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Fantasy Baseball: Playoff Week Strategies

Many head-to-head leagues are now well into their playoffs, and figured now would be a great time to bring up a few strategies that could help make the difference in whether you advance or not.

1. Don't forget to look at the schedule

If you've been playing in a weekly league, you're probably already well aware of the need to look at 2-start pitchers, but at this point it can be just as important to look at whether a team has 6 or 7 games in a week. While you're not going to be benching players who are studs, if you have a marginal player in a position it may be worth your while to look at someone else if they have more games and are similar in skill.

2. Make sure you know your league's rules about roster moves and streaming.

In the playoffs, nothing should be sacred. So if you have the ability to make unlimited roster moves either in the week or in the season, streaming pitchers becomes a very viable option. While it can definitely be frowned upon in a lot of leagues, you are most likely in your league to win it, and no strategy should be ignored.

3. You can conceivably counter streaming with a reliever heavy strategy.

If you feel that your pitching staff is unlikely to match up with regard to the starting pitchers, but you can do well with closers, you can counteract a streaming opponent if you can meet the innings minimums for your league. In a standard 5x5 league, having better (and more) closers than your opponent can net you saves, ERA, and WHIP. The catch of course is that there's very little margin for error if one of your closer's blows a save in spectacular fashion.

4. No one on your roster is undroppable (or at least they shouldn't be).

In the past week, I have seen the following players dropped in my main head-to-head league: Matt Kemp, Justin Upton, and Jose Reyes, among others. And of course, any other time of the year, this looks insane. But Upton has missed nearly a week of games, Kemp has really been struggling of late, and Jose Reyes has not played this week either. In a head-to-head league, it only matters what you do this week, and not having those players may hurt later on. But it won't really matter if it hurts if you aren't playing for your title next week. If you have to get another starter and your star OF has been struggling mightily, don't be afraid to make the big move.

While you should still be managing your team in a similar manner to the way you have all season long (since it's clear that these behaviors got you into the playoffs), just remember that it doesn't matter if you win by 1 hit or by 100, you're just aiming to win and should think about anything that could help you to do that.