Archive for Ottoneu

Ottoneu Trinkets And Assorted Gobbledygooks

Are you ready to be shocked? I’m having trouble selling my $3 Alex Rodriguez. Also my $7 Billy Hamilton, $5 Shane Victorino, $4 Jesse Chavez, and $4 Neftali Feliz to name a few. Unsurprisingly, nobody is busting down my door to own my collection of down-roster bench fodder. Yet I’m pretty sure a guy like Victorino will go for more than $5 on draft day. Somebody will pony up for the latest shot at a Hamilton breakout. My inability to find back end starters has me ready to keep Chavez for myself. Essentially, I’m confident there is cause for somebody to keep these players, even if they possess a second order sort of value.

This puts me in a bit of a pickle. My latest roster tinker session has me at 29 roster spots (of 40) and $286 (of $400) committed to players I consider to be my core. I need a starting third baseman, some kind of middle infielder, and a couple starting pitchers. And then there are the gobbledygooks. I have something like 13 of them. Nine of them, like Victorino, are on what I consider keepable prices – in a fringy sort of sense. The others might still be somebody else’s keeper.

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Ottoneu Strategy: Going For Broke

A couple weeks ago, I covered the ever-fascinating topic of rebuilding. The crux of my rebuild strategy is to target valuable major league talent rather than a boatload of prospects. Your season will be more fun, and you can trade your talent for the best building blocks during the season. Now it’s time to look at the opposite perspective of the rebuild – going for broke.

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Ottoneu Offseason: Be Deliberate And Methodical

The Phillies “rebuild” (or lack thereof) is a common source of scorn around these parts, but there’s a method to their madness. Interim team president Pat Gillick spoke with reporters on Monday about the club’s plans, and his comments resonated with me. The Phillies are in the same position as I was in ottoneu last offseason – few real assets with a need to get younger and cheaper. And so, today’s topic is about being methodical.

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Ottoneu Rebuild Strategy

Any keeper league that allows offseason trading will have its share of rebuilding teams. The guy who drafted Chris Davis, Joey Votto, and Cliff Lee will need time to recover from those dreadful picks. If the standard of excellence is high enough in your league, a perfectly adequate roster might still qualify for a touch of rebuilding.

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Should Vetoes Be Allowed?

Vetoes are a popular check and balance to the trade market, but it’s unclear whether they should even be allowed in most leagues. I have a firm opinion on the topic, but my main goal is to create a discussion about the pros and cons of trade vetoes as we head into Thanksgiving break.

The purpose of the veto is to prevent unfair trades from affecting the league. It seems, in theory, to suggest an owner’s sole sources of surplus value should be from the draft or waiver wire. They should not be able to acquire surplus value from their rivals.

This argument holds more merit in a league with widely varying skill levels. For example, if you put Eno Sarris and your mom into the same league, it stands to reason that Eno would have a big advantage. Eno’s probably many, many times better at fantasy baseball than your mom. Probably.

There’s nothing wrong with unbalanced leagues, the kind that let co-workers, families, or childhood friends share something over which to bond. However, judging from the comments here on RotoGraphs, most of you are in cutthroat leagues with a competitive field of owners. I’m sure there are one or two laggards, but every owner knows what they’re doing.

In such an environment, the use case for a veto is seemingly marginalized. If everybody knows what they’re doing, then a seemingly lopsided trade was made intentionally. Unless you can prove collusion, it’s probably just a case of divergent values. Is it fair to veto a trade because one owner sees things differently than the majority of the league?

Let’s consider the Mike Trout trade I discussed on Monday in the ottoneu league FanGraphs Staff Two.

I received:

$55 Mike Trout
$14 Jonathan Lucroy

A rival received:

$5 Corey Seager
$4 Steven Souza
$3 Jace Peterson

The general assessment was that I rooked my rival. One commenter said he would consider a veto of this trade. However, another commenter did the math using Steamer values and found that both Trout and Lucroy are overpriced. My own price sheet has them as slight values, but only because I manipulate what I consider the “neutral price” to favor skill sets I like.

So we have a trade where sentiment strongly favors me, but the math is less rosy. Moreover, this is a situation where mine was perhaps the only team that could afford to acquire Trout. His owner would have been forced to cut other high quality players like Robinson Cano, Stephen Strasburg, or David Price if he kept Trout. With their price tags, those players wouldn’t have returned much.

This is a situation where both owners accomplished a specific, reasonable goal, and the math is at least somewhat supportive of the trade being fair. By comparison, if I had made the same trade in a standard Yahoo league, one where prospects hold almost no value, there would be a stronger cause for a veto.

In a competitive league, the best remedy to an owner who consistently makes bad trades is to replace him or her. Using the veto is simply masking the symptoms of a broken league. I’ve seen leagues where trading stops completely, owners leave, or the veto is used tactically to prevent other rivals from improving.

My advice regarding vetoes is to enact a league constitution with clear guidelines regarding when a veto can be used. In my own leagues, a trade must be “clearly unconscionable.” Owners participating in such trades, especially the seller, are subject to removal at the commissioner’s discretion.

These are some of my high level thoughts about vetoes. They’re a dangerous tool that can take away from the enjoyment of a league. A veto is like taking advil for a sore pitching shoulder. It will mask the pain, but it won’t fix your problem. In fact, if you keep pitching, the advil will just let you do more damage. Vetoes are the same way, they just make the league even worse. I always prefer to attack the cause of a problem rather than a symptom.

I didn’t mean to make this so much about how I feel, it just happened that way. Mainly, I’m interest in how you feel about vetoes. So get to it.


Offseason Fantasy Blockbusters

Ottoneu is a year-round fantasy baseball platform developed by Lord of Shadows Niv Shah. You probably know that. The arbitration period ended on November 14, and trading began the next day. In the writer’s league, FanGraphs Staff Two, a pair of blockbuster trades were consummated on the very first day of trading. Today, we’ll discuss those trades and the perspective of each owner involved.
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Ottoneu Offseason: Maintain A Full Roster

The ottoneu offseason is great simply because it’s an actual offseason. All other popular fantasy platforms fall into a winter coma unless the commissioner moves the league to a spreadsheet. While other leagues are snoozing, ottoneu arbitration season is over and trade season has just begun. Today’s lesson isn’t about the trade market, it’s an exhortation to avoid an ottoneu faux pas.
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Ottoneu Arbitration Omnibus

For those rare few of you who follow me personally, you may have noticed that I’ve written an ottoneu topic about once a week. This is, in fact, by design. Presently, the topic du jour is “arbitration,” which ends on Friday, November 14.

However, I appear to have exhausted all topics related to arbitration – at least those that interest me. Fortunately, I am a fan of omnibuses (omnibi?), and it seems like the perfect time to create one for ottoneu arbitration. If you still need to make or tinker with your arbitration choices, the following content should prove educational.

There are two systems of arbitration: voting and allocation. Most leagues use allocations. An asterisk indicates that the article is intending for voting leagues. I’ve organized the omnibus into sections: intro, intermediate, and advanced.

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Tinkering With Ottoneu Arbitration Selections

Ottoneu arbitration ends on November 14. We’re edging closer to the conclusion of voting season and the beginning of trading season. In FanGraphs Staff Two, 10 out of 12 teams have submitted their allocations. Now makes for a good time to tinker with my initial picks. You can read about my first pass through arbitration here.

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Ottoneu Tactics: Who To Arbitrate, Early Trade Thoughts

We’ll talk about two separate tactical topics today, because neither is really sufficient to carry a post by itself.
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