Basic Strategies For Building A Winner, Part II: All-In, Rebuild, or Reload

Hey fantasy fanatics!

The calendar has turned to July, and the firework stands are closing up shop. This means we’ve started the downhill momentum of the second half of the season. If you’re in a roto league, you’re just a few days passed the halfway point. But in head-to-head formats, we’ve cleared the halfway point of the regular season by a couple of weeks.

So now’s the time to assess. Should you push all-in, rebuild, or reload?

Before we go on though, why not head on over to Facebook and Twitter and follow The Leadoff Batter? Good? Good.

So, let’s assess. How’s your team doing?

Top of the league? Frustrated by injuries and struggling to stay out of cellar? In the middle of the pack?

Let’s start with the easy ones. If you’re a top 3 seed and in the driver’s seat for a playoff spot, now’s the time to ship some of your trade bait for some stalwart production. Remember, if you really think you have a team that can win it all, sacrifice future value for current.

Players like Victor Robles, Nick Senzel, Francisco Mejia, Brendan Rogers, Cavan Biggio, Dylan Cease, Forrest Whitley, even Bo Bichette or Casey Mize. I would package any three of these guys for someone like Charlie Blackmon if he’s on a cellar-dwelling team. Anthony Rendon is another good target, J.D. Martinez. Target older players on teams who might be trying to rebuild would happily offload for your younger crop.

Don’t sweat the Senzels or the Robles. They are going to be good, for sure, but push all-in. Those guys haven’t found their stride yet. Use their hype as currency to get yourself a beast that can help you win now.

The opposite of this goes for those of you laying at the bottom of the standings looking up going, “Welp, see ya next year.”

Get rid of J.D. Martinez. Get rid of Charlie Blackmon. Dare I say, shop Max Scherzer. To build your way back to the top, you don’t want to have one guy falling off his fantasy prime right when your young bucks are starting to produce.

Of course, keep your up-and-coming players who will probably only get better. But ship out those veterans who will add future value.

Remember, the best way to win any keeper or dynasty league is to try to align as many players’ primes as you can.

There’s one group left to talk about, and this is the group that requires the most amount of critical thinking. I’m talking about those of you sitting in the bottom of the middle of the pack.

Whether you’re in a head-to-head format or roto, you’ll need to make a critical decision if you’re currently out of the running. This mostly applies to head-to-head, as you’ll need to determine whether or not you can make a mad sprint for a playoff spot.

So, do me a favor. Go find your leagues stats standings. Usually they rank your team from 1 to 12, or however many teams there are. Is your record 6 and 7, yet you look at the stats and you’re in the top 4 or 5 stats in almost everything? Maybe you’re in a points league… are you in the top 4 in points but 7th in the win-loss standings?

In both of these cases, you can probably consider yourself unlucky. Take a chance and trade away some young talent and go get that player or two that might turn the tide.

Now let’s say you’re 6 and 7 but you’re in the bottom half or third in most categories or in your points totals. You’ve probably been a bit lucky in your matchups, catching teams on weeks they under-perform. It may be best to take a good hard look at your team and decide if you’ve really got what it takes.

Or, pack it in, sell off some of your older, top talent, and gather some blossoming talent for next year. Target guys like Robles or even Trea Turner, whose stats don’t reflect what their eventual ceiling will be.

Another great target is Miguel Andujar. If you can offer up a player of real value to someone who can’t use a player on their IL, you may just have given them a deal they didn’t know they wanted.

Overall, this is the time to make the decision to push all-in, rebuild, or reload. If you have any questions about your situation, and want us to examine your team and situation together, leave me a comment below and we’ll talk strategy.

Otherwise, good luck wheelin’ and dealin’!

photo credit: Patrick Semansky, Associated Press

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