Classifying Fantasy Baseball Players

The biggest part of fantasy baseball is the draft. No question about it. So it is important that we understand who we are drafting with when we step into the room, be it virtual or physical. The easiest way to go about this is to group all players into five simple families, which are listed and explained below.

The Dungeon Master – You all know one of those nerds who is ready to dominate a fantasy league at a moments notice. They play in so many leagues and attend so many mock drafts that you begin to worry about their safety. Chances are, if you are reading this blog (or writing on it), you may be the Dungeon Master. The Dungeon Master is always cool and collected at draft time. Even when his players aren’t making it to him in drafts, he has plan 1A at the ready. Be careful when trading with him, as he is probably looking to screw you over.

The Cockeyed Optimist – This person runs around your draft room or lobby saying things like “I can guarantee Erik Bedard starts 30 games this year”, or “I see a breakout season from Yuniesky Betancourt.” The last time he won a draft, pigs were flying and hell was still defrosting. Let him do his own thing, and don’t bail him out of his bad moves.

The Cast Away – Straight out of a Tom Hanks movie, the Cast Away hasn’t been around (fantasy) civilization for awhile. In the past, he may have been a supreme player, but those days are behind him. The Cast Away will take big name players that have faded from glory, because those are the guys he is comfortable with and knows well. On occasion, he may even select a player who recently retired. If he somehow drafts a player he doesn’t know that you may want, take a run at fleecing him.

The Rival – This league mate always knows how to piss you off. He understands who your sleepers are, as well as your favorite players, and takes them earlier than you would just to push your buttons. He then purposes ridiculous trades, hoping you really want to have your favorite player on your roster. This owner rarely wins a fantasy league. Don’t encourage him by accepting any of his trades, and hope he isn’t invited back next year.

The Rookie – In the wild, The Rookie may often be referred to by his scientific name, “N00bulus Maximus”. When at the draft, he won’t deviate from the rankings provided to him by his most trusted website. Once the season begins, he can be easily convinced to trade his underachieving players that are sure to have a nice bounce back to glory. All is fair in love, war, and fantasy baseball, so exploit this player if you can by stealing away his players.

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Zach is the creator and co-author of RotoGraphs' Roto Riteup series, and RotoGraphs' second-longest tenured writer. You can follow him on twitter.

22 Responses to “Classifying Fantasy Baseball Players”

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  1. BalugaWhale says:

    Unfortunately I play in a league with actual humans and not robots so this doesn’t really apply to me. Sorry.

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  2. JayCee says:

    You left one guy out:

    Grating Assholus: Proposes trades to you 15 minutes after MLBTR/Rotoworld announces the guy he is offering just suffered a season-ending injury.

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  3. Nelbowski says:

    Thanks Zach! I’ll be sure to keep this page open on draft day!!!!

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  4. Josh says:

    How about “Real Baseball Guy” who opposes all trades that don’t make sense to him based on stats like VORP and WAR even though you are playing 5×5 roto?

    Or “Fantasy Football Guy” who has no clue how to react during an auction?

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  5. Werthless says:

    The Homer: The Mets fan who drafts 5 Mets players with his first 8 picks, and refuses to draft a Phillies player out of principle. Ideally, your draft position is next to him in a snake draft, so you can exploit his obvious preferences when deciding which players you can wait 1 more round to snag.

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    • Jimbo says:

      Good point. Real draft application there! Did that with Uggla last year, just before his prior season owner could get him.

      Probably would fall under “Cast Away” but some guys in my league have certain loyalties. I know who had Bruce and Wieters last year during their late surge, which makes them far more likely to target them on draft day.

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  6. MDS says:

    what about the “to catch a predator” managers, always drafting the young players like weiters, kershaw, hanson, bumgarner, heyward, beckham, etc

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  7. B-Chad says:

    Not sure what title I’d give the person… but what about the person who doesn’t understand league settings and drafts for a completely different format (i.e. it’s a roto league and they have 8 Adam Dunn’s and no speed).

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  8. Charlie says:

    AAA Hole – That guy in your league who is really close with one other owner and constantly lets himself get taken advantage of by him, while refusing any trade from other owners, probably at the behest of his buddy. This owner essentially acts as a AAA system for one other player.

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    • JayCee says:

      I played in a high-dollar keeper league with two brothers involved. They would alternate seasons one going for it/the other tanking-rebuilding, and they would always make any major trades only with each other and always according to the strategy. I was dense enough to let them win 3 years in a row before I left the league.

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  9. haha. Does trading Washburn, Erik Bedard, and Dan Uggla for Matt Kemp, Zack Greinke and Aaron Hill and then winning a fantasy league by a ridiculous 21 pts count as dungeon master

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  10. rh146 says:

    “The Drunk” – The guy who takes a bunch of shots before an online draft and reviews every single person’s pick after they select them using logic that may have been relevant 5 years ago (or never) while at the same time choosing Chipper Jones claiming that they have a feeling he’s going to hit for .400 this season.

    a.k.a. me

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  11. Lombard says:

    What about the ‘Late comer’ who comes in 3 rounds late and bitches about his auto draft picks the rest of the draft.

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    • JayCee says:

      Two years ago, a Company league of ours, we’d switched it to ESPN and one guy could not log on the entire draft. He could log onto ESPN but not get into the draft. Moaning, called me at home to whine. (Turns out he had 2 ESPN accounts and had logged into the wrong one). I don’t have to tell you he finished 2nd, in the money, do I?

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  12. divakar says:

    I nominate the Auction Price Enforcer guy… One of two types exist:

    1. Way too fired up at beginning of draft, uses 80% of budget on 4 players because he neglects the fact that “highest price wins.” Then must wait until end of draft to fill out roster with $1 players. Complains and gets drunk during the middle, slow part of draft. Ends up taking Mark Grudzielanek for $2 because he’s bored.

    2. Keeps extra money just to price enforce, but doesn’t draft anyone he wants because they get “too expensive.” Despite this, he remains perpetually annoyed at everyone else’s “steals of the draft.” Ends up with no value players, but many low-priced marginal players. Ends up taking Mark Grudzielanek for $2 because it’s “too early” for $1 players.

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  13. WhoZohnFirst says:

    I think you forgot “The Homer”. Two idiots in my league are die hard Chicago fans (one Cubs, one Sox). There roster is littered with their home team and AL/NL Central stars. They’re rational always sounds something like, “After watching what Grady Sizemore/Adam Wainwright/Z Greinke did to my squad last year, I just couldn’t let him beat me twice.”

    Probably falls somewhere in the Rookie category, but their less fun, because they will overrate their players all the way to last place.

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