CSS Button No Image Css3Menu.com

Baseball Prospectus home
  
  
Click here to log in Click here for forgotten password Click here to subscribe

<< Previous Article
Fantasy Mailbag: Profa... (03/22)
<< Previous Column
Fantasy Article Fantasy Freestyle: Sav... (03/20)
Next Column >>
Fantasy Article Fantasy Freestyle: Use... (03/27)
Next Article >>
Fantasy Article Raising Aces: Pulling ... (03/22)

March 22, 2013

Fantasy Freestyle

ROI: Keeper League Edition

by Mike Gianella

the archives are now free.

All Baseball Prospectus Premium and Fantasy articles more than a year old are now free as a thank you to the entire Internet for making our work possible.

Not a subscriber? Get exclusive content like this delivered hot to your inbox every weekday. Click here for more information on Baseball Prospectus subscriptions or use the buttons to the right to subscribe and get instant access to the best baseball content on the web.

Subscribe for $4.95 per month
Recurring subscription - cancel anytime.


a 33% savings over the monthly price!

Purchase a $39.95 gift subscription
a 33% savings over the monthly price!

Already a subscriber? Click here and use the blue login bar to log in.

In fantasy baseball, everyone’s burning question is “what does it take to win?” While a few might ask if it takes a certain kind of temperament or disposition to contend, most who ask this question are asking from the standpoint of how strong their roster should be to win a title.

In non-carryover leagues, this exercise is simple enough. You can set targets in every category in an attempt to finish with a certain number of points across the board. In a 12-team, 5x5 league, if 95 points is typically what it takes to win, your goal should be to finish third in every category. This would net you 100 points, and there’s a good chance—based on historical data—that this would put you atop the standings. As a general rule, I recommend not trying to dump categories in one-and-done leagues.: Since every category is available for purchase, unless there is a crazy draft or auction trend, you’re better off playing it straight.

Keeper leagues are a different story. While category-targeting is potentially important, it’s better to start off by examining how much value each team will have coming out of the auction.

Scenario A: Balanced Competitors

Team

Frozen Salary

 Frozen Value

$ to Spend

Auction
Value

Total $

Team 1

$125

$196

$135

$111

$307

Team 2

$113

$172

$147

$121

$293

Team 3

$143

$196

$117

$96

$292

Team 4

$112

$145

$148

$122

$267

Team 5

$117

$146

$143

$118

$264

Team 6

$74

$105

$186

$153

$258

Team 7

$126

$144

$134

$110

$254

Team 8

$100

$115

$160

$132

$247

Team 9

$85

$102

$175

$144

$246

Team 10

$155

$147

$105

$86

$233

Team 11

$83

$85

$177

$145

$230

Team 12

$68

$72

$192

$158

$230

Totals

$1,301

$1,625

$1,819

$1,496

$3,121

Scenario A represents a fairly typical projected-valuation spread in a keeper league. The frozen salary, frozen value, and $ to spend columns are all self-explanatory. The auction value column takes the projected league inflation and applies it to how much money each team has left to spend. Projected league inflation is based on the amount of money the league has to spend ($1,819) divided by how much projected talent remains ($1,495). In this case inflation is 21.7 percent. Another way to express this concept is that every dollar spent in the auction will return $0.822 worth of talent. The Total $ column is the combined amount a team is anticipated to own based on the value of players frozen and the value of players purchased at auction.

This scenario represents a league where there is a fair amount of competitive balance. The top three projected teams all look like they’re going to be very good, but if I were one of the teams in the middle of the pack I wouldn’t give up on the season just yet.

Scenario B: Juggernaut Alert

Team

Frozen Salary

 Frozen Value

$ to Spend

Auction
Value

Total $

Team 1

$128

$256

$132

$100

$356

Team 2

$187

$227

$73

$56

$283

Team 3

$73

$135

$187

$142

$277

Team 4

$88

$146

$172

$131

$277

Team 5

$59

$121

$201

$153

$274

Team 6

$92

$125

$168

$128

$253

Team 7

$104

$127

$156

$119

$246

Team 8

$82

$109

$178

$136

$245

Team 9

$129

$138

$131

$100

$238

Team 10

$122

$130

$138

$105

$235

Team 11

$154

$139

$106

$81

$220

Team 12

$155

$137

$105

$80

$217

Totals

$1,373

$1,790

$1,747

$1,331

$3,121

This scenario is the perfect storm, but it is based on a real life example of a league I once played in, so it can most definitely happen. Team 1 probably dumped at least two years in a row and also had tremendous luck in terms of not losing players to the “other” league or due to injury. Meanwhile, all of the other teams either didn’t do as well with their dump trades or didn’t have the same level of luck with the players they acquired. Teams 4 and 5 have a good deal of value, but incorrectly factored the inflation prior to the freeze date; the projected 31.4 percent inflation sucks a significant amount of value out of their teams.

So, why does this matter in terms of whether or not you’re going to play all 10 categories?

In Scenario A, you’re probably going to want to play for all 10 categories unless you’re one of the unfortunate teams at the bottom of the totem pole. It doesn’t make too much sense to start getting cute and throwing one or more categories overboard when the league is this tight.

In Scenario B, unless you’re the lucky ducky that’s Team 1, you will definitely want to examine your in-auction choices. Going to full inflation price—or higher—on a closer when you are $75 in the hole entering your auction doesn’t make a lot of sense. You might not want to come into your auction deciding to dump a category, but circumstances during your auction might make you reconsider your plan.

The ROI calculation is an important one for freeze leagues. Playing the “balanced roster/balanced category” game is a losing strategy in some seasons. Failing to figure out how weak or strong each team is before your auction is akin to bidding on a player without even hearing his name. If proper valuation is the most important factor in solid auction management, then figuring out how the league stacks up prior to your auction is a close second.

Mike Gianella is an author of Baseball Prospectus. 
Click here to see Mike's other articles. You can contact Mike by clicking here

Related Content:  Team

17 comments have been left for this article. (Click to hide comments)

BP Comment Quick Links

swarmee

Good article. This is something I do every season to see just where I stack up.

Mar 22, 2013 04:09 AM
rating: 0
 
Ameer

I think your.822 per dollar spent is wrong. It doesn't match up with 21.7 percent inflation. Did you mean .783?

Mar 22, 2013 04:27 AM
rating: -1
 
Vdunbar

Nope he's right 100/121.7 = .822. You can't just subtract.

Mar 22, 2013 05:52 AM
rating: 2
 
Ameer

Oops.... thanks

Mar 22, 2013 06:00 AM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Mike Gianella
BP staff

I always have to double and triple check that myself...

Mar 22, 2013 08:14 AM
 
Keith Cromer

Great insight for those of us trying to devise a game plan once calculating the inflation, Mike. I never like dumping a category, but depending on the inflation, it might be the wise decision. It's also helpful to split out the inflation hitting vs. pitching in your specific leagues when heading into battle.

Mar 22, 2013 10:12 AM
rating: 0
 
Shawn

I've always been curious about other keeper leagues and what there needed point totals are.

I'm starting my 23rd year in a 5x5 NL keeper league where we haven't had an owner change in 9 years. Getting to 100 points would net you 3rd, 3rd, 2nd (but still 13 points behind), 4th, and 2nd. We have active owners who trade but tend towards extreme rebuilds.

Mar 22, 2013 10:40 AM
rating: 0
 
Chiefsnark

This seems a good place to ask for some advice from knowledgeable rotisserie plays.

The Michigan Baseball Confederacy is about to start its twenty-sixth year. We are an Al-only 5x5, with app instead of K's, which is the source of my problem. The appearances category was added two years ago and it finally struck me that if i go for wins (I've led the category the last two years) I am not going to do well in appearances. Saves seem to very volatile.

So I've decided to go with only four starters this year. I have D. Holland and Cobb at $10.00, and Morrow and Shields at $13.00.

My questions: 1. Am I risking too much regarding Holland Cobb if I keep them? and 2. If you were going to drop one of those, who would it be?

All advice is appreciated.

Mar 22, 2013 10:57 AM
rating: 0
 
brianwilliams42

Kind of crazy. SP only contribute to wins over your average 7th inning guy.

Hard to judge without knowing everything about your league, but spending to lead in wins, if people value starters traditionally, seems like a bad move.

Have you tried running BP's Player Forecast Manager on your league settings? I swear by that.

Mar 22, 2013 12:42 PM
rating: 2
 
swarmee

Two essential pieces of information you haven't provided:
1) Is your total salary cap $260?
2) Do you have a minimum innings pitched requirement?

You may be better off going with all relievers.

Mar 22, 2013 14:10 PM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Mike Gianella
BP staff

In an appearances vs. strikeouts league I think that Holland is a no go and Cobb is borderline. I'd drop Holland.

Mar 25, 2013 13:07 PM
 
ecsedy

So if an owner is freezing Oscar Tavares, who is worth $-10 in our league, would you use that value when calculating inflation or would you use replacement value, $1? I would be inclined to use $1 since he will be replaced right after the auction.

Mar 22, 2013 15:54 PM
rating: 0
 
swarmee

I use zero for negatively-valued players.

Mar 22, 2013 16:41 PM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Mike Gianella
BP staff

I would use $1.

Mar 25, 2013 13:07 PM
 
davinhbrown

repeat this article yearly. thanks.

Mar 22, 2013 17:02 PM
rating: 2
 
Matthew W

Does it really take 95-100 to win a 12-team "only" redraft league?
Maybe my personal leagues are a tad "small sample size", but with 13 teams the last few years, 95 would crush it..with 130 less total points, I would assume anything over 85ish would have a great shot at taking home the hardware.
(This really is a crucial point, so any insight you could provide would be appreciated!)

And thanks for all the amazing article, great to see you at BP!

Mar 22, 2013 22:21 PM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Mike Gianella
BP staff

95-100 is probably on the high end of the spectrum I would agree.

Mar 25, 2013 13:08 PM
 
You must be a Premium subscriber to post a comment.
Not a subscriber? Sign up today!
<< Previous Article
Fantasy Mailbag: Profa... (03/22)
<< Previous Column
Fantasy Article Fantasy Freestyle: Sav... (03/20)
Next Column >>
Fantasy Article Fantasy Freestyle: Use... (03/27)
Next Article >>
Fantasy Article Raising Aces: Pulling ... (03/22)

RECENTLY AT BASEBALL PROSPECTUS
Fantasy Article The Buyer's Guide: Jimmy Nelson
Pebble Hunting: Scott Boras Has Baseball's M...
Premium Article Rubbing Mud: The Worst Holes On Contenders
Fantasy Rounders: Don't Rain on My Paredes
Premium Article What You Need to Know: Nuts To Strasburg!
Premium Article Monday Morning Ten Pack: April 27, 2015
Premium Article Transaction Analysis: Hamilton Returns

MORE FROM MARCH 22, 2013
Premium Article Overthinking It: Ranking Rivera
Premium Article Pebble Hunting: Lies, Damned Lies, And That ...
Pitcher Profile: A Prospect, a Non-Prospect,...
Premium Article Rumor Roundup: Dearth of Infield Depth
Fantasy Article Raising Aces: Pulling the Pin
Fantasy Mailbag: Profar or Taveras?
Fantasy Article Fantasy Tiered Rankings: Shortstops

MORE BY MIKE GIANELLA
2013-03-26 - Fantasy Article Fantasy Auction Values: Sixth Edition, March...
2013-03-25 - Fantasy Article Fantasy Tiered Rankings: American League Out...
2013-03-25 - Fantasy Article Fantasy Tiered Rankings: National League Out...
2013-03-22 - Fantasy Article Fantasy Freestyle: ROI: Keeper League Editio...
2013-03-21 - BP Fantasy Podcast: Episode 37: Custer Had a...
2013-03-18 - Fantasy Article Fantasy Auction Values: Fifth Edition, March...
2013-03-15 - Fantasy Article Fantasy Freestyle: 4x4 Versus 5x5
More...

MORE FANTASY FREESTYLE
2013-03-28 - Fantasy Article Fantasy Freestyle: Twenty Endgame Targets in...
2013-03-27 - Fantasy Article Fantasy Freestyle: Expert-League Auction Com...
2013-03-27 - Fantasy Article Fantasy Freestyle: Use Your Disabled List
2013-03-22 - Fantasy Article Fantasy Freestyle: ROI: Keeper League Editio...
2013-03-20 - Fantasy Article Fantasy Freestyle: Saves Are Everywhere
2013-03-15 - Fantasy Article Fantasy Freestyle: 4x4 Versus 5x5
2013-03-14 - Fantasy Article Fantasy Freestyle: 11 Things to Know/Have at...
More...