Can I bid on an in-season auction that winning will put me over roster or salary cap limits?

To bid on a player, do I need to have an open roster spot or can I bid on a player and then drop a player after winning the auction? If I need an open roster spot to make a bid, then I assume my max bid is the amount I am under the cap, correct?

I am $2 under the cap and I have 40 players on my roster, but if I win the auction I intend to drop a player with a $10 salary. I know he will count 50% unless he is claimed so I would have $5 from dropping the player, plus the $2 so I would be able to bid $5+$2 = $7. Correct?

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That sounds correct. I just had a similar situation (won a bid while already at 40 players) and it forced me to cut a player before I was able do complete any additional actions.

You can bid on as many players as you like but must cut enough players after winning those bids to get legal. The rule some people forget though is that you must have $1 to cover each of the 40 roster spots, even if you don’t carry a full 40 players. In other words if you are at 39 players but $400 of $400 (cap) your team is still illegal


Thanks LuckyStrikes. That is what I assumed but the rules weren’t clear on this.

Based on a recent auction, it seems that one can win a player from an auction even if the cost of the player puts the winning manager’s team over that team’s cap. Because of this, that team’s roster is ineligible and the team will have to make a roster adjustment to compensate. This seems kind of weird, kind of like me winning a Picasso at an art auction but then having to sell my house (and much much more) to make up for the expenditure.

Any team that didn’t win but has cap space loses out on the auctioned player, and though the winning team has to clean things up, other teams may not be interested in the fall out (dropped players, etc). I guess I don’t have a question apart from is this as designed? In most fantasy sports auctions keeping track of how much money someone else has to spend helps in knowing who can bid and who can’t, but that doesn’t seem to be an informational advantage in Ottoneu.

I guess it’s as designed. Basically, ignore the cap number as well as the roster space number as they are irrelevant about whether one has a chance to win an auction over another manager. Makes winning auctions tougher to gauge for sure.


Note that you should always have a plan for how to make your roster legal before bidding on or claiming a player. Or else you might wind up having to make cuts that you’d rather not make (including possibly cutting the player you just got). But you absolutely can make a move that will make your roster illegal and force you to make a cut(s) as soon as possible you that you can set lineups, start and bid on auctions, trade, etc.

In most fantasy sports auctions keeping track of how much money someone else has to spend helps in knowing who can bid and who can’t, but that doesn’t seem to be an informational advantage in Ottoneu.

Most other formats don’t use Vickrey auctions, which is a more fundamental difference between Ottoneu and something like a FAAB auction.

Also, you can often infer who is best positioned to make an aggressive bid on an expensive player by reviewing their available cap space as well as their roster to see if they have any obvious cuts. For a major FA auction (e.g., Trout a few years ago when he got hurt or Tatis last year after his suspension), I’ll take some time to game out who might be in on the auction. With both Tatis and Trout, I correctly figured out who the top bidders will be and approximated their bids. It takes more time than just looking at available cap space, but that’s part of the fun.

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All the more reason to bid what you think the player is worth—the point of the auction mechanics using Vickrey—it’s less about who has space, but what that player should be worth.


I think that, for new people to Ottoneu, one should ignore the definition of what a ‘cap’ or roster limit usually means for every other fantasy site. As enlightening as it is to work with something new, it can be a jarring experience.

Even though there’s a lot of great information already written, a lot of this stuff doesn’t really sink in until it’s experienced in-season. Maybe it already exists, but perhaps a stripped down introduction to newbies about some of the main differences between Ottoneu and typical fantasy sites might help. Something like “You can win auctions even if you’re over the cap” or “You can start relievers as starters, and starters as relievers”, with links to the appropriate thread or article for more in depth details for those who are interested/shocked.

I am sure I will bump into even more surprises this year, but at least next year I will know what’s coming.

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