Millions of people now play fantasy baseball and other fantasy sports, and it all started with a group of guys who invented "Rotisserie Baseball." ESPN recently covered the invention of this game back in 1980 with its documentary "Silly Little Game" as part of its excellent 30 for 30 documentary series. Back in the day, doing research was an art form and a real cometitive advanatage. Now with the Internet every player in a league as access to stats sorted in every possible way at his or her fingertips. That said, fantasy baseball still requires much more time than fantasy football.
It’s time to dust off the cleats, grab the mitt and break out the bat because it is fantasy baseball time! Okay, so the actual players can grab their gear, you just have some research to do. Anyone that has played fantasy baseball knows the key to being a successful owner is information. Finding the best and latest news will keep you ahead of your competition and send you on the fast track to a championship. It’s not easy, however, as one could get lost with the abundance of information on the web. That’s why we put together this fantasy baseball web guide to help you navigate the net easier and save valuable time. Go ahead and get to work, you can thank us later.
Information, Blogs, Apps and Web Sites
Rotoworld is a fantastic site as far as updates are concerned. They post everything from injuries to trades to signings and releases. They also have daily columns, which break down player performances and top news that affects the baseball world. Rotoworld is completely free too –although just like other sites, they have an “insiders” subscription – which is great for someone who can’t seem to find the latest rumors and news.
Bill James Baseball IQ
This is the ultimate app for baseball fans, whether you play fantasy baseball or not. You can get it for your iPad or iPhone, and the amount of information available is incredible. Checkout matchups and all the stats you can imagine, and get an amazing edge in your fantasy baseball league. Stats are available everywhere, but nobody will have the level of information you can get from this incredible app.
Much like Rotoworld, KFFL seems to hop on every rumor that hits the news wire. KFFL offers a “hot off the wire” section, which reports on virtually every MLB transaction and they also have a daily news section. If you’re looking for in-depth analysis, this isn’t the best site, but for a free site that hits the meat and potatoes of a story, KFFL is perfect.
MLB.com offers free fantasy leagues as well as player news and stats. The site also offers fun games like “Beat the Streak” where you pick one player every day that you think will get a hit. The goal is to reach Joe DiMaggio’s 56-game hit streak to win a grand prize of $100,000. If nobody reaches the mark, the top person on the leader board wins four tickets to the following year’s All-Star Game. There is also “Beat the Streak Home Run” as well as a Survivor Game where you see how many days in a row you can pick the winner. If you lose, you start over from zero.
This might be the best site for rankings and stats. SN ranks the top 300 fantasy baseball players, breaks down players by position and has a list for prospects as well. Of course they have a “Fantasy Source” section where you can get player rankings updated all season plus rankings with team match ups as well as stat analysis. The cost isn’t too bad ($19.99 for a year), but we don’t know how much of a bonus you’re getting to go with the paid stuff over what is already listed free. SN also has daily advice columns, storable stats (which is excellent for anybody that is a stat freak) and discussion boards.
Along with providing a free or paid league, ESPN teams up with Best Buy to offer winners of rotisserie leagues gift cards up to $5,000. There are also second and third place prizes as well as a midseason winner. As far as information, ESPN’s Eric Karabell provides a blog every couple of days to help you manage your team as well as an add/drop section to see who’s stock is high or has fallen. The site is great for forecasting predictions as well as offering a tools section on news, stats and more.
Sportsline, just like ESPN, offers a free and paid league with the only difference being that Sportsline actually gives you live scoring. The free league isn’t very customizable, but unlike some other leagues, the player information is all right there on the home page and you don’t have to jump around the site to get the intel you need to run your team. You can pay for a league that has prizes up to $3,500, but you’ll pony up about $500 per team. Game scores are all right there on the home page, so you can feed the regular baseball fan in you as well as your fantasy side.
Tried and true – who has never been in a league hosted by YAHOO!? Although YAHOO! might be falling off the map a little with bigger sites such as ESPN getting in the fantasy mix, the leagues are great for someone who is just starting out. YAHOO!’s leagues are easy to set up and they offer a free or paid league, with the difference being live scoring through the paid league. YAHOO! also offers a public league for people who aren’t in a private one. Just jump into any public league and let YAHOO! be the commissioner. If you’re looking for simplicity, YAHOO! might be the best way to go.