If you haven’t drafted your fantasy team yet, then sit back and enjoy the fact that there simply isn’t enough time for you to be the moron at whom I am directing this post. If you have, then I implore you…DON’T BE THAT GUY!
Every league has at least one and often times a league can contain quite a few. They’re called jumpers — fantasy owners who, before the season even begins, can’t help but continuously turn over their roster. Those who leap before ever really looking, so to speak. They are so quick to make a move that you have to wonder if they ever did any pre-draft research to begin with or, if they did, just have no confidence in either their drafting or scouting abilities. And what’s worse is that once they get the idea in their head that they have to make a trade or they have to tweak their lineup with a waiver move, they do so faster than green grass through a goose . They jump. And more often than not, they do so without thinking.
Jumpers are the ones who blow through at least a quarter of their FAAB budget before Opening Day. They are the ones who panic over a spring injury or over talk that their player may start the season on the disabled list. They are the ones who drop proven talent for a springtime flavor of the week and then make another panic move when that flavor of the week ends up opening the season in the minors.
Jumpers are the ones who broadcast to their league that they are shopping certain players on their roster only to take the first deal they get without doing any comparison shopping. Quickly they cave in to their buyer’s remorse and trade their new player for someone else who usually turns out to be of lesser quality than the first guy they originally traded. Systematically they are pulling themselves out of contention before the season even starts while usually helping to strengthen the rosters of those with whom they deal. That’s nice if you’re the one looking to exploit their fantasy insecurities, but if not, then it’s incredibly frustrating to witness.
While jumpers think they are being proactive — let’s face it — you’re still working off of projections rather than actual performance. A lot can happen over the course of a season and lots of times, even the best of prognosticators can be flat-out wrong. Just because the web site that houses your league projects you to finish last in stolen bases but with a surplus of power doesn’t mean that you need to trade a big bat for a guy with wheels right away. Maybe a player or two on your roster earned a full-time job but the site only projects 350 at-bats because said projections were done prior to late-winter player movement or a debilitating injury to an incumbent for whom your guys is taking over. But jumpers don’t see that. They only look at the final tally and due to a failure of added research, alter their roster in an ultimately negative way.
If you’re the jumper in your league, stop. Get off the ledge, exhibit just an inkling of patience and show some confidence in your drafting abilities. You’re not going to do any damage to your team by giving it time to marinate a little. If anything, you just might learn a little something about your squad and be able to make a much more well-informed decision. If you’re not the jumper, then find out who is and start circling like a shark in chum-infested waters. If the idiot is going to make a stupid trade and help someone, it might as well be you.
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, RotobuzzGuy.com, Fantasy Alarm, RotoWire and Mock Draft Central. Follow him on Twitter at @rotobuzzguy or for more direct questions or comments, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org