2013 Draft Prep: All about auctions
Most everyone would love to have Adrian Peterson on their Fantasy teams. And Peyton Manning . And Julio Jones . And throw in Reggie Bush for good measure.
If you're in a regular snake draft, you have no chance to have a lineup this loaded. But in an auction draft where you bid on players for your Fantasy team with fictional dollars (or real dollars if you roll that way), it can happen if you want it to.
Auctions are more fun than snake drafts. They do take longer but the process of bidding on players, nominating sleepers and duds and otherwise being the guy who wants a player more than everyone else in the league makes for an awesome experience -- better than a regular draft. You can get anyone you want and you can spend as freely or as cheaply as you want.
But that's where the auction fun begins. Just like the strategies you'd take with you into a regular draft, there are strategies to consider in auctions.
Tiers: More important in auctions than snake drafts. My No. 1 piece of advice for auctions is to put players by position into separate groups based on expected production. When the best-available tier is down to two or three players, get in there and bid on them. You'll get players with a specific expectation and probably pay a few bucks less for them than the ones that got bid on earlier.
Oh yes, there will be bargains. It will pain you to see your pals pick up incredible bargains if you spend money early in an auction. By spending early, you have to budget the rest of your money on low-end players. Then again, most of the time the best players are nominated early on so if you pass on them you're left without a stud. Assume that after the first 60 or so nominations the Bargain Zone will begin. If you have even one-third of your budget left by then you should be in line for some deals.
Nominations count. When an auction kicks off, put the high-priced big names out there that you want nothing to do with. Later, once you fill a position you're satisfied with, start nominating the players at that position that will fetch a few bucks from your opponents. It saves you money while the other people spend. Then when the Bargain Zone kicks in, start nominating (and winning) the players you DO want. This is the time to spend the extra dollar or two to get a lower-end player you'd like.
Take note of other people's money. If you know what your max bid is, you should know what your rivals' max bids are too. You can get an edge, particularly in the Bargain Zone, if you need a tight end and the only other guy that needs one is someone whose max bid is $2. You'll probably win him for $2 if you nominate him, $3 if you don't.
It all starts with you. I suppose you would never take a player you don't want in a standard draft but sometimes there's a player you don't love that surprisingly falls to you. That might compel you to take him. In an auction you don't have to worry about that, just bid on who you like and let everyone else bid on the players you don't like.
Furthermore, you get to decide how you want to spend your money. If you win the bids on a couple of expensive players you won't have much left for the rest of your roster. If you go with a balanced approach and not spend too much on any given player you'll have a balanced roster without any major gamebreakers. Either way, remember this isn't real life and you don't have to be a penny-pincher.
An important note: We had a weird but very real dynamic in our draft: Several owners went big on running backs while several Top 10 quarterbacks were left without a nomination. Those quarterbacks didn't go up for bid until late and ended up being some of the best bargains we've ever seen in an auction.
On one hand, it makes the auction results a little lopsided because the passers shouldn't ever go that cheap. On the other hand, it's proof that there's a deep talent pool at every position except running back and people were willing to pay for the rushers. As such, other positions created steals, but none quite like these quarterbacks. As is our advice for taking quarterbacks in snake drafts, be patient to land one in an auction.
These results should be an excellent source for you to determine what the best auction strategy is for you.
We had 12 people with $100 each for 15 roster spots, starting one quarterback, two running backs, two wide receivers, one tight end, one Flex, a kicker and a DST. The scoring is standard -- all touchdowns worth six, all turnovers worth minus-two, 10 yards rushing or receiving worth one, 25 yards passing worth one and typical scoring for kickers and defenses.
Here are our owners and nomination order:
1. Jamey Eisenberg, Senior Fantasy Writer
2. Dave Richard, Senior Fantasy Writer
3. Al Melchior, Data Analyst
4. Nando Di Fino, Senior Fantasy Writer
5. Chris Towers, Fantasy Writer
6. Igor Mello, Fantasy Writer
7. Jeff Tobin, Associate Managing Editor
8. Joe Polito, Social Media Coordinator, Fantasy Sports
9. Mike Freedman, Video Producer
10. Michael Hurcomb, Fantasy Editor
11. Peter Madden, Editorial Director, Fantasy Sports
12. Scott White, Senior Fantasy Writer