- FanGraphs Fantasy Baseball - http://www.fangraphs.com/fantasy -

H2H Playoff Strategies

You play to win the game.

Owners have messed and fussed the entire year (or years) to get to the playoffs. Now it is time to win it all. Every player on a playoff roster needs to be able to help the team in some way. Prospects may need to be dumped for players getting playing time. Don’t drop Bryce Harper if in a keeper league, but you need to make a decision on the your keepers for next season. Get a good idea of these keepers and the rest of the players on your team are then expendable.

Know your and your opponent’s weakness and strengths.

I have made the playoffs in one league and I will win the weekly categories of hitter walks and pitcher strikeouts. I haven’t lost these categories all season. My opponent should not be looking to pick up these categories. Instead they should be looking at Holds, Saves, HR and SB. These categories they have a chance to win.

To get an idea of where the battles are going to be fought, a couple of areas need to be looked at. First, I would look at the entire season rankings of stats, Roto style, and see where each team stands. Does the other team dominate Saves? Maybe compete in Wins then. Also, I would go back over the last few weeks and see how each team compares in various categories. Look to see if there was any significant changes to their team over that time. Did the team trade one of its closers for a power hitter?

Find the categories of contention and try to gain some advantage in them. Are you both close in steals and few extra could make the difference? Are they punting saves and a couple more SP/RP starters will help you win the K and Win categories?

Playing time is more important than talent.

The playoffs are not the time to go chasing after the next big thing being called up from the minors. With 7 of the 10 categories in basic H2H being counting stats, an owner needs players on the field. Also, make sure to check to see if any of your current player’s playing time has changed because of a player being called up.

If you have the win, don’t lose it.

Adjust as the week goes on by holding onto gains in certain stats. If an owner has a huge early lead in WHIP, Saves and ERA, remove the starters if the innings limit as been reached. Just coast with these values until the end of the week and concentrate on winning the batting stats. For example, feel free to drop a pitcher to make sure you have an extra catcher for off days.

Final games of the season.

Right at the end of the season, an owner can game the system with little recourse. If in a non-keeper league, dump pitchers once they have thrown their last start. Depending on what categories are needing help will determine which pitchers are picked up. If Wins and Ks are needed, pick up as many pitchers starting the final days. If you need to improve your ERA and WHIP, look for some good quality relievers to fill the vacated spots.