Tout Wars FAB Report: Week of July 31

Welcome to Part 1 of what’s shaping up to be a busy trade deadline. This is an interesting season since most years, the majority of crossover players for AL and NL only formats are bid upon in one transaction period. This year, the AL and NL only Touts needed to decide whether to go after the players already dealt, or hope more players are dealt across leagues in the next 48 or so hours.

Speaking of which, several of the Touts will be hanging out in a Zoom room, discussing the trades, and anything else that comes up. Please check out the Tout Wars site for the link; the festivities will commence at 4 PM ET.

Remember, you can see the standings, rosters and all the moves for each league by clicking on the jump link magically inserted under each league header.

American League

Player Team Bid
MScherzer, Tex Mike Podhorzer 846
JMontgomery, Tex Rob Leibowitz 781
JHicks, Tor Mike Podhorzer 52
KolWong, Sea Chris Blessing 19
RGrossman, Tex Chris Blessing 17
ZLittell, TB Jason Collette 13
RTiedemann, Tor Andy Andres 11
LErceg, Oak Rick Wolf/Glenn Colton 9
DFloro, Min Jason Collette 5
NSyndergaard, Cle Chris Blessing 5
YGarcia, Tor Patrick Davitt 2
THolton, Det Doug Dennis 1
JLeclerc, Tex Doug Dennis 1
ADiaz, Oak Eric Samulski 1
AMondesi, Bos Mike Podhorzer 0
SZavala, CWS Larry Schechter 0

National League

Player Team Bid
LLynn, LAD Tristan H. Cockcroft 584
ARosario, LAD Grey Albright 177
MLuciano, SF Peter Kreutzer 123
KHernandez, LAD Todd Zola 57
HWesneski, ChC Brian Walton 29
DBard, Col Ian Kahn 16
ATrejo, Col Brian Walton 10
LJackson, SF Wilderman/Prior 8
MLiberatore, StL Rick Graham 6
JKelly, LAD Phil Hertz 6
AToro, Mil Ian Kahn 4
DrSmith, NYM Derek Carty 4
JHoffman, Phi Erik Halterman 2
AKnizner, StL Ian Kahn 2
LWeaver, Cin Phil Hertz 1
EMontero, Col Rick Graham 1
NAhmed, Ari Erik Halterman 1
RAdams, Was Steve Gardner 1

Mixed Salary Cap

Player Team Bid
HRyu, Tor Brent Hershey 41
SFrelick, Mil Justin Mason 37
MWallner, Min Kev Mahserejian 27
MLuciano, SF Scott Engel 26
LMedina, Oak Brent Hershey 23
MMoustakas, LAA Brent Hershey 22
DomSmith, Was Scott Chu 21
LRengifo, LAA Zach Steinhorn 19
RSuarez, SD Justin Mason 17
JPayamps, Mil Scott Chu 12
GSantos, CWS Scott Engel 11
AMonasterio, Mil Scott Chu 9
LPeguero, Pit Scott Engel 5
BRodgers, Col Jeff Zimmerman 3
JWiemer, Mil Jeff Zimmerman 3
JRomero, StL Scott Pianowski 1

Mixed Draft

Player Team Bid
AHouser, Mil Ray Murphy 40
PPfaadt, Ari Ray Murphy 40
JQuintana, NYM Seth Trachtman 28
MLuciano, SF Scott White 27
AOttavino, NYM D.J. Short 25
RMauricio, NYM D.J. Short 15
MWallner, Min Scott White 14
BRaley, NYM Adam Ronis 12
AMunoz, Sea Dr, Roto 11
TMay, Oak Tim McLeod 9
MMassey, KC Adam Ronis 8
JBleday, Oak Dr, Roto 8
GSanchez, SD Ryan Bloomfield 6
ESwanson, Tor Scott White 4
KIsbel, KC Tim McLeod 4
TomMurphy, Sea Shelly Verougstraete 2
NLodolo, Cin Scott White 0
JSegura, Mia Shelly Verougstraete 0

Head to Head

Player Team Bid
JGray, Was Ariel Cohen 43
LMedina, Oak Sky Dombroske 22
GGallegos, StL Joe Gallina 19
BLively, Cin Ariel Cohen 18
MWallner, Min Clay Link 14
DPeterson, NYM Michael Govier 12
JSuwinski, Pit Ariel Cohen 12
KFinnegan, Was Sky Dombroske 11
MKepler, Min Greg Jewett 9
CSantana, Mil Frank Stampfl 6
ZMcKinstry, Det Ryan Hallam 1
TCabbage, LAA Frank Ammirante 1

Mixed with IP & Saves+Holds

Player Team Bid
THernandez, Sea Dylan White 41
JBurger, CWS Chris Clegg 17
NPivetta, Bos Sara Sanchez 17
JTaillon, ChC Sara Sanchez 16
MWallner, Min Chris Clegg 11
TPham, NYM Chris Clegg 7
TONeill, StL John Laghezza 5
LCampusano, SD John Laghezza 3
BSabol, SF Matt Trussell 0
PSandoval, LAA Dylan White 0

Tout Table: Taking Advantage of Fantasy Football

This week’s question: What do you do to take advantage of some competitors shifting focus to fantasy football?

Scott Engel (The Game Day, @ScottETheKing): Actually, my goal is to not let myself get too shifted away. I always cut out time daily to stay on top of MLB, my days just become more crammed with research of two sports. If you are in a league where others start to pay less interest, though, you might be able to win out on the waiver wire more this time of year.

Dan Strafford (MoonshotsMLB, @DanStrafford): Any number of cliches could describe the fantasy baseball season. It’s a war of attrition. It’s a marthon, not a print. On and on they go. I don’t know that it is specifically fantasy football that can be taken advantage of or just the typical nature of losing interest over such a long season. The biggest key is to stay dedicated and focused each week to waiver wire, injuries, trends, and lineup setting.

Brian Walton (CreativeSports2, @B_Walton): Those owners may be more inclined to entertain trades since their interest in baseball drops as they ramp up football focus. Do the necessary research yourself. Make it as easy as possible for them to say “yes”.

Doug Dennis (BaseballHQ, @dougdennis41): I don’t do football, but I also don’t attempt to do anything that would be trickeration or something that could be resented later. I just play it straight–same as I do in May.

Nick Pollack (Pitcher List, @PitcherList): Many players don’t have the time to keep up with new trends, which allows players who can see pitches changing their approach, velocity, and improving their command/stuff in believable ways are often overlooked. Pitchers especially can go on successful runs when in rhythm and those who have less time will often keep their old first half opinions of pitchers. Take advantage of the mercurial nature of players.

Frank Ammirante (The GameDayHQ, @FAmmiranteTFJ): The best way to take advantage is through the waiver wire. You may be able to get a player at a lower FAAB bid than expected since your competitors are not as engaged as they were in April or May.

Eric Samulski (Rotoballer, @SamskiNYC): I honestly don’t think you need to do much, just stay engaged. Maybe place smaller bids, expecting less furious competition on the wire. Also, look to float trade offers with teams who are out of it but may want to shake things up or acquire “fun” players to cheer for. That doesn’t mean make bad offers, but it just means explore offers to see if a Mets fan maybe wants to add Francisco Alvarez for the final two months, etc.

Sara Sanchez (, @BCB_Sara): I don’t shift to fantasy football stuff until later so I just keep grinding in fantasy baseball. Same amount of attention, still running last 14-30 day comps, looking for guys who are hot, where I can find some advantages, where playing time has crept up or dropped off. I imagine the people focused on football aren’t looking at baseball as closely and I am really just trying to get an edge through having a good process and consistency.

Ariel Cohen (CBS Sports, @ATCNY): The first thing to note are the teams who are no longer setting lineups and/or not making waiver wire pickups. In terms of standings … see which ones you may be able to pas more easily. In terms of pickups, note that they won’t be part of FAAB, so set your values knowing that there are fewer teams competing. I don’t think that there is a way of taking advantage of those teams as far as trades … they are more absent than anything else in my experience.

Patrick Davitt (BaseballHQ, @patrickdavitt): I’m pretty diligent about my moves anyway, so not much different from some checkouts. If I’m sure another player has checked out, it might play a part in setting a bid if he would otherwise be someone I thought would be competing with me for the player.

Jeff Zimmerman (Fangraphs, @jeffwzimmerman): It’s too late to really take advantage of managers migrating over to football. The football managers won’t be grinding out every at-bat so counting, especially Runs and RBI, can be gained during this time. Also, Saves can be picked up. These categories can be deemphasized during the draft knowing they can be made up now.

Scott White (CBS Fantasy Sports, @CBSScottWhite): The advantages are less obvious in the present than in the past and the future. The past advantage is that you could afford to be more aggressive with your free agent bidding early in the season, knowing there will be fewer bidders later on. This is actually one of several reasons why it generally pays to front-load free agent spending. The future advantage is that you’ll have a more complete picutre of certain players heading into next year. The fantasy football crowd will have their opinions skewed by the first two-thirds of the season. They may miss the boat on certain players entirely. Who knows who all could emerge over the next two months?

Grey Albright (RazzBall, @razzball): Best way to take advantage of anyone is to ask them for a small, simple favor, then slowly increasing your favors until they’re willing to give you anything you want. So, ask them for a glass of water and keep increasing favors, until they give you Acuña in a trade for a middle reliever.

CJ Kaltenbach (Fantasy Guru, @TheSeigeDFS): When people stop paying attention that’s when you can make your move in specific categories; it’s not always about winning the league but getting yourself into more money paying positions through sticking with it.

Sky Dombroske (Fantistics Insider Baseball, @SkyDombroske): For owners whose attention is drifting but haven’t totally checked out, it’s worth making some offers for players who have shown improvement over the past 2-4 weeks that you think highly of, as those owners may be more focused on season-long totals instead of recent play. Taking a look at your upcoming schedule with an eye toward who is and isn’t paying attention could give you some added insight into your team’s ceiling as well.

Erik Halterman (Rotowire, @erik_halterman): In theory, there should be less competition on the waiver wire, but in practical terms, I’m not sure it makes a difference in FAAB leagues. You only need to be outbid by one person to lose a player, so if you’re submitting cheap bids in hopes that the fantasy football effect will allow yours to sneak through, you’re liable to get burned by a leaguemate who’s still locked in. In first-come, first-served leagues (where fantasy players who stop paying attention down the stretch may be overrepresented) you might be able to take advantage of the effect more.

Andy Andres (BaseballHQ, @sabermetrics101): Agree with a lot of the sentiment here, stay engaged, nothing different, play it straight.

Mike Gianella (Baseball Prospectus, @MikeGianella): You’ve got to start early, so I like to complain loudly and often about how awful fantasy baseball is these days and how great fantasy football is. Then, I start playing the Fox football intro theme at a very low volume at all times whenever I’m near one of my fantasy football playing friends. Finally, I try to remind them how much prep is really necessary to win your fantasy football league: you had better be watching those August preseason games or your draft is going to be a complete failure! By constantly telling my opponents how important fantasy football is, I’ll get 3-4 of them to completely neglect their baseball teams and enable my historic climb from 8th place to 5th place. Take that, football fans!

Jennifer Piacenti (Sports Illustrated, @jenpiacenti): We’re still playing fantasy baseball? Kidding. Though, the way my Tout team looks right now, you might think I’m not. COME ON, YORDAN. Serisouly, though, for those that have had a bum team all year, this is the time to gain ground. With fantasy football taking focus away, simply keeping an eye on who’s hot can be enough to pick up major gains once your middle-of-the- pack opponents check out knowing they can’t win it all. I’ve gone from second-to-last to second overall before just by paying attention after the trade deadline.

Michael Govier (FTN Fantasy, @mjgovier): This is easy! I just keep doing what I’ve been doing all season. Because if I try to exploit a manager who is not paying attention, I might just sit there waiting forever because I won’t get a response. So it’s business as usual for me as football becomes the focus for millions of people. I might get some more breaks going my way on the waiver wire too because the attention span is waining for many of my competitors. I suppose one other key thing that is a benefit from this change in season is the reduction in FAAB prices. I drop my bids by roughly 15% across the board because there will be a reduction in prices.

Shelly Verougstraete (NBC Sports EDGE Baseball, @ShellyV_643): I don’t really do anything different this time fo year. I might take a look at other manager’s lineups to see if they are still playing, but I just moving along with my process.

Scott Chu (Pitcher List, @ifthechufits): We are heading into prime waiver wire season. Between late call-ups and fewer managers competing for those adds, I’m often glad that I reserved at least 1/3 of my FAAB budget, if not half, so I can try to control the action on Sunday night waiver runs. Even if I don’t have FAAB resources, I remkain very active on the wire knowing that football and bad luck has taken a lot of managers out of it, raising the replacement level and increasing the odds that players you cut will still be there next week if you change your mind

Seth Trachtman (, Yardbarker, @sethroto): Just stay the course. It can get easy to get distracted in late August and early September, but those are arguably the most important weeks of the season when closing in for the last few points in roto-scoring categories. There’s no reason to let up after months of hard work and dedication.

Brian Entrekin (Fantasy Pros, BaseballHQ, @bdentrek): When players change their focus to football it leaves a lot more chances for us diehard fantasy baseball players. I usually lower my FAAB bids as the bids are going down everywhere. I also look at standings and where I can imrpove even more as targeting categories can become easier with less attention from the league.

Carlos Marcano (Triple Play Fantasy, @camarcano): I think this should be an advantage to me as I barely play Fantasy Football but, truth is, that really competitive players are going to keep focused so no truce in the horizon!

Zach Steinhorn (Steinhorn’s Universe on Substack, @zachsteinhorn): I’ve found that the waiver wire is where you can really take advantage, so I make a special effort to stay informed on the latest fantasy-relevant news, whether it be a prospect call-up, a newly annointed closer or simply playing time changes. But like Carlos mentioned, it’s unlikely that you will catch many managers napping in industry leagues.

Joe Sheehan (Joe Sheehan Baseball Newsletter, @joe_sheehan): I don’t make any changes to my process, but pending my FAAB situation I do try to be aware of who is still making pickups and lineup changes and who isn’t, which can help shape bidding at a time of year when every dollar counts. Maybe you only have third or fourth hammer, but two of the people ahead of you are unlikely to bid on anyone. Maybe you and a couple of teams need saves, but one of them still has Jose Alvarado in the lineup. Some sites even track logins, so you can see who is staying active and who isn’t.

Alan Harrison (The Fantasy Fix, @TheFantasyFix): Fortunately (or, unfortunately?) for me most of the leagues I play don’t lose folks to fantasy football. So the process stays the same. Tracking the standings to identify where I can gain/protect points. Monitoring lineups to maximize plate appearances for my hitters, carefully plugging in starters based on matchups and looking for middle relievers on the wire who may be getting high leverage opportunities for a chance at saves, scab wins, strikeouts and ratios.

Ryan Hallam (Fighting Chance Fantasy, @FightingChance): I am one who does play fantasy football heavily, but this is the best time of year to make up ground in standings. Less people are participating in weekly FAAB bidding, and it is another great time to analyze where you are in the standings to see where you can make up the most points quickly. This is incredibly important with the trade deadline looming and September callups or teams out of it who are playing their young players. While some fade away this is the time for you to work harder.

Howard Bender (Fantasy Alarm, @RotoBuzzGuy): Yeah, this is actually a really tough spot for me, especially this year as I sit in the Top 3 of fantasy baseball leagues like FSGA, TGFBI and BARF. Maintaining your focus while transitioning to football is not an easy thing and a lot falls through the cracks, especially if it’s your job. Splitting your time between the two sports doesn’t mean you’re less of a diehard fantasy baseball person. It just means you have deeper responsibilities. To maintain and even advance, you have to find the right balance which is not an easy task. In addition to prepping your followers and subscribers for their upcoming football drafts, you have to be extremely diligent in following not just all the injury news, but trade deadline info, rookie call-ups, etc. If you’re sitting in the middle of the pack, you find those people slipping out of contention further and further and start floating some trade offers for help you require. You can get away with some deals that tilt in your favor, especially if you feel they aren’t paying attention. If your league allows for trading FAAB dollars, you should definitely try and get as much thrown in for you as possible. Take a long look at your standings too because people sliding out of contention could very well be sitting in front of you in different categories which is a great place to strike. Maybe there’s a little extra work involved, but in the end, you’ll be happy you did it as you stand in the winner’s circle holding that trophy.

Justin Mason (Friends With Fantasy Benefits, @JustinMasonFWFB): I think it is all about focus. While your leaguemates are diving into their football prep, you should be using that time to dig into your standings and see where you can gain or lose ground. Just being active and making moves will do a lot of work. Stay active and reap the rewards of your opponents split attention.

Jeff Boggis (Fantasy Football Empire, @JeffBoggis): It really depends on where I’m at in the league standings. Since I am in several fantasy baseball and fantasy football leagues, I try to balance based on priority. I would never quit on a league, but will spend more time on the leagues where I can finish in the top three. I think you can do both with little issue. Never quit on your league!

Anthony Aniano (Rotoballer, @AAnianoFantasy): As other owners shift towards football I’ll look to under bid and sneak some players onto my roster through FAAB. It’s also an opportunity to trade for underperforming players who start to perform as originally expected in case their Team manager is not noticing.

Eric Cross (FTNFantasy, @EricCross04): This is honestly one of my favorite times of the season. If you’re putting effort into the first four months of the season, why stop now? What, just because some sport with a brown ball that looks like the head of Arnold from “Hey Arnold” is approaching? Staying focused during these final two weeks while others are shifting some of their focus to football can be the difference between winning and losing or finishing in a money spot or not. The biggest aspect that can be overlooked if shifting focus to football are the recent trends and hot hitters and pitchers that are popping up lately.

Joe Gallina (Fantasy Alarm, @joegallina): It seems obvious but I pay even more attention to the waiver wire and MLB team roster moves as football training camps open. I also find that league mates tend to lose their focus on three- day summer weekends like Memorial Day, July 4th weekend and Labor Day. If you stay the course, you can scoop up some real bargains off the waiver wire when your league mates have their attention elsewhere.

Chris Clegg (Pitcher List, @RotoClegg): I don’t play fantasy football, so for me this is where the rubber meets the road. Many players check out as they get fascinated with NFL training camp videos and miss out on opportunities of what is happening in MLB. Less people tend to bid on players and knowing trends like playing time or pitch mix changes can take you a long way in the final two month stretch of the season. You can also likely exploit managers in trades if you find a player that is picking things up, but may have a poor overall season line. At the end of the day, staying engaged gives you an edge this time of year.

Todd Zola (Mastersball, @toddzola): Several have made the point thining about how to take advantage of those losing interest to fantasy football should be baked into draft and team management strategy. I like that approach. The only thing I’ll add is some leagues have AB and/or IP minimums, with varying penalties. Sometimes, team managers no longer engaged (sometimes, when they are still engaged) are pacing to fall short of the minimums. This could be an opening to make a deal, especially since the other team won’t care about the quality of innings, only the quantity.

Tout Wars FAB Report: Week of July 24

The Head-to-Head league takes the spotlight this week with matchups to make the playoffs running thin.

Remember, you can see the standings, rosters and all the moves for each league by clicking on the jump link magically inserted under each league header.

American League

Player Team Bid
CSilseth, LAA Larry Schechter 118
DFry, Cle Jeff Erickson 53
LMedina, Oak Eric Samulski 37
MWallner, Min Andy Andres 26
CMarlowe, Sea Eric Samulski 24
VBrujan, TB Jason Collette 14
RJeffers, Min Joe Sheehan 13
BRortvedt, NYY Jason Collette 12
SHuff, Tex Rick Wolf/Glenn Colton 2
MMoore, LAA Eric Samulski 1
GSantos, CWS Rick Wolf/Glenn Colton 1
KHigashioka, NYY Rick Wolf/Glenn Colton 0

National League

Player Team Bid
BRodgers, Col Erik Halterman 82
KGinkel, Ari Ian Kahn 73
BWisely, SF Steve Gardner 17
ARivas, SD Grey Albright 7
AGomber, Col Phil Hertz 6
GSoriano, Mia Todd Zola 3
ONarvaez, NYM Tristan H. Cockcroft 2
FWall, Atl Steve Gardner 2
JStallings, Mia Wilderman/Prior 1
IVargas, Was Brian Walton 0
JAssad, ChC Brian Walton 0
JRomero, StL Phil Hertz 0

Mixed Salary Cap

Player Team Bid
KFinnegan, Was Scott Pianowski 109
KGinkel, Ari Scott Pianowski 81
JQuintana, NYM Garion Thorne 56
CMarlowe, Sea Scott Engel 30
TKemp, Oak Scott Pianowski 22
ERodriguez, Pit Scott Engel 20
WFlores, SF Scott Engel 15
JProfar, Col Scott Pianowski 11
TDArnaud, Atl Kev Mahserejian 11
ABurleson, StL Scott Chu 4
CHernandez, KC Scott Engel 4
PDeJong, StL Jeff Zimmerman 3

Mixed Draft

Player Team Bid
KGinkel, Ari Ryan Bloomfield 61
WFlores, SF D.J. Short 40
MGrove, LAD Anthony Aniano 25
CSilseth, LAA Rudy Gamble 24
CBethancourt, TB Mike Gianella 14
RGrichuk, Col Dr, Roto 11
LRengifo, LAA Adam Ronis 4
RStripling, SF Seth Trachtman 4
CSanchez, Phi Adam Ronis 4
TanScott, Mia Shelly Verougstraete 3
JRogers, Det Ryan Bloomfield 3
JIrvin, Was Rudy Gamble 2
MMoustakas, LAA Rudy Gamble 1

Head to Head

Player Team Bid
SFrelick, Mil Joe Gallina 42
ERodriguez, Pit Michael Govier 42
AKirilloff, Min Michael Govier 34
EJulien, Min Sky Dombroske 29
MGrove, LAD Michael Govier 24
SMatz, StL Ryan Hallam 23
PCorbin, Was Ariel Cohen 23
WFlores, SF Lauren Auerbach 21
MMoniak, LAA Lauren Auerbach 17
TWilliams, Was Ariel Cohen 14
ABenintendi, CWS Ariel Cohen 14
JBell, Cle Ryan Hallam 14
WBenson, Cin Sky Dombroske 12
JCueto, Mia Lauren Auerbach 11
PPfaadt, Ari Frank Ammirante 6
AAlzolay, ChC Frank Stampfl 6
YGomes, ChC Joe Gallina 3
TAnderson, CWS Frank Stampfl 3
SBrown, Oak Greg Jewett 2
AChapman, Tex Greg Jewett 1

Mixed with IP & Saves+Holds

Player Team Bid
GRodriguez, Bal Dylan White 51
SFrelick, Mil Brian Entrekin 22
AKirilloff, Min Brian Entrekin 17
JDuran, Bos Carlos Marcano 9
BMarsh, Phi Carlos Marcano 7
BSinger, KC Carlos Marcano 7
ERodriguez, Pit Brian Entrekin 4
JPayamps, Mil Matt Trussell 0

Tout Table: Protecting a Lead

What measures do you take to protect/fortify a lead?

Brad Johnson (Patreon BaseballATeam, @BaseballATeam): It’s important to understand the anatomy of your lead. Do you have a large padding in some categories? Have you been lucky in others? Just like MLB clubs, I chase floor when I’m leading. Upside if for those fools playing from behind.

Doug Dennis (BaseballHQ, @dougdennis41): You have to avoid injuries to be in a lead, and to stay there, keep avoiding injuries. Pretty simple.

Doug Dennis (BaseballHQ, @dougdennis41): Honestly, all one can do is 1) use your FAAB and make sure you get bang for that buck with 10 weeks left; and 2) try to trade from stratified categories to acquire stats in volatile categories–which is also the two main things to do when chasing, imo. And avoid injuries. Of course. :p

Fred Zinkie (Yahoo/Rotowire, @FredZinkieMLB): This might be a typical answer from me, but “make more trades”! If I’m leading, then I likely have several players who have fared well so far. My first step will be to determine if I expect any of these players to tail off. If so, this is the time to trade them away. Beyond getting myself away from players who I don’t trust, my other plan would be to trade away players who contribute in categories that no longer mean that much to me.

Todd Zola (Mastersball, @toddzola): This is easier said than done, but something I first heard about from Jason Grey is making deals to cost those chasing you some points.

Brian Walton (CreativeSports2, @B_Walton): The worst move as a leader is to be complacent. Look at the standings as if you weren’t leading and make moves to both help yourself and disadvantage the nearest competitors.

Matt Williams (The Game Day, @MattWi77iams): I think it is a mistake to manage your team differently with a lead. The goal and process should remain the same. If anything, you want to avoid complacency. Make sure to monitor categories that you are the most vulnerable in.

Patrick Davitt (BaseballHQ, @patrickdavitt): What Doug said: Don’t get injuries. As a more practical suggestion, protect those pitching ratios if they’re part of your success so far. This could mean being more conservative about starting sub-ace SPs facing tough starts, even in two-start weeks. The last thing you want is to start a guy vs TEX, ATL or TEX and come out with 7 ER and 8 BR in 2.2 IP with 2 Ks. Depending on how you’re doing in the W/K cats, start thinking about swapping some of those sub-ace SPs for help elsewhere, and putting the SPs onto teams that can jump your overall competitors in the W/K counting stats.

Joe Sheehan (Joe Sheehan Baseball Newsletter, @joe_sheehan): I Google “what is ‘a lead’?” because I don’t know the term.

Ariel Cohen (CBS Sports, @ATCNY): Reduce RISK ! Look for 1 for 2 trades. Just bank as many expected stats as you can – go for higher floor players rather than higher ceiling ones. Throw in a middle reliever instead of a 6th/7th starter. Most of all – attack the marginal categories, or categories where you can stand to lose a few points quickly. Its not about gaining – its about protecting a lead. etc.

Alan Harrison (The Fantasy Fix, @TheFantasyFix): Strategically using remining FAAB or the trade market to protect leads in categories, prevent others from making ground on you in certain categories and building the best/most flexible lineup as possible. Players who carry multiple position eligibility and middle relievers are some of my favorite targets this time of year.

Frank Ammirante (The GameDayHQ, @FAmmiranteTFJ): If I notice that I have a huge lead in one category (ex. HR) but I’m lagging behind in another (ex. SB), I may bench a power hitter (ex. Jesus Sanchez) for a speed threat (ex. Maikel Garcia) for the week.

Jeff Zimmerman (Fangraphs, @jeffwzimmerman): Nothing, just keep following the same process that got me in the lead. It’s the time to put a foot on the rest of the league and choke them out.

Alex Chamberlain (FanGraphs, @DolphHauldhagen): A lead? What’s that? In any case, you can bench players who are padding leads for you in other categories in favor of others who will help you cut down leads that you trail elsewhere (commonly HR vs SB). As for pitching, I try not to get too fancy with it… unless you have a huge lead or deficit in saves, just keep doing what you did because otherwise you will probably make some poor start/sit decisions otherwise.

Rick Wolf (SiriusXM, @RickWolf1): If you are leading at this point in the season, closing ALWAYS means a couple of trades for CTW. If you are leading, you have surplus somewhere and can fortify where injuries have struck. If you lost a closer (or lose one who gets traded to be a set up guy), then you can take your surplus power and trade it for saves. If you have a large lead in pitching, it seems harder to trade for offense. That is why the SMART system focuses on offensive dominance to set up for CLOSING TIME. One more important thing, watch for September call ups and make sure you get the steals guys. Invariably someone comes up who has 6-10 SBs in September. That is 5-8% of all your steals. Steal the steals even if to play defense against a challenger. VIGILANCE wins championships. Play out EVERY move that makes the team better. WIN WIN WIN!

Justin Mason (Friends With Fantasy Benefits, @JustinMasonFWFB): I spent the last week doing a deep dive on my league’s standings. I want to see where I can gain and lose points. If I am killing the league in stolen bases, I should sit speedsters to start power bats even if there is a big difference in overall talent level. Sometimes it is best to start worse players in order to gain ground in categories in the standings.

Ryan Hallam (Fighting Chance Fantasy, @FightingChance): The one thing you can’t do is rest on your laurels and just think you’ll cruise to a championship. The three things you can do are analyze your standings to see where you can make up points, but also where people are close to you where you might lose points. Trade/add free agents to remedy where you need help. I would also play the waiver wire defensively and perhaps add a player that maybe you might not need but you don’t want a close opponent to have. Steals and saves are likely to be two categories were moves can be made

Sara Sanchez (, @BCB_Sara): If I have a lead in a league, I’m looking at categories on a daily basis to see the nature of the gap and how close people are to closing in on points. Similarly, I’m constantly looking for places where a lot of points can be made up quickly and ways to protect myself there. When the waiver wire doesn’t have what I need in terms of a category I start to look to the trade market and use those standings to identify possible trade partners/deals.

Carlos Marcano (Triple Play Fantasy, @camarcano): I would say double punching is key: usually the leads aren’t big enough to move your players in a way that you win SGP in cats where you are lacking while dampening in those where you have advantage; more usually than not, you could be ending risking the advantage and not gaining enough in the trailing ones. Just keep hammering while paying attention to playing times and injuries.

Howard Bender (Fantasy Alarm, @RotoBuzzGuy): The power of prayer can be a mighty good thing if you are currently in first place. Maybe go and get a copy of The Secret and learn to speak your championship into existence. You can also just try to fortify yourself in categories you are leading so you don’t lose any points in that area. If you can trade, the bottom-feeders make great targets in keeper leagues. If redraft, then try trading with teams looking to move up from the middle. Helping out a fifth-place team isn’t so bad if you are getting a little something out of it for yourself.

Jeff Boggis (Fantasy Football Empire, @JeffBoggis): I look to where I can distance my opponents in the league standings, not only where I can gain ground, but where I can help them lose ground. I can make them lose ground through a strategic trade with another league manager. For example, let’s say I’m way ahead in a category and can afford to offer up a trade. I will look to see where other league managers can trade with me, allowing for the player to increase a category where someone in 2nd or 3rd place would lose category points after the trade. You should also look to make your team stronger and how you can weaken your opponents through trades. “Know thy self, know thy enemy. A thousand battles, a thousand victories.” – Sun Tzu

Andy Andres (BaseballHQ, @sabermetrics101): Categories, categories, categories … And after knowing what to target (and like TZ says above, who to target) looking for trades to get the flag (they fly forever!), so in dynasty do not overvalue the shiny prospect bobble, use all your pieces in securing the win.

Scott Swanay (FantasyBaseballSherpa, @fantasy_sherpa): I don’t think the analysis is any different regardless of whether you’re leading or chasing. Figure out which categories offer you the best opportunities to add to your point total, and figure out which categories you’re most susceptible to losing ground in. The one additional challenge that having a lead often presents is more of a psychological one: some other team owners (particularly those hot on your heels) will be less inclined to make a trade with a first-place team. That said, do the same homework you would do otherwise before proposing a trade, just keeping in mind that you’re more likely to have to overpay to push a trade across the finish line.

Dr. Roto (, @DrRoto): I have won leagues in the last two weeks and I have lost leagues in the last two weeks. Make sure you are getting as many at bats as you can from your hitters and avoid blow up games from your pitchers. Most importantly, make sure your players are healthy and active.

Mike Podhorzer (Fangraphs, @MikePodhorzer): I don’t really do anything differently, as I’m still playing to end up with as many points as possible. Maybe if I’m already in first, I’ll try to take a bit less risk on the pitching side, so as to not potentially kill my ratios.

Scott Chu (Pitcher List, @ifthechufits): I don’t think the strategy is much different. Gaining points and earning points aren’t that different. First, where can I get the most points with the least effort? I’m not likely to be on top of every category or invincible. If there are places I can gain extend my lead to become tougher to catch. I likely have a few categories where I’m completely solid, so I can afford a few stats there to firm up other spots.

Vlad Sedler (FTN Fantasy, @rotogut): Don’t do much different other than keeping a closer on eye on where in category standings my top competitors are at.

Phil Hertz (Baseball HQ, @prhz50): Rule number one: don’t sit on your lead. Ten-point leads can disappear overnight even in September. Don’t be afraid to jettison players who’ve disappointed to this point. Remember uneven trades can make sense in August. If you’re way behind in SBs, trading your best steal threat is something you should be doing even if the return might be a little disappointing. If you’ve in a two-way race, see if you can trade players to teams in the middle of the pack who can pass your competitor in a couple of categories. It helps just as much to gain or maintain points as trying to get your key competitor(s) to lose points.

Shelly Verougstraete (NBC Sports EDGE Baseball, @ShellyV_643): I don’t really do anything different. There is a reason I am leading in any given category. Just keep trucking with your process.

Michael A. Stein (Fantasy Judgment, @FantasyJudgment): I wouldn’t alter my strategy too much except for making sure I have enough depth to withstand injuries and inevitable slumps. Finding a balance between remaining stagnant versus trading for the sake of trading is the key. I wouldn’t want to abandon the process of what put me in 1st place so I would be very hesitant to start trying to reinvent the wheel.

Mike Gianella (Baseball Prospectus, @MikeGianella): It really depends on how big your lead is and whether you’re dominating in a category or categories or not. If you’re up in a category or two, trades are the easiest way to maintain or even expand your league. Beyond that, I’m looking for weaknesses on my team that could be exploited. If there are pitchers with innings caps or players who could get traded into lesser roles at the deadline, I’d ideally try to shore those slots up preemptively via my reserve list.

Todd Zola (Mastersball, @toddzola): Pertaining to keeper/dynasty leagues, there is a tendency to try to win this season without sacrificing your future. Or maybe make a partial attempt to acquire help for this season, then hoping the stars align. Generally, this is a mistake. Focusing on this season and the future usually means you’re not optimally achieving either. Pick a side.

Anthony Aniano (Rotoballer, @AAnianoFantasy): Continue on building that lead by maintaining in categories you re on top and try to gain points in categories that are attainable. As a Mets fans, I truly understand the phrase, “No lead is safe”

Erik Halterman (Rotowire, @erik_halterman): First, determine whether your lead is actually large enough to justify altering your strategy. If it’s narrow enough that you can’t trust you’ll be ahead in two weeks, let along two months, it’s probably unwise to shift away from a plan that’s worked so far. I would bet that most leagues don’t have a leader who should be acting differently just yet, and many never will. If you genuinely are comfortably ahead, though, look to reduce risk around the margins wherever possible. Often this manifests as giving the tiebreaker to a high-floor, low-ceiling player over the similarly rated but more volatile option.

Bret Sayre (Baseball Prospectus, @BretSayreBP): There are two types of teams with a league at this time of year: ones that are getting lucky and ones that are not. If you’re the former, you need to keep pushing in the same way you would if you were in third or fourth place. If you’re fortunate enough to be in the latter position, the end of July is a good time to start projecting out category performance in more detail and see where you can stand to lose a little performance but keep your roto points, along with where you can move up realistically.

Greg Jewett (The Athletic, @gjewett9): Fortunately, I do lead in Tout head-to-head points league. Last week, I added two injured players ahead of time (Trevor Story and Hyun-Jin Ryu) with eyes on the stretch run. After adding multiple young starting pitchers early on, having veterans like Ryu and Max Fried for the second half will help with roster depth. There’s an old saying, always make your good better and always make your better best. When you lead a league shore up your weakest categories and note where your league mates can make gains in the standings, so you can block or plan on maintaining your lead(s).

Zach Steinhorn (Steinhorn’s Universe on Substack, @zachsteinhorn): A lot depends on the size of the lead, of course, but I tend to follow the “Don’t fix what isn’t broken” route and would be hesitant to make major roster changes. Still, I’d take advantage of any opportunity to improve my team, adding depth pieces off the waiver wire for injury insurance or making a smaller-scale trade to address a weakness, even if it’s only a minor weakness. Playing defense can be important as well. If there’s an impact player available on waivers and you have some FAAB budget flexibility, add him even if you don’t “need” him. You can benefit simply by keeping him off the rosters of your closest competitors.

Dave Adler (BaseballHQ, @daveadler01): check the categories. Any that you’re comfortably ahead in? That’s where you can spare some numbers in a deal. Any categories where you’re close? That’s where you concentrate. It’s entirely possible there are teams that can use your excess while helping you at the same time. A win-win is always a popular way to go. Keeper league, of course, have an entirely different dynamic.

Kev Mahserejian (Fox Sports, @RotoSurgeon): What’s a lead? No, but seriously, the best measure is to remain privy to underperformers on your roster and not be afraid of cutting bait with those who “got you there”. Stay active on the waiver wire and be wary that a hot new thing in September can be all it takes for someone trailing you to catch up.

Michael Govier (FTN Fantasy, @mjgovier): It’s simple for me. There are players that I just know are not going to to continue to perform the way they did in the first half. Think Tyler Wells for example. In H2H leagues or others where I can trade, I am looking to move those guys for players who are not meeting expectations to this point. My hope is they pick it up just in time for the H2H playoffs. Most years this strategy has served me well in trading leagues. Especially H2H. Yes not every player I expect to improve will do so. But overall this plan works for me. I look for track record or underlying stats that reveal a player is suffering from bad breaks. Baseball is a cruel game, especially for hitters. I inspire them to take flight (I don’t actually talk to real life players)! On the other side I am moving players I am concerned will flounder down the stretch because they have never shown the type of results they are providing before and you just know regression is on its way. Rookie players who have played well are the easiest to target, just because that’s the nature of inexperience with exceptions reserved for J-Rod’s specal season last year. Timing the market is an impossible game, but taking the risk on players we expected more out of this year who currently have disappointing stat lines after 100 games can work in your favor. A few exmaples of players I would target are: Miles Mikolas, Lucas Giolito, Ty France, Alejandro Kirk, Seiya Suzuki & Daulton Varsho. Players who may have peaked already: Tyler Wells, Austin Hays (I swear I’m not picking on the Orioles!), Bryce Elder, J.D. Martinez & Ezequiel Duran.

Rudy Gamble (Razzball, @RudyGamble): I just keep churning and trying to max my team’s stats. If I have very little to gain/lose in SB and SV, I may be more likely to punt those categories.

Chris Blessing (BaseballHQ, @C_Blessing): I’m always hunting for players to improve the categories I’m susceptible to getting overtaken by other contending managers.

Jeff Barton (Scoresheet Baseball, @JeffScoresheet): Don’t get caught up in fantasy football! Seriously, with a third of the season left, if you are in a position to win (which sadly I am not), you need to put just as much time into your team as you have been so far this season.

Doug Anderson (Fantrax, @rotodaddy): I’m not sure I know what a lead is this year but… for me it’s all about protecting ratios. Be a little more risk-averse with which pitching matchups you use. Maybe be more reactive to cold stretches for your hitters. In practice though I don’t want to overreact. My team is where it is for a reason. Avoid stupid risks but mostly stick with the players that got you there.

Jason Collette (Rotowire, @jasoncollette): I make sure Jobu’s rum glass is never empty. I am currently trying leading 4 leagues and 2nd in a fifth one, so I am in a juggling act of trying not to rest on my laurels while also trying to proactively protect my lead. I believe it just as important right now to improve my spot in the standings more than my roster. What I mean by that is I will make a trade now which can elevate another team over one of my close competitors if that benefits my position in that category. Use this part of the season to manipulate the standings in your favor if you are unable to secure the talent you need on your own roster.

Tout Daily: Three Golden Tickets Up for Grabs

Tonight marks the return to Tuesday night for Tout Daily as the July 4 slate and the break sent us to Friday the past two contests. It’s fitting that the return will end with three more entries into our championship tourney.

Todd Zola (Mastersball, @toddzola)

Pitcher: Lucas Giolito – Don’t love the Mets lineup for strikeouts, but the innings should be there

Hitter: LaMonte Wade – Fading Coors, picking on Luke Weaver instead, and hoping the Giants don’t amend their usual lineup after the suspended game was finished.

Jeff Boggis (Fantasy Football Empire, @JeffBoggis)

Pitcher: Bailey Ober – Not the most glamorous starting pitcher out there, but Ober is a decent option on a night that lacks any aces. At $9,100, he’s reasonably priced and is sporting at solid 2.61 ERA and 0.97 WHIP on the season.

Hitter: Adley Rutschman – He had me at the home run derby. He’s not cheap at $5,200 tonight, but he’s already had 2 home runs after the all star break. He’s one of those players where it is feast or famine. Let’s hope it’s more of a feast night than famine.

Erik Halterman (Rotowire, @erik_halterman)

Pitcher: Bryan Woo – I want one half of the Ober/Woo matchup and I’m not picky which half. Two interesting pitchers facing two mid-tier offenses at the league’s best pitchers’ park. Woo is cheaper, and his 24.1 K-BB% is seventh-best among starters if you set the minimum to 30 IP, so he gets my vote.

Hitter: Padres Stack – Three stacks stand out: Houston at Coors, Atlanta vs. Zach Davies, and this one, which makes the bet that Alek Manoah’s out-of-nowhere gem in his return to action doesn’t outweigh his awful performances up to that point. This one has the most downside but could be less popular.

Rob Leibowitz (Rotoheaven, @rob_leibowitz)

Pitcher: Tarik Skubal – Skills and velocity up over the small sample in his return. I’ll chance it against the Royals.

Hitter: Giancarlo Stanton – Mashing lefties – hitting over .300 and slugging nearly .800 agaist them. Sandoval as inconsistent lefty looks like a prime target for him.

Tout Wars FAB Report: Week of July 17

Tout Wars is back to our standard Sunday night FAAB, though it’s a quiet week with only three days of games since we last put the Bidmeister to work.

Remember, you can see the standings, rosters and all the moves for each league by clicking on the jump link magically inserted under each league header.

American League

Player Team Bid
OPeraza, NYY Jason Collette 72
KIsbel, KC Rick Wolf/Glenn Colton 69
AMarsh, KC Jason Collette 54
CChang, Bos Mike Podhorzer 28
TToussaint, CWS Jeff Erickson 23
NMaton, Det Mike Podhorzer 17

National League

Player Team Bid
CPriester, Pit Rick Graham 95
JRojas, Phi Ian Kahn 33
LPeguero, Pit Phil Hertz 27
DMoreta, Pit Peter Kreutzer 18
JMarisnick, LAD Todd Zola 17
MMastrobuoni, ChC Todd Zola 7
BDixon, SD Todd Zola 7
JCueto, Mia Todd Zola 7
DHudson, StL Grey Albright 7
IGibaut, Cin Peter Kreutzer 4
CStratton, StL Peter Kreutzer 4
RSuarez, SD Erik Halterman 3
DFloro, Mia Erik Halterman 2
MThompson, Was Rick Graham 1
AVesia, LAD Phil Hertz 1
SOkert, Mia Steve Gardner 0

Mixed Salary Cap

Player Team Bid
CPriester, Pit Jeff Zimmerman 114
NPivetta, Bos Zach Steinhorn 87
DMyers, Mia Scott Engel 15
RNelson, Ari CJ Kaltenbach 13
WCastro, Min Jeff Zimmerman 9
ACall, Was Scott Chu 8
OColas, CWS Scott Engel 6
AMarsh, KC Brent Hershey 5
MDubon, Hou Scott Engel 4
MFord, Sea Scott Chu 4
OPeraza, NYY Kev Mahserejian 2
MKepler, Min Jeff Zimmerman 2
YCano, Bal Justin Mason 0

Mixed Draft

Player Team Bid
NPivetta, Bos Ryan Bloomfield 34
LPeguero, Pit D.J. Short 25
AMarsh, KC Ray Murphy 24
OPeraza, NYY Dr, Roto 22
TJankowski, Tex Dr, Roto 16
SMatz, StL Anthony Perri 11
DSolano, Min Shelly Verougstraete 1

Head to Head

Player Team Bid
JQuintana, NYM Ryan Hallam 59
CPriester, Pit Clay Link 52
TSoderStrom, Oak Ryan Hallam 26
LSeverino, NYY Ryan Hallam 17
CHolmes, NYY Michael Govier 16
ZNeto, LAA Geoff Pontes 13
ADeSclafani, SF Michael Govier 9
BSinger, KC Michael Govier 9
CMcCormick, Hou Geoff Pontes 8
TCasas, Bos Sky Dombroske 8
TGrisham, SD Geoff Pontes 4
LAllen, Cle Greg Jewett 3
TyAnderson, LAA Geoff Pontes 3
JIrvin, Was Geoff Pontes 2
JBurger, CWS Greg Jewett 0

Mixed with IP & Saves+Holds

Player Team Bid
JSanchez, Mia Jennifer Piacenti 36
JQuintana, NYM Jennifer Piacenti 21
ROlson, Det Sara Sanchez 12
BBaty, NYM Chris Towers 4
JAdell, LAA Carlos Marcano 3
LGarcia, Was Chris Towers 2
MManning, Det Jeff Boggis 0
BBielak, Hou Jeff Boggis 0
DLynch, KC Dylan White 0

Tout Wars FAB Report: Week of July 14

As is Tout Wars tradition, we delay our FAB run until the evening before action returns. Pickups only have to be in the lineup for three days, instead of the usual seven, so often the Touts will bid on a minor leaguer to stash. Did anyone do that this season? Check out the results below.

Remember, you can see the standings, rosters and all the moves for each league by clicking on the jump link magically inserted under each league header.

American League

Player Team Bid
ZGelof, Oak Doug Dennis 259
JAdell, LAA Mike Podhorzer 63
NAllen, Oak Rick Wolf/Glenn Colton 19
MClevinger, CWS Larry Schechter 17
JAranda, TB Andy Andres 11
CodThomas, Oak Jason Collette 7
TFreeman, Cle Jason Collette 4
AKittredge, TB Jason Collette 2
KKelly, TB Jason Collette 2
RYarbrough, KC Rick Wolf/Glenn Colton 1
BBielak, Hou Rick Wolf/Glenn Colton 1
HRyu, Tor Patrick Davitt 1
CPoche, TB Larry Schechter 0
PMaton, Hou Patrick Davitt 0
WPeralta, NYY Doug Dennis 0

National League

Player Team Bid
DMyers, Mia Wilderman/Prior 79
MToglia, Col Phil Hertz 42
ACall, Was Ian Kahn 22
JHoffman, Phi Phil Hertz 16
DCanzone, Ari Grey Albright 12
AUribe, Mil Grey Albright 2
HBrazoban, Mia Grey Albright 2
MAmaya, ChC Phil Hertz 2
MGrove, LAD Rick Graham 1
IVargas, Was Peter Kreutzer 0
MLeiter, ChC Peter Kreutzer 0
NMartinez, SD Brian Walton 0
JWeems, Was Brian Walton 0
AviGarcia, Mia Derek Carty 0
ESosa, Phi Brian Walton 0

Mixed Salary Cap

Player Team Bid
TSoderStrom, Oak Bret Sayre 137
CCowser, Bal Jeff Zimmerman 127
RMountcastle, Bal Scott Swanay 80
TJankowski, Tex Bret Sayre 58
JAranda, TB Scott Chu 27
NGonzales, Pit Scott Chu 27
WBuehler, LAD Bret Sayre 17
SMatz, StL Jeff Zimmerman 16
DPeterson, NYM Jeff Zimmerman 16
GGallegos, StL Jeff Zimmerman 15
DSolano, Min Scott Chu 14
BNaylor, Cle Scott Chu 14
JUrquidy, Hou Bret Sayre 3
CTaylor, LAD Jeff Zimmerman 1
DCanzone, Ari Jeff Zimmerman 1
ZGelof, Oak Kev Mahserejian 1

Mixed Draft

Player Team Bid
AManoah, Tor Adam Ronis 164
ZGelof, Oak Tim McLeod 71
TSoderStrom, Oak Dr, Roto 62
MManning, Det Tim McLeod 53
JAranda, TB Scott White 18
ESwanson, Tor Dr, Roto 14
CKeith, Det Tim McLeod 12
MFord, Sea Adam Ronis 12
HRyu, Tor Seth Trachtman 11
DMyers, Mia Dr, Roto 10
BSabol, SF Adam Ronis 8
BRooker, Oak Scott White 8
DBard, Col Scott White 8
JSegura, Mia Adam Ronis 4
DPeralta, LAD Adam Ronis 2
JProfar, Col Rudy Gamble 1
GSantos, CWS Shelly Verougstraete 0
YCano, Bal Scott White 0

Head to Head

Player Team Bid
AManoah, Tor Frank Stampfl 47
DKremer, Bal Ariel Cohen 43
CJulks, Hou Ryan Hallam 36
CCowser, Bal Sky Dombroske 33
MDubon, Hou Ryan Hallam 31
CSanchez, Phi Lauren Auerbach 27
ZGelof, Oak Joe Gallina 27
CAbrams, Was Lauren Auerbach 24
JSuwinski, Pit Ariel Cohen 23
GCooper, Mia Sky Dombroske 14
JPCrawford, Sea Ryan Hallam 13
WCastro, Min Ariel Cohen 12
OMiller, Mil Ariel Cohen 4
DMyers, Mia Joe Gallina 2
MFord, Sea Greg Jewett 0
HRyu, Tor Greg Jewett 0
TStory, Bos Greg Jewett 0

Mixed with IP & Saves+Holds

Player Team Bid AManoah, Tor Brian Entrekin 21 WBenson, Cin Brian Entrekin 4 HKim, SD Brian Entrekin 3 SBarlow, KC Dylan White 3 EJulien, Min Brian Entrekin 2 MMoniak, LAA Brian Entrekin 2 CSanchez, Phi Dylan White 1 NPivetta, Bos Jeff Boggis 0 KCrawford, Bos Matt Trussell 0 AMinter, Atl Matt Trussell 0 JSuwinski, Pit Andy Behrens 0 KBryant, Col Andy Behrens 0

Tout Table: Break Time

With no action to begin the week, it’s always fun to find out how the Touts handle the down time.

What are your plans for the All Star break?

Frank Stampfl (SportsGrid, RotoExperts, @Roto_Frank): Nothing crazy on my end. The grind rolls on. Fantasy Baseball Today is putting out a podcast Monday – Friday next week with some fun topics including Early FYPD rankings, second half impact prospects for the second half, early 2024 mock draft and more. Ariel Cohen texted me today to try pickleball so maybe I’ll give that a whirl.

Scott Swanay (FantasyBaseballSherpa, @fantasy_sherpa): Hopefully spend some time assessing my rosters’ needs, reviewing other teams’ rosters, and coming up with some trade ideas that would be mutually beneficial (at least from my point of view!).

Seth Trachtman (, Yardbarker, @sethroto): This is a good time to recharge and reassess. Take some time away from thinking about fantasy baseball (since it can be a grind), but also assess team needs as we come up on fantasy baseball trade deadlines. Without games and news to worry about, it leaves some time to make a plan for the stretch run.

Rick Graham (Pitcher List, @IAmRickGraham): Looking forward to following the MLB draft and then the Derby on Monday. Other than that, this is usually the best time to start planning out what your plan will be leading up to your leagues trade deadline.

Jeff Erickson (Rotowire, @Jeff_Erickson): Annual RotoWire trip to Las Vegas for the All-Star break, and then I’ll spend time furtively searching for my next FAAB reclaim before Thursday’s deadline.

Ariel Cohen (CBS Sports, @ATCNY): Fantasy baseball wise – I’ll be doing a deep dive on all of my teams. For the roto leagues, I’ll be looking at which categories are worth more for my team to be competitive in, and which are relatively less. Remember – its about marginal points up OR down, its not just about potential gains. If losing 5 SBs would cost me 5 standings points – I need to fortify that category, etc. I’ll also take a closer look at trade opportunities with each league. So less player analysis during the break … and more TEAM analysis. Outside baseball … as per Frank Stampfl above – I’ll be playing some pickleball too.

Tristan H. Cockcroft (ESPN, @SultanofStat): Doing the annual news search for second-half rotations to get the Forecaster in order, only to inevitably see 30%-plus of them change after lineups lock with the first game of the second half. I don’t think there’s a much less fun scoring period to plan for during the fantasy baseball season than the three days that immediately follow the break. Worry not, I’ll sneak in some relaxation time around it, it’s far from stress!

Phil Hertz (Baseball HQ, @prhz50): Aside from perhaps a little of the HR Derby (Pete Alonso fan), I intend to have nothing to do with baseball until Wednesday evening when a couple of my leagues have Free Agent bidding. I intend to do more non-baseball reading – I was just thinking about how little non-baseball reading I’ve done since Opening Day. Indeed, Sunday’s NYTimes is still sitting on the kitchen counter unread. Maybe I’ll have more success with the paper this Sunday!

John Laghezza (The Athletic, @JohnLaghezza): As much as I love the pomp and the fanfare of MLB’s All-Star festivities, I can’t wait to grab my family and go anywhere with no baseball for 3 days. I know that come Friday it’s back to work in the highest leverage spots down the stretch for 3 months straight. Like they say, absence makes the heart grow fonder.

Todd Zola (Mastersball, @toddzola): Hmm, I had Tristan tabbed for stalking Anthony Volpe for the chicken parm recipe.

Andy Behrens (Yahoo Fantasy Sports, @andybehrens): Well, my primary objective during the break was to acquire a few stolen bases in Tout, but then I worked out an Esteury Ruiz deal (immediately before his injury) on Wednesday, so that frees up some time. I think I’ll finally get around to figuring out this year’s Scott Fish Bowl rules.

AJ Mass (ESPN, @AJMass): It’s a break for MLB. It’s a break for me. Spending time with my wife and son traveling before he heads off to college in the fall.

Fred Zinkie (Yahoo/Rotowire, @FredZinkieMLB): Fantasy football draft prep! Looking forward to it. I enjoy having the SFB13 drafts starting during the MLB ASB this year. Great timing.

Rob Leibowitz (Rotoheaven, @rob_leibowitz): I’m sure I’ll keep busy with baseball in an OOTP/Strat-o-Matic sort of way plus try to catch the futures game which is my favorite thing of the All-Star break.

Vlad Sedler (FTN Fantasy, @rotogut): My annual mid-season deep dive of all my fantasy baseball teams to see what categories I can address and attack for the final couple months.

Chris Blessing (BaseballHQ, @C_Blessing): I had hoped to be in Seattle for the Futures Game, Home Run Derby and the Draft. Unfortunately, my schedule didn’t allow for it this year. Instead, I’ll be focusing my attention on making sure BHQ Minors Draft Coverage and the Midseason HQ50 prospect list is ready to go for the dates during the All-Star break they are scheduled to publish.

Tristan H. Cockcroft (ESPN, @SultanofStat): Who says Volpe didn’t just steal my recipe? It’s pretty darned good chicken parm, I’m told.

Mike Podhorzer (Fangraphs, @MikePodhorzer): Finally a chance to relax for a couple of days, far away from the stress of watching your closer blow your starter’s win or your hitter’s home run get caught as the opposing outfielder leaps above the wall to make a spectacular catch.

Frank Ammirante (The GameDayHQ, @FAmmiranteTFJ): My plans for the All-Star Break involve watching Luis Robert win the Home Run Derby.

Greg Jewett (The Athletic, @gjewett9): Reflect on what worked, and what did not in the first half. Check the standings in each league while mapping out where points can be gained, then target them moving forward. Last, read as much as possible about the trade deadline, especially regarding relievers (my niche) with eyes on the second half.

Todd Zola (Mastersball, @toddzola): I’ll head to Cape Cod from Sunday through Tuesday, catching some Cape Cod League ball. It’s baseball at its purest. Then I’ll have Wednesday and Thursday to reacquaint with my spreadsheets, and reject the goofy trade proposals that came in while I was pretending I didn’t have email access.

Justin Mason (Friends With Fantasy Benefits, @JustinMasonFWFB): I use it as a chance to recharge from my normal baseball centric routine. I don’t write or podcast during the week. However, I do use it as a chance to take a deep dive into my roto league standings and start to develop a plan for the second half. Look for where I can gain and lose ground in each of my leagues so I can shore up any weaknesses and build on strengths.

Alex Chamberlain (FanGraphs, @DolphHauldhagen): I’ll both investigate the trade offers I’ve received but neglected for weeks and ponder and prepare new offers while assessing the viability of my contending and non-contending teams in keeper/dynasty formats.

Scott Pianowski (Yahoo! Fantasy Sports, @Scott_Pianowski): I’m going to play some golf, walk my puppy, drive aimlessly while listening to REM, Pretenders, and The Replacements, and silently curse not having more shares of Elly De La Cruz.

Scott Chu (Pitcher List, @ifthechufits): I like to take few days where I don’t think about fantasy baseball. It’s a really nice break. And then I’ll be diving in even harder than before. We all need breaks, folks.

Anthony Perri (Fantistics, @Anthony_Perri): Compute and publish our 2nd half projections. Then head to the beach in Northern Mexico, and relax a bit. If I’m lucky I’ll get to see a Mexican League home run challenge at Francisco León García Stadium in Puerto Penasco. Last time I was there, the derby champ won with 4 HRs in the final round!

Matt Trussell (Razzball, @MattTruss): ASB is a chance to stop the grind of the daily roto leagues and take a look at where I can make moves in the standings in the second half and maybe brew up some trade offers. Without the daily research to do I can take a more long term look at things, see where I’m up and where I’m lagging and formulate a plan to win my leagues.

Patrick Davitt (BaseballHQ, @patrickdavitt): I’ll be doing an ASB special edition roundtable pod with my wife Lysè and taking Ray Murphy and ToddZ out to dinner and a show. Wait … I got that backward.

Glenn Colton (SiriusXM, @GlennColton1): Well, if I am being honest, the answer is focus on fantasy football and the upcoming FSGA champions league draft as Rick Wolf, Stacie Stern and I try to defend our title.

Dave Adler (BaseballHQ, @daveadler01): I was looking forward to the Future’s Game, but I don’t get Peacock, so I guess that’s out. All Star game? Meh. Maybe a few minutes of it. Will probably read some books in the evenings to make up for lack of baseball!

Brian Walton (CreativeSports2, @B_Walton): I will focus on the players selected in the draft as it relates to the organization I follow. As far as Fantasy is concerned, a review of the post-Memorial Day moves made by me and league competitors to assess how they are doing. Also it is the last time a full dollar FAAB reclaim can be made in both Tout Wars and LABR. A second-half FAAB spending strategy will be developed.

Sara Sanchez (, @BCB_Sara): I’m going to look at my teams and do some midseason assessments, see where I can make adjustments and put together some trade offers where I can. I’m also going to sit by the pool, get some yoga and steps in and finish up a piece I’m working on with some new datasets I haven’t had access to before.

Jeff Barton (Scoresheet Baseball, @JeffScoresheet): For the Scoresheet keeper leagues I am in it is time for the annual “am I still trying to compete this year, or is it time to punt and trade with next year in mind, giving up older players for younger”. For my tout team it is sadly time to try and decide what I did wrong, as my team is abysmal this year. And I do not want to make the same mistakes next year. As far as non baseball stuff, it is time to enjoy summer – fishing/boating/camping.

Michael A. Stein (Fantasy Judgment, @FantasyJudgment): I am going to continue trying to potty-train my almost 3-year old daughter who needs to be out of diapers completely by the time pre-school starts in September. I will also be pondering what terrible moves Billy Eppler will make before the trade deadline as the Mets fight to stay in contention.

Sky Dombroske (Fantistics Insider Baseball, @SkyDombroske): I’m going to take the first two days and go through all of my teams from top to bottom… can get pretty reactive week to week. Simple things like finding appropriate trade partners can fall by the wayside for a few weeks when you’re scrambling constantly. The next three days I’m actually going to not pay attention to baseball and get ready for our family trip to Denver on the weekend.

Ryan Hallam (Fighting Chance Fantasy, @FightingChance): As someone who does daily projections for several sports, the MLB ASB is one of the only days of the year with no games anywhere, so definitely a little break time. But also looking forward to a few days to go through teams to look to where I can improve and throw out a few trades along the way

Joe Sheehan (Joe Sheehan Baseball Newsletter, @joe_sheehan): A pool, a stack of books, and some good meals. If I even think about baseball from around 2 pm Monday to 2 pm Friday, I’ve screwed up.

Larry Schechter (Winning Fantasy Baseball, @LarrySchechter): I was hoping to be invited to participate in the Home Run Derby, but since that didn’t happen, I guess I’ll start my fantasy football draft prep.

Eric Samulski (Rotoballer, @SamskiNYC): Even though I should be continuously checking my performance in categories, I’ll do a deep dive over the break and see where I can most easily gain points, where I should punt, etc. I’ll also try to finish reading another book since having a small child has made it hard to read. Also, the new seasons of The Witcher, Jack Ryan, The Bear, and Warrior just dropped, so I’ll likely just watch those instead of reading (sigh).

Michael Govier (FTN Fantasy, @mjgovier): Full decompression. The only thing fantasy baseball related I will do will be to master the schedule for my H2H playoff weeks and prepare to acquire players who will have the best matchups during my playoff weeks. Otherwise. it’s time to enjoy life! I love competing in Tout, but taking time to appreciate existence is a must.

Andy Andres (BaseballHQ, @sabermetrics101): Lake Champlain vacation with extended family (24 of us!), getting back on the Heady Topper wagon (still my favorite beverage), boating, swimming, golf, hiking, paddleboarding — very little screen time, so very little work on my day job and fantasy, which is nice.