If you’ve been following along you’ve probably discovered that the game of Ottoneu is a mathlete’s dream. It’s an advanced economic system built for fantasy baseball that only gets better over time. And while the Roto options will feel very familiar, the “points” scoring options (FanGraph Points and SABR) have become popular to the point where they are almost synonymous with the game itself.
Ottoneu is especially designed for the FanGraphs audience, but even the most sabermetrically-inclined fantasy players will find their first season or two of Ottoneu “points” to be a (worthy) challenge. Navigating a full auction draft, understanding the relationship between player scoring and player values (salaries), and trying to build a roster flexible enough to maximize games and innings over the course of a long season are just a few of the early lessons that need to be learned quickly. But few things are more puzzling to new owners than interpreting early season league standings, so today we’ll review the Standings Dashboard, a custom tool built to dig deeper into your league’s standings so you can properly evaluate whether you’re a contender or pretender.
Ottoneu Standings Dashboard
Using a first year Ottoneu league (“Brinksmanship“) as our benchmark, here’s a glance at the league standings through May 12th, 2016:
A quick look up and down these mid-May standings shows that PTS has a nice 140 point lead. It also shows that there’s only about a 600 point difference between the 1st place team and the 10th place team. In other words, this appears to be a tight race, which is to be expected in a brand new league where every team drafts from scratch with an equal opportunity to win.
But what to make of all the numbers? PTS is winning the points race on the back of the best pitching in the league (5.90 P/IP), but ranks just 7th in offense (5.23 P/G). The 3rd place team (Chin Musicians) is really slugging (6.01 P/G), but ranks near the bottom in pitching (4.96) despite conservatively throwing 10% fewer innings than the average of the league YTD (a pace of just 1,250 IP). Just how tight is this race, exactly?
Welcome to the Ottoneu Standings Dashboard! With the help of the infamous Justin Vibber, I’ve created an advanced standings tool that will help you make more sense out of your league’s stats so you can evaluate your championship hopes with a little more clarity.
We’ll let the screenshots below tell most of the story, but first some simple instructions:
- The dashboard is built in Google Sheets and available to all Ottoneu players via the Ottoneu community.
- A separate Sheet exists for FGPTS leagues and for SABR leagues, as scoring varies slightly between the two formats.
- Simply plug in your Ottoneu league ID number (you can find this in the URL of your league home page) into cell B1 and watch the dashboard (and corresponding graphs) update in real time for your league.
So is the Standings Dashboard reliable? It’s a good question, but maybe slightly less relevant than asking when the dashboard is reliable? After all, it’s only mid-May, but we’re attempting to dig behind the numbers now to find the most accurate projection of what will happen in 4.5 months. When you pull these numbers is just as important as how you calculate them, and as league standings slowly begin to stabilize with ever increasing player data, we should see a greater degree of accuracy in the pace (points) projections, too.
Just for fun, I pulled a slightly random (I purposely included each of the Top 10 Power Ranked teams from April) sample of 25 different Ottoneu FGPTS leagues and ran them through the dashboard as of May 12, 2016. Each of the teams below is projected to win their league (most total points) according to the dashboard:
Surprisingly, many of these projected league champions already reside in 1st place in their leagues, so this sample may ultimately tell us less about the reliability of the dashboard at season’s end than it does about the great start to the season for these owners. Regardless, we’ll keep an eye on these leagues and teams as the season progresses to see how accurately we can project October winners in mid-May. However, what you can’t see in these numbers is that several of these leagues do appear to have very tight races with 2nd, 3rd, and 4th place teams just a few points off the pace of the projected winners you see here, so things can change in a hurry, especially since the Dashboard is only using YTD ratios to project the future (it doesn’t know that you just traded for Miguel Cabrera in a blockbuster or have Yu Darvish returning from the DL in the 2nd half, for instance).
The Ottoneu Standings Dashboard is now live (for FGPTS and SABR), so regardless of whether your new to the game or a five year veteran, give it a try and let us know in the comments how your team projects this season.
Trey is a 20 year fantasy veteran and a five time Ottoneu champion, including the 2015 winner of the Ottoneu Champions League. He currently administers the Ottoneu community, a network of ~1,000 fantasy baseball and football fans. More resources here: http://community.ottoneu.com