Auction Draft Strategy: 2019 Fantasy Football Budget Builder

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As we turned the calendar over to August, Fantasy Football drafts are like your car’s passenger-side mirror: objects are much closer than they appear. While it may be a few weeks before your draft, you need to begin planning for your draft yesterday. Auction leagues bring another level of detail to your planning process. Owners…

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I find that 1)with keepers, 2) with only a few superstars at the top, and 3) with free agency and injuries, that most WR 1 and RB 1’s go for 55-60+, and your bench can be constructed at the end for next to nothing. Is anyone else seeing this trend and, if so, how would you adjust your strategy?

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Yeah, I have the same in my league. We have 18 teams with two keepers. The Tier 1 RB’s that aren’t keepers go for $60-70.

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Yes, keepers will create inflation of the available players as more money chases less talent. Also, as league size increases, prices will rise as well, based on the same concept (demand>supply)

I wrote an article on this inflation a few years ago. Ignore the names, but the process is the same:

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One thing about my league is that you can trade for players in the off-season, including keepers, and you can trade up to $15 draft dollars. Have been considering buying David Johnson for $65 ($58 keeper cost + $5 to the other team) but can’t quite pull the trigger. I have Guice and Michele as my keepers currently at $13 and $16 respectfully. Just waiting for Guice to play a down in the preseason.

Sorry, $63…

I found this article after leaving this comment, it was awesome! exactly what I was looking for. everyone can keep 1 keeper in my league for 35 to start. Although after doing the math, it is still scaled a bit higher where I see the first 5 RBs and WRs going for 60-70, and most people using only $1-$2 for bench spots. So I essentially have made ‘tier factors’ where the top is has an inflation factor much higher. Question is, what’s the draft strategy with this mindset? hold out and take everyone at second wave for 30-40, or still guarantee another stud with your keeper? Alot of the success last year came from teams pulling the trigger hard on a WR1 and RB1 and then just sitting…

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This year, for the first time in a longtime, I’m trending more towards a volume approach, as outlined in the budget builder. I love the players available at RB in that Chubb, KJ tier, and the WR value from Diggs tin aRob is outstanding. Where teams in the past won with studs and duds in the past, we are seeing more and more teams spreading the ball around. The difference between the WR1 and WR2 ranks has shrunk significantly. So locking in 4-5 guys that can post WR1 numbers any given week with consistency is going to be key.

I appreciate the depth and logic behind this article. I’m in a deeper league. 12 team league, $250 budget. 2 QB, 2 RB, 3 WR, 1 TE, 1 W/R/T Flex, 1 W/T Flex, 1 DST, 6 bench spots and an IR. Our scoring heavily favors players with big games yardage-wise, with major bonuses after reaching 100 yards, be it rushing or receiving, or 300+ passing. I’m unsure how this draft is going to go. Being a 2 QB league, QB’s go for anywhere from $10-$30+ a pop, and you basically have to roster 3 of them. I’ve been burned in trying to go cheap on my QB’s the past 3 years, and I want to make sure I have at least 2 very good starters. But it eats into my budget and desire for the rest of my team, and I’m not sure how to approach the construction of the rest of my roster. Running back is such a top heavy position this year, but it also isn’t as important in our league, where you can only start a max of 3, whereas you can start up to 5 WR any given week. I’m of the mind that stud running backs help win championships, but with so many receivers I have to start, I can’t afford to skimp out on the position. Any advice would be appreciated! Thanks!

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I absolutely LOVE that your league has formatted the roster to make people think!

The bottom line is still that there is a set amount of funds to be spent league wide, in your case $3,000. Since you have a bit of league history, I would highly suggest pulling up previous drafts and seeing what was spent on each position. You’ll be surprised to see that is is fairly consistent. Use those old values to create an AAV for each position rank, then apply it to this years rankings. Then comes the part where you use your gut and move some funds around to account for what you anticipate your league doing this year.
IT won’t be perfect, but it will give you an idea of where the auction prices will fall. Then use the same concept I outlined to build out a rosters using those prices as your guide.


How would you adjust auction AAV if the price pool is increased from 200 to 400 with a starting roster of 1Qb, 2 Rb, 3 WR, 2 Flex, 1 TE and 11 bench spots? Dynasty starting with an auction.

This is a great question that I cannot give a definitive answer on. You will really need to be flexible on the budget front as you see what players are going for early.

You cannot just double everything, as the end of roster players will still be $1-5, regardless of $200 or $400.

If I was doing this league, here is what I would do:
The top 10-15 type players I would increase 2.25x over normal value. (IE -If Barkley is normally $65 in a $200 league, I would be expecting someone to pay $135-$145.

The next group of 50-60 players would be double. Then players 75-150 come in at 1.5x normal rate. Below that, I’d be trending down from 1.25x down to regular rate for the end of roster player.

Players 1-15 = 2.25x stock AAV
Players 16-75 = 2x stock AAV
Players 75-150 = 1.5x stock AAV
Players 151-200+ = 1.25x down to normal AAV

This is only a rough guide starting point. You’ll need to play with the values on a cheatsheet and figure out what you’re comfortable with and what you think the league will do. I would almost expect the first few picks to be great deals as people struggle to figure out values. (IE If you can get a top 5 player for around $100, I’d be all over that.)

I really appreciate the reply man that’s awesome advice. This is the first year it’s starting so I was just a little lost on how to get the entire process started. But thanks again!!

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Let me know how the draft turns out! Best of luck!