Fantasy Baseball: Punting a Category

So it hath been asked: “Great Rich, should I ever 'punt a category' in the hopes of overachieving in other categories?"

The Great Rich should probably be less direct but......... The answer is a firm ‘NO’. No category should ever be punted. Never. The category I hear about the most in the punting discussion is that of saves. Yes, saves are overvalued in fantasy baseball. Yes, having three closers might cut down on your offensive output or hold you back slightly in the win column. But let’s look at the numbers.

In a traditional 12 team 5x5 rotisserie league, you will need 90 points to compete for the league title. This means that the average number of points you need from each category is 9. A tall order but doable. Now let’s say you decide to punt saves and take only 1 point from that category. Result: You now need 10 points from each of the other categories. A much more difficult proposition. Why handicap yourself unnecessarily?

Another ‘punting category’ is stolen bases. Should you punt SB’s? Again the answer is ‘NO’. Don’t forget that players with high stolen base totals also score a lot of runs. By punting SB’s, you guarantee mediocrity in the run category. Not a solid strategy.

Speaking of downstream punting effects, let’s go back to the saves discussion. A closer worthy of your roster will contribute to ERA and WHIP, two categories that are often undervalued by fantasy players. He will also contribute a K per inning. What’s not to like?

Remember, in competitive rotisserie baseball, you need to average 9 points per category to compete for the league championship. For every category you punt, you’ll need to win three other categories just to even up. A good rule of thumb is to do your best to never fall below 6 in any category. You’ll always be in the running.

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