Top In-Season Management Tips (2022 Fantasy Baseball)
Drafting a solid, well-balanced team is only a small part of winning your fantasy baseball leagues. The best fantasy managers are strategic, savvy, and active during the entire season. Here are a few strategies to help you win your fantasy baseball leagues this year.
Monitor Advanced Metrics
Paying attention to advanced metrics is key to staying ahead of the game and making smart decisions. Advanced metrics can be overwhelming, but a few can signal when players are doing better or worse than they should be. Fantasy managers should monitor batters’ HR/FB rate and pitchers’ SIERA (among many other stats).
Throughout the season, one stat to note is a batter’s HR/FB rate, which measures the percentage of a batter’s fly balls that go for home runs. If a batter has an inflated HR/FB rate compared to their career average and there are no improvements to their hard contact, launch angle, or fly ball rate, it is a signal that they are getting fortunate. Conversely, for batters with a suppressed HR/FB rate, it could signal that there is more power to come.
Fantasy managers should monitor pitchers’ SIERA, which is an advanced ERA metric that factors in strikeout rate, walk rate, and ground ball rate. It also factors the type of ball that gets put into play and adjusts for the result, which FIP and xFIP do not do. This means that SIERA is an excellent ERA predictor because its calculations factor in most things that are exclusively in the pitcher’s control. Therefore, identifying discrepancies in ERA and SIERA can seriously help fantasy managers during the season.
Some other fantasy baseball-related metrics to learn about for batters are barrel%, hardhit%, BABIP, hard contact, LD%/GB%/FB%, O-contact% and swSTR%.
Some other fantasy baseball-related metrics to learn about for pitchers are BABIP, HR/FB%, Spin rate, BAA vs. xBAA, and Whiff%.
Trading is essential in having a successful fantasy baseball season. One trading tip is to pay attention to surplus and deficit. Fantasy managers should look for teams with a surplus at a position or category they need. The trick is to figure out what that team lacks and offer a fair trade. Throughout the year, this is something to pay attention to because things change and different teams move up and down the standings. By noticing your own and other managers’ surpluses and deficits, it is easy to find avenues for trading.
Fantasy managers may also have to sacrifice to get what they want in trades, so being open to trading anyone is important as well. For example, if a manager is making a push for first place, but they really need strikeouts and steals to do it, and someone offers them a deal that gets them what they need, that manager should at least consider it.
Playing matchups and maximizing volume through streaming is an extremely valuable strategy, especially for head-to-head leagues. Targeting pitchers with good matchups, particularly two-start pitchers, is a winning formula. Before picking pitchers up, fantasy managers should make note of their league rules in regards to minimum and maximum innings or starts for pitchers. Then they should identify what they will need to reach the maximum amount of innings or starts and identify if there are any pitchers on waivers with good matchups that will help them.
Know Your Format
Fantasy managers should be aware of the scoring format of their leagues because strategies may change between points, rotisserie, and head-to-head categories leagues. Points leagues typically place heavy value on pitching, so having a deep pitching staff is more critical in points leagues compared to other league types. In roto leagues, fantasy managers should attempt to craft well-balanced teams to dominate as many categories as they can. In categories leagues, it is more beneficial to focus on winning at least three hitting and three pitching categories each week. By doing this, fantasy managers can target areas of weakness in their opponents’ rosters on a weekly basis and load up on players who will help them win categories that their opponents lack.
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 – that optimizes your picks with expert advice – we’ve got you covered this fantasy baseball draft season.