The Complete Guide to Fantasy Baseball

Fantasy baseball is a game that has been around for decades.

It’s popular among people of all ages, even though it was originally created as an escape fantasy for adults who were no longer able to play the “real” sport.

If you are new to fantasy baseball, this article will help get you started with everything you need to know about how fantasy baseball works!

What Is Fantasy Baseball?

Fantasy baseball is a game where fantasy players (those who play fantasy baseball) create their own teams, which are made up of real-life MLB players.

These fantasy team owners draft these players onto their fantasy rosters using specific rules and guidelines that apply to each league.

Then, fantasy team owners are able to track their fantasy players’ real-life stats during the MLB season.

Fantasy baseball has been around for decades and has become one of the most popular fantasy sports options available to fantasy players.

It is estimated that about 38 million people play fantasy baseball every year.

How To Set Up A League

To set up your fantasy league, the main thing you need to know is how many teams will be in the league.

This number should correspond to the number of fantasy players you would like on each team and can range from as little as two fantasy baseball owners all the way up to 16 fantasy owners per team.

Once that’s decided upon, it’s time for your fantasy draft!

There are a few different fantasy baseball league types you can choose from, but the most popular fantasy leagues have been rotisserie-style fantasy leagues.

In this type of fantasy league, all teams compete against each other over the course of a normal MLB season (162 games for major leaguers).

At the end of that time period, typically the fantasy season ends as well, with the team that had accrued the most fantasy points being declared the winner.

Before you start your fantasy draft, it’s important to have a list of players already chosen so that everyone knows who is up for grabs in their respective rounds.

One way to do this would be to create an excel spreadsheet where each fantasy player is listed with their fantasy draft position.

You can then send out this list to everyone in your league and ask them to select which players they would like to sign onto their team for the upcoming season

Once all of the fantasy baseball teams have been assembled, you’re ready to play! Each fantasy owner will manage his or her own fantasy roster throughout the fantasy baseball season, setting lineups and making transactions to his or her fantasy roster.

Tips For Drafting Your Team

In fantasy baseball, your team is made up of a set roster that you can’t change until the end of the fantasy season. Players on your fantasy team will accumulate points for how well they do in actual games during MLB’s regular season. It’s important to have a good mix of players from different positions and categories so that each week you’re able to score points in all fantasy baseball categories.

You want to try and draft players that are consistently good, or whose value fluctuates very little on a week-to-week basis. For example, it’s not wise to pick up someone who is having an amazing fantasy season but will be out for the rest of your fantasy season due to injury.

Drafting fantasy players is very similar to how you would draft in fantasy football or any other fantasy sport for that matter—you want the best team possible! There are always players who come out of nowhere and become fantasy studs, but it’s important not to overreach on unproven talent. The biggest thing about drafting your fantasy baseball team is to be as prepared as possible before making your fantasy draft picks.

Fantasy Baseball Scoring Rules

While there are several different types of fantasy leagues that can be played with slightly differing scoring rules, most fantasy league players play by rotisserie-style fantasy baseball rule sets where points are awarded for specific actions in MLB games.

The fantasy points that can be earned in fantasy baseball are broken up into two categories: batting and pitching. Batting fantasy points are awarded based on how well the player performs during an MLB game, while fantasy pitchers earn fantasy innings pitched (IP) along with strikeouts (K), holds (HLD or H), saves (SV or S), and ERA (ERA).

The fantasy points that can be earned by each fantasy player in a given MLB game is different based on the number of plate appearances they get, whether or not their team wins during that particular fantasy baseball match-up, and if any of their teammates accumulate any home runs. A full breakdown of all the point values associated with fantasy baseball can be found by referring to the “Rotisserie League Baseball Official Rules & Scoring” page on

While fantasy owners will want their players in real-life MLB games if they are trying to win, there is also something called an injury clause that allows fantasy managers to swap out any active player who is injured for another fantasy player.

This injury clause can be used once per fantasy owner during the season but does not carry over from one fantasy baseball season to the next. Be sure you keep track of how many times this option has been used so that no one in your league uses it more than they are supposed to!

Trading Players With Other Teams In Your League

One of the best parts about fantasy baseball is that fantasy owners are able to trade players with other fantasy owners within their league, allowing them to improve their individual teams.

While it’s true that no one in your fantasy league is physically obligated to accept any given player for a trade offer, most fantasy leagues have a commissioner who has the ability to veto any fantasy trades that they believe are unfair.

Trades made between fantasy owners must meet certain criteria in order to be considered valid and, as a result of this requirement being met, will have both players involved switching teams immediately following the trade being accepted by all fantasy league managers. Some of the most common requirements for a fantasy baseball player trade include:

  • fantasy baseball trades must include an equal number of players from both fantasy rosters, with the only exception being if one fantasy owner has two or more fantasy prospects as part of their active fantasy roster
  • fantasy baseball trades cannot involve a player whose current season salary is more than 20% higher than another player involved in the trade offer
  • fantasy MLB trades cannot include fantasy players from different positions
  • fantasy baseball fantasy trade offers must be for a specified length of time, which is defined by the fantasy league commissioner and set in stone before any player agreements can be made. This means that each team involved in an agreed-upon fantasy MLB trade has only a certain amount of time to make its final decision.

Setting Up a Draft List For Next Season’s Team

One of the most frustrating things fantasy baseball owners have to deal with during a fantasy MLB season is having their fantasy players traded away from them, but this is something that they can prevent by ensuring that all the potential fantasy trade offers made in your league are met with an equally reasonable counteroffer.

A good way for fantasy owners who play rotisserie fantasy baseball to ensure that they receive a fair return for players that may be traded during the season is by setting up an entire list of fantasy MLB trade offers in advance.

To do this, fantasy owners must first talk with their fellow league members and find out exactly how much each player on their team is worth – not just monetarily but also in fantasy points – and then set up a list of players who they are willing to trade away for what they perceive to be the right price.

The fantasy owner will want this “trade value” sheet filled out before their fantasy draft begins, so that when it comes time to negotiate fantasy trades during the season they already have an idea about how much they want to receive for certain fantasy players.


There are a lot of aspects to fantasy baseball, but don’t let that scare you away. With this guide and the tools we’ve given you at your disposal, there’s no reason why anyone can’t succeed in their league.

We hope these tips will make your experience with fantasy sports more enjoyable and less overwhelming than it might have been otherwise! If you’re interested in learning more about how to play or want even more advice on how to win next season’s contest, head over here for our complete guide to playing fantasy baseball like a pro!