ROTO fantasy leagues are all about categories and balance. Most ROTO formats have teams competing in 5 offensive stats and 5 pitching related stats. Each category earns you a certain amount of points depending on where you ranked in that given category. In my experiences in a 12 team league (where the highest point value for a category is 12) a 90 point team at the end of the year is probably looking at a first place finish. Yes this can obviously fluctuate within different leagues and from season to season. But I will set my goal at achieving 90 points. How you go about this is where the fun starts.
A perfectly balanced team in ROTO would accumulate 9 points in all categories (12 team league). That would be a 4th place finish per category. This would be the best way to build your team. Full of players who can contribute to all categories. But when looking at the player pool, the only guys that tend to do this (especially factoring in batting AVG this year) are drafted in the first round or two. So now you are tasked with building balance, not just drafting balance.
This is fairly easy to do in the power speed department. If you combine and average out a 30 hr hitter with a 30 SBs guy you have balance. This would even including some Runs and RBI in most cases. It is important however to not completely overlook AVG when you are doing this. But that too can be compensated for. If you need Dunn’s power (and at a late draft pick spot) you can overcome that with higher average guys like Revere or Ichiro. This gets harder to do however with the more AVG killers you have on your team.
If your not building for balance than you need to build your team to capitalize on certain categories. It would be hard to bank on this strategy unless you made significant sacrifices in other categories. Your punting SBs? Ok so now you’ve got a 1 in that category, and you need to make up for 8 points in other places. HRs? RBI? this isn’t going to be easy. But there are various ways to try and manipulate the categories to achieve your 90 points.
I have developed this strategy (and am yet to put it to practice). I am going to draft enough closers and RPs late in the draft to keep my ERA, WHIP, and SVs the highest in the league. While hopefully being able to scratch out a few points in K’s and W(QS)s. So on the pitching side I plan to accumulate 36-40 points. I now need 50-54 points on the offensive side to get me to pay dirt. And because my pitching staff is super cheap (for auctions) or full of super late draft picks, my offense should be in position to at least make a strong run at this.
I should note there is no innings minimum in this league, which would certainly be a factor in this strategy.
Has anyone else tried something similar before? Other favorite ways to manipulate categories?