I’m a little late for this kind of post (twelve whole days into the new year!), but as I did last time I want to share some of the resolutions I’m focusing on for the upcoming season of ottoneu (and fantasy baseball in general):
Play in fewer leagues
I had the same resolution last year, but my willpower evaporated and I still found myself playing in over a dozen leagues. To be fair to myself, I did note that this was a longer term goal rather than a short term fix. I’m well on my way to achieving this goal this year though, as I’ve pared down to seven leagues and might cull one more. It’s not that I don’t enjoy playing in as many leagues as I have the last two years, but I feel like each league hasn’t been given the time and focus it deserves, and my performance (and enjoyment) have suffered for it. Playing in so many leagues can start to feel like a stressful chore, and my biggest priority in 2018 is making sure that doesn’t happen.
Be less rigid, and have more fun
I’m guilty of taking a very mechanical view towards player valuations and roster/transaction decisions, and while that part of my ottoneu game will never go away, I need to start making more risks and acquiring players I want to own. What’s the point of playing this game if you can’t have fun doing it? I’m not going to go ballistic and own every Cub for $5 more than I should, but there’s so much variance in player performance/projections that making a few sub-optimal decisions (on paper) probably won’t hurt my teams in any meaningful way.
Play the market
My personal dollar valuation method is based on how the historical ottoneu market values certain positions, rather than any “inherent” player values, because I want to know which asset classes typically go for $2+ and which positions are paid a premium and which are easy to replace. For example, in first year FanGraphs points auctions last year something like 30 shortstop eligible players were purchased for $2+, making that a position where the ottoneu market places a premium (above and beyond what the position should probably command from a points above replacement framework). Conversely, only 57 relievers are typically purchased for $2+, which is less than the number of relievers each team needs to fill out their lineup (60). That makes it much more difficult to keep or spend meaningful cap space on a relief pitcher, knowing that valuable relievers will be available for just $1.
Talent is scarce, so target it recklessly
Surplus is great and all, and you don’t need a Mike Trout or Clayton Kershaw to win your league, but I’ve been thinking a lot recently about true talent and its relative scarcity. There are some fantasy assets that are basically a dime-a-dozen (Kole Calhoun comes to mind), while others offer unique and overwhelming talent, even if it’s only in one facet of the game (Joey Gallo and his power, Billy Hamilton and his speed, Noah Syndergaard and his velocity/stuff). I would much rather go the extra dollar or overpay slightly in trade for a player who offers a unique skillset over one that’s a jack of all trades, mostly because I think they offer more upside if they can fix their flaws and also because those players tend to be more coveted by other owners.
What fantasy baseball resolutions and goals do you have for 2018? Let me know in the comments!
Justin is a life long Cubs fan who has been playing fantasy baseball for 20+ years, and an ottoneu addict since 2012. Follow him on Twitter @justinvibber.