Budget strategies

by BaseballHQ.com on March 17, 2010 @ 12:00:00 PDT

 


Most fantasy advisors state the obvious when it comes to developing a strategy for the draft - that is, make a plan and stick to it. The problem with that approach, however, is its inflexibility. Drafts rarely go exactly as planned. So a more reasonable approach is to develop a variety of plans that can meet any contingency during the draft.

The essence of your plan is the budget - how much to spend on pitching and offense. The most effective budget should allow for ways to maximize your dollars by individual position. To do this, you must have several workable paths that can be shifted to during the draft as conditions change.

Below are budgets based on four drafting approaches. Assuming you've done your homework, you'll have a good idea of what's available and what each player is worth in your particular league. Depending on position availability, league-wide tendencies, and category scarcity, all of the following budgets may be appropriate at the beginning of your draft. Within each of the four approaches are two additional paths for maximizing your dollars either for the stud players or the middle-of-the-road foundation players should the course of the draft dictate a shift either way.

The Classic 60/40 split - $160 for offense, $100 for pitching

 
Offense
Pitching
Stud
<$20
 
Stud
<$20
OF
40
20
ST
30
20
OF
25
20
ST
15
15
OF
10
15
ST
5
10
OF
3
10
ST
5
10
OF
2
10
ST
3
10
CI
35
15
ST
2
3
CI
10
15
ST/MR
3
2
CI
5
15
MR/CL
2
10
MI
15
12
CL
35
20
MI
4
5
 
 
 
MI
1
5
 
 
 
C
4
5
 
 
 
C
1
1
 
 
 
DH
5
12
 
 
 

The 50/50 Split - $130/$130

 
Offense
 Pitching
 
Stud
<$20
 
Stud
<$20
OF
25
15
ST
40
20
OF
15
15
ST
20
20
OF
15
15
ST
15
20
OF
3
8
ST
10
10
OF
2
2
ST
5
10
CI
25
20
ST
5
10
CI
12
12
ST/MR
3
5
CI
3
3
MR/CL
2
15
MI
15
15
CL
30
20
MI
4
9
 
 
 
MI
1
1
 
 
 
C
4
4
 
 
 
C
1
1
 
 
 
DH
5
10
 
 
 

The Contrarian's 70/30 Offense Budget - $180/$80

 
Offense
 Pitching
Stud
<$20
 
Stud
<$20
OF
40
20
ST
20
15
OF
25
20
ST
10
10
OF
20
20
ST
5
10
OF
3
20
ST
5
10
OF
2
10
ST
5
5
CI
35
20
ST
5
5
CI
10
15
ST/MR
3
3
CI
5
10
MR/CL
2
2
MI
15
15
CL
25
20
MI
9
10
 
 
 
MI
1
5
 
 
 
C
4
4
 
 
 
C
1
1
 
 
 
DH
10
10
 
 
 

The Contrarian's 40/60 Pitching Budget - $100/$160

 
Offense
 Pitching 
 
Stud
<$20
 
Stud
<$20
OF
20
15
ST
40
20
OF
15
15
ST
30
20
OF
5
10
ST
20
20
OF
3
10
ST
10
20
OF
2
5
ST
5
15
CI
20
10
ST
2
10
CI
3
8
ST/MR
3
10
CI
2
2
CL
20
20
MI
10
10
CL
30
25
MI
3
8
 
 
 
MI
2
2
 
 
 
C
4
2
 
 
 
C
1
1
 
 
 
DH
10
2
 
 
 

During the first half of the draft, any player you sign should be acquired below value. That is, bid in the early rounds, but be conservative. Only draft players you can get below your pre-set maximum. Where you move those dollars you save in the early rounds depends on the approach.

In the stud budget, always move the extra dollars to the next highest budgeted position. Using the Classic Stud Budget, for example, if you get Manny Ramirez for $35 instead of the $40 you budgeted for his kind of numbers, move that extra $5 to your expensive corner or closer position. This allows you to consistently move to a higher target after each bargain. Now, say you get a top-rated first baseman or closer for $33 instead of the $40 re-budgeted. Take that extra $7 and up your $30 starting pitcher budget to $37. Repeat that process every time you get someone under your budgeted value.

In the $20 Maximum Budget, always move those saved dollars to positions of scarcity to increase your buying power. With this approach, you may be tracking several budgets early. It might even take drafting eight or 10 players before you've decided the most effective dollar split to follow, as well as whether you've got a stud-based team or the under $20, middle-of-the-road roster. With a flexible approach, you'll end up with more dollars to control the latter stages of the draft.

Maximizing your dollars is the first step to a championship. At draft time, the owner who can shift gears smoothly without losing sight of a well-planned budget is more likely to end up with the most economical and most productive roster.

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