March 20, 2017
Adjusting for Smaller Leagues
For those of you who use my bid limit articles, one of the most common requests I get is “how do I adjust these bid limits for smaller leagues?” This is a more common question for mono leagues, where even those souls brave enough to participate in AL or NL-only often play in eight or 10-team formats. My bid limits in mono leagues are designed for the old school, “traditional” 12-team mono leagues.
I used to play in a 10-team NL-only and came up with a rough but useful calculation to adjust my bids. I’ll use the hitter population as an example, but the same calculation can easily be used for pitchers as well. I’ll list the three steps below and explain each one in detail.
1) Break out my hitters into 14 groups of 12 hitters, from highest recommended bid limit to lowest. Each grouping is considered a “tier” of hitters.
A standard roster has 14 players and there are 12 teams in a standard fantasy league. The tiers assume a hypothetical auction where each team gets one player from each tier. Using the last published edition of my NL-only bids, this is what these tiers look like.
Table 1: Mike Gianella NL-only Hitter Bids, March 10, 2017
2) Break out the top 140 hitters into 14 groups of 10 hitters, again from highest recommended bid limit to lowest.
I repeat step one, except this time reducing the pool of hitters from 168 to 140. Looking at the bids side-by-side, they look like this:
Table 2: Mike Gianella NL-only Hitter Bids, Top 168 and Top 140, March 10, 2017
My goal is to keep the same percentage of money in each tier. This is accomplished by dividing $3,120 (the 12-team NL-only budget) by $2,600 (the 10-team NL-only budget) and multiplying this (.833333) by the total in each tier.
Table Three: Price Conversion, 12-team NL-only to 10-team NL-only, MG bids
You might be wondering why I simply don’t subtract two dollars per hitter across the board to lop of $336 and then subtract another $23 at the bottom to get to $359. The answer is that the prices at the top of the player pool tend to stay the same, or even move up a dollar or two at the top. This is because a shallower league creates a deeper pool of replacement level players. In 12-team NL-only, I have a five-dollar bid limit on Wilmer Flores. In a 10-team league, my system above would move him down to a one or two-dollar bid. It is possible that someone else may value him at three or four dollars and that someone else might have him ranked lower than 140th among the hitters. The variance at the bottom of the pool “creates” more one-dollar players, and subsequently created a need for bidding more competitively on the top hitters.
Human intervention is still required. Each tier allows the discretion of moving some players down in value more than others. You can simply move the players in the bottom of each tier down a dollar or down by the most money per tier, but I’d recommend using your own player preferences to make these choices. You will also notice that some of the financial redistribution leaves players higher in my rankings with lower bid limits based on how the money is reallocated. If you decide to use my approach outlined above, keep the rankings in order and redistribute the dollar amounts across player tiers so that the rankings remain intact.
Finally, remember that as with all my recommended bid limits that these are guidelines and not a set-in-stone instruction manual. In any league that is shallower than a “standard” format, you will want to give consideration to paying a little more for rookies and players with upside and push true reserves who are ranked above one-dollar down to a dollar. My bid limits do some of this work for you anyway, but remember my usual mantra. You know your leagues better than I do, and what makes sense to me might not apply to your league’s specific situation.