1. Play the Name Game
Come up with a funny team name. Ideally this name will include a reference to something that's currently in the news but won't seem at all timely by the All-Star Break. May we suggest, "Dunk City's Harlem Shake"?
2. Pick Your Marks
Invite Yankees GM Brian Cashman to join your league. You need at least one easy mark to fleece in trades, and if he's dumb enough to willingly put Vernon Wells on his team, just think of what Cashman will do in fantasy. Trust the process here.
3. Embrace Stat Geeks
Hang out at a local tavern until an older fellow with a beard comes in for a tipple. Offer him 40 bucks to come to your draft as your assistant and introduce himself to people as Bill James, renowned baseball statistical guru. People will be terrified of you. Nobody knows what Bill James looks like, so who's to say he doesn't stink of cheap brandy and constantly scream about the metal plates in his head?
4. Play for Keepers
Before the draft starts, announce to the room that your keepers are Mike Trout, Miguel Cabera and Justin Verlander even if you're not in a keeper league. Sure, this strategy may work less than 1% of the time, but if it does say hello to the league title
5. Confuse and Conquer
Once the draft starts, you've got to do something to get into the other guys' heads. Take Brandon Inge in the 3rd Round and yell: "Crazy like a fox!" That should throw them off their games for the next three to four rounds. Also consider releasing a live fox into the room.
6. Make A Quick Recovery
Oh, crap, you just drafted Brandon Inge. He's terrible. He doesn't even start anymore. It's okay. You can recover. It's just going to take some focus. Also, you might want to see if it's too late to add "scrappiness" as a scoring category.
7. Run Your Mouth
Talking trash is an integral part of any draft day strategy, but if you criticize every pick, it's too easy for other managers to just ignore you. Instead, offer effusive praise for most picks by saying things like "Wow, Chase Utley was a great value there!" before breaking out a psyche-destroying line like, "Andy Pettitte? Really? Jesus, no wonder your parents got divorced."
8. Meet the Mets
You should remember to draft some Mets players. Most leagues give you two DL spots, and it would be a shame to have them just sit empty.
9. Help Yourself On Saves
Experts will tell you to never pay for saves, so you shouldn't blow an early pick on a closer. This is sound advice. All you need to turn a setup man into a save-generating closer is a ski mask, a map to the current closer's home, and a piece of pipe. When you're taking late-round fliers on guys like Kenley Jansen, you have to make your own luck.
10. Take Your Time
Every draft has one guy who starts whining about how long it's taking in the later rounds. Often this guy will utter the sentence: "I told my wife this would only take two hours!"
Punch him in the stomach. This won't necessarily help you win the league, but sometimes a good deed is its own reward.
11. Think Outside the Coffin
Don't be afraid to take players who aren't alive in the later rounds. What's more likely: Erik Bedard actually helping your team this season, or scientists figuring out a way to reanimate Ty Cobb's corpse at some point in the next six months? Exactly. With Zombie Ty on your side, you'd be a lock in the batting average category.
12. Know Your Format
These tips assume that you're in a traditional snake-style draft. For auction drafts, do the exact opposite of everything above.