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Buying low and selling high isn't always worth it

By Scott White | Senior Fantasy Writer

I wanted to expound on a point I made earlier on Fantasy Baseball Today. It had to do with buying low, selling high and how to tell if that's actually what you're doing.

The way I see it, the strategy is overplayed because unless you're in a league with novices, everybody knows what you're doing. And they won't let you get away with it. I've never been able to buy low or sell high effectively, and I'd venture to say I'm pretty good at this Fantasy Baseball thing.

Putting so much emphasis on a strategy that rarely comes to fruition could potentially give Fantasy owners the wrong idea. Judging from some of the emails, tweets and phone calls we've gotten over the years, people become so committed to the "buying" or "selling" that the "low" or "high" becomes just an afterthought. It should be the whole reason for the trade.

"Buy low" doesn't mean "buy at all costs," and "sell high" doesn't mean "sell with reckless abandon." It just means perception and reality aren't -- or may not be -- totally in sync. If you do the legwork and find that they are, so be it. Just sit back and enjoy the ride.

Ryan Braun's three-homer game Tuesday gives those worried about his thumb injury a chance to sell high on him, but only if they can find someone willing to overlook the injury risk for a player with his ability, offering up an Adam Jones or Giancarlo Stanton in return. If they can only find someone just as worried, the offer would look more like Jayson Werth and John Lackey, which would come closer to selling low than selling high.

Of course, the point of this post isn't to make buy low and sell high suggestions. You can watch the video for that. The point is to help you determine if you're getting the "low" or "high" part right.

And the solution is simple: Go to our rankings page.

If you haven't come to depend on it yet, you will. It's honestly the most valuable resource we have to offer. If you're ever frustrated that we haven't discussed the player on your mind, just go there. It gives our take on every player.

And it gives everything we say context. For example, Wednesday morning on the Fantasy Baseball Today podcast, I surprised even myself by saying positive things about Aaron Harang. Those listening may have mistaken my restrained optimism for an endorsement and added him in their 12-team mixed leagues. If they had simply gone to the rankings page, they would have seen he still didn't crack my top 125 at starting pitcher and saved themselves the trouble.

So you can trust they're up to date, we put a timestamp at the top of the rankings to indicate the last update. I try to give mine a thorough audit at least four times a week. And while I'm not reckless about it, getting caught up in every streak and slump, I make aggressive changes when warranted. I still don't know that Tyler Flowers is worth most owners' time, but with his hot start, I felt compelled to move him up about a dozen spots spots in my catcher rankings, into the top 24. So what does that mean? In single-season leagues, I prefer him to anyone ranked 25th or higher. It's as simple as that.

If you know how we value a player for the rest of the season, then you know what he's worth to us in a trade. And you can adjust your expectations accordingly.

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