considerations). All that you should be focused on now is their contribution – or lack thereof – to your roster. Perhaps you stocked up on power at the expense of speed, or vice versa. Maybe you have too many hitters with low batting averages, or could use another high-strikeout pitcher. Whatever the case, don’t be afraid to trade for a player who can help shore up a weakness, even if he came at a lower price than the asset you give up in return.

Be proactive, not reactive.

You can’t win your league in April, but you could very well lose it. Resist the urge to overreact to season-opening slumps by established stars or hot starts by little-known players. Often, both turn out to be blips on the radar. There are exceptions – you would have turned a tidy profit dumping Troy Tulowitzki for Jonathan Villar last April, for instance. But before you put in that waiver claim for the flavor of the week, you’d do well to recall players like Tyler White and Jeremy Hazelbaker. This doesn’t mean you should sit on your hands. After all, sometimes that April breakout turns out to be a harbinger of things to come. Just don’t read too much into small samples. The fantasy baseball season is a marathon, not a sprint.

Use every resource at your disposal.

If you’re a competitive fantasy owner, you likely devoted a good chunk of time and effort to preparing for your draft. That prep is still useful in the early going. For one thing, it should help you determine exactly how long of a leash you’ll give to every player on your roster. It can be extremely difficult to decipher whether a players’ triumphs or struggles in the opening month are legitimate, but knowing his history – strengths and weaknesses, injuries, and so on – can often shed light. There’s no shortage of resources out there for data, analysis, and news. Put them to work for you. Even if you’re a more casual player, you can utilize tools like the watch list to help you keep track of player performance on the waiver wire. This is particularly helpful in the early stages of the season, when stat lines fluctuate wildly and it’s easy to lose players in the shuffle.

Have fun.

Never forget this one. Even if you put a lot of work into your teams or raise the stakes by putting money on the line, remember that you got into this game for the simple truth that it’s fun. Enjoy the games, and good luck this season!

Kyle Bishop is a lead MLB columnist at RotoBaller.com. His articles and Fantasy Baseball Rankings are your secret weapon for winning fantasy leagues.

 
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