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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
Scoring System:
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
Trea Turner 2B $23 397.5 623 27.1
Freddie Freeman 1B $26 716 647 24.9
Jake Lamb 3B $6 533.5 469 78.2
Francisco Lindor SS $28 698 632 22.6
Xander Bogaerts SS $23 718.5 615 26.7
Jose Abreu 1B $17 647 621 36.5
Ryan Braun OF $21 645 602 28.7
Manuel Margot OF $2 27 359 179.5
Adam Eaton OF $12 631 574 47.8
Jose Quintana SP $15 485.5 528 35.2
Julio Teheran SP $13 452 501 38.6
Danny Duffy SP $15 505.1 500 33.4
Jameson Taillon SP $6 242 419 70.0
Sam Dyson RP $3 413.9 369 123.0
Jharel Cotton SP $8 92.4 401 50.2
Jon Gray SP $8 373 480 60.0
Tanner Roark SP $6 503.5 448 74.8
David Robertson RP $4 398.4 434 108.5
Russell Martin C $2 374.5 380 190.0
Michael Pineda SP $5 356.1 466 93.3
Carlos Rodon SP $4 337 420 105.1
Joe Panik 2B $4 493 523 130.8
Jason Heyward OF $2 423 494 247.0
Brandon Drury 3B $2 432 398 199.0
Carter Capps RP $1 #N/A #N/A #N/A
Dylan Bundy SP $1 235.1 351 351.0

The points per dollar (PPD) column above is based on projected fantasy points for 2017 (FPTS 17).

The Points League Team Rosters

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.

But wait, instead of Freeman, how about Edwin Encarnacion ($22, 29.86 PPD) or Jose Abreu ($17, 36.5 PPD).

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.

 
  1. Tehol Beddict

    Tehol Beddict says:
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    You’re my idol! Great work

    • malamoney says:
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      @Tehol Beddict: Don’t say it if you don’t mean it :)

  2. Tim says:
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    Thanks for giving the points leagues some much needed (virtual) ink. And I appreciate your take on the difficulties of valuing points per auction dollar. While there are a number of helpful guides and tools to assist with drafting and valuing players in roto or categories leagues, I’ve not found these for points leagues, which would take positional scarcity into account in valuations. How did you calculate expected dollar values in advance of your drafts?

    • malamoney says:
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      @Tim: Thanks. Actually I use a method that I haven’t shared with the fake fantasy world. I’m sure it’s not unique, but in order to keep my opponents from having my exact player valuations, I have kept my auction tips/tricks to myself.

      Here’s what I will say. You need to use modified z-scores and total auction dollars available.

  3. Jerry says:
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    Hey, Malamoney. Asdrubal Cabrera, Joe Panik or Solarte for a bench spot in a head to head points league? Thanks!

    • malamoney says:
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      @Jerry: What’s your scoring system?

  4. Jerry says:
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    It’s standard scoring. Negative points for k’s and double plays.

    • malamoney says:
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      @Jerry: Personally I like Panik, but that’s partly gut. I think he has the potential to score the most points. However Solarte should have nice position eligibility which is nice to have on your bench.

  5. Jason Morgan says:
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    Nice post. I remember you mentioned this concept in years past. Thanks. Good luck in this league.

    • malamoney says:
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      @Jason Morgan: Thanks. And yes, I have touched on PPD in previous post. Also on the football side of things.

  6. Jerry says:
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    Ok, thanks. How about Robbie Ray or Julio Urias for a back end of the rotation pitcher?

    • malamoney says:
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      @Jerry: What are your keeper rules?

  7. Jerry says:
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    We’re allowed to keep two players that were drafted after the third round.

    • malamoney says:
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      @Jerry: Urias is the better pitcher. Just not sure when he’ll get the call.

  8. Blake says:
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    Grey,

    Need to pickup some hitters – none of mine are really performing well, What do you think? ( I can only pickup 15 players all season in my pts league) Batters (1pt 1B,2pts 2B, 3pts 3B, 4pts HR, 1pt R, 1pt RBI, 1pt BB) Pitchers (15pts W, 7pts S, 1pt SO, 10pts CG)

    C: E Gattis
    1B; G Bird
    2B: I Kinsler
    3B: K Bryant
    SS: C Correa
    OF: J Bautista
    OF: R Braun
    OF: C Granderson
    U: V Martinez

    B:E Thames
    B: M Cabera

    P: M Tanaka
    P: C Martinez
    P: M Melancon
    P: J Verlander
    P: Z Davies
    P: E Santana
    P: J smardazza

    B: C McHugh
    B: J Happ

    so the following are available – thinking I need a new 1B? or another outfielder? what about pitchers? McHugh will be out for awhile

    M Reynolds
    Y Alonso
    M Haniger
    R Zimmerman
    J Werth
    S Souza
    G Parra
    L Morrison
    J Aguilar

    K Graveman
    J Nelson
    A Bradley
    S Miller
    R Iglesias
    A Conley

    • Blake says:
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      @Blake: sorry, I meant Malamoney!

    • malamoney says:
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      @Blake: I think it’s way too early to be jumping the gun here. However, I would grab Haniger over Granderson. Other than Granderson, who is not an automatic drop, I really don’t see any droppable players.

      I like what I’ve seen out of Parra so far, not to mention he plays in Colorado, but his playing time will take a hit once Desmond and Dahl return.

      I’d probably scrap McHugh. Who knows when he’ll pitch and what we’ll get out of him.

  9. Blake says:
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    I went with Reynolds and I DL’ed McHugh. Should I drop granderson for haniger? Any pitchers I should do instead of Davies?

    • malamoney says:
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      @Blake: Yes, grab Haniger. Too early for me to make that judgement on Davies.

  10. Blake says:
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    any other waiver wire pitchers intrigue you? I am sure I have a lot more on waivers that are of interest that are not on my above list – I am in a 13 team league

    • malamoney says:
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      @Blake: Impossible to answer without seeing your waiver wire.

      • I got $100 for groceries, $1400 for liquor, and $6,000 for you to go bail a couple of shit puppets out of jail says:
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        @malamoney: gotta love the effort on some of these guys.

  11. Blake says:
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    Mike Dunn RP | COL
    JC Ramirez RP | LAA
    Andrew Bailey RP | LAA
    Fernando Rodney RP | ARI
    Chris Devenski RP | HOU
    Scott Feldman RP | CIN
    Jeanmar Gomez RP | PHI
    Martin Perez SP | TEX
    Brandon Kintzler RP | MIN
    Clayton Richard RP | SD
    Jose Torres RP | SD
    Jhoulys Chacin SP | SD
    Shelby Miller SP | ARI
    Dan Altavilla RP | SEA
    Jason Vargas SP | KC
    Kyle Freeland SP | COL
    Adam Conley SP | MIA
    Brad Peacock SP | HOU
    Miguel Gonzalez SP | CHW
    Jesse Chavez RP | LAA
    Chad Kuhl SP | PIT
    Wei-Yin Chen SP | MIA
    Raisel Iglesias RP | CIN
    James Shields SP | CHW
    Wily Peralta SP | MIL
    Matt Barnes RP | BOS
    Brandon McCarthy SP | LAD
    Patrick Corbin SP | ARI
    Jorge De La Rosa SP | ARI
    Andrew Miller RP | CLE
    Amir Garrett SP | CIN
    Felipe Rivero RP | PIT
    Taylor Rogers RP | MIN
    Carlos Estevez RP | COL
    Hector Santiago SP | MIN
    David Phelps RP | MIA
    Mychal Givens RP | BAL
    Cam Bedrosian RP | LAA
    Dellin Betances RP | NYY
    Tyler Wilson SP | BAL
    Erasmo Ramirez RP | TB
    Jim Johnson RP | ATL
    Phil Hughes SP | MIN
    Shawn Armstrong RP | CLE
    Hansel Robles RP | NYM
    Cody Reed SP | CIN

    • I got $100 for groceries, $1400 for liquor, and $6,000 for you to go bail a couple of shit puppets out of jail says:
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      @Blake: oh here it is.

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