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Top 10 Fantasy Baseball Draft Mistakes to Avoid (2024)

Top 10 Fantasy Baseball Draft Mistakes to Avoid (2024)

Fantasy Baseball Draft day seems far away right now, but it will be here before you know it.

Whether you sit down at your draft table this month or right before Opening Day, it is important to make as few mistakes as possible. Here are some of the most common mistakes even the most seasoned player has made.

10 Draft Mistakes to Avoid (2024 Fantasy Baseball)

Not Know Your Rules

This seems like the most obvious mistake you can make, but it is one that people make every year in every league. Not only should you read your league rules, but you should study them to gain every advantage possible and make sure there are no pitfalls in terms of your strategy. Especially if it is your first year in a league, but even if you are a seasoned vet, know your rules!

Being Unprepared

I can’t tell you how often I have seen someone show up to the draft without doing enough prep. If you are the manager who prints out some site’s ranks 10 minutes before the draft as your prep, you are bound to finish in last place. You should not only have a good understanding of the player pool but a strategy of how you want your draft or auction to go. Being unprepared means you won’t be able to pivot if things don’t go as expected.

Not Having a Backup Plan

As mentioned, sometimes things won’t go as planned, so it is important to have a backup plan. Maybe you wanted to build your team around Kyle Tucker, but someone takes him right before you pick. You need to be prepared for things to go haywire. I recommend that people doing a snake draft create a decision tree that outlines as many possibilities as possible. You should prepare for the worst and hope for the best.

Waiting To Get “Your Guys”

This is one we all do. We identify our “sleeper” players and then play chicken with the ADP and our leaguemates. While we all want to extract as much value as we can by getting valuable players as late as possible, if we have players that we really want, then you should go, “Get your guys.” I would rather spend a 12th-round pick on a player I value as a seventh-round talent than risk him going before my pick, even if he has an ADP in the 16th round. Don’t be afraid to reach on the assets that are important to you.

Taking a Player That Falls

On the flip side of getting your guys, I often see people taking a player who fell in a draft because of the perceived “value.” This is putting too much weight into the ADP or site rankings. There is nothing wrong with taking a player that fell who you value as a great fit for your team, but often, managers take a player just because they have fallen. Keep in mind that there is often a reason why players fall in a draft. If you didn’t like him enough to take him at cost, you probably shouldn’t like him just because he is cheaper.

Taking On Injury Risk

With new rule changes that speed up the pace of play, we saw a huge jump in injuries in 2023. We can expect that to continue in 2024 as MLB continues to try to speed up the game even more. With the number of injuries in the game today, it is a big risk to draft players who are already hurt or injury-prone. We all love the upside of the Byron Buxton‘s of the world, but you will be hit by the injury bug at some point in the season. Why invite more of it on your team to start?

Drafting Too Much Upside Early

A lot of us draft players with massive upside early and do not think about the risks involved. Obviously, you want players who can win you your league, but in the first few rounds of your draft, you should be thinking about players who are more likely to return value. In the top 30-40 picks, everyone is a stud for the most part. It is more important to think about who is most likely not to be a bust than who is more likely to be the No. 1 player. For example, Aaron Judge has the talent to be the No. 1 player in fantasy but has a ton of risk because of his health. Freddie Freeman is almost guaranteed not to be the top player in fantasy, but his floor is super high. I would rather draft the safe player early and take my risks later with players I am more OK with dropping.

Not Trusting Yourself

This is one I learned a few years ago. I would spend months doing prep work for my drafts. Then draft day would come, and I wouldn’t trust myself as much as I should. Instead of going by my own thoughts and values, I would take players that other people had hyped up and pass on those whom I had highlighted. If you are like me and put a ton of work into your prep, trust your process and yourself.

Using Others’ Rankings

I know not everyone has the time that those of us in the fantasy industry do to make their own ranks and values. Yet, if you want to be a strong fantasy manager, you need your own version of ranking. At the bare minimum, you should take a ranking you trust and tweak it to reflect your own preferences and league rules. I know that it is tough work, but often, the ranks people are using aren’t even meant as a draft list or for every format or league size. Make sure you cater your ranks for your particular league.

Taking Things Too Seriously

I take fantasy baseball as seriously as possible, putting countless hours into my prep. However, at the end of the day, we are playing a game. Your draft day should be fun. No matter what the stakes I’m playing for, I make sure I am having as much fun as possible. If the game stops being fun, then you shouldn’t play it.

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