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Places To Play Fantasy Baseball: Yahoo!

Mark Teixeira fantasy baseballDepending on who you ask, Yahoo! fantasy baseball could easily be considered the top online game. To be honest, I’ve been playing fantasy baseball on Yahoo! for about five years, so I’m very familiar with its game offering.

Anointing Yahoo! as the top free 2009 fantasy baseball game is tough to do when you compare it offerings side by side to its major competition – MLB.com, CBS Sportsline, and ESPN.

How does “America’s New Pastime” compare to its major competition in 2009? Let’s examine.

The Basics:

  • League Sizes: Up to 20 teams
  • Game Format Options: Head to Head, Rotisserie, Points, Triple Crown (3×3), Home Run Derby (no pitching stats), Pitcher’s Duel (no hitting stats), Hall Of Shame (worst team wins)
  • Playoffs: Customizable
  • Roster Freeze: Customizable

What’s Different In 2009? The biggest change to Yahoo! fantasy baseball in 2009 is the ease of managing your own keeper leagues. Previous league owners can renew last year’s league and invite all the same participants, making it much easier to gather your buddies together. Yahoo! also added the ability to put together a custom draft order and participate in mock drafts this year for the first time. Those who play fantasy football on Yahoo! will recognize the same “new” live draft application. There are also more playoff options.

Why Should You Play Fantasy Baseball Here? Because you have for years (like me) and fear change?! I appreciate Yahoo’s game for what it is – but as more game providers offer live scoring for FREE, I have to wonder why Yahoo! didn’t take that same leap in 2009. There’s no doubt that free live scoring makes playing fantasy baseball on CBS or ESPN more attractive than playing on Yahoo.

As a league commissioner in over 50% of the leagues I have participated in, I’ve come to realize the shortcomings of Yahoo’s StatTracker. While it’s a great program when you buy it, the fact that every individual league member must buy that add-on to get live scoring makes the feature outdated.

When you analyze the cost of playing fantasy baseball on Yahoo! versus what you get for free at ESPN, there really isn’t any comparison. Yahoo! still has a great game, but in 2009 – I think ESPN has the top service provider.

While I am hosting my personal league on Yahoo! this year (and might be participating in two more on the site), I will seriously have to consider making a league switch in 2009. The amount of add-ons you get for free at Yahoo’s competitors makes their games much more valuable when you’re talking about FREE fantasy baseball.

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