Auctiontechniques for mixed leagues

by R. Gregory Scalf, staff writer

In recent years Major League Baseball has resembledin many ways, dare we say it, Rotisserie Baseball. Players are changing teamsas often as in Rotisserie, and the trades are starting to resemble Rotisserieas well. Did the Knoblauch trade remind you of a Rotisserie trade from acontender to a team playing for next year? How did the Mark McGwire trade goover in your league last year? That trade almost cost me a league championshipas I lost a premier power hitter, and by the rules of the game, received littlein return. Many players are becoming frustrated with dealing mid-season tradesthat affect their leagues. To solve this problem many leagues are going to"mixed" leagues. In this type of league Rotisserie team owners draftplayers from both leagues, thus eliminating the problems that arise from themid-season trades by Major League Baseball teams.

Mixed Leagues are becoming more and more popular.However, little attention is given to this type of Fantasy Baseball game bymost of the media resources and "experts." So in this edition of"Strategy Session," let's look at some Mixed League strategies.

The problem for most mixed league participants istrying to evaluate the worth of the players in their particular style of play.Dollar values can be found from numerous sources, however most dollar valuelistings are for traditional Rotisserie League's in the first year of play ornon-keeper leagues. Upon finding these values, the mixed league player is leftwondering how he can use these values for his draft.

One way would be to obtain some draft software andset it up for the league's style of play and the program will do all the work.Telling you the dollar values based on several factors. Another way would be todo it the old-fashioned way, pencil and paper. Calculate the dollars availableat the draft and divide by the value available. This will give a draftinflation to apply to dollar values found for traditional styles. The easiestway to find out about values is to read on.

I believe in a supply and demand approach toRotisserie Baseball. The rule is easy to apply to the mixed leagues as well.The results of this may be surprising to some. The demand for the top dollarguys will be about the same. The reason for this is that there are so few ofthe "A" flight players. These are the players with dollar values thatgo into the upper thirties and the forties. They will remain the same in dollarvalue in the mixed league and in some cases may go for more than face value.

How can they go for more when there are moreplayers in the draft pool? The answer lies within that draft pool. Since mostmixed leagues still only have 12 - 15 teams there is plenty of talent left tochoose from, and most will still be everyday players. Unlike the 12 -14traditional league where the last few rounds are spent picking 5thoutfielders and middle relievers. In the mixed league, if I want Ken Griffey(or any other player for that matter) I am more inclined to overpay compared totraditional leagues. The reason is simple. The supply of the top tier playersremains small, while the middle to above average players will remain large.

Therefore I can spend $50 on Griffey knowing that Iwill have some low dollar players at the end. Those low dollar players arelikely to still be productive players due to the number of players in the draftin the mixed leagues. This makes the value of all players drop in relation totraditional values with the exception of the top players. The fewer teams inthe league, the lower the value will be due to the supply and demand rule.

It is impossible to tell exactly how much youshould adjust values due to the many intangibles that affect draft day pricesfrom league to league. However, you can figure on a $5 - $10 drop in value fordraft day prices for all players out of the elite class depending on leagueintangibles.

This leads us to the draft and supply and demandshould dictate here as well. With the large pool of players to draft from, oneshould spend the most money on players that give you a significant advantage ina category that is scarce to obtain. Easily that is saves and stolen bases.Secure these positions early because they will go fast. Homers and RBI's areeasy to come by and an owner can still do well in those categories byaccumulating at bats. Pitching can be selected near the end of the draftprimarily because there will be more of them to choose from with the exceptionof closers.

Overall look for players listed over 30 dollars togo near or above value and players listed at under 30 going for less. The 10 -12 dollar player will go for under five and the players listed in single digitswill go for one or two.

So, for those of you in mixed leagues, the aboveinfo is food for thought. In the next "Strategy Session" we will takea look at some unorthodox draft day strategies.

R. Gregory Scalf is aformer division I baseball player and associate scout for the Kansas CityRoyals. He currently is the webmaster at Fantasy Baseball Central and theassistant webmaster at John Mosey's Fantasy baseball Home Page.



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