This article is part of our The Saber's Edge series.
I examined the league's previous tendencies and found three items I needed to address. The first was that the top players went on average 10 percent higher, except for Mike Trout and Clayton Kershaw. They both went at cost. I came in with a plan to get both and then build the rest of my team around late values. If it didn't work, I'd move to my normal value picking approach.
I go into auctions with one rule: find as many values throughout the auction and don't overpay, if possible. I find this strategy works because it takes advantage of owners using the two most common auction approaches: stars-and-scrubs and spread-the-risk. While I can justify spreading the risk in extremely deep auctions like 12-team only leagues, value picking allows a patient owner to take advantage of the two approaches.
The value approach stays away from the early inflation, which brings down the surplus value of S&S, but still gets end-game values. Additionally, it picks at-cost or underpriced players available in the mid-game, which is the advantage of spread-the-risk. Value picking has two drawbacks an owner needs to