What's new
Fantasy Football - Footballguys Forums

Welcome to Our Forums. Once you've registered and logged in, you're primed to talk football, among other topics, with the sharpest and most experienced fantasy players on the internet.

Auction strategies (1 Viewer)

Junior McSpiffy

Footballguy
So, after years of failing to get my regular leagues to entertain an auction, I'm just gonna get in one online and see how it goes. So rather than go with a couple o fbland online articles, I figured I would come to a bunch of diehards for some advice.

It seems to me like -when- you get the guys is almost as important as who you get. If there's 12 teams and 10 of them have their ace RB, then it feels like the last two guys are almost compelled to get into a bidding war to overpay in order to get one guy on their roster. So while I can see the value in throwing out a couple of name players to eat up everyone else's cap space, it seems like you can overdo it.

Then there's the way to construct a team. It seems like sinking cash in the deep QB pool is a losing proposition, but that's the only thing I feel certain of. I know a guy can go with the stars and scraps model or a "no starts, just talent" model. I'm willing to hear arguments on both.

Anyhow, these are just my initial impressions heading in. If I'm wrong on any of them, I'm willing to hear it. But what I'm more interested in are the intricacies... those hidden secrets that seem obvious once someone points them out but are hard to actually spot for myself.

 

Jeremy

Footballguy
Every league is a little different. I had one league where I was the newbie in an established league. I came prepared with all my auction values that I had researched. I had everything all highlighted into tiers and with guys I wanted to target that I thought were undervalued. I spent a lot of time preparing, and I had been in another auction league for several years. $200 cap. First to be nominated was Adrian Peterson IIRC. He goes for $103. Next player goes for $97. Then Ryan Grant goes for $60 (that's what I budgeted for Peterson!). All my plans were shot. It turns out in this league, the studs go for rediculous sums and then your $10-$15 players all go for a buck or 2. So I had great depth, but no studs. So be prepared for anything.

My other league is more normal, although there is a feeding frenzie in the beginning. And then it can get a little expensive at the end while the penny pinchers realize they're running out of time to spend their money. In between, there are bargains to be found. My plan this year is to spend close to full price on 2 stud RBs, and then go bargain hunting. I'm hoping to spend less than 10% of my budget on QBs, and I'll probably go cheap on TEs as well. WRs are deep enough that I should still be able to get some good ones.

But things never quite go according to plan. Be prepared to be flexible. Don't get caught bidding up players you don't want.

 

SaintsInDome2006

Footballguy
Couple good threads here:

[SIZE=medium]http://forums.footballguys.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=650256&hl=auction[/SIZE]

[SIZE=medium]http://forums.footballguys.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=683538&hl=auction[/SIZE]

So while I can see the value in throwing out a couple of name players to eat up everyone else's cap space, it seems like you can overdo it.
^I'm interested in this.

I typically bid high for the player (a RB) I think can win it all for me, then wait for the sleepers. Sometimes I throw names out and let others wind their money down.

But there are a few things:

- Though I've won with this approach it's less fun and also leads to a more shallow team.

- I would like to nominate and bid on the players I want. That is build a team sheet, plan for it, and then get them.

- It's all about value.

I haven't figured this out yet but I would like to draft a whole strong team based on value, getting all at below their ADP or predicted auction value. There's a science here I would like to learn.

 

Junior McSpiffy

Footballguy
So while I can see the value in throwing out a couple of name players to eat up everyone else's cap space, it seems like you can overdo it.
^I'm interested in this.
My initial attempt at a strategy is for the first three or four rounds, I nominate a few guys I think other people like far more than me (J Charles, Brandon Marshall) to try and drop the cash availability for some of the other teams out there. Then rounds 4 through 10 or so, put up names of the stars I want. After that... depending on how many stars are left in the pool and how much cap space people are sitting on, I'd either nominate the depth players I want if there's a lot of guys still hording cash for their last push on a few stars, or if most of the cash is eaten up and the stars are depleted, I'll nominate players I don't want too much that I think others will be targeting.

 

Nucker101

Footballguy
Every league is a little different. I had one league where I was the newbie in an established league. I came prepared with all my auction values that I had researched. I had everything all highlighted into tiers and with guys I wanted to target that I thought were undervalued. I spent a lot of time preparing, and I had been in another auction league for several years. $200 cap. First to be nominated was Adrian Peterson IIRC. He goes for $103. Next player goes for $97. Then Ryan Grant goes for $60 (that's what I budgeted for Peterson!). All my plans were shot. It turns out in this league, the studs go for rediculous sums and then your $10-$15 players all go for a buck or 2. So I had great depth, but no studs. So be prepared for anything.

My other league is more normal, although there is a feeding frenzie in the beginning. And then it can get a little expensive at the end while the penny pinchers realize they're running out of time to spend their money. In between, there are bargains to be found. My plan this year is to spend close to full price on 2 stud RBs, and then go bargain hunting. I'm hoping to spend less than 10% of my budget on QBs, and I'll probably go cheap on TEs as well. WRs are deep enough that I should still be able to get some good ones.

But things never quite go according to plan. Be prepared to be flexible. Don't get caught bidding up players you don't want.
This has been my experience in the majority of different auction drafts/leagues I have apart of as well. But in some cases, 5/12 owners are penny pinchers(or guys that follow the "no one over $30" rule) so you can get some good value early on studs as well. But the middle part of the draft, after the high end players have been drafted is when I like to start spending my money typically since there's almost always 2 or 3 guys that load up on a couple of high end studs, and then 3 or 4 penny pinchers sitting on the sidelines.

 

Quibbler

Footballguy
Every league is a little different. I had one league where I was the newbie in an established league. I came prepared with all my auction values that I had researched. I had everything all highlighted into tiers and with guys I wanted to target that I thought were undervalued. I spent a lot of time preparing, and I had been in another auction league for several years. $200 cap. First to be nominated was Adrian Peterson IIRC. He goes for $103. Next player goes for $97. Then Ryan Grant goes for $60 (that's what I budgeted for Peterson!). All my plans were shot. It turns out in this league, the studs go for rediculous sums and then your $10-$15 players all go for a buck or 2. So I had great depth, but no studs. So be prepared for anything.

My other league is more normal, although there is a feeding frenzie in the beginning. And then it can get a little expensive at the end while the penny pinchers realize they're running out of time to spend their money. In between, there are bargains to be found. My plan this year is to spend close to full price on 2 stud RBs, and then go bargain hunting. I'm hoping to spend less than 10% of my budget on QBs, and I'll probably go cheap on TEs as well. WRs are deep enough that I should still be able to get some good ones.

But things never quite go according to plan. Be prepared to be flexible. Don't get caught bidding up players you don't want.
Very good advice. If enough of your league-mates value players differently enough from you, you have to adapt to that market.

A few very first-auction specific things:

1) Spend all your money. Sounds obvious, but it's actually very easy to end up with some left over--if you didn't blow a lot on stars in the beginning of the draft, and got some good deals in the middle of the auction, you'll be sitting on a lot of cash at the end when most players go for a few bucks. It happened to me in my first auction--I got every player at a good price and had a good team overall, but I ended up with $7 dollars left over. So I'd recommend paying for one stud if it's your first auction ever, rather than bargain hunting at all positions.

2) Don't be afraid of taking the first player off the board at a position. Often they go for less than later ones--last year, IIRC, in my league Foster went for around $60, then Rice went for $63, and McCoy went for $65 as owners began to freak out about not getting an elite guy.

3) Don't over do the "never spend on a DST/kicker" rule. If 1 extra dollar will get you the D you want, it's probably worth it. This isn't like a snake draft drafting a D in an earlier round means you miss out on the opportunity to draft other players.

 

dkp993

Footballguy
Have done many an auction draft..... ^^^^^^^ the above post is very good advice.

Also some of the best advice I could give is 2 fold.

First create your own auction value cheat sheet based on VBD principles and draft value not people.

Secondly use the 75% rule. Which is to bid up EVERY player (in the first half of the draft) to 75% of their value, established by you. This does 2 things, 1- keeps everyone else guessing on who you really want as your involved in every bid. And 2 - if you win the bid for a player at 75% (or less) of their max value you'll build depth and be able to overspend a bit for a top 5 position (preferably an RB).

The key to a successful auction draft is all about finding as much value as possible. Have fun and good luck!

 
Last edited by a moderator:

Ghost Rider

Footballguy
I agree about bidding on everyone to keep others guessing as to who you want, but that can backfire on you if you get stuck with a player you really didn't want. I don't like getting players I didn't want, even for a cheaper price, so I will usually steer away from bidding on such players.

That aside, it is very true that it is all a matter of WHEN you get a player. If you wait too long to get starters at certain positions, you will likely be fighting for scraps with other owners who did likewise, and you will end up overpaying for a player when you could have gotten someone of similar value an hour earlier.

But overall, I usually go in with the attitude that I will feel my way through it and adjust accordingly. It's like playing craps: you can't just walk up with one specific strategy and execute regardless of what is happening around you; you have to adjust on the fly and often times very quickly.

 

Mario Kart

Footballguy
One strategy is to bid the most on a player you want. Then you get that player but your bidding power goes down based on the amount you bid.

 

SaintsInDome2006

Footballguy
One strategy is to bid the most on a player you want. Then you get that player but your bidding power goes down based on the amount you bid.
This is almost Buddha-like.

Ok.

What is worth more?

One Adrian Peterson

-or-

Any three of:

Matt Forte

LeSean McCoy

Jamaal Charles

Doug Martin

-???-

 

Late225

Footballguy
One strategy is to bid the most on a player you want. Then you get that player but your bidding power goes down based on the amount you bid.
This is almost Buddha-like.

Ok.

What is worth more?

One Adrian Peterson

-or-

Any three of:

Matt Forte

LeSean McCoy

Jamaal Charles

Doug Martin

-???-
I think this really depends on starters, what you think of tiers and differences in values of the players.

If the following scenario happens, which is probably likely with some amount of variance, it's not AP or three of those other guys. It's more like Martin and Stephen Hill OR Adrian Peterson. Consequently, I can easily seeing any of these guys being the highest paid RB in any league depending on how much one guy in your league likes him.

AP = $40

Martin = $37

Forte = $32

McCoy = $36

Charles = $37

 
Last edited by a moderator:

butcher boy

Footballguy
It's very tough to go into a first year auction with a set strategy because to me, the biggest part of strategizing for an auction is knowing your leaguemates. I've been in an auction for 15 years now with the same group of guys and I've long since stopped including "projected" auction values on my cheatsheets because they are always wrong. Always. Instead I go in with last year's prices and use that as a guide for both value and league tendencies as the draft goes.

There are guys in my league who will draft two stud RBs no matter what and fill out their rosters with cheap guys to compensate. There is a Redskins fan who I know will be willing to overspend on Alfred Morris and/or RG3. There are guys who never spend a lot on early players. This is all very valuable information.

I know this doesn't help someone going in with no prior auction experience. All I can say is if you go in with values on your cheatsheet, don't stick to them. You need to adjust as the auction goes by or you'll end up being one of those guys with no one on their team when the 3rd or 4th tier of players are up. You don't want to be that guy.

Bid on lots of guys. Get good players early. Don't be afraid to spend a majority of your cap early especially on guys who are way ahead of their peers. Just don't go too nuts leaving you with only $1 to spend per guy on the second half of your roster.

 

ScottNorwood

Footballcutie
First off, I want to say that I'm a bit crestfallen to not see more auction chatter around these parts. To me, the real sharks swim in auction leagues. All of these "6th pick in a 12 teamer" strategy threads are guppy chum IMHO.

What has worked best for me is the "overpay for studs" strategy. Sin #1 in auction drafts is leaving the draft without spending all your money. You'll end up looking back and seeing what you could've turned that extra money into. You don't want to look at a 2nd tier player and think that you could've gotten your #1 guy for just $10 more (and you wasted that $10).

Yes, you will miss out on some of your late sleepers this way. But remember, it only takes one other player to have the same sleeper on their list to force you to overpay. In general, you're not going to see a big difference in production between $10 and $1 players. Yes there are always some gems that get scooped up in that $10~ range, but you don't want to build your draft with more than 1 or 2 of those guys. In some ways I like a $1 player better than a $10 player, because you've invested less, and are less attached - this allows you to be more active in free agency.

In general - if you want to correlate this format to a draft you NEED to have at least 3 guys that would've gone in the first 3 rounds (ideally you should shoot for 4+). Trust me, the cupboard gets dry faster than you think, and you don't want to be in a bidding war on a guy just because he ends up as the last stud on the list. Spend early and often.

Also, I generally like to call out guys that I'm not interested in so my opponents can sink early money into those guys. I've seen some people averse to that because your opponents will detect that pattern. I think that's BS - people are more interested in their own rosters than someone else's nominating tendencies (and if they're not, they are not focusing on their draft correctly).

Good luck auctioning my brothers. Feel free to holla at me if you've got any questions.

 

ScottNorwood

Footballcutie
Another thing to add - don't go too crazy price enforcing. You'll end up with players you don't want. Other players are going to get some bargains. It happens, you don't have to feel the need to prevent it. If it's not your guy, let him go. That's another trap that will fill up your roster with mediocrity.

 

FF Ninja

Footballguy
First off, I want to say that I'm a bit crestfallen to not see more auction chatter around these parts. To me, the real sharks swim in auction leagues. All of these "6th pick in a 12 teamer" strategy threads are guppy chum IMHO.

What has worked best for me is the "overpay for studs" strategy. Sin #1 in auction drafts is leaving the draft without spending all your money. You'll end up looking back and seeing what you could've turned that extra money into. You don't want to look at a 2nd tier player and think that you could've gotten your #1 guy for just $10 more (and you wasted that $10).

Yes, you will miss out on some of your late sleepers this way. But remember, it only takes one other player to have the same sleeper on their list to force you to overpay. In general, you're not going to see a big difference in production between $10 and $1 players. Yes there are always some gems that get scooped up in that $10~ range, but you don't want to build your draft with more than 1 or 2 of those guys. In some ways I like a $1 player better than a $10 player, because you've invested less, and are less attached - this allows you to be more active in free agency.

In general - if you want to correlate this format to a draft you NEED to have at least 3 guys that would've gone in the first 3 rounds (ideally you should shoot for 4+). Trust me, the cupboard gets dry faster than you think, and you don't want to be in a bidding war on a guy just because he ends up as the last stud on the list. Spend early and often.

Also, I generally like to call out guys that I'm not interested in so my opponents can sink early money into those guys. I've seen some people averse to that because your opponents will detect that pattern. I think that's BS - people are more interested in their own rosters than someone else's nominating tendencies (and if they're not, they are not focusing on their draft correctly).

Good luck auctioning my brothers. Feel free to holla at me if you've got any questions.
Holy crap, I couldn't agree more with the bolded. And I agree that auctions are for real sharks, but we live in a snake draft world.

I gotta disagree about spending on studs. You need to have a strategy ready and several backups if the values are swinging too far from the averages to make your original strategy work. If studs are going cheap then yes, you should take one, but there's no need to force it. Take last year for example. I loathed snake drafts because I really didn't want to take anyone outside of Foster in the first round. I was really high on several 5th/6th round guys. In redrafts, I was screwed, but auction is perfect for the value hunters. Lynch was cheap due to the suspension scare, Mathews was cheap due to the collar bone and my favorite backups were Hilils and Ridley. Obviously, two out of those 4 were busts, but bargain hunting works out so long as you're right more often than wrong. That way you aren't tied to one player. If you blow 1/3 of your budget on Foster, you probably don't have Ridley as a backup, so if Foster goes down, so does your team.

I also liked the shotgun approach at WR. I was big on Wayne and Boldin as older guys that would bounce back. I kind of alternated between the two in snake drafts, but both were cheap as hell in auctions.

The scenario described by Jeremy is my dream scenario (people overpaying for studs to start the draft). But it's worth noting that this only works if you've got a decent sized roster. You shouldn't be playing in leagues with short rosters to begin with, but much like snake drafts, you don't always have control over league settings.

 

Ketamine Dreams

Footballguy
General guidelines:

1. Nominate guys you don't want, and/or guys you think people will overspend their money on. Occasionally nominate guys you do want however, to keep your opponents honest

2. Have a general strategy going in. Don't make it necessarily about certain players, (because you can really overspend that way), but a general idea what you're thinking. eg I want a top QB this year, and I'd be fine with Rogers, Brees, Manning or Newton. etc.

3. Highlight guys you like in different tiers. If you are outbid, or cash-strapped, you have a ready list of guys you "like" in the next lower tier to fill your need.

4. Look for bargains, but don't be afraid to spend money for quality.

5. Nominate guys in positions you've just filled. Make others spend their money on a QB if you just grabbed your guy. This helps keep your competition on par with you when you go after your WRs, or whatever.

6. Towards the end, when money gets short, nominate players you do want at DST, K, and flier types. You can probably score Blair Walsh as your kicker for $1, simply because few people will want to, or have the money to spend more.

 
Last edited by a moderator:

butcher boy

Footballguy
First off, I want to say that I'm a bit crestfallen to not see more auction chatter around these parts. To me, the real sharks swim in auction leagues. All of these "6th pick in a 12 teamer" strategy threads are guppy chum IMHO.

What has worked best for me is the "overpay for studs" strategy. Sin #1 in auction drafts is leaving the draft without spending all your money. You'll end up looking back and seeing what you could've turned that extra money into. You don't want to look at a 2nd tier player and think that you could've gotten your #1 guy for just $10 more (and you wasted that $10).

Yes, you will miss out on some of your late sleepers this way. But remember, it only takes one other player to have the same sleeper on their list to force you to overpay. In general, you're not going to see a big difference in production between $10 and $1 players. Yes there are always some gems that get scooped up in that $10~ range, but you don't want to build your draft with more than 1 or 2 of those guys. In some ways I like a $1 player better than a $10 player, because you've invested less, and are less attached - this allows you to be more active in free agency.

In general - if you want to correlate this format to a draft you NEED to have at least 3 guys that would've gone in the first 3 rounds (ideally you should shoot for 4+). Trust me, the cupboard gets dry faster than you think, and you don't want to be in a bidding war on a guy just because he ends up as the last stud on the list. Spend early and often.

Also, I generally like to call out guys that I'm not interested in so my opponents can sink early money into those guys. I've seen some people averse to that because your opponents will detect that pattern. I think that's BS - people are more interested in their own rosters than someone else's nominating tendencies (and if they're not, they are not focusing on their draft correctly).

Good luck auctioning my brothers. Feel free to holla at me if you've got any questions.
Holy crap, I couldn't agree more with the bolded. And I agree that auctions are for real sharks, but we live in a snake draft world.

I gotta disagree about spending on studs. You need to have a strategy ready and several backups if the values are swinging too far from the averages to make your original strategy work. If studs are going cheap then yes, you should take one, but there's no need to force it. Take last year for example. I loathed snake drafts because I really didn't want to take anyone outside of Foster in the first round. I was really high on several 5th/6th round guys. In redrafts, I was screwed, but auction is perfect for the value hunters. Lynch was cheap due to the suspension scare, Mathews was cheap due to the collar bone and my favorite backups were Hilils and Ridley. Obviously, two out of those 4 were busts, but bargain hunting works out so long as you're right more often than wrong. That way you aren't tied to one player. If you blow 1/3 of your budget on Foster, you probably don't have Ridley as a backup, so if Foster goes down, so does your team.

I also liked the shotgun approach at WR. I was big on Wayne and Boldin as older guys that would bounce back. I kind of alternated between the two in snake drafts, but both were cheap as hell in auctions.

The scenario described by Jeremy is my dream scenario (people overpaying for studs to start the draft). But it's worth noting that this only works if you've got a decent sized roster. You shouldn't be playing in leagues with short rosters to begin with, but much like snake drafts, you don't always have control over league settings.
That line of thinking is dangerous though. Overpaying for studs is not ideal, but what's by far worse is watching them all get scooped up by other people leaving you with mediocre players left to bid on. This means your idea of what those players were worth was incorrect. What Scott said about wanting at least 3 players from the first 3 rounds of a snake draft is absolutely correct, and if all of those players are going for more than what your "strategy" dictates, you might end up with none of them. Having great depth but no true studs will get you a lot of H2H losses.

Again, it comes down to knowing your league. My league LOVES RBs. People are willing to spend lots on the studs. I'll usually nominate a WR or QB before all the stud RBs are gone and they can usually be had at good value because people are hesitant to spend money early on non-RBs.

 

FF Ninja

Footballguy
That line of thinking is dangerous though. Overpaying for studs is not ideal, but what's by far worse is watching them all get scooped up by other people leaving you with mediocre players left to bid on. This means your idea of what those players were worth was incorrect. What Scott said about wanting at least 3 players from the first 3 rounds of a snake draft is absolutely correct, and if all of those players are going for more than what your "strategy" dictates, you might end up with none of them. Having great depth but no true studs will get you a lot of H2H losses.Again, it comes down to knowing your league. My league LOVES RBs. People are willing to spend lots on the studs. I'll usually nominate a WR or QB before all the stud RBs are gone and they can usually be had at good value because people are hesitant to spend money early on non-RBs.
What is your definition of a stud? Lynch was outside of the top 12 RB last year. The thing is, you can still get your studs. They just may not be consensus studs. I had Lynch as my RB5 last year. In an auction, I'd have paid RB5 money for him, but he went much, much cheaper. That's the beauty of auctions. You look at your rankings/values compared to the consensus, and take the guys that you've got valued more than the rest. Unless you are a drone whose rankings never differ more than +/- 2 from the consensus, you should be able to affordably land a team with a guy you consider a stud at every position without breaking the bank.

Then, with the extra money you saved, you fill your bench with breakout candidates/injury risks. Your RB4, RB5, and RB6 can be RB3 guys like Bradshaw, Stewart, and Ingram. May not look like much to begin the season, but that's because they're all discounted due to last year and/or injury risk. But the chances of all of them being unhealthy this year is slim, so you'll really have at least one extra RB2 on your team.

Overpaying for studs is what you do when you aren't a good FF player. Value mining is what you do when you know what you're doing. I mean, if you don't know what you're doing, then fill your starting lineup with expensive players, leave yourself no bench, and hope for health. If you know what you're doing, take the value when it presents itself and fill your backups with high upside guys.

 

INRIhab

Footballguy
My two cents:

1) I tier the players at each position and identify the guys I would be comfortable taking at each position (taking into account price, of course - it's all relative value). Each tier is associated with a price range. This keeps me comfortable with the remaining player pool during the auction and identifies when I can overspend a bit due to the opportunity cost of dropping to a lower tier. I identify players I would be comfortable targeting and players I want to nominate for others to buy.

2) Once I'm done researching each position and I know the universe of players well, I consider my budget allocation and devise a general strategy. Which positions do I want to sink money into? Last year it was: don't take a top QB/WR, target Graham/Gronk since they're a world apart from other TEs and then take a Ryan/Peyton. I also decided to avoid the high-priced RBs and gamble on DMC / Trent and some others.

3) Many people say "don't target a specific player"...while you may not target a specific guy, know which studs you would prefer to build around (this is linked to point 2 above), and be willing to pay in a range for those players. For example, last season I just had no interest in buying the top WRs/QBs, or the ADP/Rice/Fosters. I thought there would be more value in a top TE, a $40 RB and spreading the rest of the money around.

4) Building off that point, be prepared to overpay for guys that you're targeting and whose projections you're confident in. I would rather sink a few extra $$ in a player I really like if it meant taking a $2 guy later on rather than a $6 guy. More often than not, I find that many of the $3-6 players tend to be wasted dollars and should be invested in front-line players. Most of the big pick ups come from the waiver wire anyway (or maybe my memory from last season is just skewed)

One thing I'm curious about: What % of budgets do people typically allocate to starters? Depth is important but again, I just feel like a lot of those $3-6 guys are wasted $$....

 

butcher boy

Footballguy
That line of thinking is dangerous though. Overpaying for studs is not ideal, but what's by far worse is watching them all get scooped up by other people leaving you with mediocre players left to bid on. This means your idea of what those players were worth was incorrect. What Scott said about wanting at least 3 players from the first 3 rounds of a snake draft is absolutely correct, and if all of those players are going for more than what your "strategy" dictates, you might end up with none of them. Having great depth but no true studs will get you a lot of H2H losses.Again, it comes down to knowing your league. My league LOVES RBs. People are willing to spend lots on the studs. I'll usually nominate a WR or QB before all the stud RBs are gone and they can usually be had at good value because people are hesitant to spend money early on non-RBs.
What is your definition of a stud? Lynch was outside of the top 12 RB last year. The thing is, you can still get your studs. They just may not be consensus studs. I had Lynch as my RB5 last year. In an auction, I'd have paid RB5 money for him, but he went much, much cheaper. That's the beauty of auctions. You look at your rankings/values compared to the consensus, and take the guys that you've got valued more than the rest. Unless you are a drone whose rankings never differ more than +/- 2 from the consensus, you should be able to affordably land a team with a guy you consider a stud at every position without breaking the bank.

Then, with the extra money you saved, you fill your bench with breakout candidates/injury risks. Your RB4, RB5, and RB6 can be RB3 guys like Bradshaw, Stewart, and Ingram. May not look like much to begin the season, but that's because they're all discounted due to last year and/or injury risk. But the chances of all of them being unhealthy this year is slim, so you'll really have at least one extra RB2 on your team.

Overpaying for studs is what you do when you aren't a good FF player. Value mining is what you do when you know what you're doing. I mean, if you don't know what you're doing, then fill your starting lineup with expensive players, leave yourself no bench, and hope for health. If you know what you're doing, take the value when it presents itself and fill your backups with high upside guys.
The whole point is you have to be flexible. In your Lynch situation, what happens if just one or two other owners also really like him and a bidding war ensues? There goes the value you thought you were going to get on your guy. And if you let the other first round RBs go off the board because you were waiting on your guy, you're screwed. I would rather regret paying a few extra dollars for a top notch player than regret missing out on an entire tier of players.

I learned long ago that pinpointing just one or two guys to breakout and hoping for value is incredibly risky. It's much better to go into the draft with tiers of players and knowing you want to come out with X number of players from each tier. Getting too hung up on overpaying can make the auction go right past you.

My strategy this year, since RBs are once again at a premium, is to get 2 RBs before the big dropoff I predict at around RB 13-14. Among this list are guys I'd like more than others, but I'm willing to take what the draft gives me within this group of players. I know Alfred Morris will probably be overpriced because there's a Redskins fan in the league. ADP will probably also be overpriced based on hype, but he'll probably be nominated very early in the tier so I can use his price as a baseline for judging guys like Foster, Martin, and Charles.

 

SWC

Bromigo
i know this sounds crazy but i try to target good players and get them at bargain prices i just use that just about every year and it seems to work out pretty good so try that strategy this year and hopefully you can take it to the bank to brohan

 

drizzle

Footballguy
Anyone try nominating handcuffs before the starting rb goes? Thinking of trying it this year. Might get people to overinvest in studs if they already have the handcuff.

 

FF Ninja

Footballguy
That line of thinking is dangerous though. Overpaying for studs is not ideal, but what's by far worse is watching them all get scooped up by other people leaving you with mediocre players left to bid on. This means your idea of what those players were worth was incorrect. What Scott said about wanting at least 3 players from the first 3 rounds of a snake draft is absolutely correct, and if all of those players are going for more than what your "strategy" dictates, you might end up with none of them. Having great depth but no true studs will get you a lot of H2H losses.Again, it comes down to knowing your league. My league LOVES RBs. People are willing to spend lots on the studs. I'll usually nominate a WR or QB before all the stud RBs are gone and they can usually be had at good value because people are hesitant to spend money early on non-RBs.
What is your definition of a stud? Lynch was outside of the top 12 RB last year. The thing is, you can still get your studs. They just may not be consensus studs. I had Lynch as my RB5 last year. In an auction, I'd have paid RB5 money for him, but he went much, much cheaper. That's the beauty of auctions. You look at your rankings/values compared to the consensus, and take the guys that you've got valued more than the rest. Unless you are a drone whose rankings never differ more than +/- 2 from the consensus, you should be able to affordably land a team with a guy you consider a stud at every position without breaking the bank.

Then, with the extra money you saved, you fill your bench with breakout candidates/injury risks. Your RB4, RB5, and RB6 can be RB3 guys like Bradshaw, Stewart, and Ingram. May not look like much to begin the season, but that's because they're all discounted due to last year and/or injury risk. But the chances of all of them being unhealthy this year is slim, so you'll really have at least one extra RB2 on your team.

Overpaying for studs is what you do when you aren't a good FF player. Value mining is what you do when you know what you're doing. I mean, if you don't know what you're doing, then fill your starting lineup with expensive players, leave yourself no bench, and hope for health. If you know what you're doing, take the value when it presents itself and fill your backups with high upside guys.
The whole point is you have to be flexible. In your Lynch situation, what happens if just one or two other owners also really like him and a bidding war ensues? There goes the value you thought you were going to get on your guy. And if you let the other first round RBs go off the board because you were waiting on your guy, you're screwed. I would rather regret paying a few extra dollars for a top notch player than regret missing out on an entire tier of players.

I learned long ago that pinpointing just one or two guys to breakout and hoping for value is incredibly risky. It's much better to go into the draft with tiers of players and knowing you want to come out with X number of players from each tier. Getting too hung up on overpaying can make the auction go right past you.

My strategy this year, since RBs are once again at a premium, is to get 2 RBs before the big dropoff I predict at around RB 13-14. Among this list are guys I'd like more than others, but I'm willing to take what the draft gives me within this group of players. I know Alfred Morris will probably be overpriced because there's a Redskins fan in the league. ADP will probably also be overpriced based on hype, but he'll probably be nominated very early in the tier so I can use his price as a baseline for judging guys like Foster, Martin, and Charles.
Ok, I get what you're saying. But that's why I said I'd have paid up to RB5 price for Lynch last year. And it would've been fine in hindsight, just not the value I anticipated. But to me, forcing yourself to grab guys you don't really love just because they're in a tier is not the definition of flexible. If the top 14 RBs are overpriced then I'll simply load up on guys in the RB2/RB3 range that I see high upside in and spend more on other positions. Maybe I land Jimmy Graham at TE with the extra money I saved by not buying an RB1. Maybe that is more being adaptable than being flexible.

 

FF Ninja

Footballguy
i know this sounds crazy but i try to target good players and get them at bargain prices i just use that just about every year and it seems to work out pretty good so try that strategy this year and hopefully you can take it to the bank to brohan
Damn it, SWC always find a way to say the same thing but so much more succinctly than me.

 

Zab

Footballguy
I think one important piece of advice is that you shouldn't be too frugal. If you're really high on some players, try to get them.

People say wait for value, and that's true to some extent. But you don't want to be stuck with a team full of players you picked based on value but that you didn't want.

 

ldizzle

Footballguy
Great thread and helpful posts. Anyone have any experience using the draft dominator for auction? Would appreciate any tips because Ive used it for snake but never for auction.

 

Quibbler

Footballguy
One thing I'm curious about: What % of budgets do people typically allocate to starters? Depth is important but again, I just feel like a lot of those $3-6 guys are wasted $$....
Last year, I spent about 75% on starters.

I agree with you. Better to spend a few extra bucks on your starters than on depth. If you translated my auction strategy into snake draft, I aim for a bunch of 2nd-4th round picks, and then fill out the rest of the team with bargains.

 

butcher boy

Footballguy
One thing I'm curious about: What % of budgets do people typically allocate to starters? Depth is important but again, I just feel like a lot of those $3-6 guys are wasted $$....
Last year, I spent about 75% on starters.

I agree with you. Better to spend a few extra bucks on your starters than on depth. If you translated my auction strategy into snake draft, I aim for a bunch of 2nd-4th round picks, and then fill out the rest of the team with bargains.
I agree, but one situation you want to avoid in auctions is getting to a point where you have a few more position players to get, but you only have $1 to spend per player. It basically means you're going to be getting players that nobody else wants which is usually bad. Save enough cap to be able to bid at least $1 more than whoever gets nominated.

EDIT: As an example, last year I spent 88% of my cap on starters. I got CJ Spiller for $2 because the people who still needed RBs could only spend $1 per player and as soon as he got nominated I came in with a $2 bid and got him.

 
Last edited by a moderator:

sporthenry

Footballguy
I almost never nominate someone I want. The only time I might nominate someone I like is in the first 2-3 picks of the whole draft. As with anything, you have to feel out the draft. But often times, everyone else is trying to feel out the draft and has read every auction strategy that says to wait, so you can usually get a top RB at or below his AAV while the 4th/5th/6th RB will often go higher. Of course this advice is less suited to leagues that have been around a while, but if you are asking for advice, the league is often new.

But delaying the people you really want decreases other people's buying power in the process. And ideally, you'd like to get the guy you want when the value drops off the floor. As the OP mentions, sure, if there are 10 teams with their RB's and only 1 perceived stud left, you would hope for a bidding war, but more often than not, it never materializes. One guys stud may be in the other guys 2nd tier and that is when the value drops. That leads to the last piece of advice I've found. If you go early on another position like WR/TE/QB, you want to nominate as many of them as early as possible b/c the sooner they are nominated, the more likely they are to reach their AAV, thus giving you a chance to get a cheaper player at a position you need.

 

Easy Money

Footballguy
I play two leagues a mini dynasty and an auction. In the keeper league I can't always get players I like on my team so a few years back I decided in my auction league I would try and get a couple of my top players I really want. This make me like my team more and I'm not stuck with a whole team of players I don't like just because they were good value's. Works for me. Also strategizing with last years auctions values can give you an general idea of what to expect in the league.

 

Zab

Footballguy
sporthenry said:
But delaying the people you really want decreases other people's buying power in the process.
This is sound advice, but I would advise against delaying for too long. Based on my experience, there are times when 2-3 owners are all delaying a bid so they can scoop up a player that they all coveted, only to get in a massive bidding war for that player. And since they delayed for so long, the owners who couldn't get him won't be able to get the ideal depth for that position since a lot of the better players are off the board.

 

sporthenry

Footballguy
sporthenry said:
But delaying the people you really want decreases other people's buying power in the process.
This is sound advice, but I would advise against delaying for too long. Based on my experience, there are times when 2-3 owners are all delaying a bid so they can scoop up a player that they all coveted, only to get in a massive bidding war for that player. And since they delayed for so long, the owners who couldn't get him won't be able to get the ideal depth for that position since a lot of the better players are off the board.
Very true. I've seen WR30ish go for $20 in $200 auction leagues b/c they had $50-60 left and weren't going to use it elsewhere.

Like anything, rules aren't hard and fast. They are fluid and you have to adapt.

 
Last edited by a moderator:

SWC

Bromigo
i know this sounds crazy but i try to target good players and get them at bargain prices i just use that just about every year and it seems to work out pretty good so try that strategy this year and hopefully you can take it to the bank to brohan
Damn it, SWC always find a way to say the same thing but so much more succinctly than me.
brohan i did not do it to be mean i just typed out what i do take that to the bank for doing the same thing i hope that we both win this year big time baby

 

FF Ninja

Footballguy
i know this sounds crazy but i try to target good players and get them at bargain prices i just use that just about every year and it seems to work out pretty good so try that strategy this year and hopefully you can take it to the bank to brohan
Damn it, SWC always find a way to say the same thing but so much more succinctly than me.
brohan i did not do it to be mean i just typed out what i do take that to the bank for doing the same thing i hope that we both win this year big time baby
Hah, I was just messing around - giving you props for brevity. In the words of Tom Haverford, "Respect. Game recognize game."

 

J Perusse

Footballguy
Going into my first competitive auction, I was leaning on the conservative side but after crunching some numbers, I see that you HAVE to go after big names.

My first plan was to not spend more than $35 on ANY player and to develop a very deep time with great upside. I figured most of my team would be made up of players who would be taken around the 5th round or later in a snake draft.

I then looked at our draft last year and assembled a REALISTIC "best-case-scenario" lineup compiled of 5th round picks or later (Romo, Spiller, Ridley, V. Jackson, D. Thomas, Cobb, V. Davis, Prater, CIN). I could have taken Gonzo and Matt Ryan over Davis and Romo but the odds of hitting on EVERY SINGLE guy are unlikely, so I threw in two mediocre guys.

I did the same thing taking 4 top 24 picks and then sprinkling in some guys who could have been had for value (Romo, Rice, Foster, Calvin, Julio, Torrey Smith, Finley, Prater, CIN). Again, I tried to be somewhat realistic by not selecting the #1 and #2 scorers for my 4 "studs."

I found that the team with the studs on it drastically outperformed the "value" team. I know this isn't shocking, but it told me that in order to compete, I am going to HAVE to fork up the cash on draft day. As much as I hate the thought of spending a QUARTER of my salary on a guy, it's something you just have to do.

I know, this is a terrible experiment with bad parameters but it gives you a general idea of what I was trying to look into.

Does anyone know of any articles that look at auctions from this type of viewpoint? Using data to back up approaches?

I am starting to think about spending 90% of my salary on 4 or 5 guys and then just filling in the rest with cheapos. My starting roster last year only had three players I originally drafted myself thanks to the waiver wire.

 
While I agree that you shouldn't leave an auction with money left over, there is a case for having a few bucks left. In the past I tried the strategy of waiting until the top 30 or so were gone. I basically controlled the 2nd half of the auction and was able to land a bunch of good players as well as just about every sleeper I wanted. I ended up winning that year with a few nice breakout players and wavier pickups.

 

butcher boy

Footballguy
My first plan was to not spend more than $35 on ANY player and to develop a very deep time with great upside. I figured most of my team would be made up of players who would be taken around the 5th round or later in a snake draft.
The worst thing you can do, IMO, going into an auction is setting a limit like this for what you're willing to spend on a player.

I then looked at our draft last year and assembled a REALISTIC "best-case-scenario" lineup compiled of 5th round picks or later (Romo, Spiller, Ridley, V. Jackson, D. Thomas, Cobb, V. Davis, Prater, CIN). I could have taken Gonzo and Matt Ryan over Davis and Romo but the odds of hitting on EVERY SINGLE guy are unlikely, so I threw in two mediocre guys.
Last year was great for mid-round value due to the huge number of good running backs available in mid-rounds. This translated to good value in auctions too. Unfortunately, I see last year as a bit of an outlier. This year I'm noticing that I'm leaning more towards the early round studs.

I found that the team with the studs on it drastically outperformed the "value" team. I know this isn't shocking, but it told me that in order to compete, I am going to HAVE to fork up the cash on draft day. As much as I hate the thought of spending a QUARTER of my salary on a guy, it's something you just have to do.
You need to get over hating the thought of spending that much on a few guys. In my league, the top 3-4 backs will routinely go for 40-50% of the cap each, and for good reason. Teams with studs almost always make the playoffs over "value" teams. Every league will vary in this regard though. That's why the number 1 strategy IMO, is to know your league's drafting history and tendencies.

I am starting to think about spending 90% of my salary on 4 or 5 guys and then just filling in the rest with cheapos. My starting roster last year only had three players I originally drafted myself thanks to the waiver wire.
This might be a little extreme. You really want to avoid the situation I mention above where you end up only having $1 each to spend on the remainder of your position players. You still want some funds left to upbid some sleepers you really want. Most people aim for 75% cap on their starting roster. I go a bit higher, like 85%, but again, that's mostly due to how my league drafts. If I'm not willing to spend that much on my starters, I will miss out on good talent.

 

matuski

Footballguy
The only strategy anyone should have regarding auctions is to practice.

Do mock auctions, do them again, do them some more.

No matter what "plan" or "strategy" you have going in, it will likely all go to hell withing the first 10 players nominated. The only way for you to be able to adjust is if you have practiced and are comfortable adapting on the fly.

 

Slapdash

Footballguy
I play in a keeper auction and always go the stars and scraps model. It seems like available studs top go around 35 to 45, so I try to grab two or three of these. Focus on young players or rookies for the scraps. If you hit on the scraps you can keep them the next year cheaply. Rinse and repeat.

 

Jeremy

Footballguy
Another thing to add - don't go too crazy price enforcing. You'll end up with players you don't want. Other players are going to get some bargains. It happens, you don't have to feel the need to prevent it. If it's not your guy, let him go. That's another trap that will fill up your roster with mediocrity.
I've fallen into this trap so many times. Guy I don't want is $25 on my sheet, his current bid is $16 and the auctioneer is about to say "sold" and I blurt out $17 because I just can't let someone other than me get a bargain. Now I've got a 4th receiver in a start 3WR league and still no RB2. THIS year it'll be different, though (yeah, right). :rolleyes:

 

Quibbler

Footballguy
Does anyone know of any articles that look at auctions from this type of viewpoint? Using data to back up approaches?
If you search for "stars and scrubs", you'll find a bunch of articles. One is a really old ESPN article where Chris Harris looks a bit at historical data. He comes out somewhere in-between the two approaches you looked at (he recommends 50%-60% on your top 4 players).

I then looked at our draft last year and assembled a REALISTIC "best-case-scenario" lineup compiled of 5th round picks or later (Romo, Spiller, Ridley, V. Jackson, D. Thomas, Cobb, V. Davis, Prater, CIN). I could have taken Gonzo and Matt Ryan over Davis and Romo but the odds of hitting on EVERY SINGLE guy are unlikely, so I threw in two mediocre guys.
Last year was great for mid-round value due to the huge number of good running backs available in mid-rounds. This translated to good value in auctions too. Unfortunately, I see last year as a bit of an outlier. This year I'm noticing that I'm leaning more towards the early round studs.
I agree. RB was weird last year, which made bargain-hunting a good strategy. This year, though, with the RB tiers looking more solid, you're probably going to have to pay a premium to get starters you're happy with.

 

sporthenry

Footballguy
My first plan was to not spend more than $35 on ANY player and to develop a very deep time with great upside. I figured most of my team would be made up of players who would be taken around the 5th round or later in a snake draft.
The worst thing you can do, IMO, going into an auction is setting a limit like this for what you're willing to spend on a player.

I then looked at our draft last year and assembled a REALISTIC "best-case-scenario" lineup compiled of 5th round picks or later (Romo, Spiller, Ridley, V. Jackson, D. Thomas, Cobb, V. Davis, Prater, CIN). I could have taken Gonzo and Matt Ryan over Davis and Romo but the odds of hitting on EVERY SINGLE guy are unlikely, so I threw in two mediocre guys.
Last year was great for mid-round value due to the huge number of good running backs available in mid-rounds. This translated to good value in auctions too. Unfortunately, I see last year as a bit of an outlier. This year I'm noticing that I'm leaning more towards the early round studs.

I found that the team with the studs on it drastically outperformed the "value" team. I know this isn't shocking, but it told me that in order to compete, I am going to HAVE to fork up the cash on draft day. As much as I hate the thought of spending a QUARTER of my salary on a guy, it's something you just have to do.
You need to get over hating the thought of spending that much on a few guys. In my league, the top 3-4 backs will routinely go for 40-50% of the cap each, and for good reason. Teams with studs almost always make the playoffs over "value" teams. Every league will vary in this regard though. That's why the number 1 strategy IMO, is to know your league's drafting history and tendencies.

I am starting to think about spending 90% of my salary on 4 or 5 guys and then just filling in the rest with cheapos. My starting roster last year only had three players I originally drafted myself thanks to the waiver wire.
This might be a little extreme. You really want to avoid the situation I mention above where you end up only having $1 each to spend on the remainder of your position players. You still want some funds left to upbid some sleepers you really want. Most people aim for 75% cap on their starting roster. I go a bit higher, like 85%, but again, that's mostly due to how my league drafts. If I'm not willing to spend that much on my starters, I will miss out on good talent.
I agree with regards to not being as rigid with just about anything. Not spending a certain amount on one player across the board is stupid. $50 RB is probably a $30 WR. You should budget for positions. I'd say have multiple budgets, or at the very least use Excel in case you deviate from the plan. Say you lose out on some RB's and Brees falls to you at 70% of his value but you only projected $14 for QB. You'll have to lower your RB/WR budgets to make sure things go smoothly.

As for the studs strategy, again, any hard and fast rule won't work. You mention that your league is like that. That is fine if everyone (or near everyone) spends 85% of their budget on their starters but if you are the only one doing it, your bench will be terrible. And while 4-5 studs seems great in theory, you'll essentially have WW fodder on your bench. So if 1-2 of your studs fails, you are done. I think you want that happy medium where you get 2-3 studs, 2-3 guys in the 2nd tier and still have money to scoop up some upside guys in the $3-12 range. That does require a great deal of patience to resist scooping up Charles or Rice for $2-3 cheaper than what you have projected.

 

SWC

Bromigo
one other thing is do not get caught up in side shows like i know someone will probably say i need to pick quarter ponder with cheese because his name is christian and i am a luthern i mean hey do not get me wrong it is good to support your church but that goes first on sunday or maybe saturday night if you like to get it done early and football comes after wards so what i am saying is do not feel compelled to draft christian ponder for religous reasons that is just a pro tip from the old swcer take that to the bank brohans

 

butcher boy

Footballguy
As for the studs strategy, again, any hard and fast rule won't work. You mention that your league is like that. That is fine if everyone (or near everyone) spends 85% of their budget on their starters but if you are the only one doing it, your bench will be terrible. And while 4-5 studs seems great in theory, you'll essentially have WW fodder on your bench. So if 1-2 of your studs fails, you are done. I think you want that happy medium where you get 2-3 studs, 2-3 guys in the 2nd tier and still have money to scoop up some upside guys in the $3-12 range. That does require a great deal of patience to resist scooping up Charles or Rice for $2-3 cheaper than what you have projected.
Everyone in my league spends at least 85% on starters. Been that way for about 15 years. Maybe my league is unique but we spend the first couple of hours blowing our cap on studs and near-studs, then by the time the later round guys are up, everybody is too drunk to care much. I think last year someone drafted Kelly Holcomb. Despite this, it's a very competitive league and if you go into it without a plan to spend on some studs, you're going to get burned.

As I've said it all comes down to knowing your league.

 

Quibbler

Footballguy
I agree with regards to not being as rigid with just about anything. Not spending a certain amount on one player across the board is stupid. $50 RB is probably a $30 WR. You should budget for positions. I'd say have multiple budgets, or at the very least use Excel in case you deviate from the plan. Say you lose out on some RB's and Brees falls to you at 70% of his value but you only projected $14 for QB. You'll have to lower your RB/WR budgets to make sure things go smoothly.
I agree about having a budget and changing it on the fly as the auction goes on. But I don't think you need anything as complex as multiple budgets/spreadsheets.

I just use a piece of paper with my initial budget for each position, the actual amount I've spent, and a running tab of whether I'm under or over budget. If I overspend on one position, I make a note that I'm, say, +$15 at the top of the sheet, but I don't immediately readjust the budget for all the other positions. I might have a general idea of where I want to save money (say, $5 at RB and $10 at WR), but I find it's better to just remember that I'm over-budget and look for bargains everywhere, rather than try to decide right then where exactly I intend to save. I'm trying to be flexible in strategy, and I find being a little flexible in bookkeeping helps that.

One other thing I think is helpful is to break up your budget by starter/bench, as well as by position. For example, I might budget $100 for RB, then break that down into $85 for starters and $15 for bench guys. That way, if you get a good bargain on your starters you'll see it right away, and can use the savings to "overspend" on starters at a different position rather than on bench players.

 

butcher boy

Footballguy
Yeah that reminds me about another point. Auctions move FAST. While the overall draft will take longer than a snake, you don't get to relax right after your pick like you might do in a snake. You need to pay real attention to every nominated player, record their price and adjust your strategy a lot. Fumbling around with multiple spreadsheets is a bad idea if you're new to auctions. You can quickly get behind. I don't even recommend using the draft dominator.

 

ldizzle

Footballguy
one other thing is do not get caught up in side shows like i know someone will probably say i need to pick quarter ponder with cheese because his name is christian and i am a luthern i mean hey do not get me wrong it is good to support your church but that goes first on sunday or maybe saturday night if you like to get it done early and football comes after wards so what i am saying is do not feel compelled to draft christian ponder for religous reasons that is just a pro tip from the old swcer take that to the bank brohans
Lol what the hell? Do you guys bother mocking if its a live draft?

 

Jeremy

Footballguy
I'm hoping to get Graham and Gronk nominated early. If I don't get either of those guys I'll know I'm going to go really cheap at TE and spend money elsewhere.

As someone alluded to earlier, when I have a position filled like my QB1 or both starting RBs, I like to nominate other good players at that position as early as possible while people still have money.

 

Users who are viewing this thread

Top