h2h Corner ~ Low Maintenance Fantasy Leagues

Everyone likes “low maintenance” now-a-days, whether that be wireless controllers with battery chargers, swipe cards, significant others or shower cleaners.

The main gripe I hear about fantasy baseball is that it’s too labor intensive, people don’t have the time to deal with daily line-ups, the perpetual closer carousels or the rigors of a 162 game season. At the same time, there has never been more popularity in fantasy football. The only difference that I see is that football has 16 games if you are lucky, significantly fewer roster spots, a waiver period every week, and typically only 16 games per week.

So, either we call those people who love fantasy football – even though it is more random/lucky – lazy and ignore them, or, we try to bring them into the fold and slowly brainwash them into loving the pure intellectual pursuit that is fantasy baseball.

I already detailed one low maintenance version of fantasy baseball, which looked at building the best team from free agents and stretching over an n-year period. This, however, could be a bit more labor intensive than NFL since you have to track free agents, remember your contracts, etc.

So, here is another idea that, I profess, I’ve stolen from a friend’s awesomely cool league. He, and a group of 14 friends, drafts 8 players each. There are no roster moves. The goal is to hit the most home runs. You get points ($) for winning a month and winning for the year ($$$). To satisfy the occasional injury in baseball (attention those of you drafting Milton Bradley), only the top six home run hitters per month qualify.

So, all you have to do is hold a draft with your buddies and have someone tabulate the HR totals on a monthly basis. Or, you could load into an online system (give one point per home run) and just take note of who wins each month. Simple, eh?

Soon, I’ll have my list of 120 players that you want to draft for this type of league. Sure this overvalues the Adam Dunn’s of the world, but, as so eloquently depicted in the Tom Glavine/Greg Maddux Nike commercial tour-de-force, everyone digs the long ball.

Do you have any fantasy leagues that are similarly low maintenance? If so, please POST! a comment about them. The community would love to hear.

8 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Evan Rosen on March 26, 2009 at 9:37 pm

    Interesting topic and good article. I think there are a number of trends in the time management direction. Some examples include: weekly roster moves instead of daily; picking a team’s pitching staff instead of individual players (borrowed from fantasy football’s defensive teams approach); smaller roster sizes; and greater restrictions on transactions. In fact, I may write an article evaluating teams’ pitching staffs.


  2. Posted by Albert Lang on March 26, 2009 at 10:02 pm

    Interesting. I hadnt heard about the trend toward taking a team’s pitching staff.

    isn’t that like the old days when fantasy started? Guys picked whole outfields, infields and pitching staffs?

    Hmm…that would be interesting and hard to gauge the value of a staff, i.e. San Diego versus Boston…do you go for wins or era/whip. With football it’s all about match-ups and a short season….


  3. Posted by jace on March 27, 2009 at 8:40 am

    any thoughts on drafting in low maintenance leagues? autodraft really seems to rob a league of the investment you get in your team and players, but on the other hand it can be challenging to get people together for live drafts, and it requires a pretty good investment in terms of time and preparation.


  4. Posted by Albert Lang on March 27, 2009 at 12:43 pm

    Great question. My recommendation is to use an easy-to-use platform. I prefer Yahoo! as it has a better interface than ESPN.

    Then make your own rankings or take someone’s who you like the most and input them into the draft application. this wouldnt take as long as you think. Probably about an hour over the course of a few days.

    However it will ensure you dont get stuck drafting players you dont like or the injured guys that the online platforms still rate high. that is my best thought on making it low maintenance…does that work. you looking for something else?

    There is also creating co-managers. I co-manage a team with a friend. i cant physically be at the draft, but he can. we prepared a sheet in advance which would help.


  5. Posted by Scott on March 27, 2009 at 10:58 pm

    A very simple option is for baseball leagues to switch from DAILY to WEEKLY moves. Very similar to football’s 16 week schedule then.


  6. Posted by Albert Lang on March 28, 2009 at 9:34 am

    Scott — thanks for the comment.

    My question, though, is this less time consuming? If you have a couple of guys that battle for positions on a daily basis you can check their match-ups each day in a matter of seconds. If one is a lefty and facing a lefty pitcher you bench him for that day.

    So, in a weekly league, for guys like that, dont you have to see how many games they are playing a week and who they are facing in each of those games?

    It doesnt take long to set your roster for a given day….maybe 5 minutes. However, i feel like it could take an hour or so to run through all the permutations of which starting pitchers are pitching when and against whom, and what match-ups your fringe hitters have.

    I’m just curious how much time you spend on a Sunday setting your line-up for a week.

    Also, is there anyway to mitigate an injury? Or is it a kind of SOL situation?

    I’m really curious about this type of league hopefully making it easier for people, but, as noted, i have my doubts.

    Thanks so much for posting!


  7. I’m just reading your blog on low maintenance fantasy and thought my company might be a perfect fit:

    JHB Sports (www.jhbsports.com) offers what I believe is the best way to enjoy the NFL all season long among friends. It’s great for hardcore fantasy junkies AND football fans that don’t make the time or just aren’t interested in player-based fantasy leagues.

    Instead of drafting position players, the members of a JHB Sports fantasy league simply draft entire NFL teams and accumulate points based on their NFL team’s wins and losses. Scoring is unbelievably simple: each week during the regular season you get 1 point for each of your teams that win, and 0 points of each of your teams that lose or tie. That’s it! For the playoffs, you earn more points the deeper your teams go into the playoffs. With this level of simplicity, the game not only caters to fantasy football fanatics but also to the casual NFL fan that doesn’t make time for traditional fantasy.

    There is no “buy-in” like traditional fantasy football – just an agreement on a point value to play for (the site defaults to $0). Each member of the League agrees before the season starts to pay $X per point with payouts to be settled after the Super Bowl. The site tracks exactly who owes who so there is no maintenance all year – just cheer for teams you draft. JHB Sports is NOT a gambling site – it’s a friendly football site designed to be shared among buddies.

    Following an overwhelmingly successful beta site launch last year with a controlled number of Leagues, the site is now ready to launch nationwide for the 2009 NFL season. We will be launching MLB, NBA, NHL, and NCAA Tourney version of this too. I would love to discuss details at your convenience.

    Thank you for your time and consideration.

    Dean Batogowski, Founder
    JHB Holdings LLC


  8. […] games/266 ABs, Stewart socked ten HRs. Well, he got those ABs in 2009 and didn’t disappoint much in the power department (25 HRs). His ratios, however, left him almost completely unusable (.228 AVE, .322 OBP). Luckily, […]


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