Karabell's dos and don'ts for fantasy baseball drafts

There is a very important "do" when it comes to how you should handle Shohei Ohtani in fantasy baseball drafts. John Cordes/Icon Sportswire

It was the third or fourth round of a fantasy baseball draft a few years ago when a fellow in the draft chat room asked whether this was a roto league or a points version. The draft had started 20 minutes ago and he already had drafted a few players, but now he was asking the question.

Another fellow texted and asked me if we should tell him, and my first thought was that, yeah, it was the right thing to do. Then again, a small part of me was thinking that even though we prioritize fun in this particular league, we are playing for a few, um, "raisins" and it is kind of his job to figure out the rules before this thing starts.

Know your rules. They are rather important. Yes, after a few jokes, we told him the format. Not surprisingly, he did not win the league.

While I will go on and on about things I feel are important to do and not do in drafting, the first rule is to know your league rules, since that preparation affects everything. It does not matter if it is an important league or a mock draft -- you had better know the deal before the proceedings get started because, um, we are not starting over, and we will make fun of you. It might seem obvious, but even at a level for those who draft and write and podcast fantasy for a living, it still happens.

Roto leagues, head-to-head category and H2H points leagues are very different from one another, as if one could not tell from my rankings and those of my colleagues Tristan H. Cockcroft and AJ Mass, so knowing your league scoring matters a great deal. That might seem obvious, but so many rules matter more than figuring out who is in Miami's outfield or who pitches for the Angels. Speaking of the Angels, how is your league handling hitter/pitcher Shohei Ohtani? How many active roster spots do you have, including catchers? Is there a trade deadline at some point? Is this a keeper league? Are you playing for, um, any "raisins"? I could go on.

Anyway, a league's rules and your knowledge of them is rather important, since there are potentially markedly distinct strategies depending on said rules. Here are other random thoughts I have about drafting: