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Help my keeper league, please!

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Help my keeper league, please!

Postby Ragoczy » Tue Aug 05, 2008 11:39 am

My league has been going for over 10 years now. 11 team 5x5 NL only roty auction keeper league. 10 keepers plus 4-player minor league system. We've run into a problem though and can't really agree on how to correct it.

The league has become 'trade for the flag'. The winner isn't who builds the best team as much as it is who can make the best trades. Trades should be part of the fun and should be a part of winning/losing, but not the main avenue. The past couple of years it has become a 2-team race by the beginning of July as teams figure they are out of it and trade for the following year.

Money isn't the driving force for trying to win, so that isn't the issue. We like the keeper league setup so we don't want to go year to year and we don't really want to reduce keepers drastically. We have discussed a salary cap, limited number of trades, etc. One owner suggested going from roty to head-to-head and having 4 teams make the playoffs so more teams would stay in the race but that is a pandora's box that many of us would rather not open--plus we think roty is better.

I'm open to suggestions and how other teams prevent or avoid the trade-for-the-flag issue. Thanks!
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Re: Help my keeper league, please!

Postby noseeum » Tue Aug 05, 2008 11:58 am

You have to give to get. You're going to have to change something.

10 keepers is too many. That leaves a lot of room for huge dump trades. If someone only has 6 quality keepers, of course he's going to do whatever he can to get 4 more solid players.

You're in an auction league, so you can't reward owners with higher draft picks. Putting artificial limits on the number of players in trades or the number of trades is just annoying.

Just drop the number of keepers to 5 and have some sort of discount system for keeping a players purchased cheaply the year before. This increases the number of players worth keeping while at the same time reducing the total number of players kept. Makes it so pretty much everyone has 5 players worth keeping and they're not desperate to make a deal.

With 10 keepers, if your team stinks this year, you're already screwed for next year. 10 players is a lot. It's only natural to do whatever you can to make those 10 better for next year.
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Re: Help my keeper league, please!

Postby Bobbleheadrusty » Tue Aug 05, 2008 1:16 pm

The way I see it you have a couple of options. Cutting keepers doesnt really work, since a smaller keeper pool will only increase the incentive to dump (competing teams can give up one elite player for 3-4 contributors). Coming from a dynasty background, we see less dump trades since even those guys are getting kept.

1. Increase the prize pool. Create a payoff for the teams that finish 3rd or 4th, or pay category winners a prize. That will keep more people competitive later into the season.

2. Make an earlier trade deadline. If you cut off trades earlier in the season fewer teams will know what position they are in to drop

3. Create a Losers pool. Im not sure how you do your auction values, but let the teams that miss the payoff have an advantage the following year. If you pay off 1-2 then let the team in 3rd have an extra $15 at auction, 4th have $10 and 5th have $5. Alternately, the team that comes in last could lose $10, the next team could lose $5. That should keep an extra couple teams competing until the final day.

4. Do a split season pot. Reserve 25% of the payoff pot (or so) to the team that is best from July 1 on. Teams that were rocked by injuries early can come back to win the second half.
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Re: Help my keeper league, please!

Postby Ragoczy » Tue Aug 05, 2008 2:03 pm

Bobbleheadrusty wrote:The way I see it you have a couple of options. Cutting keepers doesnt really work, since a smaller keeper pool will only increase the incentive to dump (competing teams can give up one elite player for 3-4 contributors). Coming from a dynasty background, we see less dump trades since even those guys are getting kept.

1. Increase the prize pool. Create a payoff for the teams that finish 3rd or 4th, or pay category winners a prize. That will keep more people competitive later into the season.

--- We pay 4 places already and the minor league draft order is 5th-last followed by 4th-1st. We tried category payouts for a couple of years but that didn't do anything.

2. Make an earlier trade deadline. If you cut off trades earlier in the season fewer teams will know what position they are in to drop

--- The dump trades are starting in early May

3. Create a Losers pool. Im not sure how you do your auction values, but let the teams that miss the payoff have an advantage the following year. If you pay off 1-2 then let the team in 3rd have an extra $15 at auction, 4th have $10 and 5th have $5. Alternately, the team that comes in last could lose $10, the next team could lose $5. That should keep an extra couple teams competing until the final day.

--- Possible idea

4. Do a split season pot. Reserve 25% of the payoff pot (or so) to the team that is best from July 1 on. Teams that were rocked by injuries early can come back to win the second half.


--- I have toyed with some form of this idea, but I'm not sure about web site support for it.

Can anyone give me their experiences with using an in-season salary cap? That is one idea that keeps getting bounced around. Thanks!
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Re: Help my keeper league, please!

Postby tah161 » Tue Aug 05, 2008 6:18 pm

Simple, pay out top 5 teams. and make transactions cost money. So if someone is dumping their team for a bunch of young keepers it will end up costing them a little bit more because of 5 dollar trades.

The league im in, we have top 5 payout, and it cost 5 dollars to make a transaction.

The teams who trade away their stars get young, CHEAP keepers for the following year. This is beneficial because we only have 265 bucks to build our team on. Each year you keep a player he goes up a certain amount of dollars, except the first year. For example if you pay 50 for Arod, the next year he would be 50, follwing year, 55, after that 65. You obviously wont be keeping him once he costs to much.

The thing about this, is that if you blow up your team because your out of it, its still is going to cost you, because of trades and such. So you really have to think about if its worthwhile or not.
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Re: Help my keeper league, please!

Postby Matthias » Tue Aug 05, 2008 7:12 pm

Someone else was asking basically the same question two weeks ago and two of the ideas I had were:
1) Create a financial incentive/disincentive to doing well/poorly: either do a prize for most improved in the 2nd half (something we do) or charge people based upon how many roto points they finish behind a pre-determined level, say 6th or 7th place. So the first method would just be a straight prize (say, 1/4 of the entry fee) which would go to most improved. The second method would be $X per point for every point behind say 7th place that you finish. So if 7th place finishes with 52 points and you finish with 36, you have to pay into the league 16 times $X and then that would just go into the prize pool.

2) Create a limit on how many of your keepers can come from trades. The total number of keepers would be unaffected; you'd just have to pay more attention in drafting.

Something else you could do would be to institute a transfer tax on traded players, increasing their keeper price a set amount. So if a player was $7 for you to keep, but then you trade him, his keeper price goes up to $12, say. And then if he gets traded again it's $17.

Or you could build in an auto-reset... every 3 or 4 years, you clear out all the keepers and start from scratch again.

In-season salary caps are ok but they won't really address what you're looking for. The first year I did my league I had the in-season salary cap equal to the auction cap and that was too restrictive... people couldn't do any sort of trading really. Since then I've done 20% over the auction cap and it's just become a little irrelevant. I guess you could fiddle with it try to find the sweet spot... maybe 10% over auction budget?

I also think that decreasing the # of keepers would help, too. If you cut it down to a few, people will only be willing to sell out so much... it's not like someone is going to do 4 studs for 1 keeper... it just offends them too much that they feel like they're getting ripped off. We do 4 keepers, basically, and people look to next year but you don't see fire sales really.
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Re: Help my keeper league, please!

Postby FilmMan » Fri Aug 08, 2008 4:57 pm

We have had ridiculous dump trades occur in the many years I have been in my league and often times I am involved on one side or the other. We have a few tools in place to help the league stay competitive throughout the year.
1) The best way, to at least spread the players around, is an in-season cap. Our draft budget is $26 (old school) and our in-season budget is $32. This way you can't trade all your .10 cent guys for $4 guys. You might be able to pull 1 or 2 moves, but the other teams will be able to as well.
2) Pay out for the top 5. This helps keep more people involved. We have 8 of our 12 teams in competition for finishing in the money. The bottom 4 are actually making out very well in their quest to obtain good keepers.
3) Restrict the number of moves you can make in a season. Ours is a little hard core (we only allow 10 non-DL moves from active to reserves) so it forces teams to trade to make moves.
4) We have no free agency. This sucks at times as guys like Cliff Lee etc that don't get drafted aren't able to picked up, but it also eliminates the 2 or 3 for 1 deals as you cannot drop anyone.

My suggestion is an in-season cap so you don't have 2 teams stockpiling.

Really, I have no objection to dump trades, mainly because in order to make one you have to have had a good draft in the first place. But I would be bummed if ALL the good/high priced players were going to just 1 or 2 teams.
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