Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Luck & the Draft

I believe that luck makes up 20% of everyone’s draft strategy. As with all games, Fantasy Baseball players must factor in random events and chance occurrences in their quest to win a Fantasy Baseball League. While some players carry the injury mark with them everywhere they go, you normally won’t be able to accurately pick whether a player will get hurt during the season. Therefore, you have to take chances during the 6 month long season to win. You will need to decide between two Free Agents to replace injured or under-achieving players, or you will need to decide which of your stud players you will deal in order to boost a stat for the stretch run.

No one knows what is going to happen during the season, but there are a few things you can do during your draft to reduce the impact of luck on your season. Every player you draft is a risk, but the key to winning is minimizing your risk while maximizing your value. For instance, a lot of people drafted SP Chris Carpenter in the Top 5 rounds of their drafts last year, and when healthy, he is worthy of such a high selection, but he got injured after just 6 innings and didn’t play again last year. Clearly, that should carry over into 2008, and yet some people actually included him in the top 100. I happened to be one of those skeptics, and wouldn’t touch him with a ten foot pole.

By always thinking about a worst-case scenario when compiling my draft order, I try to remove every risk possible from my draft. Simply reducing the number of "one-year wonders" and “injury-prone” players on your teams from 5 to 2 can make a big impact on the success of your draft. That being said, if by some chance one of my favorite “high risk” guys is still around in the late rounds of the draft, I will take a chance on him, because I will have reduced my risk and increased his potential value to my team. Of course, I am still not touching Chris Carpenter this year.

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