Thursday, March 13, 2008

Bennett & Bodin on Baseball VI: How I Won the NFBC Auction

Last week, we focused on Cameron Bennett's fantasy baseball glory using the "S" Strategy at auction. This week, with the National Fantasy Baseball Championship ("NFBC") quickly approaching, we will discuss how Larry Bodin and his partner Marc Perlmutter won a $650-entry fee AL-only auction at last year's NFBC. (SportsJudge not only endorses the NFBC, but also will be helping to run this year's event).

Introducing the B&P-Flex Strategy

Last year, Bodin & Perlmutter unveiled a new strategy that in part consisted of selecting hitters who had considerable position flexibility. (From now on, will call this the "B&P-Flex Strategy"). This strategy allows to owners to avoid a disaster if some of their key players became insured.

At last year's NFBC auction, it turned out that Bodin & Perlmutter had an extraordinary number of injuries in May and early June. At one point, players on the DL included Joe Mauer, Howie Kendrick, Hideki Matsui, Phil Hughes and Roy Halladay. In this regard, a player like Chone Figgins (not on their team) is extremely valuable as he can be moved to several positions as players get hurt or return from the DL.

Most of the players that they selected were 30 years old or younger. The only hitter significantly over 30 years old was Hideki Matsui and he was one of the players that was injured. (Recall that one of the extended criteria of Colton and Wolf was the age of the player).

Since the owners in the NFBC league that Bodin and Perlmutter participated against were extremely aggressive in their bidding in the early rounds, they were not able to afford a closer – violating one of the criteria of Colton and Wolf. They tried an alternate strategy of picking up 4 setup pitchers - Scott Shields, Akinori Otsuka, Joel Zumaya and Juan Rincon. With that strategy, they hoped to get around 3 points (estimated at 18 saves). Suffice it to say, this part of the strategy did not work at all. Shields was mediocre (especially the last half of the season), Otsuka and Zumaya were hurt and Rincon was terrible. What saved the day with respect to saves was picking up Jeremy Accardo off the free agent list in April when B. J. Ryan was hurt. As such, they earned 4 big points in saves.

Bodin & Perlmutter had several players that would give them steals but no steal specialist (opposite of the Colton Wolf strategy). They had 4 points in steals with 4 weeks to go in the season. They picked up Jacoby Ellsbury the first week he was eligible as a free agent and held him until he was activated after September 1. He stole 8 bases. In the last four weeks of the season, their team had 29 steals (a tremendous number). They moved up 5.5 points in steals to 9.5 points in steals and won their league by 3.5 points.

Bodin and Perlmutter were forced to adjust their strategy somewhat during the auction because they did not have enough money to successfully bid on all of these players they wanted as part of their strategy. However, they were aggressive in picking up free agents and some of these free agents worked out well.

Flexibility and timing sealed the deal for them in 2007. It will be interesting to see if the B&P-Flex approach will allow for a repeat in 2008.

Drs. Bennett and Bodin encourage comments and questions and will attempt to answer these comments and questions both personally and in future columns. Bodin can be reached at and Bennett can be reached at

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