Fantasy baseball managers are not created equal. We all have our tendencies, and we all have our faults. Figuring out the tendencies of specific managers in your league can sometimes lead to making great trades. Here are some managers to look for.
The “Home Team” Manager
If possible, find out who the other managers in your league cheer for. Some of them will not favor their hometown heroes. For example, I’ve found over the years that I tend to be more critical of Blue Jays (my hometown team) than players on other clubs. I watch the Blue Jays often and tend to overanalyze their faults. I also don’t enjoy the double stress of having my favorite team and fantasy team hang in the balance of the same players. But most people don’t think the way I do. Most managers love to roster their home team’s players, and they will give plenty for them in trades.
If you know your leaguemates well enough, you might be able to find a dreamer in the bunch. This manager believes that every slumping player is soon going to turn things around. They see the sunny side in everything. This is the manager I want to approach when I’m trading a player who has already lost some value due to a poor performance. Sometimes people tell me on Twitter, “you can’t sell low on a player”. That simply isn’t true. There is always a market for a player with name value. You just have to find the right match.
The “Barely Paying Attention” Manager
This type of manager is a drain on all leagues. They sometimes forget to set their lineup and rarely add anyone of any significance on the waiver wire. But in my experience, unless this manager has completely checked out, they will still be interested in making trades. However, you need to approach this manager differently than others. Your initial offer has to be your best one, because this manager isn’t going to put in the work to review several offers. And you need to clearly and briefly explain why the trade will be of a benefit to their team, because you may have analyzed their team more than they have. If communicated correctly, the “barely paying attention” manager will appreciate your effort.
The Reactionary Manager
Early in the season, you need to test out the managers in your league and find out which ones have a tendency to quickly bail on slumping players. We all endure a few disastrous starts, spectacularly blown saves and players who go without a hit for several days. Most of us are willing to ride out these downturns and understand that they are part of a long season. But there is often at least one manager in a league who will look to trade away players who have recently burned them.
The Prospect Manager
Someone in your league loves prospects. In fact, in most leagues there are 2-3 managers who get carried away with the hope and optimism that comes with rookies. Wise managers will exploit these leaguemates by offering them trades for prospects as soon as they are promoted. Jarred Kelenic’s peak 2021 fantasy value was likely the day of his MLB debut. The same can be said for Alek Manoah in the five days between his first and second big league starts. If you’re lucky enough to grab one of these prized rookies, you can shop their services to those who are willing to give you a steady, productive veteran in return.
The “Established Veterans” Manager
The opposite of the prospect manager is the manager who only believes in players who have performed at a high level over several seasons. This manager tends to love players in their 30’s who have many productive years under their belts. The problem with their line of thinking is that players who have performed at a high level for a long time are sometimes past their peak, and the manager is getting the downside of their career. If you want to know who these managers are, just look at your draft results. Those who adore veterans probably grabbed a few of them during the selection process.
Not every tip in this article will be useful in every league. But the takeaway should be that all managers are not the same, and figuring out the tendencies of those you are competing against can result in finding more trades that help your team.