Earlier we offered fantasy baseball keeper league strategy and auction league strategy. Now, we’re going to highlight some snake draft strategy tips that will help you make the right decisions about who to build around for 2012 and beyond. Here are 10 tips for a successful snake draft.
1. Do your homework!
The more time you put in, the better the team will be you walk away with after the draft.
2. Draft consistent and proven players.
Draft as many consistent and proven performers that you can find in the first few rounds. Fight to urge to reach for “the next best thing” in the early going. Wait to take a flier on your wildcards in the later rounds. Use the middle round picks to fill in your positional gaps and roto-categories to end with a well balanced attack.
3. Know your league scoring settings.
You would be surprised at how many owners will overlook them. Example: If complete games are a category in your league, then you bump up the value of Roy Halladay or Cliff Lee. Draft to the categories of your league.
4. Don’t be afraid to grab one of the last players remaining in a higher tier.
This holds true even if it is above their ADP. They won’t be available by your next pick. It is better to reach for Pablo Sandoval in the 3rd round than to be stuck with Martin Prado in the 16th. With that being said…
5. Be careful of player runs.
When two or three players in a certain position go off the board in a row, try not to get caught up in the run. Instead, direct yourself to another position. Select a top-tier player there rather than drafting a sixth consecutive closer. The teams who are consistently ending the runs are usually the ones who consistently reside at the top of the league standings.
6. Practice makes perfect.
Participate in a couple of mock drafts ahead of time. Try to put yourself in the exact same draft position you will have on draft day, to give you a feel of what players will be around when you are on the clock.
7. Use a majority of the time you are allotted for your pick.
If you are drafting online, place the next 5-10 players you would draft in your draft queue so you’re not scrambling to pick your next player in a rush. For an in-person draft, carefully consider the options when your pick arises and don’t let your leaguemates pressure you into any quick decisions.
8. Keep track of your team’s projected stats.
Do this in order to assure you are reaching goals in each of your league’s categories. You ask, what should my goals be? Simply look at last year’s league page to see what it took to win each category, along with what numbers it took to finish in the upper tier of each. This should give you rough guidelines of what totals your team must hit to be successful.
9. Keep track of other teams’ rosters.
While you are keeping track of your team’s totals, don’t forget to keep track of other teams’ rosters as well. How is this helpful? Say you have the second last pick of each round, followed by the second pick of the next one. That means one guy drafts two players between your picks. You are looking to fill holes at 2B and 3B. He also needs a second baseman but has previously drafted Evan Longoria. When you have this information in front of you, it is easy to make the call and take your 2B before waiting for the wrap-around to snag your 3B.
Too many rookie owners don’t know what the rosters of the other teams around them look like. This leaves them drafting a 3B first, and then complaining that their favorite second baseman was stolen from their grasp when he is selected just before their next pick.
10. Last but not least, have fun!
Draft day is always one of the highlights of the fantasy baseball season (aside from taking home the championship hardware at the end). Sit back, relax, and enjoy the day of banter and baseball with your buddies.