Atlanta Braves: Lots of Uptons.
Baltimore Orioles: Hoping for back-to-back fluke seasons.
Boston Red Sox: At least we're not the Yankees.
Chicago Cubs: Old Style beer, new style losing.
Chicago White Sox: We have Florida Gulf Coast alum Chris Sale!
Cincinnati Reds: So good we only need to use our best pitcher 60 innings a season.
Colorado Rockies: Todd Helton knew Peyton Manning in college, so that's cool, right?
Cleveland Indians: Something to watch if "Major League" isn't airing on basic cable.
Detroit Tigers: Making you feel like you have a pro athlete's body!
Houston Astros: Not gonna lie. We're gonna suck. Hard.
Kansas City Royals: Proudly featuring 2013 Team USA World Baseball Classic first baseman Eric Hosmer!
Los Angeles Angels: Let's hope money buys championships. Oh, shit. The Lakers.
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?
1. The Indiana Hoosiers are a No. 1 seed, but they are just two years removed from going 12-20, three years removed from going 10-21 and four years removed from going 6-25. Can a program really turn around that fast? All the way to a national title? Or even the Final Four? Maybe you should have them going out early in your bracket. Maybe.
2. Is this the year a 16-seed wins? There has never been this much parity in college basketball. Correctly picking a 16-seed to beat a 1-seed would give you a HUGE leg up in winning your tournament pool. Have to take a risk sometimes, right? Who knows, maybe even two 16-seeds might win this year. It could happen. Picking two upsets that big would almost assure you of winning your pool. Granted, if zero 16-seeds win, you'd be out of the pool before the weekend even arrives. Hmm.
3. A 5-seed is always a sure bet to lose to a 12-seed. Usually.
4. If a major conference team just won their conference tournament, you know they come into the NCAA Tournament with momentum. On the other hand, they may have peaked a week too early and could be tired.
5. Think about picking a team to win it all with blue in its uniform. A team with some blue has won nine consecutive NCAA titles. Nine! That has to mean something, right? Although it might just be a total coincidence. Who can really say for sure? No one. Still. Nine years in a row.
6. Trends are weird because sometimes they just suddenly end.
7. Teams with Tournament experience are good bets. Also, teams without Tournament experience can do well because they just play instinctively and may not even realize the stage they're on. It sort of depends on the team.
8. A team you never even considered as a contender always ends up making a run. So consider a team you have never considered. At that point you will have considered them, though, meaning the whole thing could be messed up.