Fantasy baseball season is underway! We are less than – oh my – one month to Opening Day. That is April 6th for those who haven’t marked it on the calendars yet.
If you are still looking for a fantasy league to join, like myself, then I thought I would summarize some options for us. This is if you don’t have a decent local or private league to join, and don’t want to get one going yourself, which can certainly be a chore being commissioner.
These are publicly available leagues operated by various websites. I believe they are reputable businesses. This is not paid advertising. I’m just trying to lend a hand as one fantasy player to other fantasy players.
I wouldn’t post options here that I don’t believe are good options, but always do your own due diligence before laying down your hard earned cash.
FanTrax Classic Drafts
- 12-team leagues
- Entry fees $10, $25, $50, $100 and $250
- Payouts 79% ($10 entry) and 85-92% ($25 and up)
There are numerous options here to get your fix. FanTrax has classic 5×5 roto and fantasy points leagues, season long cumulative and head-to-head standings. I’m having a little trouble finding the specific rules, but it appears these are weekly transactions leagues – weekly add/drops and lineup changes. That is much preferred for me over daily transactions. The thing holding me back here is all of the drafts are live drafts. I’d like a slow draft. Of course wait any longer and a live draft will be my only option.
National Fantasy Baseball Championship
- Satellite Series
- 12 and 15-team leagues
- Entry fees $125 and up
- Payouts 80% at lowest entry fees
Talk about options, this one has it, although mostly based on entry fee and prize structure, whether your league is part of a larger overall competition or not. Plus, NFBC leagues are generally for those in a slightly higher to much higher tax bracket. I’m going to focus on the stand-alone satellite leagues, but if you want a 5-star fantasy baseball league experience you should look into these live draft events hosted in Las Vegas, Chicago and New York. Professionally run and a great track record.
A satellite is a great way to understand the NFBC league format – classic roto, cumulative scoring. I like the ability to decide 12 or 15-team drafts. Deep starting lineups and rosters put more emphasis on the draft. Alas, still no slow draft options but a lot of time slots available for live drafts.
RealTime Fantasy Sports
- 10 and 12-team leagues
- Entry fees $19.95 and up
- Payouts under 75% at $29.95 and lower but 85%+ at $49.95 and up
In terms of time commitment, maybe a 10-team league is a good option. The range of formats in this post underscores the importance of creating custom cheatsheets (preferably via Draft Buddy or Last Player Picked) to properly value players.
Back to RTS leagues, they have roto and points, head-to-head and cumulative, and even draft masters (draft only, no in-season transactions) and their own overall championship. Transactions are weekly or twice weekly. There are AL and NL-only options if that interests you. I am seeing some auction draft and slow draft options in their lobby. Lots of selection here, although FanTrax is more competitive at the lower entry fees.
I haven’t decided which of these I am going to sign up for as of yet. Perhaps I will diversify across each site and then I can comment later on the experience at each. I am also tempted by the FanTrax salary cap game (which takes me way back to my original fantasy sports initiation playing CDM Sports games published in Sporting News, pre-Internet), and of course I want to keep some budget for in-season daily fantasy baseball.
If there are other fantasy baseball league options you think I should consider, then please post a comment and let us know.