Please Note:  If I wrote an article strictly about Mets players with fantasy impact in 2012, it would only be approximately two paragraphs long.  So in addition to giving a fantasy preview on Mets players, I decided to share my fantasy wisdom with the world, and finally let everyone know what it takes to be crowned champion.

It’s that time of the year again.  It’s time to go to your local grocer, pick up the newest fantasy baseball guide, and start preparing for your 2012 draft.  But before you spend your $7.99 this year, let me advise you that you can save your money by printing a player list online, review the player stats from 2011, and generate your own rankings based on what your strategy is going to be this season.  As a winner of multiple fantasy baseball crowns, I am confident in advising that if you do purchase a fantasy guide, use it strictly as a fast statistical reference and player list.  DO NOT PAY ATTENTION TO WHERE THEY RANK THE PLAYERS.

People tend to shy away from fantasy baseball because they claim it’s a lot of work.  I’m here to tell you that they are exactly right.  This isn’t fantasy football where you go head to head with your opponent and set your lineup 15 minutes before 1:00pm on Sunday afternoons.  I’m talking about pure rotisserie style fantasy baseball.  Maybe it’s the fat kid in me, but I always picture a chicken spinning on a wheel, slow roasting so the meat is so tender and succulent when I hear the word rotisserie.  And I’m here to tell you that if you don’t know what you’re doing in a rotisserie league, you will feel like that chicken slow roasting all season.   Most people say it’s a ton of work because they would check their lineup every single day over the long grueling baseball season, and often end up with nothing but carpel tunnel at the end of they year.  Well if you are too lazy to check your lineup, let alone set it properly every day, then you should probably avoid fantasy baseball.

The major issue people have with fantasy baseball is that they run their team like it’s a fantasy football team.  They quickly glance over their lineup to make sure everyone is playing on that particular day, and maybe look over their players’ matchups.  They tweak it here or there, but they still can’t seem to generate any points.  These people are working hard, but not working efficiently.  I’m not sure if people don’t truly understand rotisserie scoring, or they just don’t have a clue as to what they are doing.  I’m going to assume that people have a clue, so I will break down rotisserie scoring and how to adjust your lineup properly.

Rotisserie scoring isn’t that difficult to follow.  Your league will have different statistical categories.  Each statistical category is usually assigned the number of points as there are teams in the league.  If there are 10 teams in your league, each category is worth 10 points and so on.  Your points for each category directly correspond to how your team ranks in each category.  For example, if your team has the most stolen bases in the league, you get the most points; if you have the least stolen bases you receive the least amount of points.  Each category’s point total is added together to give you your total score, and where you rank in your league.  You will have to adjust your team on a daily basis based on these categories, not your overall point total.  I think that is the biggest mistake people make.  In other words, if you review your categorical scores and see you are running low in homeruns, you will want to add a few guys with pop to your lineup to bolster that category.  The tricky part is adding in what you need to boost the categories you lack points in, while maintaining the points in your other categories.  That takes practice, and there is no exact science with regards to that.

Now that you have a better understanding of setting your lineup daily, let’s take a look at some Mets players that will help you in your quest for fantasy glory.  The players are broken into three categories:

Must Have – these are the guys that fantasy greatness is built on

You Can Do Better – these guys will help your team out, but they aren’t the best at their positions

Don’t Go There – if you draft these guys plan on being made fun of by other guys in the league behind your back

Sleeper – guys that haven’t had success in the past that may break out this year

David Wright, 3B

Must Have

David will inevitably be one of the first third baseman selected in your fantasy drafts this year.  If you ignore his injury shortened 2011 season and look at his 2010 season as a statistical reference, then he may arguably be the best fantasy third baseman out there.  Hanley Ramirez moving to third base will cause most people to slide David Wright down their ranking charts, but don’t do it.  The Mets moved the fences in now that Reyes is gone, and David should be able to take advantage of that.  He has the potential to hit .285, 30 HR, and 110 RBI this year.  Not to mention, he can add 15-20 SB from the 3B slot which will make him very hard for you to pass up on draft day.

 

Ike Davis, 1B

You Can Do Better/Sleeper

Sure, you can do better…but you can also do a lot worse.  Ike Davis will be on someone’s team this year, and I think he is a bone-a-fied sleeper to break out into fantasy stardom this year.  If he stays healthy, there is no reason why the lefty can’t put up David Wright numbers (minus the stolen bases).  The smaller Citi Field will only improve his power numbers.  My recommendation is to draft him as a utility player and if he starts mashing the ball, you have yourself a nice diamond in the rough.  First Base is stacked with players like Pujols, Gonzalez, Votto, Teixeira, Fielder, Konerko, and Howard.  If these guys are off the board in your draft then feel free to go ahead and take a shot on Ike.

 

Lucas Duda, OF

You Can Do Better/Sleeper

There are a ton of outfielders out there so Duda is actually on the backend of the outfielders.  He will probably end up on someone’s team and be stashed on the bench.  I can name about 40 outfielders that I would pick before Duda at this point.  However, Duda can be a nice fill in for your injured players or players on off days.  He has the ability to hit for a plus average and 20 HR.  Keep in mind that in 301 AB last year he only managed 1 SB as well.

 

Johan Santana, SP

You Can Do Better/Sleeper

Sleeper??? What???  I remember when Johan Santana was the first pitcher off the draft boards and now he’s been relished to sleeper???  Let’s face it, when Johan is Johan you can’t find a better pitcher.  That’s ultimately what makes him a sleeper.  If he comes back from his injury and is even 85% of the pitcher he once was you have a decent SP to plug in your lineup.  Will he ever regain his fantasy domination form?  That is yet to be seen, but I doubt it.  I’m not afraid to take a chance on Johan, but not at the expense of other pitchers that could help me win my league.  There are about 60 pitchers I would look to draft before even thinking about Johan due to the question marks about his injuries.  But Johan definitely has the ability to may make some fantasy owner very happy for taking a chance on him on draft day.  I’m just not sure it will be me.

 

 

The Mets have a ton of “don’t go there’s” which are listed in no particular order below:

Jonathon Niese – ERA over 4.00?  No thanks.

Josh Thole – slap hitting slow catcher with 3 HR?  I’ll pass.

Jason Bay – I’m not sure he will ever get back to fantasy worthiness.  He has a combined 18HR and about a .255 Avg. the past two seasons which is disgraceful.  I won’t touch him although he does have sleeper potential.

Justin Turner – I’m not going to waste anymore of your time on him.

 

Much like the Mets regular season, the fantasy outlooks of the players are also grim.  It’s time for Mets fans to accept that the players just aren’t that good.  The Mets are probably going to stink this year, but that doesn’t mean your fantasy team has to.  Draft with your brain and not with your heart.  Don’t draft a slew of Mets players in an attempt to prove you are a loyal fan.  Wearing your Mets hats in public, and dealing with the ridicule that comes with it, already proves that.