Category Archives: Replacement Level

Updated (2016) Ottoneu Auction Calculator

More calculators! Joe has updated his Ottoneu Auction Calculator with 2016 Steamer values and projections.  You can read all about the Ottoneu Auction Calculator in Joe’s original post, but if you want to just go right to the tool, you can download it here.

For quick reference, here are the calculated 2015 replacement levels for Ottoneu FGPTS.

Ottoneu Auction Calculator

Ottoneu Auction Calculator

Questions? Need help? Let us know in the comments.

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Episode 9: Inflation and Auction Calculator Questions

In this week’s episode, Justin and I discuss inflation and some of our differing views of dollar values. I answer some questions about my auction calculator as well. As always, if you have any questions or comments, please leave them below or contact me on twitter (@OttoneuTrades).   Any ideas for future podcast episodes (topics or guests) are appreciated as well.


Episode 8: Dollar Values and Replacement Level for Position Players

In this week’s episode, Trey and I discuss replacement level for position players in addition to the auction calculator I’ve been working on.  My methodology in calculating dollar values is discussed as well. As always, if you have any questions or comments, please leave them below or contact me on twitter (@OttoneuTrades).   Any ideas for future podcast episodes (topics or guests) are appreciated as well. Enjoy the show.



Ottoneu Auction Calculator

Today I present to you the Holy Grail of Ottoneu Tools… Okay, well not really, but in all seriousness, this took a ton of work. So before I dig into the details, thanks to anyone who has already reviewed, questioned or commented on my work. The feedback is incredibly helpful.

Let us begin…

This is a custom dollar value calculator for Ottoneu FGPts leagues. What do I mean by “custom?” By custom, I mean that anything I thought to include as an input is able to be changed. Now you can see dollar values that directly reflect your opinions. Some examples of custom inputs: Replacement Level, PA and IP thresholds, # of prospects in a league, individual player’s projections… The list goes on. So, where do you start?

The Assumptions Tab: This is where the majority of inputs exists. Ignore “Methodology” for now (will come into play in future versions). And start with “Importing Rosters?” Selecting “Yes” will cause your league’s salaries and players to be removed from the total money, roster spots and Points Above Replacement (PAR) available in the league. To import rosters, use the Export.csv function on your team’s homepage and paste your players and salaries (as values) into the “Rosters” tab – cell A2 for names, cell B2 for salaries. Once rosters are included, You can still toggle between “Yes” and “No”, in the event that you want to see $ values ignoring players who are currently kept. (I do this constantly). As you will see in grayed out cells, toggling between “Yes” and “No” will automatically update the calculation.

Not only that, but you can also select assumptions for your own leagues regarding the number of prospects (and cost of said prospects) that will impact the values as well. This cost is in excess of the $1 mandatory cost that each roster spot requires. Ex: $2 cost for prospects is really $2 + $1. Please note that prospect inputs should be changed as league rosters are imported.

Next, you can change the PA and IP threshold for replacement level production. (Assumptions B29 and B33). These cells set the threshold for which all players receive replacement level production. What does this mean? Every player that is projected to received less playing time than the selected PA/IP threshold (currently 625/185 respectively) will receive replacement level production for the difference in plate appearances or innings pitched. Ex: 325PAs would give you 325PAs of a players own projection, in addition to 300PAs of replacement level production. (I probably would not tinker with this too much until I had set all my other assumptions).

As many of you know, I have been doing my own replacement level work this offseason. All of my benchmarks are included in the workbook. In an effort to keep everything custom, you can select your own replacement level that will update the dollar values (no reason to use my values if you disagree with me, PICK YOUR OWN!) You have two options, use the PPG methodology, or the Xth player ranked methodology. By PPG, all replacement levels will be calculated off of the designated PPG that you choose at each position. By Xth player ranked, the baseline for production is the Xth highest P/PA at a position (given all players projecting for 250PAs). So for example, the 17th C would be the 17th highest P/PA of all C projected for 250 or more PAs in 2015.

Now here’s where the fun comes in. Once you have updated your assumptions, go to the Batters and Pitchers tab. You will see the resulting $ values of your assumptions… Now go change your assumptions. Snap! The dollar values have updated. Now, remember, these values are calculated off of Steamer projections. “But wait!” you say, “I don’t agree with Steamer’s playing time projections.” That’s okay, because you can update the “Adj. PA” or “Adj. IP” column to be whatever you choose and the dollar values will update automatically. This is incredibly helpful for running scenarios. For example, what is Tulo worth if he gets 250PAs? 400? 600? (Look and find out). Also, you can change the position a player is getting replacement level for (if steamer did not include a position, 1B has been given as a default). So, what if Mike Trout was a SS (A man can dream…) what would the resulting cost difference be? What if Josh Harrison picked up SS? You get the point.

Also, I have only imported Steamer for now. Future iterations will let you pick between other projections, but in the interest of customization, all projections can be edited. If you think Robinson Cano will hit 22 HR instead of 18HR, change it. The values will update.

Last but not least, if you have selected “Yes” for “Importing Rosters?” all players currently owned will be excluded from the dollar values. (They will receive a $0 value and will no longer be marked as “Available” on the Batters and Pitchers tabs.) This is where the auction calculator part comes in… As you draft, simply type in the player’s salary in the “Drafted?” column and as a result, the dollar values will update. The player will be removed from the pool and his roster spot, salary and PAR will be excluded from calculations. No longer do you have to worry about inflation as a fudge factor, you can get specific inflation to your league depending on who has been kept/cut. A warning: Some teams/leagues keep overpriced players (causing inflation in keeper decisions). Is Miggy worth keeping at $70, probably not, but you might rather pay $70 and guarantee you own him than risk you rival snatches him away. Due to situations like this, it is very possible that a league can achieve negative inflation, or no inflation. This may cause you to disagree with a value placed on one of few remaining “Studs.” However, if 1 or 2 studs do appear under-priced, and consequently go for $10-$15 higher than their theoretical value, remember that there will be a lot of bargains available later. Consequently leaving underpriced talent. Ex: Hamels calculated at $24 (post roster import) and goes for $32. This increase in value is offset by the fact that steamer sees Cliff Lee, John Lackey, Gio Gonzalez, Yusmeiro Petit and Tim Lincecum as $10-$17 dollar assets. Does an $8 increase in Hamels price offset the fact that 3-4 of these guys may go for $10 less than their projected price? Something to consider.

That’s about it! I tried to make everything as custom as possible so that you can have dollar values that reflect your opinions as an owner. I’m happy to answer any questions or comments. I’m sure updates will be made and future iterations will be released. For now, this is a starting point. Enjoy!

The file should now be compatible with earlier versions of Excel.

Ottoneu Custom Auction Calculator (updated for 2016 Steamer!)

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Ottoneu Trade Rumors Podcast 6 – RP replacement level and 2015 1B preview

In this week’s episode, Trey and I discuss replacement level as it pertains to relief pitchers in addition to a preview of 1B as we approach the 2015 season. As always, if you have any questions or comments, please leave them below or contact me on twitter (@OttoneuTrades).   Any ideas for future podcast episodes (topics or guests) are appreciated as well. Enjoy the show.

Podcast 6 (70 minutes)



Ottoneu Trade Rumors Podcast 5 – SP replacement level & Elite RP

In the second half of last weeks episode, Trey joins me to replacement level for starting pitchers in addition to the value of elite relief pitchers. As always, if you have any questions or comments, please leave them below or contact me on twitter (@OttoneuTrades).   Any ideas for future podcast episodes (topics or guests) are appreciated as well. Enjoy the show.

Podcast 5 (40 minutes)



Calculating Ottoneu Replacement Level: Starting Pitchers

When evaluating players in Ottoneu, I typically find total points to be misleading. They tell a part of the story, but are they the most important factor in determining a player (or team’s) performance? Is R.A. Dickey at 862 points more valuable than James Paxton at 383 points (assuming similar salaries)? I believe Points Per Game (PPG) and Points Per Inning Pitched (PPIP) to be much more indicative of a player’s value. For this study, I have examined all starting pitchers seasons from 1986 (the year Holds were invented) through 2014.  I only considered pitchers who made 10 or more starts in a season and have ranked these pitchers by PPIP. Using this data set, my goal was to determine replacement level for starting pitchers in terms of PPIP for Ottoneu linear weights (FGPoints).

A couple questions need to be answered:

1. How many innings do Starting Pitchers “pitch”?

Given the 1,500 IP cap that each team is subject to, it is important to consider how many innings (of these 1,500) that starting pitchers will actually account for. However, these innings will be split between the 10 active pitcher spots on your roster (5 SP spots, and 5 RP spots). I calculated the number of innings each RP spot produces with a little guess work. I feel pretty confident that the average team gets between 60 and 70 innings out of each RP slot every year (the top-60 RP in 2014 averaged 58 IP). I split the difference between the two at 65 IP per spot.  This amount can certainly be debated, but the overall impact it will have in the final results is minimal. (Using 60 or 70 IP per RP slot would only result in a .01 increase or decrease in replacement level PPIP). However, with this reasonable guess of how many innings an RP spot produces, we can easily determine the total innings needed from each of the 5 SP spots in a lineup:

SP Per team formula


The key takeaway: Of the 18,000 total innings available in a 12 team Ottoneu league, roughly 14,100 innings need to be “pitched” from starting pitchers, or just over 78% per season.

2. How many SP are owned in a league to produce 14,100 innings?

Ranking all SP in order by PPIP for a given season, I looked at how many SP it took to pass the 14,100 innings needed for the league. This is better expressed with an example. In 2014 Clayton Kershaw was the number 1 ranked SP by PPIP and pitched 198.33 IP.  Jake Arrieta was number 2 and pitched 156.67 IP. Together they pitched 355 innings. I repeated this process (adding in the 3rd, 4th, 5th, etc. ranked SP) until the total innings pitched by the top ranked pitchers passed 14,100 innings. For 2014, it took 86 starting pitchers (min. 10 GS) to pass 14,100 innings, or 7.17 SP per team. Here is the number of SP needed by each team to meet the 1,175 SP team inning estimate, beginning with 2014 as “1YR SP” (“All Time” is 1986-2014):

Formula 2

SP per team

3. What are some historical PPIP values?

Historical PPIP

In 2014 86 pitchers were needed to pass the 14,100 innings needed by all starting pitchers. The replacement level for 2014 (1YR) in the above chart is the PPIP associated with the 86th ranked SP by PPIP. In 2014 this pitcher was Ryan Vogelsong with 4.24 PPIP. If you’re thinking, “I wouldn’t start Ryan Vogelsong!” you’re probably right. It makes sense that a team’s 7th SP would be someone who was only started occasionally, and is likely owned for a replacement price of $1-$3. Several other SP who fit this description include: Henderson Alvarez, Roenis Elias, Chris Tillman, and Jon Niese. Keep in mind, the 2014 replacement level should not be used for all valuations going forward. My personal preference is a weighted average of the last three years (~ 4.20), but this should give everyone an idea of historical replacement level. Feel free to choose what you believe to be best.

One note on the  chart:  Each specific row of the data (2YR, 3YR, 4YR, etc.) is not referring to one specific season.  The row labeled “1YR” is specifically considering 2014. However, the “3YR” row is examining all SP seasons with 10 GS from 2012-2014 (with the innings threshold being 14,100 * 3 seasons). Similarly, the “20YR” row is examining all SP seasons from 1995-2014 (with the innings threshold being 14,100 * 20 seasons).  I did this because 1 year trends (while interesting) likely do not provide much use to the general reader – I don’t imagine anyone reading this is thinking “I want to use 2010’s replacement level for my valuations.”  However, I could easily see replacement level since 2010 being useful (in which case you would look at the 5YR row.) Each “YR” row is simply stating how many years of data are being included.

Combining the last two points:

I am making the assumption that the 7.17 SP owned would be pitched every time they start in order to meet the 1,175 threshold. This does not happen in reality as teams typically own more than the minimum ~7 SP needed. I own more than 7 starting pitchers on each of my squads (around 10 in most cases), but in each case the last 2 or 3 SP considered are typically used as spot starters. While I may prefer some of my spot starters to options available in free agency, comparable options are typically available.  Given that streaming SP is difficult in Ottoneu, it makes sense that more SP than the minimum necessary would be owned by the majority of teams. I do not see this as an indictment of the process of determining replacement level, but rather an acknowledgement that several replacement level type SP will be owned by most teams to serve as spot starters and injury depth. This can be seen in the following graph:

2014 Pitcher PPIP

Replacement level is shown by the horizontal black line that bisects the graph. 86 SP fall below that line.  However, an additional 23 SP fall between 4.24PPIP and 4.20PPIP. In theory, if these 23 SP were owned in a league, 109 SP would owned – or just over ~9 per team.  This meshes pretty well with what I have seen in other leagues – each team owns about 7 SP that they value, while they probably feel they could replace their last 2 or 3 SP pretty easily.

Throughout the rest of the offseason, I will be calculating replacement level for other positions. I hope to produce values based on these replacement level values as well. In the mean time these calculations should serve as a barometer to use when evaluating starting pitchers. It does not tell the whole story but it is a very simple way to determine a starting pitcher’s value when discussing trades and planning your 2015 roster. Feel free to use any of the replacement levels above in your own valuations. If you have any questions about the methodology, feel free to comment.

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