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So you’re gonna notice something if you’re a previous reader.  Though I don’t like repeating myself, I’m going to repeat myself.  There’s only so much new you can bring to a personal strategy each year.  Most of what’s ‘new’ here is going to be the intro post.  I like to make cultural references of the time so that I can look back in a year and say ‘what the heck was THAT all about?’ to myself.  For that reason, I’m just going to say ‘Sharknado’ and move on with the knowledge I’ve completely mindf’ed my future self.  But of course, you didn’t come here for my love of messing with future versions of me, you’re here to discuss auction draft strategy for 2013 fantasy football…pysche!  You just got played, son!  I’m gonna direct you back to our Razzball Commenter Leagues Sign-Up Page.  It’s free to play and it’s a fun way to interact with all these hooligans you see commenting on the site all the time.  You know, if you’re into interacting with said hooligans.  So go check it out after you’re done reading up here or do it now.  I won’t hate you.  But for those who want to read on, this is what they call ‘the end of the first paragraph’.  You can let your eyes meander to the next one to carry on.

My auction strategy is simple enough to follow and it’s a game of percentages.  The first percentage I will show you is 2%.  No, I’m not talking about the type of milk I buy.  This 2% represents the total I’m willing to spend on a player based on the entirety of the league’s salary.  So for example, in a 12 team, $200 auction draft, that means I’m willing to spend up to $48 on any particular player.  For the layman, 48/2400 = 2%.  If it moves up to 14 team, that number goes to $56.  Like twitter, I’m gonna ask if you ‘follow’?  You do?  Good, let’s progress onward! I most likely won’t spend $48 on a player in that situation but like I said, I’m willing to depending on if there’s value involved.  So if Doug Martin somehow goes for close to that price, I could find myself diving in but if my wallet full of coupons says anything about it I probably won’t.  I’m cheap, y’all!

New paragraph, new information, still with percentages intact.  This time we’ll break it down to position specific pricing.  For QBs, I’m very stingy.  The max I wanna spend on a QB in a one QB, 12 team draft would be $20 which would put them at roughly 10% of my auction money for a draft.  Considering there are plenty of worthwhile QBs going in and around that pricetag and lower, QB should not be an issue for you in a 10 or 12 teamer.  With wide receiver, I do the sliding scale: WR1 for 15% ($30), WR2 at 10% ($20), WR3 at 5% ($10) which coincides with my max pricing on TE as well.  Clearly, you can view your WR1 thru WR3 as a pocket of money.  Spend $35 on Demaryius Thomas then back it up with $15 on your WR2.  It’s doable and you can end up with a reasonable set up for your money.  My TE stance leaves me without Gronk or Graham, clearly, but I’m probably not getting them in standard snake drafts so this is nothing new to me.  Love them but they’re still TEs.  I won’t be crying into my Coco Puffs cereal bowl if that nets me Kyle Rudolph.  For RB, I’ll spend 30% ($60) total on RB1/RB2 which puts me at the ability to go 40/20 or 30/30 depending on who falls to me.  As per my original stance, it’s unlikely that puts me at 50/10 but it could happen.  All this leaves me with plenty to spend on high upside WRs and flex-type RBs the rest of the way.  If the opportunity presents itself, I’m also willing to go another 10% ($20) on an RB3 but it’s gotta be the right guy.

And now for the general strategy.  First off, keep your funds steady.  You’re gonna feel the need to blow your wad – ew! – early on with all the great names flying by.  Trust me, you’re not going to field a terrible team letting all those big names go by.  Eventually, the money starts running out for other teams and that’s where the bargains begin.  Be patient and take advantage.  Secondly, throw out guys you don’t like that others do to start off with.  This gives you a chance to drain a little money off your draft opponents so that when your guys pop up, you’ll have a chance at less competition for them.  Finally, no matter what auction values you use, realize your valuation is the most important.  You like Lamar Miller more then most sites do with their values?  Be willing to spend that little extra if someone thinks the same way and it becomes a bidding war.  Auction above all things gives you the opportunity to show who you value more then others way more than a typical snake draft provides.  Don’t chicken out because you’re worried about looking silly.  You’ll feel even sillier getting stuck with guys you didn’t want because they were cheap.

So therein lies all the tips I can bestow upon you for a successful Auction Draft.  If you’re wondering if I put my money where my mouth is, here’s a look at a 14 Team PPR Auction I did in early July.  Take this advice to heart and to your draft tables and win your leagues, brosephs.

  1. Jack Full of Hate says:
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    the hooligans? we might have some ruffians or scalliwags from time to time. Ok future sky, does any one know why they made Sharknado yet? I’m pretty sure feeding some starving children is better for the world than having to sit through Sharknado…..if you get on a roll you should use Skynado to describe the destruction you have put on your league

    • Sky

      Sky says:
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      Future Sky’s answer is cloudy…ask again later…

      I’m totally going with Skynado now in some of my other leagues…that’s awesome!

      • Jack Full of Hate says:
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        @Sky: I’m glad I can impact someone’s life every day I wake.

        I hate trade dealine day….and love it. i don’t even want to go to the restroom because I might miss something and lose out on a new closer when someone gets moved we never saw coming

        • Sky

          Sky says:
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          That’s what smartphones are for! Nothing like crapping while picking up the Astros crappy new closer.

          • Jack Full of Hate says:
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            @Sky: Pooping and picking up poop….thats gross

            I get bad service in the bathroom, takes forever to re-load a page. Actually the tablet goes in with me. I’m waiting for the trade no one saw coming like the Dodgers and Sox last year. I think the August waiver trades will be more impactful than today’s

            • Sky

              Sky says:
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              Agree about August waiver stuff…I really think the MLB is confusing as all get out with that mess, though. Just push the deadline back. It’s really not different enough that we can’t just say trades are still open for another month.

              • Jack Full of Hate says:
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                @Sky: they make a big deal about it, but it just makes teams play more games with each other to get guys, and these deadlines worked when you had two division winners and thats it, now it’s like the NBA where lots of bad teams get to “have” a chance

                • Sky

                  Sky says:
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                  Very true. Mariners even think they’re still in it this year which makes me both angry and sad. Move good parts for good prospects. We’re still 2 years away if we’re close at all.

                  • Jack Full of Hate says:
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                    @Sky: next year would be a good time to strike, the A’s are so streaky they could have 20+ wins this year that are losses next year, the Angels have a crap GM and Texas is going back to being the Rangers we knew before they got good a few years back

                    • Sky

                      Sky says:
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                      I think the A’s are too well coached to fall off the map like that. Pitchings great, offense is solid; considering how many guys aren’t hitting normal for that team this year, you hats off to them. Mariners aren’t going to win anything starting Saunders and Harang every 4th and 5th day. Those young arms need to come up and develop. That’s why I say 2 years. Plus this years offense is a bit of a pipedream. Ibanez with 20+ HRs at the break not exactly something to build around for next year. Need another big bat to compliment Kendrys who’s a decent 3 hitter stuck as the 4 because of the surroundings.

                  • Jack Full of Hate says:
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                    @Sky: I hear you on that, develop the arms and pay some free agents would be nice, I think playing and living up there would be awesome. The A’s are well coached, but they play the splits game, and at some point they are going to get burned. They run so much on their streaks that long term I don’t buy the club. When they eventually move that might change, but I ain’t buying it long term.

                    Seattle needs to get that crazy Seahawks fervor for the Mariners

                    • Sky

                      Sky says:
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                      We get that when we have a well run team. Last time we had respectable management was way back in the early 2000′s. Bavasi f’ed us but good. Adam Jones should be in CF for us right now. The Morales/Morse moves are a sign of good faith in my book that we are moving in the right direction even if they haven’t been the 30 HR mashers everyone wanted. We need to roam for cheap power types. We’re not going to get flagship bats like Fielder or even J-Ham until we prove we’re a contending club. Until then, it’s the Morse’s of the world. On the plus side, it’s been nice to see the young guys like Franklin and Miller come in and hold their own.

                  • Jack Full of Hate says:
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                    @Sky: Bevasi was an idiot, who knows if Jones would of developed into the player he is with the Orioles and if they would have been as patient. I really like the Kendry’s move, I think he will be better next year…sleeper post* Franklin and Miller could be your Trammel/Whitaker…..lets see Walker and Hultzen this year…..damn, I’m starting to crush on the M’s

                    • xtremehulk says:
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                      @Jack Full of Hate:
                      Seager could have rounded out our young talent in the infield, if only Smoak had been talented.

                    • Sky

                      Sky says:
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                      Seager has been a nice surprise no doubt. I think Smoak/Montero/Ackley were a bit crushed last year. Stopped playing their game and tried to play the lineup spot they were thrust into. A bit unfair but it’s clear those guys are a little broken now. Smoaks swing was always a bit loopy. Has time to figure it out, but I have very strong doubts he does.

                    • Sky

                      Sky says:
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                      True about Jones but the reality is he’s an All-Star and Bedard is slumping around as the SP3 or 4 for the Astros now. Tough to swallow there.

                      I ally liked the Kendrys move, too. Plus we did get an older cheaper version of Vargas in Saunders so there’ve been some smart moves this off-season. I just hope were not buyers and start selling major pieces to make an unrealistic playoff push.

  2. T says:
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    How do your values change for a 2 QB league?

    • Sky

      Sky says:
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      Difficult, I’m pretty stingy. Auction more then anything is a personal approach. I’d assume QBs will double sometimes triple in price but that just means I’d rather spend $40 total on Rivers/Cutler/Tannehill then that much or more on Tony Romo.

  3. MattW says:
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    Sky,

    In a 12team 2QB keeper, where we can keep two at 2 rounds above where they were drafted the prior year. Pick 2 of the 3 you’d keep:

    AP in the 2nd round (i.e., I got him in the fourth last year)

    CJ Spiller in the 6th round

    Danny Amendola in the 12th round

    I’m going to try and trade the 3rd for draft picks, but we’ll see if that works out. Might just have to release them.

    Thanks!

    • Sky

      Sky says:
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      Love the value on Amendola but I’ll take two guys going in the first round this year in the 2nd and 6th. AP/CJ for me.

  4. FrankGrimes says:
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    Auctions are all about timing. If you throw all the “hot” names out first like SJax and Charles let someone else over pay for them. For the price you will prob have to pay I think SJax is more valuable for the real team than fantasy. With Andy Reid at the helm in KC anyone that has every owned a Philly RB knows how frustrating it is when he always throwing the ball in running situations. Have your targets but let someone else call their names and be the last one with money left.

    • Sky

      Sky says:
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      Definitely all about timing but also about patience and discipline. Don’t follow the herd.

      Not sure where you’re coming from for SJax or Charles, though. Turner had 10 TDs last year and was terrible. S-Jax a significant upgrade, think he’s in for a monster year. You do know LeSean McCoy scored 17 on the ground under Reid in 2011, right?

  5. FrankGrimes says:
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    I’m saying If you pay top price at auction for either you will be disappointed. I’d rather use my money elsewhere. I had McCoy that year haha but in 2010 he had 7 TDs and last year only 2(jamaal had 5). Only once did Westbrook top 7 TDs under Reid. Aren’t TDs kinda like the win stat for pitchers in fantasy? I think SJax platoons with Quizz so maybe gets 1000/10 IF he stays healthy all year. And Charles’ carries will drop from last year in Reid’s pass happy world. Wouldnt Grey dig Andy’s stache tho if he knew who he was.

    • Sky

      Sky says:
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      I getcha on the auction part, just think you’re analyzing these players a little oddly given they’re not going to be top of the foodchain priced. I say you get disappointed when you pay $60 for AP; SJax maybe pushes $35, Jamaal’s gonna go for around $45′ish unless someone’s really high on him. Considering both guys should finish as top 10 backs, I’d say they’re reasonable and not overpriced. Charles’ carries drop but his receptions go up in an Andy Reid offense…I think that’s a moot point, touches are touches. Fair enough re: history with Andy Reid but if you’re telling me Charles isn’t in for a big year then telling me TDs are like wins, aren’t ya hedging a bit? TDs can definitely be fluky like wins but they’re also a representation of roles in the offense usually, especially when it comes to a lead back. SJax is not going to be in any timeshare with Quizz. If Turner hadn’t run the ball so poorly last year, we’d be talking about how bad QUizz looked. He’s not even split worthy. He’ll get touches but nowhere near enough to affect SJax’s role. I guess unless you don’t plan on spending more then $20~$25 on any given back, I’m having a hard time seeing where you say these guys are overpriced is all. Sounds more like you’re down on them then it being a pricing valuation.

      Poor Grey…he has no idea how much fun he could have watching football during the winter time.

      • FrankGrimes says:
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        @Sky: Guess we will see how it all plays out. I’m stashing Quizz where I can this year. He had 50+ catches last year and will get around 30% of the rushes this year. SJax could shine but he is new to this offense and never been a beast at the goal line either.

        • Sky

          Sky says:
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          Turner has never been a receiving back, I’d say that’s filling a needed role, about Quizz. If Atlanta wanted him that involved with the offense, they’d have zero reason to bring in Sjax. The goal line stat is where I think statistics only say so much. I think Turner has a similar ‘bad goal line numbers’ if he was stuck on that STL team for that many years. He had 13 TDs when Torry Holt and Bulger were still producing. It sounds like he’s moved to Atlanta and you’re still treating him like he’s on a bad STL offense. But like you said, we will see.

          • FrankGrimes says:
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            @Sky: still they didn’t bring in SJax to be every down back Quizz will have just as many touches as he did last year. For fun I just read this and it made me laugh not saying it proves anything cust :
            Under new coach Andy Reid, the Chiefs continue to almost exclusively practice passing plays. Charles has been catching screens, check-downs and even lining up as a wide receiver at times. “He’s capable of doing the same things (Brian) Westbrook did (and) (LeSean) McCoy did, as far as the passing game,” Reid said.

            • Sky

              Sky says:
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              But wouldn’t that bode well for Charles? Like I said, touches are touches. I guess what I’m trying to say is, why would you be down on him for that reason if your concern is he’s a HR or nothing kinda guy. Should be something you’d want: more touches/opportunities for your back. In either case, Alex Smith isn’t going to be throwing 50 yard bombs. Seeing Jamaal involved in a dink/dunk passing game makes me very interested.

              I’m honestly saying I don’t think you see as much Quizz this year. SJax may not have a career high in receptions but he’s a much more capable receiving back then Turner was. I don’t disagree that he’s not the every down back but he’s also not going to be out every 3rd down like Turner was. At worst, he’s giving you a Frank Gore type season 2011 to 2012; I’d call that his floor which makes him a reasonable get in my book.

              Anyways, like you said, the season will dictate it but I will say you and I are on extreme opposite spectrums with these two.

  6. RambleOn says:
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    You don’t mention RB’s so if you are up to 45% then I assume you mean 20% on RB #1, 10% on RB #2, 10-20% on K , and what’s left on DEF and bench. Is that about right?

    • Sky

      Sky says:
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      Copy and paste was not kind to me, apparently. Don’t know how that didn’t get in there but it’s 30% total on my RB1/RB2 so you’re right in that respect or $60 bucks in the scenario I’m discussing. Could go 40/20 or 30/30 depending on who falls to me. In total, I’ll have spent up to $150 on my starting lineup sans DEF/K. I would not spend 10~20% of my budget on K, I think that might be a typo on your part. K and Def are a buck apiece or I’m not buyin them, so 1% total on them. That leaves me with $48 dollars (24%) to cover my bench/upside plays

  7. !! says:
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    Strategies for 2QB auction? How does this change your QB values?

    • Sky

      Sky says:
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      I’m pretty stubborn. You should look at my 14 team draft that had a QB flex. Romo went for over $30 and I wasn’t having any of that. I’d obviously play it how the league plays it but I’d be more inclined to throw the big names out (Brees/Cam/Rodgers) and hope some people lose their wallet on them. There are too many guys who are reasonable talents that you can spend your money on that won’t kill you (Rivers/Schaub/Palmer). I really go for bottom of the barrel QBs in those set ups and really bulk up in RB. Have Gio/Trent/Ivory/Rashard/Andre Brown/Daryl Richardson in that 14 teamer I mentioned.

  8. JoeMorgan'sMustache says:
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    Sky, good write up man…I enjoy how you dropped your strategy on us. I like seeing how guys work the auctions. In fact that is my favorite part of it…the different strategies and all the mind games. That, and of course not being stuck in some draft position where its only reasonable to pick from a handful of players.

    So, I have a question. Do you happen to play in any IDP leagues, and or are you well versed on them? How much would offensive players be discounted in a league that starts 7 IDP’s? To give you an example of the scoring of IDP’s compared to offensive players with settings in one of them I’m in, Kuechly scored around the same amount of points last year at Gore and Ridley. Which, I feel is about right…I think the top IDP player should be in line with a solid to back end RB1. What dock in percentage should offensive players get? 5%…10%? Or, what percentage of my overall budget should be allotted for IDP’s? I’m curious what your thoughts are on this. Thanks man.

    • Sky

      Sky says:
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      Thanks man! Was hoping this would be well received.

      My knowledge of IDP is pretty limited. My first one happens this year so you might wanna hit up Kevin Kumpf over on his IDP posts to see if he has some input. My understanding on the subject is not to spend too much on IDP but I hear that in snake draft settings. I’m not sure about auction.

      • JoeMorgan'sMustache says:
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        @Sky: No prob man, and sounds good..I may ask him. While I have played in IDP leagues for a few years, and do well in them…sometimes it’s hard to come up with value for them, and also how much to dock an offensive player. More money is always spent of the offensive players of course, as it should be. I usually target about 3-4 stud IDP players…usually a couple big boy LB’s, and a nice Safety. The rest I just go cheap. Don’t think I have even spend more than $15 on a D guy.

        • JoeMorgan'sMustache says:
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          @JoeMorgan’sMustache: Oops…*Don’t think I have ever spent

          Oh, and a side note, maybe for those not too familiar with IDP’s. Definitely don’t ignore it all together and or go cheap on the whole bunch. I tend to see that many managers neglect that side of the ball in draft, and end up with very poor D players. Sure, just like offensive players good ones pop up in season that weren’t drafted, but you catch my drift. Personally, I have done well several times and or have won with a solid but not great offense due to the impact of my IDP’s.

          • Sky

            Sky says:
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            Interesting. I’ve heard to go cheap but only from a snake draft perspective.

  9. bill says:
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    Sky -

    18 person league, non-ppr, $300 budget, standard roster (rb/rb/wr/wr/flex)….

    keeper crisis…. pick two
    $78 – Cam Newton
    $25 – Torrey Smith
    $16 – Mark Ingram
    $15 – Reggie Wayne
    $15 – Kenny Britt

    No idea what to do…

    B.

    • Sky

      Sky says:
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      That’s tough man. Cam doesn’t break my 2% rule so for me it’s him and Wayne even though I’m not overly high on him.

      • bill says:
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        @Sky: is it even worth it to consider Smith? no one to throw to over there it seems like… also, can we even begin to think that Ingram might actually turn in a decent season? I mean he’s “technically” an RB1…

        • Sky

          Sky says:
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          I’m really not big on Torrey. Not a good route runner. I think losing Pitta hurts more than helps. Right now, Ingram looks like the short yardage back with PT in there more. He could give you a Turner like year from 2012 but I’d say Wayne is nicely priced for what you’ll get.

          • bill says:
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            @Sky: just wanted to revisit this…

            I’m thinking maybe only keeping wayne…using your system of auction price projections cam is falling in the high $60 range for an 18 person league. wayne has tremendous value at $15 but I’m just not 100% sold on Cam. Plus, his offense looks sketchy. You still high on Cam? As keeper? At that price? Need some TLC on this one…

            • Sky

              Sky says:
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              @bill: Cam’s offense is always sketchy, he still produces. I thought you had to keep two, that’s why I said Cam since it’s an 18 teamer.

              • bill says:
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                @Sky: no you can keep 2 max – so i was thinking wayne and cam but now im just thinking wayne – what do you think?

  10. Pete says:
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    Hi Sky,

    I used to go all out with the studs and scrubs strat by grabbing all the top players I could and then spending a dollar on the rest. It hasn’t worked so well the past few years (mainly due to my studs being duds). I tried your percentage strategy in a mock espn auction and saw that the top 13 RBs all go for over the alloted RB1 price of $40 (using the 40/20 30% RB strat and not going over 2% of total cash) Just to get a top 10 RB i would have to spend $50 out of my $60 alloted to starting RBs! Would it be worth while to even get a top 13 RB? Or would it be safer to stick with the 40/20 strategy (or even 30/30) but miss out on a top RB.

    • Sky

      Sky says:
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      I realize my strategy usually makes me miss out on big names. But it leaves me with plenty of good candidates to pad my lineup out in those situations. Sounds like you’d get Bell, Bush, and Ivory for close to $60 total if guys were spending money like that. Problem with ESPN mocks is you have robots in there. They’re not a good indicator of how a real draft would go. It works better live.

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