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2012 Fantasy Baseball H2H Points League Strategy: Traders Beware

Hi. My name is Kevin and I'm addicted to fantasy baseball trades.

Don't be surprised to see me on an episode of Intervention in the near future with my head-to-head (H2H) rotisserie league mates gathered around me, pleading for me to stop with all the trade offers.

I don't know why, but I always feel I can improve my team, if only slightly more, by making a trade. I'm never content with a poor performer in my lineup or even an average one regardless of whether the rest of my lineup or rotation consists of All-Stars. I'm always hankering for that next trade and that shiny new toy to add to my lineup. I need more runs! I need more stolen bases! More! More! More!

It's something I want to work on this season. Less trades, that is. I want to manage my team with the peace and serenity of a Buddhist monk and the patience of Kevin Youkilis at the plate. Wish me luck!

But, in a H2H points league, I need not worry about it. My team and I are safe from the damage I inflict on myself in other scoring formats via trading.

In a H2H points league, trading is simply a non-issue. If you're like me or Kenny Williams (Chicago White Sox GM) and you have a trading fix you need to feed, you'll want to look elsewhere.

However, if you want to quit cold turkey or are not a fan of trading, a points league might be just the thing for you.

Continue reading after the jump:

Last season, in my H2H rotisserie league, I myself made 12 trades while there were at least 30 or more total over the course of the 2011 season.

The last head-to-head points league I participated in there were approximately two trades over the course of the entire season. That's right, two. Six times less than the amount I made myself in the other league and at least 15 times less than the league total.

Why the glaring difference? It’s easy. Unlike in other formats, owners in a fantasy baseball H2H points league are all looking for the exact same thing:


Perhaps the most common trade in a rotisserie league involves two owners looking to exchange not players, but rather stats/categories. Let's say one owner is leading the league in stolen bases but light on home runs and needs to catch up in that category, while the other owner is heavy on power but light on speed. In that case, those two owners would make perfect trade partners and it's possible a deal could be struck where one traded say Michael Bourn for Jay Bruce.

Such a trade would never occur in a H2H points league. For one, it doesn't matter that Bourn steals more bases than Bruce or that Bruce hits more home runs than Bourn, it only matters which one scores more points in your league’s format. Secondly, Bourn and Bruce play the exact same position, meaning the owner of the higher scoring player of the two would have literally no reason to make such a trade unless he/she had it on good authority that the higher scoring player was due to regress while the other owner was not privy to that information.

Also, there is almost no reason whatsoever to trade a high-scoring pitcher. Even if your pitching staff is so excellent that a high-scoring pitcher can’t crack your rotation each week, that pitcher will still be priceless on weeks in which he makes two starts.

Therefore, the only potential or likely trade you could see in a H2H points league is one involving an owner who drafted a hitter for depth at that position, but now that player offers similar scoring potential to his starter. Let’s use Miguel Montero and Alex Avila as an example from last season.

It’s very possible an owner could have drafted Miguel Montero as a starting catcher and Alex Avila as a backup and because he is only able to get points from one each week, Avila’s successful season is being wasted. If the owner were to be scoring minimal points from another position, let’s say third base, and was able to find another owner with a similar situation involving third base depth but light on points via the catcher position, a possible deal could be struck. But, as you can see, there are a lot more "ifs" in this scenario than in the former and there’s always the chance that hitter depth could simply slide into the utility spot.

Another aspect that hinders trading in a H2H points league is the fact that every player on the waiver wire offers points. Some more than others, but you’re going to find what you’re looking for and you can find it in a variety of ways by either picking up two-start pitchers, or maybe hitters and relief pitchers with seven-game schedules.

Meanwhile, in rotisserie leagues, there is no one available with 30 HR or .320 AVG potential, if those are the stats you need to be successful you'll have to trade to acquire them.

So, if you are a fantasy baseball player that puts a lot of emphasis on trading throughout the season to build a championship caliber team, you’ll want to go back to the drawing board before participating in a H2H points league.

Instead your success will require a well-prepared draft strategy understanding your league’s point values and where value can be had throughout the draft as the players you choose that day are likely to be with you until October. Also, have an eagle eye on the waiver wire, never missing the opportunity to nab two-start pitchers with favorable matchups or emerging talent able to make an impact on your team.

For more questions on trading or drafting in a H2H points league or players to target for your scoring format, please comment below.