Disabled List Position Strategy

Most fantasy leagues allow owners a few DL spots and now it is time to begin to use those positions productively. For the past few weeks, several players were known to be injured for 2011 season (ex. Adam Wainwright), but they have not yet been placed on the official DL. In the last few days, teams have begun to officially place players on the DL and the list looks to expand a ton in the next few days as the regular season begins. Now is the time to exploit these extra roster spots. Here are a few suggestions for roster management as the DL list expands.

I will be looking at individual names as the DL expands later in the week.

1. If you are in a non-keeper league and the player is out for the year, drop the player. There is absolutely no reason to have these players even taking of DL spots.

2. Move your players to the DL before looking at the available players. Hopefully the players on your team were better than those readily available.

3. If you have available DL spots on your roster, go pick up available free agents on the DL. Just looking at ESPN, Stephen Strasburg is only owned in 4.5% of all leagues. There is an OK chance that he may pitch this year, so why not pick him up with an available spot; there is nothing to lose. If you are in a keeper league, anyone near Strasburg’s or Wainwright’s ability should immediately be picked up and placed in an DL spot for next season.

4. Watch for players being released into the free agent pool. Some owners may have their DL positions filled with players that are expected to be back relatively soon and have to release less talented players. On the other hand, they may just be wishing to have the player be gone off their roster. Over the first couple of weeks of the season is when most waiver wire mistakes are made, so be on the look out for opportunities, DL related or not.

5. Now if you are an owner with two many players on the DL and too few of spots to put them in, possibly look to trade the player to someone that has a DL opening. You may have to down grade in the long run, but at least you didn’t let the player go for nothing. Another option is to just carry the player a while thereby removing an extra bench player. For a player that is expected to be back within a couple of weeks, this may be a reasonable option.

Not all owners will be in the same predicament with players on the DL, but be ready for action in the next few days. Between now and Thursday (and continuing on for a few days after then), the DL list will definitely grow and you should be looking to expand and improve your roster during this time.

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Jeff writes for RotoGraphs, The Hardball Times, Rotowire, Baseball America, and BaseballHQ. He has been nominated for two SABR Analytics Research Award for Contemporary Analysis and won it in 2013 in tandem with Bill Petti. He has won three FSWA Awards including on for his MASH series. In his first season in Tout Wars, he won the H2H league. Follow him on Twitter @jeffwzimmerman.

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Kyle H
Kyle H

The only problem with number 3 is you can’t just pick up people and put them on your DL, at least not in Yahoo!. If you want to pick up Stras, you are going to have to drop one of your players, move him to DL, and then hope you can get your player back.


Well… actually you can. If a player on your roster is put on the DL in the next few days, and on most teams this will occur, slide him into the DL spot and you now magically have another roster spot. Then you can fill that spot with another DL eligible player off waivers (aka Strasburg), and again you have yet another roster position available (aka Brandon Beachy). This is why I liked drafting Utley in my Yahoo league because overall you gain an extra player in the early going.