The Best Ottoneu Team Money Can Buy?

Last week I posted my calculated 2017 dollar values for ottoneu FanGraphs points leagues, and while they aren’t meant to be an exact representation of each player’s true value this past season, they should reasonably convey how much each player was worth. I also happen to have a set of data on the average auction price for all players in thirty first year ottoneu FGPts leagues from last spring. Today I’ll be constructing three hypothetical ottoneu teams using ’17 final results and those average auction salaries, with one of those teams serving as my best guess for the best $400 ottoneu team that could have been built in a first year league.

Before I go any further, a quick note on why I am using real first year auction prices rather than the average salaries per the average values page. As an example, Jose Ramirez had an average salary of $8.2 across all FGPts leagues as of the end of 2017 (his current average is $10.2, but I deducted $2 to back out the annual $2 increase for MLB players in ottoneu), but my first year auction data shows that he went for $12.8 in first year auctions. That discrepancy is due to undercosted Ramirez shares that were kept between ’16 and ’17, so the first year auction averages better represent the true market value as of the beginning of 2017.

Up first, let’s take a look at a hypothetical team you could have built consisting of the players that most outperformed their average auction value (AAV) in 2017:

Most Surplus
Pos Name PPG G Points AAV
C Kurt Suzuki 5.77 81 467.4 $1.0
C Chris Iannetta 5.15 81 417.2 $1.0
1B Ryan Zimmerman 6.55 144 943.2 $1.0
2B Jose Ramirez 7.30 152 1,109.6 $12.8
SS Zack Cozart 6.77 122 825.9 $1.5
MI Marwin Gonzalez 6.00 134 804.0 $1.0
3B Anthony Rendon 6.73 147 989.3 $16.9
OF Aaron Judge 8.37 155 1,297.4 $4.7
OF J.D. Martinez 8.27 119 984.1 $23.2
OF Charlie Blackmon 8.19 159 1,302.2 $29.6
OF Tommy Pham 6.88 128 880.6 $1.0
OF Cody Bellinger 6.87 132 906.8 $5.7
UTIL Travis Shaw 6.19 144 891.4 $1.4
1B Justin Smoak 6.04 51 308.0 $1.0
2B Jonathan Schoop 5.87 78 457.9 $5.6
OF Marcell Ozuna 6.84 117 800.3 $10.2
Hitting Totals 6.89 1944 13,385.3 $117.6
SP Corey Kluber 6.33 203.7 1,289.4 $36.4
SP Brad Peacock 5.58 132 736.6 $1.0
SP Luis Severino 5.54 193.3 1,070.9 $2.2
SP Alex Wood 5.23 152.3 796.5 $1.6
SP Zack Godley 5.14 155 796.7 $1.0
RP Craig Kimbrel 10.55 69 728.0 $15.2
RP Corey Knebel 9.59 76 728.8 $1.6
RP Fernando Rodney 9.22 55.3 509.9 $1.9
RP Felipe Rivero 8.64 75.3 650.6 $2.1
RP Chad Green 8.09 69 558.2 $1.0
SP Jimmy Nelson 5.03 175.3 881.8 $1.0
SP Chase Anderson 4.96 141.3 700.8 $1.0
SP Charlie Morton 4.94 2.5 12.4 $1.5
RP
RP
Pitching Totals 6.31 1500 9,460.5 $67.5
Grand Totals 22,845.8 $185.1

Note- many players with a $1 AAV were not actually drafted in any of the 30 first year FGPts leagues, but I considered any undrafted player to have a $1 salary for the purposes of calculating the AAV. Also note that the G/IP and points listed on these tables for some players only represent the G/IP needed for the hypothetical team to reach the G/IP caps.

Many of those hitters were highlighted already in Trey Baughn’s bargain hitters article last week, so I won’t spend much time rehashing those players, but I will mention that Aaron Judge was the player who most outperformed their auction cost ($4.7 AAV, $58.6 ’17 value), and the next closest was his teammate Luis Severino ($2.2 AAV, $37.4 ’17 value). If you were lucky enough to own both players this past season, you had an enormous advantage.

You probably already noticed, but as good as this team would have performed (more than 2K points better than the best FG team in ottoneu this year), it also would have left $215 on the table at auction, which is terribly inefficient. Surely, we can build a higher scoring team by slightly reducing our overall team surplus, while still remaining under $400. Let’s take a look at one example:

Most Points?
Pos Name PPG G Points AAV
C Gary Sanchez 6.41 122 782.0 $27.2
C Kurt Suzuki 5.77 40 230.8 $1.0
1B Joey Votto 8.14 162 1,318.7 $44.0
2B Jose Ramirez 7.30 152 1,109.6 $12.8
SS Zack Cozart 6.77 122 825.9 $1.5
MI Brian Dozier 6.65 152 1,010.8 $22.2
3B Justin Turner 6.93 130 900.9 $16.2
OF Aaron Judge 8.37 155 1,297.4 $4.7
OF J.D. Martinez 8.27 119 984.1 $23.2
OF Charlie Blackmon 8.19 159 1,302.2 $29.6
OF Giancarlo Stanton 7.96 159 1,265.6 $38.1
OF Rhys Hoskins 7.80 50 390.0 $1.0
UTIL Cody Bellinger 6.87 132 906.8 $5.7
MI Marwin Gonzalez 6.00 60 360.0 $1.0
3B Travis Shaw 6.19 32 198.1 $1.4
OF Marcell Ozuna 6.84 159 1,087.6 $10.2
OF Matt Olson 6.75 39 263.3 $1.0
Hitting Totals 7.32 1944 14,233.8 $229.6
SP Corey Kluber 6.33 203.7 1,289.4 $36.4
SP Chris Sale 6.18 214.3 1,324.4 $40.3
SP James Paxton 5.84 136 794.2 $14.4
SP Brad Peacock 5.58 132 736.6 $1.0
SP Luis Severino 5.54 193.3 1,070.9 $2.2
RP Craig Kimbrel 10.55 69 728.0 $15.2
RP Roberto Osuna 10.03 64 641.9 $12.3
RP Corey Knebel 9.59 76 728.8 $1.6
RP Sean Doolittle 9.35 51.3 479.7 $3.1
RP Fernando Rodney 9.22 55.3 509.9 $1.9
SP Carlos Carrasco 5.28 200 1,056.0 $23.7
SP Alex Wood 5.23 80.7 422.1 $1.6
RP Ryan Madson 8.78 24.4 214.2 $2.5
RP
Pitching Totals 6.66 1500 9,996.0 $156.1
Grand Totals 24,229.8 $385.7

Now we’re talking! Our new team scores 1,384 more points than our previous iteration, and stays within the $400 budget. This team includes 30 players at $386, leaving $14 to fill the remaining 10 spots. I will admit that I didn’t rigorously optimize this team using something like Excel Solver, but the improvements that could be made to this roster should be negligible.

Not only would this team have smashed ottoneu records this year, it would be set up to be a dynasty for years to come with keepers such as Jose Ramirez/Aaron Judge/Rhys Hoskins/Cody Bellinger and James Paxton/Luis Severino/Alex Wood, not to mention the under costed stars.

Now that we’ve shown the hypothetical teams with the most surplus and most points, let’s take a look at a team you could have purchased at auction that would have provided you with replacement level performance:

Replacement Level Team
Pos Name PPG G Points AAV
C Jonathon Lucroy 4.09 123 503.1 $22.1
C James McCann 4.04 39 157.6 $1.1
1B Mitch Moreland 4.59 149 683.9 $1.0
2B Brandon Phillips 4.53 144 652.3 $1.0
SS Eduardo Escobar 4.54 129 585.7 $1.0
MI Javier Baez 4.48 145 649.6 $12.0
3B Ryon Healy 4.66 149 694.3 $5.7
OF Nick Markakis 4.56 160 729.6 $1.8
OF Manny Margot 4.51 126 568.3 $4.3
OF Gerardo Parra 4.50 115 517.5 $1.2
OF Ben Gamel 4.49 134 601.7 $1.0
OF Jesse Winker 4.49 47 211.0 $1.2
UTIL Chris Davis 4.52 128 578.6 $16.5
MI Steve Pearce 4.38 68 297.8 $4.4
3B Yunel Escobar 4.51 13 58.6 $1.0
OF Jackie Bradley 4.43 133 589.2 $13.1
OF Curtis Granderson 4.39 142 623.4 $5.1
Hitting Totals 4.48 1944 8,702.1 $93.5
SP Antonio Senzatela 3.68 134.7 495.7 $1.0
SP Zach Davies 3.63 191.3 694.4 $2.3
SP Dan Straily 3.57 181.7 648.7 $1.0
SP Andrew Cashner 3.57 166.7 595.1 $1.0
SP Carlos Rodon 3.57 69.3 247.4 $8.7
RP Hector Neris 6.52 74.7 487.0 $5.0
RP Trevor Hildenberger 6.52 42 273.8 $1.0
RP Dominic Leone 6.48 70.3 455.5 $1.0
RP Zach Britton 6.47 38 245.9 $20.8
RP Darren O’Day 6.47 60.3 390.1 $1.2
SP Josh Tomlin 3.50 141 493.5 $1.0
RP Kendall Graveman 3.48 105.3 366.4 $1.1
SP German Marquez 3.47 162 562.1 $1.0
RP Peter Moylan 6.46 59.3 383.1 $1.0
Pitching Totals 4.24 1496.6 6,338.9 $47.1
Grand Totals 15,041.0 $140.6

Yuck. To be clear, this team isn’t meant to be made up of $1 AAV players (i.e. replacement level as of the start of ’17), but rather represent the players whose actual 2017 performance was the closest to the replacement level baselines I calculated on my retrospective dollar values. Many of these players are names owners would have been glad to own going into this season, but all of these players were just barely below being worth starting in ottoneu, but also worth rostering.

It’s interesting to me that a team full of replacement level players would still score 15K points, considering nearly 25% of all FGPts teams failed to reach that mark in ’17. That suggests that the teams below that mark made no attempt at filling out their lineup all season.

We hoped you liked reading The Best Ottoneu Team Money Can Buy? by Justin Vibber!

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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.

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Trey Baughn
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Regardless of total IP, I’m curious how many teams averaged that 4.24 P/IP or below on the season