Fantasy Baseball: Auction Draft Strategies

I think Auction Drafts are the hardest and most unpredictable method of drafting players.   It is likely also to be the most time consuming aspect with periods of bidding and nominating.   At times the bidding process gets a little out of hand resulting in an over-inflated value for some players and a dragging out of the bidding process.  I’m not going to claim to be an expert in Auction Drafts per se, but I have some suggestions stemming from my many years of experience in this format:

1.  If you are nominating and opening the bidding, bid a price near the ceiling of what you’re willing to pay for a player.   Too many people start off the nominations at $1 and that just results in endless bid increases of $1.   If you’re willing to pay $18 for player, make that your opening bid…chances are you’ll ensure eliminating those who really didn’t much want the player.

2.  Know when to be Dave Hester and when not to be Dave Hester…YYYUUUUUPPPP!!!!  It can be fun to bump up the price on a player and force another owner to pay just a bit more, but remember that’s a two-way street.  Bid someone up and someone else will probably return the favour. Karma.

3.  Try to sneak in a steal!  Auction drafts tend to favour those who have scouted well.  Bargains can occur at any time depending on the nominated player.  In the middle rounds, I like to try to sneak in a player (i.e. this year would be Aaron Hicks, Alex Cobb, Matt Carpenter) that others in the league may not have scouted.

4.  Know you’re limits: If you think you can build a solid team after paying an exorbitant price  for 1 or 2 teams, go ahead, but also know your limits.  Would you really pay $50 for Justin Upton? Pshaw!

5.  Check your spending limits. Sites like ESPN offer handy tools that allow you to know what both your and other teams’ maximum bids can be.

6.  Use the message board.  Unlike normal drafts, there is time for those participating in Auction Drafts to talk/chat.  Use this as a tool to sway players for or against those you want.

7.  Don’t overpay for injured players!  Often injured players will be nominated, if nothing but to get a few dollars off the board.  Don’t fall for this.  Injured players can often be had for nothing after the draft.

8.  Know your targets.  Before going into the draft make sure to have a list of players you want to target for your team.   Also know those you definitely don’t want but can nominate for others to pick up.

9.  Be consistent in opening bids.  I can sometimes tell when someone is nominating a player because they want them (they start the bidding at recommended price) or whether the player is just fodder (bidding starts at $1).  If you consistently open in and around the recommended price, this will be less obvious to others.

10. Pay attention!  Of all the draft formats, you have to pay the most attention during auctions because you never know when a player is going to be nominated.   If you’re a smoker, prepare to go three long hours without a cigarette (unless you smoke inside).   Nothing more frustrating than to come back from a quick bathroom break to find Justin Verlander gone for $25

As always – enjoy the draft, talk some trash and make sure to grab who you want!  Don’t forget to check out my other fantasy baseball tips and suggestions to get the upper hand.

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