Enforcing Nominations

This offseason brought some significant performance improvements to the ottoneu Fantasy Baseball auction draft. I’ve been tracking performance pretty closely and I’ve been thrilled with how much better the site has performed this year over last year. However, a small but significant rule change has caused issues for about half the drafts that have occurred so far, especially in leagues with a number of first-time owners.

The rule change was as follows:

II. f. Each owner must nominate a player in turn. If a team does not nominate a player, they will be considered done with the draft.

There is an important reason this rule was quietly added to football in 2015 and baseball this season. Last season, owners would purposefully not nominate players towards the end of auctions. By waiting until other teams were out of money or roster spots, a certain subset of owners attempted to lower prices on their sleeper picks. While the overall advantage gained is minimal, if you ended up in a draft with two like-minded owners, the standoff could last for hours or even days! This was not ideal, so a rule was implemented in the platform to lock teams out of the auction draft if they missed a nomination.

In my league, this was not a problem – we loudly shamed owners who missed their nomination turn, and paused often to prevent anyone from fully missing their turn. However, it became clear based on your feedback that my league was the exception – we were comfortable with the draft software, we knew each other well, and so we have a unique league dynamic that minimized the practical impact of this rule.

Some leagues embraced this rule, as they ran into owners using this strategy in past drafts. However, many leagues ran into logistical nightmares between keeping track of the fast-paced draft action and pausing every few turns to unlock a team that accidentally missed their nomination. There are few things more fun than an ottoneu Fantasy Sports draft firing on all cylinders, and few things more frustrating than having to stop that draft every few minutes to sort out what seemed like an overly harsh penalty for an honest mistake.

As a result, nomination enforcement is now optional and can be set in Commissioner Tools -> League Settings. It is off by default, so missing a nomination will not lock a team’s owner out of bidding or future nominations. In highly-competitive leagues, we recommend turning this setting on, but it is up to each league to handle this how they would like.

Rule II. f. now states:

f. If enabled in the league settings, each owner will be expected to nominate a player in turn. If a league chooses to require nominations and a team does not nominate a player, they will be considered done with the draft.

This change is live now and will affect any auction drafts in the future, as well as those currently in-progress.

ottoneu Fantasy Baseball Improvements for 2016

We’ve been hard at work listening to the ottoneu community and making improvements for the upcoming season. Here’s what to expect going into our 6th full year:

Improved lineup and roster organizer pages

Last season, changing lineups required juggling multiple drop-down boxes and clicking the Save button. Now, simply click the player you want to move, then click the new position you’d like him to play.

Improvements to lineup changes

Improved auction draft performance

I’ll save you from the technical mumbo-jumbo, but the auction draft should be much speedier! We overhauled the backend, and early feedback has been positive. Let us know how your draft goes, as we always are looking to improve that experience.

Available owners board and league description field

Finding new ottoneu owners hasn’t always been the easiest task and can even be discouraging for new and seasoned players alike. Being a part of the right team is a major component of the ottoneu playing experience and what makes this format so unique. With that in mind, we’ve added an available owners board and league descriptions to the Join Leagues page. I wrote about the available owners board last August when it first went live.

Real-time team-to-team messaging

Team messaging was a lot like email before: every team had an inbox and could see a list of messages from other teams.

The rise of Slack completely changed trade negotiations by allowing them to happen in real time. We revisited messaging and revamped the format to be more like chat and less like email.

The new format went live in the last 24 hours, check it out and leave a comment or a Tweet to let us know what you think.

More to come

ottoneu Fantasy Sports remain a work in progress, and we’ll continually be improving the site throughout the year. As always, you can leave a comment or email us with feedback, and be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter for the latest updates. Have a great season, and thank you for your support!

ottoneu Fantasy Football Arbitration

We’ve been preparing for the 2016 baseball season, so it has been a little quiet around here. There will be more about baseball soon, but let’s talk about football right now. The first ever ottoneu Fantasy Football arbitration period is now open, and it seems like a good time to review what arbitration is and how it makes ottoneu Fantasy Football unique.

The winner of our league, The Gaks, had an excellent draft and crushed all of us with some of his better valued players, such as a $7 Devonta Freeman, a $55 DeAndre Hopkins and a $74 OBJ. Each of those players scored over 260 points last season, which is worth roughly $85. This surplus value (the worth of their performance minus their salary) allows more money to be spent on superstars and gives flexibility for in-season auctions. As it did in our league, the team with the most surplus value usually ends up winning the league.

Arbitration is a way of crowd-sourcing additional salary to players that are underpaid, bringing their salaries closer to their true value. Each team has $60 to allocate across the 11 other teams, and can put anywhere from $4 to $8 on a single team and $1 to $4 on any single player.

  • Arbitration starts on February 15 and lasts until March 1
  • Arbitration allows teams to add dollars to players on other teams in their league
  • Every team has a $60 allocation budget to utilize as they see fit
  • Every team must give every other team in their league at least $1 and no more than $8 in additional salary
  • No player can be allocated more than $4 of additional salary by another team ($44 league max)

It’s a fun system that adds a little competitive balance to ottoneu Fantasy Football. Leave a comment or shoot us an email if you have any questions, and get started allocating!

Finding The Right ottoneu League

One of the harder parts of getting started with ottoneu Fantasy Sports is finding the right league. Not everyone has 11 friends available for a time-intensive dynasty league, and joining a league of strangers can be a little awkward. Some leagues and owners are able to overcome this initial hurdle, but ottoneu leagues are more fun and more active when all the owners are comfortable with each other. To that end, we’re trying out a couple of things with ottoneu Fantasy Football that should make it to ottoneu Fantasy Baseball before the 2016 season.

First, you can see the league’s founder on the Join League page, with an easy link to email this user. Only logged-in users can email league founders, so make sure you are registered and logged in. The goal is to encourage users to email founders of leagues they’d like to join and see if the fit makes sense.

Secondly, an availability board has been set up to allow owners to post their availability for ottoneu Fantasy Football leagues. The goal here is to turn this message board into a great place for leagues to recruit new owners.

There is still plenty of time to join ottoneu Fantasy Football leagues, so please check out both features and let us know what you think!

Andrew Luck Contest Winners

A couple of days ago, I asked what you would bid on Andrew Luck if he was the first player nominated in your ottoneu Fantasy Football auction draft. There were a bunch of great answers, but three answers stood out:

  1. Chike
    This is a pretty interesting breakdown of how teams may budget in ottoneu Fantasy Football, and even pops back with another great question. Maybe contest number two…
  2. Tom O
    Part two of a two-part comment that lays out some good rationale for spending a lot on Luck
  3. Chris Brown
    There’s always someone who rejects the entire premise of the question, but that doesn’t mean they are necessarily wrong. ottoneu games are all about value, and if it is impossible to extract value out of Andrew Luck, you should look elsewhere.

Chike, Tom O, Chris Brown – email me at help at ottoneu dot com once you’ve paid for a team this season and I’ll make sure you get your money back. We’ll try this again next week, so check back for another chance at a free season of ottoneu Fantasy Football!

ottoneu Fantasy Baseball Updates

It’s been a little while since the last ottoneu Fantasy Baseball development update, so let’s dig into what’s new on the site.

The commissioner tools have always been a powerful way to manually move players and change salaries and cap penalties. The flexibility allowed by these tools have led to interesting gameplay additions by various ottoneu leagues, but it is important to be able to hold commissioners accountable for any changes they make. Going forward, all transactions done through the commissioner tools will have a “(c)” next to them on your league home page and other places where transactions are listed.

One of the challenges of playing ottoneu Fantasy Baseball with daily lineups is making sure you hit your game limits and innings limits. If a team at the top of the standings is using up games at an unsustainable clip, it can be easier to catch them towards this part of the season. But how can you track which teams are using up their games played? Check out the new graph at the bottom of the standings page! You can see how you’re doing with game limits relative to your competition at each position. There are a lot of interesting ways to slice and dice games played data, and this graph is a very early attempt at tracking this data over time.

There have been a number of bug fixes over the last few weeks as well, including improvements to waiver claims, abandoned teams, auctions, and the live page. I’m always open to more feedback about ways to improve ottoneu Fantasy Baseball, so use the comments or  the contact page to email me!

ottoneu Fantasy Football is live! Get a free team!

The wait is over! You can now join or create an ottoneu Fantasy Football league. Tell your co-workers, your friends, and definitely your single-season fantasy football leagues! Sign up now. Go, go!.

There are some basic rules and roster/scoring options to review for the best experience. As always, feel free to reach out with any questions.

ottoneu Fantasy Football has been in the works since 2013, and it would not have been possible without your support and encouragement. Try it out and share you thoughts with me and other players.

A contest, as promised, to score a free team: leave a comment stating how much you’d spend out of your $400 budget on Andrew Luck if he was the very first player nominated in your draft. We’ll pick a winner and give you $20 towards an ottoneu Fantasy Football team for this season, either a new one or one you already have. Have at it!

ottoneu on Twitter

ottoneu now has three Twitter handles to follow. You should follow all three, but here’s the breakdown:

  • @ottoneu – will remain the primary source of all ottoneu-related news and information. Expect more contests (more than the 0 we’ve run in recent memory) from @ottoneu in the weeks and months ahead. You could get a free ottoneu Football or Baseball team!
  • @ottoneuFootball – if you are interested in football-specific news, follow here! Development updates, bug fixes, and everything ottoneu Fantasy Football-related will be announced here. We will also tweet out football leagues that need owners to help you find good owners and good leagues easier
  • @ottoneuBaseball – baseball-specific developments, information on when players are added to the player pool, and a great resource to find new owners and leagues – all available from @ottoneuBaseball

Join the ottoneu Fantasy Football Beta Test

Fantasy Football season is coming up and ottoneu Fantasy Football is getting ready to launch, but not without your help! Last winter, there was a brief alpha test, and now it is again time to pull some of you together for a beta test.

The test will focus on the following areas:

  1. The Auction Draft – is it fast enough? Do your bids register?
  2. Lineups – this page has been rebuilt from the ground up! Is it intuitive to use? (This is where I’ll heavily need beta testers’ feedback)
  3. General navigation of the Football site

Interested? Of course you are! To participate, you only need to do two things:

  1. Like ottoneu on Facebook
  2. Leave a comment on ottoneu’s wall about who you’d nominate first overall in your ottoneu Fantasy Football draft

Do these two things by Wednesday, and I’ll pick a few of you to check out ottoneu Fantasy Football before anyone else!

Weekly Summary: Improving Baseball

I read through all the comments in the post about the database and realized something important: some ottoneu Fantasy Baseball players seem to think Baseball is going to be negatively affected by Football. Nothing could be further from the truth. While ottoneu is a one-person (me!) company, there is currently enough time in the day to keep building and improving both Fantasy Football and Fantasy Baseball until there is enough revenue to justify growing the company. Now, onward to the Fantasy Baseball improvements!

First, the Trade Wizard now has a confirmation screen, so you can double-check your trade offer before it ends up in someone else’s hands. This much-requested feature should reduce the number of loan mistakes in your trade offers and allow for more complicated trade offers to be put together.

Second, the Live page was re-written to make it faster to see how other teams in your league are doing. It is still a little slow to initially load, and I’m continuing to make that page faster since I know the majority of you check it daily.

Third, the Roster Organizer was made accessible year-round, as some owners indicated that they’d like to use this planning tool even while the season is on-going.

Fourth, I rolled out some new information on player cards. Average salaries, projected positional eligibility, and ownership percentages are now available on player cards, so you can make smarter personnel decisions.

Finally, I’ve started work on a tool that will allow commissioners to retroactively change lineups. It is being built to directly address the kind of data loss that occurred last Friday. This tool will have a significant number of checks in place to prevent it from being used inappropriately. I’m hoping to roll it out to a few leagues towards the end of this season and it should be available to all baseball leagues this off-season.

On the Football side, more steps were taken to ensure that another database event never occurs. I now feel confident that the mistake I made Friday night cannot be replicated, and that if another database event occurs due to my error or any other reason that there are more fallbacks than were in place last week.

As always, find me on Slack, e-mail, or leave a comment here.