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Using inflation to update your fantasy baseball auction values

by FantasyPros Staff | @fantasypros | Featured Writer
Jun 19, 2020

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Although fewer than 30% of leagues use keepers, the vast majority of my off-season questions relate to determining the value of keeper options. While I’m happy to answer as many questions as I can, it might serve you all better to just break down the methodology I use to decipher the best options. Today, I’ll just be focusing on auction leagues. With that said, if you have a non-auction keeper league, you merely need to use this information then translate dollar values into round values based on the calculated rankings of the available players.

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Calculate league economy size

Every single keeper league is different from one another. Some are 10 teams, some are 20 teams. In one league, you may only be able to keep two players while in another, you get 15. Likewise, there are leagues that use the standard $260 budget whereas others might give $1,000 for each team or even allow you to carry over unused funds from the following season, gain additional funds to disincentivize punting or even give losing teams more of an advantage in an effort to even out the league.

Essentially, all this step comes down to is finding the total amount of money that is available for the whole league. For instance, we will take a standard 12 team league with 25 roster spots and a budget of $260 exactly for every team. That makes the league economy $3,120 or $10.40 per player.

Adjust for expected keepers

Next, you need to go team by team and handpick their top keeper options. This is easier, of course, if you just ask other managers who they are keeping, but even if they aren’t willing to cooperate, you should be able to get close enough to build trustworthy auction values for the available players. Once you’ve determined the most likely keepers, compare their costs to their recommended auction value using our auction calculator. You can customize the auction calculator to account for your league scoring, roster sizes, positional settings and budget.

For instance, let’s say Team A is keeping Cody Bellinger ($10) and Fernando Tatis ($4). The calculator says that in a standard 5×5, 12 team, $260, Yahoo rosters league that Bellinger is worth $36 and Tatis is worth $25. Essentially, Team A is getting $47 worth of value from their keepers. Total every team’s values before moving onto the next step.

Translate into available player pool

Let’s take our example a step further and say that after determining the most likely 24 keepers in my 12 team league, it seems as though there will be $360 worth of value saved total. The 24 players are worth $624 combined but only costing their teams $264. Seeing as though our league economy has $3,120, that means exactly 20% of league worth is off the table but only 8.5% of the money is spent.

The way we want to look at it, though, is finding out how much these keeper values inflate the worth of every available player. Rather than 80% of league worth costing 80% of the league’s economy, we’ve got 80% of league worth costing 91.5% of the league’s economy. So I’m taking the remaining league economy ($2,856) and dividing it by the remaining league worth ($2,496). That figure comes to 1.144, telling us that we should plan on spending an additional 14.4% above each player’s calculated auction value.

So for example, if Gerrit Cole ($42) is the top player available, you can expect him to go for around $48 instead. If you do not adjust your auction values to account for inflation, you’ll quickly realize that you won’t be able to get any of the top remaining players and you may even end up stranded with money on the board come the end of your draft. So take your inflation value (again, that’s 14.4% in my example) and multiply every available player’s auction calculator value in your league.

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Bobby Sylvester is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Bobby, check out his archive and follow him @BobbyFantasyPro.

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