ottoneu News: Keeper Deadline, Abandoned Teams

Despite the Seattle storm (not to be confused with the Seattle Storm) that has me snowed in, baseball is actually just around the corner. Pitchers and catchers are due to report in about a month, fantasy auctions are on the calendar, and all ottoneu players are fretting over their keeper decisions.

With that in mind, there are three topics that readers have been asking about that deserve some attention today: 1) Keeper decisions, 2) Filling abandoned teams, 3) Starting new teams and leagues.

Keeper Deadline
We are down to less than two weeks to make pre-auction cuts. The deadline is January 31 — cuts need to be made by midnight ET on that night — and I have heard from some ottoneu owners who are struggling to determine who is worth keeping and who isn’t.

I’ve talked keepers a couple times before, and taking a look at those articles (and attending the Friday chats) can help, but here are a few quick tips and tricks:

  1. 1) Use the roster analyzer to set a lineup with the guys you plan to keep and make sure you are not doing anything that doesn’t make sense. You may have 39 guys who are worth keeping at their price, but if none of them play MI, you probably shouldn’t keep them all. By setting a fake lineup, you can find the holes in your roster, figure out how many players you need to add, and get a sense of how much money you need to have free. It will help you make tough choices when you can see where guys fit in your roster.
  2. 2) If you are unsure about a guy, check out the options other owners have at that same position. If you are thinking of cutting a guy at a position that everyone will be buying, the market will probably outpace your expectations, and it may make sense to keep the guy.
  3. 3) Anticipate inflation compared to year one. Going into year two, every owner will have their Michael Morse or Jason Kipnis or Jhonny Peralta — a guy who they had for cheap and now get to pencil in as a solid starter. That means that they have spent under the market at those positions and have more cap space available for the rest of their roster.
  4. 4) You want to keep value and production, but keep in mind that production can be bought — value cannot. What I mean by this is, we are all pretty confident in what Albert Pujols and Miguel Cabrera will do next year. But if you have them, you are probably paying $50+ for them, and while they might slightly outperform that, the chances are you can replace that $55-$60 of production by spending $55-$60 in the auction. But if you have the aforementioned Morse at $5, well, you have to spend $30 or more to replace the production you are expecting there.
  5. 5) There is still time to make trades! Guys from point 1 who are worth keeping but don’t fit? Swap them for guys who do.

Abandoned Teams
A few leagues have had teams jump ship (suckers! ottoneu leagues get so much more interesting over time — those of you who quit a team have made a huge mistake), which means there are existing teams up for grabs. And, conveniently, there is a new feature that can help owners find teams (and commissioners find owners). There is now a place to claim abandoned teams.

League commissioners, if you go to your league homepage and click “Commissioner Tools,” you can set any team in your league to “Abandoned” status. I recommend doing this right now, since I am about to tell prospective owners where to find those teams.

Now that the commissioners have done that, those of you who would like to claim an abandoned team, go to this link and find the team of your dreams.

There are some real benefits to grabbing an existing team, rather than starting from scratch — you know the other owners in the league are committed; you potentially have a decent base to start from; the auction won’t be quite as long. But for those who would rather start fresh…

New Leagues
…you can either join a league someone else has put together or put together your own league.




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Chad Young is a product manager at Amazon by day and a baseball writer (RotoGraphs, Let's Go Tribe), sports fan and digital enthusiast at all times. Follow him on Twitter @chadyoung.


17 Responses to “ottoneu News: Keeper Deadline, Abandoned Teams”

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  1. nickkappel says:

    Looking to join a FanGraphs points league for $49.99. I would prefer to start from scratch, but would also welcome the challenge of claiming an abandoned team. Any takers?

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  2. lankhaar says:

    Snowed in today too.

    At what point could you be keeping too many players? If you can field a whole 25 man roster you’re happy with should you keep prospects and/or marginal contributors at borderline prices (in the $4-$7 range), or just dump them all and try to further improve in the draft?

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    • Chad Young says:
      FanGraphs Supporting Member

      I don’t think there is an inherent “too many keepers” cut off. In one of my leagues, I am expecting to keep 36 guys. And that includes most of my prospects and a number of borderline players. In that league, I think I can field a competitive team by adding one bat and one arm, and I have the money for that.

      At that point, the question with borderline players is, “Can I get this guy back for cheaper/replace him with someone more useful?” I have a $5 Garrett Jones. I think a $5 Garrett Jones has his uses. I also think that if I cut Garrett Jones, I can probably get him back for less, or use that $5 on a prospect/bench player who has more upside. On the other hand, I have a $4 Eric Thames and a $4 Juan Franisco – both are borderline, but I like their upside and so I am going to hold them. But if I had more needs to fill, I would cut them.

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  3. Congo Hammer says:

    Do you think Peralta can repeat or approach his 2011 production? Especially after VMart going down, I’m thinking about dealing him… maybe for someone like Mark Reynolds.

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    • Chad Young says:
      FanGraphs Supporting Member

      Something around .275/.330/.430 with 17 HR seems right-ish. Depending on how they replace Vic, his RBI/R numbers may change, but that might be good. He hit 6th/7th last year most of the time. If no Victor moves him up a slot, he may have more RBI chances.

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  4. Kyle says:

    What if you aren’t sure that a team is abandoned yet, and find out after Jan. 31st that it is? Then how can the new team cut players without the penalty?

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    • Chad Young says:
      FanGraphs Supporting Member

      I’d give the owner a deadline (say, 1/24?) and if they don’t commit until then, open their team up to the public. Have to work that out within the league, though.

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  5. Kyle says:

    Need to figure out if I should keep A-Gonz (47) and Zimm (34) in ottoneu original. I am very much in contention, I just am not sure if I could get them back for cheaper. Inflation might say no, but they are probably worth less than this. Anyone help?

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    • Chad Young says:
      FanGraphs Supporting Member

      Replacing either of those guys will cost you at least close to the same, maybe more. Do you have decent options behind them? If not, I am not sure I would risk dropping both of them to save a $3-$5 (and maybe less). If you have a decent option behind one or both, then it makes sense to let them walk.

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  6. Matt Mosher says:
    FanGraphs Supporting Member

    I would really like to do an Ottoneu classic for $50…new or existing.

    If anyone reads this and sees a match, hit me up…

    mattmosher37@gmail.com

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  7. Brad Johnson says:
    FanGraphs Supporting Member

    I’ve decided to abandon my team. I won last year and my roster is pretty nasty, it would be hard not to win with it next year too. I can provide the information for it if someone wants an easy job in 2012.

    It’s in the $20, no payout format. My question is, should I relinquish the team now and hope somebody takes over in the next 10 days or should I make cuts and then relinquish control?

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  8. Steve Lidd says:

    Brad Johnson: I would love to take over your ottoneau team. Please email me at slidd@verizon.net. Just curious, why did you decide not to return to defend your title? Look forward to getting your information.

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  9. Steve Lidd says:

    Chad – I just tried to claim a team on the abandoned team site but I get a “sorry there was an error” message. Can this be fixed?

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  10. William says:

    I just claimed a team, but it says renew for 9.99 by February 14. Is this a glitch?

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    • Chad Young says:
      FanGraphs Supporting Member

      Probably should have been more clear – it is free to CLAIM an abandoned team, and if that abandoned team doesn’t come up for renewal before the season, you can play until it is time to renew at no cost. However, for most of the teams, once you have claimed them, you will likely have to be pay the renewal before the season in order to participate in the auction/season. Sorry if this caused any confusion.

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