Monday, April 23, 2012

Fantasy League Re-Enforcements

It is never too late for a plan to come together.

Your draft or auction is only one part of many that make your fantasy season. It is an extremely important part but still just one part. A hardworking owner even in a fairly deep league can recover from a bad draft by diligently working the free agent list and the waiver wire.

You may search your waiver wire on a particular day and see nothing but back-up catchers and utility players but it is not always the case. Players that can help your team become available all the time. It is your job to stay informed and be ready to claim or FAAB them when the opportunity presents itself.

Who are these players that become available during the season? Late signing veterans, older veterans who teams are signing to fill holes created by injuries or ineffectiveness. Sometimes it will be a bench player who gains a larger role on the team. Players returning from long term injuries are another source of talent.

You also need to keep a close eye on the transactions of your fellow owners. Maybe they released a slow starter that can help you. Did they recently activate a player returning from injury or a newly promoted rookie. Who did they release to make roster room.

Here are some players that may be in a position to help you soon.

Johnny Damon - The aging veteran is still capable of a 15/15 season or even 20/20 given health and the right role in the lineup. He should be activated any day now.

Marlon Byrd - In AL-Only leagues, Byrd has just become available. He is starting slow this season and has not been trending well but of you've been hit by one of the recent spat of injuries, you could do a lot worse. He has 20/20 potential and should hit for a better average in Fenway Park.

Freddie Sanchez - This veteran is fragile but an effective hitter when healthy. If he were healthy for an entire season he would capable of batting .300 with a handful of homeruns and steals.

Juan Pierre - He just barely made the team but has steadily gained playing time and is now in the lineup against most right-handed pitchers. He could hit for a decent average and steal 30 bases.

Francisco Cordero - This former closer had been sitting on a lot of waiver wires. With the recent injury to Sergo Santos he should be one of the most frequently claimed players this week.

Jarrod Parker - He almost made the team out of Spring Training. He has been promoted and should be able to keep a spot in the rotation. It is hard to say what a rookie pitcher will do but he has ace potential.

Tyson Ross - Few were familiar with him before this season but Mr. Ross has been an effective pitcher so far this season. Scoop him up if you are in need of quality innings.

Monday, April 09, 2012

Ten Reasons to Stay Patient with Your Fantasy Team

Patience. Slow starts are depressing for fantasy owners but panic ruins fantasy seasons. Often we come out of our drafts excited about our teams. We got this sleeper for that much and won't he be great! Then after three games and 11 at-bats we are ready to cut him to add that career back-up middle infielder. If you drafted a guy I think he deserves at least a full week of at-bats before you cut him.

Omar Infante has three more homers than GianCarlo Stanton. Are you seriously worried that ol' Mike will not blast his 30 homers?

Jason Heyward may not have a great average just yet but he has a hit in two out of three starts and a .333 OBP despite a .200 batting average.

Did Mariano Rivera suddenly forget how to pitch? Lots of closers start slowly because they do not get enough innings in Spring Training. Despite the disaster start to his season, CC Sabathia was thisclose to getting a win anyway.

Alright, so the Oakland Athletics have panicked a little, designating Brandon Allen after less than a week. But how much could you possibly have invested in Allen? Not much I hope. Daric Barton is hardly a massive upgrade in any case.

Sometimes it is not just poor performance but the overwhelming desire to make moves. Maybe you miss out on a hot start or a chance to grab a youngster on the cheap. But with patience you may find that you get the chance to reserve an Allen and pickup a Kirk Nieuwenhuis and own both, rather than lose a slow-starting James Loney for the privilege of rostering Nieuwenhuis for a couple of weeks before he is sent down again.

Remember a week ago when it seemed like Frank Francisco was going to be out of a job before the season even started? Yeah, those three saves have caused a ton of memory loss.

The San Francisco Giants, Atlanta Braves, New York Yankees, and Boston Red Sox will be playoff contenders until the end of the season. No need to give up on their players at this point. Okay, maybe the Red Sox won't be contenders. If you have made a bet on one of the Boston closer possibilities, do not give up on that candidate just yet. The situation is far from clear. i am including Daniel Bard in that conversation.

It looks like the Giants are going to give Brandon Belt a real opportunity this season. Do not over react to his day out of the lineup. The Giants are just getting everyone into the lineup.

Aroldis Chapman is still smokin' hot despite his lack of a real role on the pitching staff. He will force his way into an important role soon enough.

Rafael Furcal is hitting .526 after a horrible spring. It just perfectly illustrates why you cannot allow small sample sizes to rule your thinking. Oh wait, unless you think Furcal is going to hit .500 and steal 146 bases.

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

Out Of The Park Baseball (OOTP13)

Playing Fantasy Baseball is largely about running a baseball team the way you would as a general manager. You probably grumble to yourself when the General Manager of your favorite MLB team makes a move. Or shout at the wind when he does not make a transaction that seems so obvious and clear to you. Fantasy Baseball is great but when it comes to simulating the true GM experience there is not a game for any system better than Out of the Park Baseball 13.

I must warn you. This game is thoroughly addictive. I guarantee that you will be hooked five minutes after you complete your download. You control everything you want to control. You hire the manager, the scouts, promote and release players in your system, make trades, and make money for the owner. You receive scouting reports and news and communications from other GMs in the league.

If you have played the game before you may not recognize it. The interface has been re-vamped.The HTML pages are gone. The new look is clean, useful and cool to look at while you're doing your GM thing. The game now features advanced storylines that are more than just off the field injuries such as emotional outbursts and clubhouse drama. You get to decide what happens after a player assaults a photographer - you can ignore it, cut him, suspend him, or trade him. It is up to you.

Try this game, you will not be disappointed.

Here are some changes made to this version of OOTP:
  • 2012 Major League rosters, along with rule changes introduced by the new major league labor agreement, including Houston's AL West move in 2013 and a second wild card team in each major league, starting with the 2013 playoffs.
  • Real-Time Simulation Mode, which gives you a GM's view on what's happening in your league in real-time, including scores of games in progress, notifications of important events, and more. You can even jump into any game and watch it play out, or take the reins of your club.
    Real-Time Simulation Mode is perfect for those final days of the season when playoff berths are on the line.
  • Interactive Storylines also offer greater immersion by giving you choices when situations arise. Do you punish a star player who behaves badly or do you ignore his antics? No two decisions are ever alike, and they have wide-ranging effects on injuries, fan interest, team chemistry, player morale, player ratings, player potential, owner attitudes, and much more.
  • A revamped pitching model that more accurately reflects pitching in the real world, where close to 90% of pitchers are typically drafted as starters and later become relievers for various reasons. The new pitching model brings with it a host of positive changes that we'll discuss in depth in Road to Release.
  • You can now create Associations with multiple leagues that may share certain rules, free agents, draft pools, and/or playoffs. And speaking of playoffs: OOTP 13 features more custom playoff options, including, for example, first round byes.
  • We've also overhauled the interface in OOTP 13, enhanced online league play, improved the core gameplay engine, and more.
Out of the Park Baseball 13 - The Grand Slam of Baseball Sims! Pre-order your copy before the official release on April 9, 2012. Pre-order today and receive your copy on April 6, 2012!

Click to Pre-Order OOTP 13 for PC Windows and Mac OS X

Click here to Pre-Order OOTP 13 for Linux