Rules for Auction Rookies

Posted: February 14, 2011 in Fantasy Baseball

There isn’t much content online about auction drafts. I think that’s mostly because its more challenging and therefore less popular. You can auto-draft (AKA skip the draft) and end up with a very good team. Going into an auction, the best laid plans win. While the auction never goes exactly as planned, the guy who does the best job at executing the plan will end up with the best team, at least out of the gate. There are many different strategies for auctions, and I cannot adequately explain them all, but here are a few simple rules to follow.

#1- “You never NEED a specific player”- Never go in thinking “I’ll do whatever it takes to get Player X”. That’s an excellent way to get ripped off. If I see a guy betting like crazy for someone, I’ll run the price up a few bucks on him. Thats less money he has to bid on the people I want.

#2- “Don’t nominate guys you want”- Nominate expensive players who you have no interest in. You want your targets to get nominated as late as possible. For example, if you have a 10-team league with a $260 budget each, that’s $2600 to be spent on the entire league. If you nominate Hanley Ramirez and he goes for $40, now there is $2560 to be spent. So the less money there is out there when your guys come up, the cheaper they will go.

#3- “Go in with a budget”- Don’t plan each roster spot, but I always go in knowing I’m going to spend (out of $260), X amount on pitching and Y amount on hitting. I usually break it down to infield/outfield and RP/SP. And always have a $5-10 +/-. What I mean is, if you have $40 set aside for RP, don’t pass up a bargain to stick religiously to that. Allow yourself to go a little over, and if you fill the position for cheaper, then keep that in mind that you can spend more on another spot.

#4- “Don’t get antsy”- You might not get anyone for an hour. If your targets aren’t being nominated, don’t worry about it. Just be patient. The worst thing you can do is buy a player you don’t want, just for the sake of having a player. On the other hand, notice when other owners haven’t got anyone in  a while and remind them. Chat box manipulation is fair game. Saying something like, “you don’t have a single player yet? Wow. That’d be scary.”

#5- “Have Targets”- In a league of 10 teams, with 20-man rosters, there are 200 players owned at a given time. The player pool is probably between 250-300 players who could be chosen. I rarely go into an auction with more than 150 names on my cheat sheet, and my auction leagues are 12 and 16 teams (with player pools of 40o to 500 players). Because at least half of the guys to consider, I know in advance I don’t want. Carl Crawford will be way too expensive, so he doesn’t even appear on my rankings. Don’t bother listing guys who you know you won’t get. Keep it simple.



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