ottoneu News: Keeper Deadline, Abandoned Teams by Chad Young January 19, 2012 Despite the Seattle storm (not to be confused with the Seattle Storm) that has me snowed in, baseball is actually just around the corner. Pitchers and catchers are due to report in about a month, fantasy auctions are on the calendar, and all ottoneu players are fretting over their keeper decisions. With that in mind, there are three topics that readers have been asking about that deserve some attention today: 1) Keeper decisions, 2) Filling abandoned teams, 3) Starting new teams and leagues. Keeper Deadline We are down to less than two weeks to make pre-auction cuts. The deadline is January 31 — cuts need to be made by midnight ET on that night — and I have heard from some ottoneu owners who are struggling to determine who is worth keeping and who isn’t. I’ve talked keepers a couple times before, and taking a look at those articles (and attending the Friday chats) can help, but here are a few quick tips and tricks: 1) Use the roster analyzer to set a lineup with the guys you plan to keep and make sure you are not doing anything that doesn’t make sense. You may have 39 guys who are worth keeping at their price, but if none of them play MI, you probably shouldn’t keep them all. By setting a fake lineup, you can find the holes in your roster, figure out how many players you need to add, and get a sense of how much money you need to have free. It will help you make tough choices when you can see where guys fit in your roster. 2) If you are unsure about a guy, check out the options other owners have at that same position. If you are thinking of cutting a guy at a position that everyone will be buying, the market will probably outpace your expectations, and it may make sense to keep the guy. 3) Anticipate inflation compared to year one. Going into year two, every owner will have their Michael Morse or Jason Kipnis or Jhonny Peralta — a guy who they had for cheap and now get to pencil in as a solid starter. That means that they have spent under the market at those positions and have more cap space available for the rest of their roster. 4) You want to keep value and production, but keep in mind that production can be bought — value cannot. What I mean by this is, we are all pretty confident in what Albert Pujols and Miguel Cabrera will do next year. But if you have them, you are probably paying $50+ for them, and while they might slightly outperform that, the chances are you can replace that $55-$60 of production by spending $55-$60 in the auction. But if you have the aforementioned Morse at $5, well, you have to spend $30 or more to replace the production you are expecting there. 5) There is still time to make trades! Guys from point 1 who are worth keeping but don’t fit? Swap them for guys who do. Abandoned Teams A few leagues have had teams jump ship (suckers! ottoneu leagues get so much more interesting over time — those of you who quit a team have made a huge mistake), which means there are existing teams up for grabs. And, conveniently, there is a new feature that can help owners find teams (and commissioners find owners). There is now a place to claim abandoned teams. League commissioners, if you go to your league homepage and click “Commissioner Tools,” you can set any team in your league to “Abandoned” status. I recommend doing this right now, since I am about to tell prospective owners where to find those teams. Now that the commissioners have done that, those of you who would like to claim an abandoned team, go to this link and find the team of your dreams. There are some real benefits to grabbing an existing team, rather than starting from scratch — you know the other owners in the league are committed; you potentially have a decent base to start from; the auction won’t be quite as long. But for those who would rather start fresh… New Leagues …you can either join a league someone else has put together or put together your own league.