Fantasy Football Auction vs. Draft
C. Auctions are more fun.
More than half an hour can go by between picks in a snake draft, making much of it a spectator sport. In an auction, you can bid on players you don't want just to drive the price up. Each time a player is placed on the auction block, the whole league can participate, making the process much more interactive. Not only will everyone's hearts beat a little faster every time "Going twice" is called out, but there are also more opportunities to turn on each other and talk trash about it.
D. Auctions are more strategic.
Part of what makes auctions so fun is how much strategy is involved. In a snake draft, the only strategy revolves around "what position should I take in X round," which is followed by the more exciting "everyone after me already has a QB/RB/WR, so I can wait until next round to get mine." The auction draft changes this mindless who's-next-on-my-cheat-sheet game into one with as much strategy as chess, poker, and Risk - all rolled into one. Can I drive the price up a bit more or am I going to get stuck buying a player I don't want? Should I save my salary cap space for the upcoming bargains or am I going to miss out on all the quality players? When will the bargains be? What kind of a team do I want to build? Should I overpay for the last franchise RB on the board? How do I convince people I want players I really don't? What other mind games can I play?
Regardless of all these reasons, the best way to convince first-timers is just to have them try it, so try it now against 11 computer players at FantasyAuctioneer.com. Or log into the site and join or create an auction of your own. Introduce auction-drafting to your league and they'll thank you on every draft day for the rest of your life!
III. Auction Strategy for Beginners
There are many more detailed auction strategy articles out there (click here to see FFToolbox.com's auction strategy section), but here I just want to give you the basics. Even if you're a first-timer going up against a number of auction veterans, follow these simple rules and you'll be guaranteed a solid fantasy team.
A. Two easy tips for casual fans.
There's a widely held misconception that auction-drafting is only for the crazy, 30-hours per week fantasy fan (you know who you are). There is, however, plenty of room for the casual fan in the auction-draft world. If you're the type who'll pick up a preseason magazine a few hours before the auction, you simply need to stick to the following two guidelines and you should be fine:
First, spend the following percentages of the salary cap on your starters: one QB - 10-15%, two RBs - 50-60%, three WRs - 25-35% (adjusting for your league's settings), and roughly the minimum at all the other positions and back-ups. This is an easy, sure-fire way to field a competitive squad.
Second, after each player is sold, simply write down how much he sold for next to his name on your cheat sheet. This will give you an idea of how your league perceives value, allowing you to bid accordingly. For example, if the 18th ranked WR on your cheat sheet sold for $14 and now the 12th ranked WR is going for only $10, you should bid $11 for him, knowing it would be a bargain. By simply keeping track of how much people are spending on whom, you will make sure not to overpay too much for anyone.
I know people who enter their auctions every year doing almost no research. By following the two simple strategies above (in addition to making sure they have a relatively trustworthy cheat sheet), they still consistently put together solid teams. (Also, FantasyAuctioneer's web-based auction-draft software displays our "Suggested Retail Price" or "SRP" for each player, which will help first-timers and casual fans know what to bid.) If you want a few more choice strategy tips, read on...
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