Fantasy Football Auction Strategy
Relax and Go for Value/or Go For the Gusto
There are two schools of thought out there. One says take what the competition gives you and hopefully end up with a team full of undervalued players. Another, probably less-used strategy is to get at least three top tier studs and fill your other spots with scrubs. Most of us probably do something in between. In the value strategy, you don't get too emotional and you have to relax and wait for the other owners to provide you with bargains. You probably won't even take a player in the first 10 or more players auctioned because they are typically "overvalued." Your job is to obtain players for less than the values you formulated before the auction. If you stick to it, in the end your team will be "worth" or "valued" at about 20-30 percent more than the league salary cap. As other owners overspend, you'll grow certain of your ability to steal players later. Usually around the middle of the auction, the bargains start flowing.
The other strategy is based on the theory that you cannot dominate your league with a host of second tier (undervalued) players. You must have dominant players. To get them, you have to be prepared to spend some cash early and then wait around for a long time to complete your roster at the auction. In theory, if you start only 8 players a week, you need those 8 to be better than everyone else's starting 8 - forget about what is on your bench - at game time on Sunday, they are "dead to you." To make this strategy work, you have to start by getting at least three top-tier studs. For example - Culpepper, Holmes and T.O. To get these guys, you are likely going to spend 75-85% of your cash. Then, you will have to be patient and monitor competitive spending levels. Your goal now is to save money and ideally have the most cap room available as you get into the final one-third of the draft. Despite your possible early spending spree, this can be done. You are sure to get teased and dismissed as being a little "Ricky" (reference to dope-smoking free-spirit Ricky Williams), but it is realistic. When it's your turn to submit a player on the block for bidding, always select the best player available and watch the other owners spend, spend, spend.
At the point in the draft where bargains really start, this is your chance to snag a serviceable WR at probably one-half to one-third his value. Then, near the end of the draft go for some sleeper picks - the guys with high upside if certain things happen such as injury to other players starting ahead of them. You will also want to protect your very expensive investments by getting their backups for $1 at the end of the auction. Of course, this second strategy is high risk - high reward. One injury and your season may be over. However, with no significant injuries and if you can pick up even one surprise free agent, this strategy should get you into the playoffs nine out of ten times.
Whether you drink a lot or not at all at your auction, with smart preparation, not necessarily more preparation, you will feel like you are off to a solid start in your league. In the old days, it was often the owner who had the most information who would win. Today, the internet has evened the playing field. Teams that win today have the right combination of luck, team management, trading, free agent moves and auction preparedness. Hopefully, the strategies noted above can help you formulate a strategy that works for you. Cheers!
I'm B, and it (waiting for September 9) is killin' me...
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