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Code of Hammurabi

NL & AL Only leagues - Why? Rationale and Support?

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I see your points, which means being in a great league is really important. My current NL-only league has been around since 1988, and eight out of the twelve owners have been in the league since 1995. With that degree of continuity, you can really build up a set of case law and rules that make it all work. Plus, some great long-term friendships. It's really easy to solve #1. Player who gets traded out of your league to the other league remains eligible for the rest of the season (no getting hosed when a big trade goes down). Similarly, player traded into your league from the other league remains ineligible for the rest of the season (no dogfights to pick up the newcomer). I totally disagree with you on #2. Predicting breakouts is all part of the game, and what makes it fun. What's more interesting -- trying to predict whether Vance Worley will break out, or whether Hanley Ramirez will slump? In a shallow mixed league, you only have to think about Hanley. In a deep league, you have to predict the Vance Worleys and Jeff Francouers of the world. No one player will make or break a good team. The team in my league that spent 1/5 of their budget on Pujols won last year. That's because they were smart enough to get 70 SB out of Jason Bourgeios and Emilio Bonifacio. Breakouts and slumps offset. There is good luck and bad, but over time, skill will beat both. #3 is solvable but more tricky. Once again, if you embargo players who came over from the other league in-season, it gets easier. I much prefer NL-only to mixed, and have tried both. I just don't find the question of whether to spend my money on Michael Cuddyer or Brett Gardner very interesting. I'm much more interested in figuring out Pedro Alvarez vs. Devin Mesoraco. --Ben

I think there is a method to predicting a breakout for a young guy or a bounce back season, but certain guys like a Francouer who has been around a while all of a sudden goes 20-20? Where Im sure he was drafted for a decent amount of money because he was a starting player and in "only" leagues, that alone has value. I guess that is where the fluky comes in that you take a guy simple because he has a job and the guy totally blows up.

I wish we were a little deeper, for me, I would like to see us in the 15-16 range, where you start to talk about catcher scarcity, closer scarcity, 45 middle infielders in a league of 60, again scarcity comes big into play - but when we got that big you had a ton of dead wood.

One thing I do like about the "only" leagues is the fact that everyone is going to perhaps have some guys that might be on the outside looking in at starting jobs at the beginning of the year, and there are many guys with upside that would be interesting to see how to put your money out there, where in a mixed 12-14 team league, you just arent taking those guys. You mentioned Pedro Alvarez, would take him in second in NL Only league, same with Taylor Green from Milwaukee.

Especially if the league is a keeper league.

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I think they are only really good when you want a deep, difficult league but don't have enough managers to make a 16-20 team league.

I hate the fact that players will randomly get traded and it totally alters the course of your team/season/dynasty/etc. I think that is extremely unrealistic.

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The challenge factor is obviously a big reason why to play NL and AL only leagues. 16 to 18 team mixed leagues is just too many owners to have to deal with in my opinion, August and September would probably only have action out of 5 or 6 of those teams. A 10-12 team mixed league is like bowling with the bumper pads on, somebody's worst player may be an allstar. Also some people just may like one league more than the other. I know personally I live close to St. Louis and have always been a big braves fan so if I'm watching games its more than likely some team from the NL East or the Cardinals and the NL Central just because I have more interest in those two divisions than I would for watching a team like Baltimore in the AL. Its not that I don't like the AL or vise versa if someone may be a Yankees fan for example but I have more interest in what goes on in the NL and enjoy the challenge of finding the breakout stars and rookies that can come up and make a difference in a one league fantasy league.

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I've only done AL-Only leagues. You need to actually know what you're doing. Anybody can follow cheatsheets in a 10 or 12 team mixed league and have an awesome team with no effort.

To the argument that it's like having a NFC/AFC only league... Not even close. Way more positions in baseball. In football, have a good QB, stud back, stud wide, and solid supporting cast, then you're in the mix.

In baseball, you can have killer hitting, and the worst pitching ever.

It makes each round important when drafting, and makes the waivers worth something. If I'm drafting last, I'm holing out on a big trade at the deadline.

And waiver guys come down the ranks all of the time. In my league alone, guys like Zobrist Bautista and Santos have helped carry teams.

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I will never forget reading these forums a couple of years ago: some member was wondering if he should pick Ichiro off of the waiver wire. I play in a 12 team AL only league, and I NEVER want to play in such a shallow league where the 2010 version of Ichiro is on the waiver wire. Enough said.

+1

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i tried playing a mixed league snake draft once many years ago, and I hated it. The only way to play fantasy baseball is "Only" leagues, with an auction draft like LABR. It rewards hard work. I play in one of each, and it requires deep knowledge of all 700 mlb players plus hundreds of minor leaguers. I'm trying to analyze Parker, Peacock and Milone right now for example; these are "undraftable" players in a mixed league. Playing "only " leaguers, quite simply, separates the wheat from the chaff. If you truly want to experience the joys of playing fantasy baseball, it's the only way to play.

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i tried playing a mixed league snake draft once many years ago, and I hated it. The only way to play fantasy baseball is "Only" leagues, with an auction draft like LABR. It rewards hard work. I play in one of each, and it requires deep knowledge of all 700 mlb players plus hundreds of minor leaguers. I'm trying to analyze Parker, Peacock and Milone right now for example; these are "undraftable" players in a mixed league. Playing "only " leaguers, quite simply, separates the wheat from the chaff. If you truly want to experience the joys of playing fantasy baseball, it's the only way to play.

Or just play in a deeper league where you have the 400+ people drafted or so... It doesn't make you better than others to play an NL/AL only... Probably why I like playing in 14+ team leagues....Only problem is finding enough people that will actually pay attention...even when money is at stake.

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i tried playing a mixed league snake draft once many years ago, and I hated it. The only way to play fantasy baseball is "Only" leagues, with an auction draft like LABR. It rewards hard work. I play in one of each, and it requires deep knowledge of all 700 mlb players plus hundreds of minor leaguers. I'm trying to analyze Parker, Peacock and Milone right now for example; these are "undraftable" players in a mixed league. Playing "only " leaguers, quite simply, separates the wheat from the chaff. If you truly want to experience the joys of playing fantasy baseball, it's the only way to play.

You might like the NFBC "Draft Champions" leagues. Mixed, but 15 teams, 50 rounds, no Free Agency during the season.

The regular NFBC leagues have 15 teams, 30 rounds (23 + 7 bench), FAAB during the season

All 3 of those pitchers go regularly in the 30 rounds drafts.

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i tried playing a mixed league snake draft once many years ago, and I hated it. The only way to play fantasy baseball is "Only" leagues, with an auction draft like LABR. It rewards hard work. I play in one of each, and it requires deep knowledge of all 700 mlb players plus hundreds of minor leaguers. I'm trying to analyze Parker, Peacock and Milone right now for example; these are "undraftable" players in a mixed league. Playing "only " leaguers, quite simply, separates the wheat from the chaff. If you truly want to experience the joys of playing fantasy baseball, it's the only way to play.

Yeah like others say just play in a deep league. In my 16 teamer, I'd like to be analyzing some of those guys but Parker and Peacock already owned in the minor leagues and Milone will certainly be someone people will target come draft day. Its all the difficulty of only leagues but without the clumsy way you have to deal with players moving between leagues, sometimes during the season.

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Or just play in a deeper league where you have the 400+ people drafted or so... It doesn't make you better than others to play an NL/AL only... Probably why I like playing in 14+ team leagues....Only problem is finding enough people that will actually pay attention...even when money is at stake.

I'm not saying it makes me better than others, it makes the game better. To match the depth of player pool, you would have to play in a 24 team league.....I'm game, but who can find 23 friends willing to commit this type of time and money?

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Yeah like others say just play in a deep league. In my 16 teamer, I'd like to be analyzing some of those guys but Parker and Peacock already owned in the minor leagues and Milone will certainly be someone people will target come draft day. Its all the difficulty of only leagues but without the clumsy way you have to deal with players moving between leagues, sometimes during the season.

They are owned because you play in a mixed league. Still, the player pool for a 16 team mixed is 40% shallower than a 12 team only. Parker and Peacock would have have been reserved on someone's minors list I'm sure, but they were nl until this year, of course.

The only problem is when players are traded to the other league. We add their salary to the FAAB budget of the team who lost the player. Not ideal I realize, but it helps.

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You might like the NFBC "Draft Champions" leagues. Mixed, but 15 teams, 50 rounds, no Free Agency during the season.

The regular NFBC leagues have 15 teams, 30 rounds (23 + 7 bench), FAAB during the season

All 3 of those pitchers go regularly in the 30 rounds drafts.

Thanks! Draft champions sounds interesting. How many starters? 23 with the rest as reserves?

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The main reasons to do AL/NL only have been pointed out. But I think the key point deserves repeating:

1. Better to have 8-10 committed owners in an AL/NL only than 12-16-20 where 6-7 guys are not as involved. Frankly I'd rather be in a 8-team AL only than a 12-team mixed if it means having 8 hardcore owners.

2. Depth of knowledge is rewarded. It doesn't mean mixed league 12-teamers with <300 total players require less skill - but it does require less roster depth awareness, unless you expand rosters significantly. And yes, you can increase roster size to counter the difference and narrow the gap.

Frankly, when looking at format, most people look at it the wrong way IMO - people spends hours arguing about best formats - the best format is the one that fits the people who are playing in your league. If your league is made up entirely of hardcore baseball fans that want to watch every game and have every game mean something - and you ONLY have 8-12 owners - play AL-only or NL-only. Way better than finding 4-6 other owners who are more casual.

If your league is more casual knowledge/commitment wise in ownership makeup (friends-only, work) - don't do a league format where you have a crazy separation in knowledge. That won't be fun for everyone - and eventually the league will either die or a major change in ownership makeup will be needed. If you can get 18-20 committed owners, then go nuts with a mixed league if you want to - but that's a tall order, too.

Frankly, it's more important that each league figure out the format that gives the most fun and the best balance of rewarding knowledge vs. providing a format that doesn't separate the smartest owners from the less experienced/knowledgeable ones to such an extreme owners have no shot to compete. Of course, that also means having a solid & committed group. And that begins with figuring out your league-mates interests & values. Again, give me 8-10 committed owners over a 12-16 team league with 4-6 less involved owners every day of the week and twice on Sundays.

I've played AL-only for 20+ years - had a blast playing in 8-10 team formats. But it's more about being a league you enjoy & owners you enjoy competing against. My 20-team, 500 MLB & 300 MILB player dynasty league is as much fun, as is my 12-team, 336-player redraft league - because of the ownership is just as hardcore in both leagues. That's the key to depth/skill. Choosing the format that allows you to have/keep the best ownership and not dilute a league with a gap between owners' commitment is the bigger lesson I've learned. If you just want a social league - nothing wrong with any format. If you to go deeper with a small number of hardcore baseball fans - go AL/NL-only. There is no doubt AL/NL-only requires more depth of knowledge - but it's the skill/experience level of your ownership that creates the real sense of satisfaction of doing well.

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If I could design the dream league, I think it would be to take the 12-13 owners we have now, and have 2 leagues, an AL only and NL only.

- Auction Roto, each owner has an NL Team and an AL Team. If a player gets traded or signs in offseason, he is the property of your franchise in the otehr league.

- It would be fun because you would have two teams going at once with two chances to win money, maybe one team could be in a rebuilding year while the other is a contender.

- In addition to the roto, have some sort of World Series tournament at the end for also a cash prize, but the maority would go to the roto of each league.

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If I could design the dream league, I think it would be to take the 12-13 owners we have now, and have 2 leagues, an AL only and NL only.

- Auction Roto, each owner has an NL Team and an AL Team. If a player gets traded or signs in offseason, he is the property of your franchise in the otehr league.

- It would be fun because you would have two teams going at once with two chances to win money, maybe one team could be in a rebuilding year while the other is a contender.

- In addition to the roto, have some sort of World Series tournament at the end for also a cash prize, but the maority would go to the roto of each league.

I'm already there ... with a few adjustments to your above design:

1) We have an A.L. only and a N.L. only but we only have 8 teams in each

2) We do a modified H2H where each team plays 1 game a week versus the other 7 teams in the league with SP rotations and approx 24 categories (12 offense, 6 SP and 6 RP)

3) For the A.L. draft with a last to 1st draft every round

4) For the N.L. we do an aution

5) Both leagues are Keepers with 12 keepers per team

6) Semi-Finals are week 23, League Championship is week 24 and World Series is week 25

We've been at it for 20 years and we've only had one occurence where the WS opponents were owned by the same guy.

I wish we had more than 8 owners per league but that's how we started and expansion would be an issue for some

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I'm already there ... with a few adjustments to your above design:

1) We have an A.L. only and a N.L. only but we only have 8 teams in each

2) We do a modified H2H where each team plays 1 game a week versus the other 7 teams in the league with SP rotations and approx 24 categories (12 offense, 6 SP and 6 RP)

3) For the A.L. draft with a last to 1st draft every round

4) For the N.L. we do an aution

5) Both leagues are Keepers with 12 keepers per team

6) Semi-Finals are week 23, League Championship is week 24 and World Series is week 25

We've been at it for 20 years and we've only had one occurence where the WS opponents were owned by the same guy.

I wish we had more than 8 owners per league but that's how we started and expansion would be an issue for some

Not bad at all.

I'm in with a group of 13 managers in both an NL and AL league....we choose 3 keepers every year to carry over, and one has to be a pitcher. Only difference, ours are roto leagues, I think this is our 8th or 9th year. It's worked out pretty well.

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If I could design the dream league, I think it would be to take the 12-13 owners we have now, and have 2 leagues, an AL only and NL only.

- Auction Roto, each owner has an NL Team and an AL Team. If a player gets traded or signs in offseason, he is the property of your franchise in the otehr league.

- It would be fun because you would have two teams going at once with two chances to win money, maybe one team could be in a rebuilding year while the other is a contender.

- In addition to the roto, have some sort of World Series tournament at the end for also a cash prize, but the maority would go to the roto of each league.

I'm about halfway there, i play in 12 team al and 12 team nl with 5 shared owners. i love this idea.

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I’m not making this post to be rude but i don’t understand why its fun to play in a NL or Al only FB league. Why would you only want half the deck of cards to play with? Is it the challenge? i argue in a good competitive league its hard to win anyway. Just wanted to hear from people who do play this format and enjoy it.

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I think AL or NL only leagues make a lot of sense for smaller leagues. If you play in a 8 team league using the entire league, everyones team is stacked. There are no sleepers in the league since there's always going to be a very good waiver player options.

The volume of impact players in baseball is much more than compared to football and basketball.

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It's a bigger challenge. Anyone can play a 10 team mixed league and win because the waiver wire is always stacked with good players. Playing in an only league takes that away since there is pretty much no one on the wire most of the year. Playing a deep only league adds the extra challenge of finding the gems. It's more fun that mixed leagues IMO. My NL only league is by far my favorite league I play in.

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It's a bigger challenge. Anyone can play a 10 team mixed league and win because the waiver wire is always stacked with good players. Playing in an only league takes that away since there is pretty much no one on the wire most of the year. Playing a deep only league adds the extra challenge of finding the gems. It's more fun that mixed leagues IMO. My NL only league is by far my favorite league I play in.

Completely agree. If you really want to challenge yourself, get in an NL-only auction league. I think of all fantasy sports and formats, an NL(or AL) auction league is the most accurate, and by that I mean the better fantasy player that puts in the work will come out on top more often than in any other sport or format.

I've said it on here numerous times, but an NL-only keeper auction league is the best fantasy sports has to offer, imo

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Smaller leagues, I used to be part of 2 larger leagues which were always mixed but my league is 7-8 and less now, so we aim for mixed if we get 10-12 members but will do Al or NL only if we can't.

It is more challenging and even with interleague everyday there is still a difference between leagues and so this is somewhat reflected (although pitching has improved dramatically in the AL from a decade ago). And it is more fun if you're a member of one league only as you have 2 leagues, 2 drafts and if you're eliminated in one early there's still another league,

The biggest drawback is a player in real life getting traded from one league to another. Although you can sort of predict which guys might be on the block it's pretty much luck, and akin to a freak, season-ending injury. It's kind of like the rule that if a player is traded in his walk year that teams can't get a draft pick for him, totally random.

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It's a bigger challenge. Anyone can play a 10 team mixed league and win because the waiver wire is always stacked with good players. Playing in an only league takes that away since there is pretty much no one on the wire most of the year. Playing a deep only league adds the extra challenge of finding the gems. It's more fun that mixed leagues IMO. My NL only league is by far my favorite league I play in.

I understand now the why for the first time. But playing in a 16 to 20 team (or more) mixed league does the same thing.

After playing in an AL only league two years ago that became one first and last adventure into Onlyland. Too few owners to make trades with. Too few teams to play against. So I prefer a deeper mixed league myself because I like it harder to find the players and an interesting FA pool full of possibilities more than names. And plugged into all of baseball and not just half of it.

So since you can get those same values in mixed leages, is it that Only league owners prefer fewer teams in a league? I could see it if a league was built just around some friends in real life. But if not, is there any reason then the one above to prefer it?

In the old days when there was no inter-league play and less access to games from the "other" league in a person's viewing area and the net was still very young, It makes sense. But now everyone pretty much can see any player any time or at least do good research on them.

Also what Bud said about trades to another league. That must be horrible for the owner of a Fister or Trumbo (or an actual consistent hitter, just grabbing a guy on the fly). Plus in season trades would be really rough.

Edited by The Big Bat Theory

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