Fantasy football auction draft tips

Best 2019 Fantasy Football Auction Draft Tips: Advice, strategy for finding values

Let’s just get this out of the way: If you have money left over after your 2019 fantasy football auction, you’re doing it wrong. Consider that tip No. 1. Aside from that, you can really make any draft strategy work: Stars-and-scrubs? Sure. Spread your budget around more evenly? That plays. Look for value at certain positions (read: ignore) while bulking up at others? Absolutely. But regardless of your strategy, this should be at the top of your auction cheat sheet in big, bold letters: Spend every dollar you have if you want to be a champ.

One of the reasons many prefer auctions to snake drafts is because everyone starts on the same playing field — same amount of bid money, same number of lineup spots. You’re not picking 10th with no shot at Saquon Barkley or DeAndre Hopkins, and you aren’t forced to 20 desirable players go off the board ahead your next pick. Everyone can get any player, and if you’re only spending $190 of your $200 budget, you’re at a massive disadvantage and the quality of your team is going to suffer.

Fantasy Football Auction Strategy

If you want to save money early while others are dropping stacks on Ezekiel Elliott or Davante Adams, then go ahead, take your time. Let other owners get into early bidding wars and drop 50 percent of their budgets on two players. That will put you in prime position for players in the next tier. Of course, this strategy only works if you take advantage and spend the money other owners don’t have on guys like Travis Kelce, Stefon Diggs, and Joe Mixon. How else can you compete? Are you (wrongly) saving your money for players in tiers four and five?

Don’t be a fantasy hipster who acts too cool to spend money on stars. You know the type. They think they’re smarter than other owners, so they save their money for “values” and “sleepers”. Yeah, go ahead and pass on Julio Jones so you can “stack” your team with N’Keal Harry and Christian Kirk. To me, that’s insane. Give me a proven, top-tier track record. I don’t know about you, but I’m more confident in Jones posting 1,000-plus yards with eight touchdowns than Harry or Kirk even seeing five targets a game, never mind scoring touchdowns.

This is all variation fo bankroll management. If you wait to spend money until the top-40 players are off the board, you a) won’t have any of the top-40 players (not a recommended strategy) and b) you’ll find yourself in a bidding war for mediocre talent with the other fantasy hipster in your league. You’ll wind up spending more for someone like Royce Freeman than I did for, say, Geronimo Allison. Even worse, you might spend $30 on a kicker because that’s your only open roster spot and you still have all those bucks.

You don’t get to carry over your extra money for your in-season FAAB budget, right? Isn’t it more worth it to spend the extra $25-$30 to get T.Y. Hilton and Michael Thomas instead of being forced to start Dante Pettis and Kenny Stills in Week 1?

Earlier this offseason, I did a pair of “experts” auctions and absolutely stunned to see multiple owners still holding stacks of money when the auction was finished. Even worse was seeing them paying $26 for Sterling Shepard and $22 for James Washington, as if that was going to make me forget how they wound up in that situation. I won’t name names, but one owner actually doled out $29 on New England’s D/ST because I was ridiculing him for leaving so much money on the table. And these are experts — the guys who give out fantasy tips! Is that really who you want advising you on how to auction?

Please know that I’m not advising you to make it rain in your draft room and blow 60 percent of your budget in the first 10 nominations. I mean, you can if that’s your thing — and I can’t judge because I’ve done that before — but the main point here is not to be a miser. The player pool dries up quicker than you expect, and especially in shallower leagues, being aggressive early usually pays off.

In the auctions I just completed (10-team, two-QB league with a $300 budget and a 12-team league with a $200 budget) I spent up on three or four elite players and still wound up with several solid mid-tier complements, as well as the customary $1 bargains. I have proven producers, solid role players, and some worthwhile breakout candidates. As you could probably guess by the main theme of this article, I spent every dollar in my budget and my teams look like front-runners — at much as any team can look like a front-runner in July, that is.

Don’t be a fantasy hipster. It’s possible to be smart and aggressive. Spend big early and find values late. Grow a pair and go for it!


Fantasy Football Auction Draft Tips

Auctions can be overwhelming and even a tad intimidating if you don’t have a strategy going in. As we said before, you can attack an auction in a variety ways — and there is no one, correct way — just don’t plan on winging it.

2. Have a budget — and stick to It

If it’s a $200 budget, I’ll likely allocate about $170 toward RBs and WRs. Obviously, kickers and D/ST each get a dollar, which leaves, say, $15-$18 for two QBs and maybe $10 for my TEs (assuming everyone knows I love Hunter Henry and they bid me up).

3. Tier your rankings and be realistic with your targets

It’s obvious that there’s a big difference between the No. 5 TE and the No. 18 TE, but what about No. 5 and No. 8? Maybe the No. 5 guy regularly gets more targets and yards, but the No. 8 guy gets more red-zone targets. Sometimes, the difference is negligible, which is why it’s good to tier them.

As for being realistic with your targets, make sure your player pool of acceptable guys contains more than just the options. You won’t win every bidding war. If you want a stud RB, then you’ll have to “settle” at another position. Tiers can help you figure out which players can work. Even if you’re employing a “stars-and-scrubs” strategy, you should be specific with your lower-tiered bargains. Swing for the fences.

4. Sometimes, you just have to let go

You want Saquon Barkley. Who doesn’t? He’s awesome. But if you’ve only budgeted $55 for him and another owner is bidding him up to $70, there’s only so much you can do. You can pay the extra bucks and completely blow up your budget, but that might hurt you more in the long run than seeing Barkley on another roster.

Most draft apps will show you how much money you have left and what your max bid can be. However, you can’t readily find how much you have left based on your budget and what you plan to spend for each position. Keep track. You should always have your updated budget in front of you.

6. Always pay attention

Put your damn phone away unless you’re using it to help with the auction. Text your girlfriend another time. There are few things worse than your auction going off track because some idiot isn’t paying attention.

7. Watch what you eat

No, seriously — pick your pre-game meal wisely. It’s bad when your auction gets interrupted because of someone on the phone; it’s worse when someone is constantly running to the bathroom.

8. Don’t be “that guy”

Bring your prep materials, be sober, and don’t screw around too much. Have fun, but don’t have too much fun.

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