Ottoneu Fantasy Baseball price changes in 2019

I think that’s a fine mentality for redraft leagues, but in a keeper scenario I’m not sure it’s as practical. For example, I took over a team a week or two before the 1/31 cut-down deadline. I don’t have a shot at winning the league, but I do have a shot at 2nd/3rd, so it gives me something to manage toward while I’m retooling the roster to try to make a real run next year. Also, there are just too many leagues where only a few teams have any realistic shot of winning even before the season starts.

As for the deadlines, I agree, the cutdown deadline shouldn’t be the same day as the renewal deadline.


Everyone plays to win. The point here is that, as it’s been outlined above, you’ll be paying the same amount as before but with a higher rake and smaller prize pool. It’s one thing to move 3rd place winnings into the 1st place pool. It’s another thing to just remove that money from the prize pool altogether.


I agree with the sentiments above concerning $50 leagues. If margins are that tight for this tier, raise the fee to $60 and pay out $300/$100/$50 as before. You end up with $270 net (higher than the $250 now), and you keep the existing incentives to play for third (which, as so many above have noted, are important to keep league integrity).


Maybe I’m in the minority here, but I always assumed the cost to play would eventually disappear for non-prize leagues–to match the competition–not increase over time at all. It’s hard enough convincing people to move leagues from free services when the basic league costs $10, now I’m already being told that owners won’t be coming back.


Precisely. It’s one of the oldest economic models in the world – you get people in the door for free with a base level, and then you charge them for an upgrade. There’s a reason it works, not sure why Niv’s doing the exact opposite.

hey niv…ever hear of ad revenue?

the product is the same or worse than it has been for years and now you increase prices.

count me out.

goodbye ottoneu.

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@abailey you’re right. i didn’t realize money was being taken out of the pool. that should not happen.

While it isn’t specific to Ottoneu, their is a phone app that works for it. “Fantasy Baseball All In One” is what it’s called. It’s not the best, but it allows you to access Ottoneu pretty quickly and set lineups easily.


I will have to look at that, thank you.

Ok, let me try to address some of this feedback as best I can.

  1. I think the point being made about separating the renewal deadline and the keeper deadline is a good one, and I’d like to look into doing this. Almost no leagues draft before 2/15, so the dates proposed by @LuckyStrikes seem good.

  2. The point being made about needing a prize for third place at the tier above $20 and below $100 is really good and I will need to re-evaluate how to make sure the top three get paid in that prize tier.

  3. In terms of the various concerns about site improvements and features, I would argue that the site has improved tremendously since launching in 2011, and continues to get better every day. However, it is not currently a sustainable business, and this price change is an attempt to make it sustainable for the long-term.

  4. In response to the note about advertising, I used to be involved with advertising at a large media company before leaving in 2015 to work on Ottoneu full time. I do not like the change in incentives that advertising brings to the table. All development effort would be spent optimizing against advertising, not adding features to the site. I am happy to talk about this in another thread with any of you who are interested.

Our only source of revenue is from customers who believe the game is good enough and fun enough to be worth their money and time. This keeps our incentives aligned with the people that matter most - the users who play Ottoneu. I would like to not have to change that.

I think that covers the main bullet points brought up here. I will be offline for the rest of the day unfortunately, but I will make sure to read everyone’s posts when I can and respond where it makes sense. Thanks for the feedback and keeping the conversation mostly civil, I really do appreciate that.


I recently acquired a team in an established league and was frustrated that I wasnt able to participate in arbitration. Are there any plan to let new owners contribute if they inherited a team that likely did not contribute in the fall?


possibly move arbitration after dues


4 years on Ottoneu and I have not once made it through a draft without a problem. Would have been a nice milestone prior to the $ increase.

People who believe that increases in prices are in direct relation to increases in profits don’t understand inflation and economics. I feel for you Niv in that I can imagine that the tremendous growth the ottoneu platform has had over the past five years has likely led to severe costs to maintain the site with no price increase over that period.

I think this is a smart move. While I likely will pair down a couple teams in the offseason I would assume they won’t kill leagues as they’ll just find replacement owners.

That said where you need to be careful in your business model is the increase in rake. Right now you’ve got the changes set up so that if you’re in a $50 league it makes more sense to make that a $20 league and use an outside payout platform. Could be the same thing at the $100 level and $250 level.

If you are really looking at the higher payout buy in leagues to be a revenue source consider two things:

  1. Make the take consistent as a percentage roughly equal to competitors.
  2. Offer different payout tiers that are league specific. Meaning winner take all, pay 2, pay 3 or pay 4.

Should 3rd place really be paid out? Winner take all imo

use that 2nd place money to make an app

Yeah letting leagues decide how the payouts will be allocated could be a smart/easy way to address this.


I have been the commissioner of a basic $10/year league in ottoneu since 2012. Me and a handful of friends migrated here after a few competitive yet underwhelming seasons in yahoo. Even though the interface was less polished than yahoo, the design of the system and the game play was a day and night difference. The thoughtfulness of the points system and the bidding system is equitable and fun to use. I check my team every morning while I eat breakfast. There are glitches from time to time, but Niv always responds quickly and fixes them. I am happy to pay $20 a year instead of $10 for the chance to play a 7 month long strategy game with some of the people I like the most and see the least. In a world where everything is corporate and easy and a lie, ottoneu is something that feels designed by and for humans who have an unhealthy capacity to crunch numbers and watch baseball. I’m happy to support that with my dollars. I’m honestly surprised the price to play wasn’t raised before and am happy that it finally is.


This is my first year of Ottoneu, and I have had my frustrations, but overall I have to say Niv and the guys are doing a great job. I cant imagine that going from $10 to $20 for something as enjoyable as fantasy baseball can seriously be a deal breaker. There are always costs associated with maintaining websites, especially ones that host this much data. Lets give the guys a break.