It's my favorite time of the year. Yes, the time of year when I could be thinking of new material, but i re-do a recycled article that I've posted to three different websites now...
Wait, no, ignore that - it's fantasy baseball season! Sure, this "real" baseball thing people talk about is going on, but fantasy baseball is way more important. Just ask the guys in that photo (taken from the ESPN 30 for 30 documentary on the origin of fantasy baseball - late April; can't wait.).You may lean towards fantasy football, but I like fantasy leagues where you know your entire team won't be out for the season in three weeks (or consistently puts up negative points - thanks Steve Slaton).
Fantasy baseball is a six month long daily battle, while fantasy football can be won by any idiot in the room. The same sometimes applies to the NCAA pool. For example, the lady who won the big office pool two years ago (100+ people) won because she picked all blue teams to the Final Four. "Strategy" like that won't win fantasy baseball leagues - although my blatantly racist 'no Japanese players' policy has done just fine over the years.
But it all starts with the draft, which is usually the most fun part of the entire league, so you might as well enjoy it as much as possible. Here is my step-by-step plan that you should use to wreck everyone at your upcoming draft:
1.) Print out a bunch of info using your company's paper
Work is work...but there are times when being at work comes in handy - they always have plenty of computer paper. Use this to print up any type of information you want. I always go with a ranking list of the best 200ish players and someone else's mock draft. Side note: you are not as smart as the guys who get paid to write about fantasy sports. Trust them, not you, especially when it comes to baseball. This is more of a reliable sport than football, which is a complete crapshoot (seriously - go to hell, Steve Slaton).
Also print out some stats from last year in case you want to compare one player to another. Don't bother paying 8 bucks for an outdated mag when you can go online and get everything in there for free. And if you need pretty pictures to feel worthy, send these to the color printer at work and tape them over the Pirates' team stats, since you won't need that page.
Amendment - since I wrote this out for the first time a few years ago, the laptop has become more and more popular as a draft tool. If you're planning on a paperless draft, at least use company time to gather stats, notes, rankings and a recent mock draft. Your boss knows you're screwing around half the day anyway, at least use it wisely this time.
2.) Steal a gay highlighter from work too
Highlighters don't come in very many "manly" colors, so suck it up and go with pink for your draft. When picks are made, highlight that guy's name on one of your sheets listed in tip #1. Plus you take a chance that one of the other team owners will mock you for having a pink highlighter, possibly distracting him during the draft. If he slips up and takes Nomar Garciaparra in the 6th round, now who's the dumbass?
Amendment - once again, if you're using the laptop, this doesn't apply to you. This tip could be obsolete in a year or two (and not because everyone is losing their jobs), but there's got to be a useful way to distract the other jerks sitting around you on draft day. What if you played some really gay songs on youtube about five minutes before the draft? Really gay, catchy songs can get stuck in everyone's head, hopefully throwing them off their game. If the guy next to you is still humming 'Dancing Queen' right before he picks his third closer in round five, then you've done your job.
How will you be able to concentrate on an empty stomach? More importantly, how will you be able to cope with having Johnny Damon as your top OF? Be sure to stock up on a bunch of food, preferably something greasy and/or deep fried. The draft is going to take a while, so be comfortable, and lenient on that belt, fatboy. And the amount of booze is your choice. If for some reason you do end up with Johnny Damon, I'd suggest you drink by the case. Or maybe fake a heart attack to get out of the league.
4.) Draft attire
If no one makes fun of you for a gay highlighter/youtube clips, your wardrobe is another key component of getting inside their head. Do you go with a plain old t-shirt? No, that doesn't get anyone's attention. Tommy Herr powder blue jersey? Now we're talking. The barf-tastic glow off a powder blue jersey cannot be avoided, no matter where you are located in the room. Plan B: If you're real desperate, go with the "just out of jail" look. Handcuff on one of your wrists and a teardrop tattoo under your right eye. A lot of good picks could fall into your lap if you threaten to kill someone's grandma. Write that down.
5.) Talk some shit and bring "Ha Ha" guy with you
Smack talk is always encouraged, and you get better with practice. Not all one liners will be winners, but lay it on your opponents early and often. Be sure to back that up by not making stupid decisions on your own. An alternative to vocally speaking smack is by using "Ha Ha" guy as a silent weapon. What the hell is "Ha Ha" guy you ask? Go here and type in some hate. Print that out and hold it up to your opponent's face every time they make a dumb pick. It's always a crowd pleaser.
Amendment: I'm looking for the wave of the future in the shit-talk industry. While "Ha Ha" guy is funny, his time is up. My recommendation? A championship belt. If you won your league last year, you've got to bring a big ass belt to the draft. It's extremely cocky and makes a big statement that you're a jerk, but at least you're good at fantasy baseball.
If you lost last year, just pull a Million Dollar Man circa 1989, and create your own title. We all know the guy who won cheated, or got really fucking lucky. You don't have to take his shit any more. You're the champ whether he likes it or not.
There you have it - everything you need to know to dominate your draft this year.
Except a basic strategy, what players to draft and how to work the waiver/free agent pool. I ran out of room, sorry...