Prepping You for an Ottoneu Initial Auction

If you are a Fantasy Baseball fan and read FanGraphs, you are probably contemplating joining an Ottoneu league, if you have not already. Three years ago, I was in the same boat. I had experience with snake drafts and was looking for something different. Ottoneu provides that. Dynasty, minor league players and owners must win a player through an auction. I took the plunge three years ago and was not prepared for the initial auction and wanted to share my experiences with some advice sprinkled in.

For the initial auction, make sure you can devote the ENTIRE DAY and probably some of the night. With 12 people and 40 players to roster, that is 480 auctions. Not to mention the inevitable mistakes (wrong Raul Mondesi) and an owner’s internet problems (it will happen to at least one person) and someone showing up late. Oh and those sweet, sweet bathroom breaks. This was my first auction, and if you have never done a real one before, you are in for a treat.

In a snake draft, if you pick ninth, there is only a slight chance you will get the stud you want. In an auction, you WILL get him. Just be prepared. If you pick Trout for example, be prepared to be in a bidding war with several other owners. Popularity comes in to play here. There are some players that are first-rounders that just aren’t as popular because they play for a team that everyone in your league hates, or they play on the west coast and your league is filled with east coast snobs. Once you have a player identified, keep bidding until you win him. You are thinking, “But what about the budget? It’s only $400 and there are 40 positions on my roster!” Do not worry about that now. Now is your chance to get the player YOU WANT. Not the player who is the best available based on your random draft position.

So now, you got the player you wanted. The power is coursing through your veins. You feel like you have already won. Snap out of it! That is only one spot filled. You have to start 22 players in total and bench another 18! That stud represents less than 5% of your total starting lineup. A thought will cross your mind that you just spent a big portion of your payroll on less than 5% of your team! What have you done?! If he gets hurt, you are screwed right? Wrong. Do not freak out and sit out bidding for the next several picks to let everyone else’s remaining budgets catch up. Why? Because you will be surprised on the caliber of players won for a buck or two during the final rounds, after everyone has spent most of their money.

It is within the next few rounds where you can still get top-notch talent, but for a lot less than what the first round players went for. Popularity comes into play again here. Ottoneu owners favor young players because they can be kept year-to-year. Use this to your advantage here. It is in these rounds where you can get older studs at a discount. In addition, other owners’ pocketbooks are still stinging from their first round purchase. You can get some very good, post peak, players for around half of what players went for in the first round. Three years ago, I got Beltre and Konerko for less than $20 each. Within these next few rounds, still go after players you want, knowing that the final price will not hit nearly the same astronomical levels as the first round.

After 3 or 4 rounds, you have a nice nucleus of top-notch talent on your squad. This is when you can start looking at the tiers of players within your positional rankings. Also, start paying attention to how many owners are actively bidding up a player you want. You will see many owners bidding small amounts, looking for a bargain. Ignore them. Pay attention to how many owners are bidding as if they really want the player. If several owners are actively bidding, bow out, and go after the next player within the same tier. That next player should have one less owner bidding on him and he should come cheaper.

During the later rounds, start focusing on those high-upside starters, sleeper types. Do not bid on players who might fall to the waiver wire. If your sleepers do not pan out, the waiver wire will have plenty of serviceable players. Furthermore, it is better to see what a players is doing in April before bidding on him. Again, you will be amazed at the player that is won for a few bucks during the last rounds. This is where you will start prospecting. Remember, they are prospects! Do not spend a ton on prospects. The flameout rate is just too high. Another losing endeavor is taking the heir apparent to an older star you got. I took Mike Olt thinking once Beltre hangs them up; Olt will take over and not miss a beat. Minor league prospects change hands more than a $20 bill at a white elephant gift exchange. This combined with their high flameout rate is a doomed strategy. Focus on guys with an ETA of current year + 1 and don’t spend more than a few dollars on each one.

Finally, keep some powder dry for free agents. Every year, players come out of nowhere and surprise everybody. There are less owners actively bidding during the regular season than during the initial auction so the player should cost less. Throughout the season, you can monitor players off to fast starts and check FanGraphs to know when those small sample sizes can start to be taken seriously.



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Trey Baughn
Member
Member

Thanks for the article. I reposted it here (https://ottoneucommunity.slack.com), which is a great outlet for all things Ottoneu.

Ayrahvon
Member
Ayrahvon

How does one join said community? I’m new to this slack business.

Trey Baughn
Member
Member

Need an email address and I can send you an invite. Can DM me on Twitter @fazeorange

Vinculum
Member
Vinculum

Please send me invite. Henry1978j@gmail.com. I don’t have twitter.

TwinsFanMJB
Member
TwinsFanMJB

Could you add me too? Justabitoutside@icloud.com