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Fantasy Baseball: Snake Draft Strategy

I have participated in an NL-only, 5x 5 snake draft league for about 7-8 years now, and actually, I am joining a second snake draft league this season. Here is one strategy I have discussed a few times here, but not in great detail.

The strategy I have employed in the past is to draft solid power/speed hitters in 8 of the first 10 rounds, and draft two closers in the first 10 rounds, and then complement the two closers with several setup men, and another closer. So, in this 5 x 5 league, I was punting not one, but two categories-wins and strikeouts. The objective is to win saves, ERA and WHIP, and place well in all of the hitting categories. Actually, its almost a must that you win saves, ERA and WHIP, and place high in each of the hitting categories or the strategy will not work.

I have had success with this strategy as I have had three third place finishes and one first place finish-all in the money. This strategy was so successful that the league commissioner added an innings limit rule last year, and I finished 5th.

To win using this strategy, you must draft enough power and speed guys to finish in the upper quarter in all five hitting categories. This is not easy to do in an NL-only league, but it can be done. I targeted top power hitters in the first 4-5 rounds, and then focused on SB guys and closers. If one can land a few 20-20 guys in the first 4-5 rounds, you can be well on your way to doing well in the hitting categories.

You must also draft closers who are secure in their role of closing in the first 8-10 rounds. Guys like Jonathon Broxton and Brian Wilson are solid in NL-only leagues, while Mariano Rivera and Joe Nathan are a few AL closers one can target. In the later rounds, one must draft at least one more closer, and the setup men for the closers you drafted in the first 10 rounds, in case your top closer gets injured or loses the job.

This strategy is probably much more successful in 4 x 4 leagues, but I have yet to play in a 4 x 4 snake draft league.