Going Once, Going Twice, SOLD! Auction Strategies

Hard to put a price tag on these skills Juan…

Snake order drafts. Picking a number out of a hat and picking a player from 1-10 then 10-1 over and over for 16 rounds. Yawn. It’s time to add some fun to your draft. It’s time to do an auction draft….You want to own Adrian Peterson for this upcoming season? In a typical snake order draft you will need one of the top two picks to land him. In a Auction Draft, you can bid as high as you want and have any player you want. Lets look at the rules and strategies to show you the more balanced and fun way to draft…

The Rules

In a traditional snake order draft each player is designated a number or ‘draft position’. This is generally determined by picking numbers out of a hat or some similar ritual. In an ‘Auction Draft’ each owner is designated a ‘budget’ (generally $200) which can vary from league to league, but we suggest a $200 budget.

Once players are designated a ‘draft order’, each owner can nominate a player to be bid on. The proper way to bid: “LeSean McCoy for $1”. The incorrect way to bid: “LeSean McCoy”. Each player’s starting bid must be at least $1. The price can be bid up, until a determined price has stopped the bidding and the auctioneer (can be a nominated person or the Commish) says going once, going twice, SOLD!!

Each person will continue to nominate players until everyone’s roster is full. The minimum value a player has is $1, so if you have 10 roster spots to fill you must have at least $10 to spend.

Go Big or Go Home:

You want both Ray Rice and Arian Foster on your team? No problem in a auction. We have determined that we will use a $200 budget to draft our 16 spots, so how can get both backs on the same team? You could spend upwards of $100 plus to obtain both guys, but give yourself a huge advantage week in and week out.

Teaming these two superstars together will cause the owner to only have half your budget dollars left to fill 14 spots on their team. Now, you can find a couple diamonds in the rough in you draft and fill out your roster with ‘cheap’ players that will contribute, you can challenge for a championship.

Target the Homer:

You know the guy. He comes to the draft in his new Peyton Manning Broncos jersey with a twinkle in his eye. Knowing players or teams that other players in your league like, love, or want is a big advantage when ‘bidding up’ players. If a guy in your league has to have Peyton Manning, because he has blind love for the Broncos, you can make him overpay for him due to his unrequited love for the signal caller.

Be careful, the one setback of this strategy is getting stuck with a player that you try and bid up and the other owners don’t bite. Make sure you don’t bid more then you want to pay. This is the bluffing part, so get your best poker face on.

The Wait and Pray:

Early in Auction Drafts owners tend to blow a ton of their budgets on a few superstars and leave a lot of “middle value players” to be had for a cheap price. You run the risk of not having any ‘elite’ players on your team, but your team will be deeper and more complete.

For instance:

Team A: buys Ray Rice, Arian Foster, Cam Newton, and Julio Jones for a combined $130…they now only have $70 left to fill the 12 spots left on their roster.

Team B: waits and buys Jay Cutler, Michael Turner, Percy Harvin, Jeremy Maclin, and Willis McGahee for a combined $100…they now have $100 for their remaining 10 spots.

Team A has the #1 and #2 RBs with a stud QB and WR with a limited amount of funds. They will be able to compete every week with this team.

Team B has two solid, yet unspectacular RBs in Addai and Jones, but they also have 2 top 20 WRs, and a nice sleeper QB.  They can still splurge on another big $ guy.

As tempting as it is to go after the top two players in fantasy, relying on them to produce big stats week in and week out is a risky proposition, even for Rice and Foster.  These are just 2 examples of what owners can do in an auction.

Bend but don’t Break

Going into a draft with ‘set’ values you would like to pay for each player is a good idea, but be ready to be flexible in your spending if needed.

Watching how much people are willing to spend on the first few nominations is usually a good indication of how the draft will go. Have a set value, but realize that may have to be flexible in order to get the players you want.

If you have Trent Richardson pegged at $35 and someone has him bid up to $36, it’s not time to throw your arms up and give up. Have a -/+ $3 window to work with. Try not to overpay, let someone else do that, so be ready to bend but not break.

Auction Values

Have a list of auction values available to you, but be ready to adjust it based on your league’s rules and scoring system. Happy drafting and remember auction is the only way to go.

QB Auction Values

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JuanJuan – has written 5299 posts on this site.
Juan Elway is an enthusiast of Fantasy Football, Movies, and Combat Sports, but don't call him an expert. He once shook Adrian Peterson's hand and AP winced in pain. Follow him on Twitter where you can partake in all sorts of shenanigans.


About Juan

Juan Elway is an enthusiast of Fantasy Football, Movies, and Combat Sports, but don't call him an expert. He once shook Adrian Peterson's hand and AP winced in pain. Follow him on Twitter where you can partake in all sorts of shenanigans.