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2008 Fantasy Baseball: Why Am I Panicking?

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For 24 days many times per day, fantasy players have looked at the standings in their leagues. With that kind of repetition, those standings begin to take on a permanence that is hard to shake. No matter how frequently the fantasy player tells himself, or hears an expert tell him, that the standings are fluid and don't mean anything so soon into the 2008 season, one cannot shake the fact that he has had 60 or so points all year and the team at the top has had 100+ points.

That 40-point spread becomes very real and the trailing team begins to look at his roster and contemplates ways to close that 40-point gap. However, that may not be necessary. Instead of looking at the standings, look at the actual spreads in the individual categories to see if you are hopelessly behind.

Here is an example from one of my mixed leagues:

Category My Points My Total Leader Total
R 7 106 121
HR 6 25 29
RBI 4 88 118
SB 6.5 14 27
W 5.5 9 12
SV 9.5 15 18
K 4 101 140

While my points total in those categories is mediocre-to-poor, the spread between my totals and the leader's totals are much more encouraging. Just four HRs are the difference between having 6 points and leading the category with 12. Just three wins offer the same six point potential gain.

The standings are still very fluid even if a two-HR, one-Win, one-Save night doesn't move them quite the way it did on the second day of the season. Making hasty decisions will only make permanent that false sense of permanence looking at your league's standings 100+ times so far this season has created.