Remember that one girl who was willing to touch you about ten years ago? Remember how desperately you tried to hold onto her and how futile an attempt that was? Eventually that girl started feeling suffocated and then no more touching for you, only shame and disappointment. Sorry to the five girl readers, this analogy might not be fully relatable, but stick with me.
The point here is, if you hadn’t become so clingy, things might have turned out differently with that one girl, or with your love life in general. Well, probably not since you’re a hopeless fantasy baseballer who still lives in his mom’s basement, but there was at least a chance if you hadn’t been so obsessive.
What does all of this have to do with fantasy baseball you ask? Good question. I like your style. I’m saying all of this because I don’t want Mark Trumbo to become that one girl for your fantasy baseball team this season.
One of the most important skills that separates winning fantasy players from those that will live in their mom’s basement forever is the willingness to cut bait on a guy and not look back. This can be an extremely difficult proposition for some, especially those that drafted their teams in February and have been rosterbaiting vigorously for over a month by the time opening day rolls around. The mental fixation and attachment to players can severely impede judgment and rational thinking.
As an exercise to help loosen the attachment and open the mind, let’s look at some of this previous season’s top performers, which were available on the wire last April in shallower and even many deeper leagues…
|Starting Pitcher||2017 Razzball Year End Player Rater Ranking (Pitchers)||2017 NFBC ADP|
|Hitter||2017 Razzball Year End
Player Rater Ranking (Hitters)
|2017 NFBC ADP|
If you had the testicular fortitude to cut Mark Trumbo (2017 ADP 74), Hanley Ramirez (2017 ADP 79), Cole Hamels (2017 ADP 82) and Danny Duffy (2017 ADP 96) for Ryan Zimmerman, Aaron Judge, Luis Severino and Gio Gonzalez last year, then you probably won your league. Of course, cutting those top 100 picks early in the season is a little much to ask, but I wanted to make the point that we shouldn’t become overly attached to early round players either.
That said, it’s also important not to overreact to the first couple weeks of the season by hastily cutting your studs. There’s a very delicate balance here, which can only be found through years of toiling in your mom’s basement. Even then, we’re still going to be wrong a decent portion of the time. Remember, it’s not important to be right all the time; we just need to be right a little more often than we’re wrong.
Also, note that in recent seasons it’s become more common to land elite offensive statistics via the waiver wire. Traditionally, finding quality pitchers on the wire has been a well-known strategy; those arms tend to come out of the woodwork every year. The emerging of top-end bats once the season has begun just might be a new developing trend. If so, those fantasy players willing to adapt to the new landscape quickest stand to benefit the most.
In 2015, exactly zero of the top 35 fantasy hitters at years end were drafted with an NFBC ADP of 200 or later, and only four of the top 50 fantasy hitters had a 200+ ADP (Morales, Eaton, Granderson & Duffy). Matt Duffy was the only of these four players being drafted after pick 300.
In 2016 two of the top 35 fantasy hitters at years end were drafted with an NFBC ADP of 200 or later (Villar & Segura), and only four of the top 50 fantasy hitters had a 200+ ADP (Villar, Segura, Nunez & Bradley). Villar, Nunez and Bradley were all being drafted after pick 300.
As shown in the above table, 2017 saw seven of the top 35 fantasy hitters at years end drafted with an ADP of 200 or later and ten of the top 50 fantasy hitters had a 200+ ADP. A whopping nine of these players were being drafted after pick 300 and six of those after pick 400!
Will this trend continue in 2018? I’m banking on it! It’s one of several reasons why I’ve been more prone than ever to spend up for a fantasy ace this season. Regardless, be sure not to ignore hitters while searching for the waiver wire diamonds in the rough.
As the season gets underway, don’t hesitate to cut bait on some of the slow starters on the back end of your roster for guys that get off to hot starts. There’s plenty of fish in the sea, and who knows, there’s a chance you’ll hook this years Aaron Judge, Luis Severino or maybe even a second girl willing to touch you. And wouldn’t that be nearly as good as a fantasy title?
Written by Donkey Teeth. @donkeyteeth87 on Twitter. Co-Host of Ditka, Sausage, and Fantasy Sports Podcast hosted by LennyMelnickFantasySports.com