5 Unwritten Rules of Fantasy Baseball to Earn the Admiration of your Leaguemates
It can be difficult to fit in in the fantasy baseball community: it maintains all sorts of opaque norms of behavior that can be hard for an outsider to learn. Would you like to become a respected member of the fantasy community? Here are the five unwritten rules of fantasy baseball to earn the admiration of your league-mates.
No setting your lineups on Sundays.
Everyone but the biggest amateur knows this one. You should always set your lineups of course, but in daily leagues, setting your lineups on Sundays is the cardinal sin. In weekly leagues, you may always set your lineups, but do not forget the one accidentally benched starter weekly minimum. It will be hard for your league-mates to ever fully forgive you if you violate either of these longstanding social codes. You will probably still be invited to their weddings, but get used to sitting at the table with the undesirables, for now you’ll have made yourself one also.
There is no such thing as a probable pitcher (TINSTAAPP).
Veteran fantasy baseballers understand this best: probable pitchers simply do not exist. They are socially constructed entities with no grounding whatsoever in the physical world. Visit CBS, Yahoo, MLB.com, or Fantasy Pros for a list of this week’s probable starters in an effort to strategize? Hah, your league-mates are no doubt belittling your actions behind your back. Expect to be socially shamed on social media for engaging in this taboo behavior as well.
A maximum of two players can be traded at once.
This one is basically self-evident, probably not worth even mentioning for its mundanity: only 2 players can be traded at a time. Yes, technically every fantasy sports website will allow you to make larger deals, even 3-for-3s, but ask yourself if it is really worth the consequences. Chances are you will be kicked out of your league at season’s end, and your fellow league-mates will warn other leagues about your general disrespect for old traditions. Your fantasy career will basically be over—sorry. Your best bet is to simply breakdown larger trades into a series of one-for-one swaps. Time-consuming? Yes. Worth it in the long run to earn the undying and fervent admiration of your comrades? You betcha.
Shohei Ohtani must either occupy all positions at once, at all points in time, in all possible universes or else never have been anywhere at all.
This is simply the only fair way to incorporate this totally unique 2-way player into fantasy baseball leagues. Can I explain why this is the case? I cannot. Are you justified in questioning this unwritten rule simply because I am unable to explain it? Let me tell you why that would be unwise: we ought to trust without skepticism that the foundational beings who came before us knew what they were doing when they thoughtfully crafted each of these precious mores we’ve come to know and rely on today. Forget to start or bench Ohtani in just one possible universe and you won’t forfeit any categories, but you will forfeit the respect of your cherished and esteemed peers. It’s tough, but such is the nature of unwritten rules.
You must never under any circumstances win any of your leagues.
Honestly, this one trumps all the others. If you have to take one thing away from this article, it’d better be this: the fantasy founders decided long ago that the mere act of winning one’s league is a major no-no. It may seem like the goal of fantasy is to try and win your leagues, but this is actually a rookie mistake. Here’s the logic: if you win your league, you will likely feel pleased with yourself, perhaps even cracking a smile, thinking a self-affirming thought, or crafting a loving, trash-talk filled victory speech—all equally terrible acts of excessive celebration. Since the act of winning is only a few steps removed from the excessive celebration—generally deemed the worst of all possible fantasy crimes—the act of winning must be entirely shunned as a precaution. I’d invite you to ask someone who’s won their league what sort of social consequences they faced. Unfortunately, nobody who has won their fantasy league has been seen since 1986 (fun fact: their disappearance is the original inspiration for HBO’s The Leftovers).