Here are five criteria that has lead to success in my fantasy baseball league, thus far:
Stability in the starting rotation. The new point system implemented by CBS Sports heavily punishes pitchers that give up tons of runs. Now, even the most elite pitchers can and will blow up occasionally (see Johan Santana on 6/14). That means your rotation must consists of guys that almost never lose points for your team. That means giving up a 2 start pitcher with lousy match-ups and using a 1 start pitcher with a favorable match up. Low risk is key here.
K’s and mo’ K’s. Having pitchers with a high K/BB ratio can help staunch point loss on bad nights.
Lots of innings. If you can’t have the best pitchers, have the longest lasting ones. That means finding pitchers that can eat up a lot of innings without their arms falling off towards the end of the season.
Plenty of at bats. Your offense can’t score if they don’t get the opportunity. So watch for where your players are batting. Check to see if they are everyday starters or part of a platoon.
More Powah! Batting averages and on-base percentages only tell part of the story. For a complete picture, you need at bats and slugging percentage. You might want to avoid the guys with the high strikeout rate, but power is greatly rewarded.
Build for September. By September, certain young pitchers will reach their innings limit and will likely shutdown for the season if they on a crappy team. The most ideal players are those playing for teams contending for playoff spots.
Team Update (Freelance Pornographers): Looking back I had a pretty crappy draft. Other than Albert Pujols and Roy Halliday I’ve completely misjudged player value. I got players that regressed too high (Quentin and Pedroia), picked my closers too high (Rivera and Lidge), got some slow starters (Oswalt, Upton, Verlander, Tulowitski… yikes), and picked Jacoby Ellsbury over Carl Crawford (whoops). Thankfully, with one great trade (Sabathia for Lidge and Volstad), great free agent pickups (Andrew Bailey, Zobrist, Wandy Rodiguez), and a teh a3esome starting rotation (Halliday, Sabathia, Verlander, Oswalt, Buerhle), I am on top of my division.
So hopefully Quentin returns soon and I can trade away some extra outfielders for other needs and I will be ready to take the Championship.