Cut Week And Using Dollar Value Calculators
Who should I keep or cut? That’s the question I receive most often via email these days as keeper deadlines creep closer. In Ottoneu, the deadline is January 31. And with 40 roster spots, most owners keep 25-30 players or more.
My team is in a bit of flux at the moment. Stars including Matt Kemp ($49), Buster Posey ($39) and Jason Heyward ($33) underperformed. Cano was a strong performer, but at $49, he’s tough to keep with the move to Safeco even though the Mariners home park is much more friendly to left-handed hitters than one would think. Plus, the Yankees lineup was decimated by injuries in 2013. If one believes lineup protection affects production, then Cano would have been better surrounded by Alex Rodriguez and Mark Teixeira.
Dropping three, maybe four stars leaves me feeling as if the team is being gutted, but Kemp and Heyward were relatively worthless and could be had back at auction for less. Posey was solid, but didn’t play to his auction number. When dropping league settings into a simple dollar value calculator, Posey produced at $15 and Heyward/Kemp produced in the negative since only players with positive value are shown. The team finished in second place with $121 (30% of the total salary) invested poorly.
As you break down rosters and choose keepers, dollar value calculators can help. Just remember a few things about them.
1. Dollar values penalize injury. If a player is having a good year like David Wright, but missed time due to injury, his value will be suppressed. Adjust accordingly at auction time.
2. The goal is an even money return on high priced players. For years, I’d find myself with $80 left in a $210 auction with nobody left to bid on. The roster was full of $5 players who’d produce $15-20 which is great. However, that left over money was dead the minute the auction ended. Meanwhile, another owner would spend crazy money on Albert Pujols and Matt Kemp, max out his salary cap and beat me because those players cost $120, but produced $120 in value. He’d spend the rest of the money poorly, but it wouldn’t matter because his $210 invested produced that much value while my $130 invested came up short. I created my own small market team scenario. Don’t be afraid to keep an expensive player as long as there’s an equivalent return on investment.
3. Pitchers provide a horrible return on investment. Have you ever been the owner whose master plan was to spread an average of $15-25 across six above average starting pitchers? Then, you rosterbate to a rotation anchored by Yovani Gallardo, Matt Garza, James Shields, Ubaldo Jimenez and Johnny Cueto because your staff is so deep? I’ve been there. You probably have been too. Unfortunately, we wound up losing and had no idea why.
The reason is each pitcher was going to produce equivalent value at best. Inevitably, one or two arms will stumble and the $90-$150 invested in above average arms will yield much less in actual value. Then, the corners cut on offense to afford such quality arms will leave you vulnerable there too. If you have to invest in pitchers, sell out for a true ace and supplement with sub-$8 arms. Overall, you’ll spend less and have a real chance at a staff who over performs. Plus, that savings will allow for a couple of upgrades on offense.
4. Steals matter. When it comes to actual value, the most valuable fantasy performers not named Miguel Cabrera steal at least ten bases annually. In every league, one owner sells out for steals while another punts the category altogether. They both lose. Fill out a roster with a number of guys who steal double digits and you’ll be surprised at how competitive you’ll be in the category. Meanwhile, the added production from avoiding one dimensional players will help in other areas.
The beauty of using dollar calculators is it takes the name value out of the equation. Results matter and it becomes easier to predict what players are worth as time goes on. Losing fantasy baseball owners play with emotion and allow decisions to be influenced by them. Stick to the numbers and this won’t happen.
One thing I can’t do is recommend the BEST dollar value calculator because sites featuring them come and go frequently. My suggestion would be to try a few and see what works best.
4 Feb 2014 / Mike Newman /
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