Every league is a little different. Some have 8 teams, some have 12. Some are NL Only. Some have daily lineup updates, some weekly. Some have three day waiver periods, others have one day periods. Some have two catchers; others have four utility spots. Knowing the intricacies of your league is extremely important for success.
For example, let’s say you play in a league with daily updates. Assuming you have the time and energy, it may be possible to take advantage of this in a number of ways. First of all, you can draft players who may struggle against left-handed pitchers, because you are generally able to bench them when they face lefties and play someone else instead, thereby extracting maximum value. Or you may be able to stock up on relief pitchers, knowing that you can simply rotate the several starting pitchers on your team only when they take the hill.
Or let’s say that you play in a league with two catchers. That means that there are going to be some seriously bad catchers on peoples’ rosters – therefore, you may want to use some of your earlier round picks on two of the better catchers. Not only does this assure you of solid production from your catching position, but it somewhat corners the market on catchers, causing other teams to have to settle for very minimal production from their catching spot.
Or let’s say that your league has an unusually high amount of utility or DH slots. If this is the case, you may want to stock up on as many outstanding offensive players early in the draft, since you don’t have to worry about their position. A team with Albert Pujols, , Mark Teixeira, Prince Fielder and Adrian Gonzalez as their first four picks normally wouldn’t seem very smart, but if you have the utility spots to cover those players, it may be worthwhile.
In a 10 team league without a middle infielder position, you may want to wait to draft a second baseman or shortstop (or both), because you can get a decent player at those positions very late in the draft. But in a 12-team league with a “middle infield” position as well as SS and 2B, you may not want to wait as long, because the remaining players who qualify at those positions will be terrible.
Every league is different. Before you draft, take the time to understand the intricacies of your league, and think about what they mean for you. There is almost always a way to take advantage of small things in a league – and the best players figure them out before everyone else.