After four years of playing both types of leagues, I've come to the conclusion that all points leagues are solvable in a purely mechanical way: with a pre-draft spreadsheet analysis. You really need the push and pull of categories to keep the play "honest".
However, I set up a points league this year where the goal was to have the least productive team of regular players possible. That was a lot of fun and not easily manipulated because it is so counter-intuitive. This is the scoring system:
AB (1), R (-1), H (-1), HR (-2), RBI (-1), SB (-1), CS (2), BB (-1), K (2), GIDP (2), E (2)
W (-5), L (5), SV (-5), H (1), R (1), HR (4), BB (1), HBP (2), K (-1), WP (2), BLK (2), SB (2)
Dice wrote: Hitters AB (1), R (-1), H (-1), HR (-2), RBI (-1), SB (-1), CS (2), BB (-1), K (2), GIDP (2), E (2)
Dice - why +2 for a K? Looks like fun though. Be a laugh to see the winning team if you have it.
It was hard balancing expected offensive and pitching numbers. The 2 points for the K's made it even.
Here's my current league leading roster. I pick up and release players frequently to take advantage of "hot" players.
C J. Estrada (Atl - C)
C M. Barrett (ChC - C)
1B B. Jacobsen (Sea - 1B,DH)
2B B. Hall (Mil - 2B,SS)
3B J. Randa (KC - 3B)
SS J. Valentín (CWS - SS)
OF R. Johnson (Tor - LF,CF,RF)
OF A. Núñez (KC - LF,RF)
OF R. Baldelli (TB - CF)
Util L. Terrero (Ari - CF)
BN D. Young (Det - 1B,3B,LF,DH)
BN W. Peña (Cin - CF,RF)
BN J. Varitek (Bos - C)
BN R. Durham (SF - 2B)
DL J. ReyesDL (NYM - 2B,SS)
SP S. Elarton (Cle - SP)
SP J. Bonderman (Det - SP,RP)
SP J. Lima (LA - SP,RP)
SP C. Fossum (Ari - SP,RP)
RP J. Bennett (Mil - RP)
RP R. White (Cle - RP)
RP Je. Nelson (Tex - RP)
BN K. Lohse (Min - SP)
BN J. Jennings (Col - SP)
BN D. Lowe (Bos - SP)
points leagues are more about "beating the system" than the competition than say your 5x5 roto league. not that its necessarily a bad thing... it can be fun, but like you said, points scoring systems can be easily manipulated and someone who has the system beat can kill the competition with a totally unbalanced team.
anyways, PTO, i think the first thing i would look at is making sure that theres no pitching/hitting imbalance. most of the points leagues i've seen favor pitching pretty heavily. i dont play points leagues a lot and i've never really tried to come up with a balanced points league scoring system nor have i seen one, so cant help you too much..
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Pedro Martinez....$17.5 million
Curt Schilling...$12 million (and a $2 million bonus)
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In my "serious" league, I did a full spreadsheet projection analysis for the first time. I figure out what the average starting player for each position could be expected to score according to the system, and ranked each player on how far above par they were. I trusted what the spreadsheet told me, and drafted 8 pitchers and a catcher in my first 9 picks.
The league was over within two months. I just can't go back to points anymore, once it's been solved. It's like beating a level in a video game.
Whatever you do, I suggest feeding the numbers of a full season into a spreadsheet to play around with the scoring combos, so that at least offense and defense are proportional. The big imbalance in my league was that wins were worth 10 pts and saves 5. An average quality start by a starter would be around 10-15 points, so that the bonuses rivaled the base performances themselves.
The top 10 picks of the reverse fantasy league were: Mike Maroth, Brad Wilkerson, Jamey Wright, Omar Daal, Darren Oliver, J. Peralta, Paul Bako, Wily Mo Pena, Doug Mientkiewicz, and Jeremy Bonderman.