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So at first I thought I wouldn’t have time to get to this but then said ‘ah heck, who needs to eat, sleep and go to work.  We’re talking fantasy football here!’ and decided to get not only an auction strategy up and running but also post my Auction Values for 2012 Fantasy Football up before it’s too late.  Alright maybe it already is too late but at least you can learn the inner workings of my brain if you are daring enough to dive in.  You’ll notice guys in the top 5 for me have a top dollar value of $48.  Let me do a quick explanation of that.  First off, this is based on a $200 cap with 12 teams that features 16 total players per team.  My strategy is simple: I am willing to spend 2% of the total salary of the league available on one given player.  This adjusts for inflationary measures so for example in a ten team league, I’d spend up to $40 on the top players but in a 14 team league, it slips up to $56.  Now realize my auction values are based on what I’m willing to spend, not what the value of the player is.  Snake drafts are better at telling you the value of a player with that regard.  Auction drafts are all about how much you’re willing to spend and let me just tell you, I’m about as frugal as they come.  Aaron Rodgers is the haute couture of my quarterback rankings, ergo he is worth spending $48 in a 12 team league to me though as we know from previous posts, I won’t be.  Now I realize my strategy prices me out of some of the top ringers but it also saves me from getting into a bidding war where Arian Foster goes for $70.  You have to really think about the value of that last pick.  Will Arian support 35% of your team’s scoring for the year?  You are putting a lot of your eggs into one basket and if he’s hurt, those are now goose eggs.  So now that we’ve covered my spending habits, let’s attack some approaches to how I view an Auction Draft for 2012 Fantasy Football.

Overall, I will be spending the early rounds putting players out that I won’t be drafting unless they fall to me by price.  That means I will be putting the top five quarterbacks on the chopping block so that someone else overspends for their services.  If the top five QBs are gone for this purpose, I will move on to players I feel I still have no chance in getting such as the top three running backs, wide receivers, and the top two tight ends.  I want people to spend their money early and often so that I can start getting value from my picks.  Once these players are gone, I will begin to throw out players that others believe in way more than I do, such as a Michael Turner or a Demaryius Thomas.  It’s best to get those guys you’re pretty ‘meh’ on out there while someone still has big bucks to dive in on them with.  I do not stop this strategy until we get to the $10 and under portion of the draft I start putting guys I like out.  By then, if your plan went smoothly, the bidding wars will be minimal and you, much like Charlie Sheen, will be WINNING them.  One thing to avoid in the draft early on is to nominate a player you’re actually high on.  There’s too much money on the table and people still feel too rich not to dive in and drive the price up on them.  You’ll find yourself overbidding just to get the players you want.  That, my friends, is no bueno.

Now for how I would actually break down where I spend my money.  This is a practice not enough managers put into play.  It’s like walking into a video game store with a credit card with no budget in place.  You know how well that would go.  I really only want to spend 10% on a quarterback, so roughly $20 bucks.  That puts me in the Matt Ryan chase, so I’m happy with that.  For my first running back, I’m willing to go up to 24% – or $48 – of my cap on a running back but most likely given the price wars that will happen, I will be in at $35, or 17.5%.  I would willingly go up to that price again for my RB2 so long as the value is there.  This leaves me with my WR1 going for 15% ($30), WR2 for 10% ($20), which leaves both my WR3 and my TE going for 5% ($10).  With DEF and K, that leaves me $38 for my bench on a standard 16 player roster.  For me, I’m spending it all on hookers and blow high end RBs and WRs.  I’m willing to spend up to 10% of my cap on an RB3 if the value is there as I’ll need a good and reliable one.

A good final part of strategy is to give yourself a $5 buffer for those players you’re high on.  Don’t draw a line in the sand and say you won’t cross it.  If Julio Jones is your boy this year and he goes for $35 rather than $30, you’re going to feel a lot worse after the draft if you didn’t get him than if you overspent by a few bucks.  Like any other draft, feeling comfortable with the guys you’re drafting is just as important as the price you’re spending.  Your team should feel like that lazy boy you watch the games on Sunday in.  It may be ugly to others, but you know how it works and you’re comfortable in it.  You leave the draft with a bitter beer face, it won’t matter if it’s a good team or not; you’ll be that guy sending out massive trades before the season has even started.

One important note to note is that some of you who have been keeping up with us here at Razzball will notice some of the rankings moved around since last week.  Well, that’s because they were updated and you can see that in my Overall Rankings for 2012 Football post now as well.

 

 

From Around The Web

  1. James Redacted

    James Redacted says:
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    Sky – I’m not saying your strategy isn’t viable (double negative!), but as your sitting there letting players get taken above market price the dilution in the talent pool really sneaks up on you. At that point it’s really easy to start overpaying for above average players. What I like to do is spend some big bucks on the top RB’s (one of Rice/McCoy/Foster and one of the back end of round 1/early round 2 RB’s like Forte, Murray, or whichever you like) as long as it doesn’t get too ridiculous. I’d happily spend $60 on Rice/McCoy/Foster + $30-40 on Forte (prob get him cheaper). After that, you do the hardest thing in the world to do – sit and wait. Wait for a deal on a QB you like (As you pointed out – Matt Ryan for like $15). Since WR is ridiculously deep, try and snag some value WR’s when everybody is realizing they’re spending too much ($20 range). Add all this up to a total of $155 and you have $45 to get that flex/WR3 (value $10-15), TE ($5 max for me), K ($1), DEF ($1-2) and some value bench players (RB/WR as you suggested). By the time the late phase of the draft rolls around, I make sure I’m top 3 in money left to outbid everybody on their sleepers. Seriously though (stealing from Tom Petty), the waiting is the hardest part. Cheers.

    • James Redacted

      James Redacted says:
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      Sidenote – If you point out that you’ve used a double negative, that totally makes it OK, right? Just like Ricky Bobby and his “With all due respect” right before you rip the person.

      • Sky

        Sky says:
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        Ha, totally! I can definitely see the worth of your strategy and trust me, with both the waiting really is the hardest part. I don’t enjoy watching the price of any of those three backs sky rocket away from where I could get them, but also realize that both strategies have their risks. For me, I’d rather split the difference and simply get two quality backs than put all my hopes and dreams into one truly great player. It’s all about where you’re willing to take the risk. Overall, both could work. In fact, we just might make a great draft team. Shake and bake!

  2. Rags says:
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    Thoughts from everyone/anyone are welcome!

    In the second year of a keeper league, I traded my fifth round pick (for Adrian Peterson the week he broke his leg– grrr) to go for it last year. Didn’t win and now I’m not sure how to approach this season.

    What would be your strategy, go super-safe and just consider my fifth-round pick a bust? Or go a little more risky and hope to make up for it? I’m picking in the five spot. Rodgers will likely be available, but so will a number of riskier high-upside RBs (Run DMC, MJD).

    Also, thoughts on my keepers?

    I can keep four of:

    Eli Manning in the 7th round
    or
    Kenny Britt, Donald Brown, Denarius Moore, DHB, Toby Gerhart, and Leonard Hankerson. The first of these guys would be a 10th rounder, the next a 9th, and so on. So the more I keep, the less good the deal is on each.

    If I keep Eli, that makes Rodgers a less viable 1.5 pick. Though there’s always Megatron I guess. My roster could be something like Eli, Megatron, DHB, Britt with a second and third round RB?

    Anyway, lots of options I guess. Any thoughts would be appreciated.

    Thanks.

    • Sky

      Sky says:
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      No option to keep AP? ‘What would be your strategy, go super-safe and just consider my fifth-round pick a bust?’ confusing statement. You don’t have a fifth round pick, correct? Eli, Brown, DHB, Britt (risky keep). Then target Megatron.

      • Rags says:
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        @Sky, No AP. Can’t keep anyone from the first two rounds. Also got Austin in that trade, who sucked for the end of the season and can’t be kept.

        As for the fifth rounder, it’s gone. I just meant more do I go riskier throughout the draft to make up for it. I have a total man-crush on DMC, and if he stays healthy, he’s totally worth a high pick. But he’s an injury risk and his handcuff isn’t nearly as good as last year.

        I also might be able to trade for Helu, who’d be lumped in with those other 10th-9th-8th rounders. I hate Redskins RBs, but he’s worth an 8th, right? Keep him over Brown, DHB, or Bitt?

        Thanks for the input!

        • Sky

          Sky says:
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          Gotcha about the keepers. Story of DMC’s fantasy football life. RB has very few safe places to go this year. If you’re gonna go big, might as well go DMC.

          Helu’s only problem is he’s not a good pass blocker and Hightower is, all of which to say Shanahan is evil. That said, I wouldn’t mind him over DHB or Britt (probably DHB and aim for him in the draft). I’m not super high on Donald but as of right now, he’s the starter so there’s value in him.

  3. The Talented Mr. Dope Man says:
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    hey sky,

    here’s the dynasty league trade question again…

    I give:
    Donald Brown, Titus Young and Vernon Davis (plus picks for next years draft)

    I get:
    Matt Forte, Randy Moss and Brent Celek (Celek would be my backup TE).

    my other RB’s are DMC, Beanie, Starks, Scott, Turbin, Rainey, Ringer

    my other WR’s are Fitz, Steve Smith, Crabtree, Reuben Randle

    i know i need another RB, but i think that is just a little much to give up.

    • Sky

      Sky says:
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      Not a good trade for you.

      • The Talented Mr. Dope Man says:
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        @Sky, yeah thats what i thought too. I countered with D Brown, Davis and a 1st round 2013 for Forte and Martellus Bennet.. That way i keep Titus.

        only really giving up DBrown and Davis. I’ll worry about next years picks next year.

        • Sky

          Sky says:
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          I’d take that trade if I’m in need of an RB but I have no love for Bennett this year, FYI.

  4. The Benny says:
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    I think the value in waiting on your guys has been negated because everybody in auctions is doing it these days. I find that the best deals are usually found in the first round or two of bidding, as everyone is very stingy with their cash. This year, I’m nominating my go to value rbs (the guys for whom I have the biggest difference between my value and the price suggested by the given league host — ESPN or Yahoo) in the first 2 rounds before I switch to the overpriced guys for rounds 3-6.

    • Sky

      Sky says:
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      Perhaps, though I’m hardpressed to believe nominating value plays when everyone has $200 to spend would lead to people being stingy with their cash.

    • Rags says:
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      @The Benny, Yeah, the problem with this is it only take one or two guys to not be stingy, even if the other nine or ten are.

      • The Benny says:
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        @Rags,
        I wouldn’t recommend this if you were in a public league playing with strangers… but when you know the players and know they’re pretty good, this makes sense. I keep spreadsheets on all my auctions, and in each of my last five auctions over 3 years, the first 10-15 picks are the best spots for value vs suggested price. The worst values are in rounds 4-6 because everyone has underspent in the first 2 rounds.

  5. Prezii says:
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    Real Classy League fillin up nicely! 8 teams as of now..

    • Sky

      Sky says:
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      Sweet!

  6. Phorts says:
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    Good article to get the gears moving. I got a 14 team auction coming up this Sunday. What’s your formula for adjusting the 12 team values to 14? Thanks!

    • Sky

      Sky says:
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      Good to hear! I’d keep my percentages the same but for the obvious inflation for my top guys. Like I mentioned in the article, I’d go up to $56 for a top player in a 14 team league but overall, my percentages would stay proportionate. If you spend $56 on someone, you’re spending 28% of your cap on one guy so you’d have to adjust accordingly down the road at another position if you landed them or be really frugal with your bench (only spend 16%).

  7. Public Enemy #1 says:
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    Well, first draft in the books and wanted to get your expert opinion. It’s a league where on top of typical scoring, we get 1/2 point per rush attempt, 1/2 point per completion and ppr. 10 team league, no flex (Foster was my keeper).

    Cam Newton
    Arian Foster
    MJD
    Nicks
    Harvin
    Pettigrew
    Houston D
    JHanson

    RBush
    Dez Bryant
    RJennings
    BTate
    Fitpatrick

    Thoughts?

    • Sky

      Sky says:
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      I have a league like that, though we reduced the pp rushing attempt to .15 and the completion to .1. Almost like a bonus in that case. Well anyway, that’s not what you came for.

      Though I’m not a Dez fan, I really like your team. You got your handcuffs (not always easy to do) and Reggie Bush has an excellent chance to be an RB2 this year, IMHO. You should have a strong season, barring injury.

  8. microwave donut says:
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    I think in an auction it’s important to be mindful of tiers.

    Say for instance this season there is the big 3 at RB, all pretty much equally valued. Which player will cost the most in the auction? Most likely it’s whichever one is last to be nominated. Bidders will see it as their last chance to get that level of quality and will pay accordingly.

    Use this to your advantage. If you know you want a guy from a certain tier, nominate or bid on him before the rest of that group has been depleted.

    • Sky

      Sky says:
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      I could see that though that would again depend when they’re nominated. If they’re nominated within the first five to ten picks (which would be extremely likely given your scenario), everyone can still overbid. That said, further down the pile, I can see that strategy working out.

  9. Charles says:
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    Thanks so much for the auction post! I asked about this in the forum a while back, and I’m still running through some numbers, but my question is whether I should keep Rice for $63. I’m already keeping McCoy, Graham, Green, and Brown for $73 total. Lots of top players will be kept so I’m concerned I wouldn’t be able to get better value out of that $63 for Rice. And a Rice/McCoy backfield is a pretty good starting point.

    • The Benny says:
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      @Charles,
      With all of those players already out of the drafting pool for below market value, the price on remaining players will be severely inflated. It all depends on just how many of the top players are kept and how much they are discounted. One way to do the math is to find the average auction price on all the players you think will be kept, and total that up, then total up the total keeper price for all the players you think will be kept. Your inflation rate for a 12 team league that starts with a $200 budget (before keepers) is:
      (2400 – total keeper price)/(2400 – total auction value on keepers).

      Take the value you would assign Rice in a normal auction and multiply by the inflation rate. If that’s over $63, then keep him. It’s not really as uniform as that, since you aren’t really going to inflate the prices on kickers, but it’s a good starting point.

      I would definitely keep him in a 12 team league, and probably in a 10 team league as well.

    • Sky

      Sky says:
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      Not a problem! Had a pre-planned vacation, was glad I could squeeze it in.

      In a keeper, you’ve already sort of ‘spent the money’ and can plan around it easier in the draft because of it. I have no problem keeping him. McCoy/Rice backfield is something I’d envy this year.

  10. Andrew says:
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    Thanks for getting this in there, draft is Friday and this post is a big help.

    • Sky

      Sky says:
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      Not a problem, glad we could help!

  11. Dylan says:
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    So going after 2 or 3 guys top names, Foster, McCoy, Rice, Mega,Brady, Rodgers and then using the rest on value isn’t a good idea?

    • Sky

      Sky says:
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      Loaded question. It would be nice to have 2 or 3 of those guys but when you say value, it really depends on what value you get. Considering I’ve seen the guys you’re mentioning going for anywhere from $55 to $70, your value plays really have to pan out to field an overall good team.

  12. Dylan says:
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    Like did a mock the other day and this was my team. PPR BTW
    QB Brady
    RB Rice
    RB Sproles
    WR Megatron
    WR Maclin
    TE Pettigrew
    Flex A Bradshaw
    K Gotskowski
    D/ST Texans
    Bench: Torrey Smith, Heyward Bey, Garcon, Donald Brown, Michael Bush and Anquan Bouldin.

    • Sky

      Sky says:
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      Is this an example of what you mentioned earlier? Can’t tell if this is without prices.

      Like Pettigrew in a PPR this year. That would be a really strong team.

  13. Dylan says:
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    Yea, I don’t remember exact prices, but that’s the idea, my idea is to get one of Brady, Rodgers, Brees, Stafford and one of Ray Rice, McCoy, and Foster then maybe Megatron, then try to grab good value guys like sproles for 16, and some underrated ppr players like pettigrew, Antonio brown, people like that, my is Saturday and I’m on the fence on whether to do this or not.

    • Sky

      Sky says:
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      It’s all dependent on who is in your league. If I could take your strategy and land a team like that, I’d do it gladly. It really depends on how smart your surrounding people are and how they approach the draft.

      • Dylan says:
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        @Sky, haha yea they are pretty smart, good point.

  14. Steve says:
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    I’m kind of curious on how you view my team. I took your strategy on grabbin mid-tiered guys, and I could actually grab whoever I wanted at the end, because of all the money I still had.

    QB: Vick
    RB: S Jackson, Green-Ellis, McGahee, Helu, D Thomas, DeAngelo Williams
    WR: Bowe, AJ Green, Nicks, Deymarius Thomas, Torrey Smith, DeSean Jackson
    TE: Pettigrew

    • Sky

      Sky says:
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      PPR? How many teams?

      I’m a bit surprised you couldn’t nab a higher end RB with the strategy I was suggesting unless all of your leaguemates were overspending on the top 10 RBs. All and all, you have a lot of good WR plays but RB might be a problem this year. I would probably see if I could move one + an RB for an RB upgrade. Personally, would see who out there is buying Demaryius Thomas. not huge on him this year.

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