Fantasy baseball: Daily vs. weekly lineup changes spurs lively debate

It all began with a simple statement:

“As much as I love day baseball, I really hate fantasy baseball leagues with daily lineup changes.”

It wasn’t directed toward anyone, but was merely an attempt to vent my frustrations on Twitter over a missed opportunity — onethat was totally my fault.

Most of the leagues I play have transactions and lineup changes once a week. But I also play in two leagues that allow daily moves.

With the Washington Nationals off last Thursday and playing an afternoon game Friday, I missed the lineup deadline to move Nats players I benched back into my active lineup. And of course, Daniel Murphy — who’s on both of those teams — hit a home run in his first at-bat.

Who wouldn’t be at least a little annoyed?

As it turned out, that comment annoyed even more people.

Aside from the inevitable online hyperbole — “Weekly lineups are the worst thing in the world” — the proponents of daily lineup changes made some salient points.

While more control usually lessens the impact of luck, allowing owners to make moves every day tends to reward those who constantly pick up and drop players so they can stream them in and out of the lineup. Does that really mean they’re more skillful … or just more willing to put in extra time every day to gain an extra 2% advantage?

Time is an issue. As another reader mentioned, I might feel differently if I played in only two or three leagues instead of 12.

The discussion was just getting started when Murphy hit another home run. (And so did another player on my bench, Javier Baez.)

Yes, it was completely my own fault for not updating my lineup. Twitter let me know.


But the inconvenience is not my biggest issue with daily lineup changes. I remember playing in a head-to-head league in which teams throughout the playoffs were constantly dropping pitchers to pick up the next day’s starters. It got so bad that once all those starters were unavailable, the owners started looking two days ahead.

Even worse, they’d pick scheduled starters up and immediately put them on waivers so they’d be unavailable to everyone else for the next 24 hours.

Weekly transaction limits can solve that particular problem, but what if a team has a legitimate need to pick up several players during the regular season?

Though it doesn’t constitute the final word on the subject, I put out a Twitter poll on which format fantasy owners prefer to play. The results:

— 62%: daily transactions
— 38%: weekly transactions

While there are some good points (and a whole lot of bad points) about the ability to make moves every day, I’m convinced a league champion should be the one who, with equal resources, has the best draft and makes the smartest in-season moves. To me, it takes less skill, not more, to keep turning over a roster to gain an incremental advantage.

I’m sure the debate will continue.

But the days of having Murphy on my bench definitely won’t.

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