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Auction Draft (1 Viewer)

HALtheCOW

Footballguy
I really want to avoid this ending up the Asst Coach forum. But I really would like some Shark Pool feedback on this strategy.

I have played in a couple of Auction leagues for the last decade. Both have slightly different rules and settings but they both share about 1/2 the owners. Maybe for that reason, much of the general pricing structure has seemed to match each other. In any case, by having so much historical data (not just once, but twice per year) I can quite accurately predict pricing by position from year to year.

One of the leagues is 14 owners. We start 2QB, 2RB, 4WR, 1TE, K, D. It is PPR but TEs and WRs get 2 pts per reception. So between starting 4WR and 2ppr, WRs can be the most expensive position in any given year. Now, I can do the ADP analysis and decide which position should be the most valuable. And then someone else could do it differently and disagree. That is really not want I want to discuss.

We use a $200 cap. There are limited add-drops during the season and you have to drop someone to add someone so there is an advantage to drafting a deep roster. You have to cut your Roster down to 18 players, but you can keep more than that up till then.

Here is the question: For quite some time, no players have gone for more than $50 (or 25% of the cap). And in most years, I stay away from the top players and try to draft value in the middle and the very end of the draft. And I have done quite well most years. But this year I am asking this question. Why not step out there and take the Top 3 Players? I would spend about 70-75% of my cap on those 3 players, but I really could get my favorite, QB, RB and TE for that amount of money. Then I would need to be very patient and fill the rest of my Roster will very low-end players. (RBs outside the Top 40, WRs outside the Top 60, TE outside the Top 20, etc.)

I would very much appreciate your thoughts on this unique situation. Could it work?

 
I think you need to find an approach in the middle. Going with 3 top players like that and then complete scrubs will be tough. I'm surprised you had success the other way. I've seen people try it and they always end up with a bunch of average players and don't go very far.

 
I stay away from the top players and try to draft value in the middle and the very end of the draft. And I have done quite well most years.
I tried this last year and had such a middle of the road team. I would do what you have been doing (since its been successful) and maybe tweak things a bit and try to get 1 elite talent.
 
Without knowing the exact specifics of your league, it's easy to believe that guys like Aaron Rodgers, Calvin Johnson, or Jimmy Graham are worth more then 1/3rd of your salary cap.

If this is the case, and fear is the reason nobody in your league pays full value for these guys, it seems like a good inefficiency to exploit. In practice, you're going to have a tough time filling out your roster with starting-quality players, and you'll be more vulnerable to injury or star underperformance than owners who diversify more. If you're right that stars are underpriced, you should be rewarded with an above-average team.

 
Without knowing the exact specifics of your league, it's easy to believe that guys like Aaron Rodgers, Calvin Johnson, or Jimmy Graham are worth more then 1/3rd of your salary cap. If this is the case, and fear is the reason nobody in your league pays full value for these guys, it seems like a good inefficiency to exploit. In practice, you're going to have a tough time filling out your roster with starting-quality players, and you'll be more vulnerable to injury or star underperformance than owners who diversify more. If you're right that stars are underpriced, you should be rewarded with an above-average team.
I really appreciate everyone's feedback, but this is pretty much what I am thinking. Every calculator I have used puts the Top Players at about 1/3 (or more) of the cap. But I know that this will not happen. I really can get the Top3 for about 75% total.I always end up trying to mine for Gold near the bottom at each position. But I think I might be better off starting off with 3 Super Studs rather than 6 "solid" players.
 
I'm thinking about going with this strategy as well. I've noticed in my league that the top guys at the very beginning of the auction go for a value. I think everyone is waiting for the top guys to set the market. Everyone starts off patiently then they go in feeding frenzy mode. For example Foster, Rice and McCoy I'm predicting will go for a fair price while the next tier of RB's will go for more than them once the feeding frenzy begins.

The biggest reason I want to go for the stars approach is so that I have the most flexibility on waivers. Having my starters and bench stocked with guys I like and paid for makes me gun shy dropping them. With $1 players I can aggressively work the waiver wire all season.

 
It can definitely work. In one typical league I just finished projecting for auction, $200 cap, here are the top 5:

Foster $98

Rice $97

Rodgers $78

McCoy $74

Calvin $68

If you can spend $150 for the top two players, you are getting an extra $47 of value. If you can pay $150 for the top three players, now you are at $73 of value. The key is determining based on your specific league's tendencies if you get more value from the top players, or in picking multiple $20-$60 starting players at value. In this specific league described above, one of the top players will likely cost substantially less, so I'll grab him and get about $30 of value. I will then wait out the appropriately valued picks 15-40 or so for the various positions, and get several very good starting players that become undervalued again. I'll wind up with a $270+ value team. Several other teams will be closer to $170 in total value from their $200 spent. It's hard for a team to win if they are letting someone effectively have $100 extra at the auction! If you do your projections right, the math doesn't lie, and the values of the players are what determines the math. Just remember that your risk is concentrated in the top 3 strategy, so if something does happen it will be a disaster and not just an annoyance.

By the way, league tendencies are absolutely critical to planning your strategy and you can't afford to ignore them. If you think Rogers is worth $78 and bid near that amount, but the other QB #2-5 go for $20-30 instead of $40-$50, then everyone else is really getting the deal and you are the one overpaying. You need value within each individual position as compared to your opponents. That gives the point-per-game separation that leads to consistent advantage.

Don't forget that you need to have the value IN YOUR STARTERS compared to your opponent's starters, not in your bench. Dominating the league in ownership of players that aren't very worthy of starting is a good way to lose.

 
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Someone in my league last year took this approach and had Foster, ADP, and Fitzgerald. He had another high priced WR that I cant remember right now.

QB was the only position where he was really low budget but he did very well and led the league in total points for much of the year.

The problem is that you are basically relying on ALL of your starters to stay healthy throughout the season and/or hoping to strike gold on the ww or your late round fliers.

It can work but there's substantial risk. This guy had a very good reg. season and won some $$$ but come playoff time ADP got hurt and his team fizzled.

 
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It can definitely work. In one typical league I just finished projecting for auction, $200 cap, here are the top 5:Foster $98Rice $97Rodgers $78McCoy $74Calvin $68If you can spend $150 for the top two players, you are getting an extra $47 of value. If you can pay $150 for the top three players, now you are at $73 of value. The key is determining based on your specific league's tendencies if you get more value from the top players, or in picking multiple $20-$60 starting players at value. In this specific league, one of the top players will likely cost substantially less, so I'll grab him and get about $30 of value. I will then wait out the appropriately valued picks 15-40 or so for the various positions, and get several very good starting players that become undervalued again. I'll wind up with a $270+ value team. Several other teams will be closer to $170 in total value from their $200 spent. It's hard for a team to win if they are letting someone effectively have $100 extra at the auction! If you do your projections right, the math doesn't lie, and the values of the players are what determines the math. Just remember that your risk is concentrated in the top 3 strategy, so if something does happen it will be a disaster and not just an annoyance.By the way, league tendencies are absolutely critical to planning your strategy and you can't afford to ignore them. If you think Rogers is worth $78 and bid near that amount, but the other QB #2-5 go for $20-30 instead of $40-$50, then everyone else is really getting the deal and you are the one overpaying. You need value within each individual position as compared to your opponents. That gives the point-pre-game separation that leads to consistent advantage.Don't forget that you need to have the value IN YOUR STARTERS compared to your opponent's starters, not in your bench. Dominating the league in ownership of players that aren't very worthy of starting is a good way to lose.
Those are wild projections! :eek:What's your methodology? :popcorn:
 
i like the idea.

i did this in a dynasty start up. it didn't work that well because i missed on most of my sleepers and we have deep rosters, 12 team 24 players i think. i drafted pretty bad but i still finished just outside the playoff bubble. so at worst, you are looking at a high floor team.

the lesson i learned was that this would have worked in a shallow league, like your typical redraft with roster sizes of less than 18-20.

so i would say go for it, especially with those 18 man rosters BUT, you have limited waiver moves, which i think kills this strategy.

this is also the reason you were able to do well with your 'avoid the studs' strategy which wouldn't work very well in any league with normal waivers.

 
Those are wild projections! :eek:

What's your methodology? :popcorn:
What's fascinating is that the projections aren't my crazy thoughts, they're the standard FBG projections, but without arbitrary deflation of the true auction value for the players by the VBD app (more on that below). For an example league, Rice is scoring 339 points for the year, McGahee is scoring 171. The methodology is pretty much basic VBD, but without the secret formulae. Go adjust Rice in the current VBD app under the RB projection sheet to have 50 TDs, recalculate the auction values, and note that Rice's value will not change even though he's scoring an extra several hundred points for the year. The VBD app artificially adjusts the true value of the top players downward, when it should only be using the player projections to determine value.

I set position-specific baselines based on where players don't have any real value (i.e., when projected points start to flatten out compared to other players, and accounting for league details like number of teams, roster requirements, etc). For this league, the total of all points above the established position-specific baselines is ~4200. Those are the players that have value, and the other players are dime-a-dozen types that I don't want to pay more to get. I'm happy playing matchups with the "scraps". The total available auction dollars for this 12 team league with $200 auction cap is $2400. Therefore, each point above baseline is worth approximately $0.57 ($2400/4200 points).

[*]Rice and Foster are each about 170 fantasy points above RB#24 baseline (McGahee). Reminder that this example uses FBG projections, not any crazy off-the-wall projections. If you start Foster at RB every week, he'll score 170 points more than a nearly free RB like McGahee (or the 8 other RBs right after McGahee that are all within 1 point per game). Over 10 ppg is huge. Rice and Foster are huge aberrations to the normal auction value curve. They are crazy valuable if they live up to their projections. Rodgers is the next nearest, but a full 34 points less valuable than either of them compared to his QB baseline.

[*]Rodgers is 136 fantasy points above QB#12 baseline (Roeth). There's a 20 point drop from RG3 (QB#11) to Roeth, which is why the baseline is set there, and the next 8 QBs are all within 20 points of Roeth, so Roeth has no effective value. In a start 2QB league, the baseline would be set much lower and Roeth would definitely have value.

[*]McCoy 130 above RB baseline.

[*]Calvin 120 above WR#32 baseline (Garcon). Next 9 WRs after Garcon are within 1 ppg. The WR that's 9 spots above Garcon is a full 2 ppg better. In this league, it doesn't make sense to put any significant value on a player like WR#33 Santonio Holmes, as he isn't a quality starter, and there are literally a dozen players within about one point per game from a projection standpoint. The accuracy in projections isn't there to give WR#33 much value over someone like WR#36 Crabtree or WR#40 Boldin, and the weekly matchups have greater variation that impacts who should play that week than the average projection accuracy anyway.

[*]In this league, Kicker baseline is K#4 and DST is at #7.

Running the math you get:

Foster $98

Rice $97

Rodgers $78

McCoy $74

Calvin $68

VBD is the right principle, but the VBD app is flawed, so I run it all by spreadsheet. You can also simply adjust your baseline to reflect your level of risk (i.e., shallow baselines = higher risk on fewer players). I used to use a two line fit for projections (somewhere there's an article published on FBG with the details of that system), but changing to custom baselining each position is much simpler. I can send you the spreadsheet if you want. This year, I ran out of time writing an article for FBG, but it'll be there for next year.

 
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I really want to avoid this ending up the Asst Coach forum. But I really would like some Shark Pool feedback on this strategy. I have played in a couple of Auction leagues for the last decade. Both have slightly different rules and settings but they both share about 1/2 the owners. Maybe for that reason, much of the general pricing structure has seemed to match each other. In any case, by having so much historical data (not just once, but twice per year) I can quite accurately predict pricing by position from year to year. One of the leagues is 14 owners. We start 2QB, 2RB, 4WR, 1TE, K, D. It is PPR but TEs and WRs get 2 pts per reception. So between starting 4WR and 2ppr, WRs can be the most expensive position in any given year. Now, I can do the ADP analysis and decide which position should be the most valuable. And then someone else could do it differently and disagree.

That is really not want I want to discuss. We use a $200 cap. There are limited add-drops during the season and you have to drop someone to add someone so there is an advantage to drafting a deep roster. You have to cut your Roster down to 18 players, but you can keep more than that up till then.

Here is the question: For quite some time, no players have gone for more than $50 (or 25% of the cap). And in most years, I stay away from the top players and try to draft value in the middle and the very end of the draft. And I have done quite well most years. But this year I am asking this question. Why not step out there and take the Top 3 Players? I would spend about 70-75% of my cap on those 3 players, but I really could get my favorite, QB, RB and TE for that amount of money. Then I would need to be very patient and fill the rest of my Roster will very low-end players. (RBs outside the Top 40, WRs outside the Top 60, TE outside the Top 20, etc.) I would very much appreciate your thoughts on this unique situation. Could it work?
Does anyone have any further opinion about the above strategy for auction drafts?

 
I'm going to say something that doesn't nearly get said enough in strategy discussions like this:

Go try it and see which result looks better.

I don't mean go do it in your league at the actual auction. I mean take your projected costs and put together a couple of sample teams using this strategy, and then put together some other possible teams not using this strategy. And then compare your starter points for each and see which was better.

Take it a step further. Grab last year's resulting auction prices and see what would have happened if you had done it there. Grab the big 3 you would have actually chose last year without benefit of hindsight. Then look at the prices of the scrubs you'd have filled your roster in and grab everyone in the appropriate price range, and determine what on average a player from that group would have produced. I say use an average because you don't want to cherry pick the best players from that price range, you want a realistic assessment of what a collection of players at that price will produce.

We FFers spend a lot of time talking in generalities when a lot of what we can do can be tested simply if we just take the time to do it. This is one of those times.

 
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In 2011 I failed to show up for an auction and my auto bid went crazy (My max bid pre values were high but I didn't imagine I'd bid the max on more than 1 elite player) and out bid everyone on Foster, AP, McCoy (2 flex positions) and I ended up with Dez Bryant and pretty much no one else. I shuffled through waiver wire players (very short bench.. I think maybe even 4 spots that year) like Ryan Fitzpatrick and Denarious Moore. We could also start 3 IDPs and pretty much everyone slept on the 3 top 15 LBs I picked off the waiver thanks to FBG's tips.

Came very close to winning it all. I think AP went down late that year..

I have since employed the strategy albeit a bit more conservatively. It all depends on the values that present themselves.

 
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