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February 25, 2013

Fantasy Auction Values

Second Edition, February 25

by Mike Gianella

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Last week, I rolled out my AL-only, NL-only, and mixed league bid prices for 12-team formats. In that installment, I explained how I constructed the bids. I thought that this week I’d explain the usefulness of bid limits. Bid limits are designed to be guidelines to provide a valid stopping point on every single player in your auction. However, the goal of bid limits shouldn’t be to create a fixed price that you robotically aim to pay for every player. In fact, your goal should be to pay slightly less than the recommended bid limit for as many players as you possibly can. If you pay par price for every player at your auction, you will buy a middle-of-the-pack team and finish seventh.

This does not mean, however, that you should never pay the par price or even slightly more than that ceiling. Circumstances change at every auction. If you really need a closer, you might decide to be aggressive on Craig Kimbrel and let everyone else fight it out for J.J. Putz. During the auction, you might decide that Hanley Ramirez is going to turn back to clock to 2009 and, instead of stopping at $30, push him to $32.

The bid limits are meant to serve as checks and balances against playing these hunches too many times during your auction. I’m high on Alcides Escobar this year, but have moved my bid price down this week. My belief in Escobar hasn’t changed, but my bid should be grounded in reality. I might change my mind during the auction and go past my bid limit because I like Escobar, but the bid limit serves as a reminder that I should have a logical stopping point.

With most players, I’m agnostic when I hear a name announced. I’ll probably look at my bid limit, nod, and let the bidding in the room play out. If my sheet price for Ben Zobrist is $23 and he goes for $23, I’ll yawn. If he’s sitting at $22, I might say $23, but, then again, I might not. This is how this process should unfold for most of the players in your auction pool.

Please feel free to express your disagreements in the comments section below. Jered Weaver gets a big bump in AL-only this week because, last week, one of Baseball Prospectus’ wise readers pointed out that his price seemed way too low. Upon further review, I agreed—and moved him up accordingly. Another reader thought the gap between Starlin Castro and Ian Desmond/Jimmy Rollins was too large in mixed formats. Again, I reviewed and agreed with this reader’s rationale. I’m not going to move my bids every time someone comments on them, but I will review every comment and at least examine my own rationale.

The only other significant update this week involved Curtis Granderson, who suffered a broken forearm in yesterday’s spring training game that is expected to keep him out for at least a month of the regular season. I’ve knocked him down in the AL-only and mixed bid limits by a few dollars. I suspect that the Yankees will make a move, but for now, Juan Rivera gets a few bucks kicked his way in AL-only formats.

I’ll be participating in the CBS AL-only Analysts League on Thursday and the NL-only side of the CBS Analysts League tomorrow. These auctions are the first litmus test of my bids, and nothing is a better reality check than an actual auction. Next week, I’ll be examining the CBS results and moving some of my bids up or down based on the prices that come out of those leagues.

The updated prices for this week are below:

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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<< Previous Article
Overthinking It: The B... (02/25)
<< Previous Column
Fantasy Article Fantasy Auction Values... (02/18)
Next Column >>
Fantasy Article Fantasy Auction Values... (03/04)
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Fantasy Article Pre-Season Positional ... (02/25)

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