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:
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:
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:
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.
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.