I know how much you love draft strategy (do you? Yeah, of course you do!). Whether it’s snake draft or auction draft. You gobble this shizz up. Okay, I wasn’t speaking literally, take the corner of your computer monitor out of your mouth. Auction drafts are the best. They’re like that time you put in a twelve dollar bid on eBay for a VHS copy of Midnight Madness so your Michael J. Fox movie collection would be complete and you won it, then the Seller started emailing you that he too was a Michael J. Fox collector and he asked to friend you on Facebook and posted on your timeline, “MJ’s gonna be on The Good Wife tonight!!!” and then you had to unfriend him and change your email address. So, lots of you know my fantasy baseball auction tips already, but some of you just joining us — hey, close the door behind you! — may not. Lots of the strategy for my snake drafts also applies here. If you ask me — and you kinda did ask me by reading this shizz — auction drafts are where it’s at, yo! You get in a room with your best fantasy baseball buddies. The guys you haven’t seen since last year’s draft. The guys you don’t want to see until next year’s draft. A few guys you actively despise. One guy, and there’s always one, has to show you why the Droid is better than the iPhone. Then you have the guy who will go the extra dollar for (fill-in favorite player from his favorite team). You know that’s his favorite player because he’s wearing his jersey. There’s also the guy who wears a jersey of a player he would never draft from a team he hates just to throw you off his scent, only he points this out to show you how clever he thinks he is, but obviously is not. You have the guy who brings only Cheetos and turns everything he touches orange, and, if he touches something that was already orange, he makes it oranger. Finally, you have the guy who made plans at 5PM and begins to yell at everyone at 4PM that they’re taking too long. And, it always turns out, this day is the best day of the year. Auction draft day is better than your wedding day. As for online auction drafts, they’re just a’ight. Anyway, here’s some tried and true tips to help you through your auction fantasy baseball draft:
1. Early in the draft, throw out guys that you know you have no interest in that will cost others a lot.
Say Trevor Bauer walked into your favorite karaoke club, then hogged the mic for three hours of remixes of Consummate 4sight and now you don’t want to draft him. So the first name you should nominate is Bauer for a $1 and let others overspend on him. You don’t want high-priced pitching? Nominate Verlander. You think Buster Posey is overrated? Nominate him. You get the idea. (BTW, my Jewish grandmother once released a single, Consomme 4 Sight, which was about how matzah ball soup helped her vision. We’re currently looking into copyright infringements. BTW II, it’s cool Trevor Bauer is rapping with Turtle from Entourage. Okay, moving on…)
2. Go the extra dollar if you really want someone.
When you get to the end of the auction, no one has any flippin’ idea what they spent to get a guy. If you want Matt Moore and every auction value article you’ve read says he’s worth $15 and the bidding’s just gone to $16, go to $17 if you want him. It’s your team; you need certain guys whether they’re overpriced or not.
3. You want to be “rich” with auction money.
You won’t always have the most money at the draft, but, whenever possible, you want to. The more money you have A) The better leverage you have attaining any guy you might want. B) You can get great buys late in the draft when no one else has any money. Invariably, someone will throw out, say, Adam Eaton for a dollar (or some player that they think they can sneak through). Then you get Eaton for $2 and everyone in the draft room groans, wishing they still had some money. At your draft, you want to be like the little tuxedoed guy from Monopoly. In fact, dress like him for your draft.
4. Decent catchers and closers are even easier to acquire in auctions.
In a snake draft, you never know when the Arencibia, Wieters, Putz, Nathan or whoever is going to be drafted. The beauty of the auction is you can have anyone. In my experience, you should wait until most of the teams have filled up their closers or catcher(s) slot then you nominate some one dollar beauts.
5. Keep track of who other people want.
The beauty of the auction is you know exactly what everyone else is thinking. If Joe Schmohawk goes to $10 on Espinosa and you get him for $11, keep J.S. in mind when you’re looking to trade Espinosa after his hot April. If someone groans when you get Matt Harvey, keep it in mind. Unless it’s the same guy who’s been eating nothing but Cheetos for ten hours. Then it might just be gas.