The other day I went over my fantasy baseball strategy for snake drafts. Lots of the strategy there 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. One guy, and there’s always one, has his phone on vibrate just in case the missus calls about little Petey. He’s got the flu, ya know. Then you have the guy who will go the extra dollar for (fill-in favorite player from his favorite team). You have the guy who brings only Cheetos and then asks the host for some cola every 30 minutes. Then, 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 not as fun. Anyway, here’s some tried and true tips to help you through your auction draft.
1. Early in the draft, throw out guys that you know you have no interest in that will cost others a lot.
Say David Ortiz snuck into a 21 and under club with Esmailyn Gonzalez’s fake ID and took your baby sister home. Now you refuse to draft him. So the first name you should nominate is Ortiz and let others overspend on him. This is not to say you should let him go for cheap. You don’t want high-priced pitching? Nominate Johan. You think Kinsler’s 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 Alexis Rios, go the extra buck or two. You really need a closer and Hanrahananan is the only one left? Go the extra dollar or two. Get the players you need.
3. You want to be “rich” with auction money, especially at the end of the draft.
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 may want. B) You can get great buys late in the draft when no one else has any money. Invariably, someone will throw out Elijah Dukes for a dollar (or some player that they think they can sneak through). Then you get Dukes for $2 and everyone in the draft room groans, wishing they still had some money. At the end of the draft, you want to be like the little tuxedoed guy from Monopoly.
4. Decent catchers and closers are even easier to acquire in auctions.
In a snake draft, you never know when the Doumit, Iannetta, Chris Perez, Capps or whoever is going to go. 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. I’ll take Hanrahanananan for $1. Sweet!
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 $12 on Furcal and you get him for $13, keep JS in mind when you’re looking to trade Furcal after his hot April. If someone groans when you get McLouth, keep it in mind. Unless it’s the same guy who’s been eating nothing but Cheetos and cola for ten hours. Then it might just be gas.