A beginner’s guide to auction draft nominations

Now that Yahoo! is entering its second year offering the auction draft option, more and more fantasy owners are opting for the budget-oriented alternative to the boring old snake draft. Auction drafts truly are fantastic for the fantasy baseball enthusiast. Whether you want to take “Stars and Scrubs” to a new level by purchasing Albert Pujols, Hanley Ramirez and Robinson Cano or you want to stock up on a deep, mid-tier roster, the auction draft gives you the freedom to pursue your fantasy dreams in new and exciting ways.

The auction draft does come at a price. First, they typically run nearly twice as long as a standard snake draft, making them a real investment in time and patience. Second, a successful auction draft almost certainly depends on having intimate knowledge of the entire player universe. And last—but not at all least—auto-draft really does not work. Not only will auto-draft ruin your team, it also lowers the quality of the draft for live bidders.

One of the most interesting dynamics of the auction draft is the nomination process. Typically, owners are free to nominate any player they want. The default nomination bid is $1, although a higher opening bid is allowed. What this means is that if nobody else bids on a player, the person who nominated him wins the round.The first pick of the draft could be Albert Pujols for $45 or it could be Mike Adams for $1. It’s up to the individual owners to decide who gets bid on and when. This brings us to the topic of today’s conversation: nomination strategy.

Unlike snake drafts, where ADP might cause you to pass on Drew Stubbs in the ninth round because you’re fairly certain he’ll still be there in the 13th, auction drafts virtually eliminate the chance that you’ll miss your favorite sleepers. The benefits of even a perfectly-executed nomination strategy are difficult to tangibly quantify. Yet a systematic approach to the nomination process could save you several dollars throughout the draft, dollars that can be used to increase your roster’s talent level.

Strategy No. 1: Never nominate a player you want

Most people figure out this strategy within the first 20 picks of their first mock auction. The purpose of this strategy is to eat up the payroll and roster space of your rivals with players that you don’t want anywhere near your roster. This, in turn, should lessen the pressure later on when players you do want are nominated.

Simply target any player you consider overrated and let your rivals go to town. This can be especially useful when you know something about your league mates. For instance, say you know that your rival has an unreasonable interest in the Yankees. Early nominations of Derek Jeter, Mark Teixeira, and Cano could leave at least one opponent hamstrung by the time your real targets are nominated.

Because many fantasy owners strive for impartial analysis, it is unlikely this strategy will accomplish much. While you may cripple the riffraff early, the other “smart” owners will reap the same benefits as you do. In fact, chances are they’re pursuing the same approach. Keep an eye out for this.

When it’s obvious owners are nominating players they think are overrated, sometimes a real asset sneaks out into the pool. In my home league last year, I thought I was going to hoodwink someone with Paul Konerko. He ended up going for a mere $3 (to an auto-drafter, no less) and put together his best campaign ever.

This strategy can be very entertaining when one owner pursues an extreme stars-and-scrubs approach. It’s not unusual for this type of owner to win five, six, or seven players in the first 20 minutes and then be forced to practically sit out the draft for the next two hours. If you manage to sneak a couple of duds onto that roster in the process, kudos to you.

Strategy No. 2: Nominate players you do want (in conjunction with strategy No. 1)

It is probably a bad idea to nominate your targets from the outset of the draft. Once everyone starts to settle in and you have established a pattern of nominating players that you really do not like, switch up the strategy and put forward a target.

You should use a very specific type of target for this strategy. Post-hype players like B.J. Upton and Vernon Wells probably work best. With any luck, your rivals will share your assumed skepticism and bid sparingly.

If you want to get the most out of this strategy, be sure to heckle owners when they win your nominated duds. Complain vigorously when you “accidentally” win your targets.

Strategy No. 3: Nominate players only you want

The purpose of this strategy is pretty simple. By stocking up on the back end of your roster early in the auction, more dollars and concentration can be focused on your expensive targets. With this strategy, you are looking for players who will cost only $1. They should be the type of player that you will happily allow a rival to take for $2 or more.

The easiest players to target with this strategy are elite, non-closer relievers. In any given week, a trio of Adams, Luke Gregerson, and Hong-Chih Kuo can be counted on to out-pitch Tim Lincecum. If you are willing to trade two roster spots and a few wins for $30-ish and superior rate stats, this might be a strategy to consider.

Other players you can target are prospects that you intend to stash (I did this with Carlos Santana last season) or potentially decent players with job uncertainty. Think of the Brent Morels and Dayan Viciedos of the world for this latter category.

The risk of this strategy is knowing when to stop. Late in the draft, you might learn that players you didn’t expect to be around for under $5 are still sitting on the board. You’ll be kicking yourself if Ryan Madson is standing between you and a legitimate breakout candidate.

Strategy No. 4: Trick your rivals into joining the party (with strategy No. 3)

This is where the draft chat could prove useful. Owners often comment on the perceived draft strategies of other owners. Perhaps they are trying to prevent a rival from building too much value without risking his own resources. For example, maybe they don’t want to own Kenley Jansen for $2, but they don’t want you to own him for $1 either.

Sometimes after you acquire a decent $1 player early in the draft, the chatters will take notice. Take advantage of their attention by nominating somebody you expect to blow up in their faces. A reliever who notoriously struggles in April could make a good target, or maybe a truly execrable fantasy starting pitcher like Livan Hernandez or John Lannan. If your league mates have taken the bait, they will spend $2 or more on a player who could do a little damage to their roster.

Don’t forget to congratulate the winning bidder for picking up such a cheap “breakout” candidate (replace “breakout” with phrase of choice).

Strategy No. 5: Bid on everybody, win few

This is not a nomination strategy per se, but couples well with strategies No. 1 and No. 2. The rationale is simple: If you are always seen to be among the last bidders for a player, including those that you nominate, nobody will have any idea when you actually want a player. This will prevent your rivals from bidding on your target just to make you pay an extra $5. Once this pattern is established, you can mix the first two nomination strategies at your discretion.

The risk in this strategy is obvious: Don’t get caught overbidding. You will catch the occasional player you did not intend to draft, although this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Last year, Miguel Cabrera and David Wright both fell into my lap for $29 due to this strategy.

In conclusion, these are some useful tricks you can use in an auction draft to gain some value from your nominations. The more believable misinformation you spread via the chat feature, the easier this becomes. Readers with their own nomination strategies are encouraged to share.

Print Friendly
 Share on Facebook0Tweet about this on Twitter0Share on Google+0Share on Reddit0Email this to someone
« Previous: 2011 Aversion all stars: part II
Next: The virtual 1951-58 Pittsburgh Pirates (Part 2: 1953-54) »

Comments

  1. Will Hatheway said...

    Thanks for this article … I want some more auction love on these sites!

    I read with interest about your “Mike Adams’” of the world, because creating a “composite ace” with just such guys is a favorite of mine, but I wasn’t sure if nominating them early could hurt because, while others are still flush, they might chuck a few bucks when otherwise I might get them for a buck at the end. Of course, that means I need to have the discipline none seem to actually have to have a few dollars over minimum left over at the end to ensure rostering them.

    My question: do you really think you can nominate these guys early and walk away with them for just a dollar? and without alerting your league mates to your ace-setup guy strategy?

  2. Brad Johnson said...

    I’ve always kind of eschewed MDC-ish stuff. I know that average cost type stats are just going to give me priors that could conflict with my goals. The less I muddy my instincts with average costs, the sharper I am. Besides, the more competitive the league, the less useful those average stats become.

    So to answer your question, I don’t know where to go offhand.

    As for the composite ace question, I suppose it’s a matter of knowing your league. For instance, in the leagues I’ve played in recent years, non-closer relief aces tend to get shuffled on and off rosters all the time. I’m almost hoping my opponents bid $2-3 for a Mike Adams because I know that in all likelihood, Adams will become available sometime in May because he had a bad week or his owner decided to add a flaky closer instead.

    If an opposing owner goes into the draft planning to build a composite ace, then you may be playing into his hand. I find that a surprising number of owners really don’t have a plan for non-closer relief aces. If one of those bids, it’s just to spite you, in which case you’ve thrown off his own draft strategy (unless his strategy is to spite you).

  3. Ian said...

    I have been able to get a rough estimate of average auction value from the formula

    AAV($) = 55-9.6*LN(ADP)

    I figured that out a few years ago from ESPN data, you can replace the 55 with whatever you expect the top player to go for. 

    It’s not perfect, but it will give you some idea.

  4. Will Hatheway said...

    Thanks Ian!

    Brad – agreed on eschewing MDC … I just wanted to get a generic sense of the market. I certainly don’t let those values hold me back, but I enjoy getting a sense of what sort of squad I might be able to put together (e.g. say I don’t get Votto when I planned him plus Cain; is it possible, then, to pay the same I projected for them as to get Fielder and Kershaw, etc.).

  5. Brad Johnson said...

    I’m a little unusual in that I take a lot of joy from improvising. So for most fantasy drafts, my prep work consists solely of learning which guys I like a lot and which guys I don’t like.

  6. Bob said...

    Good info thanks Brad. Are there any other sites that you can do a mock auction other than CBS and mock draft central?

    Any suggestions on auction software, I have used Diamond Draft and it’s not bad. Was looking at Roto champ, any others, your thoughts?

  7. Brad Johnson said...

    The best software is going to cost some money and I’m stingier than Scrooge when it comes to the checkbook. I also take a lot of pride in doing things on my own. Maybe if I was playing a $500 league I’d look into supplementing my knowledge, but when I’m forking over $20ish to play, I prefer the challenge of relying on my own mental faculties, fangraphs, and Oliver. I know at least one of the guys in the THT Fantasy league uses a software program that he’s happy with so I’ll see if I can get him to comment here.

  8. Joe Dimino said...

    I’m the one Brad referred to earlier that uses software.

    I’ve used Benson’s software and RotoLab. One of the nice things about both of these is that they will calculate inflation during your auction and adjust player prices accordingly. It’s also nice to visually be able to see that there is one really good player at a position left, with a huge dropoff after, things like that.

    If you are in a standard league, I’d recommend going with RotoLab over Benson. I think the interface is more intuitive. Also a nice feature of rotolab is the ability to tune values for overpaying for stars or balanced drafting. You can tweak this based on the other owners in your league, or your own preferences, depending on whether you are trying to predict salaries, or if you are using it to recommend strategy for your own team.

    One thing I don’t like about these is that in both you have to guess what the league split on pitching vs. position players will be – there is no way to have it just give you what it thinks it should be. This is where having historical information for your league drafts from previous years helps.

    Both have a moderate learning curve, so don’t order it the night before your draft, take some time and play with it for awhile.

    I’m in a league that uses highly customized stats and I still haven’t found a software package that works perfectly. The one stats that always gives me trouble is pitchers adjusted OPS against, which is calced as 2*OBP against + SLG against.

    We also use relief points for pitchers, calculated as 2*SV + HLD + RW – RL – BS. I haven’t found software that distinguishes relief W/L from starter W/L so I can add this customized stat. I don’t think either projects holds, although maybe they’ve updated for this year.

    We use quality starts instead of wins, and I haven’t found software that projects those either.

    Hope that helps. I’m very interested if anyone uses other software and has an opinion, as I’d rate Benson C+ and RotoLab B- and would love to find an “A”.

  9. Bob said...

    good info thanks, I would give Diamond draft a C+ as it has doubled it’s price in the last two years.

    Any mock auction sites?

  10. Brad Johnson said...

    Your best bet for a mock draft is to set one up with some buddies on MDC. I’ve not found a site where the owners typically stick around for more than half the draft.

  11. Jason B said...

    Also, for people that have “real live” auction drafts – i.e., not on the computer -

    Rule #6: Don’t take ten minutes to nominate someone. There are literally 150 choices, and everyone has 15 roster slots left. You’re not going to slide Maddy Bumgarner through for a buck right now. GET A MOVE ON!!

    (We host a live auction for football and baseball each year; there’s always someone who is “that guy”.)

  12. Brad Johnson said...

    You can solve that problem fairly easily by adding a simple rule to the league constitution.

    Nominations:
    Owners will be asked to nominate players in a circular order. Owners who take more than 60 seconds to nominate a player will forfeit their nomination. In such a case, the top rated player on the draft board will stand as that owner’s nomination.

    If you want to really incentivize speed, instead of that last sentence, the constitution could read:

    In the event an owner fails to make a nomination, the next owner will be asked to make one on his behalf.

    Nobody is going to risk letting someone else add Juan Castro to their team.

  13. John said...

    Brad check out fantistics software.. they project Quality Starts and Holds, an calculate inflation rates as well.

  14. Brad Johnson said...

    This one’s for you Chattanooga-

    #6 – The nice thing about an auction draft is that you don’t get the same run on closers that always is a problem in snake drafts. When Soria, Wilson, Marmol, etc are nominated, they tend to sell for exactly what they are worth, between $10-15. It often is very worthwhile to pay for these elite closers. This isn’t paying for saves per se, it’s paying for a reliever who will contribute saves while shaving points off your ERA and WHIP and increasing your K/9. Combining several elite relievers goes a long way towards sweeping the pitching categories (a feat I pulled off last year).

    #7 – Never pay a premium for Juan Pierre or Jacoby Ellsbury. However, it can be extremely advantageous to pay for steals when they come in the form of the Carl Crawfords, Nelson Cruzs, and David Wrights of the world. If you can put together a healthy steals total without touching a Rajai Davis, your offense is in very good shape. If you’re worried about steals, don’t be afraid to overpay a couple dollars for these multi-category performers.

  15. James Morgan said...

    In re strategy #4:
    It’s a risky move to nominate Livan, because you may only hear crickets afterwards, then he’s a lead wight on your roster.

    Your best tactic is to make every nomination with a specific purpose in mind, not a general one like getting money off the table in general.

    Another tactic that is sometimes useful is to nominate very early a 2nd tier player in a category or position eligibility where there are at least 2 Top Tier Players still out there. You won’t get a steal, but you may end up buying him for closer to break-even when the aggressive bidders are saving their money and roster slot for one of the Big Dogs.

    When you want a player you should keep your nominations and other over-bids away from $1,3,5, or multiples of 10 or 5. Use $2, 4, 9, 14, 19, 24, 29, 34, 39, 44, 49. Push the next bidder to hit the natural thresholds of multiples of 5 and 10. It slows down and winnows out the fainthearted.

  16. chattanooga said...

    last year, I posted “10 simple rules to succeed in an auction draft” over at the fantasy cafe.  Here is that info, although if any of my league mates are reading this, please disregard (I’m talking to you, Les).  Remember, I posted this in march of 2010, so the names don’t directly correlate… but were definitely prescient wink

    Of course, this all depends on your roster specs, h2h vs roto, keeper league, add/drop limits, etc.

    but for a few tips:

    1. if you really want a player, BUY THEM. go ahead and spend the extra $3-4 over valuation if you really want Pujols. It sucks to get to the end of the auction, have a few bucks left over and realize you could have spent it to get the early player you REALLY wanted.

    2. when the bidding winnows to the final 2 people offering prices, DONT simply go one dollar higher than the other guy’s last bid. there’s a rhythm and psychology to bidding. it’s an easy pattern to keep bidding up by the next dollar amount… 39,40,41,42, etc. but if you take a $2 or $3 increment for the final bidding, then the other guy has to pause and think “hmmm… my last bid was $42. He just bid $44. that means I have to bid at least $45, which is $3 more than my last bid. is Pujols REALLY worth $3 more than my last bid? meh, i’ll just let him have this one and spend the extra dough on A-Rod.”

    3. Pay the big dough for production, not potential. $40 is okay for Pujols or A-Rod because they will likely produce close to that value. J-Upside at $40 is paying the hype tax, since he could just as easily undershoot his projections. Make the breakout players your cheapies since you may end up dumping them to the waiver wire.

    4. If you have your players in tiers, you DONT want to bid on the last player of a tier. DO buy the next to last player. You will avoid the bidding mania that ensues when everyone in the room realizes at the exact same time that if they don’t get Rollins, they will be gambling on the black hole of injuries and unknowns. Invariably, the last player in a tier will go for just as much (and sometimes more) than the player that was just sold at the position.

    5. There is always MASSIVE amounts of value to be had at the end of the draft, when everyone has just a few dollars left. try to save a dollar or two more than anyone else has at the end game so that you can pick up your prospects and breakout candidates at will, or steal someone else’s.

    6. don’t pay for saves. lots of cheap saves will come late.

    7. don’t pay for steals. lots of cheap steals will be available late.
    8. Spend your money on your infield. This is where most of the premium players are anyway, so it’s almost a no brainer. The margin of production here between the $40+ players and the $15 is SIGNIFICANT. most of the middle-tier infielders have at least one serious flaw in their stat contributions. Don’t deal with that headache all season.

    9. Get ONE top-tier outfielder, and use the other spots to fill out your roster needs. Since most leagues don’t differentiate the outfield positions, you have a pool of 90 OFs of which to choose 5. Many of these players wont get drafted as it is, and their skill sets are diverse. It’s easier to find 20 HR or 20 SBs later in the year on the waiver wire in the OF than it is in the infield.

    10. Spend your pitching money on Mid-level starters with upside (Ubaldo, Hanson, Nolasco, Brett Anderson). They won’t be expensive, and they will have games or stretches where they perform like the Elite. Also, there’s always SPs that come out of nowhere to be fantastic values (see above list).

    I also don’t like the “spend $15-20 per player on a well rounded roster” strategy. It actually makes your roster LESS flexible compared to shelling out the dough for a couple premium players. This is why: for the first two months, everyone in your league will still have in their heads (as you will, too) how much a certain player went for at auction. You will hesitate to bench, trade, waive certain players because you won’t want to look the fool for “overpaying” during the auction. You will continue to play BJ Upton over your stronger bench options because you’ll think “Hey, I paid $24 for him on draft day. He’s got to provide SOME type of value for me at one point or another.” Meanwhile, other people in your league will be picking up the Nelson Cruz-es, Zobrists, and Jason Bartletts. I had Mark Reynolds on my bench for TWO MONTHS before I finally gave in to starting him daily. Having a few $1 flyers on your team will let you take a chance on the waiver wire, and if you lock up Pujols or Han-Ram, you won’t be looking to trade them anyway.

    Hope everyone finds this useful.  Cheers.

    The Wookiee

  17. Jeffrey Gross said...

    oh David, your strategy was a fluke, employed in a league with only 3 people who had previously ever played auction. You watch out, we’re coming guns blazing this year.

  18. Jeffrey Gross said...

    Also, I plan to challenge well in the THTF league. I’m holding an ace up my sleeve in an amped up xWHIP calc that determines, once regressing batted ball data, expected FIP, expected tERA and expected BABIP (on top of the whole expected WHIP bit).

    For hitters, I’ve got my zScore index smile. Look out world.

    Then again, I did promise to draft pitchers exclusively based on velocity this year (Latos, Beckett, Liriano/Greinke/scherzer, and….Garza)

  19. Jeffrey Gross said...

    Joe,

    Can you give us more insight in to rotolabs? I was sincerely thinking about giving it a look, but tempted to try my self-perpetuated Z-score chart this year and hope I’m not as bad at math as I know I am nowadays…

  20. DAVID KERSTEIN said...

    NOMINATE POSITION PLAYERS WHO ARE SURE TO GET DRAFTED AT A POSITION/CATEGORY YOU HAVE A STRATEGY TO TANK

    I NOMINATED CLOSERS THE FIRST 7 ROUNDS AND NEVER DRAFTED ONE
    THE PRICE BECAME SO HIGH PER CLOSER AFTER ROUND 5
    THAT I GOT BOTH A GON AND MIGUEL CABRERBA FOR LESS THAN 25 EACH WITH TULO GOING FOR 31
    ALSO DRAFTED HALLADAY, LIRIANO, AND WON THE LEAGUE WITH 4 PTS TO SPARE—JEFF GROSS CAN ATTEST

  21. Brad Johnson said...

    James-

    Good stuff with the bidding values. I was thinking about doing a separate post on bidding but there really isn’t too much to say past the strategy you mentioned and the good ol’ $1 increment approach.

    The 2nd tier player strategy is also a good idea so long as you want the guy. It can be hard to pass up on the chance to bid on Jose Reyes by nominating Alexei Ramirez early for instance.

    On Livan, every year I consider 1-2 of my roster spots to be waste picks in a draft. Last year I got stuck with Manny Corpas but schlepped quite a bit of crap onto other rosters. Once the waiver dust settled that roster spot belonged to Chris Perez (who was quickly traded before his early season implosion).

  22. chattanooga said...

    @BJ-
    re: counterpoint #6

    yeah, the “top tier” closers will sell for ~$15 a piece, but that’s an absolute waste of money.  Last year, you would have spent $60+ on a bullpen of Broxton, Nathan, Papelbon, and Fuentes…which would have been bested by my $14 bullpen of Thornton, Soriano, Feliz, and Axford.

    that extra $36 is a TOP TIER PLAYER.  You are welcome to keep paying $10-15 per reliever, but I will gladly take the “garbage” relievers and an infield of Pujols, Hanley, A-Rod, and Uggla, with Youk as the Util.  Which i had last year. There is SO much turnover in the “top $15” relievers, that it’s essentially a crapshoot.  Here’s the real difference, though—When Nathan went down, you would have been out $15 with nothing to show for it.  Had Feliz been a dud, I would have only lost $2 and the $13 difference was INVESTED into production players in my infield. I would have retained that value.

    re: counterpoint #7.

    there are PLENTY of speed guys to be had in the OF late and cheap. I got Dread Pirate last year for $8.  was he really $25 different than Carl Crawford?  Brett Gardner was $1 if not a waiver wire player, and he returned awesome value.  And Pierre, for a long time last year, was a top 15 outfielder. Jayson Heyward came cheap, too. How many cheap infielders are you going to find that will have the chance to return that kind of value?  2? maybe 3?  Keeping your outfield cheap keeps it flexible (rule #9) and you use your infield dollars for your guaranteed production. 

    I have absolutely NO WORRIES when investing $200-$230 into my infield positions; the OF is flexible, great starting pitching is always entering the market, and relievers are a total crapshoot.  The top 3 players at each IF position are pretty stable on a year to year basis; Spend your money on stability and position your team to take advantage of emerging elite-level performances as they enter the arena at the other positions.

  23. chattanooga said...

    …and @BJ:

    LMAO at your “However, it can be extremely advantageous to pay for steals when they come in the form of the Carl Crawfords, Nelson Cruzs…”

    Nelson Cruz was one of my $1 outfielders in 2009. wink

    case in point.

  24. Brad Johnson said...

    Well yea, if you don’t do your homework and pay elite prices for second-tier relievers you’re going to get burned (aside from Nathan who was hurt and Broxton who lost the strike zone). I invested $35 in a more elite unit of Mo, Bell, and Soriano which basically combined to be the best starting pitcher in baseball + 120 saves.

    If you take the scrap heap approach you’re either going to be middle of the pack in saves because you have a bunch of Thorntons, Adams, and Kuos, or you’re going to be using the Joe Borowski’s andd Octavio Dotels of the world at the expense of 3 categories.

    And I never said spend indiscriminately on closers…

  25. chattanooga said...

    considering Broxton was the consensus #1 closer going into 2010, I would hardly call that “spending indiscriminantly”.  I guess you could have gone with another “elite” from the top 5, like Nathan, Paps, K-Rod…

    Go ahead and cherry pick Joe Borowski.  at least you know what you’re spending your ONE DOLLAR on.

    We could play a game to test the strategies:  You take ANY 5 closers selling for an AAV of $10+ and I’ll pick 5 selling for an AAV of $5 or less.  we can compare stats at the end of the season and decide if the stats are worth passing up an extra $25 spent on hitting.

    up for it?

  26. Brad Johnson said...

    I don’t think I can match your rules this year. I’m only seeing Bell and Soria as worth the investment. Maybe Marmol too for the ridiculous k/9. I’ll gladly supplement them with a combination of Adams, Gregerson, and Thornton though.

  27. Mike said...

    Ian or anyone that knows: 

    What does “LN” in your formula
    “AAV($) = 55-9.6*LN(ADP)” stand for? 

    I’m betting it’s something obvious, but nothing is coming to mind. 

    Thanks.

  28. Paul Singman said...

    LN in math is the natural log, which is “log base e”. Applying a log to the ADP values will help incorporate that the 10 pick difference between pick 1 and 10 is a lot more important that pick 90 and 100.

  29. Vince said...

    I play in a 12-team AL only league so there isn’t the depth of a mixed league; you don’t get a team of starters.

    As a result, I like using standings gain points (SGP) to value players.  Marginal SGP and position depth/inflation/scarcity will vary from year to year where players are kept in keeper formats, not to mention that all of these are of course dynamic during the auction.

    You need to establish baselines at each stat… (say 9.5HR = 1 SGP based on previous season homer totals in the league and the spread between first and last place teams)

    Say you have 14 position players and 12 teams.  The 168th player becomes ‘marginal’, or replacement level, and these points should be subtracted when determining player value.  Each stat (HR, RBI, SB, .AVG) accounts for part of a player’s SGP.

    At the margin, the ‘marginal’ outfielder is about 2.5 SGP in our league, and the ‘marginal’ catcher is 1.2 SGP.  This means that $1 at auction will get you TWICE the stats for a marginal outfielder vs. a marginal catcher.  That’s an uphill battle for money from catching stats, and you might just want to punt spending on a catcher altogether in that case if you find yourself needing a catcher and outfielder in dime-time.

    You can pull the Zips projections as a starting point for the player universe, and then adjust accordingly where PT or other stats are unreasonable.  This will leave you with a good set of sortable players, where you can highlight your sleepers, duds, underrated players, etc.

    Skip the expensive software and just spend the few hours putting together an auto-filtered table.  80% of results are based on draft day, 10% to day-to-day roster management, and the other 10% to good/bad luck and trades.

    some general advice, some surely repeated by now:

    0) know the value and cost of everything.  It is hard to make big mistakes if you have a guide to work from.  If a player is worth $6 and inflation makes him $7, you might go to $8 or $9 at auction to get him, but spending $10+ must be considered a MISTAKE.

    1) make ick investments and avoid cover athletes.  Good examples, Rios and Josh Hamilton in 2010, Mauer and Morneau in 2012. etc. etc.

    2) everyone needs a stud to win, but you don’t need “the” stud.  Last year Tex was $49, Miggy was $48—other owners, and we “overpaid” for Kinsler at $34 (we were actually trying to ‘pump&screw;’ and got caught).  The value play was obviously Kinsler, who actually earned his salary going 32-34, contributing positively across 3-dimensions(HR/RBI/SB) to Tex’s 2 category contribution(HR/RBI).

    3) saves and closer roles are fickle, trade for them, don’t waste money at auction. Exhibit A: $24 Jake McGee wasn’t very useful to another owner.  Be wary of being known as a save-punter.  If you get that rep, you might pick up a closer on the cheap.

    4) reach a buck or two for players you want

    5) avoid being dime-timing yourself too early.  You become auction irrelevant, aim to have $2-3/player left when you still need 4 or 5 players.  Being $4/4 means you will end up with absolute rejects, and possibly players that will damage you.
    6) Draft players starting the year on the DL or missing the year—two choices for one spot, and you will get a HUGE discount, and be able to pick something up on the waiver wire. ex. in 2012 S.Sizemore, V-Mart, C. Crawford
    7) Success in hitting is often a race to most ABs and nothing more.  You will lose the counting stats every year if you can’t draft regulars (even crappy regulars). 
    8. Adapt. Adapt. Adapt.  And do a bit of acting.  If you have a co-managed team, banter!  Criticize your co-manager’s mistakes.  if you look like you are in-fighting, others will let you ‘screw up’ even if it is all part of the plan.

    Good luck!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Current day month ye@r *