Top 10 Fantasy Baseball Mistakes

by Josh Mantel
Top 10 Fantasy Baseball Mistakes

Spring Training is here and it’s time to sharpen your pencil and get to scouting! Check out our rankings as a great place to start your research.

Don’t you hate the guys who always seem to win every, single, year? They are the person who knows about people being injured before they are even hurt or picks up the prospect who no one in the league knows about.

Well, the reason they do so well is that they are the person with the least amount of mistakes during the season. Let's dive into what some of those mistakes are.

Top 10 Fantasy Baseball Mistakes

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1. Trade for a player who is on a hot streak

Every season there is that handful of players who come out of nowhere and are finally productive. I caution trading for a player who for the majority of his career has been a below-average hitter and is on the wrong side of 30.

2. Don’t Draft two players on one team

Many fantasy owners are under the belief to not draft two great players in the same lineup because they take away stats from each other. I argue that it is the opposite, in the fact that these two players are going to play off each other.

You should draft Bo Bichette and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. Bichette is going to bat leadoff and he will get OBP, Hits, Steals, and Runs while VGJ will get you Home Runs, RBI, OBP, and Hits. All of these stats could happen in one inning and boost your team significantly.

Draft players that are good, look over that they are on the same team and that’s the bottom line because Mantel said so …
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3. Not coming in with a strategy

Some players are in the camp that coming into the draft and feeling out who is available when it is your turn to pick is the best strategy.

Well, those people typically don’t do well in fantasy. You don’t go to a car dealership or buy a house without doing research. Why would you go into a fantasy season and not prepare for it?

4. Do your own research

This is a critical point, because if you take someone else in your league's word for it then you don’t really know what you are getting yourself into.

Quick story…. In my dynasty fantasy league, a few years ago I traded for a player who I thought was a prospect. I thought I would have ownership for a significant time.

Well, Pete, (the guy who was trading me the player) neglected to tell me that the player was not a prospect. I now had to keep him if I wanted him on my team. If I had done my own research, I would not have made a mistake on a keeper pick on a player who had barely been in the majors.

5. Giving up on players early

This happens so often it’s like a broken record. You read about a player who has been working out hard in the offseason and so you draft him with one of your top seven picks. He gets off to a slow start in April and you drop/trade him for peanuts one month into the season!

If you are going to invest in drafting the player so high you should keep him until the end of May. To trade him, it needs to be fit your team.

If you are going to draft someone like Marcus Semien. His ADP is in the 7th round in a standard 12 team league. Hold onto him and see how his first two months look. Then determine what is the best strategy for him.

6. Hitting prospects are gonna be prospects, even for a little bit in the majors

Every year there is a handful of “can’t miss” prospects who you know are getting the call-up. They are called up and you expect them to start hitting home runs from day one. Most of the time this does not happen.

If you look at players like Eloy Jimenez who got called up to start the season in 2019. He had only six home runs through May. Do you know how many he had in June? He had eight. He hit more in one month then he did in the first two months of the season.

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The same can be said for Ronald Acuna Jr. All of his stats nearly doubled in his second year in the majors. There is an adjustment period for most hitting prospects when they get called up, due to the advanced pitching in the majors.

7. Pitchers are like a fine wine, they get better with age

If you look at pitchers like Max Scherzer and Cliff Lee they got older and had a lower ERA. For instance, Scherzer from ages 30-34 his ERA was 2.74 while from ages 25-29 his ERA is 3.54.

For many Tier 1 (some Tier 2) pitchers have their best years in their 30’s. Don’t feel like because a good pitcher has hit his 30’s he is over the hill.

8. Catcher is as shallow as your Ex

If you are in a Keeper league and you have a top-four Fantasy Catcher (J.T. Realmuto, Gary Sanchez, Yasmani Grandal, or Willson Contreras) keep them! After that, you are hoping that you hit on a guy who had a good year last year (Mitch Garver).

Because this position is so shallow, I would not draft a catcher until your 12th pick at the earliest.

9. Don’t make it personal

Everyone has their favorite team. But if your team sucks (Orioles fans) there is a good chance that they don’t have many valuable players.

If you have drafted someone on your team for 5+ years and you see their productivity is starting to decline. It’s time to do the same thing that Jack did on the Titanic and “let go”.

10. Drafting someone who hits at the bottom of the lineup

Finally, it is important that you don’t draft anyone who hits at the bottom of the lineup. The reason is they will not have as many At Bats as someone at the top of the lineup. They will also not have as many opportunities to produce for you.
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With that being said, “I pity the fool” who doesn’t take their league seriously. Following through with the 10 keys above will put you in a good position to win in your league. If you decide not to follow, then you will likely end up as a cellar dweller where you belong! Just kidding, but seriously comment below on what you think are mistakes people make and if you liked the article!

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Christopher Henrich February 25, 2020 - 9:54 am

Love the article and in depth rankings. Glad I found your fantasy sixpack site on Twitter. Look forward to more insight.

Ethan Widdes February 25, 2020 - 10:15 pm

Great Josh! Very well done

Ethan Widdes February 25, 2020 - 10:16 pm

Love this! Great work! I’ll see you in the playoffs 🙂

Pete February 26, 2020 - 10:14 am

Great insight. The fantasy advice is wise. You must be very successful in your fantasy league.

Tommy Wahl February 26, 2020 - 11:38 am

I’m thinking about getting into Fantasy Baseball, I’ll make sure to avoid these mistakes. Consider it my playbook—Thanks Josh!

2020 Fantasy Baseball Week 2 Cactus League Update - Fantasy Six Pack March 7, 2020 - 3:00 pm

[…] you read Top 10 Fantasy Mistakes you will know to not draft players who hit at the bottom of the lineup. This is exactly where […]


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