“Cha-ching. Cha-ching. Cha-ching.” That’s Aaron Rodgers’ value going up, up and away in a fantasy football auction as you and your league mates increase bids by $1. While Rodgers is far and away fantasy football’s best quarterback he won’t necessarily be the best value this year - especially if your league draft format is an auction.
Auctions have become increasingly popular in recent years, because, unlike drafts - where you’re stuck with the 10th pick and have no shot at Rodgers or, say, Ray Rice - you have a shot at anyone - Rodgers AND Rice, heck, even Arian Foster, too. But to get those guys you’ll have to pay a pretty penny, probably $150-$180 of your normal $200 budget. There are many ways you can attack an auction, and Brett Talley has covered an easy and smart money-management system earlier at The Fantasy Fix. Here are three - well, four - other key pieces of advice to use in your upcoming auction draft.
● Nominate players you don’t want on your team early - This piece of strategy is two-fold: It gets a player whom you don’t want to roster off the board, and it also depletes an opponent’s remaining money, which will help you later in the draft. A player I’m not targeting this year is Michael Turner. In my auctions I’ll nominate Turner early - hopefully before the market for the top running backs is set - so someone will roster him at what is usually an above market value price.
Even if Turner, or whomever you nominate, goes for below market value the main purpose is completed - that player is off the board and money is being spent, but not by you. Also, say you know you don’t want to spend over $60 on Rodgers or Tom Brady. Throw one of those guys out to the free-spenders in your league and let them inflate those guys’ value and get money off the table. When that owner is stuck with Rodgers’ $60 cost he’s got a WR2 of Robert Meachem and you’ve got Matt Ryan for $10 and Roddy White for $30.
● Don’t spend early unless there’s someone at a real good value - Early on in auctions the league-specific market value isn’t set yet so there might be some bargains to be had on the mid-tier players like a Turner or a Percy Harvin. If a player you’re targeting gets nominated a lot earlier than you’d expected and is sitting there at $10, go ahead and pounce even if you didn’t intend to spend early. But usually the players who are nominated early go for huge chunks of money, which leaves their owners light in the pocket later in the auction.
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That’s where you swoop in and roster great values all across the board. $33 for Jamaal Charles when Chris Johnson went much earlier for $58? Thank you very much. Jeremy Maclin, Dez Bryant and Dwayne Bowe for a combined $39 when Larry Fitzgerald went for $37? Yes, please. Usually if you don’t bid on Arian Foster, who will cost you $60, you can roster both Steven Jackson and Fred Jackson for less than those 60 smackaroos combined.
● Spend all your money - If you really want a player - for me this year that’s Percy Harvin, Brandon Marshall and Julio Jones, to name a few - don’t be afraid to keep bidding as long as you’re being smart. If Harvin is the 50th player nominated he’ll go for less than he would if he was the 25th, and that will allow you and your large amount of remaining money to spend a few more dollars than what others are able to. You see that your opponent bidding against you can only spend $15 on Harvin due to roster restrictions, so go ahead and bid $16, even if that’s a few dollars more than what you want to spend. I’d rather have Harvin and $0 at the end of the auction than $5 left over and be Harvin-less.
● One more piece of advice - NEVER spend more than $1 on a kicker or defense. And if you want to, go ahead and nominate a kicker or defense for a buck early. Either you get that particular position filled for a dollar or an opponent spends more than he or she should on a kicker or a D. You always want your opponent to overspend.
Written by Andrew Miller exclusively for TheFantasyFix.com. For more great fantasy football advice, follow Andrew on Twitter @44AMiller.