Fantasy Baseball Auction Pricing Trends - March 7
Published: Mar 07, 2021
I took a much-needed vacation this past week, but of course, paid attention to what was going on in the MLB. The TGFBI started, Razzslam leagues were announced, the LABR auctions were underway, and the Mock Draft Army continued to march without me.
A quick note about the Army. There were a number of no-shows this week. All I ask is that if you sign up and then can’t make it, just let me know. My email is on the signup page. It gives me time to try to find a replacement. The purpose of these mocks is to AVOID the bots that plague other sites. It’s not much to ask as we extend our time to you as a courtesy and expect the same courtesy in return.
On to our regularly scheduled program.
The LABR mixed auction took place this week and our own Ryan Hallam and Adam Ronis participated. Spending on the top-tier players was up, allowing for some bargains later on. A few spent on pitching, but others didn’t. Framber Valdez ’s injury news came out before the auction and no one took a chance on him, even in the reserve rounds. As the person who created the auction “values” for the site, I had a keen interest in the results, and here are my observations.
When I do my pricing, I use a 65/35 split between hitting and pitching. It’s been the historic ratio used, but there has been a tendency to up the spending on pitching recently. Well, these seasoned pros ended up with a 65/35 ratio. Ryan Hallam ($125) and Andrea LaMont, the RotoLady($130), were the big spenders on pitching but this was balanced out by Adam Ronis ($79) and Doug Anderson of Fantrax ($69).
Jacob deGrom and Gerrit Cole each went for $45 and Shane Bieber cost $37. They are in a tier of their own as they were the only pitchers to go for more than $30. I had priced deGrom and Cole in the upper 30’s but had Bieber at $36. Zach Plesac at $11 went for half of my price of $22 as his stock is dropping due to doubts he can repeat his 2020 performance. Shohei Otani was had for $6, but I expect that to rise after hitting 100 mph in his outing after this auction.
Spending on relievers was in line with my pricing. Josh Hader was the highest-priced reliever at $18 followed by Liam Hendriks at $17. The biggest surprise was a $6 Kenley Jansen . I have him priced at $12 and his average auction value in 15-team NFBC leagues was also $12 over the last two weeks. It goes to show you that every auction is different.
Ronald Acuna was the most expensive player overall matching his leading ADP in redraft leagues. He went for $51 while I had him priced at $44. The top five hitters by ADP all went higher than my predicted pricing. Tatis went for $49 ($41), Betts $48 ($42), Trout $47 ($42), and Soto $48 ($44). When this happens, it only means there will be “bargains” on other players based on my pricing.
Randy Arozarena went for $16 compared to my $22. He’s interesting as no one knows what he can do over the course of a year. The hype had him priced up early in draft season and it still is high as his AAV over the last two weeks remains at $26 in the NFBC. Trent Grisham is another early draft season darling. His price was $13 as compared to my pricing of $18 and AAV of $20. Was it the sharp minds in this draft room bringing their prices down or was it the lack of dollars to spend due to the high prices of the top-tier players?
The last observation was that Andrea LaMont ($10) and Nick Pollack of The Pitcher List ($5) broke the golden rule of auctions and went home with unspent draft dollars. Leaving money on the table is a no-no at the auction table.
My goal is to accurately predict what you will pay in an auction with no keepers and the LABR auction is a benchmark the fantasy world uses each year to see what the prices will be.
I decided to compare my prices to all the prices set in this auction and then compare my results to an auction value generator from one of the more widely used websites that has one for free. We know that it is impossible to 100% accurately predict how every single auction will go, but the goal of my pricing is to get as close as possible. My pricing was exact on 10.5% of the players. It was within $2 on 53.6% and within $4 on 71.7%.
I thought this seemed pretty good but let me compare that to the calculator. As I’ve written about before, I don’t think the auction values that are published end up being very accurate in predicting what you will be paying in your auction. They may predict what the player’s stats will be worth at the end of the season, but it’s not what you need heading into that draft room. The calculator I used was exact on 8%, within $2 on 30.4% and within $4 on 50.7%.
The auction prices are updated about once a week as I try to keep up with how these prices will change based on spring performance, injuries, trades, free agent signings, and “coach speak”. If you have any specific questions, feel free to hit me up on Twitter @gasdoc_spit.