I do agree with the results—I’m probably going to keep Josh Bard at $11 in my 5X5 because there are so few valuable catchers in the NL, so I definitely buy into premium players at scarce positions getting value bumps.
The X factor, though, with any valuation system - especially in an auction setting - is that once the bids start flying, things can get mighty skewed. Josh Willingham - who, granted, was hardly a deep sleeper heading into last year - went for $17 in our auction… and I came thisclose to going to $18 (I had him pegged at $12 beforehand). I actually paid $17 for Corey Hart (final U spot scramble amongst 3 owners who saved for end-of-draft bargains that didn’t materialize). Even Dan Uggla went for something like $7.
I toyed with a more analytical approach a few seasons back (not just position scarcity, but also factoring in skill weights, i.e., projected SBs, HRs, etc)—and promptly finished 5th with it (my only season “out of the money”). That’s not to say I don’t walk into the auction with a list of values/value ranges for every player available - you certainly don’t want to be pulling numbers out of the sky - but I think any system needs to be dynamic to react to the changing realities of draft day. Given that most owners in my league also end up with anywhere from $50 to $150 tied up in keepers before the auction even starts - estimated values end up becoming even more a reference point.
Nowadays, I lean towards a simpler tiered approach (the advent of the laptop has made it so much more effective)—cream of the crop, underated, sleepers, and ‘dump’ players (players I want no part of but bring up in bidding just to tie up someone else’s roster and $$$).
What I plan to play with a bit tonight is some sort of macro or equation that might be able to react to the changing turf… if we suddenly get a run on closers - and even someone like Armando Benitez commands a $30 price tag, Lidge another $30 - and bidding wars erupt around David Weathers - I think this changes the relative value of everyone else (especially if you buy into “never punt a category”).