Fantasy Baseball Articles of Configuration: NL Tout Wars FAAB Spending 2010-2012

by MastersBall.com on April 29, 2013 @ 12:00:00 PDT

 

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By Brian Walton

In recent columns, I have expressed concern about the devaluation of FAAB, using National League Tout Wars to illustrate my points.

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I do not intend for this to be an all-or-nothing discussion. It is not as if there aren't going to be players to acquire. It is not as if I am not going to use my allocated cash in some misguided protest. I just do not feel that I am likely to get as many difference-makers as I might hope.

Some of this is due to my competitors wisely grabbing top prospects before they are called up to the major leagues. In fact, many were taken on draft day, either at auction or in reserve rounds.

Another way to make the same point is to note the dearth of solid players to purchase.

While we all probably know and understand the importance of spending early to get impact players, the reality is that does not often happen.

To illustrate that point, I combed through the weekly FAAB logs for NL Tout Wars for the last three full seasons, 2010-2012. I summarized the data by month, then averaged all three years into a single three-year period view. (The raw information is available through our excellent and highly-recommended stats provider, onRoto).

In a bit of explanation, Tout allows $0 bids. For that reason, I split those transactions off, listing them at the far right. I did no analysis here about those acquisitions other than to note them for completeness.

For those players costing $1 or more, I show the total FAAB spent across the (then 13-team) league, the number of players acquired and the average spent per player. (With the move of the Houston Astros to the American League, NL Tout dropped from 13 teams to 12 in 2013).

The full-year total (and the monthly percentage of it spent) was a bit of a moving target. FAAB can be reclaimed in Tout for players moved to the 60-day disabled list -- the full amount if prior to the All-Star Game and half afterward. For that reason, the total varied over time. The numbers here are based on year-end totals.

FAAB history -- National League Tout Wars, 2010-2012

Average
#Players
Avg $
%Total
#Players
2010-12
Spend
Non-$0
per player
money
$0
Mar/April
$159
41
$4
12.3%
28
May
$210
43
$5
16.3%
23
June
$184
28
$6
14.3%
22
July
$128
22
$6
10.0%
17
August
$363
39
$9
28.3%
21
Sept/Oct
$123
22
$5
9.5%
22
Total
$1,167
196
$6
90.8%
133
Unused
$118
9.2%
NL Tout
#Players
Avg $
%Total
#Players
2012
Spend
Non-$0
per player
money
$0
April
$173
41
$4
12.7%
24
May
$283
45
$6
20.8%
16
June
$187
33
$6
13.8%
27
July
$116
23
$5
8.5%
21
August
$327
38
$9
24.1%
21
Sept/Oct
$167
23
$7
12.3%
33
Total
$1,253
203
$6
92.3%
142
Unused
$105
7.7%
 
NL Tout
#Players
Avg $
%Total
#Players
2011
Spend
Non-$0
per player
money
$0
Mar/April
$171
49
$3
13.7%
34
May
$151
40
$4
12.1%
28
June
$220
23
$10
17.6%
21
July
$100
17
$6
8.0%
18
August
$409
38
$11
32.7%
20
Sept/Oct
$114
23
$5
9.1%
20
Total
$1,165
190
$6
93.1%
141
Unused
$86
6.9%
 
NL Tout
#Players
Avg $
%Total
#Players
2010
Spend
Non-$0
per player
money
$0
Mar/April
$132
34
$4
10.6%
26
May
$195
44
$4
15.7%
25
June
$145
29
$5
11.6%
17
July
$169
27
$6
13.6%
12
August
$354
40
$9
28.4%
21
Sept/Oct
$87
21
$4
7.0%
14
Total
$1,082
195
$6
86.8%
115
Unused
$164
13.2%

A few observations:

Getting off to a fast start is the case in terms of raw numbers of players FAABed: 43 percent of all non-$0 players were purchased during April and May. However, less than 29 percent of the total FAAB was spent on them.

In June and July, the number of players acquired dropped significantly, to about 25 percent of the players bought with about 25 percent of the money.

The non-waiver and waiver trade deadlines lead to a handful of players changing leagues each year. As one might expect, August spending ramped up the most of any month -- over 28 percent of full-year spending. The sheer number of players bought in August was about the same as April and May.

September numbers should be taken with a grain of salt. Some owners, realizing they have cash with diminishing options upon which to spend it, spend anyway. The September spend total increased each year.

After all, it is better to get something rather than nothing. Yet, almost 10 percent of FAAB money over the last three NL Tout seasons went unused, roughly the same amount spent on average during the final month.

Of course, your league's mileage may vary. Spending your money according to this formula would make no sense. Nor should you worry if you are spending faster than this historical distribution.

On the other hand, holding your cash for trade deadline players coming into your single-league format could be a risky proposition. I will have more on that next time.

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