Monthly Archives: April 2013

Post Fantasy Draft Regrets, Luck and You

Austin Jackson and Derrek Lee

Austin Jackson and Derrek Lee (Photo credit: Keith Allison)

Memo to Anxiety-Ridden Second-Guessers:

So you didn’t get most of the players you targeted to draft. So you overpaid for a few ballplayers. So you gave too much credence to the hype of a highly regarded prospect  who doesn’t have a clue at the plate. So you ended up with more speed guys than power hitters, more innings eaters than Ks guys.

Regrets are abundant, especially if your team starts out slow.

So what? It’s early. The season is barely two weeks old. So chill. Besides, this might be your lucky season.

Our auction draft took place the day before Texas took center stage on MLB’s opening day. Graded my performance a C-plus in our 14-member keeper mixed league, Blue Moon Mesa.

Here’s what happened. Armed with $177, after subtracting the cost of my eight keepers, I dropped out of the bidding for way too many top and middle tier guys, when I had the auction bucks to spend.  Plus I paid too much for Austin Jackson ($26), getting caught up in a bidding war.

Worse yet, I left six bucks on the table.  That six dollars could’ve helped get me another solid starting pitcher or another reliable power hitter. I coulda, shoulda…

Since the draft, second-guessing myself has been a daily occurrence. Anxiety over who I acquired and who I let slip through my mitt. Typical for me. How about you?

Why didn’t I go the extra couple of bucks to get Will Middlebrooks? And why didn’t I predict the phenomenal start by Chris Davis?  And…

Best way to calm down? Leave your ego on the bench. Better yet, banish it from the ballpark.  More importantly, remind yourself that this is just a game, a game that you enjoy, a game that expands your knowledge of pro baseball, enhancing the experience of watching ballgames on the tube and in person.

Trust me, fantasy baseball can be a godsend. I live in San Diego and root for the  home team, the perennial loser Padres.  Fantasy baseball provides me with something to cheer about when I take in games at Petco Park, and I go regularly.  I can at least cheer for my fantasy players on the visiting teams–silently, of course.  And thanks to the fantasy game, out-of-town scoreboard watching  is more fun. Incidentally, there are no Padres on my roster.

Another remedy, which for me is more of a band aid: join an online league. Later today, I’m snaking in a 12-team Yahoo! public league with unlimited add/drops. Perfect for a second-guesser.  Compared to an auction draft, snake drafting online is cake. If you can’t figure out which player to click on within 90 seconds, the draft software will pick for you from your pre-ranked player list.

English: A photo of San Diego Padres Petco Par...

English: A photo of San Diego Padres Petco Park as taken from overhead in a helicopter. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Beats going toe to toe for eight hours with friends. Or does it?  Four of us have competed against one another in the Blue Moon league for the past 15 or so years. And just a couple of years later, several more joined and are still with us.

Relationships that will no doubt continue for years to come. Can’t put an auction price on that.

Middle of the pack. That pretty much describes my Rotisserie team. Or…I could get lucky while others could have heavy doses of bad luck. After all, luck is a major factor in this game.

If I interpreted Ron Shandler correctly, luck factors big time in projecting player performance, given that human behavior and other non-statistical elements come into play.  In his thought-provoking 2013 Baseball Forecaster article, Shandler stated, “Research has shown that the best accuracy rate that can be attained by any (player forecasting) system is about 70 percent…”

So give yourself a break.

If you want more on luck, check out Richard Wiseman‘s book, The Luck Factor: Four Essential Principles. His research shows that  luck can be learned. It is available to anyone willing to pay attention to four principles:

  • Creating Chance Opportunities,
  • Thinking Lucky
  • Feeling Lucky
  • Denying Fate

And the British psychologist claims that people can determine their capacity for luck as well as learn to change their luck through exercises that appear throughout his book.

Well, time for a mock draft to familiarize myself with Yahoo’s game. My draft is scheduled for 5 pm.

After the online draft is completed, it’s a safe bet that I will suffer from post-draft anxiety.  Maybe I should sign up for a third league. Maybe this semi-retired guy should find another pastime.

No chance.

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Check out my new novel:  High Stakes FantasyAn Alternative Reality Sports Thriller