Fantasy baseball rocks (but some formats are better than others)!

Welcome home! My name is Christian and I’d like to talk to you about some stuff. Currently you’re only here because of your love for Fantasy Baseball (I’ll probably refer to it as FBB from here on out), but I’m glad you came! The following may not resonate with a lot of you. If you’ve been playing in advanced FBB leagues for years and years you may want to just shut this one down and move on to one of my colleagues more advanced columns. If you’re one of those guys that’s dabbling, and wants more out of your FBB experience, and your home leagues just aren’t that challenging please do read on. Please understand that you are not alone in the way you likely feel. You may not even know how to express it, you just have this deep seated need for something better. I’ve been there, and I want to tell you a bit about that.

Today, I want to talk about Ottoneu, which also might be a large reason for you even finding this site in the first place. July 23, 2020 will mark the beginning of my third season in Ottoneu and boy has it already been wild. Also, even to just say the “beginning” is a bit of a misnomer in that the Ottoneu season never actually ends.

I, much like most of us got my start in an ESPN league with co-workers about 10-15 years ago. I’d spent some time away from the game of baseball altogether and was reintroducing myself at the time, and FBB felt like a good way to immerse myself. It was, and I still hold onto that league, it’s actually kind of my baby if I’m being perfectly honest. I’ve over the years collected other teams in ESPN (2 total, one a keeper, one re-draft), and Yahoo (1, a keeper) all of which I’m still participating in and likely always will. When I got into these leagues I honestly thought it was the height of my FBB game. I rattled off some good finishes, and have a handful of championships under my belt, but honestly at the end of the day…that shit is easy.

PLAY OTTONEU if you aren’t already. I had heard about it for a year or two before I’d gotten in. It honestly seemed like this weird, secret club. I’d read about it in articles, I’d Google it and look at the site which felt overwhelming (it is a bit overwhelming guys, but I’ll explain a bit about that), but either way it made me feel like it was some underground Fight Club of FBB formats. Here are the things I actually found out:

  • You control way more of your team. You GET to be your own GM and build a team (or teams…you’re gonna want more than one!) the way you’d like (you wanted caveats, you’ll get caveats!).
    • Arbitration! You get to markup other league mates player rosters. This is NOT a function you’re going to find in a traditional ESPN/Yahoo type league. This allows the league to dictate fair pricing. It’s a fun, and sometimes gut-wrenching process but it helps with competitive balance. I had a $3 Pete Alonso get $20 of arbitration added to his salary between 2019 and 2020. It changes your roster entirely and forces you to make decisions.
    • 40 man rosters. None of this weak ass 10 team/25 man roster shit any more. This is you putting on your big boy pants and diving deeper into player profiles and understanding the game and it’s players better.
    • Keepers (I mean, we all love them). The term “keeper” in this format is a bit tricky in that I wouldn’t ever consider any player dynastic because of rising salaries, but rosters are chock full of young, cheap talent and you could conceivably hold a lot of these guys for years and years.
    • The auction draft is always a ton of fun for me. Honestly, until 3 years ago when I started this journey I’d never done one. I’d always been in snake drafts and what not. Makes those old snake drafts feel like a breeze!
    • The tools and the community. For the longest time I only had really my league mates to talk shop with, and we all know that has limitations before you start tipping your hand. So, for years I was kind of on an island. Now, I’ve been exposed to so many smart FBB players who really know their stuff. The Otto community is really big, really helpful and largely non-judgmental (yeah, there are always a couple of baddies, amiright?!). If you join, jump into the Forums and see if you can get into the Ottoneu Slack ASAP, you won’t regret it and you’ll probably learn a lot!
    • The different formats of play. There are points leagues, 5×5, 4×4 and other such things that create a nice set of variety for just about any player type.

I could honestly go on and on here, but you might already be bored. I’m sure to be back with more here in the near future as I think there’s actually a lot to be said about expanding on writing for players new to the scene. There’s so much I didn’t know about and I still learn new things about the game on a fairly regular basis. It’s honestly super hard to say that about most of our stale ESPN/Yahoo leagues.

All that being said, if you’re on the fence drop me a line and I’ll be happy to chat with you more about the process. In the meantime, do yourself a favor and go pick up a team:
https://ottoneu.fangraphs.com/claimteams

You won’t regret it. Kick ass and keep learning, friends!

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