Auction Draft Strategies With My Recommendations For Success

Jeff SockContributor IIAugust 31, 2010

LONDON - OCTOBER 15:  Rugby World Cup Final tickets are displayed for sale on the Ebay auction website on October 15, 2007 in London, England. Cup Final fever is pushing up the price of tickets to more than ?2000 GBP a pair for the final match between South Africa and England in Paris on October 20, 2007.  (Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)
Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images

First I will start off with the two main draft strategies used.  I will talk about pros and cons of each.  Then I will give you my recommended strategy along with some draft nomination and bidding tips sure to help you in your auction draft.

Here are our other draft strategy and sleeper articles along with our rankings.

The first well known auction draft strategy is the studs and duds strategy.  In this strategy you spend the majority of your budget on three to four high quality players.  However, since those high quality players cost so much, you will end up with a lot of low dollar players to fill out  the remainder of your roster.

Pros of the studs and duds:  You get super quality players at a few positions.  If you are extremely adept at identifying those really hidden gem sleepers than you can fill out your lineup nicely. 

Cons of the studs and duds:  If one or two of your super quality players get injured or miss time, all you are left with are duds.

Basically the studs and duds is a boom or bust proposition.  If your studs stay healthy and you hit on a few of your sleepers, you will be raising that championship trophy high.  If you get some injuries and your sleepers sleep all season, then you will be fighting it out with the cellar dwellers.

The second well known auction draft strategy is the balanced approach.  In the balanced approach, rather than paying top dollar for players, you gather a team of a group of mid range value players.  Typically a team constructed this way has a lot of players purchased for around the same amount of dollars.  This works well when you can identify quality players to pick that would normally go in rounds three through six of a regular serpentine draft.  If you are good at identifying these type of players this is the strategy for you.

Pros of the balanced approach is that you have a decent amount of depth on your team and have better than average players at all positions on your roster.

Cons of the balanced approach is that you don't have any for sure star firepower players on your roster. 

Typically the balanced approach will get you a team that hovers around with a chance at the playoffs.  If you identify those auction value players each year well you can easily make playoffs and who knows what happens then.

Here are some nomination tips I recommend people follow. 

Identify one position where you want to draft one of two particular sleeper players on your team.  Always pick two just in case one of your sleepers gets bid up for some reason.  Then the first few rounds of nominating in the draft, nominate other players at that position you are shooting for that are valued around the same as your sleepers. 

Typically what will happen is that all the elite players at the position will get nominated by others early.  With you nominating the other lower picks around your two sleepers, you are thus lowering the amount of teams needing that particular position and lowering the amount of teams bidding on your particular sleepers.  This usually drives the value down on your sleeper that you want making him even more value. 

Then, once you nab your sleeper, start nominating kickers and defenses for $1.  Let everyone else overpay and outbid you for these if they want.  You shouldn't pay more than $1 for kicker and defense if you don't have to. 

Then typically after that you actually start nominating players that you might actually want to roster.  This throws everyone off because all during the draft you were nominating players you ultimately did not get on your team.

Here is my one bidding tip that will help you in your auction draft quest.  I give credit of this tip to Emil Kadlec at Football Diehards for showing this to me.  Before your draft come up with what's called a "bid to" auction value.  What this number should represent is the amount that you would be willing to pay for every player being auctioned that you feel would be a good value price for that player and you would roster the player for that price. 

You should bid on every player in the draft up to at least your "bid to" auction value.  This keeps all the other players in the room from really knowing what players you really are targeting since you bid on everyone.  Plus it keeps all the other values of the players that you did not ultimately get honest.  

Sometimes in doing the "bid to" approach you get "stuck" with a player you may not have wanted.  In the last two years I have tried this bid strategy though I only got "stuck" with one player that I didn't really want. He really didn't cost much against my budget anyway.  So with my two years experience using it,  I highly recommend the "bid to" approach to anyone.  Thank you Emil and the Diehard guys for that quality auction draft tidbit.

Overall I prefer the balanced approach strategy for auction drafting, as it fits my draft skill set well.  I am adept at making those quality mid round selections in a draft.  Bu,t if you are super at identifying those deep sleeper picks in the late rounds than the studs and duds is for you.

No matter what method you choose you can still achieve fantasy success and that ultimate league championship we all desire.

Hopefully I provided some good auction drafting tips for you that I have learned over that years that help you in your auction draft.

Happy auction drafting everyone.


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