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March 13, 2014 6:00 am

Fantasy Freestyle: Raise Decisions and the Fantasy Win Curve

10

Jeff Quinton

With keeper and raise decisions looming, a look at how your place in the standings should impact what you're willing to pay a player.

It is that wonderful time of year when fantasy baseball keeper and raise decisions are in the air. Many keys have been typed about keep, cut, and raise decisions, but today we will be discussing strategy around the opportunity cost of a raise dollar. Why? Because determining the best raise for a player is not simply an “Is player X going to be worth Y dollars for each of the next Z seasons?” decision. Every dollar we spend on a keeper is a dollar that we cannot spend in the auction. The value of a dollar in the auction will be different for each auction depending on inflation. Furthermore, the value of an inflation-adjusted dollar will be different for each owner depending on where his or her team lies on the fantasy win curve. Because we are all familiar with keeper inflation, we will be discussing the latter point.

The fantasy equivalent of the MLB win curve, the aptly named (by me) fantasy win curve denotes the value of an increase in the standings. Below is the fantasy win curve for a keeper league that pays out for first-, second-, third-, and fourth-place finishes, while minor-league draft order is determined by finish (fifth through 12th followed by fourth through first). Each league will have its own curve based on payouts and league structure, but the below is representative of a standard fantasy win curve for a keeper league (removing non-monetary factors, which do exist, but we will get to that later).

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