The game is changing, my friends. For better or for worse, Fantasy Football is now king. Not just king of all fantasy sports, it is king of all American sports. Fantasy football is more popular than the NFL itself. I have been to more NFL games lately where someone will talk about which players they have in the game. I have overheard girls demanding to know who scored the touchdown, LT or Shonn Greene (to their dismay it was LT, not Shonn). As this trend evolves, so must the Fantasy Football elite. No longer can we sit around while people who don’t know sports take our sleeper picks because some book told them to. We need to find a way to ensure that the fantasy cream continues to rise to the top. In order to do so, I urge you to do an auction draft when your season starts this fall.
How it works:
I feel a little silly even explaining this but only because it is relatively simple. What happens is there is a nomination order picked randomly. When it is your turn you don’t actually get to draft players, you nominate a player. Each team has 200 fake dollars to spend on their team. When a player is nominated, he is usually nominated for a relatively low rate ($1). But, the person nominating has the option to start them at any amount they choose. Then everyone else gets to bid on that player. The player goes to the team who bids the highest amount and that amount is deducted from the team’s budget. The auction proceeds to the next nomination and continues until every team is full.
This is the toughest part. The problem is that this will completely depend on the personalities of the people in your league. If you have a league full of aggressive players, you will see the best players go for outrageous amounts of money. At some point you will see a massive drop-off and everyone will start going for $1-5. If you have a league full of conservative players, you will see everyone going for around their estimated value. Either way, my recommendation is that you keep up to date with the players’ “average price”. This averages a player’s selling price in all auction drafts in this country, plus a few others (you didn’t really think Fantasy Football is big only in the US, did you?). It will be in front of everyone in the draft and it will have a huge influence on their spending. If you really want a player, increase your bid by about $10 over the average price and you will likely get them.
I could not do this without an Excel spreadsheet. Which you can see on the right. I have added in all of the spots on my roster and budgeted what I intend to spend on them. The differentials calculate the difference in what I wanted to pay vs what I did pay. Let’s say I drafted a QB for $48 instead of $50. I now have $2 to reallocate elsewhere. By alternating the amounts in the “actual” column and writing in player names as you draft them, you will always have a good idea of how much you can spend on each player. I spend my drafts continuously re-budgeting, but I’m the only manager who knows exactly how much I can spend on each position at all times. I’m also the only manager who knows who they will have before the draft starts. Because I know what players should go for and how to budget accordingly, I have the ability to easily make changes on the fly.
I have recently changed 4 out of 5 of my leagues to an Auction draft and, frankly, it’s the only way to go at this point. You need to separate the true players from the jokers looking at a notebook. Nothing beats preparation and a great strategy in an auction draft. If you have any questions about my spreadsheet, let me know. And let me know if you want me to send you the spreadsheet too! Of course, I will only send it to you if you aren’t in one of my leagues.