It’s late on a Sunday night, the Yankees are dismantling the Red Sox, and the first week for the inaugural Banished to the Pen ottoneu league has nearly come to an end. In this column, one of the members of the BttP league will review the week that was in our fine league, reviewing not just the highs and lows of our sabr points league but also explaining the chaos dealing with 40 players, 11 other owners, and whatever is left of our four hundred pretend dollars that is burning a hole in our pocket.

A week ago, Jon Lester and Adam Wainwright faced-off on a cool night in Chicago. Opening day meant the worst of the prepping and anxious waiting had passed, we’d made it to opening day and most of us had most of our budget in tact (RIP Cliff Lee and my $9 cap hit). Just getting a lineup put together for every day of the first week proved to be a challenge for some owners, though. Unlike fantasy leagues on more famous websites, ottoneu’s pages don’t provide you with a dozen little flags, notes, and pop-ups to let you know every time a small piece of news relevant to your player occurs.

flags

Yahoo’s fantasy baseball dashboard: plenty of things to grab your attention and you might even pay attention to a couple of them.

A simple caret (^) symbol notifies you when a player on your ottoneu roster is starting that day while red text notifies you the injury status of a player. If you want to see notes about a player, you’ll have to visit their Fangraphs page to see the latest article they’re mentioned in. What you won’t get is the helpful regular updates found on most other fantasy baseball websites. For veteran fantasy players, this might come as a welcome relief but those of us who can’t follow every narrative for every player can use a little help sometimes. I love the simplicity of the ottoneu design but sometimes I miss the more fleshed out features of larger sites. I know niv is working as hard as he can, though, and there is plenty of relevant fantasy baseball news just a few clicks away.

The ottoneu lineup dashboard: won’t overwhelm you but might let you miss something important.

 

Weekly standings

ottostandings1

Time will tell if Kerouacnation will slowly and steadily build a bigger lead on their competitors or if they’ll “…burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars.”

Best performer
Adrian Gonzalez hit 5 home runs over his first 3 games this season and hit safely in 9 of his first 12 at-bats. Gonzalez’s 114 points to open the season are worth 2 Paul Goldschmidts or 3 Justin Uptons in the SABR points format used in the BttP league. Wookie Betts scooped up Gonzalez during the draft for $21, the same price as Matt Kemp (41 points) and Jorge Soler (17.1 points), and he powered them to fourth place after the first week of play. I wonder if they’ve been offered Anthony Rizzo for Gonzalez, yet?

Biggest disappointments

Facemask goes on your face, bro. Jonathan Lucroy seems a little confused to start the season.

For $33, you can buy most of a baseball-reference.com play index subscription (which is free through April 15th), any number of video games on this list, or you could have won the auction for Jonathan Lucroy in the Banished to the Pen ottoneu league. Maybe Lucroy is tired of playing in a park named after watery generic yellow beer or maybe he’s tired of the commissioner office’s endless crusade against his teammate, Ryan Braun, but, whatever the reason for his slow 1-20 start, Lucroy has cost Ryan Webb’s Save Chances 2.7 points thus far. That’s not a hefty penalty but, at $33 in salary, he’s the biggest disappointment so far this season. I’m sure this is just a case of tiny sample size for a player who was one of the most valuable catchers in the game over the last 3 season, and who is projected to post a nearly .350 OBP with around 15 home runs, but I’m always a little gun shy about paying top dollar for a player the season after the best year of his career.

 

Transaction analysis

Let me be vain for a second: after I spent $19 on Corey Dickerson during our draft, someone commented that they’d rather have Matt Joyce as a platoon partner than Dickerson, given the price. Later in the draft, someone else picked Joyce up for $1. This week, Joyce was cut, saving that team a whopping $1. I think I’m ok over-paying for Corey Dickerson for now.

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