Tout Table: Plans for the Break

Every year at this time, we ask the Touts:

Over the All Star break, I’m going to

Alex Fast (Pitcher List, @AlexFast8): Reasses where my team is at. After an extremely hot start, the team has been slumping and hard. How do I pull myself from this hole? Do I attach just one or two categories each week? Or go for a full assault on all the categories I can? Do I need to make some trades?

Doug Dennis (BaseballHQ, @dougdennis41): I am going to compare stats to date with balance of the season projections and see if anything shakes out that I can use in trade discussions. Otherwise, I’mma sleep.

Todd Zola (Mastersball, @toddzola): Clean my apartment, catch a couple of Cape Cod League games and make a final decision on what I want to do in several keeper/dynasty leagues.

John Laghezza (The Athletic, @MLBMovingAvg): Get as far away from baseball as humanly possible. I’ve been grinding analysis, videos and content nonstop for over ninety days straight. The best thing I can do for my own sanity, as well as my own fantasy game and quality of 2H content is to decompress. Right before I return, I want to remind myself to remain vigilant in my process and pick right back up where I left off.

Patrick Davitt (BaseballHQ, @patrickdavitt): Take in ‘Hamlet’ at the Stratford Festival, go swimming a few times, and w/r/t fantasy, wonder what hit me and start figuring out what trades I can make and start making them.

Derek VanRiper (The Athletic, @DerekVanRiper): Try to spend more time outside, away from my computer. I don’t have an annual ASB tradition related to my teams, but if I do anything project-related, I’ll begin the process of building out my 2023 sheets.

Michael A. Stein (Fantasy Judgment, @FantasyJudgment): I am going to give serious thought to what exactly Edwin Diaz will need to do in order for me to finally believe that he is a closer the Mets can depend on in critical pennant race games down the stretch.

Larry Schechter (Winning Fantasy Baseball, @LarrySchechter): I’m going to work on Fantasy Football prep

Peter Kreutzer (Ask Rotoman, Fantasy Baseball Guide, @kroyte): Pray that deGrom and Tatis make it back onto the field for the rest of the season. I wasn’t able to stay competitive enough without them to have a shot at a complete turnaround, but they could make the rest of the way a lot more fun.

Ron Shandler (RonShandler.com, @RonShandler): I’ve got a few buddies coming over to watch the ASG and play Quint-Inning. There are enough players to draft up fantasy squads from the All Star rosters.

Rudy Gamble (Razzball, @RudyGamble): Just relax. It’s taken some work but I’ve found a healthy-ish balance on optimizing my fantasy teams’ success + delivering daily/weekly/ROS projections. Hoping to avoid burnout in 2H as football becomes an increasing portion of my focus.

Dr. Roto (DrRoto.com, @DrRoto): Figure out any way I can gain 27 points to catch Jeff Erickson in FSGA.

Howard Bender (Fantasy Alarm, @RotobuzzGuy): Spending the time I would have spent on baseball and turning it towards fotball because….well…that’s what we do.

Steve Gardner (USAToday Fantasy Sports, @SteveAGardner): Make a blockbuster trade with Dr. Roto to get us both closer to thwarting Jeff Erickson’s chances of winning FSGA. Outside of that, I’ll look forward to seeing Shohei Ohtani, Byron Buxton and some of my other favorite players I don’t have rostered anywhere do something spectacular in the ASG — and enjoy not having it hurt my fantasy teams in the process.

Ariel Cohen (CBS Sports, @ATCNY): I’m going to A) Take stock of the value gainers and drainers since draft day. B) Work on some rest of season projections C) Evaluate each fantasy team for possible trades D) Evaluate each team for non-traditional strategies in order to maximize points down the stretch. E) Relax and enjoy the summer!

Mike Podhorzer (Fangraphs, @MikePodhorzer): Pray to the injury Gods that they don’t take any more of my players.

Grey Albright (RazzBall, @razzball): Vancouver, where I will walk around asking if anyone knows Tim McLeod, only to discover everyone in Canada doesn’t know everyone else.

Alex Chamberlain (Rotographs, @DolphHauldhagen): Quickly review ~150 SP blurbs and ~150 RP blurbs, and write new blurbs for those without, like this year’s rookies and breakouts. Being able to reflect on my preseason thoughts on the midseason will allow me to reflect on those thoughts this coming offseason, so there’s kind of an internal dialogue with myself about my player analysis and, invariably, my biases and blind spots.

D.J. Short (NBC Sports Edge, @djshort): Work on a second half content plan for NBC Sports EDGE and also take care of some trade talks I’ve been ignoring in some dynasty leagues. It helps to have a bit of a pause. This is also an ideal time to talk trade in a format such as this with so much focus on prospects from the Futures Game and the draft.

Jeff Zimmerman (Fangraphs, The Process, @jeffwzimmerman): Try to automate pulling projections from Razzball and have them populate my projection spreadsheet.. And drink beer. And whiskey.

Jeff Erickson (Rotowire, @Jeff_Erickson): … Vegas. I guess I’m also going to have to figure out how to take credit for that FSGA league that Clay Link is kicking butt in.

Adam Ronis (Fantasy Alarm, @AdamRonis): Strategize how I can put my teams in successful positions for the second half.

Toby Guevin (BatFlipCrazy Podcast, @batflipcrazy): I use a few filters to determine who to move in and out, including recent playing time patterns, Razzball weekly/bi-weekly projections, schedule (opponent/numbers of games) and specific team needs (i.e. if I need speed, power, ratios, etc.)

Joe Sheehan (The Joe Sheehan Baseball Newsletter, @joe_sheehan): Sit by a pool, read, and listen to a zillionty fantasy podcasts.

Matt Williams (TheGameDay.com, @MattWi77iams): The plan is to a break much needed break away from baseball, but that is unlikely to happen because I love this game too much. Hopefully plenty of poolside cold beverages will be involved though.

Glenn Colton (Fantasy Alarm, @GlennColton1): Try to figure out how to make each team better — improve standings of teams that do not have realistic chance, look for out of the box high risk/high reward moves for teams that are still alive but need a major push in the second half, and find ways to solidify lead for those teams winning. Oh, and also use the baseball break to do more fantasy football prep!

Mike Gianella (Baseball Prospectus, @MikeGianella): In Tout, I’ll try to focus on one or two stashes. The short All-Star week and Tout’s rules provide an excellent opportunity to find a difference maker without too much of a stats penalty. I’ll also be looking at opportunities to load up on SP or middle relief streamers because of the short week. In my keeper leagues, this is where I’m either looking to trade away what I have left if I’m not going for it this year or try to find a few more deals to push me over the top if I am in contention. I also try to do something fun with my kids. The break from baseball is nice in its way.

Chris Towers (CBS Fantasy Sports, @CTowersCBS): I have so many teams whose struggles I can’t really make sense of — why is this team with so many good players struggling to hit? So, I’m going to take the time to pause and figure out to what extent my faith in those players might be misguided, or whether I just need to trust the process.

Jason Collette (Rotowire, @jasoncollette): Honestly, anything but baseball. No desire to watch the derby or the ASG and I have an important real job conference next week to keep me occupied. It’s OK to take a break from the daily grind.

Anthony Aniano (Rotoballer, @AAnianoFantasy): Enjoy the All Star Game as well as the Home Run Derby. Otherwise put my self in a chair on the beach while enjoying a drink with a mini-umbrella in it.

Sara Sanchez (bleedcubbieblue.com, @BCB_Sara): Drink some rosé by the pool while I read something completely unrelated to work or baseball, before I try to figure out how to evaluate the MLB power environment for the second half. I need home runs and RBI’s in Tout Wars and a couple of other leagues. It’s a tricky problem to solve given the ball/humidor situation and while I have some ideas on how to move up in those categories going forward, I know it’s going to be a bit of a guessing game.

Shelly Verougstraete (Dynasty Guru, @ShellyV_643): There are so many household chores I’ve been been putting off. Do you know anyone that wants to paint a couple rooms? Baseball-wise, I’ll look to see if I can pull a couple trades in Tout since my team has been in a major slump the past month or so.

Frank Stampfl (Fantasy Pros, @Roto_Frank): Aruba for my honeymoon

Tim McLeod (Prospect361.com, @RunTMcP361 ): I’m going to tell all my Vancouver friends that Grey is in town and that he’s buying the double/doubles! I’m also going to lobby the Mayor of Toronto to see if he’ll present JT Realmuto with a key to the city. Have a good break, folks!

Zach Steinhorn (CreativeSports2, @zachsteinhorn): Try to make a trade. While it’s never a good idea to simply make a trade for the sake of making a trade, the All-Star break is a great time to thoroughly examine your roster and assess strengths and weaknesses. We’re at the point in the season where a key FAAB pickup could help to address a weakness but there might not be enough time remaining for that player to significantly impact the standings. A carefully constructed trade for a high-end player is often a more effective route. The other benefit of trading during the break is that with no games taking place, player market values aren’t constantly changing, so you can be more decisive and avoid a situation where you get cold feet because the pitcher you’re about to trade just threw a shutout.

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