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Friday 19th Jan 2018

A few weeks back, I discussed a couple of rules changes being implemented this year in Tout Wars, the impact of which will be felt starting in 2012. Rule changes--in the form of  behavior modification--is desirious to keep all league members “pushing for points all season long.” 

The first action is a penalty: the stick. FAAB dollars will be withheld from the next season’s budget if a team finishes below pre-defined thresholds, to the tune of one dollar off the season’s budget of $100 for each point short of the respective mark. 

The higher order thought idea here of altering FAAB totals is something I have advocated for some time. Now that the Tout Wars leaders have officially crossed that line, I think they should go further. 

My first proposal is to allow unused money on draft day to be added to one’s FAAB total for the upcoming season. I would not support taking this in the other direction, however, using any or all of the $100 full-season FAAB money to augment the draft-day total of $260. 

If an owner chooses to not spend his full allocation at the draft, instead preferring to hold off and save some of that cash to purchase free agents during the season, why should he not be allowed to do that?

I would imagine we have all been in situations where the draft left us with more money in the endgame than we wanted to spend. It isn’t necessarily an ideal or even a planned circumstance, but it does happen.

Especially in an expert league where others closely scrutinize values paid, it would be better to pay fair price for one’s last players instead of overpaying just to ensure we spend our total. After all, as we draft, we are helping to establish player values for our readers.

My other idea is related to the second Tout rules change to be implemented this coming season and next.

The new league action is a carrot. The sequence of picks in the reserve snake draft rounds is changing from a random draw to instead correspond to the order of finish in the previous season. This should provide an incentive to try to achieve as high a placement in the standings as possible. Even if that is only eighth place, it will now have value.

My suggestion is to take the reserve draft in an entirely different direction.

I would like to further accentuate one the main tenets of Tout, which is an auction format, by changing the four-man reserve rounds from snake to auction.

Again, I take seriously the number of fantasy players that look very closely at the market we help define though our player values paid. By having a simple snake draft as we do currently, we pass on the opportunity to place values on roughly 50 additional players each season.

I would implement this by requiring the early use of that season’s FAAB allocation for the reserve draft. One would begin with his full-season stipend of $100 if the current rules were followed or $100 plus whatever remained after the first 23 players were taken if my new rule proposal outlined above was accepted.

There would be little risk of overspending here, since every dollar spent in the reserve round would be one less dollar available for in-season free agent purchases.

In my last-article example, of trying, and failing to acquire Ike Davis in the first round of the reserve draft as a handcuff for Daniel Murphy, a better and fairer result would have ensued had this rule been in place. I could have (and would have) been provided the opportunity to pay a dollar more than someone else for Davis. Instead, under the current snake format, Davis was gone before my turn and I was helpless to react.

So there you have it. Two new ideas built upon existing rules, which in my opinion could help make a fun and innovative league even better.

If you have some unique and interesting league rules you’d like to share, drop me a note at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with your thoughts. I might even decide to highlight it here!

Brian Walton was the 2009 National League Tout Wars champion, scoring the most points in the league’s 13-year history. He is a 2009 NFBC league winner and finished in the top 25 nationally in both the NFBC and NFFC that season. His work can also be found daily at TheCardinalNation.com and thecardinalnationblog.com.


0 #8 Brian Walton 2011-03-07 12:46
Keith Law is another internet baseball-foodie. You could give him a run for his money... :lol:
0 #7 Rob Leibowitz 2011-03-06 18:58
Dinner last night was

Baked bell and evans chicken leg quarters (with peper, salt, garlic, extra virgin olive oil - organic) butter nut squash, and red potatoes. It was yummy.

Tonight - my turn to cook again so its a thai catfish with turmeric - so process up some garlic, shallots, tuermic, sugar, pepper, sal,t oil, and fish sauce - then marinate in catfish in it and fry it up (or bake it). Julia and rebecca love it.

I should probably start food/recipe blogging too.
0 #6 Todd Zola 2011-03-05 23:29
FWIW, this is not exactly, but has similarities to Ron Shandler's new concept of Roto 500 where you get 500 units to buy a team of preset salaries. The catch is you have 500 units to spend on the draft and FAAB, with no limit in either direction.
0 #5 Brian Walton 2011-03-05 22:38
P.S. What's for dinner? I'm starved... :lol:
0 #4 Brian Walton 2011-03-05 22:36
I could see easing into the idea by establishing a maximum amount to carry over from the draft to FAAB, perhaps. Say the most a team could carry over would be $20 or something, at least until the concept is tested and fears are allayed.

I take a real world view here. An MLB club can decide to spend all its available resources on free agents or hold some back for mid-season acquisitions. This is the same concept applied to fantasy.
0 #3 Brian Walton 2011-03-05 22:30
Interesting comments, Rob. Here are my reactions.

So what if people say they planned it that way? If they can build a competitive team with less money, more power to them. If they can't, then their team will fail and their strategy will be exposed. Further, they will probably be penalized the next year with fewer FAAB dollars.

Why should an owner need to pre-declare his strategy coming into the draft? Why should he not be allowed maximum flexibility coming in and room to adjust as circumstances dictate? Pre-declaring would seem to give one's competitors an advantage.
0 #2 Rob Leibowitz 2011-03-05 21:05
Thinking about it a bit more while I was prepping dinner -

I think I would accept, however, for teams to announce an amount of cash they elected to keep as faab ahead of the auction. I think that would be more interesting strategically how people decided to plan and that and how others would react to others electing to set aside and not set aside auction money as faab.

It is a kind of akin, for me anyway, to how faab acquired in trade can't be utilized until a week after its been acquired - there has to be disclosure.
0 #1 Rob Leibowitz 2011-03-05 20:10

Good to have some discussion on this stuff.

I find the reserve as auction using faab idea intriguing and would consider that. I like the chance to control my roster as much as I can and would give yet another test of skill to strategically allocate ones budget.

Though, on one hand, I feel I tend to do better there than some in the reserve rounds (many pick random useless droppable players) while I have the opportunity to grab players who might actually help down the road. I don't want them bidding me up because I made a better choice. Of course though, going back to being someone who favors auctions and controlling my own destiny as much as possible, and then mostly for the element of fun it would bring to the game, I'm pretty sure I could be swayed to give it a try. I do think adding this though might bring even more bidding on minor leaguers into the end-game of the Tout regular-phase auction though to avoid having to compete against someone's full remaining faab budget, so it might be there just isn't as much interesting to auction and many teams might end up forgoing much of that second phase.

The first one though I'd probably oppose. While some teams might think strategically about reserving some extra cash, and is well intentioned, it would give other teams a reward for not managing their budget and timing their purchases at auction. By changing the rule, that person who failed to execute earlier in the draft they then have a fail-safe or cop-out move to cover up their mistakes. "oh well, i planned it that way". Rewarding those for a possible lack of skill and awareness isn't something I would support right now. Though, as always, I always keep an open mind to a cogent argument to change my mind. At first glance, it doesn't give me the warm fuzzies.

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