Many Fantasy players act as if their only valuable fantasy advice comes from magazines, TV, and web sites like yours truly. (And I do appreciate you stopping by) The truth is those vehicles are fine and do help but one of the most valuable tools at your disposal is the habits of your fellow owners. These owners are experiencing the same league conditions as you. Use that to your advantage.
What I am actually saying is to study the pickup and drops of your league mates and others in pert leagues. I randomly check out the perts at the LABR leagues. If they are jumping on some waiver wire pick, I study that player and decide if that player is beneficial to my team. If he is I take a flier on him for 2 weeks. If he is not an immediate fit for my team I still may pick him up just to block another league mate from rostering him.
If you are in multiple leagues as I am, study each leagues pickups and drops. You will soon see a lot of the same players being picked up over a day in each league. The word spreads fast when a new commodity is there for the taking. Such as the Closer Carrousel earlier this year.
In Dynasty/Keeper leagues this is the part of the season when some may feel they need to start rebuilding for next year. If you can identify those owners, it is to your advantage to start a dialogue so you can start adding pieces you need to win your league this year. Start by some simple condolences such as “those injuries sure hurt your team this year or so and so sure didn’t perform as I thought he would.” A kind word can start the dialogue and steer that rebuilding owner in your direction for trades.
In standard yearly leagues it’s time to target specific categories for improvement. You should have 2 or 3 categories/positions in mind that you need to improve till the season ends. Establish those categories that need help and then identify a category you are particularly strong in this year. Example: In one league I have struggled with Average and production from 1B. I looked for a team in my league that was excelling in both. That owner had Kung Fu Panda coming off the DL last week. He needed help in SP. I was loaded and dominating the pitching categories. I offered him any SP on my roster for Panda. That included Hell Boy, Josh Johnson, Sale, CC, and Johan. Though he was in 2nd place (3 points out) and I was in 6th (14 points out) he balked at the trade…for now. He did understand where I was coming from and knows the door is still open. The point is, leading say the wins category by 2 wins or 22 wins still gets you the same 12 points in Roto. You need to start to calculate what it will take in each category to move past an opponent. I might even offer him 2 SP next week.
If it looks like some owners in your league are starting to lose interest, not filling out line-ups to their max every day, keeping someone in their line-up who is on the DL, or are way over in their innings limit for the year, you need to target them now and discus trades. If they are uninterested then you must calculate their standings and expect a freefall. Target for improvement in the stats that they are not already bottoming out in at this time. If they are middle of the pack in Ks and Wins but are 100 innings over projected limits expect them to fall further by season end, if you leapfrog them expect a couple of extra points in Roto. The farther the season progresses, Average will be one of the hardest to gain significant ground. I would target R, RBI, and SB for quick movement up the standings.
I will leave you with this; know your standings and what categories you want to improve. Put yourself in a bargaining position and start dialogue with as many owners as you can. Rarely does an owner win a Roto league without making trades. Do not be afraid to overpay if you actually want a player or those stats. In one daily H2H league I had Kemp go down and at the same time Choo was moved into the leadoff spot. I needed RBIs now. I traded Choo and CC for McCutchen and know I overpaid but while in 2nd place and Kemp hurt I needed the boost. CC went on to lose his next start and McCutchen put up big numbers this last weekend. So take this advice and follow these small hints to help you win your league.