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Pencils Down - 2013 is in the Books

"The off season isn't just about projecting the future, it's also a great time to reflect on the prior season"

Julian Finney

Today marks the end of a long journey for many fantasy baseball managers.  A 6 month season beginning in April, in which many fantasy fanatics began preparing for in December, ends with the games played on the channels not showing your favorite NFL team.  Just as the first game of the season brought many emotions to the eager roto junkie, the last day of the season provides an entirely new set of feelings and a chance to reflect.  Whether you've been out of the race since July or took home the title today, the realization that fantasy baseball is over fully begins today.

So what comes next?

For most of you, this isn't your first rodeo and we all have our unique ways of coping with the reality that the fantasy baseball season is over.  Like many, I think October baseball is the best brand of baseball - make sure to enjoy as much of it as possible.  Even if you don't have a team in the postseason, just embrace and enjoy the event as a whole. Try to use the postseason as a time to relax and just watch the games.  There's no counting stats, working trades or worrying about platoon splits for fantasy purposes in the postseason.  Use this time to recharge as the fantasy baseball process starts back up in no time.

As the postseason ends I start working on my projections for the upcoming season.  Creating your own projections takes time, but don't worry, there's plenty of if and working on only a couple of players a night will still get the job done in time for spring training.  Try to watch video of the players you're not familiar with.  Crunch the underlying numbers and understand how age, ball park and historical trends could impact future performance.  Most importantly, make sure to adjust projections as teams make transactions and playing time becomes clearer as the season approaches.  If you're the type of player that doesn't use projections and has a different method of ranking players, maybe you can start later, but the point remains, it's time to start thinking baseball pretty close to the same time as it ends.  Even if it's just reading about a player or two you didn't own in 2012, it's important to use this time to gain as much knowledge as possible.

The off season isn't just about projecting the future, it's also a great time to reflect on the prior season and determine what works and what does not.  In order to have the best chance of success in fantasy baseball we all must be willing to critique our game plan and put the time in to research why certain players we projected to do well, failed to live up to expectations.  As with anything in life, we cannot continue to grow and learn if we ignore the process that's led us to where we currently are.  I also recommend studying the roster and transaction history of the teams that won your league(s) this year.  You may find some teams back into a victory, but you may also discover a roster construction practice you haven't thought of yet.

Of course I would be remiss if i did not mention you can exercise your fantasy baseball brain all off season here at Fake Teams.  Personally, I first discovered this site during the dark months as I was looking for quality fantasy baseball content.  Between, player reviews, awards, off season transactions, injuries, rankings, projections, strategy and maybe even a mock draft or two, there will be something for everyone these next few months.  So while it may be time to close the book on the 2013 fantasy baseball season, don't fret, it's just about time to start writing the 2014 version.