Fantasy Rules: How should playoff rules work?

Thearon W. Henderson

Is it uncouth to stream pitchers in the playoffs? Or is that just using the rules to your advantage? Use the comments and chime in.

I have a question. It's one that I've debated with a leaguemate for some time, and we've come closer and closer to figuring it out, but we aren't there yet. And hey, I have a forum here, so I'm recruiting you all as my helpers. Unpaid help is the best help.

Anyway, we're both in the playoffs in our league and, while we aren't facing each other, we discuss our matchups ad nauseum. Our league has a few rules - five transactions max each week, 95 transactions max for the season - designed to try to stem the tide of excessive add/drops. Pitcher streaming is an option in this league, but only to an extent - you'll burn through your transactions quickly if you run through free-agent pitchers like a crazy person.

As of this writing, my friend sits at 83 transactions. He's just about out. Meanwhile, I'm at 44, and could add and drop guys twice a day from here on just for giggles and have some to spare.

I've never been too crazy about streaming pitchers or adding and dropping hitters - so much of that is hoping for one good game, and deciding anything about one game of baseball is foolish (hear me, Bud Selig and the second wild card??) - but I've been using my last roster spot to quasi-stream between guys like Martin Perez, Sonny Gray, Dan Straily, Dan Haren. That kind of guy.

(If you follow me on Twitter, you know that I stressed at length about using Haren or Yusmeiro Petit for my lone stream on Sept. 6, ultimately settling on Haren. Sept. 6 was also the day Petit came within a strike of a perfect game. Because I'm terrible at making choices.)

My buddy thinks this isn't right, thinks that rosters should be locked in the playoffs to prevent things like this. My counter is that I can't go crazy with it - a five-transaction limit effectively cuts off either streaming pitchers or the ability to pick up injury replacements. We aren't able to settle on who's right.

So what's the best way to run fantasy playoffs? I know some leagues lock rosters entirely, which has some benefits, but to me causes other, undue difficulties - my friend used his 83rd transaction to drop Derek Jeter and pick up Yunel Escobar, which he wouldn't have been able to do with locked rosters.

I favor keeping the same rules from regular season to playoffs, so the game is basically the same. But I see the other side - Straily and Gray had never seen my roster until the playoffs started, so it seems weird that I can now ride their arms to a title. It would be a bit like the Cardinals making the World Series and suddenly adding Stephen Strasburg, just because the Nationals weren't using him.

Honestly, I don't know. Do we just reduce the number of playoff add/drops to one a week? I really don't like telling someone who loses a player to injury "Tough," but I could still - if I'm confident enough about my players' health - pick up a Gray or a Straily or whoever.

So dive in in the comments. Tell me I'm smart. Or I'm dumb. Whatever, I got called a "moron" in the comments on a fantasy football post the other day, so I'm officially an internet writer now; you can call me whatever you want.

Follow me on Twitter @danieltkelley

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