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How to Find the Perfect League for You (Fantasy Baseball)

by Alex Altmix | @Altmix_23 | Featured Writer
Apr 17, 2020

Beyond our fantasy baseball content, be sure to check out our award-winning slate of Fantasy Baseball Tools as you prepare for your draft this season. From our free mock Draft Simulator – which allows you to mock draft against realistic opponents – to our Draft Assistant – which optimizes your picks with expert advice – we’ve got you covered this fantasy baseball draft season.

Unlike fantasy football, not every single sports fan plays fantasy baseball. While those people have no idea what they’re missing, that can present an issue when trying to find a quality fantasy baseball league to join. In fact, even the thought of working to try and find an ideal league turns many people away from playing. FantasyPros is here to help fix that. 

Here are the steps to finding the perfect fantasy baseball league to fit you:

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Step 1: Determine Your Stakes

Before going any further, it’s crucial to decide how serious of a fantasy baseball player you’re going to be this season. If you are devoted and can safely risk money, then a money league might be the best choice. Otherwise, a league that’s simply for pride or a friendly wager may fit better. 

Step 2: Choose Your Game

If you’re new to fantasy baseball, this step might seem silly. Fantasy baseball is unique in that there are two main ways you can play. Let’s briefly examine the primary types. 

Rotisserie: In this scoring type, teams are ranked from first to last in each statistical category. Points are awarded according to the order in each category, then totaled to determine an overall score and league rank.

Head-to-Head: Categories: This is the most common type of head-to-head play in fantasy baseball. In a standard league, there are five hitting and five pitching categories for a total of 10. For each scoring period, team totals are accumulated, and a win, loss, or tie is credited in each category based on the matchup results (i.e., 6-3-1 in a 10category league). Like standard fantasy football, teams usually have schedules/playoffs and the option to set up divisions.

Rotisserie leagues are more skill-based, involve less luck, and are the old-fashioned way of playing fantasy baseball. Head-to-head categories leagues involve more luck, offer more excitement in the way of matchups, and are the new school way of playing fantasy baseball. Either way, you can’t go wrong.

Step 3: Select Your Draft Format

If you’re joining or forming a new league, there’s one of two ways you’re going to want to draft: snake or auction. Take a look at the two types.

Snake: A snake draft simply means that the drafting order reverses after each round. So, let’s say you have a 10-team league. The first round would go 1 through 10. Then, the second round would start with team 10 and go in reverse down to team 1. This rotation continues until all picks have been completed.

Auction: Auction drafts are significantly more complicated than snake drafts. Auction drafts are based on a bidding format. In auction drafts, teams have the chance to draft any player they want, as long as they have the available funds. All teams start out with a certain monetary balance and can spend however much of that balance they want on any player. 

Again, both snake and auction drafts are great ways of proceeding.

Step 4: Practice Drafting

At this point, it would be a good idea to practice a little bit of drafting. With FantasyPros’ Mock Draft Simulator, you can practice drafting with all settings. The simulator can help you cement each of your prior decisions before moving further. 

Step 5: Pick Your Website

Practically all major fantasy sports websites offer private and public fantasy baseball leagues. If it’s your first time playing, choosing a familiar website would be the best decision. ESPN, Yahoo, CBS, and other major sites all offer solid platforms. Check around like you would when purchasing a real-life item and see which site fits bets.

Step 5.1: Camaraderie…?

Step six is an important one, so it’s broken down into two parts. One question that only you can answer is what impact strong camaraderie plays in your fantasy experience. If you are someone who strictly enjoys the camaraderie, banter, and trash-talking involved with fantasy sports, then you need to be part of a private league with friends. A public league full of silent strangers will not cut it for you. 

On the flip side, if you are someone who thinks competition is competition regardless of the names and faces, a public league would work just fine. If you’re unfamiliar, a public league is simply a league with predetermined settings that is run and operated by the originating website rather than a human commissioner. If selected, you will be placed with other random competitors from around the globe. Public leagues have a variety of different settings that can be chosen from. Determining what role camaraderie plays in your fantasy experience will guide our next step.

Step 5.2: Select Public or Private

If you determined that camaraderie is essential to your fantasy baseball experience, then work to find the proper mates — it will be worth it. Then, set up a private league for yourselves based upon these steps. 

Otherwise, pick a public league to play in based upon these steps. Heck, even if you just don’t feel like working to convince friends into joining, playing in a public league might be right. 

Step 6 (For public leagues only. Private leagues skip to step 7): Public League Considerations

There are a few critical things to consider when picking a public league. First, leagues tend to get more competitive the more there is on the line. Joining a free public league may result in a quality experience, but it’s likelier to result in a league where only a handful of members pay attention. 

On the other hand, joining a public league with a $500 entry fee might be quite the opposite experience. The league might fit your budget, but does it fit your skillset? The higher the entry fee, the harder that league is going to be to win — period. Don’t think that you can luck your way through a high-dollar league! But, if you’re ready to play some hardball, pony up!

Finally, be careful to choose the correct settings in a public league. Most public leagues will have standard, straightforward settings. However, some will have odd settings for more adept players looking to experiment. Choose wisely!

Step 7: Prepare for the Season and Enjoy!

After carefully considering and trekking your way through all of the steps above, you’re ready to go! Now, it’s time to use all of FantasyPros’ fantastic tools to guide you. Hop on over to the MLB homepage and work on your draft prep. Tools like the Draft Simulator, Draft Assistant, Expert Consensus Rankings, and many more will guide you on your journey. Enjoy!

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Alex Altmix is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Alex, check out his archive or follow him @Altmix_23.

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