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Fantasy baseball draft tip; use your DL

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With the season drawing near, many fans are partaking in their fantasy baseball draft.

Selecting Josh Hamilton late in the draft may pay big dividends later.
Selecting Josh Hamilton late in the draft may pay big dividends later.
Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

I've been playing fantasy baseball for so long it was called "rotisserie" baseball when I started.  It was so long ago we didn't even have computers!  That's right, we had to use pencils and paper to keep track of our teams.  It may be hard to believe, but it was so long ago we had to walk to the draft...uphill...both ways.  Yes, I'm an old-timer when it comes to fantasy baseball.

Over all of that time, I've learned a couple of tricks, one of which I'm going to pass on to you newbies.  It's nothing earth-shaking or mind-blowing, but just a simple trick to add some depth to your roster.  The tip; use your Disabled List by drafting players who are injured.  Regardless of if your league is a keeper league or one that disbands at the end of the season, if there's good player available who is going to start the season on the DL, draft him...disable him...and then pick up another player to replace him.

I did this twice in my league's draft last night.  Our league is a keeper league where we protect 14 players each season, so with a thought towards the 2016 season, I drafted Yu Darvish with the 206th pick.  The intention is to place him on the DL for the entire season, and replace him with another starter from the free agent list.  With pitchers, it always seems like some guy comes out of nowhere and has a very good season.  If you want, wait a couple of weeks be fore replacing an injured pitcher to see which free agent might be having a breakout year.

The second pick I used for an injured player was with the 275th selection I took Josh Hamilton.  Yeah, I know, he might be suspended, but the wild card in this scenario is he also had shoulder surgery, which will require time on the disabled list.  If he's disabled before he's suspended, he can be stashed on the DL and replaced with another player.  I feel this is a worthwhile gamble on a player who could potentially be a top 100 player.  Besides, this was my third to last pick in the draft, who else could have a bigger impact than a player with Hamilton's potential that late in the draft?

Obviously, this strategy doesn't work with the daily games on FanDuel, but keeping an eye on players returning from the disabled list could pay big in the biggest bang for the buck type of daily leagues, as their salaries are going to be depressed due to their injury.

SB Nation is hosting a $6,000 one-day Fantasy Baseball league for MLB Opening Day on FanDuel. It's $5 to join and first place wins $1,000 and four tickets to a game.