Remember these 10 tips while doing a fantasy football auction draft:
1. Mock first
If you're relatively new to auction formats or it's your first time altogether, why not do a couple practice runs to get the hang of the draft flow? It'll also give you an idea of the general market prices of players and allow you a chance to devise certain strategies as you see fit. You wouldn't walk into a job interview unprepared, would you?
2. Set the market early
Prepare to spend on big names
Don't be afraid to nominate a player you really like early on. A lot of auction drafters prefer to save their money for the middle to late part of the draft. You may be able to score some pretty nice bargains on big-name dudes in the beginning for that reason. Reverse psychology is a powerful tool, even in fantasy football.
3. Know your limits for players
You should always target which players you like the most. So in an auction, know the limit you're willing to spend on those targets. But be careful, you don't want to pursue a specific player at any cost. Doing that can single-handedly ruin your draft and leave you sitting around drinking your beer of choice for an hour without being able to respectably bid.
4. Budget your money at each position
This is similar to what you might do in standard drafts when you determine the depth at each position beforehand. If you absolutely must have a top-three ranked running back such as Adrian Peterson, Jamaal Charles or Arian Foster, be prepared to spend $50-60 on one. You'll have to adjust at other positions as a result, but know this before instead of scrambling mid-draft.
5. Keep tabs on your competitors
This can be a tough task to tackle when you're planning your selections and strategies mid-draft, but it's extremely important if you want to stay ahead of the competition. Know which owner has burned through most of his cash and where your money count stands in relation to the rest of the league. This way, you can plan your late-round nominations around the budgets of other teams in order to come away with steals.
6. Don't get dragged into bidding wars
If you aren't prepared to or have no interest in buying a particular player, it's probably not wise to attempt to drive up his price in a bidding war with one or several other owners. Before you know it, the price for this player could be beyond what you were willing to pay in the first place and you'll be stuck with him.
7. Don't be too cheap
It's important not to spend feverishly on a few elite players and handicap the rest of your roster severely, but be aware that you shouldn't just sit back and wait until an amazing deal presents itself to buy. You'll need solid talent if you want to compete in your league, you just have to pick and choose your spots.
8. Assign money values to players
This will depend on your salary cap (usually $200 per team). As part of your pre-draft routine, assign money values to some, if not all, of the players. The roster requirements and salary cap of your league will dictate how certain positions are valued over others.
9. Spend all of your loot
There's nothing worse than ending an auction with leftover funds, especially when you barely missed out on a couple of your targets by a few bucks each time. Don't be afraid to go the extra dollar or two to nab your guy, if it makes sense within your budget, of course. It's fake money, folks, you might as well spend it all!
10. Don't panic
Auction drafts can be a little more intimidating than standard drafts, and it's very easy to let things spiral out of control if you're not careful. To avoid this, maintain confidence at all times, keep your poker face on and follow Steps 1-9 mentioned here and you'll be fine. Trust me, I stayed at a Holiday Inn last night…
About Keith Hernandez
Keith, an editor with KFFL, joined the team as a Hot off the Wire analyst in 2008 and has been playing fantasy sports since 2005. He is involved in MLB, NFL and NASCAR content. He graduated from the University of California-San Diego in 2005 with a B.A. in Communications and was a four-year starter as a member of the baseball program.
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