Fantasy Football 2013: Auction Draft Strategies

By Adam Pfeifer
John Geliebter-USA TODAY Sports

Let’s be honest. Everyone, and I mean everyone, loves to spend money. It’s a common human trait. There is no better feeling than cashing in a monster paycheck, going to the mall and buying everything in sight. Money is something that can often control us as human beings.

And in many ways, so does the game of fantasy football.

Put the two together, and chaos is likely to ensue. However, it has been done, and while a handful of fantasy footballers aren’t aware of it, they should be. Everyone knows about the standard snake drafts, the PPR drafts and the IDP drafts. But what if I were to tell you that fantasy owners can participate in a league where instead of drafting your players, you buy them instead? That’s right, auction drafts are a very fun way to compile your fantasy roster, and whether or not you have participated in one before, I feel like everyone should try at least one. It allows owners to draft in a way that they don’t typically do, and, of course, takes a certain strategy. So, for those of you planning on doing their first auction draft this weekend, here are some (hopefully) helpful tips.

1) Nominate high-priced players you don’t want

A terrific strategy is to force your opponents to spend the majority of their money first. In most auction drafts, you start with a maximum 200 dollars, and once you get to zero, you can’t buy anymore players. So, what I like to do is nominate players that are worth a lot of money, but I don’t necessarily want. Start the bid at a medium to high amount, and let everyone else spend like crazy. Then, when it is time to assemble your team with the players that you do want, you will have the upper hand in the financial department. Because the majority of the positions in fantasy are so deep, you can afford to sit back and wait, while your adversaries splurge all of their money on the expensive guys. There are still plenty of strong options for cheaper price tags than the elite guys, but don’t get me wrong, if you like a guy (like as much as I love C.J. Spiller), then go for him.

2) Don’t overlook the end of the draft

Auction drafts can take a very, very long time because there is no specific time period in which players can be acquired. After each player is nominated, owners get around 20 seconds to make a big, but once a bid is made, the timer restarts. Having said that, these drafts can take anywhere between an hour or four-to-five. As exciting as it is to purchase some of the high profile guys in the beginning, don’t get caught sleeping towards the end. Literally and figuratively speaking. Just like in standard drafts, there are always high upside players towards the later rounds that ultimately can win you a championship. These players will be very cheap, and if your starting lineup is already assembled, make sure you don’t miss out on some serious bargains. For instance, in ESPN auction leagues, some late guys such as Michael FloydRyan BroylesKenbrell Thompkins and Alshon Jeffery are all only two or three dollars a piece. Thompkins continues to look like a legit receiving option, and can be had for dirt cheap. Just like in standard drafts, you want to provide yourself with tons of depth on your roster. Keep the end of the draft in the back of your mind.

3) Don’t be afraid to spend, spend, spend

You aren’t going to get the guys you want unless you are willing to spend the big bucks. It may seem pretty obvious, but many owners would rather take the conservative approach, which is fine, but I am here to tell you that it also isn’t the worst thing in the world to spend big. Here is a look at the prices of some of the top tier guys at each position in ESPN leagues:




Aaron Rodgers QB $47
Drew Brees QB $42
Adrian Peterson RB $60
Arian Foster RB $57
Doug Martin RB $55
Calvin Johnson WR $45
A.J. Green WR $39
Jimmy Graham TE $32

Clearly, if you want to get one of these guys, you will have to spend at least this much money. I say at least because other owners often tend to outbid the original value of each player. It just always seems to happen that way. However, don’t be afraid to spend a lot on the guys you want. Everyone else will have an aggressive mindset when drafting, and if you don’t go after who you want, you will most likely be left in the dust.

Adam Pfeifer is a featured fantasy sports columnist for Rant Sports.

You can follow him on Twitter @aPfeiferRS.


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