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Fantasy Baseball: All-Star break activities

By David Owen Cymerman of TheFantasyGeek.com

Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - Take a deep breath. Let it out slowly. It's time to relax.

For many fantasy baseball owners, the All-Star break serves as a nice breather - a respite from the constant action of managing a roster. They forget about baseball for a few days and turn their attention to everything that normally gets neglected.

It's a little extra time to spend with the family, focus on work, take a vacation or catch up on those episodes clogging up the DVR. But you know where I'm going with this, don't you?

For elite fantasy owners, this isn't a break at all. You can't afford to take half a week off while other owners in your league scheme to gain ground on you. No, the All-Star break is a time of opportunity to reflect on what worked through June, to take a step back and reassess your team's strengths and weaknesses and to prepare for your second-half surge.

I'm definitely keeping busy during the All-Star break. And I recommend you do, too.

Here's my list of All-Star break activities that will help you improve your chances of winning a championship while the other owners in your league improve their golf game:

1. START WHEELING AND DEALING

There's no better time to trade than right now. There are no real games to distract you. Hardcore owners are itching for some action. And with half of the season played, you have more than enough of a sample size to get an idea which trends are likely to continue and which are flukes. I unfortunately own Tim Lincecum in a 16-team dynasty league. After watching him implode yet again on Sunday, I'm finally ready to put him up on the auction block. This is the perfect time to see what holes I can plug with a trade. A few rebuilding franchises have already expressed interest in my former ace.

2. GO ON A SHOPPING SPREE

When you like your roster, you tend to pay less attention to the guys climbing up the free agent ladder. Take a few minutes to surf your free-agent pool. You may be surprised to see there are players in there who haven't been added. They may even be better than your "25th man." If so, make the move and strengthen your bench.

3. SCRUTINIZE THE STANDINGS

Those of us in roto leagues usually know who's above and behind us in the overall standings. But we should know which and how many teams are on our tails or in our sights in each category. The All-Star break gives you time to do a deep dive into the numbers. It can only help to gain a better understanding of exactly where you stand.

4. TAKE IT TO THE LIMIT

If you're in a league that has innings and at-bats limits, you should check your pace and make sure you're not in danger of hitting the wall too early. Assess your strategy again. If you're running high on innings pitched, swap a starter for the best middle reliever you can find. It's never too early to plan ahead.

5. GET YOUR LINEUP RIGHT

Don't wait until the last minute to submit your lineup. Check your roster early on and see if you need to make a transaction. Most of my leagues play this period as a short week, as opposed to lumping these few games in with the following ones to make a mega-week. In short-week scenarios, many starting pitchers won't take the mound. Make sure you can fill out a starting rotation that will pitch this week. Once you're all set for this week, you might want to use the extra time to scout the following week for two-start pitchers in points leagues. That's always time well spent.

You should use the All-Star break to catch your breath. But you shouldn't put your team on the back burner for long or you may miss a critical detail that can be the difference between finishing in the money and clenching your fist in frustration.

David Owen Cymerman also is known as The Fantasy Geek. He runs a fantasy sports web site appropriately named TheFantasyGeek.com. Stop by for more observations, advice and absurdity from the world of fantasy sports, including articles, live chats and podcasts.

07/11 10:03:42 ET


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