Traps to avoid down the stretch in Fantasy Baseball

You might normally avoid Rockies pitchers, but German Marquez could be worth the gamble if you’re trying to make up ground. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

Here are some traps to avoid so your team doesn’t sink in the fantasy standings as the season winds to a close. We also covered five tips to chase a title.

Don’t-do list

1. Don’t conserve FAAB money. Spend recklessly now — you’ve already waited too long. Remember, you can in most leagues pick up players for $0 bids. If that’s not the case, merely save 5-to-10 bucks for a few more moves. The transaction competition has thinned out so you’re not going to need much money to max out your games and innings.

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2. Don’t assume your point total is necessarily the barometer for your odds of winning. Standings are often far less settled than they seem. Look at every category and figure out your upside and downside. How many points can you gain across the board with a good week? And how many can you lose in the 10 categories with one bad week? You can’t worry about a bad week if you’re trying to rally your way to a championship. Just focus on your upside and how to achieve it through remaining transactions and especially the waiver wire. If you are ahead, your primary concern of course is to minimize your risk of losing points.

3. Don’t trade with the teams that are challenging you in the standings. Trade with the teams that you’re not really competing with. So if they benefit more, they’re passing other teams and not you.

4. Don’t play afraid. Winning is a long shot. So forget worrying about what can go wrong. Give yourself a chance to get lucky. So if there’s a Rockies pitcher who you’d normally avoid but who is suddenly hot, like German Marquez, grab him. But if you’re leading your league, you are likely going to want to eliminate downside risks and thus the most attractive pitching acquisitions will be the non-closing relievers who have been dominant in Ks and the averages over the last month or so.

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