How To Get Started Playing Ottoneu

For those following along, Ottoneu is at it’s busiest during these winter months leading up to the start of the next baseball season.  It’s designed that way, and the year-round activity of Ottoneu is one of the features that help set it apart from other fantasy platforms.  As Joe mentioned recently, there are plenty of reasons why you should give Ottoneu a chance this year, but today I want to assume you’ve already seen the light and are ready to sign up.  So, what’s next? Here are a few practical ways to get started once you plug into this great game.

Select Your Game Type

First things first: you’ll need to decide which scoring format suits your interest. Ottoneu offers a nice range of scoring options that include:

Classic: This is rotisserie-style 5 x 5 built into the basic foundation of Ottoneu, which (like all formats) includes 40 man rosters, $400 salary caps, daily lineups, off-season arbitration, and auction-style economics.  If you’ve been playing traditional Roto for years and have interest in Ottoneu, this is a great place to start.

Old School: This is considered the original Ottoneu  (4 x 4) format, and was designed with a sabermetric bent and geared toward power hitters and power pitchers (OBP, SLG, HR, R and ERA, WHIP, HR/9, K).  You can find an example of 4 x 4 standings here.

SABR & FanGraphs Points: Based on linear weights scoring, these two sabermetrically-inclined options are very popular, and it isn’t uncommon to see owners playing in multiple points leagues. Tons of resources and tools are available if you decide to try your hand in one of these advanced scoring leagues.  Standings for a points league look like this.

New: Head to Head is coming to Ottoneu in 2018!

Join the Ottoneu Community

The next step is to join the Ottoneu community, which is essentially a network of hardcore baseball fans chatting about game strategy on a daily basis.  You can jump into this discussion as fast or slow as you like, but you should know the community exists here and here to help you (Ottoneu newbie) learn the game.  Learning any new game can be daunting, but with a constant flow of tools, resources, and conversation, the Ottoneu community is the single best quick start guide available.  Don’t be shy.

Join, Claim, or Create a League

Once you’ve settled on a scoring format and gotten familiar with the community, the next step is to jump into a league head first.  You can jump a number of different directions, however.  The fastest way to get started is to claim a team, giving you the opportunity to jump into an existing league after reviewing rosters, league settings, and even the league message board (a good idea).

Another option is to join a new league that is forming.  New leagues require twelve owners and will be created at a rapid rate over the next few months leading up to spring training, so it’s best to check back often to find the league that’s right for you.

Finally, you can create your own league, which is perfect if you’re thinking about converting your long-standing fantasy league to the Ottoneu platform.  This is also an excellent option for beginners, as Ottoneu “rookie” leagues are starting to become popular.  In the event that you’re creating your own league, you can also recruit Ottoneu owners here and here and here.

Study the Rules

Yes, Ottoneu is a fantasy game, which means you need a good understanding of the rules to play it well.  Study hard, respect the rules, and don’t be afraid to ask for clarification if you get stuck.

Understand the Salaries

One of the more difficult aspects of Ottoneu is learning how players are valued.  In a universe where every player is auctioned at a price, it is sometimes difficult to grasp how production translates into dollars.  One quick way to get acquainted with player salaries is to review the Average Salaries report in the “Tools” section of your league home page.  This report provides a master list of players and their eligible positions throughout Ottoneu, but it can also be a good resource for new owners who are trying to get an idea of what a player like Mike Trout costs across other leagues (by scoring format).  These averages will fluctuate over time as leagues add and cut players (fairly stable during the off-season), and while an average will never be a perfect representation of value in the context of your own league, it will at least give you a baseline for understanding the relationship between production, value, and salary.

Immerse Yourself in the Game

Finally, get familiar with all the Ottoneu resources available to you with the click of a button. Check out RotoGraphs frequently for weekly Ottoneu content, and dig into the community to ask questions, gather information, and receive feedback before your season begins.  Peruse some Ottoneu basics, and review the trade feed (helpful for those inheriting an existing roster).  There are no wrong questions here because we’re all learning together.  Ottoneu is a terrific game and a worthy challenge, and the fact that a large, healthy community of owners is chatting daily about game strategy is evidence enough that Ottoneu is here to stay.  Join us!

More Ottoneu Resources

10 Tips for Ottoneu Rookies

Why You Should Play Ottoneu

The Ottoneu Community

The Math of Winning Ottoneu

Auction Values for Ottoneu

Ready, Fire, Aim

The Cap Space Delimma

How Loans Work in Ottoneu

The Roster Organizer

Approaching the Trade Deadline

Production, Salary, Surplus, Value

Ottoneu Trade Deadline

Arbitration Omnibus



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Trey is a 20 year fantasy veteran and a five time Ottoneu champion, including the 2015 winner of the Ottoneu Champions League. He currently administers the Ottoneu community, a network of ~1,000 fantasy baseball and football fans. More resources here: http://community.ottoneu.com

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