My fantasy baseball team, Hot Doughnuts Now, finished in seventh place, which is disappointing. The most obvious reason for the team's mediocrity was a bad run of injuries. (Second most obvious is that I stole the team's name from a friend's defunct band, without permission, and he stole it himself from the Krispy Kreme Company. Could have resulted in bad juju.) Derrek Lee, whom I was counting on to be a stud, missed most of the year with a broken wrist. Eric Chavez was hampered by chronically sore forearms (a newly discovered medical condition, as far as I know) and had a bad year. Rickey Weeks got knocked out at midseason, and Jim Edmonds was playing at half-strength like Chavez then later was out completely. Scott Kazmir had two stints on the DL. I could name some more names.
But rather than just hope for better luck next year, I'm trying to look and see what I could have done better. The secret of good pitching still somewhat eludes me; I want to study this season's results some more. One thing I've wondered is whether I should use relief pitchers more than I do, but actually I'm in line with the more successful teams. 200-300 relief innings out of your 1500 total innings seems about right. (But I should have had more saves to show for my relief innings.)
I had 15 players on my end-of-season roster that were there all year long. (Roster size is 25.) That is on the high side; most of the more successful teams in our league tinker more than that. The second-place team also had 15 players all year long, but he had an extraordinarily good draft and good crop of keepers. It should have been obvious to me by about May that the cards I was holding were not that good. I should have tinkered a lot more--traded more, actually. I'm chicken when it comes to trades, I tend to just try to fill gaps and get marginally better. You have to trade boldly.
I did the worst job of almost any owner of using my quota of games for position players and innings for pitchers. By my quick count, there were 92 hitter-games that I didn't use, and 270 pitcher innings. I was vaguely aware of this during the season, and tried to rationalize that at least it didn't hurt me as far as rate stats like ERA. But other owners did better on rate stats than me while using their quotas more fully. The remedy is just spending more time and attention.
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