Ok, maybe not 10 things and probably not really about things you shouldn’t do, but rather some general observations from a dude who went through his first Ottoneu auction. Probably mostly useless for all of you Otto old-heads, but for my fellow, ahem, Ottonoobs, hopefully I can give you a few good notes. Ottonoobs has to be a thing already, right?
Here’s my team if you want to silently judge me as you read along.
DON’T. Do not, under any circumstance, take your shirt off, grease yourself up with Crisco, then share a link in the auction room chat to a live webcam feed of yourself sitting at your computer. Probably the number 1 thing you should never do in an Ottoneu auction. I just really had it in my head that that would play. NOT A GOOD IDEA. AT ALL.
DO. Have a plan for both hitters and pitchers. Duh, right? Thankfully I knew about the 1,500 IP cap going in, but I spent so much time worrying about my hitters that I shit the bed when it came time to start buying SPs and RPs. I also didn’t have a good idea about when I would start picking pitchers and it got away from me. Well, I thought I had a plan, but in the heat of the moment things did not go as planned. Going in I knew at the very least that I would spend big on one high-profile SP so I could walk away with at least one shiny trophy-pitcher (in my case Blake Snell…fuck yeah, Blake Snell). After that it is a blur. But the good news here is that now I have a much better understanding of the timing of an auction and will be able to better prepare for next year and how to schedule my SP and RP picks into the master plan. I’m also not sure why I spent so much on Jameson Taillon. That was not part of the plan. I’m an Ottonoob and I have cable. Don’t be like this me.
DON’T. Definitely don’t buy a whole 6 pack of Mountain Dew and start drinking it promptly at 9 a.m. when your auction begins. And most definitely don’t drink the whole 6 pack of Mountain Dew bottles (the tall boys) over the course of the 7 hour day thinking you will be able to get any sleep later that night. What can I say? I’m from West “Mountain Dew” Virginia. That’s how we roll.
DO. Have a guide. A cheat sheet. Whatever. I’m sorry, but I don’t have an encyclopedic knowledge of every single baseball player in existence. Yet. Until then I need some help filling out my roster with a second shortstop from the bottom of the barrel when I put it off for too long and the only names left are a bunch of rookies I don’t know about.
I used this spreadsheet that was shared on /r/fantasybaseball and it was invaluable in a pinch (and there were a lot of pinches). Stretch goal: next year make my own spreadsheet with my own notes, at least enough to get me through my initial roster spots.
DON’T. Sweat it. As in, don’t sweat it. The Can of Corn’s very own John encouraged me to have fun and spend money and I did just that. The only real way to learn about the timing and strategy of an auction this long and unpredictable is to jump into the belly of the beast, and that means opening yourself up to making mistakes. Go big on Jameson Taillon and get him for $24. Fuck it! Enjoy the thrill. I discovered that a fantasy baseball auction is basically a long day of gambling at a virtual slot machine, replete with the highs and endorphin rush of winning a player you want and the lows of missing out on a good deal. It’s all for fun and next year I’ll make more informed decisions.
DO. Embrace the beauty of the Ottoneu auction UI. It is now my go-to design-porn wank material. So economical. So intuitive. Everything has a place and everything is in its place. We experienced a little lag here and there, but all things considered the experience was blemish free and the design of the site leaves me green with envy. Please give me a job working for you on your site. You are my website God. I’ll work for free.
DON’T. Don’t forget about food. Luckily our commissioner ran a tight ship and we had a few firm 10 minute breaks. There wasn’t roll call at the end of the break to see if everybody was back, and if you were not at your computer when the break was over then you were SOL. Have something quick and ready to go for lunch. May I recommend a giant bag of Totino’s Pizza Rolls? They are excellent paired with Mountain Dew. Otherwise don’t sleep on bologna. It’s making a comeback and you no longer need to feel embarrassed about eating bologna sandwiches like back in the day.
DO. As enamored as I am with the UI of the site, there are a couple of tips regarding the user-interface that are not spelled out that might be helpful for Ottonoobs. Here are a couple of things I wish I would have known earlier.
Import your “watch list”
I really wish I would have done this before the auction began. You can search for players in the Otto database and add them to your “watch list”. THEN, once you are in the auction room you can import your watchlist into a handy dandy list that you can then use to nominate for bidding during the auction. There is also a search tool within the auction room that you can use to search for players and add them to your watchlist on the fly. Also, players on your watchlist will be removed from the list as they are won during the auction, so you don’t have to worry about keeping tabs on who is available and who is not. If they are in your list, you can nominate them. It is very seamless. TLDR: search for all of the players you want before the auction, add them to your watchlist, then import that shit into the auction room.
Open team’s roster in a new tab
The auction happens on one page, but you can open your team’s roster in a new tab and as you win players they will show up on your roster page. Keep this page open (and refresh the page) so you can keep track of who is on your team. Especially helpful if you are starting a team from scratch and acquiring loads of new players.
Well, now I get to watch my team and see how it performs. I’m really excited to see how the decisions I made play out and what it will teach me about my draft strategy. I have a team now, but that is only the beginning.
Up the punx.