Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Adjusting Your Bids Based on Your Freezes

T.J. is heading toward his auction in the position many often find themselves in: he has a lot of freezes concentrated at one or two positions and needs to fill a lot of holes in a few specific areas.
So far, I've just subtracted $2 from the OFers ($3 for Bourn' I don't like expensive speedy slap-hitters) and added $2 to the other positional players. Enough? Too much? Should I do something slightly different, like cheating the $10-$25 OFers, but keep the top OFers at inflationary par, since I don't have one?
T.J.'s question can be found in its entirety here. The bullet points of his dilemma are:

  • He has a lot of value, but it is entirely wrapped up in four outfielders and five pitchers
  • He has a lot of money to spend ($212/14 players)
  • Inflation is very high (I wasn't given a number but it looks like 35-40%)
The problem T.J. has is that he doesn't want to get into a position where he locks up early with two decently priced outfielders and then has to spend $180 on eight non-OF position players and four pitchers. I don't have a list of every single player available in T.J.'s auction, but if infielders and/or catchers are scarce there's a good possibility that T.J. might wind up with a Punch and Judy offense or - even worse - leave a good chunk of money on the table.

There isn't necessarily a right way to go about this. In the past, when I've been caught in this trap, here's what I have done:

Lower bids on non-scarce players across the board: You're not trying to not buy any players where you're loaded up, but you do want to make sure that the guys you get are definitely bargains. Is $2 per player enough? It probably is, particularly when there's a high inflation factor. Keep in mind, though, that you could feasibly wind up with a cheaper +6 or +7 bargain if a lot of teams are loaded up in the outfield, so you might want to lay off early on a $2-3 bargain.

Target bids on scarce players: This might seem counterintuitive based on the first point, but you don't want to wind up with Marwin Gonzalez at $7 because you need an infielder. Try to aim for good players at these positions, not bad ones. This sounds obvious, but not everyone gets or understands this point and winds up overspending for chaff at the end because they didn't budget properly. You do want to be careful not to push too hard on the players at the top, though. Spending $55 on Hanley Ramirez might be "fair", but it's going to make it hard to fill out your offense with regular, everyday players.

Adjust, adjust, adjust: My goal in every auction is to try and hit a +2 on value with every player I get. In an auction like this, you can almost always kiss that goal goodbye. This is a feel thing, but try to get a sense early for what's happening at your scarce positions and adjust. In my N.L. home league, I got more than a few guys for +1 (as opposed to +2) because I saw that I wasn't going to spend my money otherwise. Make the adjustment sooner rather than later unless you want to overspend by $3-4 I did in Tout Wars on Scott Rolen and Placido Polanco.

In the end, there isn't a right or wrong answer here. Move your bids around, make sure you push up the prices on a select few infielders you want, and try to push for bargains in the outfield. The reality is that while this plan sounds good on paper you will have to manually intervene to ensure that it works in practice.


T.J. said...

Thanks! You've given me just the information I need. So tomorrow, once more into the breach!

Mike Gianella said...

Good luck. Love auction favorite time of year.

T.J. said...

Draft went great. Even thought I've been using Patton $ On Disk for 20 years, I think my bids may have been more in line this year than ever before. The players kept going for within a couple dollars of my bids, but I held off and eventually got some nice bargains. I like my chances this year.