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 followed a man with a pony tail into the gym locker room only to realize his broad shoulders were that of a large lesbian and you were in the women’s locker room and had to run out. Happy accidents! So, lots of you know my fantasy baseball auction tips already, but some of you just joining us — Hey, close the door behind you! Were you raised in a barn? — 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. 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; he’s not. There’s the guy that makes you question why you’re even friends with him. There’s the guy who has a solar calculator and insists on sitting by the window. There’s the guy who is allergic to cats and, even though there’s no cat, insists someone’s clothes are ‘covered in dander.’ There’s the guy who brings healthy snacks and something with bean sprouts that he says is wrapped in a lavash just so no one will ask him for any of it. There’s the guy on Skype because he has to babysit, which makes for a crying baby in the background of the entire draft. And, of course, 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. Through all of this, it always turns out, this day is the best day of the year. 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 Pablo Sandoval was eating at your favorite fast food restaurant and because he ate the entire buffet himself there was none for you, so now you don’t want to draft him. So the first name you should nominate is “I Can’t Get No Panda Express Because Of You” Panda for a $1 and let others overspend on him. You don’t want high-priced pitching? Nominate Kershaw. You think Robinson Cano is overrated? Nominate him. You get the idea. When no one I hate is left, I throw out positions I no longer need or want. Already have a shortstop and MI? Then nominate a shortstop. Just make sure you nominate a guy for a dollar that you know will go for more. You don’t want to nominate a player that you don’t want and end up having them as your utility.
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 Kolten Wong and every auction value article you’ve read says he’s worth $12 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, Steven Souza for a dollar (or some player that they think they can sneak through). Then you get Souza 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 Salvador Perez, Wieters, Addison Reed, 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 cheaper guys. This works especially well for catchers.
5. Keep track of who other people want.
You know exactly what everyone else is thinking. If Joe Schmohawk goes to $12 on Arrieta and you get him for $13, keep J.S. in mind when you’re looking to trade Arrieta after his hot 1st half. If someone groans when you get Chris Owings, 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.