Head-to-Head scoring coming to Ottoneu Fantasy Baseball in 2018

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I agree with you, @murph3699 - in terms of gameplay, I think a hard cap on Games Started would be the best solution… but my understanding is that hard limits aren’t really feasible in terms of game design/data storage, so I’m just thinking within the soft cap box.

So in order to avoid the problem you point out regarding the stockpiling of SP’s, in lieu of a hard cap there are only a few options (as I see it). Limiting starts per day is the one that I think is the most sensible option because it isn’t any different than what is done with any other position- I mean, you can’t start three third baseman for example. A bonus effect is that it stimulates league trading as owners will look to move SP’s if they have several that generally start on the same day. It also introduces an added level of strategy within the league’s gameplay, as owners start to look ahead on the schedule and try to project when certain guys will start- which makes streaming more of a challenge as each owner is limited in useable choices in FA, and if they choose the wrong guy he could end up having a bad enough game where he actually hurts the team.

The only other options to neutralize a soft cap issue (again, as I see it) are to A) deflate how pitchers are scored; B) increase how many active hitting slots are required; and/or C) enforce some penalty or disadvantage for going over the cap. You could also put roster limits on SP’s, but that presents a few other problems when it comes to franchise play.

I prefer natural limits over getting too cute with those other settings (although I liked the penalty system that I used & described in the previous post, but the record keeping can be a hassle), so that’s ultimately why I’ve come to favor fewer active SP slots over anything else. It’s just a simple, clean, and easy solution to a potentially volatile problem.

Murph is right; the sharp owners (or at least the ones that read this thread) will simply draft an abundance of SP’s to start with. In fact I’ll give you the key to winning this design right here: spend top dollar on a few really good hitters and then load up on SP’s almost regardless of talent or having any hitters on the bench, because not only are you going to snag the most extra IP’s that you can every week but you’re also going to be robbing the rest of the league of available streamable/stashable options.

Once everyone else gets a sense of how to get an edge, whatever options are available on the market are going to dry up fast. Suddenly you have a league that is super-rich in offensive FA talent but has zilch for pitching, and that’ll happen before June. That tends to turn some people off to the format, which I hate to see as I think there’s a ton of promise for the right ottoneu H2H points design.

But, if you want to see how that plays out, how about you comp me an entry to one of these leagues and I’ll play this feature to the extreme :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:


Trust me, I’ve been through it before and took advantage myself. My league is going into year 14. I took over after year 4 and 2 straight championships. The first thing I did was cap the amount of starting pitchers on the roster. It made an immediate difference. Teams had to actually build a rotation instead of throwing volume out and winning the counting stats every week because they had twice as many starters and elite hitters.

There has to be a cap. If capping starts per week isn’t possible then a soft cap is the next best. Limiting pitcher starts per day isn’t fair, especially come playoff time.


I’d say limiting starts per day has the exact same effect you describe with capping the number of SP’s you could roster, and in the same way you say it isn’t fair to limit starts I can say capping SP’s isn’t fair when it comes to building a “farm” of younger/useable-tomorrow-not-today arms. Plus, there are guys with dual SP/RP qualification and the stashing of hurt/non-DL pitchers that complicates the rule.

The only real difference between these two methods is the strategy in choosing who to play for streaming purposes and what the motivation is for some people in making certain transactions. Usually teams are pretty set in roster makeup where this isn’t really an issue by the time the Playoffs roll around- which, BTW, offer plenty of “unfair” opportunities that we can do nothing about (I mean, how many times are SP’s scratched within that 48-hour auction period late in the season, and how often do some teams face cup-cake/call-up lineups in September while other teams face division-chasing rosters, for example?).

I’m basically on the same page as you, though.


I totally agree about the winning strategy in this format. Even if 6 teams draft 7 real SPs, and 6 draft 18 (the “sane” version", with a few backup hitters), you’ll have 150 SPs drafted, which is 100% of the MLB pool. And if some owners really go nuts for SPs (i.e. 23 each), you could run dry with only 4 competitive owners.


And that is exactly what happens when people set up leagues this way with other services (Yahoo/ESPN/CBS).

There’s an opportunity here for ottoneu to stand out even more against those big box companies- a H2H format that just. makes. sense.


From what I can tell, the above does not really exist :slight_smile:

Regarding streaming, if everyone knows starting pitchers, even marginal ones, carry this much value, the market aspects of Ottoneu should reflect that. I’m no surplus value robot (cc @eamuscatuli) but I really do think the market will dampen the streaming strategy a bit. Not to mention that having a bad start can really tank a week from a points perspective, making the streaming strategy high variance. Starting a 4th starter from a non-contender on Sunday because of the soft cap doesn’t necessarily mean a big boost in points.

Also, if everyone is locked in on maximizing IP in a matchup, and I’d guess the Ottoneu users are far more comfortable with this strategy than the average Yahoo player, not only will the market cause those marginal starters to be far more expensive than the value their P/IP should be worth, it won’t even be a huge advantage, because everyone is doing it.

I’m still leaning 60 IP and 3 starting pitcher slots per day. No start limits, but having to pick your 3 best starters on your soft cap day seems to be a decent trade off?


On paper, I agree that it appears so- assuming an average IP per GS of 5.5, and accounting for roughly 10ish IP from the pen, that puts teams at around 8-10 GS per week. The IP cap makes it harder to stream SP’s because of bullpen management, but it’s still possible.

I don’t agree that exceeding the cap wouldn’t be a statistically significant boost in points; a savvy owner who squeezes two extra starts plus any pen activity on a Sunday (or Saturday) and averages 4.8 P/IP (if that’s fair) could easily net an additional 50 points for any matchup. And it’s not possible for everyone to do it because there just aren’t enough pitchers.

My issue is what happens when owners who don’t consider stockpiling SP’s as a strategy (and why would you when you’re building a roster in a format that’s supposed to weigh both sides of the game equally?) figure out halfway through the year that the leading teams are going 10+ IP over the cap at will. Those are the owners who often get upset because the settings weren’t as ‘clear’ as the seemed at the start… after all, why have a cap if it will just be exceeded every week? That’ll be the argument, anyway.

I’m not sure how accurate your market prediction is, either, because I’m willing to bet that at least half of the people in most of the leagues will not see the value in these mid-level SP’s that can be hoarded on the cheap at the start of the league until later, after the FA market dries up with P’s. And that’s what makes this strategy such an advantage- everyone won’t be doing it to start the season, and the owners who build their teams with this in mind can tap into a potential 50-point edge for any match. After a few teams do this, there just won’t be the depth on the market for the rest of the league to catch up, and it’ll be a lost season for half the teams halfway through the year.

I am still excited for the H2H format, I just don’t want to see folks turned-off by what I’ve seen to be a common problem in similar designs. And I’m not talking about the hardcore group of ottoneu faithfuls who are more “comfortable” with it; I want you to attract even more people with a H2H format that’s actually balanced in every aspect of the game. I’m just not sure that this format isn’t going to play any differently than what is commonly done on other platforms, which is a pitching-heavy/stream-first approach to gameplay that quickly filters out any other method of roster-building competitively.


This is not a thing that the same team will be able to do every week - teams who rely on this strategy are at the whims of the schedule.

Ottoneu is a multi-season format. If your entire concern is stemmed from the first 2 weeks of a new H2H league starting to wrap their head around the market, well I don’t know if that is necessarily a concern that needs to be planned against, because people will adapt.

Most of these concerns seem to be features of H2H fantasy baseball. Of course H2H is going to be a little bit more stream-heavy - if you don’t want that, maybe play season-long points or roto? On some level, streaming seems to be a feature related to the core value proposition of H2H. I’d like to see leagues where owners all recognize this and see how their SP market reacts before out of hand dismissing the most unique aspect of Ottoneu, which is the open market bidding on every single player.

If you have a very specific thing you’d like to see changed from “3 SP slots, 5 RP slots, and a 60 IP cap”, please let me know.


Maybe make it 4 SP, 5 RP and 60 IP?


I just thought of something else. The trade deadline. 8/31 would be the very end of the regular season. Thoughts?


This is from the original post.

The main question here, and maybe it deserves its own thread, is about the experience those of you who have played H2H in the past have had with playoffs, especially 6-team playoffs, and how they should play out in terms of dates at the end of the season.


Yes, and I’m sorry- I thought it was clear what I was advocating:

No cap and 2 active SP’s, which creates a natural limit on both roster management as well as with streaming in a way that is no different than any other position on the roster, and which leads to a more balanced market/league environment when it comes to roster building. Additional bonuses to this setup include stimulating a more active trading environment, and an added level of strategy as streaming and projecting probable starters becomes much more of a challenge since it is regulated by the limits of the setup and not an arbitraty soft cap. I also like 6 RP’s, but that’s nitpicking and not half as important as active SP slots.

The absolute only downside to 2 active SP’s is that you can’t play three or four or however many guys you want on the same day. But that would be true for everyone; which means the SP playing field is level and no one can manipulate a “feature” to gain an edge. In my experience, this is the setting that leads to the most enjoyment from the most owners throughout most of the season- I’ve tried IP caps, GS caps, penalties, adjusting scoring, and adjusting roster/active hitter size, and I’ve been in leagues that simply cap the number of P’s or SP’s on the roster. Nothing works better than limiting starts per day- it’s like an inverse-streaming feature, I guess you could say.

You are right- streaming is an aspect of H2H. But my experience is that the best gameplay for everyone happens when you neutralize it- not embrace it. I can hit that 60 IP cap on a Thursday, Friday, Saturday, or Sunday, it doesn’t really matter- all that matters is that I can go over it by some amount that gives me a statistical edge. And if I have stockpiled enough SP’s on the bench to pick and choose who I want to play on whatever day works best, the whims of the schedule has no effect on my strategy.

My entire concern is not based on what happens in the first two weeks of a new league in a multi-season format. My concern is that the strategy for this is simple: overspend in the draft on a lineup, then hoard SP’s throughout the year. The first year will see at least half the owners late to the game with little to no shot at having a successful year before May is over. Assuming those owners aren’t turned off and stay for another season, then the future of the league (or market) will always be dominated by starting pitching- how many SP’s can you roster, is it worth carrying any Hitter on the bench at all, what’s the value of a mid/lower-tier arm, etc. Hitters will become a secondary thought, and the ones that could have value as a platooner will actually have close to zero value since the 10 or 15 points you could get in a week from spot-starting a Bench hitter pales in comparison to the potential 25+ you can get out of one GS.

I don’t like that type of gameplay, and it doesn’t need to be a “feature” of H2H leagues. If you limit GS per day, then there’s no market advantage to hoarding SP’s and people can build their rosters just like they do with Total Points leagues (which, I bet, is how people will draft, at least to start). A stream-heavy design will take away from the enjoyment of at least half the league after the first couple months of the year and will forever skew the league (or market) to one side of the game, whereas a balanced approach to roster-building would lead to more people staying engaged throughout the year as they’re able to stay competitive without a large number of SP’s or staying constantly focused on the SP market.

With the volatility of each weekly matchup, I’ve found that two-week playoff matchups are both more competitive and fairer for the teams involved. Obviously, a three-round Playoff would mean the post-season starts in August. Could it work as the first round or first two playoff rounds are one week and the final/championship round is two or even three weeks?

I’ve also wondered in the past if it wouldn’t be better to take all the playoff teams and schedule them all against each other for the entire month of September. So each Playoff team is playing five matchups simultaneously to finish the season, with the winner having the best record over that span (either as 20 weekly matchups/5 per week, or as 5 individual matchups over one full month).

Can you do simultaneous matchups in a week? One thought for a 6-team playoff (while avoiding any Bye’s) might be to have the #1 seed play both the #5 and #6 at the same time while the #2 seed plays the #3 and #4 for the first round, making for 6 games over two elimination matchups with the four remaining teams after the first round finishing the year in regular matchups. Likewise, you could have the same setup but only boot the loser of the 3/4 (versus the 2) and the 5/6 (versus the 1) seed- so the top two seeds advance regardless of the first round results, but they’re still “playing to eliminate” two of the other seeds.


I’m going to focus on the playoffs in this response.

It doesn’t make a lot of sense to me to change from single matchups in-season to simultaneous matchups in the postseason. For simplicity sake and to limit the conversation, let’s just assume single matchups across the board, regular season and playoffs.

I do like the idea of the first week of September being Wild Card week, the second week of September being the semifinals, and the championship being the last two weeks of September. This would allow all playoffs, regardless of wild card or not, to start in September, and would allow the trade deadline to stay where it is now, which would be good across the board for all formats.

My only concern would be that the last two weeks of the season will have some weird rostering situations, but most of September has that problem, not just the end of the month.


My main concern about 2 SP slots is that it will be frustrating to have to pick two SP to start on certain days. I’m pretty ok with the rest of this logic here and I’m willing to try it out, with the caveat that if we see greatly differing valuations between season-long formats and H2H formats (again, cc @eamuscatuli), this number may need to be tweaked in 2019. Basically, we shouldn’t see SP valuation tank or become more volatile in the H2H formats, right?

I definitely want to create a weekly gameplay that remains engaging through the whole season, as that is the primary value proposition of a H2H format versus a roto/season-long points. I believe the market with cap penalties and the 30-day re-auction rule will greatly curtail streaming, but I know that is basically the number one concern of anyone serious who plays H2H.

I will say that GS caps are off the table, as that is punitive for teams who get a real dud start. I think it comes down to either a soft cap and more SP slots or no soft cap and less SP slots, and I’m wrapping my head around the notion that a soft cap implicitly encourages streaming (which we’ve all equated to bad), so that’s where I’m at right now.

Paging @murph3699 so he can get me to flip-flop before the end of the night :slight_smile:


I haven’t seen SP valuations tank with 2 SP’s, and in this format I think they would stay right in-line with SP valuations in Total Points leagues. I have seen SP valuations inflate with 3+ SP’s (without other roster controls), regardless of an IP cap, and that’s because of the edge in stashing SP’s on the bench to be used at will with the additional SP slot or two. An IP cap dampens the effect- but it still embraces streaming as a strategy.

The 30-day auction rule won’t have much of an effect with a deep, 40-man roster when just a few teams can just stash a ton of arms early on in the season, even if they aren’t being used, and dry up the market. That’s when the prices for lesser SP’s will go up later in the year since there’s not many SP’s left in FA.

In a market sense, 2 SP’s forces a more even distribution of SP talent among the league- which, in turn, allows for alternate roster strategies (hitting, bullpen, and/or prospect-focused) to have an equal chance at success over time rather than a pitching-heavy approach to roster building having the edge every year, year after year.


The fundamental difference in strategy between roto and H2H, when it comes to building a pitching staff, is short term vs long term. With a 40 man roster, in roto, I’m sticking with 9-10 guys. 4 of them are probably “always” starts, a few more are matchup/park dependent and the rest are depth. I’m not counting minor leaguers.

In H2H, especially with points, I’m throwing volume out there. I will roll out the bare minimum of hitters and relievers. That’s why caps are necessary.

I do believe 48 hour auctions will curb, to some degree, streaming. Then again those of us trying to manipulate the soft 1500 IP cap know how to play that game the final week of September lol. However, if you load up on 500 pt $1starters on your bench you have all the streaming options you’ll ever need in house.

My suggestions:

  1. 12 starts per scoring period or
  2. 60 IP cap with 3-4 starts per day


  1. early August trade deadline
  2. Combine all-star week with following week
  3. Skip last weekend of season. Most players sit, a la week 17 in NFL.

Also, will there be a hard cap for hitter starts per scoring period? I ask because of the two catchers slots in the starting lineup


I personally don’t like having to choose between all of my options on a single day because I have a bunch of guys going the same day. Let me choose how to distribute my starts or innings up to the agreed upon cap.


This is why SP slots need to be limited. Any cap that is decided is arbitrary and an artificial control on pitching, and (as a soft cap) it’s a “rule” that can always be broken. Limited SP slots works as a natural cap so there is absolutely no way to throw volume at any matchup and no reason to stash a bunch of pitchers for the right situation.

Bingo- and with 2 active SP slots, there’s a real roster cost to loading up on 500pt $1 SP’s because you can only use two of them on any day. The only way to neutralize this strategy- other than with a hard cap or roster caps on SP’s- is with a smaller number of SP slots.

But allowing you that option would also make possible the volume strategy you bring up here. Pitching schedules are quite random throughout the year, so in practice it’s not all the time that you’re losing out on good performances because of the limit. It happens, but I argue that the net effect of this on the league and the design as a whole is not nearly as significant as what the “volume strategy” does for the league’s gameplay/market.

Thank you @nivshah for the format and the debate and the time and consideration! I’m very much looking forward to this format, and to seeing how the settings play out for ottoneu!

If it helps, I can set up a public league with a big-box brand with the IP cap/3 SP setting if you just want to track (not join or anything) what happens in the alternative setup.

All I have to add is to remind people that we’re talking about 12 teams drafting and adding pitchers throughout the year; even when you have three or more guys starting on the same day at one point in the season, with off-days, scratch starts, short starts, long rest, injuries, etc, SP schedules all ultimately even out for everyone over the year.

Which is just to say, 2 SP’s is nothing to be afraid of :smiley:


Ok, well at some point this debate has to end, and we’re going to do that here.

The caveat for everything below is that we should keep the conversation going through the season and I’m more than willing to revisit any / all these decisions in the 2018-19 offseason.

  1. We’re going to go with 2 SP slots for H2H game modes, and no inning or games started cap. Bid on SP and build your roster accordingly.
  2. In 2018, we’re looking at a 25 week schedule, with a couple of longer weeks, one for the opening week (3/29-4/8) and one around the All-Star break (7/16-7/29). Thanks for the note on this @murph3699
  3. H2H will have 1 catcher slot. Again, thanks to @murph3699 for pointing this out. There is a very good chance this ends up leading to switching to 1 C slot across the board, which will be finalized within the next week.
  4. We will have 3 playoff configurations that any league can opt-in to:
    a. Wild-card, 2-week championship matchup
    b. No wild-card, 2-week both rounds
    c. No wild-card, 2-week championship matchup
    All these options would start on 9/3, with option c. being the only way to avoid the last week of the regular season.
  5. The trade deadline will remain on 8/31 this season.

Both H2H and playoff options will be made available in the league settings and on the league creation page very soon - hopefully by the end of this week.

Thanks to everyone who participated in this conversation! I’m happy to see the amount of interest and excitement around this format, and I am looking forward to the first year of H2H Ottoneu Fantasy Baseball.

2018 Playoff Options
H2H game modes and playoff options are now live

That all sounds good for H2H, Niv. I do have a question about the switching of C’s to one spot in all formats. Is this going to cause the game limit for C’s to go down or will it stay at 162? I ask because, and this is purely anecdotally, I would think a lot of catchers take most of the same days off in baseball (Wednesday/Thursday day game and the Sunday game), so it may be a tad tricky to get to 162.