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Fantasy Auction Drafts

Fantasy Auction Drafts
by Staff

Welcome to what we believe is the most exciting, strategic, euphoric, way to play full season fantasy sports, the auction league.

Traditional fantasy drafts call for their members to pick numbers out of a hat (or however your league determines draft order) and then do a snaking draft 1-12 and then 12-1 and so on until all rosters are filled.

Fantasy auction drafts throw all that out the window. Frankly, the auction league format vs. the old traditional style of drafting looks like a plasma television compared to a 19 inch TV from the 70's!

Let's use a baseball auction league as an example:

Each team is given 260 virtual dollars to spend on 23 roster spots. You must fill up your whole roster using this $260 salary cap without going over.

Draft order in these leagues isn't super important, however, there is some strategy that you can employee in an effort to exhaust other team owners salary caps (such as bring up names of players that you don't really have any interest in).

The first team owner to pick brings up a player and throws out a minimum bid of what is usually $1. All owners are then able to bid on that player until you reach a high bid. The highest bidder then wins that player and has him for a 2 year contract. (or 3 in some leagues). The auction draft continues until all rosters are full.

As you can imagine, your league commissioner and yourself will need to keep a very accurate tally on how much each player goes for and not only how many dollars you have left, but what your maximum bid is. If you have 23 dollars left with 4 remaining spots to fill, your max bid is $20. You cannot bid more than $20 on any one player. (this would leave you $1 for each of your last 3 spots).

It should also be noted that once you have a position filled, you can no longer bid on players of that same position. The only exception to this rule is if you a utility/dh spot open.

Auction leagues are a really exciting way to conduct your draft. Most leagues that I've participated in have a hard time even considering going back to the traditional draft style.

There are sonme pro's and con's though. The pro's being that it rewards those who are able to think on their feet. The con's are that your darkhorse/sleeper picks will be exposed when you bring them up and all other team owners have a shot of drafting that player. Furthermore, if you're an astute owner and other team owners know this, that player is likely to get bid up higher, so you might want to save those picks for later in the draft to avoid being hijacked of your dark horse!

At time of print, there are no daily fantasy baseball sites offering auction leagues, however, it wouldn't surprise us if it was an option some day down the road as the daily fantasy scene evolves and becomes more competitive. You can however find online sites that keep stats for your season long auction leagues and that offer live online auction leagues.

Note: Most fantasy auction leagues have reserve rosters which are filled via a traditional snake draft which doesn't count against your $260 salary cap. Most leagues give a contract price of $10 for pitchers and $15 for hitters.

Auction League Tips: One of my favorite strategies is to bring up players I have no interest in drafting when it's my turn. Especially players that I know are going to draw big interest and drain other teams bankrolls. What I'm essentially doing is creating better pricing for myself later in the draft as other league owners will be more hesitant to spend big money as they see their bankrolls shrink.

It's very common for league owners to get overly excited and start bidding like crazy at the start of the draft simply because it's so much damn fun. Another tidbit of advice is to get to know the habits, tendencies and favorite players of other league owners so that you can bid up the prices! Be careful though or you might get stuck with a player that you didn't want!

Related: Auction Draft Strategy for Fantasy Baseball Leagues.

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