First, I do realize this could be cosidered "borderline Draft/Trade/Waiver forum" stuff, but this isn't just a simple trade or waiver pickup. I need advice on an entire free agent strategy.
I'll explain how my league's FA system works in the easiest way I can. Each player has a contract, but it's not based on actual dollar amounts (like Pujols isn't $45 in this league). It's in years that count towards the salary cap. This part doesn't affect my problem (as you'll see below on why it doesn't), but I jsut wanted to get that out of the way.
However, we do have currency, called Franchise Funds (FF's). These are what we use for transactions such as signing free agents.
My team (14 team dynasty league, pts weekly H2H, favors power over speed by a little bit) currently has 25 Franchise Funds. This is lower than almsot every team in the league, but I don't really have a lot of holes to fill w/ my starters (with some short notes):
C - open
1B - Ryan Howard
2B - Robinson Cano
3B - Miggy Cabrera
OF - Berkman, Dunn, open
SP - Peavy, Capenter, Pettite, Felix, open (Delmon Young is on the bench)
RP - C. Cordero, open, open
Relief pitchers don't get as many total points as SP's and the hitters, but one hot week can really help a team (that's why two spots are open in the starting bullpen).
ANYWAY, we have to bid on free agents. I need a C, OF (if I get a very good 3B cheap, I can move Miggy back to OF), SP and 2 RP. We also have a free agent draft in a month or so to draft all unclaimed free agents (for free).
Out of my 25 FF's, I have 20 available - I can't possibly over-bid myself (somehow I have winning bids on two catchers so far). I may trade a minors pick or two to get some more FF's, and if someone tops my bid, I get a couple more FF's available to me. Here are my options on what to do from here:
A.) Go for reasonable/cheaper bargins: I have most of my starters, so I can just use some bargains to fill the holes. Some OF's here could be guys like Coco Crisp, a middle to back of the rotation SP (guys like Bedard, Radke, Contreras, Clement, etc.) and two RP's that could get me some points somewhere (Shields does well for a RP, but things like top MR's and sleeper closers). It should fill all of my starter holes, yet no signing would be a league-shaker.
B.) Go for the one superstar: This one is interesting. I can sign one player to a two year deal (every other new guy I get gets a one-year deal), and if I land a big star, he gets the 2-year deal. Some of these stars that are FA's include Manny Ramirez, Ben Sheets, and Pedro. These guys will cost a TON (10+ FF's for sure). If I'm lucky, I can land one guy like this using this strategy. Some stars that will be a little bit (but not much) cheaper are Sheffield, H.Matsui, Carl Crawford, Chavez, Jeter, Prior, Lidge, etc. I then can sign a couple more cheaper decent players to fill my openings, but probably not enough for every single opening. Even though I land the big fish, I may not get decently solid players at every single opening.
FINAL WORD:Just for some background, this year would be my tear to try and win it all. I have a lot of players whose higher contracts are up at the end of the year (Berkman, Dunn, Peavy) and a bunch of lower contracts I need to re-sign (basically everyone else not named Miguel Cabrera or Delmon Young). I won't be able to afford to keep a lot of my team after this season. BTW, we do have a FA draft after all this, so we all end up with full, 25-player rosters.
I know this post is pretty damn long, but what should I do? Any help is really appreciated.