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Tuesday 25th Jul 2017

I’ve always believed in spending your FAAB money early and often. Why hoard all of your fake money when its value dissipates every week? Think about it. A player picked up the first week can potentially be used for 26 weeks, however a week two pickup can only be used 25 weeks, the week three acquisition is only useful for 24 weeks, and so on. The last week of waivers your entire FAAB budget has only a one-week impact. By this gage your FAAB dollars decrease in real spending power approximately 3.8 percent each and every week. Let’s assume for the sake of simplicity that the quality of free agents, or stated differently the available player pool, is exactly the same every week for the entire 26-week season. If you hold all of your dough the first week, your $1000 FAAB budget effectively shrinks to about $961.54 the next week, the following week that figure falls to $924.56. This depreciation continues every week until week 26 when, if thru some insane concept of frugality you still have a thousand bucks in your FAAB wallet, it’s really only worth $38.46 in terms of week-one spending power.

The problem is that not all waiver pickups are created equal. Can we assume that just because we spend more on a player that they’ll perform better than the $5 fliers? I’ve spent hot and heavy early on in most of my leagues. Some picks panned out but a lot of them did not. That’s to be expected but the larger issue I must deal with is that most weeks of late I’ve been unable to acquire my targets and I’ve been outbid by the smallest of margins. If I bid $5 someone else bids $6. If I bid $8 someone else bids $10. This has happened countless times and there’s nothing I can do about it because I’ve blown my mullah.  Such negative consequences can be practically mitigated if the high $ players previously procured are sure things, commodities that are guaranteed to produce.

Here are some of those costly acquisitions in an NFBC Main Event this year:

Jose Fernandez 811 – (3.11/4/77/1.15)

Tony Cingrani 290 – (3.15/3/46/0.98)

Marcell Ozuna 276 – (.296/19/1/17/3)

Kevin Gausman 270 – (7.66/0/20/1.62)

Scott Kazmir 255 – (5.89/3/55/1.65)

Kevin Gregg 215 – (0.83/9/24/0.97)

Junichi Tazawa 150 - (2.59/0/36/1.15)

Chris Capuano 135 – (5.45/1/24/1.52)

Wade Davis 134 – (5.18/4/65/1.74)

Michael Wacha 124 – (4.58/1/14/1.19)

Francisco Rodriguez 124 – (0.79/4/10/0.62)

Didi Gregorius 118 – (.298/28/4/15/0)

Jose Fernandez has been a hit, but he better be for $811. Tony Cingrani has been stellar, but he’s logged 40 IP and is headed to the bullpen. Furthermore how many of us can tell the Cingrani's from the Gausman's? Are we that good at scouting? Or are we just rolling the FAAB dice? The hitters in this list have produced virtually zilch in the home run and stolen base departments. Well, at least by going all out your pickups will be better, right? Let’s look at how some cheaper fliers panned out:

Travis Wood 3 – (2.65/5/60/1.00)

Travis Hafner 1 – (.221/25/11/32/2)

Eric Stults 1 – (3.28/6/60/1.07)

Edward Mujica 10 – (1.82/19/27/0.64)

Marlon Byrd 23 – (.253/22/11/32/0)

Francisco Liriano 3 – (2.36/5/49/1.26)

Dan Straily 34 – (4.47/4/47/1.07)

Jason Castro 9 – (.270/29/10/23/2)

Rick Porcello 53 – (4.37/4/59/1.14)

Miguel Gonzalez 23 – (3.75/5/54/1.21)

Chad Gaudin 5 – (2.83/2/40/1.20)

The second list speaks for itself. Granted, I cherry picked from the bargains, but even with that consideration, the percentages lead me to second guess my premise. There are no sure things on the waiver wire. As a result it may be wiser allocate your budget to enable buying as many lotto tickets as you can, rather than focusing on a few expensive ones early in the season. The sample size is too small at the moment, but stay tuned. Later in the season we’ll revisit this if I can get a hold of the data.

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