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Fantasy MLB vs Fantasy NFL
By Chris Goudey
Posted: 3:00 am PDT 2007-02-20

Courtesy Of Wager Web Sportsbook

Now that the NFL season is over, it's time for serious players to focus their attention on the other popular fantasy sport, baseball.   Football is definitely the most popular sport for most fantasy players, but baseball is by far the more challenging and fun game to play in my opinion.   I prefer baseball because it's an every-day sport and requires so many more adjustments during the season.  It's also much easier to do well if you are a skilled player.  In football you can have one big injury cripple your team's chances, but because there are more players on a baseball team, you have a much better shot at recovering if your best player goes down.  With baseball if you do research, follow the player news, and keep up with the box scores, you will succeed even if you get hit with injuries here and there.

In baseball, the draft is much more important than it is in football.  Every single week in the NFL there are players who seemingly come out of nowhere to put up good games and then those guys can be picked up the next week.  The weekly race to the waiver wire is just a huge factor in how teams do during the year.  If you happen to have a high waiver pick or you are the first to the free agency list every week, then you get lucky.  Luck should never be a factor in fantasy success.

Most fantasy football seasons run 16 weeks, so each game is about 7% of your season, but in baseball you're talking each game being a little over 0.06% of the season.  This means that just having a couple of bad games from your players can kill your football playoff chances.  In baseball you have a lot more time to recover from a subpar performance from one of your starting pitchers, or a week-long power outage from your best slugger.  This makes having the best players much more important in baseball, because these players are given time and chances to work through their tough stretches.  In the NFL, if a QB has a couple of bad games in a row or a RB fumbles too much, poof, he's replaced and your team loses a huge part of its production.

Don't get me wrong, I love fantasy football.  There's nothing like watching an NFL game where you have one or more of your players involved.  Each week carries huge importance and it's crucial to have your players do well every single time.  As I said, though, that relies a lot upon luck and the teams your players face each week.   With the way that parity has taken over the game, you're seeing different teams do well each season and the defenses that are good one season might not be the next.   This makes it almost impossible to tell if players you've drafted are going to do well or not.  Right now we have no idea which team is going to have a Chicago or Baltimore-like defense.  With baseball, each team plays each other so many times that strength of schedule isn't much of a factor.  It's all in how well your player performs against teams he sees all the time.

As I said, knowing which players to draft is hugely important in baseball, and as a result preseason research is critical to your success.  Not to fear, though, I will give you all the help you need to dominate your league, no matter which style of fantasy baseball you play.  Starting this week I'll write articles previewing each position as it relates to fantasy, and also team previews that will give you sleepers and studs on each squad. Spring is just around the corner and with pitchers and catchers reporting soon, it's time to shift focus away from Peyton and Urlacher and starting thinking about Pujols and A-Rod.

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