Now three weeks into the season, it is easy to start second-guessing yourself. Do you have a gaping hole in your lineup thanks to an early round gamble on an injury-prone star such as Jose Reyes? Has that “sure thing” and “can’t miss”stud turned into a bench-warming nightmare such as Josh Hamilton and Matt Kemp? Are you paying the “Price” for taking last year’s Cy Young winners and overlooking Matt Harvey later on in the draft? Is “Cain” not able? Rather than dwell on all of your mistakes, you should bask in the glory of the small victories you attained.
It is easy to get down on yourself and play Monday morning quarterback. Instead, try and focus on all the smart picks you made. Maybe you took late bloomer Chris Davis in the later rounds and have been reaping the benefits of his newfound confidence ever since. If so, your own confidence as a GM should grow as well. Maybe you went with your gut looking for an outfielder and grabbed Dexter Fowler, and in the process bypassed roto darlings Brett Gardner and Angel Pagan. Maybe you are skeptical of medical records and physicals so you drafted Mike Napoli and now look like a genius. Or, maybe you smartly grabbed an established second baseman such as Dustin Pedroia or Ian Kinsler instead of getting tempted by Jason Kipnis or Emilio Bonifacio.
Focusing only on the missteps can drive a fantasy baseball GM mad. I would equate this mentality to the poker player who dwells on his bad beats. You played the hand by the percentages and with perfect mathematical precision, but the other guy just happened to get lucky. You can drive yourself crazy replaying these hands and bad picks, over and over again. But eventually, you realize you could not and should not have done anything differently. After all, David Price at the top of the third round is something I would take any day of the week and twice on Sunday.
As the saying goes, focus on the good things and don’t let the bad get you down. Don’t let early season struggles become a cancer on your fantasy team. I realize symbolizing an under-performing fantasy baseball as a cancer is a bit extreme, but it fits. Think about it – the GM feels as if the struggling player is sucking the life from his team, but most likely that player is too good to drop (think BJ Upton, Jason Heyward, Asdrubal Cabrera, Ike Davis). You should not be running around your league trying to trade your bad apple because that apple will look awfully rotten if the other GMs get to talking.
It is advisable to hold on to the underperforming star player and think long-term. They can always be stashed on your bench during serious cold streaks. Do not make rash or impulsive waiver wire decisions based on these early season anomalies. Instead, you can make up the difference by picking up valuable players while dropping the dead weight. Players like Jhoulys Chacin (currently on 15-day DL) and Ross Detwiler would be nice upgrades for some of the bigger names that are droppable such as Mark Buehrle, Dan Haren, and Edwin Jackson. Don’t rush to drop Jarrod Parker, Josh Johnson, or Brandon Morrow. They have too much upside to put out on the waiver-wire right now.