Archive for Auction

Play For This Year, Not Next

Before I begin, I wanted to get something out of the way first. I have never played in a keeper league for more than a season (therefore never having the opportunity to make keeper selections), and so I might be wrong about my feelings on this strategy. But, I don’t think I am. On Saturday, I was asked to participate in an online auction for a FanGraphs reader who was unable to attend. Being the awesome person that I am and unwilling to pass on a chance to participate in another auction, the player selection format I enjoy significantly more than the snake draft, I said yes with little convincing necessary.

This was a 12-team 5×5 mixed rotisserie keeper league, where if an owner chooses to keep a player, his salary would increase $3. Standard roster size, except the league uses just one catcher instead of two. Oh, and you also use your auction budget ($270, instead of $260) to bid on your 5 reserves. Anyway, having had little experience in a keeper league auction to compare, this one seemed insane. Let me tell you how.

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When Patience is Not a Virtue: The Experts League Auction

Sunday afternoon, the 12 members of the ottoneu FanGraphs Experts League gathered for our annual auction, bidding $1,210 on 174 players over 3 hours and 19 minutes. Thats about 69 seconds and $7 per player. And yet it didn’t take more than about five minutes for arguably the two best values of the day to come off the board.

The first two players tossed out both went for less than what I anticipated them costing – and yet I failed to pull the trigger.

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Rankings-Based Planning: Preparing for Year 2+ in ottoneu

Last week, I talked about the “no-plan plan”, the approach I use for new ottoneu leagues. But that plan isn’t nearly as effective for most players moving into year two or beyond. Some teams are rebuilding, starting almost from scratch, entering the auction with 30 open roster spots and $350 to spend, and for them, last week’s plan is a-ok.

But what about the majority who have 10-15 spots to fill and specific needs? I try to use my rankings to establish the holes in my team, assign dollars to fill those holes, and pick targets who I think can be nabbed for those dollars.

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Free Auction Values

You know what’s better than Steamer-based auction values? Free Steamer-based auction values!

And one last shot at a free FanGraphs Plus subscription too boot.

Guess the player!

One of my profiles:

[Player] is almost an icon: he’s got great real-life value to the [team] while he’s young and cheap, due to his contact rate, nascent patience, and good defense, but none of those things translate well to the fantasy game. You might own him for a stretch next season, but you won’t be happy about it.


Kicking Mocks: My Auction

As long and grueling a process as it may have been, deep down, I still love a good old fashioned auction-style draft (yes, I read the comments on Mike P’s draft recap, so hopefully now, that inane debate doesn’t spill over to here). I love snake-style drafts too, don’t get me wrong. There’s usually a little more chatter and pick praise/criticism because people’s focus isn’t split by steady budget calculations. But in a snake-style draft, you automatically know that there are certain players you won’t get based on your draft position and while you may be making your own picks, your competition’s selections have a much greater impact on the choices you make in each round. In an auction-style draft, within reason, you can have anyone you want so long as you have the money to spend. Technically, everyone is up for grabs. You might have to make a sacrifice or two (or three or four even) to get someone, but it remains your choice whether or not to bid or spend. If you really want a guy, you make sure he is nominated at a time when you have the money to afford him, and probably a few bucks extra in case someone else covets him as much.

That being said, it’s time to talk about this particular mock auction along with my strategy and thought process… Read the rest of this entry »


My Crazy Mock Auction Draft

Yesterday, Eno Sarris published the results of our epic mock auction draft. Lucky for me, I have no life and I love auctions, so I was happy to draft for as long as it took. Heck, I’m ready for another seven hours of drafting already! I am a veteran of auctions, having participated in leagues that use this style since 2001. All the rules were standard, except we had 14 teams, instead of the 12 I have almost always valued players for. In all my years of experience in auctions though, every single draft has taken unexpected twists and turns. This one was no different. This is my crazy mock auction draft story.

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FanGraphs Experts Ottoneu League: Year Two

Last season, I was a part of the FanGraphs Experts Ottoneu League. As there wasn’t a prize and I was in three other leagues, my team fell into disarray pretty quickly and I missed a bunch of opportunities to add good players in the midseason. I finished in 10th place with a team largely deserving of said finish. Therefore, when I heard there would be payouts of $600/$300/$100 for the top three places this year, I had mixed emotions. Payouts for a league I don’t have to pay into? Awesome. But my team sucked, meaning I had a lot of work to do in the auction.

The reason my team didn’t do well is, naturally, because I drafted a lot of bad players. Ottoneu gives players ample chances to make sweeping changes midseason — trading or picking up prospects, acquiring chips to trade in the offseason. But instead I just let it sit, and as such I only had 14 players worth keeping, one of whom was a $63 Albert Pujols. I threw him back knowing I needed a big budget to work with in the auction. As such, I kept the following list:

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My Experience in the FG vs THT League Draft

As Eno pointed out the other day, six of us from FanGraphs/RotoGraphs joined up with six writers from The Hardball Times to do battle in a 12-team rotisserie league for both bragging rights and charity.  The winner gets to donate the prize to the charity of his choice while the site for which he writes gets to reign supreme in the fantasy universe.  Sounds like fun?  Well, you weren’t there for the four-plus hour auction.

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Auction Strategy: Money on the Table

I made a mistake in my latest auction draft. A rookie mistake. I left money on the table. You know what, though — I’m not too worried about it. It was a natural risk that was bred from a few of my main tenets. Here are some of those personal rules — which I may have to alter now that I’m going public — and then I’ll discuss how implementing the rules went in yesterday’s particular draft.

1) Throw guys you don’t want. Bid on them a little bit so people don’t know that you’re throwing guys you don’t want. Watch them spend money on players you don’t want.

2) Budget two dollars for every bench spot. This creates end-game flexibility. You’ll be able to steal everyone’s one-dollar picks.

3) Compare early results for stars to your auction value spreadsheet. Adjust your plan accordingly.

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