Kicking Rocks: One Last Hill to Climb

One of the primary reasons that people give as to why they opt not to play fantasy baseball but are the first to form a fantasy football league is the sheer length of the season.  Six months is apparently two months too long for them.  However, those of us that are able to cope with the time frame know the real answer; the amount of work it takes to, not only prep for the season, but to stay active and alert all season long can be a testament to one’s patience, work ethic and mental endurance.

For fantasy football, there are less players to track, fewer positions to worry about, less trading in the NFL, and you really only need maybe a day or two to check in on the news and see if you need to make a change for your upcoming, weekly match-up.  Baseball is, obviously, much more involved and those of you that find yourselves still reading fantasy articles near the end of August, certainly don’t need a reminder of all that goes into a successful season.  Between the draft prep, the constant waiver wire watch, player demotions and promotions, the MLB trade deadline, and your fantasy league’s trade deadline, your calendar remains full for almost the entire six months.  And while you’re sitting here at the end of month number five thinking, “This is it!  I’m almost there,” you suddenly have one more hill to climb — the waiver trade deadline.

Yup.  That’s right.  As if the flurry of activity at both the non-waiver trade deadline and your own fantasy league’s trade deadline wasn’t enough to drive you crazy making all sorts of roster adjustments, the August 31st waiver trade deadline is here to give you one last swift kick to the groin.  Just when you thought you were done with your roster tweaks and could safely move forward towards your head to head playoffs or the final month of your roto league…

Kelly Johnson gets traded to the AL for Aaron Hill and John McDonald.

Heath Bell gets claimed by the Giants.

Carlos Pena gets claimed by the Yankees.

Wandy Rodriguez gets claimed by the Rockies.

Jason Kubel and Jim Thome get claimed by unknown teams — could be Cleveland, could be the White Sox.

While some of these potential deals may never come to fruition as teams pull their players back, there is still the strong possibility that your fantasy team could get screwed here.  If Bell goes to the Giants and Brian Wilson isn’t done for the year, then you just lost your closer for the final month of the season.  Think there’s anyone of Bell’s caliber left on your waiver wire?  How about someone who just regularly accumulates saves?  If the Cubs don’t pull Pena back (which they eventually did) and you own him in an NL-only league, where does that leave you?  Remember when Thome ended up with the Dodgers and went from semi-regular DH to sparsely used pinch hitter off the bench?  There could be trouble brewing for you at the worst possible time.

So while the rest of the fantasy community turns its eyes to football, you’ve got one more month to go; one more hill to climb.  You need to make through these potential deals as unscathed as possible, which means you have to know that waiver wire inside and out.  You never know when you’re going to have to do some emergency patch work on your roster.

Oh yeah, and just when you think that’s over….

Rosters expand on September 1st and you’ve got a whole mess of rookies just looking to steal playing time away from your veterans!  Yeesh!  So maybe that’s two hills to climb.

Good luck to you all!

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Howard Bender has been covering fantasy sports for over 10 years on a variety of websites. In addition to his work here, you can also find him at his site,, Fantasy Alarm, RotoWire and Mock Draft Central. Follow him on Twitter at @rotobuzzguy or for more direct questions or comments, email him at

2 Responses to “Kicking Rocks: One Last Hill to Climb”

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  1. Max says:

    The baseball season is perfect. I love the constant lineup fiddling, pitcher streaming, trade offering, wire watching. Even though the Mariners are out, I can root for my fantasy players, and in a few days watch as the next generation comes up for their cups of coffee. After that, October baseball is always great. No, the baseball season isn’t too long. I will never lose interest.

    But I do think the NFL season is too short, especially since games only happen on only 2 days most weeks.

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