Great idea, Savage! I'm sure you're gonna have a lot of fun next year, I guarantee it. Is this gonna be roto or H2H? Our 15-team H2H keeper league this year have a cap of $260 also for a 24-man roster: 2 each of 1B, 2B, 3B, SS, C; 5 OF; 9 pitchers (6 SP max).
Here are some recommendations and observations:
1. Isn't 10 reserve spots a lot? We only have 2 and those ARE for the minor leaguers. Set up a fee to activate a reserve. Ours is $10. We do the reserves draft after Week6 so as not to make the main auction too long.
2. Isn't 3-5 Injured Reserve slots a lot? Some people will exploit this. Maybe 1 or 2 is good. Our league doesn't even have one (maybe we should, cuz if a good cheap guy goes down, the owner can't drop him cuz he'll be snatched up. Like Piazza this year)
3. Set up supplemental picks each week. We have 2 each week and it's $3 per pick. Order is determined by standings. 2nd round is reversed.
4. Isn't 6 pitchers too few? We have 6 SP max in ours (and 2 or 3 RPs) and we feel it should be 7 SPs and 3 RPs. Also count Holds. If there's no Holds, it would suck for sure.
5. Start the draft early. Sometime after lunch is good. With a breaktime halfway, the draft should be over before dark and eating and drinking should commence and talk trades! Yeah, trades right away. LOL
6. Set up an amount for trades. Ours is $5 per transaction (regardless of # of players). You can make it per team or per player.
7. Make the season into halves so that you'll have 2 playoffs. I think it's more exciting than one long one. Since our league has 15 teams, we had 14 games in a 10-week period. That means doubleheaders which adds more excitement.
The first-half playoffs and 2nd half regular season would then overlap for 3 weeks (3 rounds of playoff games, 5 teams and a wildcard). We use TQSTATS to make this easier. There would then be a first-half winner.
Then the next 10 weeks should produce the 2nd-half playoffs. In our league, that's this week. So after Week 23, you'd have the 2nd-half champ for a 2-week World Series showdown between 1st- and 2nd-half winners for all the glory.
Now there's a twist. We also have a playoffs for the sucky teams. We call it the Keg Series. The champion of that buys the brew for next year's auction.
Another thing worth considering is the bench. Should your members be limited to fill in the backups for each position players or should they be free to draft whatever they want. We're suggesting to our commish the latter for a vote.
Now for the strategies: (damn, this is getting long, sorry)
1. Obviously do the research weeks before the draft. Figure out your "sleepers" and save him for very late rounds.
2. Don't spend more than $10 for a 2nd-tier pitcher. If they suck, you can get some from the supplemental picks. Just an example, some of the pitchers undrafted in our league were Loaiza, Livan, Ponson, Pineiro.
3. Set up a max for your favorite player so that you don't lose money in later rounds. Mine was Helton for $50. He went for $56. Still I ran out of money and all I could get in the later rounds were $1 players like Matt Williams, Wakefield, Lilly, Ausmus and Mintkiewicz.
4. Depending on your scoring system, the closers could be important because they might score more than a 2-start SP in a given week. In our league, the top 4 scorers amongst ALL pitchers are closers (Gagne, Smoltz, Foulke and Wagner). So know the points and take it into account.
Well, there you go. Hope this helps cuz it took me almost an hour! LOL
If you want, I'll send you our league's constitution so you'll have a guideline. There's more minutiae to discuss like vetoes, voting, fees, disputes, playoff seeds, etc. but it'll take another hour so maybe it's better in private e-mail.
Good luck next year and enjoy!