Forgot Log-in or  Password? |  Help  Not a member, Register Now!
      
Fantasy Football Today
Fantasy Football Today Blog
Gameday Inactives
2014 Draft Prep Guide
Downloadable Draft Kit
Mock Drafts
Get Your Draft Board
Player News
Stats
Players
Depth Charts
Roster Trends
Columns
Injury Report
Projections
Rankings
Schedules
Scores
Fantasy Games
Playoff Challenge
Commissioner
Prize Leagues
Free
Office Pool Manager
Game Pick'em
Player Challenge
Fantasy Baseball Today
Fantasy Baseball Today Blog
2015 Draft Prep Guide
Mock Drafts
Player News
Stats
Players
Depth Charts
Roster Trends
Columns
Injury Report
Rankings
Projections
Schedules
Probable Pitchers
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Prize Leagues
Player News
Stats
Players
Columns
Injuries
Projections
Rankings
Schedules
Message Boards
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Player News
Stats
Players
Columns
Injury Report
Projections
Rankings
Schedules
Mock Drafts
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Prize Leagues
Downloadable Draft Kit
Player News
Stats
Players
Columns
Injury Report
Projections
Rankings
Schedules
Mock Drafts
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Prize Leagues
No Fantasy Teams Found
 
 
 

2013 Draft Prep: Scott White's Roto strategies

Senior Fantasy Writer
  •  

More Rotisserie strategies: Al Melchior | Nando Di Fino

As Fantasy Baseball formats go, Rotisserie is old school.

None of those walks or doubles or other newfangled statistics that some guy at Topps probably invented to fill out the back of a baseball card. This is a man's game. Meat and potatoes! Mustaches and stirrup socks! Home runs and stolen bases! Woo!

Woo?

To play a man's game, you'll need a man's help. I'm the closest you'll get right now. I would have said woo, too.

In the interest of helping, I've outlined some of the strategies I find most useful in those leagues where only a handful of stats matter, avoiding the ones already covered by my esteemed colleagues, Al Melchior and Nando Di Fino.

They're also men, you see.

1. Maintaining the delicate balance

Delicate? Balance? So much for Rotisserie being a man's game.

Because of the way the scoring works, with points awarded based on where your team finishes in each of 10 categories, a standard Rotisserie league is like 10 mini-competitions in one. The competition in batting average is separate from the competition in home runs is separate from the competition in ERA. Yet because they're all happening simultaneously, you can't divert your attention from any of them. You have to balance all 10, which can become a brain strain if you let it.

Fortunately, some of those stats work in tandem, allowing you to shortcut the process. Base stealers generally bat at the top of the lineup and, therefore, score more runs. Home run hitters generally bat in the middle of the lineup and, therefore, drive in more runs. Sure, you'll find some exceptions, but the correlation is strong enough that you can use it as a crutch on Draft Day. Likewise, you can whittle the pitching categories down to just strikeouts and WHIP. If a pitcher misses bats and keeps runners off base, he won't allow many runs, and if he doesn't allow many runs, he'll win his share of games.

Granted, luck has some say, but as long as you balance the stats a player can directly control -- meaning the home runs, stolen bases, strikeouts and WHIP -- the others should fall into place. Well, maybe not batting average or saves. But batting average you can cover just by making sure you don't load up on a bunch of B.J. Upton/Danny Espinosa types, and saves are a specialty stat that only a specific type of player can provide.

2. Saves are saves are saves

That specific type of player, of course, is a closer, and while teams will occasionally experiment with several different relievers in the role, they all eventually settle on one. So that's 30 players in all capable of making a worthwhile contribution in the saves. Safe to say you can get shut out if you're not careful.

But being careful is different from obsessing. Just because you want to lock up a certain number of saves on Draft Day doesn't mean you should pay for them. No doubt, some closers are better than others, but with the exception of Craig Kimbrel, are any so good that you'd be drafting them over a worthwhile starting pitcher if they weren't getting saves? In mixed leagues, the answer is no. And so, the only reason you draft them is for the saves.

If that's the case, then you shouldn't really care which closer you get. As long as you trust him to keep getting saves -- or to keep his job, in other words -- he'll do exactly what you need him to do.

So instead of focusing on quality with closers, focus on quantity. If you play in a 12-team mixed league, for example, simple arithmetic tells you not every team can have three closers. You want to be one of the ones that does. Greg Holland, Glen Perkins and Casey Janssen will almost certainly combine for more saves than Jonathan Papelbon and Joe Nathan.

3. Five outfielders are significantly more than three

Fantasy owners, particularly those most familiar with Head-to-Head play, consider the outfield a deep position. And relative to most of the infield positions, it is. But if you've conditioned yourself to think of it in terms of threes, you've probably gotten comfortable waiting on it. And in a league with five outfield spots to fill instead of three, that's a surefire way to a cast of nobodies.

In a 12-team league, it's the difference between Michael Morse being the last of the starting outfielders and Carlos Quentin being the last of the starting outfielders, according to my rankings. Jason Kubel, Coco Crisp, Michael Cuddyer and Brandon Moss are all likely starters in a five-outfielder league compared to Carlos Beltran, Nick Markakis, Andre Ethier and Carl Crawford in a three-outfielder league. The contrast is startling.

Of course, the contrast applies to everyone in the league, so the solution isn't to overextend yourself and have all five outfield spots filled by the time the Markakis types start going off the board. Kubel, Crisp, Cuddyer and Moss are all perfectly suitable fifth outfielders. But just so none winds up as your first outfielder, you'll want to make sure you've filled a couple of those outfield spots by the end of, say, 10 rounds.

4. High-end pitching is for suckers

At a point in the draft when big-name hitters such as Edwin Encarnacion, Ryan Zimmerman and Matt Holliday are still available, some of the best starting pitchers, such as Felix Hernandez, Madison Bumgarner and CC Sabathia, will start going off the board.

But you know the main thing separating them from the Kris Medlens, Jeff Samardzijas and Doug Fisters of the world? Innings. That's it. In terms of ERA, WHIP and strikeout rate, the two sides are comparable. And while innings are crucial for Head-to-Head owners, they don't have a direct impact in the Rotisserie standings.

True, more innings typically mean more wins and more strikeouts, but innings tend to increase with experience. So over time -- potentially as soon as this year -- the Medlens, Samardzijas and Fisters will close the gap on the Hernandezes, Bumgarners and Sabathias. And then what will separate them?

Now, you may point to Justin Verlander's and Clayton Kershaw's other-worldly numbers as justification for taking a pitcher early, but the fact of the matter is the value you get from an early round pitcher isn't the same as from an early round hitter, not when the middle-round alternatives offer so much promise.

Part of the reason they offer so much promise is because, relative to hitters, so few pitchers are needed in Rotisserie leagues. A standard Rotisserie lineup has 14 hitter slots compared to only nine pitcher slots (three of which, as we've already covered, will be occupied by closers), so even if you use the first seven rounds to fill out half your hitter slots, plenty of high-upside starting pitchers -- the kind with high strikeout rates and low WHIPs -- will still be available.

Of course, that logic only applies for mixed-league owners. If you wait too long for starting pitchers in AL- or NL-only leagues, the few that remain will likely do more harm than good to your ERA and WHIP.

Stay in touch with the most passionate Fantasy staff in the business by following us on Twitter @CBSFantasyBB or Scott White at @CBSScottWhite . You can also e-mail us at fantasybaseball@cbsinteractive.com .

Get player news notifications, manage your team and check scores
- all updated in real time. Download the CBS Fantasy App.

  •  
 
CBSSports Facebook Google Plus
COMMENTS
Conversation powered by Livefyre
 
 
Player News
Rangers DH Mitch Moreland (elbow) hopes to return to lineup on Saturday
by Ted Leshinski | Staff Writer
(2:03 am ET) Rangers designated hitter Mitch Moreland sat out of Friday's game against the Mariners with a sore elbow but said afterwards that he's feeling better and hopes to play Saturday, per the Fort Worth Star-Telegram

Moreland has played in nine of the Rangers' 11 games this season, hitting .259 with a homer, two doubles and five RBI.


Dodgers SP Clayton Kershaw strikes out 12 Friday
by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(2:01 am ET) Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw struck out a season-high 12 batters and only walked one during Friday's win over the Rockies.

Kershaw surrendered three runs (one earned) on six hits over six innings of work to earn the win. Kershaw's lone blemish were home runs to Troy Tulowitzki and Charlie Blackmon. He was able to lower his ERA from 5.84 to 4.42. Kershaw (1-1) has yet to throw more than seven innings in any of his three starts this season.

His next expected start will be Wednesday at San Francisco.


Rangers reliever Neftali Feliz throws perfect ninth for second save
by Ted Leshinski | Staff Writer
(1:55 am ET) Rangers reliever Neftali Feliz (S, 2) collected his second save of the season on Friday by throwing a perfect ninth inning against the Mariners.

Dodgers 2B Howie Kendrick drives in three during Friday's win
by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(1:50 am ET) Dodgers second baseman Howie Kendrick connected on his first home run of the season to help lead the Dodgers to a victory over the Rockies on Friday.

Kendrick hit a two-run home run off Rockies starter Kyle Kendrick in the first inning of the game. Kendrick finished the game 2 for 4 with three RBI. He is now batting .342 on the season.


Rockies SS Troy Tulowitzki hits first home run of season Friday
by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(1:48 am ET) Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki connected on his first home run of the season during Friday's loss to the Dodgers.

Tulowitzki hit the home run in the fourth inning off Dodgers starter Clayton Kershaw. Tulowitzki finished the game with two hits over four at-bats. His batting average now stands at .359. 


Rockies pitcher Kyle Kendrick gives up six runs Friday
by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(1:46 am ET) Rockies pitcher Kyle Kendrick failed to get past the fifth inning during Friday's loss to the Dodgers.

Kendrick's troubles began in the first inning when Howie Kendrick hit a two-run home run. Kendrick did not surrender a run over the next two innings. However, he gave up one run in the fourth and was pulled in the fifth after giving up two more runs. He ended up with six strike outs and four walks. 

Kendrick (1-2) received the loss for his 4 2/3 innings of work and now has a 7.56 ERA. His next scheduled start is expected to be Wednesday against the Padres.


Diamondbacks SP Josh Collmenter shuts out Giants on Friday
by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(1:38 am ET) Diamondbacks pitcher Josh Collmenter threw a complete game shutout to defeat the Giants on Friday.

Over the nine innings of work, Collmenter gave up four hits while striking out two and walking one. He is the first pitcher to toss a complete game this season.

Collmenter had failed to get past the fifth inning in each of his previous starts this season and was 0-2 with a 6.52 ERA heading into the game. He was able to lower his ERA to 3.86. He had one complete game shutout during the entire 2014 season.

His next scheduled start is expected to be Friday against the Pirates.


Diamondbacks CF A.J. Pollock collects four hits Friday
by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(1:35 am ET) Diamondbacks center fielder A.J. Pollock had his first four-hit game of the season to lead the Diamondbacks to a 9-0 win over the Giants on Friday.

Pollock went 4 for 5 with one walk and a strikeout. His lone RBI came in the top of the ninth inning when he drove in pitcher Josh Collmenter on a double. Pollock was able to raise his batting average from .265 to .333.


Red Sox's Pablo Sandoval not sorry about slide that lead to beaning
by Ted Leshinski | Staff Writer
(1:33 am ET) Orioles starter Ubaldo Jimenez was ejected Friday for hitting Red Sox third baseman Pablo Sandoval with a pitch as suspected payback for a hard slide by Sandoval earlier in the game, according to BostonHerald.com.

"It’s the game ... I do clean slides," Sandoval said. "I slide through the base. There’s nothing wrong with that.”

First baseman Mike Napoli added that Sandoval’s slide was in line with the way the Red Sox like to play.

Giants P Jake Peavy fails to get past fourth inning Friday
by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(1:30 am ET) Giants pitcher Jake Peavy was able to get through the first two innings of Friday's loss to the Diamondbacks without any trouble, but he began to unravel in the third.

Peavy surrendered four hits and three runs during the third inning. He returned for the fourth, but was only able to record two outs before he was taken out of the game.

"I didn't make good pitches. I was plenty good enough to be out there. I've gotta help the team more than I did," he said, per CSN Bay Area. 

Over the 3 2/3 innings of work, Peavy gave up four runs on eight hits. He walked one and struck out two.

Peavy has yet to get past the fourth inning in each of his two starts this season. He is now 0-2 with a 9.39 ERA.

His next scheduled start is expected to be Thursday against the Dodgers


 
 
 
Rankings