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February 18, 2013

Fantasy Auction Values

First Edition, February 18

by Mike Gianella

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Welcome to the first installment of Baseball Prospectus’ 2013 bid prices for “standard” Rotisserie-style formats.

In the tables below, you will find my recommended bid limits for AL-only, NL-only, and mixed leagues. For all three formats, the presumed settings are 12 teams, $260 budgets, 14 hitters, and nine pitchers. The bids for the top 168 hitters and 108 pitchers in each player pool add up to $3,120, which is equal to the total league budget for each pool.

The bids are not predictions of what these players will do, but rather suggested prices. While most of what I expect these players to do is based on projected statistics and values, other factors play a role in the bid prices. These factors include:

  • Positional scarcityAdding a dollar or two for some catchers and middle infielder.
  • Proven starsAdding a dollar or two for reliability. Ryan Braun and Miguel Cabrera are bumped up slightly, because they provide elite statistics year in and year out.
  • Category bias—Cheating closers and speed guys who do nothing but add to one category.
  • Rookies—Hedging your bets with rookies. Too many owners have been caught spending $20+ on a rookie because "that's what the projection said.”
  • Part-timer bias—Not paying full price for someone whose real-life role is limited. A part-timer could very well earn $10-15, but even a small slump for a player with 150-200 plate appearances can have a severe impact on his value.

Mixed-league bids add more money to the top and cheat the players at the bottom, since the free-agent pool offers far more in the way of replacement-level talent.

These bids should serve as a starting point for your own auction preferences. If you think $27 for Josh Hamilton is too timid, then by all means push his price up to your preferred ceiling. Just make sure to take money off of another player or group of players so that your aggregate bids add up to $3,120.

I’ll be tweaking these bids every week in this space as we get closer to Opening Day, and some of the current ones are placeholders. Eight dollars for Wil Myers and Oscar Taveras are bids that serve more as reminders that Myers and Taveras will be worth something in 2013. For the majority of players on these lists, the prices you see are the prices I’m sticking with until Auction Day.

Finally, the idea behind bid limits is to set a price that is reasonable without being unrealistic in either direction. I’m down on Evan Longoria this year, but if I see enough evidence that his going price is sitting in the low $30s, I’ll move my bid up modestly. I still probably won’t get him, but I want my bids to have some semblance of reality. Likewise, if Alcides Escobar is going for around $20 in expert auctions, I’ll push my bid down to the point where I’m still expressing my preference without assigning him a “crazy” price. It is OK to use bids to show your affinity or dislike for a player, but you don’t want to be in a room of your own, and fool yourself into thinking that you’re buying a juggernaut, when in reality you’re overestimating everyone on your squad.

Mike Gianella is an author of Baseball Prospectus. 
Click here to see Mike's other articles. You can contact Mike by clicking here

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Fantasy Article Pre-Season Positional ... (02/18)
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