By Joseph Gaxiola
If you’re a fantasy baseball junkie, Larry Schechter’s new book, “Winning Fantasy Baseball: Secret Strategies of a Nine-Time National Champion,” is a must read. Just out, it’s already Amazon’s #1 bestseller for Fantasy Sports books. He’s been playing for over 20 years and with nine national championships to his credit, Schechter definitely knows his stuff. I was pleased to interview him for Compete Magazine.
Schechter’s book addresses the following topics for fantasy players:
1. Evaluating players and projecting their stats for the upcoming season – finding players that will add value to your fantasy baseball team while spending the least amount of money to stay under the salary cap
2. Learning the different strategies in snake drafts, mono- leagues and mixed auctions, and how to strategize for the different types of drafts
3. Developing a step-by-step plan for a full season, from start to finish
4. Learning how to apply these concepts to other fantasy sports, such as football or basketball
Offering additional tips on what to watch for in the upcoming MLB season and how to know which players will put up big numbers this season, Schechter also shares the strategies that have led to his personal success. Perhaps best of all for the math-challenged, he shares why fantasy owners don’t need statistics or complicated math to win.
According to Schechter, there are a few leagues that don’t let trades, salary caps or even friends play with each other because they might cause strife within the fantasy baseball leagues. Some of the leagues are daily and some are weekly. It depends on each person’s ability to keep up with their fantasy baseball team as to whether you pick a daily or weekly league. The free leagues that are available to the public usually let friends play each other and they’re more likely to be a daily league.
The majority of the preparation time examining players’ value, he said, should be done during the off-season, adding that spring training doesn’t really impact a player’s value unless the baseball player gets hurt. One of the best pieces of advice Schechter says he can give to a new fantasy baseball player is “Don’t wait until the last minute; look at player potential during the off-season.”
Starting his fantasy baseball play in 1992, by 2002 Schechter had won the CDM Sports national salary-cap challenge by defeating 7,500 other teams. Winning again in 2005, he beat 6,000 teams to become the first two-time champion.
Schechter’s success has earned him invitations to compete in three of the most prestigious experts’ leagues. He joined the USA Today-sponsored League of Alternative Baseball Reality (LABR) in 2003 and the Tout Wars in 2005. The Tout Wars, comprised of a national league, American league and a mixed league, has among its members the best known baseball sports writers. He also competed in the Fantasy Sports Trade Association (FSTA) Experts league for four years.
Through the 2013 season Schechter managed 22 teams in these leagues and is considered the “Winningest Fantasy Baseball Player in the World.” But with fantasy football career winnings listed at $110,700, he’s also ranked 14th on the National Fantasy Football Championship list. He said that “A lot of concepts work that work with fantasy baseball can also work with fantasy football and the other fantasy sport leagues.”
When asked what led him to write this book, Schechter said “I always wanted to write a book and to do a basic guide for fantasy baseball. If someone likes baseball and fun this is a good book to read.” While he said this book wasn’t written to entice people to play fantasy baseball, Schechter’s been pleasantly surprised to learn that people have started to play fantasy baseball because of his book.
The founder and president of a successful financial services firm, Schechter’s an avid golfer with a 9 handicap and has performed as a standup comedian at many comedy clubs around the northeast. He lives in upstate New York with his family.
“Winning Fantasy Baseball” is available in print form or as an ebook.