If you've been playing the Official Mini Fantasy Game of MLB.com from DraftKings since the start of the season, you've probably found yourself developing a routine when it comes to selecting players and creating lineups. That's a great thing -- all of the best players have a daily routine they use for research and lineup creation, honed over time to enhance their fantasy baseball success. Here are a few easy tips on how to make your routine efficient.
Many of daily fantasy baseball's top participants start by looking at the weather. When there's a high probability of rain, you probably want to avoid players from that game. It's not necessary to bypass players in a game with a 10 percent chance of light rain, but when there's a 90 percent chance of thunderstorms, using players from that matchup can hurt your lineups since the game could be postponed, and you'll see no production.
Especially early in the year, checking the weather is important as it rains very often in certain areas of the country. On most days, you can eliminate a handful of games from weather alone, which will cut down on your overall research time and enhance the projected points for your lineups.
Fantasy Player News
Another trick is staying current on the Fantasy Player News section on MLB.com. Every day, MLB.com provides an in-depth look at a selection of notable matchups for that day. Often, these players have different expected production than their full-season stats might indicate. For example, hitters on low-scoring teams facing an elite pitcher are often projected down and hitters on high-scoring teams facing a poor pitcher are projected up. Using the Fantasy Player News section is a quick way to understand which players might hit (or pitch) well.
Using weather and Fantasy Player News will help you select the games and teams you want to target for your lineup. After that, you can start to play around with different combinations of players, searching for value relative to their DraftKings salaries.
A big part of pairing players together in an optimal manner is understanding how MLB lineups are structured. Many teams change their lineup and batting order on a daily basis. For example, you'll often see players who normally hit late in the order thrust into the No. 2 spot, offering you great value.
You can check the latest lineup information right on DraftKings by clicking on the matchups within the lineup creation page.
It's vital to make sure all of your players will be playing on a given day, but it's also important to know where they're hitting and how their play might affect their lineup mates. If you start a No. 2 and a No. 4 hitter together, for example, you're setting yourself up for a run-RBI situation, which will enhance your lineup's upside. You can use up to six hitters from the same team -- as long as you have hitters from at least three different teams, your lineup is valid. This is a great way to get fantasy production and is known as "stacking."
These three aspects of research -- weather, Fantasy Player News and lineup stacks -- should be the crux of your daily fantasy baseball routine. Take care of those big-picture items before moving to the smaller details, and you may end up winning a trip to the 2014 All-Star Game courtesy of the Official Mini Fantasy Game of MLB.com from DraftKings.
Jonathan Bales contributes DraftKings-related content to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.