Despite the name of our site, I do play in couple “shallow leagues” and wanted to share the experience I had in a 10 team roto OBP keeper league with a farm system. It is the smallest number of teams, but the farms give it an added challenge and it’s always fun when you get to play with prospects (I’m endlessly jealous of the team who had $2 Vlad and $2 Soto last year!). This year, on my very first pickup, the salary cap draft went sideways for me. BUT, this was not the common “why-is-this-jerk-bidding-me-up overpay” or the upsetting “caught-price enforcing-someone-don’t-want” wasted roster spot, nope, this was a new one for me…
Based on my keepers, I decided to target Freddie Freeman as my 1B and based on the league’s keeper inflation, I expected to pay $45-50 for him, maybe going as high as $55. Cole goes first at $52, below my inflation value, but not one I’m gonna fight for. Harper goes at $57, Mookie and Trout each $46, this looks normal to me. And then Freeman comes up…and I get him for $30.
Still don’t know how that happened, other teams must have had 1B’s they kept or be targeting someone else, but I watched the clock tick down and no one else bid. I now had $15 more dollars to play with than expected. Then I got Edwin Diaz for $6 under value and had $21 to play with. This is one of the things I love about salary cap drafts, constantly surprising and changing on the fly, but to suddenly have an extra glut of money was more of a challenge than I expected! I’ll save you the suspense, I left $8 on the table, which I absolutely hate doing, but I’ll take this as a learning experience and impart the wisdom I’m carrying into my next salary cap draft (which is tomorrow!): in your prep, account for a situation where you have MORE money than expected.
What I did: I shifted some money to catcher, I never spend more than $1 in a 10 teamer, and grabbed Stephenson for $9, then paid $10 for ERod in an SP spot I’d budgeted $5 for. $21 – $13 = $8 Exactly what I left on the table as everyone else went at cost. I wish I’d spent that $8 getting a better MI than Jeremy Pena (who I’m excited about generally, but he’s unproven and this is a 10 teamer) or taking a better 5th OF than Charlie Blackmon (for $2 was good value, but a little blah).
What I WILL do now: for my next auction, I’m adding a section to my cheatsheet for luxury items, players I would happily pay for if I have some extra scratch. Guys I can immediately pivot to target in those early-middle rounds and hopefully beat out the inevitable competitor who has hoarded his cash to WAY overpay for Alex Kirilloff two hours in. I’ll let you know how it works out.
What are your strategies for recovering when something goes sideways in an auction?
Featured image photo of Freddie Freeman by Norm Hall at Getty Images.