Saturday, February 04, 2012

Position Scarcity for Deep Auction Leagues

Earlier this week, I put together a cursory analysis of position scarcity as far as the impact it had in the Majors last year. However, there are some significant fallacies regarding what the impact of position scarcity is. So many fantasy resources are geared toward mixed leagues and draft formats that there are some misconceptions as far as what position scarcity is and how it could impact your team.

When attempting to adjust your bids for position scarcity, here are a few things to keep in mind:

1) Auction leagues are different than draft leagues
In a draft format, you might very well take Jhonny Peralta ahead of Mark Teixeira. Depending on where your picks are, you might figure that if you skip Peralta you might have to wait 15-20 players until you get another crack at a shortstop and the next shortstop out there might be a big step down. Auctions don't work this way. You can buy Teixeira for $26 and then immediately buy Peralta for $20 if you are so inclined.

2) Scarcity doesn't change what a player's production means for your team
Miguel Montero was the best catcher in the National League last year. However, his 18 HR meant just as much as Carlos Lee's 18 HR as far as pushing their teams to first place in the category did. You don't get a positional adjustment bonus for a Montero home run because he was playing a more challenging position.

3) Except at catcher (maybe) value always trumps scarcity
This is counterintuitive to some owners, but your goal at auction isn't necessarily to field a complete team with quality at every position but rather to maximize your value. If your fellow owners are going nuts for shortstops, there's nothing wrong with buying a $1 scrub at short and filling out the rest of your roster with undervalued talent. The owner with the most stats - not the most stats at every position on the diamond - wins.

This last point is a difficult hurdle to overcome for owners who primarily have shallow league experience only. There's nothing wrong with carrying two $1 catchers if your league is overpaying for catchers. In fact, it could be a competitive edge. While it might be ideal to pay a little extra to carry a starting catcher, it could be even better to simply avoid the bidding wars and profit at other positions.

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