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KeeperLeague-Dealing w Owners who only play for "right now"

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KeeperLeague-Dealing w Owners who only play for "right now"

Postby weaz12 » Thu Feb 28, 2013 1:23 am

I am attempting to convert a 10 team - standard rotisserie, snake draft league on its 11th year into an auction draft keeper league. The decision to do so was based on a majority vote where 8 of the 10 team owners were all in favor of making this move. The league commissioner asked if someone else could take over the responsibility of running the league from here on out, and as a result, I was voted the new commissioner.

So, for the past 2 months or so, I have been attempting to gather as much information as possible on some of the ways to set up and run a keeper league. Having no prior experience with the keeper league format, the process of trying to set up this league has been a daunting task. My league mainly consists of a group of us whom have been best friends since grammar school, however I believe that this is more of a curse than a blessing when it comes to the integrity of the league.

The biggest problem that I have faced with setting this league up is trying to make everyone happy. When we all first talked about changing to a keeper league, everyone was all about it....but now that I have started to discuss what some of the necessary changes are, I am starting to receive a bunch of push back from a few of the more "primma donna' type of owners. As much as I love these guys, they can act like quite a bitch at times. The issue boils down to things like 1 person not wanting to do an auction based draft, another person thinking that anything more than 1 keeper is "ridiculous", another doesn't want to "deal with" a new host website....etc.

Because I've spent the time to do the research, I now know that doing an auction draft is the way to go for a keeper league, and that the average amount of keepers is between 5-7 players, and many other pieces of information, but trying to explain why these changes or league settings need to be this way is a completely different story. Most of the league owners are simpletons, and will literally get all flustered and cranky when they are asked to use their brains in order to understand something. Thus, I have been reluctant to really discuss the necessary changes with everyone out of the fear that the primma donna owners will just quit instead of having to try and understand the changes.

While I know that it would probably be best to weed out these types of owners now, lets just assume that it is not an option for the time being. So, I am trying to figure out a way to make the necessary changes to move to an auction draft based keeper league format......while keeping things elementary enough for everyone to understand. That said, I also don't want to have things be so simple that they are without real purpose, etc. For example, in my opinion, only being able to keep 1 keeper defeats the entire purpose of a keeper league.....as does a Snake Draft because the only thing to sway you from retaining a keeper permanently is the round in which they were drafted.

Ultimately, I am looking for the most easily explained ways to convert to a rotisserie, online auction draft, 3-5 player keeper league. The other very big fear that I have is that toward the end of the season, players start to adopt a "play for this year only" mentality. Knowing the types of guys that are in this league, I feel like there needs to be some sort of added incentive to keep owners away from doing things that put them in a position to win this year, but basically destroy their teams chances in the future.....mainly because I know that the result will be that they just quit the league after that year instead of paying for a league that they know each year they have no shot, etc. The only idea I could come up with was to charge everyone the league fees for years 1 and 2 up front. That way, each year....you would actually be paying for the next year, which would give each owner a vested interest in the type of shape they left their team in at the end of the year.

Apologies for the long post, but if anyone has any advice on how to handle what Ive talked about, it would be greatly appreciated.
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Re: KeeperLeague-Dealing w Owners who only play for "right n

Postby ayebatter » Thu Feb 28, 2013 2:47 am

You're gonna love having an auction but I hate to tell you that you'll never satisfy everyone if you make it a keeper in fact you'll be looking for at least a 25% manager turnover every year. That being
said if you're going to develop into a keeper I'd recommend that you do an auction this year and go to keepers next year with a redraft, that way everyone in the league will be able to get the feel of an auction draft before they have to auction for keepers.

good luck ;-D
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Re: KeeperLeague-Dealing w Owners who only play for "right n

Postby SlayeratCP » Thu Feb 28, 2013 12:50 pm

I would basically try to do a few things. First of all, don't change too much too quickly. Changing to an auction league is a big change by itself, and changing to a keeper league is also a big change. If people are really giving you a bunch of shit, maybe you could look into doing just the auction this year so people get used to it, and then adding keepers down the road. I do agree, however, that keeper leagues are better with auction formats. In an auction league, however, you don't have to be stuck to 5-7 keepers. Based on your methods, you could have only one or two players kept or 10-12.

The way I would set up the auction is to start with a standard $260 budget and you same rules and roster sizes from this past year. Let everyone know ahead of time what is going on. Take charge, you were voted commish for a reason. Then show them how to use Yahoo, ESPN, etc. to do mock auctions. Though it won't be exact, it will get your managers used to the auction format.

As for assigning keepers, we let people keep as many players as they want for $8 more than they drafted them for or $8 more than their FAAB value if they were claimed off waivers. Therefore no player is kept for less than $8 - FAAB of $0 or $9 is they were drafted. This goes up the same amount each year so even the best players aren't kept too long. You can up this amount to $10 or $15 if you want less keepers or lower it if you want more. At $8, I would say approximately 3-5 players are kept per team. This amount has allowed us to keep relative balance in the league. I wouldn't turn it into a deep keeper league in the first year simply because you could upset some people simply because they didn't draft well. At the end, each team will start with a different budget and a different number of keepers next year. I know Yahoo allows this, not sure about other sites.

As far as the play for this year mentality, that is hard to deal with. In any format, bad teams tend to lose interest. A keeper league will magnify that unless the team has several good young players that haven't yet performed in the current year. The best suggestion I have heard to combat this is to collect dues for this year and half of a team's dues for next year. So if you had a $100 league, everyone would pay $150 and you would keep the $50 as collateral for next season. If someone wanted to drop out, you still have half of their money. Then, in subsequent years, collect the $100 as you would normally and continue to roll over that $50 per player. Maybe make a rule that if a manager wants that $50 back, they have to give a year's notice or find a replacement for the league.

Good luck
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Re: KeeperLeague-Dealing w Owners who only play for "right n

Postby Kimbos Beard » Thu Feb 28, 2013 3:09 pm

First the other posters are right it sounds like those are some big changes and you will probably have to proceed slowly. I agree that you should just switch to an auction draft this year and not hold keepers until next. If owners have never done an auction draft, its a huge change and I am sure you will get some owners who don't do well on the draft and will let you know about it.

Secondly, ayebatter is right, if you have a group of "difficult" owners, runnning a keeper league is going to be a nightmare, or at least very difficult. There are always new problems or issues that come up with a keeper league that you didn't anticipate when you started the league; and I am sure you will not be able to get a consensus on how to address these problems. Heck, you need an in depth constitution on just how to get a consensus, how many votes or precentage of votes are needed to change something, what if its just to amend a rule, what if its to propose a new rule entirely, what do you do with the managers that don't pay attention and never vote, are they counted as a "no" or just not counted.

If you have a group of dedicated managers a keeper league is great, keepers and draft pick trading etc. add an entire new dimension to fantasy baseball, but its also difficult to deal with and harder to run and I can see how its just not worth the effort in alot of circumstances.
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Re: KeeperLeague-Dealing w Owners who only play for "right n

Postby fast dogs » Thu Feb 28, 2013 3:33 pm

"Most of the league owners are simpletons"
The wise guys in the league will chew these guys up and spit them out and dominate the league; I'm not sure going to an auction is the way to go here. If no 1 has done an auction before, be sure to set aside 6-7 hours instead of the 2 you are used to and you probly won't get done in that time frame the first time. Keeper leagues don't have to be auctions; auctions are better with a seasoned group of evenly matched players and even those tend to get dominated by the sharper players sooner than later.
I don't envy the task ahead of you, changing formats, changing providers, changing commishs. This is going to be a long tough year for you filled with problems, quitting, rules being challenged and loopholes exploited. I'd suggest fewer keepers giving the sharks less to work with.
Auctions are great I'm just not sure this is going to be the right way for your league to go with what you've already stated and knowing how tough converting to an auction can be for rookies in the format
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Re: KeeperLeague-Dealing w Owners who only play for "right n

Postby Fantasy Sports Genie » Thu Feb 28, 2013 8:18 pm

Without being too negative, I think your experiment is doomed to fail. A keeper league is a wonderful thing, but it only works with owners that are willing to think a bit more and stick around over time. You sound like you aren't convinced that your owners qualify on either of these issues. If you try to make a keeper league with people that are going to bolt easily, then it doesn't matter what you make the rules; you are going to have problems. It isn't impossible to have a keeper league where owners leave and are replaced by other owners, but it diminishes the experience and adds administrative overhead for the commish. My advice: don't try to put a square peg in a round hole. It really doesn't sound like this is the right group of people to do a keeper league with. When you find a group of managers who are really interested in doing this, I can give lots of advice. As a quick summary, I can easily enough link you to this document on our site (that I wrote, so you know it is really insightful ;-) )

http://baseball.fantasysports.yahoo.com/b1/keeperintro

I guess the other concrete thing I'd say is that if you are hell bent on doing this, I wouldn't necessarily combine the notions of a keeper league and an auction draft. You can very easily do either one without the other.

Good luck...
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Re: KeeperLeague-Dealing w Owners who only play for "right n

Postby weaz12 » Fri Mar 01, 2013 5:40 am

Thanks all for the replies.

As far as doing one or the other in regards to an auction draft or a keeper league, everyone has stated that they want to do a keeper league....so its more likely that we will go that route. The issue stems from 2-3 babies who think that doing an auction draft is the end of the world. I have been trying to make everyone understand what the impact is from doing a regular snake draft on a keeper league, and then what the differences are when you do an auction league.

While trying to explain things in the most simple manner, I basically just said that if we do a snake draft, things will be fine through years 1 and 2 because if you keep a player, you simply lose the draft pick in the round that the player was selected in the year prior. Ok fine....but what happens in years 3, 4 and 5? If you want to keep that same player, you basically just continue to forfeit that same rounds draft pick, etc. So every year you can keep the same player, for the same relative cost......as opposed to an increasing cost or tax. I fear that this will lead to teams keeping players for too long and will dilute the draft pool, etc.

Also, correct me if I am wrong, but if you do a keeper league with a snake draft, doesn't the #1 pick then become exponentially more valuable?
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Re: KeeperLeague-Dealing w Owners who only play for "right n

Postby mkultra » Fri Mar 01, 2013 2:13 pm

Switching to auction is, IMO, a much bigger deal than switching to keepers, and the two aren't intertwined at all. I've been in a long-running league that's got 3 keepers, each of whom can be kept for 3 years. It's H2H points with a snake draft, and we've got great manager retention. 3 players is enough that you don't need to agonize over whom to keep, and people aren't making crazy studs-for-prospects trades. We switched to 5 keepers this upcoming season because we've all been playing long enough to want something just a little deeper.

If you are going to go the auction route, I ABSOLUTELY AGREE with ayebatter that you should make your first auction season a redraft. Auction is a completely different strategy than snake drafts, and you can really screw yourself if you're not prepared to manage your money effectively. We did this for a dynasty league I started a few years ago and it was a hugely helpful exercise.
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Re: KeeperLeague-Dealing w Owners who only play for "right n

Postby Fantasy Sports Genie » Sat Mar 02, 2013 1:10 pm

weaz12 wrote:Thanks all for the replies.

As far as doing one or the other in regards to an auction draft or a keeper league, everyone has stated that they want to do a keeper league....so its more likely that we will go that route. The issue stems from 2-3 babies who think that doing an auction draft is the end of the world. I have been trying to make everyone understand what the impact is from doing a regular snake draft on a keeper league, and then what the differences are when you do an auction league. '

It doesn't sound like you want to do an auction to do an auction, however. It sounds like you want to do an auction because it is the way you happen to be imagining escalating player value. There are alternatives that might be more appealing to your other owners.

While trying to explain things in the most simple manner, I basically just said that if we do a snake draft, things will be fine through years 1 and 2 because if you keep a player, you simply lose the draft pick in the round that the player was selected in the year prior. Ok fine....but what happens in years 3, 4 and 5? If you want to keep that same player, you basically just continue to forfeit that same rounds draft pick, etc. So every year you can keep the same player, for the same relative cost......as opposed to an increasing cost or tax. I fear that this will lead to teams keeping players for too long and will dilute the draft pool, etc.

So you've described one methodology for keeper cost; it is one I don't particularly care for, and I'm not sure many leagues actually use. Alternatives might be:
- To protect a guy, you need to protect him one round higher than the previous year. Eventually a guy becomes too pricey to keep. Or perhaps the year after you give up your 1st to keep him, you have to throw him back.
- You could just put a cap that says no player can be protected more than X years in a row
- You could use a system that doesn't involve equating players to draft picks. In my league (which isn't perfect, but is a very different way), a guy's cost is solely tied to how many years he has been protected. Each owner gets to protect 20 years of service, and every year a guy is protected it goes up by 1. We seeded it the first year with something like, "Guys picked in rounds 1-3 start with a value of 4, guys picked in rounds 4-6 start with a value of 3, etc. etc."

Also, correct me if I am wrong, but if you do a keeper league with a snake draft, doesn't the #1 pick then become exponentially more valuable?

So what you are calling a snake draft I tend to call a standard draft, because you can do a standard draft with or without snaking draft order. In answer to your question I'd say 'yes', but I think that is part of what keeps people interested and makes things work. Like every major sports league, it provides hope for the teams that do poorly, and encourages league parity. For that reason, my league also doesn't snake. The main point of the snake is to try to make the draft equally fair for every team as much as possible. We don't want that; we want to give the worse teams an advantage. So we draft in reverse order of finish, and we don't snake from round to round.
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Re: KeeperLeague-Dealing w Owners who only play for "right n

Postby RotoValue » Wed Mar 06, 2013 5:25 pm

fast dogs wrote:...If no 1 has done an auction before, be sure to set aside 6-7 hours instead of the 2 you are used to and you probly won't get done in that time frame the first time.... auctions are better with a seasoned group of evenly matched players and even those tend to get dominated by the sharper players sooner than later.


I'd second the first point - my long-time auction leagues do take a long time. Indeed we take more than 6-7 hours, but then we figure we're going to do it all day anyhow, so we're not too good at keeping it moving.

My experience may mostly be with an experienced, evenly matched group. We've been doing full redraft auctions for over 20 years, and while we've had repeat champions, we've never had anyone win 3 in a row:
http://fillmore.homelinux.net/esra-nl/home.html

http://fillmore.homelinux.net/park_slope/home.html
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