One of the key differences in drafting and maintaining a fantasy baseball roster in deep leagues (NL/AL-only, 10+ teams) vs. shallower mixed leagues is the huge dropoff in playing time for ‘replacement level’ players. While the shallow league replacement pool will often be stocked with less desirable major league starting players, deep leagues offer slim pickings varying from hitters who play in less than half their teams’ games, middle relievers with little chance at saves, or minor leaguers not hyped enough to get drafted.
This huge gap in replacement level has several ramifications ranging from increased dependence on the draft and trades for team success to increased difficulty in overcoming injuries. On the flip side, this gap between starter and replacement level also provides a bigger upside should an owner land players who can contribute at starter-level.
So what is the ideal strategy for stocking a bench? Here is some of my thinking: