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RotoAuthority League Update: All-Star Break To-Do List

The RotoAuthority League is a highly competitive 12-team fantasy baseball league run by Tim Dierkes. The settings consist of standard 5 X 5 Rotisserie scoring and 23-man lineups along with 3 bench spots. In an effort to keep owners interested as well as to infuse new blood into the league, the teams that finish below 8th place are kicked out of the league each year. The author of this column just hopes he’s not one of them.

We've reached the All-Star break in the RotoAuthority League, and I'm embarrassed to admit I currently stand in last place. After finishing in the top five for four consecutive seasons, it only seems fitting that I'd struggle in the season that I chose to write about the league. While it will take a valiant effort for my squad to avoid the bottom four, I can guarantee that I won't go down without a fight. With that out of the way, let's go over a checklist of items for fantasy owners to consider over the next four days with no games scheduled.

1. Take a breather

The daily grind of fantasy baseball can be truly taxing. This time is a fantasy owner's only chance until the end of September to relax for a bit. Spend a day or two without looking at any rosters or analyzing any statistics. You'll thank me later.

2. Analyze the standings

The key here is to determine how many points you can gain in each category. It's important to be realistic with those goals. Even though we're at the All-Star Break, we've already passed the halfway point; in fact, the season is roughly 60% done. What really matters is how closely stratified each category is in your league. In the RotoAuthority League, for instance, I've chosen to punt the HR category, as I'm in dead last by a fair margin. This is a somewhat tricky category to punt, as I still want to compete in the four other offensive categories. Still, power bats who are AVG killers really have no place on my squad. Accordingly, over the weekend I traded Mike Napoli and Koji Uehara for Michael Cuddyer and Carl Crawford. To replace Napoli, I picked up J.P. Arencibia and then dealt him the next day for Salvador Perez. At the expense of some power (and saves from Uehara), my goal here is to boost the four other offensive categories. The plan may burn up in flames, but at this point you must have a plan as to how to approach the standings.

3. Speculate with the MLB trade deadline in mind

Some player values can change quite drastically as a result of trades, so fantasy owners must be quick to respond to such news in July. Unfortunately, in the RotoAuthority League the Commissioner just happens to be the creator of MLB Trade Rumors, so I don't stand a chance of learning about a trade in time to act upon it. For the rest of you out there, though, keep in mind that relievers lie at the top of the list of players whose value may change in the next couple weeks. As it turns out, that very same Commissioner of ours, Tim Dierkes, has created a valuable leaderboard of relievers on the trade block. Specifically, Tim recently listed the following closers as potential trade candidates: Steve Cishek, Kevin Gregg, Jonathan Papelbon, Glen Perkins, Tom Wilhelmsen, and Jose Veras. The primary setup men for these closers at the moment appear to be A.J. Ramos, Blake Parker, Antonio Bastardo, Casey Fien, Yoervis Medina, and Jose Cisnero, respectively. Believe it or not, I've stashed away all of these guys in the RotoAuthority League, but I view Parker and Ramos as the most likely to be closing on August 1st. In case you missed it, our own Alex Steers-McCrum also provided excellent analysis on this topic.

4. Send out trade offers

During the season I try to avoid having many trade offers on the table for one main reason. Specifically, another fantasy owner could accept a trade shortly after a player leaves a game with an injury without giving me a chance to withdraw my offer. To me, any such trade should be reversed, but I've played in leagues that have a rationale of tough luck in that situation. At any rate, that's not a problem during these four days because you don't have to worry about any players getting hurt. I've been sending out offers left and right in my leagues, and the responses seem to be quicker than usual. My theory is that fantasy owners often wish to make sure that no players involved get hurt when games are in progress, but again there are no games right now.

So what kinds of offers should you be sending out? Well, perhaps I've belabored the point by now, but it's all about gaining points in the standings. Don't worry too much about value at this point. Consider the needs of other owners first, and then make an offer that makes sense for both sides. You'll be amazed at how much easier it is to get deals done when you're only focused on particular categories.

Enjoy the break, readers.

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