Chronicles of Ottoneu: Win A Team! by Eno Sarris February 16, 2011 You may have heard that FanGraphs got a fantasy game. It’s hard to contain my excitement, but let’s start with some pithy slogans! No People Herding! This auction dynasty is open year-round, so commissioners don’t have to email everyone to remind them to get their keepers in, and what were their players’ prices again, and what did they want to do with those two hurt guys again and what happened to Charlie and did Jim change his email or is he just on his annual three-week trek to the Harry Baals Community Center for that Baccarat Tournament? No, the game is there waiting. It’s always there. No Spreadsheets! Related to that fact is the great fact that you won’t need a spreadsheet to keep track of your team. You won’t need one during the offseason in order to keep rosters straight. And you won’t need one during the season to keep track of budgets or prospects. 40 roster spots, 12 teams, with your budget spent and available all clearly noted. It’s deep, and it’s all in one place. We won’t miss the annual boondoggery over who actually owns Jordan Schafer because he’s on two spreadsheets in different places, will we? No Saves or Steals (Unless You Want Them)! There are three scoring systems, so if you want steals and saves – despite their tenuous relationship to winning real-life baseball games – you can keep them! [And we’ll have a closer report and middle reliever report every week in order to keep you updated if that’s the way you like to roll, of course.] But if you don’t like those stats, give em the heave-ho. The Linear Weights scoring system – which will be uncovered a little more on Friday – uses the actual, researched value of each baseball event to assign points to the players. That’s, uh, pretty durn close to approximating real-life baseball strategy in a fantasy game. And if you can’t make up your mind, we’ve got the hybrid 4×4 roto system, which we’ll also get into more later on. No Silly Snake Drafts! Well, this is just an auction thing. But combining auction with a year-round keeper league format is a unique aspect of this game. And it leads to some pretty sweet trade discussions. Consider the case of Chase Utley in ottoneu One, the original league that spawned this beautiful game. At the end of the season, the $46 Utley was a little too expensive for Niv Shah’s team. At more than 10% of his overall budget ($400), Utley had outstripped his value even in a league with an MI roster spot. So Shah traded Utley for a $14 Matt Garza. (Unsatisfied with the extra money, Niv looked to the future and unloaded Garza for a $4 Brett Lawrie, hoping he’d be a starter by the time he cost $6.) The new owner wanted power and traded Utley once again for a $42 Adam Dunn – obviously he felt that Dunn will enjoy his new digs. The final owner of Chase Utley is now debating whether or not he should trade Utley for a $19 Brandon Phillips. And, if you went to Chase Utley’s player page in the ottoneu game, not only would you see all his relevant stats, but you’d also see his transaction history within your game in order to marvel at Utley’s travels. For a free ottoneu fantasy team, make your strongest argument for the answer to the following question in the comments section. I’ll judge the best answer near the end of the day today. Which trade outlined above, proposed or completed, provided the most lopsided value for one side or the other, and why?