You wouldn't believe the number of people who ask us for fantasy baseball advice. Like, at least three in the past year. We're like a regular Matthew Berry, only with a lot more hair. And no association to Crocodile Dundee 3.
The funny part about this is that we really haven't been a very good roto player in a few years. Maybe it's the fact that this blog has taken up most of our free time, or maybe it's the fact that Travis Hafner has steadfastly refused to do anything of worth for us over that time. Whatever the case, we've taken an unmerciful shit kicking over the past couple of years, and we're halfway bracing ourselves for more of the same this year.
With two league drafts coming up this weekend and another a week later, we're buckling down and doing our homework now. Which is to say, we're reading USA Today Sports Weekly and making handwritten lists of guys we like. It's all very high tech.
We should probably be guarding this information a little more fastidiously, given that most of the people with whom we will be playing in roto leagues this season read this blog. But fuck it, we're all about the transparency. So here, we offer six of the finer points of our strategic planning for the coming year's fantasy baseball season.
1) Coming to the acceptance that we are a pompous fool: Too often, we go into drafts wanting to be the first guy to pick the hotshot emerging star of tomorrow, only to be stuck with them all season long. Jeremy Hermida, Alex Gordon, Homer Bailey...we've wasted a lot of time, energy and mid-to-high draft picks on guys who weren't ready to perform in the majors. This year, we trust no one under the age of 30.
2) A nice healthy breakfast: In past years, our draft days would kick off with a bit of the Eggs Mayflower (scrambled eggs on bagel with cream cheese, covered with hollandaise sauce, and a side order of sausage...heart attack!! Miam yiam!) However, we've been on a health kick since Christmas, if only so that we can strip away some of the irony from our fat jokes made at Rod Barajas' expense. So this year, we're thinking a bit of yogurt, some artisanal granola and maybe some fresh fruit to go with our skim milk latte. Either that, or we'll just make coffee and eat chunks of cheese broken right off the block.
3) Find something entertaining to occupy Mrs. Tao: Not that she'll butt in on our hours and hours of draft day madness, but it's always good to find something to keep the wife happy while we're deciding between Jeff Keppinger and Clint Barmes. So we've ordered up a Lexington Steele Signature Series replica...actually, never mind. We'll just keep her happy.
4) Don't get too wrapped up in other people's rankings: We have a tendency to depend on the wisdom of others, and every year we get burned by putting too much stock in the ranting of some random yahoo who managed to get a job as a fantasy analyst. Actually, Matthew Berry's mancrush on Jeff Francoeur got the better of us in more than one league last year. (Thanks, TMR!) This year, we're taking the Colbertian approach and shooting from our gut. We're not going to care if Fanball or Ron Shandler or BallBustingFantasyWhores.com all dump on Oliver Perez...if he's there in the 20th round and we wanna take him, we're gonna take him! So suck it!
5) Less talk, more action: Sometimes, our draft day chatting gets the best of us. We get so distracted by questioning the manhood of our fellow competitors that we totally lose track of the fact that our team is starting to suck, and we're not even in the 10th round. Then there's the whole question of hurt feelings. Even if we don't mean any harm to some of our fellow competitors with our witty repartee and snide remarks, there is only so much that you can communicate about the tone of your quip through emoticons. This year, we're gonna tone it down. We're just going to put Marvin Gaye's "If I Should Die Tonight" on repeat, and feel the love.
6) Put down the Hater-ade: We used to have a strict "No Yankees, No Red Sox" rule on our fantasy teams. Then we downgraded it to "No Yankees". This year, we're going to hold our nose and take whoever we need to take to get the job done. We're through with spending all season scraping away at the waiver wire to find someone to help us reach the dizzying heights of sixth place when we could have just taken Mariano Rivera to start with.
So...That's pretty much it. The entirety of our fantasy strategy. Clearly, a path to glory.
And for the good fellows in the Tao's Roto Leagues
Our drafts are on Sunday, and you'd better be there at the appointed times, because we're not going to listen to you whine about how you needed to wash your mother's pantyhose and therefore missed the draft. If you've got to scrub momma's unmentionables before she'll feed you Sunday dinner, then get to work on your pre-rankings now. You only get one shot at this.