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Monday, April 9, 2012

Your Team

Let's talk about your team.  Not your fantasy team necessarily, your real-life team.  If you are into fantasy baseball then you are probably a big fan of real baseball and all of the details and nuances... The tendencies of your pitchers, your hitters, your manager.

Over time you can really get a feel for your real-life team that other people just don't have.  You live and die with these guys and sometimes it can feel like you know them so well that you can know what they are going to do before they do it.  With this power comes a warning and a challenge.

The warning is to be cognizant of the fact that you probably overvalue the players on the team you cheer for.  You're probably going to want to draft them before everyone else, pick them up as free agents before anyone else, trade for them, and not trade them away so easily.  You love these guys.  Nothing wrong with that.

However, if you value a player more than his real value just because you love to cheer for him then you've got a problem.  This will damage your fantasy roster in many ways.

But, you can exploit your knowledge of your team if you are able to keep those valuations in check.  One strong outing by a pitcher could tell the rest of the world that they should keep their eye on that guy.  If that pitcher is on your team. that same outing could signal to you that he may have arrived, ready to fulfill his potential.

I'm from Baltimore originally and a big Orioles fan all of my life.  Their first three games this year have all been wins with sparkling efforts in each game by their starter.  Jake Arrieta, Tommy Hunter, and Jason Hammel are all available in almost every league.  They all had fantastic season debuts.

I am looking at this logically and realizing that Hunter and Hammel are solid veteran guys who had their stuff going and are healthy and faced a bad team in the Minnesota Twins.  They will regress to the mean, though I do expect them to have fairly solid seasons this year.

Arrieta on the other hand...  The same may be true of him, but he is the Orioles' ace this year and he looked dominant on opening day.  I am looking at that as a sign that he has earned an opportunity and is going to make the most of it.  It is possible that he has in fact arrived and I am grabbing him in every league I can.  He could be dominant this year for the Birds, we'll see.  He has to keep it going with a start against the Yankees this week, so that will be a much greater measure of his abilities than his start against the Twins.

The problem is that if he does to the Yankees what he did to the Twins, he'll disappear from free agent lists everywhere.  I need to use my knowledge of the team and this hunch to get in on the ground floor now.  I suggest you do the same with the guys you know about.  But, don't be afraid to quickly acknowledge when you are wrong.  That is the real trick to this concept.