The auction draft is the busiest single event in the ottoneu year. Our first auction draft has started, and I know a few more are scheduled to start over the next week, including the draft for the original ottoneu league. I thought it would be helpful, now that the very beginnings of draft season are upon us, to step through what the actual process is of conducting an auction draft using ottoneu’s custom software.
The right column is the most straightforward. Top-right is your chat window to communicate with everyone else in the room, and bottom right shows you a brief overview of every team’s roster and cap situations, while also indicating if they are online and in the room. Green teams are there, red teams are not. There are links to each team’s page to see a more detailed view of who is on each team, what positions they play, etc.
Keeping Track of Players
The center column and left columns are where the magic happens, so to speak. The center column is where you will find all the players you wish to nominate. The top half of that window is a watchlist. This is an easy way to keep your eye on a few targets and quickly nominate them when your turn comes up. As you can see in the screenshot above, I am keeping tabs on Jhoulys Chacin, my arbitration case for the upcoming draft. Each player, both in the top half’s watchlist and the bottom half’s search box, will have the links “Nom.” and “W+” or “W-“. The latter will either add your player to or remove your player from your personal watchlist. The former allows you to nominate a player.
Nomination and Bidding
Nominating a player is not quite as simple as clicking the “Nom.” link next to the player – there is one more step. Once you click this link, you will see, in the top left, the Nominating box become populated and active. Before the auction for this player can begin, a legal initial bid must be entered. Now click “Start Auction”, and a player will be nominated to be bid on, with the live auction starting immediately.
The live auction for a single player is simple. The timer counts down from 15 seconds. If a new legal bid is placed, either via the +$1 bid button or by entering a bid amount and clicking “Make Bid”, the timer resets to 15 seconds. Once the timer hits 0, the player is automatically added to the team with the highest bid, the draft history box below is updated, and the next team in the nominating order is given the opportunity to nominate a player.
There are multiple ways in which this auction draft is more flexible than a typical draft. First and foremost, there is no need to schedule a time slot with ottoneu to complete your draft. Coordinate with your league mates, not with ottoneu. Second and almost as important, you are able to pause and resume the auction at your leisure. These drafts can take a long time, so I recommend stretching it out over a few days. Third, as long as each team can field a team, you can pause the auction and not return to it for the year. While we do recommend filling out as close to 40 roster spots as you can, teams are under no obligation to do anything more than fill out a starting lineup. If all the teams feel satisfied around 35 roster spots filled, feel free to skip the last 60 players until the regular season auctions are live.
I hope this helps you understand the simplicity of running an auction draft. By far the hardest work will be done once you are all in the room – gathering 12 people together is more challenging than anything you’ll face in the draft! Going forward, I will be posting regularly on RotoGraphs, both about new features we are adding to the game and answering any questions you might have about the game and the platform. Please let me know in comments what you would like to see going forward from ottoneu Fantasy Baseball in this space. And remember, teams are only $9.99 for the first year for 6 more days, so join a league or create a league now!