I know how much you love draft strategy. Whether it’s snake draft or auction draft. You gobble this shizz up. Okay, I wasn’t speaking literally, don’t eat your computer. Auction drafts are the best. They remind me of a time not that long ago when I wore a giant-fonted Yuuuuuuuuuup on my chest and bought twenty-four dollars worth of 1980′s wrestling action figures for $5600 just so Darrell Sheets couldn’t get them. I will enjoy putting those little plastic Greg “The Hammer” Valentine action figures into the figure four with my son, Lil’ Yuuuuuuuuuup; he officially changed his name at my behest. There’s ten U’s in my Yuuuuuuuuuup. If you use nine or eleven U’s, you are still infringing on my trademark. 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 his phone on vibrate just in case the missus calls about Petey, their sick Schnauzer. Then you have the guy who will go the extra dollar for (fill-in favorite player from his favorite team). You know he’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. 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 Curtis Granderson, doing his best Fausto Carmona impersonation, snuck into a 21 and under club with a fake ID and took your baby’s mama home. Now you refuse to draft him. So the first name you should nominate is Grandy and let others overspend on him. You don’t want high-priced pitching? Nominate Verlander. You think Mike Napoli is overrated? Nominate him. You get the idea. 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 $10 and the bidding’s just gone to $11, go to $12 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, Dexter Fowler for a dollar (or some player that they think they can sneak through). Then you get Fowler 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, Iannetta, 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 Alex Presley, 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.