2021 Fantasy Baseball Draft Tips: Read Our Most Important MLB Strategies

Last Updated: Mar 12, 2021

The Game Day asked some of its fantasy baseball writers to answer some of the biggest fantasy baseball questions ahead of the 2021 season, including telling us their most important 2021 Fantasy Baseball Draft Tips.

What’s your most important 2021 fantasy baseball draft tip?

KEV MAHSEREJIAN: Know your league settings!!! If you know your format well enough, you can draft the right players for it and more importantly, for later rounds where you can reap value.

It’s so easy to lose a league in the first few rounds as well if you draft the wrong types of players for that specific format. If a points league penalizes strikeouts but Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton have high ADPs, consider avoiding them despite the name value.

If your league doesn’t have waivers or limits you to a few times per season, don’t draft injury-prone players! If your league does, it’s ok to be a little riskier in the 2nd-half of a draft with guys who can return great value.

JUAN CARLOS BLANCO: If I narrowed it down to one tip, I’d go with the overarching saying: Be intimately familiar with your league’s scoring system.

It’s absolutely elementary, sure, but we all likely have seen at least a couple instances in a league we may have been playing in for some time where perhaps a new entrant or even a more experienced player doesn’t properly weigh what may be some unique scoring and/or roster construction quirks that should impact their draft strategy.

Be extremely mindful about whether your league’s scoring system is customized to weigh certain statistical categories heavier than others and make sure to build your draft strategy around such factors. Note which players drastically improve or decline depending on categories.

For example, Dodgers infielder Max Muncy enjoys a significant boost in leagues that replace batting average with on-base percentage.

2021 Fantasy Baseball Draft Tips: Read Our Most Important MLB Strategies, including knowing which players perform best in certain scoring systems.

Know your league settings and scoring systems. Players like Max Muncy are more valuable in OBP leagues than those that instead count batting average. (Image: USA TODAY Sports)

JOSH SHEPARDSON: My top piece of advice is a compound tip, and it might be more paramount this year than ever before. Trust your research, and don’t be bound to the average draft position.

Last year’s unique season creates more variables than usual to consider. Have courage in your convictions and research, and go and get your guys.

No, I wouldn’t advise spending the top pick on a player with an ADP of 50, but using Pick 200 on a player with an ADP of 300 isn’t crazy if you’ve evaluated them as a top-200-caliber player.

TAYLOR TARTER: I think a lot of people will give tips on scouting and research, or where the best place is to draft, or who to target. My best tip for drafting is to be organized.

Have some kind of “cheat sheet.” I have a spreadsheet. I separate players into tiers. I color-code players based on how I value them. I have symbols for players who are injured and have the potential to be special. And yes, I do plenty of research.

Being organized makes the draft go much smoother for me. I am able to make quick decisions. As players get taken, I delete them, and I don’t have to panic because I know exactly how I value the remaining players. I usually feel good after finishing my drafts because I take the time to get organized beforehand.

FRANK AMMIRANTE: My favorite tip for fantasy baseball drafters: Emphasize undervalued veteran players because recency bias is a major factor.

For example, J.D. Martinez had a disappointing season in 2020, which has caused his ADP to plummet. This is despite the fact that he’s a proven power hitter who is only one year removed from elite production. Recency bias is more of a factor than ever because fantasy baseball players are putting too much stock into a 60-game season.

Take advantage of these buying opportunities and target undervalued veterans with strong track records, like JDM.

A lot of these 2021 Fantasy Baseball Draft Tips apply to inseason play, too. Use this insight to create the best daily fantasy baseball lineups and picks for the 2021 MLB season.

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