Most head to head leagues are beginning their playoff series starting tomorrow. My philosophy and the ideal strategy going into the playoffs is to try to win any given category any given week, but thanks to pitchers being shut down or a star getting injured the situation could change to punting a few categories. Here are a few quick tips that could make a difference.
- Monitor injuries on your team. It’s common sense, but teams with a bye often take the week off. An injury is dead weight. If it’s to a player like Albert Pujols or Curtis Granderson, you don’t have a choice but to leave them rostered. Seek back up help though.
- Grab the player that’s hot now. Check to see if a player like Austin Jackson (#1 over the last 7 days and 14 days on Yahoo) who can make a great impact is available. Chances are that when you make this move, the player you drop will be your coldest player. Don’t be intimidated by how many people own one player versus the other (I dropped Martin Prado with 91% ownership for Jackson who was under 50%).
- Monitor the matchup of your next potential opponent. If you have one of those teams that can win any given category on any given week, this doesn’t effect you as much. Otherwise, you might need to add more power, more steals, more innings, or even more games (the Twins, White Sox, Braves, and Mets have a doubleheader this week) before the week is out.
- If you can win a title, go for it. The Nationals have shut down Jordan Zimmerman and the Mariners will soon do the same with Michael Pineda. Depending on the format of your league, these pitchers can potentially be terrific 2012 keepers. Just keep in perspective that starting off 2012 with an ace up your sleeve is not greater than winning the poker tournament in 2011. If I can add someone of value to my roster during the championship and need to drop a future stud, I will.
- If you can’t win a title see if you can help yourself in 2012. Again depending on the type of league, you can add some valuable pieces between strong teams dropping cold players and September call-ups.
- Doug Fister starts against the Indians tomorrow. He had a quality start in August against the Tribe and over his last three starts has struck out 18 hitters to only 1 walk.
- Chase Utley was 0 for 7 today against the Marlins and is now hitting .268 for the season. Some point to his success stealing bases (13 for 13) and say that he has recovered fine from his preseason knee injury, but his numbers are way off. His line drive rate is under 13% – almost 6% worse than his previous career low.
- Coco Crisp was out of the A’s lineup after fouling a ball off his foot on Saturday. Head to head leagues should consider dropping Crisp and adding Ben Revere who has more steals since the all-star break.
- Cameron Maybin showed a sign of life today by coming off the bench to steal a base. He leads all players with 21 steals after the break.
- Yunel Escobar sat out today’s game with a sore wrist. The injury is being compared to Colby Rasmus‘ who needed a DL stint. I would drop Escobar at this point.
- Looking for wins in daily leagues? The Diamondbacks have every reason to win and are playing their last 22 games against teams that currently have a record under .500.
- Mark Reynolds has made 26 errors at third base this season after committing two more on Sunday. He hadn’t played at third since the middle of August. The Orioles plan on using him at first base next season.
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