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May 22, 2014

TTO Scoresheet Podcast

Running a Scoresheet Auction League

by Ian Lefkowitz, Ben Murphy and Jared Weiss


We know that running a Scoresheet team isn’t for everyone. Many baseball fans and even hardcore fantasy players are perfectly content with a traditional fantasy format, where you don’t need to keep track of the Mets’ middle relievers to nearly the same degree. But for some who stumble across this format, with its labyrinthine draft and rich simulation engine, it feels like the perfect fit. Of course, there’s the occasional person, who when faced with the same constraints, may remark, “I wish there was something even more complicated.” Dear reader, these are their stories.

Scoresheet’s private leagues have many variants of play. This week, our Scoresheet podcast team interviewed Nate Stephens. Not only is Nate a longtime Scoresheet owner, a former contributor to Rotoworld and current participant in the Scoresheet Talk and annual Mock Draft forums, and a general mensch, he is also the co-founder of a couple of leagues that use an auction format. The concept was born from a Scoresheet league that used to conduct a live auction, which ended up taking about a day and a half. As fun as that can be, it’s hard to carve out enough time in many players’ schedule to devote to a player-by-player auction that accommodates Scoresheet’s unusually deep rosters. A new system was built and refined over time.

Running a Scoresheet-friendly Auction League
While there are many ways to adapt an auction league to Scoresheet, these mature leagues have developed a format over time that allows for ease of use and still provides the depth required to run a simulation. In the first year of the league, each owner is given $100 million to spend on players (that’s fantasy dollars, not real dollars, Mr. Buffett). The trick is to run weekly rounds of simultaneous play-by-email blind auctions.

In the first round of the auction, an owner may bid some amount of that money on up to ten players. Then, in the second round, owners bid on up to ten additional players and rebid on their own players. Owners who had the high bid in the first round are exempt from this phase. The owner with the highest bid on a player in the first phase, and the owners with the three highest bids on that player in the second phase, then all compete in the final phase of the auction. The winning bid gets that player. This process is then repeated for each player in that round of the auction.

The auction continues for eight rounds, unless all owners either reach the salary cap, the roster limit of 35 players, or choose to pass. Players are then signed to contracts at their auction price. Rookies are signed to minor league deals that allow the owner to keep them in perpetuity. Major leaguers are signed to deals of up to four years, and the contract structure inflates incrementally each year.

To mimic Scoresheet’s supplemental rounds, owners are given an additional $10 million after the initial March draft and five additional roster slots. In auctions held each month, they may nominate an additional four players using the same system.

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<< Previous Article
Fantasy Article Fantasy Freestyle: Dal... (05/22)
<< Previous Column
Fantasy Article TTO Scoresheet Podcast... (05/15)
Next Column >>
Fantasy Article TTO Scoresheet Podcast... (05/29)
Next Article >>
Fantasy Article Closer to Me: Week Eig... (05/22)

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