Fantasy baseball game is a great game, particularly for sports fans that love to watch baseball. A season covers about 180 days or almost 26 weeks. Most of my feel in the fantasy baseball market place has come in rotisserie-fashion leagues. Most formats have 10 categories to earn league points, with v for batters and five for pitchers.

Rotisserie (Roto) Categories

Batting Average (BA)
– Each team adds upwardly their full hits divided by the number of at-bats by their starting hitters on their fantasy team to come up with their overall squad batting boilerplate.

If you lot have the highest batting average in your league, your squad earns the outset identify points in this category. (Note: League points are determined by the number of teams in each league or contest. For example, if there are 12 teams in a league, first place is worth 12 points. Second identify is worth 11 points, and so on, with the last-place team earning just one point).

In a 12-team league, fantasy managers trying to stop in the top xx percent in batting average should gear up a goal of .2645 based on the high-stakes market results in 2021 (2388 teams).

Runs (R)
– This is the total of all runs scored by the starting hitters on your team.

The goal for runs should be most 1,125 runs in 12-team leagues or 80 runs per player in formats with xiv offensive players.

Dwelling Runs (HR)
– Each squad adds up the number of abode runs by their starting hitters.

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A fantasy manager needed over 338 home runs to finish in the meridian three in the dwelling run category in 12-squad leagues (about 24 habitation runs per batter).

Runs Batted In (RBI)
– This is the total of all runs driven in by your starting lineup.

In a 12-team league, the target number should be nearly 1,077 RBI (near 82 RBI per batter).

Stolen Bases (SB)
– Each squad adds up the number of steals by their starting players.

Overall, stolen bases have trended downward over the final few seasons in Major League Baseball. Last year, a fantasy manager but needed 125 steals to finish in the acme xx percent or nine steals per hitter.

Wins (W)
– This is the total number of wins by your fantasy pitching staff (only players in the starting lineup).

Typically, I try to manage my team to get enough starts in the year to earn 4 wins per week, which is 104 wins over a 26-week season. In 2021, the final target number was 90 wins in the high-stakes market place.

Earned Run Average (ERA)
– Each team adds upwards the number of earned runs allowed past their pitching staff divided by the total number of innings pitched times nine innings to determine their team ERA. The goal is to accept the lowest ERA in the league.

A fantasy squad needed an ERA of 3.538 to finish in the peak 20 pct. I typically employ a three.50 as my target number in ERA in a 12-squad format.

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Walks + Hits/Innings Pitched (WHIP)
– This is the trickiest stat for new fantasy managers to go a handle on. WHIP is a style to become the value of each bullpen’s skill set. All hits allowed are added to the total number of walks allowed divided by the total number of innings pitched by your starting pitching staff to come with each team’south WHIP. The lowest WHIP earns the most league points.

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A fantasy manager needed a whip of 1.145 in 2021 in 12-team leagues to end in the top twenty pct.

Strikeouts (One thousand)
– Each team adds upwardly the strikeouts from the pitchers in their starting lineup each week.

Some pitchers have posted some impressive strikeout totals over the last few seasons, raising the bar to compete in this category. In 12-team formats, a fantasy team needed 1,450 strikeouts to finish in the pinnacle 20 percent final year.

Saves (SV)
– Each squad adds upwardly the full number of saves by their pitching staff to compete in this category.

A fantasy team will need near 76 saves to be competitive in saves in 12-team leagues.

League Structure

A standard 12-team Roto league will consist of nigh 30 rounds. Each squad selects a player in each circular while filling in their starting lineup, including 14 hitters and nine pitchers. The 14 batters consist of two catchers, ane showtime baseman, one second baseman, one shortstop, one tertiary baseman, 1 centre infielder (2d base or shortstop), one corner infielder (offset base or third base), five outfielders, and i utility (any batter). Most fantasy managers will draft 7 starting pitchers and two closer (pitchers who pitch in close games that earn saves) for their starting pitching lineup.

The vii bench spots can consist of whatsoever players you desire. In 12-team leagues, it would make sense to have a couple of actress starters plus a third pitcher with a chance at saves. The last 4 bench slots could look like this: i upside young role player with future playing time, one backup outfielder, i fill-in eye infielder, and one backup corner infielder.

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Player Pool

Once a fantasy manager has a feel for each category on the hit and pitching side, information technology’s time to larn the player pool.

To assistance you get a feel for the possible value of each position in 2022, I put together a table of average stats for near of the positions (No DH Slot) this yr based on the last 2021 stats.




In most seasons, first base, tertiary base, and the outset 2 outfield slots offering the most production to a fantasy lineup from the hitting side. However, the shortstop position moved to the second about impactful offensive position in 2021. The value on the right under the Full column shows the touch of each position’s stats inside a 12-team league environment using (SIscore). Just for comparison, here’s how each position stacks up based on SIscore value:

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When learning to develop a winning fantasy roster, the goal is building a foundation of solid batters and elite pitchers while finding complementary upside players afterwards in the draft. If you brand your draft decisions based on the previous flavor’southward results, you are in for a rude enkindling. Each year, players rise and fall, with plenty of them battling injuries. Therefore, it’s crucial to find rising stars drafted earlier in the following draft flavour (equally in a 2022 8th-round selection being a second-circular option in 2023).

Compare Players with Different Skill Sets

Here’s a look at iv different skill set of players to give you a feel for some decision within the typhoon:

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The above stats are from my earlier projections at Sports Illustrated. Fernando Tatis (1.nine) and Trea Turner (one.7) take similar ADPs while also ranking get-go and second in my first release of the projections. Turner owns the higher ceiling in speed, but Tatis brings an electrical five-category skill set. His only question is staying healthy. With fewer strikeouts, his batting boilerplate would move into an aristocracy area. He should be the offset actor drafted for someone building a balanced team.

I’ll focus on Turner matched upward with Juan Soto and Vladimir Guerrero for this comparing. Each player brings a projected edge in batting average while ranking second (11.03), third (10.17), and 4th (9.66) in SIscore.

The attraction of Turner comes from his balanced skill set. Unfortunately, he can’t match Soto or Guerrero in RBIs, plus his ability output probably has more regression than upside. Nonetheless, Turner plays in a high-scoring law-breaking, allowing him to exist a divergence-maker in runs.

Soto offers the best approach in baseball, leading to a massive full in walks and potentially in runs. He has a league-leading batting average upside while all the same looking to unlock his power stroke. He can’t match the other top three players in speed, but Soto has an underlying upside in this area.

Guerrero turned into a beast final yr, and his approach suggests his bat will be a gene for the next decade or and then. In addition, the Blue Jays have a immature cast effectually him helping his flooring in runs and RBI.

The question for any squad director is how they meet the thespian pool unfold in future rounds. For example, is batting average more important than speed? Is owning a foundation ace a better path? Each pick is a building block that sends your team downwards different avenues to finish your roster.

Building Blocks

Early in the draft, each fantasy managing director’s decision dictates direction for future picks. Building a strong law-breaking requires multiple selections with favorable timing needed at various times during the typhoon.

If a fantasy team started with a ability/boilerplate hitter such as Guerrero, the goal would be to discover another speed player later in the draft while also searching to find every bit many power/speed players as possible over the side by side few rounds.

A squad that starts with Turner will plow to power-hitting outfielders or corner infielders with his following few selections in drafts.

The thought behind drafting Soto is to first with a balanced foundation (assuming he runs this year) to allow your team building to have more flexible paths during each draft.

Foundation Pieces to the Offensive Puzzle

I listed Turner, Guerrero, and Soto as my comparable players every bit these iii players all fit my game plan to build the foundation of my criminal offence. After my first 3 batters, I want to have a high batting average base with a combination of 75 home runs and 75 steals. By doing this, I can create easier outs in some categories while as well calculation more than flexibility in my decision-making in each typhoon.

Elite Speed with Power and Average: The player that comes to heed for me is Carl Crawford in his prime. From 2004 to 2007, he striking .304 while averaging 97 runs, 14 domicile runs, 73 RBI, and 53 steals. His skill prepare is one of the most unique in fantasy baseball. He ready a massive flooring in speed while adding four categories with league boilerplate stats or improve. In 2022, Trea Turner has the talent to exist a better piece to beginning a fantasy squad with a high ceiling in stolen bases if he wants to run. Remember, typically, there is just one player that fits this category in many draft seasons. Unfortunately, the only 15/55 player I see this year is Adalberto Mondesi. He doesn’t meet batting boilerplate criteria, and staying healthy has been a problem.

High Average/Plus Power: The players I think of when trying to identify this skill ready in my team development are Albert Pujols, Manny Ramirez, and Miguel Cabrera. These players had a chance to hit well over .300 with a floor of 100 runs, 30 dwelling house runs, and 100 RBI. Juan Soto is the new anchor to a fantasy team in batting average and power, plus he adds some steals. Vladimir Guerrero too fits into this category after his outstanding 2021 flavor.

Balanced Player: The goal here is to find the best xx/twenty, 25/25, or fifty-fifty 30/30 player to start as a top three-piece to your striking offense while adding aid in batting average. Fernando Tatis, Ronald Acuna, and Luis Robert are the all-time 3 options for me in the 2022 typhoon season.

Sometimes, information technology becomes more about acquiring assets if you play in a trading league. Each role player’s performance will fix up future deals as the season unfolds. Unfortunately, trading in fantasy baseball is never easy, and about fantasy managers overvalue their players.

Top 25 Hitters in 2021

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On the Pitching Side

Based on final year’due south results, here is a expect at some of the pitching slots to build a fantasy roster for a 12-squad 5 Ten five Roto format:

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All starting pitchers volition accept no production in saves, and each closer will offering minimal value in wins and some success at times in strikeouts.

Hither’s how the closer position would rank when compared to the starting pitching inventory:

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Last year but four pitchers finished with over 200 innings, and just xvi other arms reached the 180-inning mark. The drop in inning in pb artillery pushed the value to the top 12 closers despite only nine pitchers recording xxx saves or more. The early on draft flavor in the National Fantasy Baseball Championship supports this alter in each player’s fantasy value.

Learning to Build Your Pitching Base

Fantasy managers can see the border created by drafting an ace starting pitcher based on the above filigree of pitchers. Each twelvemonth, the starting pitching pool will modify, forcing drafters to brand unlike evaluations on who to take in drafts.

By post-obit this chart, it suggests a acme closer is more valuable than a second-tier SP2. On the flip side, a second ace arm with the ability to pitch over 200 innings would be a significant score if he ranks highly in wins, strikeouts, ERA, and WHIP. If starting pitching flies off the board early and the depth looks questionable, a move to an elite closer similar Josh Hader or Liam Hendriks does brand sense. The next decision comes when to beginning calculation your 2d closer.

Based on the SIscore rankings final year, the 2nd grouping of closers ranked fifth in roster construction for pitchers. Most fantasy managers will take the second closer before their fourth starter and sometimes before their tertiary starting pitcher. This decision is dependent on league size and draft flow while also because the changes in the value of the player pool from yr to year.

How to Identify an Ace

Using the SIscore, a fantasy managing director tin become a experience for a role player’s possible value between unlike positions. In addition, it volition help place potential underlying values. For instance, here’s a look at the top 24 pitchers from 2021 based on SIscore rankings:

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By looking at the highlighted xanthous line, a fantasy manager can meet the baseline of an ace. Final year, a pitcher needed 14 wins with a ii.79 ERA, i.000 WHIP, and 219 strikeouts to exist considered an ace.

The orange line shows a bullpen with 11 wins, a 3.08 ERA, i.07 WHIP, and 182 strikeouts for an SP2.

For a drafter to create a winning pitching staff, he should be looking to beat both target lines of stats, which SIscore is expected to aid fantasy managers to see.

Following up with earlier examples for batters, a team must decide between a hitter or a pitcher over the start three rounds of drafts in 2022. Any bullpen with 15 wins or more than with a sub 3.00 ERA and 200+ strikeouts volition offering an border from the starting pitching position. A beginner fantasy managing director won’t understand pitchers’ high failure rate due to injuries until he plays the game, and then this conclusion isn’t as easy equally clicking a push in the typhoon room. Pitching comes with a ton of injury risk.

These are the type of decisions a drafter will embrace one time he develops a feel for the game and becomes more passionate well-nigh the actor pool.

A Look at the Closers

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In 2021, the top 12 closers averaged 5 wins, 32 saves, and xc strikeouts with a 2.42 ERA and 1.02 WHIP. Liam Hendriks gained his edge in strikeouts (113) with an reward in WHIP (0.73) and saves (38). His SIscore (vii.15) was well above the rating (2.78) for the average of the top 12 closers. Overall, the closing inventory had a 2d downwards season.

The second group of 12 closers averaged vi wins, 18 saves, and lxxx strikeouts with a 2.86 ERA and 1.105 WHIP. When adding a closer ane option to a closer two pick, it made information technology difficult to reach the medium target number for saves (sixty). Fewer saves produced past two relievers required fantasy teams to add a third endmost choice to be competitive in the save category, which came with an expense in wins and strikeouts.

Peak closers climbed to the third and fourth rounds in most 15-team fantasy drafts while being discounted slightly in 12-squad leagues. They offer an edge with 40+ saves and aristocracy strikeouts when added to a low ERA and WHIP. Unfortunately, saves can be found in all draft areas plus exist available in the free-agent pool. Information technology’southward just a matter of whether a fantasy director wants security over the ensuing boxing for closers later in the draft and on the waiver wire.

In some cases, a height starter and top closer may offer a meliorate foundation than the Dual Ace strategy.

Every bit great every bit each player may expect on your roster, names don’t win fantasy championships. It’south about acquiring the best stats in each category, which comes down to drafting, gratis agency, and squad direction.

In today’southward fantasy games, fantasy managers have ADPs (average typhoon position) to help sympathise the draft flow and completed results from previous seasons to testify what it takes to win at all levels.

I know this is a lot to accept in on the surface, but this insight will be more evident when playing fantasy baseball.

Terminal Thoughts

Hither are some early guidelines I go by when edifice my fantasy roster:

Batting foundation
– I focus on trying to find 3 batters that combine for 75 dwelling house runs and 75 stolen bases with my first three batters plus offer an edge in batting average. If draft flow creates the right path for my team structure, this goal could be accomplished with three of my first five picks.

Pitching foundation
– I try to roster 2 aces plus one reliable closer. By doing this, I position myself to compete in all five categories on the pitching side.

One solid catcher
– I invest in one solid catcher inside the first 12 rounds. It’south important non to get beat at the catcher position. Finding ane catcher on the waiver wire can exist done, but 2 would be a alpine society.

Batting order
– The batters that hit in the top five spots in the batting lodge offering the most value if they get total-fourth dimension at-bats. I await for leadoff-type hitters for runs and cleanup-type hitters for RBI.

Backend pitching
– I try to brand sure I finish my pitching staff. Investing in early on pitching doesn’t make sense if I give away my border later in the draft. Please pay attention to WHIP, as it is the most disquisitional fantasy category.

Closers in waiting
– If I happen to roster a second solid closer, it’s ever nice to accept a third option on the bench. League size will determine the availability in the draft pool. If I’m weak at the second closer position, it’s essential to follow the struggling closers and endeavor to roster the next pick in line for saves.

Double starters
– A new fantasy team can speedily get shell in wins and strikeouts by not pitching enough starters in weekly lineup leagues (These are leagues when you set your lineup one time for the week). Starters that pitch twice a week requite your team two chances at wins and strikeouts. I invite ERA and WHIP risk if I live on the waiver wire. There is a delicate balance between starting a reliable pitcher and a waiver wire arm with double starts each week.

To win in fantasy baseball, a fantasy manager must understand what it takes to win, learn the player pool, get a feel for typhoon menstruation, and most of all, make adept decisions while on the clock in drafts. It all starts with a draft program or style, which varies from yr to yr and from fantasy squad to fantasy team.

More fantasy baseball coverage:

  • AL Due east:
    Baltimore Orioles | Boston Red Sox | New York Yankees | Tampa Bay Rays | Toronto Bluish Jays
  • AL CENTRAL:
    Chicago White Sox | Cleveland Guardians | Detroit Tigers | Kansas City Royals | Minnesota Twins
  • AL Due west:
    Houston Astros | Los Angeles Angels | Oakland A’s | Seattle Mariners | Texas Rangers
  • NL EAST:
    Atlanta Braves | Miami Marlins | New York Mets | Philadelphia Phillies | Washington Nationals
  • NL CENTRAL: Chicago Cubs | Cincinnati Reds | Milwaukee Brewers | Pittsburgh Pirates | St. Louis Cardinals
  • NL West: Arizona Diamondbacks | Colorado Rockies | Los Angeles Dodgers | San Diego Padres | San Francisco Giants

Source: https://www.si.com/fantasy/2022/03/10/baseball-basics-how-to-play-strategies