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Roto vs H2H for Casual Owners


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#1 v3xinated

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Posted 15 April 2014 - 04:34 PM

Hey all! Every year my friends and I get together at the end of the fantasy bball season to talk about how things went and if any changes need to be made. We've only done leagues together for 3 seasons now and there hasn't been major changes besides changing the maximum waiver adds per week and us decided to start doing a keeper league that goes into effect next year. However, as some of have gotten more serious about it, dead teams in our league have really started to frustrate the rest of us considering how drastically it can affect the standings towards the end of the season.

I've never played Roto before, but I'm wondering if the format will be a more ideal format for casual managers in that, at the very least, more casual managers won't have as significant an impact on how the standings end up. I'm pretty sure I'm missing out on other factors tho so I'd like to get people's opinions on what they feel is a more ideal format for a casual fantasy bball league.
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PG Kyrie, Teague, Bledsoe, Roberts
SG George, Beal, Sessions
SF Ariza, M. Barnes, Tucker
PF Davis, Nowitzki, J. Hill
C Hawes, DeAndre

12 Team League - H2H. 9 Categories. Daily Lineups (1st Reg. Season, 1st Playoffs)
PG Wall, Brooks, Mills
SG Beal, Hayward, Korver, Crawford
SF LeBron, Marion, Ariza, Tucker
PF Drummond, Markieff
C Cousins, D. Jordan

10 Team League - H2H. 9 Categories. Daily Lineups (1st Reg. Season, 1st Playoffs)
PG Curry, Wall, Oladipo, Livingston, Collison
SG Beal, Stephenson, Carter
SF Hayward, Kawhi
PF Davis, Favors
C  Cousins

#2 PhillyBoy

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Posted 15 April 2014 - 04:46 PM

If you have dead teams, rotisserie is the way to go. They don't really affect  anyone other teams. But in h2h a dead team can boost a teams seeding place.
Roto 11 team. (FG% FT% 3PT% PTS REB AST ST BLK TO) 1st Place
PG. Stephen Curry, Kemba Walker
SG. Kevin Martin, Eric Bledsoe
SF. Kawhi Leonard, Chandler Parsons,
PF. Kevin Love, Paul Millsap, Chris Bosh, Pau Gasol
C. Marc Gasol, Roy Hibbert, Nikola Vucevic

H2H 8 Team (Punt FG%,FT%,3PT%) Winner
PG. Russell WestBrook, Rajon Rondo, Micheal Carter-Williams,
SG. Klay Thompson, Bradley Beal,Eric Bledsoe, Gordon Hayward,
SF. Carmelo Anthony,
PF. Derrick Favors, Paul Millsap
C. Demarcus Cousins, Anthony Davis, Andre Drummond

#3 Andrea9281

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Posted 15 April 2014 - 05:19 PM

You can always implement different payment options to keep everyone involved to the end (i.e. team with the best non-playoff record gets some portion of the prize money.) While it's true that in roto the dead teams don't hurt as much, they are still annoying because having them means one less potential trade partner, and one less team to pick off some of the juicy waiver wire grabs that your more immediate opponents might be taking instead.
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#4 Straight Outta CPT

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Posted 15 April 2014 - 05:25 PM

H2H is more fun because it gets you an opportunity to trash talk with your friends during specific weeks.

However, if money is on the line, I will never choose anything but roto. It is the more skill-challenging format since it requires careful management over the course of an entire year, whereas H2H requires your team to be simply mediocre for 20+ weeks as long as you can stash healthy players with good schedules for the playoffs. If you feel confident in your management abilities, roto is a format with much lower variance.

#5 TheGreatUnwashed

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Posted 15 April 2014 - 05:30 PM

View PostStraight Outta CPT, on 15 April 2014 - 05:25 PM, said:

H2H is more fun because it gets you an opportunity to trash talk with your friends during specific weeks.

However, if money is on the line, I will never choose anything but roto. It is the more skill-challenging format since it requires careful management over the course of an entire year, whereas H2H requires your team to be simply mediocre for 20+ weeks as long as you can stash healthy players with good schedules for the playoffs. If you feel confident in your management abilities, roto is a format with much lower variance.

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#6 KeyboardHero

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Posted 15 April 2014 - 07:13 PM

View Postv3xinated, on 15 April 2014 - 04:34 PM, said:

Hey all! Every year my friends and I get together at the end of the fantasy bball season to talk about how things went and if any changes need to be made. We've only done leagues together for 3 seasons now and there hasn't been major changes besides changing the maximum waiver adds per week and us decided to start doing a keeper league that goes into effect next year. However, as some of have gotten more serious about it, dead teams in our league have really started to frustrate the rest of us considering how drastically it can affect the standings towards the end of the season.

I've never played Roto before, but I'm wondering if the format will be a more ideal format for casual managers in that, at the very least, more casual managers won't have as significant an impact on how the standings end up. I'm pretty sure I'm missing out on other factors tho so I'd like to get people's opinions on what they feel is a more ideal format for a casual fantasy bball league.

Dead teams screw with the league in any format.  Its easy week to week wins in H2H, and easy category ranking points in Roto.  Having a single dead team or two is annoying, but not game breaking - if half your league is dead everyone else is wasting their time.  However, when playoffs come around atleast in h2h you'll be competing against active players... while in roto those dead players are still dead late.

I've always thought Roto is much more casual friendly.  One's activity level can stay about the same all season in roto.  H2H is the opposite... you can sit on players/injuries early, but as the season goes on you need to become alot more active.  More activity helps in any league though (checking once a month and missing out on that guy who dropped that underrated player is a missed opportunity in any league)

How active you want your league to be has their pros and cons either way though:

- having to be active in a league can scare certain players away.  Either people don't have the time they need to be active, or simply don't like the game/sport enough to bother - and don't want to play at the disadvantage this will cause
- having to be more active can get players excited and involved in the game

In my experience, if you aren't playing with a near full roster of fantasy/basketball nut jobs... those who aren't doing well early will be the ones to quit.  Its why when you get into a good active league, where those on the bottom are still trying to scrap into the playoffs or are planning/building for the next year... you do your damndest to keep it together.

The single best way to keep people active is to put money on the line (and make sure they pony up in advance :) ).... atleast if alot do quit, their is a financial reward in it for those who stuck it out.

For what its worth, and just my 2 cents, I disagree with a few above and think H2H has a much higher skill threshold, activity level late, and requires more risk taking - particularily when one plays in a very active league.  Ones entire season should be about building a team for the playoffs - its not enough just to get there -  and trying to maximize cat wins when you do.  While roto the single best way to max your opportunity is by playing the max amount of games at all positions.

Edited by KeyboardHero, 15 April 2014 - 07:19 PM.


#7 BillWalton

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Posted 16 April 2014 - 12:57 AM

If the issue is dead teams then I agree, roto is the way to go, especially if your league is a 12 team league with a 20 week long season since not everyone will play the dead teams the same amount.

I disagree that roto takes a lot more skill than H2H. As a guy who plays both in highly competitive leagues I actually find that my skills are put to the test more in H2H due to the luck involved and having to respond to it. Roto you can get away with having a strong draft and a strong start to the season even if your team starts to flame out at the end. H2H on the other hand requires more management and forces you to be on your game all year long. You have to make more quick decisions in H2H to respond to changes that can pop up at any second. H2H playoffs definitely involve a lot of luck but they also involve a lot of skill. Successfully changing your team and it's strengths and weaknesses over a week to two week period due to your opponents is not something everyone can pull off. Both take skill but in different ways.
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#8 Straight Outta CPT

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Posted 16 April 2014 - 04:12 AM

View PostBillWalton, on 16 April 2014 - 12:57 AM, said:

If the issue is dead teams then I agree, roto is the way to go, especially if your league is a 12 team league with a 20 week long season since not everyone will play the dead teams the same amount.

I disagree that roto takes a lot more skill than H2H. As a guy who plays both in highly competitive leagues I actually find that my skills are put to the test more in H2H due to the luck involved and having to respond to it. Roto you can get away with having a strong draft and a strong start to the season even if your team starts to flame out at the end. H2H on the other hand requires more management and forces you to be on your game all year long. You have to make more quick decisions in H2H to respond to changes that can pop up at any second. H2H playoffs definitely involve a lot of luck but they also involve a lot of skill. Successfully changing your team and it's strengths and weaknesses over a week to two week period due to your opponents is not something everyone can pull off. Both take skill but in different ways.

I agree that there are more decisions to be made in H2H, but many of those decisions are introduced because of stochastic factors beyond your control. More time intensive, yes.

It's like comparing chess with a video game. With chess, you only have roughly a dozen decisions to make at each move, with games usually lasting 20-30 turns, but it has a reputation of being incredibly complex because at the highest level, players need to think several moves in advance and anticipate every possibility to play completely optimally. An action-based video game theoretically has many more decisions to be made, but you do not need to play anywhere near optimally and a lot of stochastic factors are beyond your control anyway.

#9 KeyboardHero

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Posted 16 April 2014 - 07:38 AM

View PostStraight Outta CPT, on 16 April 2014 - 04:12 AM, said:

View PostBillWalton, on 16 April 2014 - 12:57 AM, said:

If the issue is dead teams then I agree, roto is the way to go, especially if your league is a 12 team league with a 20 week long season since not everyone will play the dead teams the same amount.

I disagree that roto takes a lot more skill than H2H. As a guy who plays both in highly competitive leagues I actually find that my skills are put to the test more in H2H due to the luck involved and having to respond to it. Roto you can get away with having a strong draft and a strong start to the season even if your team starts to flame out at the end. H2H on the other hand requires more management and forces you to be on your game all year long. You have to make more quick decisions in H2H to respond to changes that can pop up at any second. H2H playoffs definitely involve a lot of luck but they also involve a lot of skill. Successfully changing your team and it's strengths and weaknesses over a week to two week period due to your opponents is not something everyone can pull off. Both take skill but in different ways.

I agree that there are more decisions to be made in H2H, but many of those decisions are introduced because of stochastic factors beyond your control. More time intensive, yes.

It's like comparing chess with a video game. With chess, you only have roughly a dozen decisions to make at each move, with games usually lasting 20-30 turns, but it has a reputation of being incredibly complex because at the highest level, players need to think several moves in advance and anticipate every possibility to play completely optimally. An action-based video game theoretically has many more decisions to be made, but you do not need to play anywhere near optimally and a lot of stochastic factors are beyond your control anyway.

that analogy couldn't be any more framed could it?

The randomness and control of roto is exactly the same as that of H2H (its based on the exact same players playing the exact same sport subject to the same challenges), rather its the timing of said randomness/control that plays a difference in our perception of its importance.

The added challenge to H2H is using a season to build a team that can overcome/limit/use that randomness at a specific time to maximize your team chance to win (punting cats, keeping playoff schedules in mind even as early as the draft, knowing which bench players play (and play well) and will replace starters etc).  In Roto its, theoretically anyways, equal parts from start to finish.  

I'd even argue that since H2H is one vs one, and Roto is the ranking of all players combined, the macro predictability of your league is greater in H2H.  If your team is up by 1 pt in Roto, then team 2 beats out team 3 and 4 in blocks in the last game to jump ahead of you ... what control did you have over that?  None.  It was completely dependent on what teams 2 through 4 did or did not do.  In H2H though, what teams 3 and 4 do has no bearing on the outcome of your matchup.

This becomes the difference - we don't feel the randomness and unpredictability to the same extent in Roto because its spread out across the entire season and all teams in the league.  In H2H it can be very concentrated on any given week against a singular opponent.

We end up 2nd in roto by 1 pt - one or two more steals would have given us the edge in steals to win the league - but when was the last time we heard "well if so and so had not gotten injured in week 1, I would have had those steals and won the league"

We end up 2nd in head to head by 1 cat - one or two more steals would have given us the edge in steals to win - but we've all heard "so and so got injured in the playoffs, and it caused me to lose"

That lost player in week 1 Roto = that lost player last week of H2H

But we remember/feel one of those, we don't the other.

#10 Straight Outta CPT

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Posted 16 April 2014 - 12:05 PM

View PostKeyboardHero, on 16 April 2014 - 07:38 AM, said:

View PostStraight Outta CPT, on 16 April 2014 - 04:12 AM, said:

View PostBillWalton, on 16 April 2014 - 12:57 AM, said:

If the issue is dead teams then I agree, roto is the way to go, especially if your league is a 12 team league with a 20 week long season since not everyone will play the dead teams the same amount.

I disagree that roto takes a lot more skill than H2H. As a guy who plays both in highly competitive leagues I actually find that my skills are put to the test more in H2H due to the luck involved and having to respond to it. Roto you can get away with having a strong draft and a strong start to the season even if your team starts to flame out at the end. H2H on the other hand requires more management and forces you to be on your game all year long. You have to make more quick decisions in H2H to respond to changes that can pop up at any second. H2H playoffs definitely involve a lot of luck but they also involve a lot of skill. Successfully changing your team and it's strengths and weaknesses over a week to two week period due to your opponents is not something everyone can pull off. Both take skill but in different ways.

I agree that there are more decisions to be made in H2H, but many of those decisions are introduced because of stochastic factors beyond your control. More time intensive, yes.

It's like comparing chess with a video game. With chess, you only have roughly a dozen decisions to make at each move, with games usually lasting 20-30 turns, but it has a reputation of being incredibly complex because at the highest level, players need to think several moves in advance and anticipate every possibility to play completely optimally. An action-based video game theoretically has many more decisions to be made, but you do not need to play anywhere near optimally and a lot of stochastic factors are beyond your control anyway.

that analogy couldn't be any more framed could it?

The randomness and control of roto is exactly the same as that of H2H (its based on the exact same players playing the exact same sport subject to the same challenges), rather its the timing of said randomness/control that plays a difference in our perception of its importance.

The added challenge to H2H is using a season to build a team that can overcome/limit/use that randomness at a specific time to maximize your team chance to win (punting cats, keeping playoff schedules in mind even as early as the draft, knowing which bench players play (and play well) and will replace starters etc).  In Roto its, theoretically anyways, equal parts from start to finish.  

I'd even argue that since H2H is one vs one, and Roto is the ranking of all players combined, the macro predictability of your league is greater in H2H.  If your team is up by 1 pt in Roto, then team 2 beats out team 3 and 4 in blocks in the last game to jump ahead of you ... what control did you have over that?  None.  It was completely dependent on what teams 2 through 4 did or did not do.  In H2H though, what teams 3 and 4 do has no bearing on the outcome of your matchup.

This becomes the difference - we don't feel the randomness and unpredictability to the same extent in Roto because its spread out across the entire season and all teams in the league.  In H2H it can be very concentrated on any given week against a singular opponent.

We end up 2nd in roto by 1 pt - one or two more steals would have given us the edge in steals to win the league - but when was the last time we heard "well if so and so had not gotten injured in week 1, I would have had those steals and won the league"

We end up 2nd in head to head by 1 cat - one or two more steals would have given us the edge in steals to win - but we've all heard "so and so got injured in the playoffs, and it caused me to lose"

That lost player in week 1 Roto = that lost player last week of H2H

But we remember/feel one of those, we don't the other.

While what you said is true, roto is lower variance not only because it's 820 games played, but because there's a maximum game played cap. The hallmark of a strong owner isn't the ability to draft Kevin Durant with the #1 pick (that's variance), but rather, the ability to keep a deep lineup with solid replacement options.

In H2H, you're probably looking aiming to get 50 games played during your playoff weeks, or perhaps more if your league doesn't have a transaction limit. You're aggressively streaming for games, and every fewer game your players get due to schedule or to unexpected rest is absolutely crippling, even if it's from a marginal player. In roto, your 60th ranked player might miss a couple games due to an injury, but you simply plug in the next man down, who might be ranked 75th. I believe it's the value of a replacement option in roto even more so than the length of season that contributes to decreased variance (and the latter is indeed a big factor).

#11 s-kayos

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Posted 16 April 2014 - 02:14 PM

This thread is great. I appreciate all the viewpoints expressed, and the thoughtful opinions people spent time articulating. Good job guys.
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#12 v3xinated

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Posted 16 April 2014 - 05:50 PM

Yeah thanks everyone for the insight! My concerns mainly stemmed from all the dead teams in my league, but I never really gave thought to which format took more skill. Our league is non-money (ugh), but I'll give some thought to creating my own Roto money league since the format really interests me. It seems less exciting..but after getting screwed out of a championship in my money league due to injuries, a format with less variance does seem appealing.
12 Team League - H2H. 9 Categories. Daily Lineups (1st Reg. Season, 3rd Playoffs)
PG Kyrie, Teague, Bledsoe, Roberts
SG George, Beal, Sessions
SF Ariza, M. Barnes, Tucker
PF Davis, Nowitzki, J. Hill
C Hawes, DeAndre

12 Team League - H2H. 9 Categories. Daily Lineups (1st Reg. Season, 1st Playoffs)
PG Wall, Brooks, Mills
SG Beal, Hayward, Korver, Crawford
SF LeBron, Marion, Ariza, Tucker
PF Drummond, Markieff
C Cousins, D. Jordan

10 Team League - H2H. 9 Categories. Daily Lineups (1st Reg. Season, 1st Playoffs)
PG Curry, Wall, Oladipo, Livingston, Collison
SG Beal, Stephenson, Carter
SF Hayward, Kawhi
PF Davis, Favors
C  Cousins

#13 KeyboardHero

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Posted 16 April 2014 - 05:52 PM

View PostStraight Outta CPT, on 16 April 2014 - 12:05 PM, said:

View PostKeyboardHero, on 16 April 2014 - 07:38 AM, said:

View PostStraight Outta CPT, on 16 April 2014 - 04:12 AM, said:

View PostBillWalton, on 16 April 2014 - 12:57 AM, said:

If the issue is dead teams then I agree, roto is the way to go, especially if your league is a 12 team league with a 20 week long season since not everyone will play the dead teams the same amount.

I disagree that roto takes a lot more skill than H2H. As a guy who plays both in highly competitive leagues I actually find that my skills are put to the test more in H2H due to the luck involved and having to respond to it. Roto you can get away with having a strong draft and a strong start to the season even if your team starts to flame out at the end. H2H on the other hand requires more management and forces you to be on your game all year long. You have to make more quick decisions in H2H to respond to changes that can pop up at any second. H2H playoffs definitely involve a lot of luck but they also involve a lot of skill. Successfully changing your team and it's strengths and weaknesses over a week to two week period due to your opponents is not something everyone can pull off. Both take skill but in different ways.

I agree that there are more decisions to be made in H2H, but many of those decisions are introduced because of stochastic factors beyond your control. More time intensive, yes.

It's like comparing chess with a video game. With chess, you only have roughly a dozen decisions to make at each move, with games usually lasting 20-30 turns, but it has a reputation of being incredibly complex because at the highest level, players need to think several moves in advance and anticipate every possibility to play completely optimally. An action-based video game theoretically has many more decisions to be made, but you do not need to play anywhere near optimally and a lot of stochastic factors are beyond your control anyway.

that analogy couldn't be any more framed could it?

The randomness and control of roto is exactly the same as that of H2H (its based on the exact same players playing the exact same sport subject to the same challenges), rather its the timing of said randomness/control that plays a difference in our perception of its importance.

The added challenge to H2H is using a season to build a team that can overcome/limit/use that randomness at a specific time to maximize your team chance to win (punting cats, keeping playoff schedules in mind even as early as the draft, knowing which bench players play (and play well) and will replace starters etc).  In Roto its, theoretically anyways, equal parts from start to finish.  

I'd even argue that since H2H is one vs one, and Roto is the ranking of all players combined, the macro predictability of your league is greater in H2H.  If your team is up by 1 pt in Roto, then team 2 beats out team 3 and 4 in blocks in the last game to jump ahead of you ... what control did you have over that?  None.  It was completely dependent on what teams 2 through 4 did or did not do.  In H2H though, what teams 3 and 4 do has no bearing on the outcome of your matchup.

This becomes the difference - we don't feel the randomness and unpredictability to the same extent in Roto because its spread out across the entire season and all teams in the league.  In H2H it can be very concentrated on any given week against a singular opponent.

We end up 2nd in roto by 1 pt - one or two more steals would have given us the edge in steals to win the league - but when was the last time we heard "well if so and so had not gotten injured in week 1, I would have had those steals and won the league"

We end up 2nd in head to head by 1 cat - one or two more steals would have given us the edge in steals to win - but we've all heard "so and so got injured in the playoffs, and it caused me to lose"

That lost player in week 1 Roto = that lost player last week of H2H

But we remember/feel one of those, we don't the other.

While what you said is true, roto is lower variance not only because it's 820 games played, but because there's a maximum game played cap. The hallmark of a strong owner isn't the ability to draft Kevin Durant with the #1 pick (that's variance), but rather, the ability to keep a deep lineup with solid replacement options.

In H2H, you're probably looking aiming to get 50 games played during your playoff weeks, or perhaps more if your league doesn't have a transaction limit. You're aggressively streaming for games, and every fewer game your players get due to schedule or to unexpected rest is absolutely crippling, even if it's from a marginal player. In roto, your 60th ranked player might miss a couple games due to an injury, but you simply plug in the next man down, who might be ranked 75th. I believe it's the value of a replacement option in roto even more so than the length of season that contributes to decreased variance (and the latter is indeed a big factor).

but that 75th rank player comes from somewhere to... so who fills their position?  A 90th ranked player?  Then who fills that 90th ranked players position?  The 105th?.... and so on, and so on

Now what one is actually doing is replacing the 60th ranked player with the 105th (or later), not the 75th.

Don't forget,  games where a player plays below replacement level... they are actually contributing at a negative rate.  Those games you'll never get back and can't refill.  In H2H, they matter little outside the playoffs... in Roto, they haunt you all season.

Again though, we have a tendency to forget them when they don't take place in the last week

#14 Straight Outta CPT

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Posted 16 April 2014 - 06:26 PM

View PostKeyboardHero, on 16 April 2014 - 05:52 PM, said:

View PostStraight Outta CPT, on 16 April 2014 - 12:05 PM, said:

View PostKeyboardHero, on 16 April 2014 - 07:38 AM, said:

View PostStraight Outta CPT, on 16 April 2014 - 04:12 AM, said:

View PostBillWalton, on 16 April 2014 - 12:57 AM, said:

If the issue is dead teams then I agree, roto is the way to go, especially if your league is a 12 team league with a 20 week long season since not everyone will play the dead teams the same amount.

I disagree that roto takes a lot more skill than H2H. As a guy who plays both in highly competitive leagues I actually find that my skills are put to the test more in H2H due to the luck involved and having to respond to it. Roto you can get away with having a strong draft and a strong start to the season even if your team starts to flame out at the end. H2H on the other hand requires more management and forces you to be on your game all year long. You have to make more quick decisions in H2H to respond to changes that can pop up at any second. H2H playoffs definitely involve a lot of luck but they also involve a lot of skill. Successfully changing your team and it's strengths and weaknesses over a week to two week period due to your opponents is not something everyone can pull off. Both take skill but in different ways.

I agree that there are more decisions to be made in H2H, but many of those decisions are introduced because of stochastic factors beyond your control. More time intensive, yes.

It's like comparing chess with a video game. With chess, you only have roughly a dozen decisions to make at each move, with games usually lasting 20-30 turns, but it has a reputation of being incredibly complex because at the highest level, players need to think several moves in advance and anticipate every possibility to play completely optimally. An action-based video game theoretically has many more decisions to be made, but you do not need to play anywhere near optimally and a lot of stochastic factors are beyond your control anyway.

that analogy couldn't be any more framed could it?

The randomness and control of roto is exactly the same as that of H2H (its based on the exact same players playing the exact same sport subject to the same challenges), rather its the timing of said randomness/control that plays a difference in our perception of its importance.

The added challenge to H2H is using a season to build a team that can overcome/limit/use that randomness at a specific time to maximize your team chance to win (punting cats, keeping playoff schedules in mind even as early as the draft, knowing which bench players play (and play well) and will replace starters etc).  In Roto its, theoretically anyways, equal parts from start to finish.  

I'd even argue that since H2H is one vs one, and Roto is the ranking of all players combined, the macro predictability of your league is greater in H2H.  If your team is up by 1 pt in Roto, then team 2 beats out team 3 and 4 in blocks in the last game to jump ahead of you ... what control did you have over that?  None.  It was completely dependent on what teams 2 through 4 did or did not do.  In H2H though, what teams 3 and 4 do has no bearing on the outcome of your matchup.

This becomes the difference - we don't feel the randomness and unpredictability to the same extent in Roto because its spread out across the entire season and all teams in the league.  In H2H it can be very concentrated on any given week against a singular opponent.

We end up 2nd in roto by 1 pt - one or two more steals would have given us the edge in steals to win the league - but when was the last time we heard "well if so and so had not gotten injured in week 1, I would have had those steals and won the league"

We end up 2nd in head to head by 1 cat - one or two more steals would have given us the edge in steals to win - but we've all heard "so and so got injured in the playoffs, and it caused me to lose"

That lost player in week 1 Roto = that lost player last week of H2H

But we remember/feel one of those, we don't the other.

While what you said is true, roto is lower variance not only because it's 820 games played, but because there's a maximum game played cap. The hallmark of a strong owner isn't the ability to draft Kevin Durant with the #1 pick (that's variance), but rather, the ability to keep a deep lineup with solid replacement options.

In H2H, you're probably looking aiming to get 50 games played during your playoff weeks, or perhaps more if your league doesn't have a transaction limit. You're aggressively streaming for games, and every fewer game your players get due to schedule or to unexpected rest is absolutely crippling, even if it's from a marginal player. In roto, your 60th ranked player might miss a couple games due to an injury, but you simply plug in the next man down, who might be ranked 75th. I believe it's the value of a replacement option in roto even more so than the length of season that contributes to decreased variance (and the latter is indeed a big factor).

but that 75th rank player comes from somewhere to... so who fills their position?  A 90th ranked player?  Then who fills that 90th ranked players position?  The 105th?.... and so on, and so on

Now what one is actually doing is replacing the 60th ranked player with the 105th (or later), not the 75th.

Don't forget,  games where a player plays below replacement level... they are actually contributing at a negative rate.  Those games you'll never get back and can't refill.  In H2H, they matter little outside the playoffs... in Roto, they haunt you all season.

Again though, we have a tendency to forget them when they don't take place in the last week

The 75th ranked player comes from my bench.

#15 KeyboardHero

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Posted 16 April 2014 - 07:03 PM

View PostStraight Outta CPT, on 16 April 2014 - 06:26 PM, said:

View PostKeyboardHero, on 16 April 2014 - 05:52 PM, said:

View PostStraight Outta CPT, on 16 April 2014 - 12:05 PM, said:

View PostKeyboardHero, on 16 April 2014 - 07:38 AM, said:

View PostStraight Outta CPT, on 16 April 2014 - 04:12 AM, said:

View PostBillWalton, on 16 April 2014 - 12:57 AM, said:

If the issue is dead teams then I agree, roto is the way to go, especially if your league is a 12 team league with a 20 week long season since not everyone will play the dead teams the same amount.

I disagree that roto takes a lot more skill than H2H. As a guy who plays both in highly competitive leagues I actually find that my skills are put to the test more in H2H due to the luck involved and having to respond to it. Roto you can get away with having a strong draft and a strong start to the season even if your team starts to flame out at the end. H2H on the other hand requires more management and forces you to be on your game all year long. You have to make more quick decisions in H2H to respond to changes that can pop up at any second. H2H playoffs definitely involve a lot of luck but they also involve a lot of skill. Successfully changing your team and it's strengths and weaknesses over a week to two week period due to your opponents is not something everyone can pull off. Both take skill but in different ways.

I agree that there are more decisions to be made in H2H, but many of those decisions are introduced because of stochastic factors beyond your control. More time intensive, yes.

It's like comparing chess with a video game. With chess, you only have roughly a dozen decisions to make at each move, with games usually lasting 20-30 turns, but it has a reputation of being incredibly complex because at the highest level, players need to think several moves in advance and anticipate every possibility to play completely optimally. An action-based video game theoretically has many more decisions to be made, but you do not need to play anywhere near optimally and a lot of stochastic factors are beyond your control anyway.

that analogy couldn't be any more framed could it?

The randomness and control of roto is exactly the same as that of H2H (its based on the exact same players playing the exact same sport subject to the same challenges), rather its the timing of said randomness/control that plays a difference in our perception of its importance.

The added challenge to H2H is using a season to build a team that can overcome/limit/use that randomness at a specific time to maximize your team chance to win (punting cats, keeping playoff schedules in mind even as early as the draft, knowing which bench players play (and play well) and will replace starters etc).  In Roto its, theoretically anyways, equal parts from start to finish.  

I'd even argue that since H2H is one vs one, and Roto is the ranking of all players combined, the macro predictability of your league is greater in H2H.  If your team is up by 1 pt in Roto, then team 2 beats out team 3 and 4 in blocks in the last game to jump ahead of you ... what control did you have over that?  None.  It was completely dependent on what teams 2 through 4 did or did not do.  In H2H though, what teams 3 and 4 do has no bearing on the outcome of your matchup.

This becomes the difference - we don't feel the randomness and unpredictability to the same extent in Roto because its spread out across the entire season and all teams in the league.  In H2H it can be very concentrated on any given week against a singular opponent.

We end up 2nd in roto by 1 pt - one or two more steals would have given us the edge in steals to win the league - but when was the last time we heard "well if so and so had not gotten injured in week 1, I would have had those steals and won the league"

We end up 2nd in head to head by 1 cat - one or two more steals would have given us the edge in steals to win - but we've all heard "so and so got injured in the playoffs, and it caused me to lose"

That lost player in week 1 Roto = that lost player last week of H2H

But we remember/feel one of those, we don't the other.

While what you said is true, roto is lower variance not only because it's 820 games played, but because there's a maximum game played cap. The hallmark of a strong owner isn't the ability to draft Kevin Durant with the #1 pick (that's variance), but rather, the ability to keep a deep lineup with solid replacement options.

In H2H, you're probably looking aiming to get 50 games played during your playoff weeks, or perhaps more if your league doesn't have a transaction limit. You're aggressively streaming for games, and every fewer game your players get due to schedule or to unexpected rest is absolutely crippling, even if it's from a marginal player. In roto, your 60th ranked player might miss a couple games due to an injury, but you simply plug in the next man down, who might be ranked 75th. I believe it's the value of a replacement option in roto even more so than the length of season that contributes to decreased variance (and the latter is indeed a big factor).

but that 75th rank player comes from somewhere to... so who fills their position?  A 90th ranked player?  Then who fills that 90th ranked players position?  The 105th?.... and so on, and so on

Now what one is actually doing is replacing the 60th ranked player with the 105th (or later), not the 75th.

Don't forget,  games where a player plays below replacement level... they are actually contributing at a negative rate.  Those games you'll never get back and can't refill.  In H2H, they matter little outside the playoffs... in Roto, they haunt you all season.

Again though, we have a tendency to forget them when they don't take place in the last week

The 75th ranked player comes from my bench.

its all still relative

If we are talking about a team so good that the 75th highest ranked player is your bench player, then that same team in H2H is going to have such an edge losing a 60th ranked player for a game/week/month is irrelevant.

We are talking about a dominant team, where the differences are at the margin well above needed value

#16 Straight Outta CPT

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Posted 17 April 2014 - 07:05 AM

View PostKeyboardHero, on 16 April 2014 - 07:03 PM, said:

View PostStraight Outta CPT, on 16 April 2014 - 06:26 PM, said:

View PostKeyboardHero, on 16 April 2014 - 05:52 PM, said:

View PostStraight Outta CPT, on 16 April 2014 - 12:05 PM, said:

View PostKeyboardHero, on 16 April 2014 - 07:38 AM, said:

View PostStraight Outta CPT, on 16 April 2014 - 04:12 AM, said:

View PostBillWalton, on 16 April 2014 - 12:57 AM, said:

If the issue is dead teams then I agree, roto is the way to go, especially if your league is a 12 team league with a 20 week long season since not everyone will play the dead teams the same amount.

I disagree that roto takes a lot more skill than H2H. As a guy who plays both in highly competitive leagues I actually find that my skills are put to the test more in H2H due to the luck involved and having to respond to it. Roto you can get away with having a strong draft and a strong start to the season even if your team starts to flame out at the end. H2H on the other hand requires more management and forces you to be on your game all year long. You have to make more quick decisions in H2H to respond to changes that can pop up at any second. H2H playoffs definitely involve a lot of luck but they also involve a lot of skill. Successfully changing your team and it's strengths and weaknesses over a week to two week period due to your opponents is not something everyone can pull off. Both take skill but in different ways.

I agree that there are more decisions to be made in H2H, but many of those decisions are introduced because of stochastic factors beyond your control. More time intensive, yes.

It's like comparing chess with a video game. With chess, you only have roughly a dozen decisions to make at each move, with games usually lasting 20-30 turns, but it has a reputation of being incredibly complex because at the highest level, players need to think several moves in advance and anticipate every possibility to play completely optimally. An action-based video game theoretically has many more decisions to be made, but you do not need to play anywhere near optimally and a lot of stochastic factors are beyond your control anyway.

that analogy couldn't be any more framed could it?

The randomness and control of roto is exactly the same as that of H2H (its based on the exact same players playing the exact same sport subject to the same challenges), rather its the timing of said randomness/control that plays a difference in our perception of its importance.

The added challenge to H2H is using a season to build a team that can overcome/limit/use that randomness at a specific time to maximize your team chance to win (punting cats, keeping playoff schedules in mind even as early as the draft, knowing which bench players play (and play well) and will replace starters etc).  In Roto its, theoretically anyways, equal parts from start to finish.  

I'd even argue that since H2H is one vs one, and Roto is the ranking of all players combined, the macro predictability of your league is greater in H2H.  If your team is up by 1 pt in Roto, then team 2 beats out team 3 and 4 in blocks in the last game to jump ahead of you ... what control did you have over that?  None.  It was completely dependent on what teams 2 through 4 did or did not do.  In H2H though, what teams 3 and 4 do has no bearing on the outcome of your matchup.

This becomes the difference - we don't feel the randomness and unpredictability to the same extent in Roto because its spread out across the entire season and all teams in the league.  In H2H it can be very concentrated on any given week against a singular opponent.

We end up 2nd in roto by 1 pt - one or two more steals would have given us the edge in steals to win the league - but when was the last time we heard "well if so and so had not gotten injured in week 1, I would have had those steals and won the league"

We end up 2nd in head to head by 1 cat - one or two more steals would have given us the edge in steals to win - but we've all heard "so and so got injured in the playoffs, and it caused me to lose"

That lost player in week 1 Roto = that lost player last week of H2H

But we remember/feel one of those, we don't the other.

While what you said is true, roto is lower variance not only because it's 820 games played, but because there's a maximum game played cap. The hallmark of a strong owner isn't the ability to draft Kevin Durant with the #1 pick (that's variance), but rather, the ability to keep a deep lineup with solid replacement options.

In H2H, you're probably looking aiming to get 50 games played during your playoff weeks, or perhaps more if your league doesn't have a transaction limit. You're aggressively streaming for games, and every fewer game your players get due to schedule or to unexpected rest is absolutely crippling, even if it's from a marginal player. In roto, your 60th ranked player might miss a couple games due to an injury, but you simply plug in the next man down, who might be ranked 75th. I believe it's the value of a replacement option in roto even more so than the length of season that contributes to decreased variance (and the latter is indeed a big factor).

but that 75th rank player comes from somewhere to... so who fills their position?  A 90th ranked player?  Then who fills that 90th ranked players position?  The 105th?.... and so on, and so on

Now what one is actually doing is replacing the 60th ranked player with the 105th (or later), not the 75th.

Don't forget,  games where a player plays below replacement level... they are actually contributing at a negative rate.  Those games you'll never get back and can't refill.  In H2H, they matter little outside the playoffs... in Roto, they haunt you all season.

Again though, we have a tendency to forget them when they don't take place in the last week

The 75th ranked player comes from my bench.

its all still relative

If we are talking about a team so good that the 75th highest ranked player is your bench player, then that same team in H2H is going to have such an edge losing a 60th ranked player for a game/week/month is irrelevant.

We are talking about a dominant team, where the differences are at the margin well above needed value

I don't want to turn this into a digression about how good replacement value players should be, so I'll touch on it briefly. It's very possible to have a very deep team, but still have to work hard to win your league because you don't have a lot of studs; in fact, this was my experience in one pro league where I had a late draft position, where I went with Horford (who missed almost the entire season) and also had to deal with my 3rd round pick in Westbrook also missing about half the season. Note also that I referred to rankings when I should conceptually refer to it as "projected z-values". Even if your 11th or 12th man hasn't been ranked in the top 75 all season long, it is not unreasonable at all to get a temporary fill in who can reliably put that type of value (e.g. someone like Darren Collison when Chris Paul goes down) over a sustained stretch.

That being said, the same applies whether or not your replacement games are roughly top 65 value (z = 0) or top 120 (z = -0.2). Losing an average starter (let's say for the sake of argument that he's a fringe top 40 guy, so roughly z = 0.1) is much less crippling when you can fill in a replacement game as above instead of eating a bunch of zeros (which would have a hypothetical value of z = -1.0). Obviously, you don't win leagues based on z-values, but it's a manifestation of why missed games due to injury (or simply unfavorable scheduling quirks) is much less crippling in roto than in H2H, and that's one of the biggest sources of variance in fantasy basketball.

Edited by Straight Outta CPT, 17 April 2014 - 07:07 AM.


#17 KeyboardHero

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Posted 17 April 2014 - 10:27 AM

View PostStraight Outta CPT, on 17 April 2014 - 07:05 AM, said:



I don't want to turn this into a digression about how good replacement value players should be, so I'll touch on it briefly. It's very possible to have a very deep team, but still have to work hard to win your league because you don't have a lot of studs; in fact, this was my experience in one pro league where I had a late draft position, where I went with Horford (who missed almost the entire season) and also had to deal with my 3rd round pick in Westbrook also missing about half the season. Note also that I referred to rankings when I should conceptually refer to it as "projected z-values". Even if your 11th or 12th man hasn't been ranked in the top 75 all season long, it is not unreasonable at all to get a temporary fill in who can reliably put that type of value (e.g. someone like Darren Collison when Chris Paul goes down) over a sustained stretch.

That being said, the same applies whether or not your replacement games are roughly top 65 value (z = 0) or top 120 (z = -0.2). Losing an average starter (let's say for the sake of argument that he's a fringe top 40 guy, so roughly z = 0.1) is much less crippling when you can fill in a replacement game as above instead of eating a bunch of zeros (which would have a hypothetical value of z = -1.0). Obviously, you don't win leagues based on z-values, but it's a manifestation of why missed games due to injury (or simply unfavorable scheduling quirks) is much less crippling in roto than in H2H, and that's one of the biggest sources of variance in fantasy basketball.

I just assumed you were using the term 'rank' as an easy representation of 'value'.  I also don't doubt one could have a very good team, yet still be challenged by others (who would also have very good teams) - however, we should acknowledge that very good teams will tend to win no matter what the format.  Particularily when they are very good because they structured their team to fit a format.

Lets remember, this isn't about a finite result - but rather a relative level of 'randomness/luck/consistency' (or whatever one wants to call it), and we need to accept the relativity of events/teams across formats.  These should be comparable ideas (ie. if the theoretical roto team is very good yet also challenged by a very good other team, the H2H team should also be very good and challenged by a very good opponent.  Both teams facing the same challenges or benifits. Or they should both be average etc)

So again in this regard (z-values), you still have that opportunity in H2H aswell, to 'replace' an averagish player with relatively compariable replacement player (even if only for a short time) off the wire.   Will they be as good as a theoretical Roto replacement bench player?  Maybe not... but again its relative.  Will they be so signficantly worse than a Roto bench player that we can't call them comparible?  Probably not. (ie. the relative replacement value of a bench roto player vs a wire H2H player).  While this may be untrue for 'very good' teams, we'd also expect that said very good team would have a huge edge on their opponent they could absorb that randomness (and I would argue this should be a primary goal in H2H... build a team that can compensate for the unexpected at the worst time, its when people don't do this they focus on the so called 'luck' factor),  except in very precise and small samples (and we are only doing a deservice the disucssion by isolating this into very specific comparisons.  Otherwise all we are arguing is elite roto teams are more consistent against an elite opponent, than elite H2H teams are against and elite opponent, if one loses a z-valued player - which hardly gives us how impactful 'luck/randomness' of 2 different styled leagues actually is.  Rather we are only discussing  randomness in isolated events)  

And while one can't compensate for missed games in H2H like one can in Roto, one also isn't limited to max games (which is one of the boons to H2H that shouldn't be discredited) - as such, one can make up for lost games (or expected to be lost games) by pulling someone off the wire or using bulk volume.  WHEN those lost games happen also matter to (early they are irrelevant in H2H... late they are more relevant, but this just goes back to my initial post on the perception differences caused by timing).  If one doesn't like doing this or using this style strategy (streaming), well I can't say much about it - but it is only an opportunity lost when one doesn't take advantage of the opportunities offered to them.  One can't claim they got unlucky or were effected by a random event, because they chose not use opportunities handed to them.

(For what its worth, I'd point using out the term 'crippling' is really just framing here)  

There are options to overcome challenges (or maximize opportunities) in Roto that H2H doesn't offer, but the same goes the other way.  There are ways to compensate for challenges (or maximize opportunities) in H2H that Roto doesn't offer.  I think one of the biggest issue here is when people try to play them both the same or in a similar way.  But when one looks at the different challenges/randomness that effect outcomes, you find they should be played quite differently.

If one plays H2H similar to how they would maximize a roto team... it will definetely seem that Roto is more 'consistent' (for an easy term) because strategies to maximize ones opportunities and limit (or compensate for) 'randomness' are quite different.  But when one can change how they look at the two formats..., you'll find that the opportunities, the risks and rewards, change... as such one's decision making and approach should to.  Just to repeat an example I gave before, when players play games matter more in H2H than in roto... but thats not included in z-values, rankings, or draft positions (although maybe indirecty) etc.  Yet that should play a role in how one values said player in H2H, little in Roto.  If one doesn't factor this in, and another does, can we really say the guy who didn't bother to look at playoff games... and therefore missed an opportunity.... was 'unlucky'?  Isn't that just 'skill' or foresight by the opponent?

In the end, the randomness is no different, just applied differently.  In the broadest of terms, early 'luck' > in roto, but comparable in influence across time, late 'luck' >  in H2H and very disproportionate between the start and finish.  But we still need to accept the luck does not change - just the methods to compensate/absorb/overcome that potential luck should change.  H2H methods can take alot more in depth strategizing and long term planning, and people seem to overlook  or don't realize the marginal benifit of them (and in some cases simply don't want to participate in them).   Roto takes a more straight forward and easy to spot approach.

Thats not to claim one is better than the other, thats pure opinion, and there are merits in playing either format.

Edited by KeyboardHero, 17 April 2014 - 10:29 AM.


#18 Ajax

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Posted 17 April 2014 - 05:48 PM

In my opinion, playing both formats have made me a better basketball fantasy team owner/manager. I enjoy the unique challenges and differences that each bring to the table.

The satisfaction that I felt winning a roto league by 1 point on the last day of the league, by carefully managing my last 4 games remaining, and starting the right players that got me the needed boost in the one stat I was trailing, but close enough to overtake, was the same level of satisfaction I felt winning a particularly challenging, and super competitive H2H money league, where I had to make tough decisions like dropping Isiah Thomas as soon as he got hurt to steam McCallum, or dropping A. Davis and streaming both Asik, and Dieng to squeeze a very narrow win in assists, and rebounds.

In conclusion...play both, and enjoy the differences!
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#19 markdash

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Posted 18 April 2014 - 12:16 PM

View PostAjax, on 17 April 2014 - 05:48 PM, said:

In my opinion, playing both formats have made me a better basketball fantasy team owner/manager. I enjoy the unique challenges and differences that each bring to the table.

The satisfaction that I felt winning a roto league by 1 point on the last day of the league, by carefully managing my last 4 games remaining, and starting the right players that got me the needed boost in the one stat I was trailing, but close enough to overtake, was the same level of satisfaction I felt winning a particularly challenging, and super competitive H2H money league, where I had to make tough decisions like dropping Isiah Thomas as soon as he got hurt to steam McCallum, or dropping A. Davis and streaming both Asik, and Dieng to squeeze a very narrow win in assists, and rebounds.

In conclusion...play both, and enjoy the differences!

Totally agree, with the one caveat that roto is the greatest and H2H is for people that like to eat their own poop.
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#20 rocko

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Posted 18 April 2014 - 02:55 PM

View Postmarkdash, on 18 April 2014 - 12:16 PM, said:

View PostAjax, on 17 April 2014 - 05:48 PM, said:

In my opinion, playing both formats have made me a better basketball fantasy team owner/manager. I enjoy the unique challenges and differences that each bring to the table.

The satisfaction that I felt winning a roto league by 1 point on the last day of the league, by carefully managing my last 4 games remaining, and starting the right players that got me the needed boost in the one stat I was trailing, but close enough to overtake, was the same level of satisfaction I felt winning a particularly challenging, and super competitive H2H money league, where I had to make tough decisions like dropping Isiah Thomas as soon as he got hurt to steam McCallum, or dropping A. Davis and streaming both Asik, and Dieng to squeeze a very narrow win in assists, and rebounds.

In conclusion...play both, and enjoy the differences!

Totally agree, with the one caveat that roto is the greatest and H2H is for people that like to eat their own poop.

Spot on.




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