The 10 Types of Fantasy Baseball Drafters
With fantasy baseball draft season coming up, Cam breaks down the ten types of drafters you'll find in your leagues.
Over the next couple of weeks, fantasy baseball drafts will be held around the country. Most people, especially long-term players, establish a strategy and implement it year after year after year. But how many players focus on their opponents’ strategies and draft personalities? And make no mistake about it, players develop personalities and leagues that keep the same nucleus of players develop certain tendencies.
A key to outperforming the competition is not only knowing your role, but knowing your opponents'. There’s a saying in poker that if you can’t find the sucker at the table within 30 minutes of playing, YOU ARE THE SUCKER!
For instance, my main and longest-running league is an AL-only 10-team keeper league that has had the same core of eight teams for the better part of two decades. We know each other better than we know our own spouses. For instance, one manager does not spend $40 on a player … EVER. Another player tends to be mathematically challenged. One year he left $17 on the table, and another he left over $20. One more will spend whenever he feels a player is going for less than he should. He enters the draft with no laundry list and will spend whenever and wherever he can in the draft, and he will always be the guy who has eight players left and just $10 to spend
I’ve broken down the top 10 personality traits that are universal among fantasy leagues. Some managers may possess two or three of the traits, but make no mistake about it, everyone has at least one.
The 10 Types of Fantasy Baseball Drafters
1. The Comedian
This is the manager who will ask if a player is still on the IL, or question if a drafted player just hit the IL. They may also say something like, “not even his mother likes him.” There’s definitely a strategy within the Comedian's banter. They are constantly trying to lighten the mood so they can pounce for the players they want.
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2. The Ball Buster
The Ball Buster is similar to the Comedian, but tends to be more biting in their commentary and more relentless throughout the draft. They're the type who likes to pick a scab and won’t let you forget about missing badly on a player. Some might confuse a Ball Buster with the Jerk. The major difference between the two is that the Ball Buster tends to still make an effort to not let anything get out of hand, while the Jerk doesn’t care, and actually prefers there be some tension.
3. The Jerk
This one is self-explanatory. If your league has a Jerk, there will invariably be a point during the draft where voices will get raised or even a draft board gets tossed across the room.
4. The Contrarian
This is the drafter who always tries to outsmart everyone with some new strategy. The Contrarian invariably does the most research, or at least that’s what they'll tell everyone. They are the type of player who will load up on four closers, or nothing but bounceback players, or draft all the young can’t-miss phenoms. The Contrarian wants you to know they're the smartest one in the room.
5. The Obstinate
This is the manager who will not be outbid. This person usually has a bit of the Gambler in them too. “I like him at $38, what’s the big deal going up to $44 … someone liked him at $43.” Sometimes stubbornness pays off, but oftentimes it does not.
6. The Agitator
The Agitator is usually good at chess. They can see the lay of the land, and identify when to push and when to lay back. The Agitator can identify what player another manager may need positionally and work to ensure they don’t get him. They are great at analyzing the money and when they can push a guy. That person in my league is known as “plus $2.” Invariably the Agitator knows how they can push you.
7. The Gambler
There are a couple of types of Gamblers. The first the type who will not give in and will spend the money to get “their guys,” come hell or high water. There’s also the type of gambler who will look for injury-prone players or players who’ve had off years. A couple of perfect examples are Byron Buxton, Anthony Rendon and Cody Bellinger.
8. The Complainer
This is the manager who will complain about anything. They'll complain about a perfectly good trade being lopsided. They'll complain that the whole league has conspired against them. They'll complain that two teams are in cahoots to keep them out of the money. They'll complain that a team is specifically going after “their” players. Generally speaking, The Complainer is a big pain in the a**.
9. The Pushover
Everyone loves the Pushover, and make no mistake, the entire league knows who the one or two Pushovers are. They either pack it in early so you can pillage their rosters because they’ve lost interest, or you can just badger them until they concede a trade. And usually, if you are up against this manager in an auction draft, you’ll end up with the player you want.
10. The Explainer
The Explainer is harmless enough, but they can be tedious. I remember the Dan Okrent axiom of fantasy baseball. Nothing is more exciting than your team, and nothing is less exciting than someone else’s team. Is there anything duller than someone trying to explain to you how and why they made a pick or decided on some new game theory? Is there anything worse than a manager trying to explain to you the genius behind a trade they just made, while the entire league thinks they lost the trade?
For me, I can deal with the Contrarian and the Ball Buster … I can deal with the Agitator and Gambler, and I can even deal with the Jerk. It’s the Complainer and the Explainer that tend to bug me the most … don’t be those people.