After fourteen drafts/auctions I am finally done selecting players. It was a long (and tiring) stretch of two weeks, but I don’t regret one thing. Although give me a few more days of watching my pitchers get knocked around and I might have a change of heart. The aforementioned drafts consisted of four points league auctions, one points league snake draft, five various mock drafts with the fantasy baseball gurus over at CBS, and four Razzball Commentator Leagues, concluding with the Razzball Experts league. Towards the end, my selections almost began to feel robotic. Something akin to a human auto-drafter. And while we’re discussing auto-drafting, I’d like to announce that I hate auto-drafters. Not the actual person, but the act of auto-drafting. Unless you’ve actually taken the time to legitimately rank your players, your presence (or lack there of) at our draft annoys me. And if you end up with two or more catchers or a handful of middle relievers/closers I’m talking about you.
Of all the drafts/auctions I participated in the one I’d like to discuss is the experts points league auction for the league known as The Points League. I’ve accepted that points leagues are the red-headed step child of fantasy baseball, but the bottom line is that many do play the format. Despite this fact most “experts” refuse to give points leagues much, if any, attention. And if they are in a points leagues, they generally don’t publicize as much. I bet the number of closet points league players is staggering. It’s 2017 people, you can come out of the closet.
A few weeks back I decided I was going to attempt to organize an experts points leagues by inviting some very smart, and mostly respected, fantasy baseball analysts/writers from across the online world of fantasy baseball. When all was said and done, and the league was filled, here are the fierce competitors vying to be the champion of The Points League:
malamoney – Razzball
Ryan Fowler – Fox Sports
Chris Meaney – FNTSY Sports Network
Heath Capps – Fake Teams
Nick Mariano – RotoBaller
Joe Bond/Anthony Applegarth – Fantasy Six Pack
Tanner Bell – Smart Fantasy Baseball
Michael Florio – RotoExperts
Steve Rapin – Fighting Chance Fantasy
Lance Brozdowski – Big Three Sports
Kyle Bishop – RotoBaller
Scott Barzilla – The Fantasy Fix
As you can see from the list, this is not your average group of players. When playing with competitors of this caliber, there’s no room for mistakes. If fantasy baseball was a poker tournament, this looks like the final table.
Here are the brief league details.
The Points League is pretty much the Fight Club of fantasy baseball points leagues. The only difference is we are free to talk about it.
Draft: Auction ($260 auction dollars)
Rosters: C, 1B, 2B, 3B, SS, CI, MI, U, 5OF, 6SP, 2RP, 5 Bench, 2DL
Format: Season long points league
Teams: 12 Teams
Lineups: Weekly Lineups
1B (+1), 2B (+2), 3B (+3), HR (+5), R (+1), RBI (+1), H (+1.5), SB (+1), BB (+1.5), CS (-1), SO (-1.5), HBP (+0.5)
IP (+3), K (+1.5), BB (-1.5), HA (-1), ER (-1), W (+5), L (-5), SV (+7), BS (-3), WP (-1), HB (-1), PO (+1)
If you regularly read my posts you’ll know that I am big fan of auctions. I love auctions and hate snake drafts. To briefly summarize, I love the fact that in an auction every team has a shot at every player. Navigating an auction and using your budget the build the best team is a game within itself.
When it comes to spending my auction dollars wisely I often reply on “points per dollar”. How many points am I going to get in return for each dollar I spend. Because of this principle, you will almost never find the high priced studs on my roster. Economically speaking, they are often not worth their high price tags.
Let’s take a quick look at my team and then I’ll discuss some of the other players.
|Name||Pos||Cost||FPTS 16||FPTS 17||PPD|
The points per dollar (PPD) column above is based on projected fantasy points for 2017 (FPTS 17).
Before we can begin to put these players’ values into perspective we need to get a look at some other players, as well as some league averages and other auction facts.
- The were a total of 312 players won in the auction
- The most expensive player was Mike Trout who went for $51
- After Trout, was Clayton Kershaw at $50
- Sixty-three players were won for a single dollar
- The average dollar value of all players was $9.91
- There were twenty players that went for more than $30
Here are some average PPD values across the league.
- The average PPD for all players is 47.28
- The average PPD for all players (excluding $1 players) is 40.83
- The average PPD for all players greater than the average player cost ($9.91) is 27.76
- The average PPD for the top 25 (based on dollar value) players is 18.54
One dollar players are very difficult to include in PPD conversations and comparisons. On the flip side, the high priced players are almost certain to have poor PPD ratios. This doesn’t necessarily dictate that they are a bad way to spend your auction budget, but you won’t find me shelling out the cash to get them.
Projected to score 759 points, Mike Trout ($51) has a projected PPD of 14.88 points. Nolan Arenado ($43) is projected to score practically the same amount of points, yielding a slightly better 17.84 PPD. I’d much rather have Arenado and the $8. Looking at the auction results I see that Andrew Benintendi went for $8. Maybe it’s just me, but I think Arenado and Benintendi combined are better than Trout.
Joey Votto ($37) was the most expensive first baseman. With a 710 point projection for this season, his PPD sits at 19.19 points. Now let’s look at Freddie Freeman ($26) who is projected to score about 650 points (24.9 PPD). Why not sacrifice 50 points and save $11? Over 23 weeks, that’s barely over 2 points per week. Meanwhile we could have used that $11 to get Gary Sanchez, Eric Hosmer, or a host of other players.
As already mentioned, Kershaw was the highest priced pitcher. Projected to score 745 points, his PPD is 14.9 points. I just can’t see tying up nearly twenty percent of my overall budget on one player. Especially when Madison Bumgarner ($35) is projected to score only 50 points less at a $15 discount (19.82 PPD). Or how about Johnny Cueto ($21, 28.98 PPD)?
The average PPD of players $10 and up was 27.76 points. Yoenis Cespedes ($21) is projected to score 583 points which gives him exactly a 27.76 PPD. This make Cespedes the average player with respect to value for your dollar. The average dollar amount was between $9 and $10. Players in this range include Stephen Piscotty ($10, 53.7 PPD), Aledmys Diaz ($10, 52.6 PPD), Albert Pujols ($9, 67.56 PPD), Evan Longoria ($9, 63 PPD), Matt Kemp ($9, 58.44 PPD) and Jackie Bradley Jr. ($9, 52.11 PPD).
Here are some players that I feel were excellent bargains on auction day.
Daniel Murphy ($23, 29.3 PPD)
Robinson Cano ($23, 29.26 PPD)
Kyle Seager ($21, 30.38 PPD)
Andrew McCutchen ($19, 32.26 PPD)
Brian Dozier ($16, 37.5 PPD)
Adam Eaton ($12, 47.8 PPD)
Dustin Pedroia ($11, 54.55 PPD)
Eric Hosmer ($10, 60 PPD)
Albert Pujols ($9, 67.56 PPD)
Andrew Benintendi ($8, 69.38 PPD)
Evan Longoria ($9, 63 PPD)
Ian Kinsler ($15, 40.73 PPD)
Melky Cabrera ($16, 36.69 PPD)
It’s obviously very difficult to know how much a player is actually going to cost, but hindsight certainly paints a clear picture. Longoria ($9) and Maikel Franco ($14) are both projected to score about 565 points, yet Franco cost an additional five dollars. That five bucks could have made the difference between you owning Carlos Martinez ($14) and Zack Greinke ($9) later in the auction. Or how about Albert Pujols ($9) versus Yangervis Solarte ($4).
Both A.J. Pollock ($20) and Stephen Piscotty ($10) are projected to score about 530 something points, yet Piscotty was ten dollars cheaper. Even if Pollock out performs Piscotty by a little bit, I’d still rather have that extra ten spot in my budget. That could be the difference between owing Julio Teheran ($13) and Zach Davies ($3).
Here’s one more comparison I’d like to highlight. Last year Denard Span ($6) scored 548 points in 637 plate appearances (0.86 PPPA). Starling Marte ($21) had 498.5 points in 529 plate appearances (0.94 PPPA). Marte was slightly more productive, but was he 15 dollars more productive given they are both projected to score slightly over 500 points this year? If you’re not convinced, how about Justin Upton ($15) who scored 487.5 points last year and is projected at 509 for this year. Why not take Upton and Span for the same price as Marte, filling two roster spots and leaving you more dollars for another. Something to consider.
You see this is the fun that is the auction draft. Finding the hopefully smart buys so you have a little extra fake money to build your fake team.