What's your fantasy?

Alyssa Milano. *Sighs* Now that's what comes to mind when I think about Fantasy Baseball. I digress as I breakdown how each of my eight teams made the playoffs this year against how Roto Authority tells you how to do so.

  • Use conservative projections. Well, that's a little bit of a "duh" moment. If you see a projection that has Ryan Howard with a .300 batting average, you know they're smokin' some of the sticky-icky. I like to use the most conservative projections because if/when your players exceed those expectations, you feel good, no matter where your team finishes.
  • Don't consider starting pitching until the eighth round of the draft. I completely disagree with this. My best team sports this pitching staff (pick number in parentheses): Jake Peavy (8), Brandon Webb (17), Cole Hamels (32), Roy Halladay (80), Felix Hernandez (89). It's sick and that quintet has dominated W's, K's, WHIP and ERA.
  • Pursue power/speed threats whenever possible. Again, agreed. My power/speed threats for that team are my starting OFs: Nate McLouth, Corey Hart and Bobby Abreu.
  • Don't pay for closers. Again, complete disagreement! You get the best of the best and you let the rest settle it out down the road. I like having three closers. For this team, I used my fourth and fifth round picks on Frankie "K-Rod" Rodriguez and Jonathan Papelbon and Kerry Wood was my 10th round pick. I think I won that category every week.
  • Heed position scarcity. Shortstops, catchers and third baseman were at a premium this year. For most of the year, my team struggled with Alex Gordon and Bobby Crosby on the left side, but picking Geovany Soto in the 13th round was a savior. Lately, Jed Lowerie, J.J. Hardy, Ryan Zimmerman, Yunel Escobar and Alexei Ramirez have pimped out the left side.
  • Be a waiver wire maniac. I really didn't use the waiver wire in this league, but I wish I did. I would have picked up Cliff Lee and Ryan Dempster had I known Justin Verlander and Huston Street were gonna suck this year. I turned Verlander and Street into Hardy and Jay Bruce. And you can't hate on that.
  • Trade pitching for hitting. Again, doesn't make sense. Pitching wins because if you can dominate those positions (like I did in this draft) you can draft a lot smarter at the starting positions. My team for most of the year has consisted of: Soto, James Loney, B.J. Upton (traded Josh Hamilton for him...big mistake, but I still finished with a 11 game lead in first place), Escobar, Lowerie, McLouth, Abreu, Hart, Bruce and Joey Votto.
Other quality bits of advice:

  • Draft with your head (with the help of a stat sheet), not with your heart. I understand that _______ is your favorite player on your favorite team or that ____________ is a hottie who looks good in baseball pants. But those don't count in the fantasy standings. If they did, David Eckstein would be the No. 1 overall pick based on his scrappiness.
  • Position Flexibility. I like having two position players on my bench because I like having the extra pitcher on my squad. That's why position flexibility is key. Joey Votto and Yunel Escobar were mainstays on my roster this season. Why? Because Votto was eligible at 1B and OF and Escobar was 2B/3B/SS eligible. Other versatile phenoms include Chone Figgins (2/3/OF), Alexei Ramirez (2/SS/OF) Mark DeRosa (1/2/3/OF) and Ty Wigginton (1/2/3/OF).
  • 'Moneyball' wins (fantasy) championships. Sure, Billy Beane's mentallity might just get his team into the playoffs, but it could bring you a fantasy championship. Guys that knock the ball out the park can win you HR and RBI, while strikeout pitchers can win you K's, WHIP and ERA for the most part.