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New Fantasy Strategy

Roiling the tranquility of my AL-only league is a vociferous debate about the lack of depth in the free agent pool.  The target right now is our minor league draft and the number of players each team can keep on their farm.

Because many of the top prospects have already been rostered via the minor league draft, these players do not go into the free agent pool when they are recalled.  Worse, teams delay activating those players as long as possible to make sure the option exists to protect them next year on the farm (rule:  once activated, farm players can no longer be protected as famr players.)

However, this disagreement misses the structural change that has occurred in major league baseball - the advent of the 12-man pitching staff (and in some cases, the Orioles, a 13-man one.)  There is a fixed number of roster spots on each major league team (25).  If a team wants to carry an extra pitcher or two, then those spots must come at the expense of the hitters.

That is the reason free agent hitter pools are no longer as deep as in years past.  This is especially acute in Al-only and NL-only leagues.  I know I will be adjusting my draft strategy to account for this development, and I expect any fantasy guide worth paying for will be doing so also.

For those who have disregarded the minor league/reserve portions of their drafts are out of luck right now.  But going forward, I suggest paying attention to both.