An argument can be made that the summer months are the most important when you are trying to win a fantasy baseball championship. Many fantasy players have grown tired of the day-to-day grind or are taking family vacations and become distracted. This is also the start of the fantasy football season, as people are researching for their upcoming drafts.

Distractions become an opportunity and one you should take advantage of. Here are a few tips to help you navigate the next couple of months and get in position to win a fantasy baseball championship.

Anticipating When Rookies Will Be Promoted

This is always tricky, but hitting on the timing of when top prospects will be promoted can go a long way in not only helping your roster but also saving how much of your free agent acquisition budget (FAAB) you will need to spend.

Targeting teams that are out of the playoff race is the best strategy, as they will be more open to promoting their young players and letting them play through their struggles. The teams that are fighting for a playoff spot could be more hesitant to promote prospects, and they will also look to improve their teams through trades. Knowing the prospects who were traded ahead of the MLB trade deadline helps as well because they may get an opportunity sooner.

I’d recommend looking at the top prospect list on MLB Pipeline and following the players who are in Triple-A and how they are performing. In a perfect world, the top guys will also be on teams that are out of playoff contention. Researching those players and reading what the beat reporters are saying will help to pin down the timing. This doesn’t always happen, but organizations try to promote their prospects when they are home so they can use it as a marketing tool to get more fans in the ballpark.

It seemed like everyone was trying to predict when the Orioles would promote top prospect Adley Rutschman and most anticipated the week of May 16 since the team had a seven-game homestand. The exact day may not have been correct, but the week was. Those who added Rutschman prior to the catcher actually getting the call to the big leagues saved a lot of their FAAB.

Navigating Injuries

Injuries are a part of every fantasy league, and the middle of the season is just as important as early in the year. Finding out the timetable for when a player will be sidelined is important, especially for those who have limited injured list spots in their league. If Angels outfielder Mike Trout is going to be out until early September and your league has two injured list spots, you may have to make the tough decision of dropping Trout if there are a couple of other players who will be back in a few weeks.

At this point in the season, we cannot afford to have players on our bench who won’t be playing. Every roster spot is critical. Holding on to a player who will be out for months hoping he comes back for the final couple of weeks is not a sound strategy. As always, when a player is injured, we must find out who the replacement is and analyze what their fantasy outlook will be.

Balancing Fantasy Football Prep

This is the most difficult aspect of fantasy sports — trying to balance daily roster moves while getting ready for your fantasy football drafts. There’s no sugarcoating this, it’s extremely difficult. This is the exact reason people stop following their fantasy baseball teams. This is also why it’s important not to fall into that trap. Take advantage instead.

The easiest solution is to set aside equal time for both. If you have an hour a day to focus on fantasy, then split 30 minutes to your fantasy baseball team and 30 minutes to prepping for your fantasy football draft. Unfortunately, we will overlook things, but at least we’re still giving proper attention.

I preach this before the season and it’s even more important now — setting up lineup alerts to your phone is critical. It’s hard to expect anyone to be by their computer in the late afternoon on a summer night, but everyone has their phone on them and can find out if their players are in the lineup.

I really believe teams that are down in the standings when the summer begins have plenty of time to make up ground. Convincing yourself that you do as well is the hardest part.

Photo Credit: Kenya Allen/PressBox

Issue 275: June/July 2022

Phil Backert

See all posts by Phil Backert. Follow Phil Backert on Twitter at @PhilBackert