The flawed strategy of buying low and selling high

Coming home from a Washington Nationals game last week, a league mate and I got on the topic of Atlanta Braves OF Jason Heyward. This league mate drafted Heyward in our keeper league during a minor league draft before Heyward made his major league debut and has held on to him like a bride is counseled to hold on to her groom – for better or worse, for rich or poor, in sickness and health.

Now, if you happen to read any fantasy advice online, you know that Heyward’s stock in single season league’s has been depressed since his mediocre season last year and most analysts suggest Heyward to be what they call a “buy low” candidate. While I am not really a Heyward supporter or detractor, I was curios to see what this league mate felt about Heyward given everything he has gone through with him. And unless you understand the dynamics of our league, you would’ve thought his answer was coming straight from the 2011 preseason.

Read any fantasy baseball article on any fantasy baseball website today and the words sleeper, bust, buy low and sell high litter the writing – they are the current buzzwords of the industry. Problem is, there are so many people writing so many things about fantasy baseball today, these words have essentially lost all meaning (at least in keeper leagues).

As I look over the last four years in my keeper league, the guys I’ve been able to “buy low” on, really haven’t turned been the deals I thought they’d be. I turned minor league draft picks into Dexter Fowler and Justin Morneau last season, and while both continue to tease us with what they are capable of, neither has been consistent enough to become top tier keepers.

And forgot about selling those players having a good season – even if you can get one of the owners in my league to consider taking that player in deal, you’d be lucky to get them to pay for what the player is actually worth, let alone what their perceived value should be given their current stats.

Of course, my bitterness at these concepts could come from the fact that I play in a mixed league with decent depth and solid managers, none of which seem to follow the conventional wisdom of the many fantasy baseball analysts out there. So, before I go any further about how the concepts of sleepers, buying low and selling high are bogus, I want to turn the floor over to you by asking if you are still able to execute trades in your keeper league where you can either buy low or sell high. Share your trading stories and experiences in the comments section below.

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About Jim Higgins

Jim grew up in San Diego the son of a Washington, D.C. native so naturally he roots for the Washington Redskins and San Diego Padres. After seeing his favorite teams win a couple of titles early in his life, he has spent the last 20 years wondering if his teams will ever amount to anything again. At least he has multiple fantasy baseball and football titles to soften the blow.

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