Courtesy of http://www.thefantasyfootballauction.com/
For many this may just be common sense, but for others it might help provide an “A-ha” moment. When you go to your auction, know
your rules and all the details. Most auctions will require you to fill out your roster (bench players included) with a set amount of money.
It is mandatory you fill your entire roster with your budget. If you run an auction, make sure this is the case. You don’t want someone spending their money on the 10 starters, and then just playing the waiver wire to add the remaining players. That should result in a forfeiture of at least the first week. So, in preparation for your auction, find out how many players you need to draft, what positions, and how much you will have to spend. For example, one of the bigger auctions we play, we have $200 to fill a roster of 17 players (1 QB, 2 RB, 3 WR, 1 TE, 1 K, 1 Def,1 Flex and 7 bench positions of whatever makeup you choose). Quick math will tell you you have about $11.75 to spend per player. Auctions typically don’t use cents, so you are safer to estimate $11 per player. If you are in an online auction, the site you use will most likely calculate how much money a person has left, the highest they can bid on 1 player and the average left per player. Nice things to know when bidding against someone.
As is the case with any draft/auction, you should have plan A, plan B and plan C when it comes to your auction bidding. Try a few mock auctions with different scenarios. Go after a big name QB in one. Try picking up 2 or 3 solid RB’s in another. In a 3rd concentrate on your TE and WR’s. Looking at these strategies prior to, will give you an idea of how much money you will have left after you spend bigger money on one or two players. No matter what scenario you end up running with, after you mock and before you head to your draft, tier each position (or save time and print ours off). Tiering each position and giving each tier a range in dollar value, will help you concentrate on the quality of players you have available and the money you have and are willing to spend.
Prior to the draft, determine what strategy you ultimately want to run with. For example, if I choose to go heavy at RB I might allot $80 to my top 2 RB’s. I will allot $9 for my 7 bench spots. I can allot $7 for my starting kicker, tight end and defence (you should really never pay more than a $1 for a kicker, and $1-2 for a def.) I want one stud WR so I allot $40 for him also. I then allot $30 for 2 more solid WR’s. I then have the option of spending my final $34 on a quality QB and or a quality RB for my flex. Should I get the player I want along the way for less than I expected, I then have money to up my bids on another position or even my bench. My normal attitude with my team is to spend money on my starters. I, and most owners do, make numerous waiver wire adds and line up changes over the year. Thus the guys on your bench probably won’t see the end of the season anyway. It’s not terrible to spend a little more on your bench as depth is nice, but one thing’s for sure,
As mentioned earlier, you will need to have backup plans. You may go in wanting quality RB’s but find the price is getting ridiculously high so you back off. Value is important to understand and what you see as a value, other’s may not. Do not get in a bidding war and blow your budget….this goes back to tiering..do that and stay true to your pre-draft thoughts and values of players.
One last piece of budget advice. Stay aware of what other owners have left for money and what they need for players. If you know owners still need a WR for example, and have plenty of money, you may not want to nominate anyone that you wish to own until they fill that position or run a little lower on funds. Stay on top of this as it is very important when bidding and nominating players…know your budget and all of your opponents’.
There are several strategies to employ while bidding and nominating players. Much like playing poker against your buddies or strangers for that matter, you need to be able to shift gears. Do not make all your nominations and bids predictable.
In an auction draft, you have a draft order like you would in a snake, however, for an auction it is simply a nomination order. Once a player is nominated he is fair game for all to bid. Nomination strategies vary as the draft progresses. Early on when budgets are full and benches are empty, you may not want to nominate a player you have your eye on. Typically early on money is flying around. Players may go for an inflated price. Nominating a big name early on will really ensure this happens. You may even nominate a kicker or a defense. If you nominate a player, the opening bid is a dollar. If you get that kicker or defence, perfect, stayed within your budget. If you don’t, great, someone spent more than necessary on that position and down the road you may outbid them for a dollar.
As you get to the mid-rounds, some of your opponents will be sitting back and watching as they will have spent a lot already, and now are trying to wait for the late round deals. This may be the time to start trying to grab a few good values. Nominate players that you want and should get within your budgeted price.
Near the end of the auction, half of your opponents will only be able to pick up players for $1. The other half will have been real cheap and will have a lot of money left. These guys are scary. You want to try and nominate players you don’t want but they need. You have to hope they spend their excess funds on players you do not want.
Alter your nominations by keeping track of what your opponents need. Sometimes nominate players you want, sometimes players you do not that you know will cause a flurry of bidding.
Again do not get predictable. Do not bid on every guy nominated only to drop out when it gets too high. Your opponents will be able to pick up on this and figure you out too easily. Do not jump in on the bidding from the get go every time. Sometimes don’t jump in until there are only 2 bidders left. This may give the perception that “oh-oh, he just started to bid, how high will he go now?” Do not start every bid with $1. Throw a curveball once in awhile and start with a $10 bid or jump it in higher increments. That will make some of your opponents nervous too. Just be careful that you don’t do it near the end of an auction (on a player), as it may cost you more money than necessary. There’s nothing worse than getting a guy for $33 that you could’ve got for $28. On that note, if your opponent does make that huge jump and win the player, throw that comment out there…”ya coulda had him for $28…sucka.” That’ll rattle them and make them hesitate down the road.
Be very careful with bidding players up that you do not want. You may get away with it once in awhile, but when you get stuck with someone for way more money than you would spend…it hurts.
These tidbits of info will help you prepare. You will need flexibility and you will need to stay alert (so if you are a sloppy drunk, ya better ease off a bit). Do your homework. Watch for guys that bid with their heart (this can help making nominations and bids). Bring a calculator. Make sure you fill your roster. Enjoy the auction, you will never go back to the snake draft.