The Tiger Woods strategy to successful fantasy baseball drafting

Want to dominate your fantasy baseball draft? Be more like Tiger Woods.

And no, that doesn’t mean you should run around with your neighbor’s wife.

Have you ever watched Tiger Woods play golf? Studied his swing, his follow-through, his reaction to a shot?

There is a lot to be learned from his demeanor … lessons that are easily transferable to drafting a fantasy sports team.

First, let’s get something out the way. Tiger Woods doesn’t win tournament after tournament because he hits every shot perfectly. In fact, Tiger can slice the ball with the best of them from time to time.

What makes Tiger Woods different, however, is that he is extremely resilient. No single bad shot leads to another. It’s almost as if he’s expecting to sporadically misjudge a putt or put too much backspin on a chip shot.

When a mistake does happen, he isn’t phased one iota. He picks himself up and continues onward with just as much gusto as before.

Now, imagine drafting a fantasy baseball team with the same sort of determination and resiliency. That no matter what curve ball is thrown your way, no matter how bad a draft pick feels, you immediately bounce back up and prepare for your next pick.

It can be done, with the following steps pulled directly from the golfing prowess of Tiger Woods.

1. Expect to make mistakes. I have played fantasy sports of differing types for 14 years, and I have yet to meet an owner who felt that he/she totally nailed one of their respective drafts. Everyone reaches on a pick at some point. Everyone overpays for a player in a fantasy auction or mismanages their bankroll.

The problem is that when most of us commit a mistake, even a small one, it zaps our confidence and starts a snowball effect of more bad choices as we attempt to overcompensate.

Entering a draft expecting to make a mistake or two allows you to roll with the punches a little more freely. Leave your ego at the door.

2. No one bad draft pick will ruin your season. Mad at yourself for reaching for Chase Utley with the first overall pick instead of choosing popular picks like Albert Pujols or Hanley Ramirez? Don’t sweat it.

Even if the player you selected bombs horribly,  you still have a slew of other players and other positions to help buoy your team’s chances. Imagine how few golf tournaments Tiger Woods would ever complete if he gave up after shanking a shot into a sand trap.

Just like a weekend-long golf tournament, your fantasy draft is a marathon, not a 100-yard dash.

3. Do your homework. Much like Tiger Woods studies every hill, slope, nook and cranny of every golf course he plays on, you should know your fantasy baseball player pool inside and out, as well.

Spend time at sites such as www.chinstrapninjas.com learning a variety of draft strategies, sleeper candidates and bounce-back techniques so that when faced with a blown draft pick, you have the knowledge to calmly correct it.

One vital tool involves keeping a close eye on live player feeds at sites such as www.rotoworld.com so you are on top of player injuries, lineup changes, etc.

3. Practice makes almost perfect. Tiger Woods has hit more golf balls in his lifetime than the entire population of most small countries. There’s no secret in the fact that the more comfortable you are in doing something, the easier it is to bounce back from a mistake.

For example, take someone who has driven a car for decades and watch how they react when a wayward raccoon waddles out into the middle of the road. Now, put a first-time driver behind the wheel in the same situation. Which car would you rather be riding in?

Much like a serious golfer becomes familiar with local driving ranges, so should serious fantasy sports managers become familiar with available media, cheat sheets and especially mock drafts. Just as we discussed in pointer No. 3 about doing your homework, you can learn so much more by getting active in live mock drafts.

There, you’ll get a better feel for the intense time-sensitive, adrenaline-pumping selections and decisions that must be made. The more you mock draft, the better you’ll fare in the real thing.

What are your suggestions for a successful fantasy drafting experience? We’d love to hear them in the comments below.

13 Responses to “The Tiger Woods strategy to successful fantasy baseball drafting”


  1. ep

    Staying with the Tiger Woods theme:

    Stay focused on your game, not everybody else’s — Don’t let other players dictate your draft. Don’t participate in runs. If some other player takes your sleeper, akin to someone scoring a 10-under par round, don’t sweat it. You have plenty of other sleepers, right? Know where the opponents are and how they’re doing, but keep your focus where it belongs. It’s just you and the draft board.

    You can’t win the tournament on Thursday or Friday, but you can lose it — Make your early picks count. You’ll need a balanced roster to win, but Tiger always seems to be playing with the lead on Sundays. Luckily, wearing red is optional at your fantasy draft.

    … But remember, drive for show and putt for dough — They have driving ranges because most everyone can hit the ball hard — like it’s possible for anyone to ace the first five rounds of a fantasy draft. But there aren’t as many putting ranges out there. Much like studying the righty/lefty splits of that platoon outfielder, putting is the tedious, difficult part of the game. But Tiger wins tournaments and breaks his foes on the green.

    Be confident — Tiger knows he can make that shot and usually does. This goes hand in hand with “Do your homework” and “…putt for dough.” Know that you can get steals late. Draft that way without hesitation. Know that you don’t need a .300 team batting average to win. Take the shot and make it.

  2. Joe

    So I came to this site after seeing this article and “Spend time at sites such as http://www.chinstrapninjas.com learning a variety of draft strategies, sleeper candidates and bounce-back techniques” on Bleacher Report…

    And no draft strategies to be found?

    Oh well.

  3. jzak

    Joe,

    Sorry there isn’t more specific global draft strategies discussed in full on the site yet. There are a variety of columns, however, that discuss some smaller-scale strategies, such as my “unpopular” strategy for drafting a catcher. We do have a lot more fantasy baseball coverage planned heading into the season and your respective drafts … including updated rankings coming out soon and more discussion about strategies. Are there some specific things you are looking for? Let us know and we’ll gladly oblige.

  4. ep

    @Joe: What strategy do you use?

  5. Diary of a wimpy draft: Lessons learned during a drafting free fall at Chinstrap Ninjas

    [...] What follows is how I broke most of the fantasy draft-preparing commandments, including my own Tiger Woods drafting strategy, en route to one of the worst drafts in my fantasy [...]

  6. Dissecting the auction-based fantasy baseball draft, Part 2: The Adolf Hitler strategy at Chinstrap Ninjas

    [...] to be able to bounceback from bad picks without letting one or two ruin your draft. Much like my Tiger Woods strategy to drafting a fantasy baseball team, you need to accept the fact that using the Hitleresque form of taking over an auction draft will [...]

  7. Samantha Thomas

    Tiger Woods is a very good golfer but his reputation as a cheating husband made him a bad character.:,,

  8.  Melatonin

    golf balls that are made in China does not seem to last longer,,;

  9. Last-minute fantasy football draft-day advice you can’t afford to overlook at Chinstrap Ninjas

    [...] suggestion comes from my Tiger Woods strategy to drafting a fantasy baseball team … a post I wrote this past spring. The concept is simple. Tiger Woods didn’t dominate golf [...]

  10. Electric Griddle 

    yep! tiger woods is also a womanizer’”~

  11. Lan Tester 

    i was hit with a golf ball on the head and it was quite painfull`:*

  12. Anti Aging Products :

    who would have thought that tiger woods is a womanizer too:’`

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