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What is it like auction drafting from scratch in a keeper?

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What is it like auction drafting from scratch in a keeper?

Postby Sticky Spice » Sat Jan 12, 2013 2:37 pm

Short version - I am going to be auction drafting this year in a start-up mixed pretty standard roto league with about 15 teams. Our first draft. If there is no undervalue being brought in, then what are values like?

Long version:

Back in 1993 I played my first year of serious fantasy baseball. I came into a mixed roto league with about the same situation I describe above. It was very tough to compete because there were some ridiculous bargains on guys like Kenny Lofton and Frank Thomas on guys' rosters.

I'm wondering what it will be like to auction draft from scratch like this with no undervalue being brought in. Obviously, it will be a long day :-D But what is a good strategy? Is it easy to recognize undervalues in mid-to-top tier players? How rich is the end-game with talent?

Is there some sort of mechanism our league can put in place to make the draft go a little faster and/or make sure we don't draft a slew of mega-bargains that take years to get back to the draft pool? Or maybe I'm making assumptions that aren't true?

Please share your experiences and opinions...
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Re: What is it like auction drafting from scratch in a keepe

Postby Third Day » Sat Jan 12, 2013 3:55 pm

In person or on line, slow or fast draft? Redraft or keeper (how many)? All experienced owners?
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Re: What is it like auction drafting from scratch in a keepe

Postby Sticky Spice » Sat Jan 12, 2013 4:35 pm

In person, slow auction, keeper (3-yr contracts), mostly experienced owners. Wow, looks like we have a reserve squad of 17.
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Re: What is it like auction drafting from scratch in a keepe

Postby ayebatter » Sun Jan 13, 2013 12:00 pm

Sticky Spice wrote: Wow, looks like we have a reserve squad of 17.


I predict you will be looking for 25% new owners every year.
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Re: What is it like auction drafting from scratch in a keepe

Postby Sticky Spice » Sun Jan 13, 2013 12:17 pm

Is that because of the ability of a team to create a dynasty, and conversely, a team could build such a bad roster that they have no chance for the following year or two?
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Re: What is it like auction drafting from scratch in a keepe

Postby ayebatter » Sun Jan 13, 2013 1:41 pm

Sticky Spice wrote:Is that because of the ability of a team to create a dynasty, and conversely, a team could build such a bad roster that they have no chance for the following year or two?


Yes and Yes, 17 reserves assures that a poor draft will doom 25% of the original teams in the 1st year, the league will never recover from that draft and will close its books by year 3 because finding good owners will prove to be impossible.
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Re: What is it like auction drafting from scratch in a keepe

Postby J35J » Sun Jan 13, 2013 1:48 pm

ayebatter wrote:
Sticky Spice wrote:Is that because of the ability of a team to create a dynasty, and conversely, a team could build such a bad roster that they have no chance for the following year or two?


Yes and Yes, 17 reserves assures that a poor draft will doom 25% of the original teams in the 1st year, the league will never recover from that draft and will close its books by year 3 because finding good owners will prove to be impossible.


Yeah, keepers and dynasty leagues are very difficult to run and remain competitive and to keep everyone together each year. IMHO, if you are going to do one you'll want the least number of owners you can that you know are all dedicated to it. Usually an AL or NL only league with just 8-10 teams would be ideal and of course just tweak the roster size depending on how deep/difficult you want the player pool to be.
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Re: What is it like auction drafting from scratch in a keepe

Postby Sticky Spice » Sun Jan 13, 2013 2:30 pm

Thanks for the input, guys! It's also apparent that I don't know how to use the word conversely. :-B
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Re: What is it like auction drafting from scratch in a keepe

Postby fast dogs » Sun Jan 13, 2013 2:57 pm

17 reserves means this auction could go into the 10 to 12 hour range, maybe you can draft part of them at another time in a different format perhaps.
The first 3 hours there won't be any values, most go for too much early in just about any auction.
I suggest you have someone there to be the auctioneer, if not try to have the next guy to nominate the next player also prepared. The 15 to 45 seconds it takes for an owner to decide the players name he is throwing out really adds up when it happens 400 times. Once a player has been won, someone says Jones, your turn, Smith you are on deck.Sounds silly, but the more you can do to keep the sucker moving, the more you can take off the total time in the end.
Unfortunately, auctions have a tendency to quickly seperate the experts from the part time fantasy players. It doesn't take many years for a few franchises to become decimated and it is hard finding owners to step in for them and take their team.
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Re: What is it like auction drafting from scratch in a keepe

Postby SecretAgentMan » Sun Jan 13, 2013 3:09 pm

As long as teams can not retain most of their squad each year, it is not that hard to do. The problem will come if owners can lock in most of their squad or most of the top 125 or so players.

Via contract or salary escalation year to year, force owners to eventually throw players back into the pool or pay something close to market value. For instance, in one of my leagues we allow up to 4 year contracts and 8 keepers with 32 man rosters. Sooner or later, a top player reverts to his market price which will force the owner to either let him go or let some other bargains go because of the salary hit.

That said, auction keepers run into problems with auction inflation. Namely, most owners will have a core of players they got on the cheap or picked up rookies as free agents on the cheap and locked in for multi-year contracts. As such, the top players at or above market value that are cut free are bid on heavily at the auction. It is part of the game though and simply has to be factored in.

Having done one of these for a number of years, the key to being competitive each year is to find that rookie or two every now and then that does well immediately and lock him in (I got Trout last year for $1 at the end of the auction...did the same with Longoria a number of years ago). The other trick is to find a top player that had an off year due to injury and try to get him the following year at a bargain price and sign him to a multi year deal or a deal with an option. Risky, but it can pay off huge.
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