Archive for Auction

Ottoneu: First Impressions

2018 is here, and the dawn of a new year is the best time to reevaluate your overall fantasy strategy.  But before digging into the finer points of roster construction, auction value calculations, and post-post-hype sleepers, January is also the perfect time to step back and ask whether it might be time to trade in your entire fantasy experience for one of the more advanced, up-and-coming fantasy platforms around.

This is a shameless plug for Ottoneu, a fantasy sports platform so addicting that it has also launched a community of more than 1,000 hardcore baseball fans that sleep and eat baseball year round.  But don’t take my word for it.  There are many reasons why you should try Ottoneu (including some exciting new features launching in 2018), but today I want you to hear from some of the “rookies” who just finished up their first full year of Ottoneu in 2017. This growing community of raving fans is a big part of the Ottoneu experience, and their Season One feedback may help you make the final decision to drive your own league to Ottoneu in 2018.

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The Ohtani Rule

The Japanese sensation Shohei Ohtani is finally coming to MLB (and more specifically to the Angels), and in doing so will become the trailblazer that sets a new expectation for the future of the (possible) “two-way” player.  Because salaries and injuries continue to escalate in the game, a true double threat major leaguer is still hard to imagine in baseball, but if the 23 year old Ohtani does become the first player since Babe Ruth to make a regular impact on both sides of the ball, he will change the landscape of fantasy baseball, too.

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Top 50 Ranked Players: Value vs. ADP

“Long ago, Ben Graham taught me that ‘Price is what you pay; value is what you get.’ Whether we’re talking about socks or stocks,

… or fantasy baseball players

I like buying quality merchandise when it is marked down.” –Warren Buffett

Collecting as much value (talented players) from as little possible resources (draft picks or auction dollars) is the key to starting off a winning fantasy season. From now until each draft, owners should be trying to calculate player values and the possible range of outcomes. With these value ranges in mind, owners can use their draft resources to get the best deals. It’s time to start finding those deals.

To find the bargains, player values first need to be calculated. To create the values, I will use the average final standings from the 32 leagues in the 2017 NFBC Main Event (15 team, 5×5 roto with AVG).

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How To Talk Trade 2.0

I once took an excellent training course on effective communication.  At the beginning of the course, our teacher started with a game:

In my hand is an envelop with a $10 bill inside.  I want one of you in this room to take the deal I’m offering you.  I’m going to ask you a simple trivia question and, if you get it right, you get the ten dollars.  But if you get it wrong, you owe me two dollars.  However, if you don’t know the answer, you can ask one person in the room for help.  Who wants to volunteer?

After a few moments of people looking at each other wondering what the catch might be, I volunteered.  “How many states make up the United States?”, he asked.

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Black Friday Bargains

It’s probably been awhile since you’ve read a traditional “buy low, sell high” article.  In today’s golden age of baseball analytics where complex physics and statistics can be boiled down to a few simple indicators accessed instantly using one hand, it’s not very often that we (readers, fans, fantasy players) find ourselves in possession of knowledge before the masses.  For example, try “selling” Avisail Garcia and his recent .375 wOBA around your league without getting some type of response that includes “yeah, but he had a .392 BABIP”.

Thankfully, despite all the data available at our fingertips, the one ingredient that will always play a critical role in the mixture of value is the human element of perception, which can swing wildly in different directions depending who you’re dealing with.  Today I’d like to isolate a few players who’s perception may be suppressing their actual value a little more than it should be, which may represent a buying opportunity for savvy fantasy owners prepping for 2018.  The good news is you don’t have to stand in line to land these deals, but you will still need to get them early.

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Auction Calculator Results: Starting Pitcher Tiers

The Auction Calculator is now loaded with the 2017 end-of-season data along with some 2018 projections. I’m sure the preceding comment will be sufficient to keep many readers busy for a while. I’m glad some came back. While its output can lead down several different discussion paths, I’m going to analyze what I consider to be the third starting pitcher tier. I feel many 2018 leagues will be won or lost by navigating this minefield.

So far this offseason, fantasy owners have placed four starters (Kluber, Kershaw, Sale, and Scherzer) in the top tier, After those four, I believe there are a dozen or so pitchers who would make acceptable aces, especially if they can be doubled up with another pitcher from this tier.

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2018 Top 100 Fantasy Prospects: First Look

Happy Game 7 Day!

About a year ago I released my (2017) Top 50 Fantasy Prospect rankings using the Prospect Scorecard to weight a variety of important variables in the context of fantasy baseball.  Today I’m publishing an (early) expanded list of the Top 100 Fantasy Prospects for 2018 for both Ottoneu’s FanGraphs Points leagues (where wOBA is a key measure on offense) and Roto leagues (5 x 5).

A few quick notes before we begin:

  • Since “Cost” is league-dependent (auction salary, keeper round, etc.), I’ve ignored it here for simplicity by keeping it constant for every prospect listed. Feel free to use the Scorecard to make changes that reflect true player costs for your league, which will impact these rankings.
  • These rankings below are intended to represent the 100 most valuable prospects for fantasy leagues (depending on scoring format).
  • It’s quite possible I’m missing an obvious player that should be ranked, so let me know in the comments.  We can discuss the specific rationale for player rankings in the comments, too.  Player ages are current ages.
  • For a lot more prospect resources, check out the Ottoneu community.

Here are the (early) 2018 Top 100 prospects for the linear-weights-based FanGraphs Points scoring format (a good proxy for those in OBP leagues):

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How To Win Ottoneu: An Interview with Keith Smith

Last year I interviewed Brent Daily, winner of the 2016 Ottoneu Champions league.  This year I’ve done the same by  interviewing Keith Smith, who led his Harrisburg Mayflies to a dominant victory in 2017.

Q: Well done on a big victory in 2017.  How long have you been playing fantasy baseball?

I started playing in the late 80’s. I forget the exact year but I remember Carney Lansford dominating. Stepped away for a number of years but got hooked again when a friend introduced me to Ottoneu.

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2017 Bargain Hitters

Justin Vibber has released his final 2017 dollar values by player.  I’ve captured Ottoneu average player salaries as of the end of the season (prior to inflation and arbitration).  Let’s combine the two to determine which hitters were the best bargains of 2017, and take a quick look at what might be in the crystal ball for 2018.

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Arbitration Advice from the Community

Sunday, October 15th is a significant signpost for the fantasy baseball off-season as it marks the beginning of Ottoneu arbitration, the 30 day process that helps leagues maintain competitive, economic balance. Ottoneu offers a ton of great features in its standard platform, but there are few more intimidating to a brand new owner than this annual salary-sharing arbitration event. Here is a summary of the more popular “allocation” option:

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