Going into my 5x5 N.L. only, 12 team, keeper league, I had spent $67 on 5 starting position players. (can't remember the inflation here for hitters) I wound up buying 3 more position players at a total of $83, my total spent on hitters being $171. This is probably close to what our league averages on them. This meant I had spent $125 on 5 hitters. Not surprisingly I wound up with 4 part-time players (one who got sent down immediately) and one questionable starter (Jeff Clement). Let's assume 4 of 5 of my big hitters were undervalued. My question is whether the distribution of my dollars was a recipe for failure?If you obtain value via your auction, you win (or, at the very least, improve your team).
If your league lets you purchase the best players under market value, buy. You might or might not see your scrubs work out, but you should have enough profit on your bottom end players that it shouldn't matter.
If your league spends too much on the best players, wait. You should wind up with a balanced roster and plenty of profit.
Here are the rosters of two of my National League-only leagues. One is for Tout Wars, the other is my non-expert league. Both were fresh, non-keeper auctions.
Auction Roster N.L.-only home league: Derrek Lee $26, Dan Uggla $19, Ryan Ludwick $17, Chad Billingsley $16, Miguel Montero $16, Roy Oswalt $15, Cody Ross $15, Chris Young $15, Marlon Byrd $14, Stephen Drew $14, Carlos Gomez $14, Jonathan Sanchez $11, Casey Blake $10, Kevin Correia $9, Johnny Cueto $9, Orlando Cabrera $8, J.A. Happ $8, Ted Lilly $8, Brandon Webb $7, Akinori Iwamura $5, Paul Maholm $2, Melvin Mora $1, Ronny Paulino $1,.
Auction Roster N.L.-only Tout Wars: Albert Pujols $40, Hanley Ramirez $40, Joey Votto $28, Carlos Lee $24, Jose Reyes $23, Matt Cain $19, Alfonso Soriano $18, Carlos Marmol $15, Matt Capps $12, Kenshin Kawakami $8, Paul Maholm $5, Ronnie Belliard $3, Cristian Guzman $3, John Lannan $3, John Maine $3, Ronny Paulino $3, Chris Volstad $3, Eric Young $3, Madison Bumgarner $2, Mat Gamel $2, Josh Anderson $1, Mike Stanton $1, Yorvit Torrealba $1.
I didn't go into the Tout Wars auction saying "I have to get Pujols and Ramirez; they're the linchpins of my strategy." or "I'm going to target one $25 player and avoid anyone under $20 (home league).
In both cases, I was looking for value. The Tout Wars prices for Pujols and Ramirez seemed to low for two players who earned a combined $86 in 2009, while the prices in my home league were too high for the top guys so I waited...and waited...and waited (I didn't buy a player in that league until the fifth round of the auction).
Is Stars and Scrubs a "recipe for failure"? Not necessarily.
You do need to get lucky on some of your cheap players. Madison Bumgarner and Mike Stanton worked out for me in Tout Wars while Josh Anderson and Mat Gamel did not. In retrospect, I probably should have been even more aggressive and played a true Stars and Scrubs strategy instead of chasing mediocre pitchers like Kawakami and Maholm toward the end. Jason Heyward and Ubaldo Jimenez were two players I let go for $3 or more under my sheet price. Cain, Jimenez, Marmol and Capps plus whatever dollar derby pitchers I could have found would have been better than the garbage I bought.
I'll tell you what I always tell you. Stay true to your values. It is sometimes tough to maintain that level of discipline, but if your values are correct you will spend your money and you will get enough bargains to compete. It works for me almost every year.