The Verdict: Don’t overreact after one week

The best way to depict the length of the baseball season has always been the phrase “It’s a marathon, not a sprint.” Over the course of a 162 game schedule, it is virtually impossible to make final judgments about a team after a handful of games. For example, the Boston Red Sox were 1-7 to start the season while the Baltimore Orioles were 6-2. Given their respective rosters, it is fairly safe to say that most baseball experts and the general public would not predict the Orioles to finish the season five games ahead of the Red Sox. The same type of analysis and reaction applies to fantasy baseball as well. After just one week (or two depending on the specific format of your league), it is way too early to gloat or panic.

The reaction most people might have after getting off to a bad start in a fantasy baseball league is to make a drastic maneuver. Whether it is trading away a superstar or overbidding on the highest rated free agent, a knee-jerk reaction is not uncommon. But those who can remain calm and not do something impulsive will be better off in the long run. Barring a catastrophic injury to a key player, getting off to a slow start in a fantasy baseball league is nothing to get overly concerned with. It just means that you have a little catching up to do from the start, but nothing that is insurmountable (yet).

It doesn’t matter whether your league is roto or H2H points, getting off to a slow start is frustrating. Even if you think you drafted well, watching your players put up goose eggs will drive anyone crazy. But remember, it is a marathon and not a sprint. The numbers that you projected for your players are for the entire season, not just the first week. Chances are that the players you drafted and are relying will indeed achieve those numbers throughout the course of the season because that is the nature of the law of averages. In the words of Yoda, “patient, you must be.”

You can expect aggressive fantasy baseball players whose teams start off strong to come and prey on those who may be vulnerable from starting off slow. Do not allow yourself to fall into that trap and let someone else convince you that your team sucks. Don’t let someone else convince you that your players are overrated and not living up to expectation. Don’t let someone else convince you that his players who overachieved so early are worth more than your players. This is where willpower, patience and common sense must take over. Do not start second-guessing yourself just because someone else is telling you to. You must remain confident and only deal from a position of strength. When discussing trades, you never want to seem desperate or negotiate from a position of weakness. Don’t let someone else dictate the terms of a trade and use his own subjective and jaded evaluation of your players.

Baseball is a game centered on numbers and statistics. Most times, those numbers are pretty accurate in determining and predicting how a player will perform. Every now and then there is an aberration such as David Wright in 2009 or Jose Bautista in 2010. Generally speaking, you know what you are getting when you draft a team. That is why you must remain calm and not overreact if your team starts out slow. If after several weeks your players still are not living up to expectations and you are slipping in the standings, then you may need to re-evaluate things. But after one week, cooler heads must prevail. The Boston Red Sox should not be panicking just yet, and neither should you.

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