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Friday 19th Jan 2018

In my attempt to recapture third place and a share of the money in my National Fantasy Baseball Championship Classic New York Weekend 2 – League 1, I dropped my final $20 of my original $1000 free agent allocation budget two weeks ago on then-new Florida closer Clay Hensley.

Saves was one area in which I could potentially recover four or five points with some additional juice behind my current closers Jonathan Papelbon and Chris Perez. So far, so good with my final acquisition, though in hindsight, I spent $14 more than needed to get Hensley.

With most of the September call-ups already identified, there are few if any impact players not already on someone’s roster. As a result, in my league, Hensley was one of just four of the 12 players taken who drew a second bid. Same the week following – exactly 12 players were acquired, of which eight had no second bidder.

Further, in each of the last two weeks, the dearth of talent remaining has been underlined by the fact that 22 of the 24 players FAABed, 11 each week, went for less than $20.

Now being on the sidelines in terms of roster changes caused me to review how my leaguemates have managed their money. I give us a mixed score as a group.

My personal strategy is to use the money when needed versus saving it for a rainy day that may never come. Not everyone apparently sees it that way, as I will show below.

I’d love to say I used my money extremely wisely this season, but that isn’t the case. I spent $405, or over 40 percent of my $1000 budget, on two players who didn’t deliver anything. Even worse, I blew $227 simply by overbidding.

May 2: Kyle Blanks $202 ($151 runner-up)

June 27: Manny Corpas $203 ($27 runner-up)

As of last week, here were the balances of the 15 teams in my league. The actual team names are replaced by their position in the standings.

Place Orig FAAB Spent Remain % remain
11th $1,000 $678 $322 32.2%
12th $1,000 $768 $232 23.2%
3rd $1,000 $811 $189 18.9%
13th $1,000 $834 $166 16.6%
10th $1,000 $919 $81 8.1%
2nd $1,000 $925 $75 7.5%
8th $1,000 $955 $45 4.5%
9th $1,000 $958 $42 4.2%
5th $1,000 $982 $18 1.8%
1st $1,000 $994 $6 0.6%
4th $1,000 $998 $2 0.2%
7th $1,000 $1,000 $0 0.0%
14th $1,000 $1,000 $0 0.0%
15th $1,000 $1,000 $0 0.0%
6th $1,000 $1,000 $0 0.0%

$15,000 $13,822 $1,178 7.9%

Just under eight percent of the league’s money remained, but five of the six teams with above-average money have likely given up, sitting in tenth place or worse.

Let’s zero in on the top six teams in this context.

Place Pts behind Orig FAAB Spent Remain % remain
1st NA $1,000 $994 $6 0.6%
2nd -5.5 $1,000 $925 $75 7.5%
3rd -25.5 $1,000 $811 $189 18.9%
4th -2 $1,000 $998 $2 0.2%
5th -3.5 $1,000 $982 $18 1.8%
6th -3.5 $1,000 $1,000 $0 0.0%

$6,000 $5,710 $290 4.8%

What stands out here is the second and third -place teams still holding onto a total of $264. Especially surprising is the third-place team, sitting just two points ahead of fourth place, 5 ½ ahead of fifth and nine points ahead of the sixth-place squad, yet is sitting on top of $189 FAAB. For what?


Why shouldn’t third-place be trying to hold off his competition in whatever manner possible, using all the resources provided? He is just two points of being knocked out of the money.


Looking at FAAB usage during the season, I broke the year into thirds.


Players Winning % of $15,000 Avg $/player Runner Up Difference
April/May 150 $3,528 23.5% $24 $1,534 $1,994
June/July 196 $8,132 54.2% $41 $3,264 $4,868
Aug/1H Sept 120 $2,300 15.3% $19 $771 $1,529
$ spent 466 $13,960 93.1% $30 $5,569 $8,391
% of $15,000


As the data shows, less than a quarter of the money was spent over the first two months, with over half used up in June and July. Average amount spent for players dropped to less than half during the final two months compared to the middle months.

In other words, the same amount of money would go twice as far in the final months than in the middle months – assuming there are desirable players remaining. Another reason to spend as needed when needed.

One final point. The far right column in the table above notes that I was not alone in overbidding. In this league, well over half the FAAB was “wasted,” spent when not needed to secure the winning amount. Still, it is better to ensure you get your man than lose out and wish you had been more aggressive.

For those in contention in your leagues, best of luck in the final two weeks and for those out of it, you’ll get them next year!

Brian Walton is the 2009 National League Tout Wars champion, scoring the most points in the league’s 12-year history. He is a 2009 NFBC league winner and finished in the top 25 nationally in both the NFBC and NFFC last season. His work can also be found daily at TheCardinalNation.com and thecardinalnationblog.com.


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