Now that we have clearly established the reasoning for implementing auction style drafts in your Fantasy Football leagues, let’s talk auction strategy.
Before we discuss the strategic nuances specific to auction drafts, it’s important you understand and remain loyal to the tried-and-true methods of all Fantasy Football formats. The wide receiver and quarterback positions run deep, workhorse running backs are few and far between and kickers and defenses need serious consideration – with your final two picks.
These are the basic facts of Fantasy Football and the foundation for everything to follow. Now for the specifics of auction draft formats.
Go in to your auction with a plan. Know the plan and stick to it. This is one major advantage between snake-style and auction-style drafts. You can walk in to a snaking draft with a plan, but that plan can easily unravel depending on draft position, draft trends and unexpected runs on positions. Simply put, snaking drafts rely on countless back up plans and luck.
If your plan unravels in an auction format you only have one person to blame – you. Know what your team is going to look like at the end of the night and make it happen. Remember that individual names can be volatile in auction drafts, so deal in tiers instead of names. Group together like players, that way you can let a “blue-chip” go when their price is too rich with the understanding you have fall back options within said player’s tier.
You may lose C.J. Spiller because his going price is outrageous, but you have Doug Martin or Trent Richardson to fall back on.
Patience is a virtue, especially in Fantasy Football auction drafts. Other folks in your league will show up with the salary-cap dollars burning holes through their pockets. They will throw their guys on the table quick and they will bid high.
Stand down, weather the storm and be thrifty in your spending. Let the big spenders drain their cap dollars up front affording you complete control later in the draft. Grab economically-feasible marquis players, but don’t over spend for anyone. Remember that Fantasy Football is a game best played with your head, not your heart.
Understand up front that running backs will be costly, but don’t be foolish in your pursuit. Dedicate a predetermined percentage of your salary cap to positions and don’t over spend. If you tell yourself you’re spending 50% and no more on your backfield – spend 50% and no more.
Understand the psychological bidding warfare game. Use it to your advantage. You know the managers in your league. You know their likes, their dislikes and you know their weaknesses. Use that information to bid up players effectively draining other GM’s funds.
If Joe Schmo shows up to drafts religiously wearing his Green Bay Packers number-12 Aaron Rodgers jersey, make him pay for his open bro-mance. Three words – bid Rodgers up.
Obviously wade through the waters of the bidding war with some precautions and know what you’re doing. The last thing you want to do is over spend on a player you had no intention of owning.
In the front half of the draft, I like to nominate players I have no intention of ever owning. This strategy is two fold; it keeps my team plan covert and it may just bait another GM’s bid in a game I have no intention of winning. Hence, draining funds and sticking said GM with a player they never planned on owning. Of course, don’t use this strategy in the back half of your draft. If you nominate a player that draws no bids, you own him.
Remember to practice, practice and then practice some more. Take the plan you have built in to online mock auction draft rooms and test your theory — see if it works. From there you can perform minor tweaks to your plan based on outcomes.
The bottom line of any auction draft is common sense. Just remember that Fantasy Football at the root level is simply a business. Run your business with sound practices, a responsible budget and solid strategic plans.
Use your head, not your heart when it comes to the business of your team. You can save the emotion for game day