This article is written by Todd Lammi. Todd’s been playing fantasy baseball for 20 years. He has won numerous auction and draft leagues in multiple formats.
The latest craze in fantasy baseball is the 15 team mixed auction draft. This combines players from both the American League and the Nation League into one player pool. It seems like 15 team leagues are gaining in popularity due to the outbreak of high stakes fantasy baseball leagues that are emerging thanks to the continued growth of the sport.
VICTOR-Y: Adding a catcher like Martinez for a bargain can mean a title.
One thing to keep to remember when viewing auction dollar values in a magazine is what is the league size that is being used. Some magazines will use 12 teams, some use 152, while others only post dollar values for a AL or NL only format. You have to be sure to look at the fine print before using those dollar values in preparation for any draft you are doing.
The other thing to consider when using the dollar values from a magazine is that the majority use a dollar amount for what they think a player will earn. Quite often, the player in a real auction will get bid higher than the amount in a magazine because of the position scarcity factor. For example, a player like Victor Martinez at catcher, his dollar value in a magazine for a 15 team league will be around $17, but his actual dollar amount in a live auction will be closer to $25. So you need to plan for that when you are doing your preparation.
If you have some free time on your hands and a calculator handy, you will see a problem with most of the magazine dollar values. The majority of magazines use dollar values but they don’t equate to a real auction. For example, if you are in a 15 team with 23 man rosters, then a total of exactly 345 players need to have a dollar value and the dollar value needs to equal $3,900. This is calculated based on a $260 budget for 15 teams.
An auction can vary slightly from a draft in that players that steal bases tend to go for a few dollars more than players that don’t. For example, Jason Bay might go higher than Justin Upton in a fantasy baseball draft, but there is a very good chance that Upton goes at a higher price than Bay does in the auction..
Let’s examine some numbers from a 15 team mixed auction league last season. For 20 dollars and and higher, there were 60 players which accounted for 45.3% of the total available auction dollars. It works out nicely because if you convert that to a draft, it will equals exactly four rounds (60 players divided by 15 team).
In the dollar range of $10-$19, 105 players were selected which again works nicely from a mach standpoint. This translates to exactly seven rounds of players. A this point, we have a total player pool of 165 players taken (11 rounds) for $3,241.
In the range of $1-$9, there are 180 players for a total of $638. If you combine the dollar amounts for all of the groups, you will see that comes out to $3,879. This means there were $21 not used during the auction.
Looking only at $1-$2 players, there were 86 players selected. By knowing this, you can plot out before the auction what places on your roster you are willing to take a dollar player at. The choice is yours on the strategy, but if you want to dominate the final portion of the auction, it is best to plan for $2 per roster spot.
By saving $2 per roster spot, you are guaranteed of getting the players you want. For instance, there were 55 players bought for $1 last season. At the final stages of an auction when each owner has only a dollar per player left, it essentially turns into a draft at that point. Your team will be in a much position if you are able to roster the best four players out of the final 55 by having $2 saved per position than by waiting for players with only $1 left. If you are 8th in the auction order with only the ability to only bid one dollar per player, you would end up with players 8, 23, 38, 53 instead of the top four that were left.