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Auction Draft Strategy?

Postby Rezen » Sun Aug 03, 2008 1:16 am

So, my brother finally convinced me to join his (restarted) money/keeper league which features a live auction draft.

Since the league is starting over from scratch, this is year 0 so all players are available.

Auction cap: $500
Roster: 17 (9 starters: 1 QB, 2 RB, 2 WR, 1 TE, 1 Flex (RB/WR), 1 K, 1 D/ST | 8 bench players)
Scoring: Performance/PPR (bonus for long TD's), no IDP
League size: 10
Keeper: keep 1 player at auctioned salary or $10 (whichever is higher).

Anyway, I've never participated in an auction draft before... any suggestions or points? hints & tips? Things to do/not to do?

I feel that I'm at a huge disadvantage since everyone else in the league has done these drafts for years now :/

Any input is appreciated =)
Take care to get what you like, or you'll be forced to like what you get.
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Re: Auction Draft Strategy?

Postby JasonSeahorn » Sun Aug 03, 2008 2:23 am

I'm not an auction expert, I'll try to give my best opinion.

I would think people may overpay on the first bunch of studs...you wouldn't want to be spending 100 bucks (20% of your salary) on a single player, even if it is LT. How is the auctioning done? Do you each take a turn at starting with a bid, or do you go down a list of players and whoever bids first just starts things off? If I were doing an auction I think I would begin by making bids on the top studs like LT, AD, SJax, Westbrook, Brady, Moss, Braylon and TO...I would be hoping for other guys to bid a lot of money on those studs so that you could then pay decent money for a lot of good but not stud players like Mcgahee, Lynch, maybe Gore, Plaxico, maybe Colston...I think you know what I mean by studs versus the level below them.

That's my thinking anyway...let other guys shell out a lot for the highest tiered players so you have a lot of money for the guys below that, or even later on to make sure you have good depth.
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Re: Auction Draft Strategy?

Postby LS2throwed » Sun Aug 03, 2008 2:41 am

One thing that would be a great idea in Auction Drafts is to find the guys who give you the best value/production for the cheapest amount of money...Once you get a few of those guys you can figure out where you can spend more money at, for instance:

Patrick Crayton
Earnest Graham
Jerricho Cotchery
Tony Scheffler
Jake Delhomme
Selvin Young
DJ Hackett
Bobby Engram


Those are just a few guys off the top of my head who should produce this year and won't come at a high price, target players like these...You build your team around a nucleus of players like these, and you can maybe splurge on a RB1 or a WR1, but you don't want to throw all your money on the top tier guys because you won't have much depth or money left to build a well balanced team...Try to think about other guys you have a good feeling about this year that you know will be flying under the radar, you can steal alot of these guys for $1 and fill up your roster nicely.
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Re: Auction Draft Strategy?

Postby aaawall91 » Sun Aug 03, 2008 3:01 am

*Target the following RB's and get 3 of them preferably:
- Peterson (Taylor), Tomlinson, Addai (Rhodes), Westbrook (Buckhalter), MJD, Gore (Foster), Bush, S-jax (Pittman), Portis, Lynch (Jackson), McGahee (Rice)
::You need to invest the majority of your money in RB's, in this case top-tiers and pass-catchers, and you need to invest your money in your starters. Why? Because you want as much money as you can invested in your starters because it will generate you the most points, after you grab those 3, grab another decent RB who is good value. I suggest: Ahman Green, Justin Fargas, and Fred Taylor each one is underrated and has the oppurtunity to put up fair numbers, which will be perfect for your buy week fill in, or worse come to worse play RB3 for an injury. After that you need to handcuff your top 3, infact I would go as far as to suggest to invest your money in 3 of the backs who have clear backups who will be able to handle the load and you can get them for cheap who are: Peterson-Taylor (maybe cheap), Addai-Rhodes, Lynch-Jackson, McGahee-Rice.
*Here are the results of a completed auction I did ($200 cap) for WR, I highlighted the guys I thought were good value.
R.Wayne IND (fantasyfirefighter) 1 $ 42
R.Moss NE (OuTrAgE) 1 $ 41
T.Owens DAL (fantasyfirefighter) 1 $ 38
A.Johnson HOU (garry2211) 1 $ 37
B.Edwards CLE (Patchell) 1 $ 34
S.Smith CAR (PMoneyTKE) 1 $ 34
T.Houshmandzadeh CIN (Patchell) 1 $ 34
C.Johnson CIN (ken3) 1 $ 30
L.Fitzgerald ARI (utahandy) 1 $ 30
M.Colston NO (aaawall91) 1 $ 30

P.Burress NYG (ivesaidway2much) 1 $ 26
W.Welker NE (fantasyfirefighter) 1 $ 25
R.Williams DET (garry2211) 1 $ 25
B.Marshall DEN (OuTrAgE) 1 $ 24
M.Harrison IND (ivesaidway2much) 1 $ 23
A.Boldin ARI (PMoneyTKE) 1 $ 23
S.Holmes PIT (OuTrAgE) 1 $ 21
T.Holt STL (cmigs) 1 $ 20
C.Johnson DET (PMoneyTKE) 1 $ 18
G.Jennings GB (danielgreen091) 1 $ 17
D.Bowe KC (utahandy) 1 $ 16
R.White ATL (danielgreen091) 1 $ 14
C.Chambers SD (ivesaidway2much) 1 $ 13
J.Galloway TB (danielgreen091) 1 $ 11
L.Evans BUF (bungle613) 1 $ 11
A.Gonzalez IND (PMoneyTKE) 1 $ 11
B.Engram SEA (Bungle613) 1 $ 10
K.Curtis PHI (fantasyfirefighter) 1 $ 9
H.Ward PIT (bungle613) 1 $ 9
S.Moss WAS (utahandy) 1 $ 7
D.Driver GB (nova62686) 1 $ 6
J.Walker OAK (OuTrAgE) 1 $ 5
B.Berrian MIN (garry2211) 1 $ 5
D.Bennett STL (garry2211) 1 $ 5
L.Coles NYJ (Plato) 1 $ 5
J.Cotchery NYJ (OuTrAgE) 1 $ 5
D.Branch SEA (nova62686) 1 $ 3
B.Johnson SF (ivesaidway2much) 1 $ 3
D.Mason BAL (OuTrAgE) 1 $ 3
R.Brown PHI (aaawall91) 1 $ 3
M.Clayton BAL (ivesaidway2much) 1 $ 3
L.Robinson ATL (aaawall91) 1 $ 2
J.Gage TEN (ken3) 1 $ 2
T.Ginn Jr MIA (Patchell) 1 $ 2
P.Crayton DAL (Plato) 1 $ 2
V.Jackson SD (utahandy) 1 $ 2
J.Porter OAK (danielgreen091) 1 $ 2
S.Rice MIN (Patchell) 1 $ 2
N.Burleson SEA (Bungle613) 1 $ 2
I.Bruce SF (cmigs) 1 $ 2
D.Stallworth CLE (Bungle613) 1 $ 2
J.Gaffney NE (danielgreen091) 1 $ 2
A.Davis HOU (ken3) 1 $ 1
DJ Hackett CAL (Patchell) 1 $ 1
J.Hardy BUF (aaawall91) 1 $ 1
T.Glenn DAL (Plato) 1 $ 1
A.Randle El WAS (Plato) 1 $ 1
D.Hester CHI (ivesaidway2much) 1 $ 1
M.Muhammad CAR (aaawall91) 1 $ 1
D.Thomas WAS (Plato) 1 $ 1
R.Curry OAK (cmigs) 1 $ 1
T.Williamson JAC (nova62686) 1 $ 1
B.Stokley DEN (PMoneyTKE) 1 $ 1


Note: Derrick Mason = PPR beast and for his price (low) I highly suggest you grab him as your WR3 or WR4 as he could end up being huge.

*Don't bid on players to just bid up their price if you wouldn't actually want them for that price, it's bad strategy because your bound to get stuck with someone you don't like and screw your whole strategy, and it's just bad karma.
*Do a few free Live Mock Auctions at fantasyauctioneer.com before your draft
*Don't get caught up in a bidding war, if a guy is going way above value LET HIM GO.
*Always nominate a player you absolute will have no interest in getting.
*I don't believe 20% of your salary is too much to spend on a guy like ADP or LT. I would put $200 max for ADP and LT, 195 for Sjax, and 190 for Westy, Addai. And the rest you can figure out based on how the draft is going.
*Don't pay for one-hit wonders like: Grant and Graham (rookies are different story) too much of a risk you don't have to take.
* with 8 bench I suggest:
1 QB, 3 RB, 3 WR, 1 RB/WR/TE (Minimum).
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Re: Auction Draft Strategy?

Postby Azrael » Sun Aug 03, 2008 2:28 pm

All these above are quality posts and good advice.

I'd also advise getting a auction value cheatsheet and then tailoring it to your particular league. Most auction value cheat sheets use either $100 or $200 cap so you just have to adjust accordingly to your $500 cap to get relative values. The ulimate multiplier is going to be your total cap value $5000 ($500 x 10) divided by whatever the total cap value is of the cheat sheet you are using...say 10 team at $200 ($2000). So everyone on your cheat sheet's value needs to be multiplied by 2.5 (your $5,000 total cap value/template cheat sheet's $2,000 total cap value).

So for instance the cheat sheet has LT at $75. You multiply that by 2.5 and get $188 (rounded up). Do this for each player on your sheet. When you are done you want to check to make sure that your total money allocated adds up to $5,000 otherwise it doesn't make sense.

After you are done feel free to make your own adjustments (for instance moving LT's value up to $190 or whatever and then adjusting down someone else). During the draft if you see LT and a few other studs going significantly over your assigned cap value, you can be sure you will be able to spend more on some other guys and you will get deals later on.
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Re: Auction Draft Strategy?

Postby LS2throwed » Sun Aug 03, 2008 3:02 pm

That list that Aaawall posted is a great example, Engram went for $10 and Cotchery $5, I believe Engram finished right outside of the top 10 for WR's in PPR leagues and Cotchery was top 20 with the potential to increase on those numbers this year...He looks like a solid bet to produce at least 85/1100/4 and that could be lowballing him in a few categories...May not be the redzone threat Coles is but he racks up the receptions and is undervalued...I also like Mason but his QB situation is changing so that's something to monitor, thats not the case for Engram and Cotch.
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Re: Auction Draft Strategy?

Postby joelamosobadiah » Sun Aug 03, 2008 8:18 pm

JasonSeahorn wrote:I'm not an auction expert, I'll try to give my best opinion.

I would think people may overpay on the first bunch of studs...you wouldn't want to be spending 100 bucks (20% of your salary) on a single player, even if it is LT.


I wouldn't necessarily agree with that.
In the recent Cafe Auction mock draft, there were 12 RBs, 2 QBs, and 2 WRs that all went for over 20% ($40). You miss out on a TON of talent if you put a ceiling at 20%. You basically trade down your first round pick.

OK, now for the tips. Determine early several guys that you really like probably more than others like that player. That way you can have an idea of a few guys that will probably go for less than you would be willing to pay for them. You have more of a chance in an auction to really get the guys you like. Whereas in a draft, that guy might get stolen in the 14 picks between the two times you pick, in an auction you have a better chance to get him.

BUDGET!!!!

This is the best thing that has ever happened to me in an auction. It helps you keep your thoughts straight and not way overspend based on emotion or find yourself with something like $5 to spend per player with over half your roster to fill. :-b

Here is the approximate budget I started with in the mock auction.
QB- $40
RB- $50
RB- $25
WR- $20
WR- $15
WR- $10
TE- $10
K- $1
DST- 1

BN - RB 10
BN - RB 5
BN - WR 5
BN - TE 4
BN - ? 2
BN - ? 1
BN - ? 1

Or you can do variations of the same one for different strategies. IE if you like the QBBC approach, you can do this:

QB- $15
RB- $50
RB- $30
WR- $20
WR- $15
WR- $15
TE- $10
K- $1
DST- 1

BN - RB 10
BN - RB 5
BN - WR 5
BN - TE 4
BN - QB 15
BN 1
BN 1

This allows for some great QB's while freeing up money for better RB's and Wr's. This approach probably won't let you get the elitist top five RB's, but I think allows for a more solid draft all around. You will have to tweak your budget as you go through your draft, but it will at least give you a good guide and starting point. Just make sure that as soon as you win a player you tweak your budget. If you won your RB1 for less than $40, then make sure your budget reflects that and you either reapportion that money among other positions or you have a spot where you can easily see how far below or above budget you are so you know if you have some leeway or need to cut something somewhere.

Have a really good idea of what you want your team to look like, budget towards that and stick to it. Pay close attention to scoring settings and have lists of players that might go under the proper value (Devin Hester if return yardage is rewarded that people might not be taking into account, etc.).

That's what I would suggest and it has seemed to work pretty good for me in the few auctions I have done. ;-D

Hope that helps you out a little bit.
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Re: Auction Draft Strategy?

Postby 011472 » Mon Aug 04, 2008 8:57 am

Azrael wrote:All these above are quality posts and good advice.

I'd also advise getting a auction value cheatsheet and then tailoring it to your particular league. Most auction value cheat sheets use either $100 or $200 cap so you just have to adjust accordingly to your $500 cap to get relative values. The ulimate multiplier is going to be your total cap value $5000 ($500 x 10) divided by whatever the total cap value is of the cheat sheet you are using...say 10 team at $200 ($2000). So everyone on your cheat sheet's value needs to be multiplied by 2.5 (your $5,000 total cap value/template cheat sheet's $2,000 total cap value).

So for instance the cheat sheet has LT at $75. You multiply that by 2.5 and get $188 (rounded up). Do this for each player on your sheet. When you are done you want to check to make sure that your total money allocated adds up to $5,000 otherwise it doesn't make sense.

After you are done feel free to make your own adjustments (for instance moving LT's value up to $190 or whatever and then adjusting down someone else). During the draft if you see LT and a few other studs going significantly over your assigned cap value, you can be sure you will be able to spend more on some other guys and you will get deals later on.


This is essential. Look for cheatsheets online- they're harder to find than ADP, put you'll be able to find a few without too much effort. Find the one that's closest to your rankings, and multiply. Most values out there tend to be based on a $200 cap, so you would multiply by 2.5 to get values based on a $500 cap. (There's a more complicated method based on finding the average of the number of players you anticiapte being drafted at each position, but let's not go there).

This is the 5th year my money league has used an auction, and every year the studs go for more than anticipated. People get real excited at the start of the auction. Mulitplying LT's value by 2.5 gets him around $190, but I'd be very surprised if he goes for less than $210.

Normally a nominating order will be randomly determined, and you'll take turns nominating players. I try to nominate the studs and let the other guys overpay. LT, Moss, and Brady will surely give their owners a lot of points, but I choose to let the other guys pay for those points. By the time you get to Lynch, McGahee, Holt, Boldin etc. prices tend to stabilize and you'll have the most to spend.

Participate in some mock auctions at http://www.fantasyauctioneer.com. That will help you develop a strategy. Personally, I like to be the guy with the most money. I normally wait as the other guys overpay for the studs, then bulk up on the second and third tier guys, then wait to fill my bench with the sleepers and bargains.

I don't know how many players you'll keep, but I bet keeping them next year will mean you'll have to give them a 10 or 20% increase to their salary. Considering this is year one of the league, looking out for second/third teir guys who could command stud money next year and sleepers can definitely pay off. Last year I paid $12 (out of a $150 cap) for Braylon Edwards. I'm keeping him for $14 this year, when he'd cost around $35 on the open market. That opens up $20 that I can spread around on my other players.

Dividing your players into tiers is more important in auctions than drafts IMO. Don't get stuck chasing the last available player in a tier. You'll get stuck in a bidding war as everyone will know there's a considerable drop after that player's taken. For example, I had Housh, Fitz, Walker, Driver and Boldin (I think- it's been a year but you get the point) on the same tier last year. I anticipated paying between $25 and $28 for one of them. Walker, Fitz, Driver and Boldin went for between $28 and $31, but I felt that that was too much. Suddenly only Housh was left and I needed him. I ended up in a bidding war and had to pay $36- much more the the price that I felt was too much for the other guys.

You may have to spend more than you planned to get a top player or two. If that's the way the auction's going, then do it. You can't continue to pass and be left with McFadden as your top RB and Jennings as your first WR. Unless you use a blind bidding sytem to pick up free agents, having extra money left over at the end of the auction is no good.

With that in mind, find out how free agents will be picked up. I'm not a proponent of waivers in auctions. Blind bidding makes much more sense to me, as the league is based on monetary values. If you're using a bidding system, then it's not the worst thing in the world to have a couple extra bucks when the season begins.

Good luck!
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Re: Auction Draft Strategy?

Postby joelamosobadiah » Mon Aug 04, 2008 9:30 am

011472 wrote:With that in mind, find out how free agents will be picked up. I'm not a proponent of waivers in auctions. Blind bidding makes much more sense to me, as the league is based on monetary values. If you're using a bidding system, then it's not the worst thing in the world to have a couple extra bucks when the season begins.

Good luck!

But be sure you know your rules because I am in a league that does an auction and blind biding, but they have seperate money pools, so if you have $10 left from the auction it all goes down the toilet when you start the season because it does you no good.

Also be sure you know whether or not you have to field an entire roster. Sometimes it might be ore beneficial to you to have a couple roter spots or a K empty and fill them via blind bidding or waiver wire pickups than spend that dollar or two on them at the end of the draft. This does come into play more when you have smaller caps though.
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