First Auction half way through

4 hours into my first draft in Ottoneu and I couldn’t stop myself. I said “self, be patient. sure $400 is exciting coming from the world of $260. but 40 players is different from 23. be patient. stay the course. find the value.” I did that for about an hour, no value ever came, so i went hog wild back to my comfort zone of stars and scrubs. Here’s where I am at:

I drafted 12 players, so I need 28 more. I have $88 left. I’m 1 of 4 teams with less than $100 left. The rest vary from $121 to $179.

My team:
$12 Grandal
$16 Salvador Perez
$17 Goldschmidt
$31 Merrifield
$38 Seager
$9 Donaldson
$46 Yelich
$37 Tucker
$24 Meadows
$14 Correa
$35 Darvish
$33 Woodruff

Did I blow it or can people still find success like this in Ottoneu? I’m thinking I should hang back first hour (or more) when draft resumes and wait for team payrolls to get closer to mine. Thoughts?


What’s the scoring format?

My first thought is that I don’t understand spending $28 total combined for those two catchers. You can only start 162 games at catcher, so around half of Grandal’s production is going to wind up on the bench. Or Grandal is a very expensive insurance policy for Perez. Either way, I think that you spent way too much on two good-but-not-great catchers. If you were going to spend $28 on the position, then I would have paid the going rate for Realmuto (around $25) and paired him with a $1-2 catcher with some upside.

My other thought is that you paid retail for a lot of guys who I don’t think are good bets to generate surplus value for you, except for maybe Correa and/or Donaldson (Goldschmidt is a good buy at $17 too, depending on the format). For example, Merrifield at $31, even in 5x5, in a first year league is tying up a lot of cash in a rapidly depreciating asset. Now I paid $30 for Merrifield in a 5x5 auction a week or two ago, but that was in a mature league with some inflation and I had enough surplus value to offset paying a premium for Merrifield. I wouldn’t pay more than $25 or so for him in a first year 5x5 and quite a bit less than that in a first year FGPts league.

You’re in a tough spot now because you probably won’t be able to acquire as many good values as you might have had you been a bit more frugal. And you probably don’t have the cash to compete for top prospects. Your best course of action is probably to chase upside in young(er) targets that will likely go for cheap (e.g., Carter Kieboom) and hope they pan out. But I’d pull the plug on 2021 pretty quick if it doesn’t look like you’re going to contend. You have some good win-now assets that you might be able to trade for some surplus/future value midseason. So don’t give up quite yet, but start to think about how you want your team to look in 2022+.

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$3~ per roster spot at this point in the draft is rough.

You’ll get those prospects Walt mentioned at the very end of your draft. I’d try to nab someone like Taylor Trammell, who will likely see big league at-bats and doesn’t necessarily have the prospect hype.

I’d also reserve a decent number of spots – perhaps 5 – and a good chunk of change for auctions in April. Roster spots are going to be finalized. Players are going to get injured. You might find your peers have full rosters and are hesitant to drop someone they just drafted.

Awesome feedback, thanks gents. It is old school 5x5 roto. I had heard strategy to either draft only 1 cheap catcher or draft 2 good ones and can trade one mid season, that’s why I did that. Still so much to learn. Take the Merrifield for example, besides possibly trading him, can’t i just not keep him next year? I’m not married to that money forever? What do you mean way you say “reserve a decent amount of spots and money”, like don’t draft 40 players? Draft 35?

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Yes, draft 35 instead of 40.Particularly if others are filling up their rosters.

How much money should i shoot to save? Not much left as is. Adding and dropping difficult in Otteneu? How’s that all work exactly

You can cut a player any time after the auction draft ends. You’ll be on the hook for 50% of their salary as a cap penalty. That cap penalty is erased if that player is claimed off waivers or put up for an in-season auction by another team.

There was also a recent thread re: budgeting, which I think relates to your first question:

Some really interesting answers in this thread, I recommend it.

Just for counterpoint, here’s the majority of a startup draft I did this year: FGPTs, not 5x5, so steals/saves don’t cost such a premium… My total is $315 (17 players), essentially what you spent, but my whole starting lineup is filled and I’ve got an extra ace pitcher and reliever.

$10 Sanchez
$5 Garver
$16 Hoskins
$9 Solak
$40 Lindor
$22 Baez
$14 Hayes
$27 Stanton
$22 Blackmon
$10 Mancini
$8 Pham
$6 Pollock
$10 Cruz
$38 Nola
$32 Snell
$30 Kershaw
$16 Chapman

Overall, I’m happy. I would have liked Solak as a 4OF or MI, but with how thin 2B is, I can live with it; especially with Jorge Polanco sitting on my bench who should get 2B eligibility rather quickly. I probably overpaid for Hayes, but I like him long term and he was the last 3B I felt good about on the board which caused a bidding war. Surplus calculator has me in the top half, so I know I’m at least in contention, and if things don’t go as I’d hope there’s certainly assets that should be easy enough to trade. I may not have the “studs” that you do in Yelich/Seager, but I can probably acquire one near the deadline to push me over the edge if needed.

Bigger Picture: I don’t think you find much value in the first hour of an auction, it takes more patience than that and constant attention to make sure none slips by. However, I think the point missing in this thread is that every league is unique, valuing position/stats differently, and that distinct league economy can drastically change how an auction plays out. Your roster out of context against the league only carries so much weight. Do I think you overpaid for some guys, absolutely; but did the rest of the league too, or at a certain position? How much talent is left on the board? Are the people with remaining cap just going to overspend on mediocre players?

I wouldn’t say you’ve blown it, but you’ve certainly made it somewhat difficult as I think depth is wildly important in Ottoneu (not sure if your lineups are weekly or daily…) as injuries, cap penalties etc. add up. Without any depth nearly all the breaks need to bend in your direction for success in this format.

As far as the rest of the draft, I think you either look at high upside prospects ala Trammell (credit @valis2374), people coming off a disappointing season/didn’t play at a discount (Boyd, German), or older veterans (Upton, Pineda) that are generally undervalued in Ottoneu but still put up useful numbers.

I would agree with @walt526 that buying both Grandal/Perez is questionable and I would be looking to deal one the first reasonable chance I get. @valis2374 also makes a decent point of saving a few roster spots and cap space at the end of an auction; flexibility is key and midseason spending power (even just $5-10) can be wildly important for grabbing the next prospect or surprise breakout.

I think everyone either overspends or underspends in the first Ottoneu auction, it’s part of the learning curve and trying to find the right balance is difficult as it changes every year based on roster construction, allocation, etc. No one leaves an auction perfectly, everyone makes mistakes in the heat of the moment, but how you react to and manage those hiccups are important.