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Four Tips for Daily Lineup Changes League (Fantasy Baseball)

Mar 1, 2020

League settings can change the game quite a bit in fantasy baseball. One setting that can make a very big difference for the league is if daily lineup changes are allowed. Some leagues have each team set their lineup weekly, while others allow for changes up to each MLB game’s start time.

Here are some tips to get a competitive edge over your opponents in leagues where you can change your lineup daily.

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1. Pitcher Streaming in Head to Head Leagues
This is relevant in weekly lock leagues as well, of course, but it is a little more useful in daily leagues because you have more information when it comes time to decide whether to stream. By the time the weekend rolls around, you have a good idea of where you stand against your opponent. If you have a couple of guys get blown up early in the week and you are getting blown away in ratio stats like ERA and WHIP, you can chase wins or strikeouts a bit by just starting whoever is on the waiver wire — there is really no downside in that situation. You can also do the opposite here and bench your worse pitching options if you have a big lead in counting categories like wins and strikeouts, and you don’t want to risk ruining your ratios with a bad start.

Tip: Leave a spot or two open on your roster for weekly pitcher streaming to best adjust to the unique situations presently by weekly head to head matchups.

2. Playing the Matchups
Personally, I like to use using my bench spots for extra hitters to start when my main guys have off days or are facing a really tough pitcher. Major League Baseball has recently adjusted the schedule to work more off days in for each team. This creates a lot of weekdays where just a handful of games get played. If you have a deep hitting bench, your team can routinely have 10 or more at-bats than your opponent in a given matchup, which naturally adds counting stats to your stat line. If you can average even five more at-bats than the rest of the league per week, you are looking at more than 100 extra opportunities per year, which adds up to make a real difference.

Playing the matchups is a bit harder to quantify, but there is definitely an edge to be had when you can sub in a slightly worse hitter against a bad pitcher rather than a good hitter against a Cy Young pitcher. I’ll gladly start a 20th round hitter selection against a 5.00 ERA rather than my 8th round pick against a 2.00 ERA.

Tip: Dedicate more of your bench to hitters than pitchers to get extra at-bats and to avoid going up against the league’s best pitchers.

3. Be Open to Rostering Hitter “Specialists”
In an ideal world, you would have a lineup full of hitters that contribute in every category. Of course, this is unrealistic. You can make up for your inevitable lack of multi-category contributors by getting your hands on specialists for each category and then playing against your opponent’s strengths and weaknesses. For the 2020 season, drafting the Luis Arraez (projected to hit .312 but with no power) + Khris Davis (projected to hit .240 with 40+ homers) combination really late in a draft makes a ton of sense in a league where you can change your lineup every day. If you are facing the league’s best home run hitting team, you lean on Khris Davis early in the week to try to keep pace. If you find yourself way ahead in homers come Saturday, you plug in Arraez there to give your team a batting average boost.  Even a guy like Mallex Smith makes a lot of sense in this type of league, as you can just keep him benched when you aren’t facing a team that has a lot of steals.

Tip: Roster category specialists that balance each other out to make your team flexible in any given situation or matchup.

4. Draft Shohei Ohtani
This only works on websites where you can switch Ohtani back and forth between hitter and pitcher (on Yahoo there are two Ohtani’s in the player pool, one for his pitching stats and one for his hitting). Having the ability to accrue both hitting and pitching stats from one roster spot on your team is a huge advantage, especially when the stats that come in are highly effective. No other player can match the upside of a guy that can hit a couple of homers and throw you six scoreless innings in a single week. As the years go on, we will see more of these guys, and the world will see how valuable they can be for fantasy, so get ahead of that train now.

Tip: If you are in a rotisserie style league this year where you can switch Ohtani between hitter and pitcher, get him by (almost) any means necessary.

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Jon Anderson is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Jon, check out his archive and follow him @JonPgh.

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