Fantasy baseball owners who skip this step will lose every time

There are two types of fantasy baseball owners — those who want to be spoon-fed information so they don’t have to do any research, and winners. That’s it. There is no in-between.

Several owners may claim to look at the numbers, but to win in fantasy, you need to study statistical trends. You need to look at sample size. And with so many young, unknown commodities being asked to fill in for all the injured players this season, you need to look at growth. Without that added analysis, you’re flying blind.

When the Tigers sent Buck Farmer to the hill this past week, DFS players jumped all over him — not for the talent, but for the price. Who knows if they even looked at his numbers. He had a solid season debut earlier, but for how much he cost on Draft Kings, game theory had him as a no-brainer for large tournaments. Heck, he was cheaper than half the catchers on the slate.

However, seasonal fantasy owners avoided him because of what appeared to be a shaky track record. A quick glance at the numbers might have revealed several issues throughout his time spent moving back and forth between the majors and minors, but after he threw 6 ²/₃ scoreless frames for his second win of the season, hindsight told them they made a mistake. Had they just taken the extra time to properly read the numbers, not only would they have picked him up, but also they would have started him.

When studying numbers for a pitcher who has had multiple shots at a big league rotation spot, it is important to look for year-to-year growth. If the strikeouts are great but the command is poor, were changes made to correct that the following season? With improved command, what changes were made to maintain the strikeouts? Each season, Farmer made proper adjustments, and now our final product has arrived. Proper research would have secured him on your roster.

Not every youngster will have as easy a track record to read as Farmer, but given the availability of minor league statistics, the information is there. Your efforts just need to increase if you want to win. Relying on analysts to assist in your research is one thing, but having them do your homework for you won’t teach you to win.

Howard Bender is the VP of operations and head of content at Follow him on Twitter @rotobuzzguy and catch him on the “Fantasy Alarm Radio Show” on the SiriusXM fantasy sports channel weekdays from 4-6 p.m.