Preying on absentee owners a winning fantasy baseball strategy

The MLB All-Star break presents itself as a very interesting time for fantasy baseball owners. While many use it as a time to catch their breath and take a break from the daily grind, the savvy and successful ones are spending their downtime plotting against the competition. Scouting and acquiring players for the stretch run is only half the battle. To paraphrase Sun Tzu’s “The Art of War,” you need to know your enemy as well as you know yourself.

Take a look at the standings in your league. There is likely a distinct line between who is contending for the title and who isn’t. Hardcore players will never say die, no matter how far out they seem to be. They know a strong second half can still vault them up the standings, especially when we know that many who aren’t contending are already checking out mentally.

Trading with them is fine, but they shouldn’t be your primary target. You should be going after those bottom-feeders who are looking for any excuse to dump their team and move on.

Those who are ready to pack it in for the season will begin to reveal themselves to you within a couple of weeks. Fewer people are taking part in your league’s chat room, waiver deadlines are being missed and suddenly, someone forgot to activate a star player from the injured list we all knew was coming back.

Those are your trade targets. Don’t come after them with anything egregious, but you should be able to stretch the value of a dollar a bit more with them than you would with someone who is contending.

And if you think someone is teetering on the edge of packing it in but they just aren’t sure, give them a little push. It may only be July, but fantasy football is already starting to dominate people’s attention. NFL best-ball drafts are in full swing, and if you listen to SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio, you know the shift toward football talk has already occurred. Target those waffling, start encouraging the football talk and see if you can’t steer them toward a baseball deal that shuts them down for good and gives you the boost you need.

All’s fair in love, war and fantasy baseball. You’re not trying to cheat anyone. You’re just putting yourself in a better position to win by stepping on and over those who can’t handle the full six-month grind.

Howard Bender is the VP of operations and head of content at Follow him on Twitter @rotobuzzguy and catch him on the award-winning “Fantasy Alarm Radio Show” on the SiriusXM fantasy sports channel weekdays from 6-8 p.m. Go to for all your fantasy baseball advice.

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