My first post here at RotoGraphs last year was an introduction to the Ottoneu Surplus Calculator, a tool I created to help ottoneu owners calculate and visualize the best assets in their leagues. If you want to know more about the background of the tool, or more specifics on how to use it, be sure to read that prior article. Today I wanted to announce the release of the early 2017 version of the calculator, using the just released Steamer 2017 projections.
As always when I talk about the surplus calculator, I have a few disclaimers to get out of my system:
- The calculator is just a framework, and the utility of that framework is independent of the dollar values used. Basically, the calculator itself doesn’t care what dollar values are used, and the point of the calculator is not just to release dollar value calculations
- Despite #1, the calculator is useless without some kind of values loaded, and it wouldn’t be fair of me to expect everyone to create their own from scratch. So I’ve pre-loaded dollar value calculations for all four ottoneu formats using Steamer 2017, because I’m such a nice guy.
- These early projections are rife with difficulties. Free agency has only just begun, a couple of players are conspicuously absent due to zero projected playing time (David Peralta and Carter Capps), and reliever values especially are very fragile based on expected roles.
- These dollar values are based on only one projection source, and it’s always been my opinion that multiple projections should be used. ZiPS won’t be released until January/February, so Steamer is what I use for now.
- #3 and #4 could really be summed up as DON’T TREAT THESE DOLLAR VALUES AS GOSPEL. You’re welcome to create your own and load them into the calculator, or even make tweaks player by player if you want. I’m happy to help answer questions about how to do that.
Okay, that’s probably enough nagging. What has changed mechanically since the version I released last January? A few things:
- The specific dollar values for your league format are pulled automatically based on the league number you enter in the calculator
- Added a Free Agents tab so you can see at a glance who the most valuable unowned players are
- Added a Team Roster tab so you can view only the roster of a single team, sorted by position and dollar value
- Added an Arb Targets tab which shows the assets on every team that the dollar values show as having surplus, which can be useful when trying to assign arbitration allocations
I have a few other changes I hope to implement over the next month or so, you can always find the latest version of the calculator and a changelog on the ottoneu community thread here:
For now, the best way to use the calculator is as a rough guide to the surplus assets in the league that should be allocated to in arbitration. After arbitration is over (ends 11/14), and until the keeper deadline (1/31), the calculator can be useful in determining which players to keep and which to trade. Once the keeper deadline has passed you will know exactly which assets will be available at auction, so you can calculate inflation and make an auction plan.
If you have any questions about the surplus calculator, feel free to leave a comment!
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.