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Monday, April 23, 2012

The Footballizing of Baseball

There has been a big shift in recent years toward wooing fantasy football players over to playing fantasy baseball.  There have been several reasons for this and it is not a trend that I see slowing down any time soon.

What sort of changes have we seen?  Primarily we are talking about the proliferation of Head-to-Head leagues versus the traditional Rotisserie format.  On a lesser scale, I have seen more weekly-format leagues instead of daily-format.

These trends are trying to make fantasy baseball more palatable for the fantasy football player.  Why?  Allow me to explain.

1) Head-to-Head:  This format allows players to focus on an individual matchup every week, which feels a lot like football.  They can pay attention to what is happening right now instead of planning for the long term health of their team for the full season.

2) Weekly:  Setting your roster on a weekly basis instead of monitoring it every day as is traditional in roto baseball.  This is a much lower time commitment than baseball usually demands and mirrors what happens in football.

3) Simplified Rosters:  I have seen leagues drop the CI or MI or go from 5 OF's to 3 or lower the number of bench spots... or even change all pitching slots to just "P."  I've also seen leagues with more than one "Util" slot.  All of this combines for less thinking on the part of the fantasy manager.  Easier for them to work with.

4) Limited Roster Moves:  A smaller trend is toward leagues that don't allow for roster moves or have an extremely limited number of moves per year.  This doesn't exactly mirror what happens in football, but if you think about it, how many moves do you make in football?  99% of the time you are putting your waiver claims in once a week and then setting your roster with those guys once a week.  The fantasy football player wants to have less to worry about.  If you had a league with like 15 roster moves allowed per year, each move would be magnified and you would make sure to ration them out.