The Experts League Auction Is Here!
The Ottoneu Experts League auction is today and I’m feeling the pressure.. Having won the league by 25.5 points in 2012, I enter today as the frontrunner, but with a noticeably weaker roster having released David Wright, Ryan Braun and Hanley Ramirez back into the free agent pool. With $121 to spend on 13 players, there’s no way to recoup the lost value at auction. But this is the purpose of the new Ottoneu arbitration rules, right? Consider it fantasy baseball socialism (in a good way).
To begin prepping, I first had to determine need by evaluating the 27 keepers currently on the roster. Below is the planning spreadsheet I maintain to guide roster moves. Position headers shaded green are areas of strength. Those shaded yellow need reinforcements via the auction. Also remember player prices are in ( ) while the number with a dollar sign is value produced in 2012. When reviewing these, remember values are over a full season and partial seasons will be artificially deflated. This is why Machado, Simmons, Perez, Rosenthal and Rizzo are so low.
If you recall my previous newsletter on Ottoneu roster construction, I like to keep 8-10 minors at all times and allot $20 of my budget to them. With five minors totaling $13, having to add five more on the cheap helps . Instead of spending an average of $9.31 per player (121/13), I’ll separate my auction into two buckets.
$11 for five minors
$120 for eight Major Leaguers
This way, I have a bit of breathing room on the active roster and my average price per player jumps to $13.75.
Next, let’s look at what’s available in free agency. Once again, I’ll use a spreadsheet with players and 2012 values with a focus on positions of need. Players in green are targets. Those in red, or listed as THROWS will be the first players I post to force money from the auction. The remaining players are those I want to keep an eye on and bid if the price is right. This is especially important late as it’s easy to forget about players who were injured in 2012, or coming off bad seasons.
Top targets include:
M-INF: Hanley Ramirez/Brandon Phillips
OF: Jacoby Ellsbury/Carl Crawford
Bench: Danny Espinosa/Jayson Werth
SP: Matt Garza/Ryan Dempster
Dollar Store: Ivan Nova, Brian Roberts, Stephen Drew, Delmon Young, Andy Pettitte, Carter Capps, Chris Archer, Neftali Feliz, Anthony Gose, Arodys Vizcaino (Not listed on spread)
Prospects: Rubby De La Rosa, Xander Bogaerts, Carlos Correa, Byron Buxton, David Dahl (I basically want the guys I dropped back, but at a cheaper price)
The beauty of auction leagues is how much strategy changes from year-to-year. Last season, I entered the auction with money to burn and spent more on Braun, Ramirez and Wright than I have for 13 players today. For star power, I’m forced to take chances on players coming off of injury as any player who crosses $35 is out of my price range.
By the time you read this, my auction will be winding down. As your day of reckoning approaches, I’m hoping my process helps you plan for a successful season. The names change. The prices change, but a consistent and simple planning strategy will help any owner roll with the punches an auction is bound to throw.
24 Jan 2014 / Mike Newman /
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