Kicking Rocks: Fantasy Tweakers

It never fails. Every year, just before the season begins, my job description changes from fantasy writer to crisis negotiator. I go from offering breakouts, busts and strategic draft plans to talking fantasy owners off a ledge as their anxiety, impatience and insecurities push them closer and closer to idiotic trades that will decimate their team in the long run. Like Crash Davis taking young Ebby Calvin under his wing, I attempt to subdue their panic with trite cliches of, “patience is a virtue” and “it’s a marathon, not a sprint.” Some I am able to help. Others are too far gone. If you’re reading this right now, step away from the panic button. It’s going to be okay.

Now that I have your attention and we’re in a more calm, soothing state of mind, let’s sit back, take some deep breaths, maybe put on some Enya or some relaxing nature sounds and gently inhale….and exhale. Inhale….and exhale. Feel better? Good.


Seriously, people. What the heck is wrong with you? Did we not just spend the last three months doing hardcore prep work? Did we not talk enough about potential booms and busts? Did we not provide you with rankings, explanations and updates? Did we not talk about draft strategy, ADP and auction values OVER AND OVER AGAIN?!?!?

We did.

And you studied them all. Like a tiny baby whose mind is but a sponge waiting to soak up all the knowledge this world has to provide, you sat and read each and every article published. Every night you read the countless player updates and spring training boxscores. You asked a million questions and we gave you the answers to the best of our abilities. We plotted strategies together. Formulated game-plans. We taught you to zig when the rest of your league zagged and like a ninja, you dazzled on the practice field, pulling down killer squads in mock drafts.

So what’s wrong with you? What’s wrong with your team? Do you think you botched your draft that badly? Do you have that little confidence, not just in your team, but in yourself to think that you could have put together a respectable squad? We never get all of our targets. Never. But that’s why we set ourselves up with depth charts and contingency plans. You roll with the punches. You don’t try to blow up your team five minutes after you’ve drafted. Have some confidence that you did enough prep work and were more than capable of drafting a quality team no matter what trip-wires your league-mates tried to plant around you.

Sure, those of you in deeper leagues or AL or NL-only play may see a few holes in your roster, but making immediate moves without having watched a single game or how any of your potential breakout picks pan out is insane. How do you know you’re not trading away the next 2011 Adam Jones just so you can upgrade from Kolten Wong to Brian Dozier. And is that even an upgrade? How do you know? They haven’t played a single game yet.

And those of you in mixed leagues of 12 teams or fewer — just stop right now. Just stop. The player pool is big enough that your team is probably stacked in some way or another. Stop overreacting and sit on your hands. Let the season begin and then evaluate where your strengths and weaknesses may be.

While technically we’re two games into the regular season, it really hasn’t begun. You have to let your team marinate. Give it some time. Sit back and watch them play a little. Take a vacation from your OCD and just enjoy Opening Day. One of the best parts about the baseball season is the beginning and if you’re sitting there senselessly sweating over your fantasy team you’re not going to appreciate it for how amazing it actually is.

Get off the ledge. Step away from the computer. Enjoy the game. If you need to, go stand in front of a mirror and give yourself a daily affirmation if you need to — I’m good enough, I’m smart enough and doggone it, I put together a seriously kick-ass fantasy baseball team.

We hoped you liked reading Kicking Rocks: Fantasy Tweakers by Howard Bender!

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Howard Bender has been covering fantasy sports for over 10 years on a variety of websites. In addition to his work here, you can also find him at his site,, Fantasy Alarm, RotoWire and Mock Draft Central. Follow him on Twitter at @rotobuzzguy or for more direct questions or comments, email him at

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I’m debating over whether I should drop Anthony Rendon for Kolten Wong in a 10-team mixed Yahoo OBP league.


I’d take Wong over Rendon. Wong has at least shown 20+ SB potential in the minors, whereas Rendon seems destined to hang out in single digits of both HR and SB this year. Talent-wise, they’re likely even, and they’re both in high-powered offenses, with the Cardinals being more consistent. I’d take Wong.