This was my second auction of the day Saturday, the first being AL Tout Wars, which I drafted at 9:00 am. It was convenient to have both auctions in the same venue (the Stewart Hotel), but Tout ended at 2 pm, and the NFBC started at six. That meant I had four hours to kill in between, and the location (31st and 7th) was too far from where I was staying on the upper east side to make it worth going back. Luckily, I ran into Nando DiFino, Adam Ronis and Jake Ciely and invited myself to beers and Korean food with them until the auction started.
The Tout Wars auction took place Saturday morning. It’s a 12-team 5×5 AL-only format with 23-man rosters and $260 budgets. Two oddities are instead of batting average with use on-base-percentage (OBP), and instead of a fifth OF, we have a swing man who can be any hitter or pitcher. Here are the results:
Instead of making my own cheat sheet from scratch this year, I decided to put together a hybrid NFBC/algorithmic projections one. But no cheat sheet, no matter how well calibrated, is sufficient to prepare you for competitive drafts. One problem is that projected stats are 50th-percentile estimates of a player’s possible outcomes, and as you get deeper into the draft, the 50th-percentile output becomes less and less important. What you’re looking for is optionality, i.e., what could go right?
The 18-team Staff Keeper League auction/draft took place last night. My team (co-owned with Tim Schuler) almost always finishes in the money, but we had sold off a lot of prospects last year to contend, and I asked Shoe if we should deal our $13 Mookie Betts and $6 Patrick Corbin to rebuild. He basically told me to go out and crush the auction, and we’d take it from there. I did what I could – you can judge for yourself.
My plan this year was to create my cheat sheet by aggregating the best algorithmic projections with the best market-based ones. The idea was to optimize the available information and then tweak it slightly to accommodate only my strongest personal preferences, i.e., move ~25 players up or down from the aggregate rankings. To that end, I used Derek Carty’s THE BAT and Steamer’s season-long projections as the algorithms, and the NFBC’s ADP as the market. But it’s more complicated than that.