Fantasy Baseball Auction Strategy – Reader Questions
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A long time reader emailed a couple of questions about Ottoneu auction strategy. These tips may be applied to most auction formats though. If you view picks in terms of percent of budget (IE $260 vs. $400 leagues) and not actual dollars, the math works.
How do you budget for a draft? My inclination would be to assign rough breakouts for the 25 man roster and then another budget for the last 15 spots or so.
You could do that, but I take a different approach to drafts. In any 40-man draft, 8-10 (20-25%) of my roster will be prospects. If I slot $2 for each prospect, then I’m left with $380 to spread across the remaining 30-32 slots. At that point, why do rough breakouts at all? With plenty of money to play with, I’m going to spend heavily early while other owners are still feeling out the field. I did this last season and wound up with Votto at $49 in a league when another manager spent $50 on Eric Hosmer later on. After a few years of waiting things out, I’ve decided it’s a better play to be aggressive and spend early.
Once a large portion of the money is spent, I’ll re-assess need and look for situations where a player is undervalued. For example, I landed Pagan at $5, Soriano at $3, Chapman at $4 and Lynn at $3 later in the draft. When Duda goes for $14, Soriano suddenly seems like an coup. Until you get a feel for the flow of the auction, it will be difficult to assess this. Your time would be better spent finding a dollar value calculator you trust and learning what types of players have value based on the categories in your league. At this point, I can ballpark a value based on player type. If you read the Eaton/Skaggs newsletter, my assessment of Eaton is a glimpse of that. Here’s a great example.
Who’d you rather have as your 3B?
In the 5×5 format we use, Alvarez was worth $21 and Wright was worth $36 in 2012 based on the values I use. I’ll never complain about keeping a 1-1 value like Wright, but in Alvarez, my return is 3.5-1. I’ll keep the excess value, let the auction play out and see if the $27 saved can be spread across a handful of undervalued talents.
Right now, my Experts league team has 11 prospects who combine for $41. That’s heavy for me and I can envision dropping five players valued at $21 total. That leaves me with 8 prospects for $20, which fits into the general prospect strategy I outlined above. Instead of splitting hairs and deciding between prospects OR players, allot your 8-10 spots to prospects and set a target goal for money spent on them. Take names out of the equation and deal with numbers only. When you break down your prospect roster into spots and dollars, it becomes easier to make those decisions.
Of course it’s easier said than done as I’m a Bogaerts and Rosenthal owner. Opposing owners bumped Bogaerts to $7. My mind tells me to cut him, but I’m invested. Admittedly, the players I’ve seen — Especially those I may have broken first — are much more difficult for me to part with.
24 Jan 2014 / Mike Newman /
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