Archive for OttoGraphs Podcast

Ottoneu 201: Maximizing Salary Cap Space

Ottoneu auction leagues are drafting furiously to finalize rosters prior to the start of the regular season. Earlier this week Justin touched on the best way to build out a roster. Head-to-head is also coming to Ottoneu in 2018. The Ottoneu community is buzzing with prospect junkies and interested owners looking to join new leagues.

Needless to say, Ottoneu is now in full swing, so if you’re still on the fence about trying out the game this year, now is the perfect time to jump in with both feet. With so much activity in March, most of our Ottoneu content is geared toward helping new owners learn the basics of the game. However, today I want to detour and offer a few tricks of the trade that veteran owners have figured out over time that might benefit those who are trying to take their Ottoneu game to the next level this season.

Trading for players you intend to cut…for cap space.

No matter how good your pre-auction plan, it’s not all that uncommon to exit an Ottoneu draft with less cash that you had hoped to save for future transactions. While a good rule of thumb is to keep about $10 in cap space, it’s easier said than done when some of the better bargains find their way into your hands at the end of a long draft night. What do you do when you’re up against a tight salary cap to start the season?

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Ottoneu H2H Is Here

While it’s true that Ottoneu never sleeps, some are often surprised to know that January and February are among the busiest months of the year for this growing fantasy sports platform.  This winter frenzy period for baseball is refreshing because it keeps owners engaged even as they await free agent signings, and it is highly active because so many new leagues are forming.  If you’re thinking about playing Ottoneu this season, here are some key resources for review:

What Is Ottoneu?

Ottoneu First Impressions

Why You Should Play Ottoneu

How To Get Started Playing Ottoneu

10 Tips for Ottoneu Rookies

Join an Ottoneu League

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Keeper Deadline (2018) – All Questions Answered

Welcome to the Ottoneu keeper deadline, 2018 edition.  Today (11:59 PM EDT) is the final day to make that difficult decision about your on-the-bubble players before rosters lock and you set your sights on your upcoming league auction.  Per the rules:

Between the end of the Major League Baseball regular season and the end of arbitration, players may be cut. Between the end of arbitration and the keeper deadline, players may be cut or traded. After the keeper deadline and before the auction draft, teams may not cut or trade any players.

Since the keeper deadline also serves as a de-factor trade deadline, I’ve lined up a few final resources for you below and I’ve asked a handful of Ottoneu experts (Justin, Chad, Brad) to check your questions and comments periodically throughout the day to offer their input on your toughest decisions.  You don’t play this game? You should, but even if your non-Ottoneu keeper deadline is still a few weeks away, feel free to fire your questions below and we’ll do our best to give you feedback (for context, don’t forget to let us know details about your league format).

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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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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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2018 Dynasty Prospect Draft Review: Rounds 10 – 12

My review of a recent Ottoneu dynasty prospect draft continues today with highlights from rounds 10 – 12.

Dynasty Prospect Draft Review: Rounds 1 – 3

Dynasty Prospect Draft Review: Rounds 4 – 6

Dynasty Prospect Draft Review: Rounds 7 – 9

This draft should help you “discover” a few prospect names to keep an eye on going forward.  If you have specific questions about players or the thought process of why they were selected, fire away in the comments section, as I’ve asked each owner in the league to be on standby to provide feedback as we review the rounds.

Before I review my own thoughts on the draft, you should know this Ottoneu league uses the “FanGraphs Points” scoring system based on linear weights, so offense is heavily slanted towards wOBA skills (and speed is almost a non-factor).  We also somewhat arbitrarily removed the Top 12 overall offensive prospects to save them for the standard 40-man auction next spring.  Otherwise, any minor league player without one (1) MLB PA or IP is eligible to be drafted. You can read more about the custom rules of this dynasty league here, and follow along with the draft here.

A few of the prospects below are also featured on the 2018 Top 100 Fantasy Prospects list.

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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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