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Winning Roto Strategy

In fantasy baseball scoring leagues that use rotisserie scoring the name of the game is

BALANCE! In order to win your league you will need to put up strong numbers in all of the measured categories. In a typical 5-by-5 rotisserie league the measured categories are:  

hitting – runs, home runs, runs batted in, average and stolen bases; pitching – wins, strikeouts, saves, earned run average, and walks and hits per innings pitched.

Building a winning system

Knowing what it will take to win your league is as important as knowing how to win. If you play in a 10-team league with competitive, active owners, a point total of 82 will likely put you at or near the top of your standings. That sounds great but earning those 82 points can prove to be a difficult task.


Here is the approach I have developed to put together a winning team. If you can tally rotisserie points of 10, nine, eight and two sevens in both the batting and pitching segments you will have totaled 82 points. Some people will tell you to just “punt” an individual category, but this strategy is very difficult to pull off. If you choose to just ignore stolen bases, for example, and only earn four points there, you will have to have exceptional output in the other categories to mask this deficiency.   

To find out what stat thresholds you will have to reach to earn the magical 7-10 points you will need to access the final standings of your league from years past. Take note of what numbers it took in the past to register the big numbers for each stat. Here are my observations on those parameters for a typical 10-team league: runs (1,030-1,150); home runs (268-310); runs batted in (1,035-1,080); average (.273-.289); stolen bases (190-205); wins (89-105); strikeouts (1,325-1,400); saves (125-140); earned run average (2.96-3.48) and walks and hits per inning pitched (1.15-1.19).

As you can see in many of the categories, the gap from earning 7-10 to points is less than 10 percent over a full six-month season. Keep in mind that every league is a little different and the numbers may vary based on the number of players active on your roster.

Building a Winning Team

Now that you have an idea of what it will take to win your league you can turn your focus on how you will reach those numbers. Once you establish the threshold for each category that you need to reach for your league, the next step is to establish player projections. Many resources will provide you with player rankings, and while rankings are a very good general guide point and can help you in other scoring systems, projections are a necessity to win in rotisserie leagues. You can use a trusted resource or build your own projections for each of the stat categories.   

Use your projections on draft day and keep a running tally of how your team is being built by updating the way you project each draft pick to impact your team in each stat category. Each time you draft a new player you will simply plug their projections in against the number you need to achieve and build a complete, competitive team. When you approach your draft this way you will be able to snag some key bargain picks to address your teams’ needs.   By building your team to be strong in each category you don’t have to worry about having glaring holes on your team and will have built a solid foundation for your season through the draft. Putting in a little extra time as you prepare for your draft will allow you to sit back and pile up the points once the season starts while the other owners are scrambling to fill their team out in areas that the neglected or missed during the draft.    


I hope you have a great draft. I look forward to helping you dominate your league throughout the season. Let me know if you have any comments or questions or on Twitter @KJFantasySharks

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