By Moonlight Graham
Fantasy Baseball Pre-Season Draft Prep
Happy New Year. Now that we’re just about a month from pitchers and catchers reporting to spring training, it’s time to stop whining about that one point loss in your Fantasy Football championship game and turn your attention to the National Pastime. It’s been three months since you put a lid on last season and you’ve got some catching up to do because you can bet there’s at least one geek in your league who’s already started. What follows is a list of resources that are Moonlight favorites and will lay the groundwork for a successful season.
Fantasy Baseball Websites-
If your league uses CBSSportsline, you already have access to a valuable tool that will cost you nothing. You’ll find positional rankings, a top 300, mock drafts and, most importantly, player profiles that are updated whenever there is news. Yahoo Fantasy Sports and ESPN are also very good but not on a par with CBS. Another Moonlight staple is Ron Shandler’s BASEBALLHQ.com. Shandler is the preeminent Fantasy numbers guru who has been publishing analyses since 1986 and serves as an adviser to the St. Louis Cardinals. There is even a free weekly newsletter available that will provide you with anything from draft strategies to sleeper picks from now until the end of August. The last I’d recommend is MockDraftCentral.com where you can enroll and participate in mock drafts that will give you an invaluable insight as to how other owners are evaluating players. The free access is limited but still very helpful.
Fantasy Baseball Periodicals-
I’ve yet to find a more comprehensive preview magazine than The Sporting News Fantasy Baseball Preview. On the newsstands last week, it provides in-depth analysis of every Major Leaguer, Minor League prospects, Mock Drafts and Fantasy Baseball Draft strategies. Positional rankings,three year stat lines and player projections are also included. Fantasy Sports Fantasy Baseball Preview is another terrific resource. Originally named Fantasy Baseball, the magazine has always had its roots in our favorite sport. It was there that I first read about theories like “the 27 year old breakout” and others that helped put a few dollars in my pocket. If you’d like to dig a little deeper into the pocket as well as the statistics, it’s back to Shandler for his Fantasy Baseball Forecaster. Packed with in depth statistical overviews such as batting average on balls in play and percentage of runners left stranded by pitchers, it is a mathematician’s dream. I won’t kid you about understanding all of Shandler’s strategies or equations but I annually find a ton of information exclusive to the Forecaster. And let’s not forget the Thursday online edition of the Brooklyn Eagle, and FantasySportsDirt.com where I trust many of you turn for guidance.
Fantasy Baseball Broadcasts
With the merger of Sirius and XM, all satellite radio subscribers have access to MLB Home Plate. (Sirius 210 and XM 175). Their Fantasy Baseball coverage leaves much to be desired, with just one hour dedicated weekly, but The Power Alley, hosted by Seth Everett, is full of late breaking news and transactions while being an entertaining listen. The Fantasy Focus hosted by Jeff Erickson of Rotowire.com. is on Blogspot Radio along with a number of Fantasy Baseball podcasts. Erickson’s show is an invaluable source of info regarding injuries, trades and scouting. The daily Hot Stove Report on MLB Network is a must watch, as well, especially when Harold Reynolds is on the panel.