Last night I had the experience of participating in my first ever auction draft. Now, I’ve been playing Fantasy Football for a long time (over 15 years), but for some reason I had never taken part in any leagues drafted via auction. I went in confident. I spend my money in real life wisely. I know Fantasy Football well. Sure, it would be more prudent for my first auction to be a 10 team league, but 12 should be fine. What could possibly go wrong?
It turns out alot can go wrong… and it spirals out of control very fast. Below are the Top 5 Lessons Learned from my first auction. Hopefully they can help you avoid the same mistakes I made.
1. Auction Value Rankings Are Crap: Just like in every draft, you pull out your rankings. Except for an auction league, your rankings also include values next to each player. These are intended to be a guideline for expected values. Well… they are not. If you are a frugal spender in general like me, you will be screwed following these. Don’t. Let the draft dictate values by position/rank and use those. DON’T BE CHEAP!
2. Stick to Your Draft Strategy: If you want to spend less on QB and TE than everyone else… well then be sure and do that. Just b/c Tom Brady or Gronkowski look like they are going to be bought for less than they should doesn’t mean you should price enforce b/c you will get stuck with them and your strategy will be all screwed up.
3. Value Buys Come Early: If you want a top RB, buy on early. If you want a top WR, buy one early. Don’t be afraid to spend early in the draft. That is where the value is… b/c everyone is setting the price on players. If you fail to do this, you will get stuck paying big bucks for the last top RB on the board (like me… for Trent freaking Richardson, who my hate on is well documented). Set price, don’t wait for it to be set.
4. Save Some Cash: So you are spending early, awesome. Well save some cash for later. There are some great buys towards the end of the draft, but you will need to be able to bid more than $1 on your players. I have Gronk… I lost Zach Sudfeld b/c my max bid was $1 at the time. I wanted Knowshon Moreno… I lost him b/c my max bid was $1 at the time. An extra few bucks at the end goes a long way… manage your cash accordingly.
5. Beware Price Enforcing: Its my first auction. I wasn’t ready to price enforce. Its a skill I don’t have yet. I think owner A really likes Hakeem Nicks. I price enforce b/c I know he has cash and will be a threat later for another player that I actually wanted. The result… Nicks is on my team for more money than Dwayne Bowe went for. This pissed me off greatly. Don’t bother price enforcing at all.
Honorable Mention: Your Kicker and DEF should cost $1 each. I didn’t fall into this trap, but watched others do so. Don’t pay more than $1 for a Kicker or a DEF.