Archive for Ottoneu

Ottoneu: What Does a Championship Cost?

If an Ottoneu fantasy baseball team were a race car coming up to the finish line at the season’s end, there would be a whole lot of smoke coming out. The windows would have a layer of filth and film blocking you from seeing the driver inside. Bug guts would be splattered all over the hood, and a few pairs of body-less insect wings would still be twitching on the hunk of hot metal. Duct tape would be holding on semi-important parts and all kinds of unusual noises would be heard. Making it to the finish line is, for god sake, difficult.

I’ve always wondered how many of those theoretical race cars that are Ottoneu teams got a little extra help in the form of loans, allowing them to finish the season over the $400 salary limit allotted to each team. To be specific, I have data on 137 Ottonue Prestige League-eligible points leagues. Take a look at the average salary among those who finished with hardware in 2023:

 

Ottoneu Finishing Salary

This graph may lead you to believe all first-place finishing teams are over-budget. That’s not the case. But the majority of first-place finishers were over budget. Out of the 137 first-place finishers in this dataset, 80 finished the year over the $400 mark. That’s 58% of teams. Let’s look at the distribution of salary among the top three finishers:

 

This graph above is interactive. Click on “2” and “3” in the legend to isolate the distribution to first-place finishers. Hover over the bar to the left and you’ll notice that some impressive soul out there won their league with only a $234 budget. Who knows what the heck was happening in that league? But focus your attention to the right and you’ll notice that there are plenty of leagues where the first-place finisher either came very close to maxing out their budget or went over. In some cases, first-place finishers were over their 400-dollar budget by 100 dollars or more.

If you’ve ever been in a competition where you tried to work within a framework that you thought was the rules, only to find out you were wrong about that framework, you’ll know anger. But, let’s be clear, going over your $400 budget is plainly within the rule of the Ottoneu law and legal what-have-you. So, either “wake up stoopit, everyone’s doing it”, or hold to your rebuild and birth a dynasty.

That’s really what’s going on here, isn’t it? Maxing out your salary and agreeing to lopsided deals and loans at the end of the season makes for some really difficult decisions in the offseason when it’s time to get below the cap. It’s a double-edged sword. You may have won your league but you did it in an unsustainable way. Here’s an example of how this can work:

Team A is in the running for a first-place finish. Team F is barely staying out of last place. Team A is stacked and if they were to add Zack Wheeler for the final month of the season, they would surely win the league. Team F actually has Zack Wheeler and realizes Zack Wheeler is their only good player and that this instance of fantasy Zack Wheeler is being paid too much already. Team F decides to trade Zack Wheeler. Team A, who could really use Zack Wheeler, is nearly maxed out on budget so they couldn’t possibly be a good trade partner. But, Team A can be a good trade partner for Team F because Team F can loan Team A the money they need to roster Zack Wheeler.

Do you see? Now, will Team A keep Zack Wheeler for next year? No. They won’t be able to afford it. But, they won a championship and that is hard to do. Thus, the double-edged sword.

Now, don’t go running around telling everybody your strategy is to overpay all your players and max out your budget. It’s a true, season-long, reputationally built game that you must play to max out your budget at the right time. But, if you think your team is in a place where you could win your league this year, don’t be afraid to pay at the draft. Good players make good teams. The managers who won first place in my dataset paid. Here’s a look at how many players on average each rank finish (one through three) rostered at $40 or more:

Number of High Dollar Salaries By Finish
End of Season Rank Number of Players Rostered at $40 or more Number of Players Rostered at $30 or more Number of Players Rostered at $20 or more
1 2.4 3.8 6.5
2 2.0 3.4 6.1
3 2.0 3.1 5.3

While the edge is small, first-place finishers roster more players at $20+ players, more $30+ players, and more $40+ players than second and third-place finishers. So go out there and spend, spend, spend! Or don’t. But, whatever you do, know that in 2023, teams that finished the season over budget had a better chance of winning first place than teams that finished with money to spend.


The Easiest Way to Start Ottoneu: Claim a Team

As draft season ramps up, one of the most common questions I get is how to get started with Ottoneu. It can, admittedly, be overwhelming if you don’t know what you are looking at. Starting a new league is a challenge – you need 12 managers committed to a long-term venture together. Building a roster from scratch can be a challenge. And so I recommend people start by claiming a team.

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Defining the Factors that Impact Player Prices in Ottoneu

I talk a decent amount about inflation. It comes up in my rankings intro, I have discussed in on the Keep or Kut podcast, and it is a regular topic of debate in the Ottoneu Slack community. But that is hardly the only thing that impacts player prices and it is not the only factor I consider when preparing for an auction.

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Ottoneu: Shopping in the Bargain Bin (Senzel, Toro)

Below replacement level. Worth zero dollars. Heck, worth negative dollars if you roster the player. At least replacement-level players are worth $1. But, below replacement-level? That’s a tough sell. Some players are expected, projected even, to do worse than any other player available at any point in time during the season. So why write about them here?

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Ottoneu: Using the Roster Organizer

Fellow league mate: Are you interested in J-Ram?

Me: Yes, of course. J-Ram rules!

With the cut deadline looming (January 31st, 11:59 PM) many Ottoneu managers are probably in similar situations. Rather than cutting players to slim down maxed-out budgets, some are looking to make trades that will bring back the players they want without having to compete at the auction. This is one of the many beauties of Ottoneu. As all other fantasy leaguers are only focused on drafting, Ottoneu managers can wheel and deal all through the winter.  This article will detail a few ways the player organizer can be useful when analyzing your team going into the keeper deadline.

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Chad’s 2024 Tiered Ottoneu Rankings: Starting Pitchers

As we move into draft season, I will be updating these rankings occasionally, when there is news to justify changes. The original rankings will stay at the bottom of the article to maintain my player notes. The original SP rankings were posted 1/31 and the most recent update is 2/28.

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Chad’s 2024 Tiered Ottoneu Rankings: Outfield

As we move into draft season, I will be updating these rankings occasionally, when there is news to justify changes. The original rankings will stay at the bottom of the article to maintain my player notes. The original outfield rankings were posted 1/30 and the most recent update is 2/28.

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Chad’s 2024 Tiered Ottoneu Rankings: Third Base

As we move into draft season, I will be updating these rankings occasionally, when there is news to justify changes. The original rankings will stay at the bottom of the article to maintain my player notes. The original catcher rankings were posted 1/26 and the most recent update is 2/27.

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Chad’s 2024 Tiered Ottoneu Rankings: Middle Infield

As we move into draft season, I will be updating these rankings occasionally, when there is news to justify changes. The original rankings will stay at the bottom of the article to maintain my player notes. The original middle infield rankings were posted 1/25 and the most recent update is 2/27.

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Chad’s 2024 Tiered Ottoneu Rankings: First Base and Utility

As we move into draft season, I will be updating these rankings occasionally, when there is news to justify changes. The original rankings will stay at the bottom of the article to maintain my player notes. The original 1B/U rankings were posted 1/23 and the most recent update is 2/26.

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