Six years ago, a friend of mine emailed me in response to me asking if we were going to continue our fantasy baseball league. He proposed playing a completely new game and asked if I was up for helping him run the league. We had been playing traditional fantasy baseball for a few years, but the format of the standard 5×5 12 team league was getting annoying on multiple fronts. We had all recently read Moneyball by Michael Lewis, so our interest in prospects and sabermetrics were both at an all-time high. Between snake drafts and strange waiver wire rules, we were also getting fed up with the arbitrary nature of player acquisitions. As a result of these factors, my friend proposed ottoneu Fantasy Baseball, and now I am happy and excited to share this game with FanGraphs.
The game is not a typical league-based fantasy baseball game. Instead of snake drafts, every player is acquired via auction, either in the auction draft before each regular season or by 2-day blind auctions during the season. Instead of keeping 0 players or 3 players or 5 players, you have the option to keep everyone on your 40-man roster, as long as your budget can handle the salaries. Instead of considering just the current season, teams are constantly thinking about how to get competitive and stay competitive. Of course, the player universe is one of the deepest available, which demands a strong awareness of the next generation of baseball superstars.
I believe this format is a great fit here. Considering value for both this year and the next is outside the scope of traditional fantasy games, but it is not outside the scope of Major League front offices, FanGraphs writers, or FanGraphs’s readership. I also think the 3 scoring styles will be of interest, with traditional 5×5, sabermetrically-inclined 4×4, and pure sabermetric linear weights options.
We have been playing this game ever since my friend proposed it. We believe it is a well-balanced introduction to the world of auction dynasty fantasy baseball. My hope is that you will find it to be a compelling and fun game. Like I always say, you haven’t really played fantasy baseball until you’ve discussed the merits of trading $14 Matt Garza for $4 Brett Lawrie or pondered swapping $42 Adam Dunn for $46 Chase Utley (both actual trades from this past off-season), let alone put your faith in keeping a $30 Jay Bruce in the hopes that he finally breaks out for a full season. In case you were wondering, I am quite bullish on Jay Bruce for 2011.
If you find this at all interesting, please read more about the game on our support page, and consider creating or joining a league. Regularly priced at $19.99 for a full season, we will be refunding the fee for the first 100 sign-ups, and discounting to $9.99 until the end of February. I’ll be roaming these hallowed grounds to answer any questions you might have, but you can also reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org or via twitter (@ottoneu). I hope you find ottoneu Fantasy Baseball to be different, thought-provoking, and fun!