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Auction Draft Strategy Thread 2018-2019

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How to be Successful in Auction Drafts.

(Based on a standard 12-category, 13-man roster with a $200 budget on Yahoo!).

• Target a top 10 player in the league to start your auction draft, use the average price for that player as a guide to make sure you don’t overpay too much.

o If Anthony Davis goes for an average of 74 dollars, make 75 your spending limit.

o Ideally target a top 5 player as their production is near impossible to replicate later in the draft (AD, Giannis, Harden, Towns, KD).

• Target a second player that compliments your first pick in the $30-$40 range.

o The less you spend on your first pick, the more you can afford to spend on your second pick.

o Try to have at least $90-100 dollars left-over to fill out the rest of your roster.

o Players to target: Jrue Holiday, Rudy Gobert, Andre Drummond, Kyrie Irving, Bradley Beal, Devin Booker, Jimmy Butler, John Wall.

• Target your third pick to be a player in the $20-$30 price range, once you hit this point in the draft you tend to find a better value on players since many of the players in your draft have overpaid for their first few picks, making them more hesitant to get into bidding wars. (Note, you may not actually pick your players in this order since nominations may be done randomly, instead focus on the price tiers and the players you want in them, as opposed to following a specific order i.e I drafted Capela before Davis)

o Players to target: Eric Bledsoe, Klay Thompson, Clint Capela, Kyle Lowry, DeMar Derozan, Kyle Lowry, Kevin Love, Draymond Green, Otto Porter, Tobias Harris, Myles Turner, Marc Gasol, Gary Harris, Kris Middleton.

• Once you’ve acquired your first three players, try to have between 60-70 dollars left to fill out the remaining roster spots.

• Stand-pat during the middle rounds unless you’re seeing players going for significantly under their average cost. You want to try to get your next 3-4 players for $30-$50 of your budget. Target mid-round players that fit your build and will cost you between 10-15 dollars a piece.

o Some great targets in the $10-$15 range: Blake Griffin, Ricky Rubio, Jeff Teague, Josh Richardson, Robert Covington, Enes Kanter, John Collins, Al Horford, Nikola Vucevic, Jonas Valanciuanas, Joe Ingles.

• At this point you should have close to 20-30 dollars to draft your final six players, which should give you an average of 3-4 dollars to spend on the rest of your roster.

o This does not mean you need to spend only 3-4 dollars on each player, but if you spend more than that you’ll have less flexibility towards the end rounds of the draft.

o Some great targets I’ve seen in the $5-$8 range: Will Barton, Zach Lavine, Dario Saric, Kyle Anderson, Evan Fournier, Brook Lopez, Serge Ibaka, Tyreke Evans, Darren Collison, Dejounte Murray, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, Kris Dunn, Deandre Jordan.

• Try to have between 4-9 dollars left over for your final three picks.

o Some great targets in the $1-$3 range: Mario Hezonja, Bogdan Bogdanovic, Bojan Bogdonavic, Jeremy Lamb, Jacob Poeltl, Domantas Sabonis, Jordan Bell, Willy Cauley-Stein, Malcolm Brogdon, Taj Gibson, Marvin Williams, Rudy Gay, Reggie Bullock, Kent Bazemore, Wesley Matthews, Marco Belinelli, Joe Harris, Tyler Johnson, Derrick Favors, Elfrid Payton.

• DO NOT sit on your money until the middle/second half of the draft. You will end up overpaying for role players just to burn through all the money you neglected to spend on better players.

o Saving money is about knowing what parts of the draft to be aggressive in, and which parts to be passive in.

• Your goal is to use every single last dollar of your budget.

o Left-over money only means you missed out on opportunities earlier in the draft for absolutely no reason. You can’t roll-over the money with you, so don’t try holding on to it to the detriment of your team.

• When nominating a player, nominate players you DON’T want.

o The reasoning for this is simple, you make your opponents spend their money on players you have no interest in, leaving them with less money for the players you DO want.

o I usually nominate players with more name-power than actual fantasy value as people will tend to overbid for these players if you nominate them early. Players I nominate are Andrew Wiggins, Kyle Kuzma, Carmelo Anthony, and high-profile rookies.

o Careful with this strategy once you reach the 1-2 dollar range, many others in your league are strapped for cash and a lot more cautious about their picks, so you may end up stuck with a player you don’t want.

 Instead, I suggest targeting players you would not mind having, but also will not beat yourself up over if someone takes them.

• If it becomes obvious that a member of your league is constructing a certain punt-build (free-throw % for example), drive the price up. Many players have pre-selected targets and will overbid to get those targets.

o This strategy can backfire if they cut their losses and you end up overpaying the player.

o Use the average cost as a guide since most people will psychologically be comfortable bidding up until that point. Even 1-2 dollars they spend they wouldn’t have spent otherwise can add-up later in the draft.

o I will usually bid IMMEDIATELY and counter-bid IMMEDIATELY, this gives them the impression you’re interested in the player, which will make them more likely to match your aggression and end up over-bidding.

• Unless a player is going for severely under their value, go ahead and only target the players that fit your build.

• STICK to your PLAN.

o Have targets in the same price range as well as a back-up in case your player gets taken. Having two-three similar targets will ensure your build is consistent. (i.e target Enes Kanter and Jonas Valanciunas or Serge Ibaka and Brook Lopez and take the one that is available).

• Resist the urge to use 120-150 dollars of your 200-dollar budget on drafting two top 5-10 players. This will make it so you need to fill the rest of your roster with sub-par players who might not fit your roster.

o If you spend 150 dollars on James Harden and Anthony Davis, you will have 50 dollars to fill 11 roster spots.

o That is an average of 4.5 dollars per player, which means the rest of your team will be late round players.

o Other teams will be too deep for you to overcome unless you absolutely crush the waiver-wire all season.

If you enjoyed this and would like more fantasy basketball content from yours truly, please consider following my youtube channel "Barack Lesnar Hoops". Love ya'll!

My last auction draft results: (16 man roster instead of 13, 200 dollar budget)

Barack's TeamBudget $200

Round Pick Player Position
1. (3) Clint Capela PF,C
2. (5) Anthony Davis PF,C
3. (27) Robert Covington SF,PF
4. (39) Jrue Holiday PG,SG
5. (56) Enes Kanter C
6. (59) Jeff Teague PG
7. (65) Kris Dunn PG,SG
8. (69) Tim Hardaway Jr. SG,SF
9. (109) Markelle Fultz PG,SG
10. (113) Dejounte Murray PG
11. (130) Domantas Sabonis PF,C
12. (140) Willie Cauley-Stein PF,C
13. (149) Bogdan Bogdanovic SG,SF
14. (158) Jeremy Lamb SG,SF
15. (167) Bojan Bogdanovic SG,SF
16. (175) Caris LeVert SF

 

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You think it is more valuable to draft a top 5 over drafting more in the $30 to $40 range? I'd rather have donovan mitchell and Chris Paul vs Harden and embiid and capela vs AD 

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51 minutes ago, johnval1362 said:

You think it is more valuable to draft a top 5 over drafting more in the $30 to $40 range? I'd rather have donovan mitchell and Chris Paul vs Harden and embiid and capela vs AD 

 

Exactly. I wouldnt want to put all my eggs in one basket. Would rather spread them and get two quality players than one elite player.

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Wow - this is fantastic information

 

I just signed up for a league with a few friends, and I'm going lost on what to do. Never did an auction before.

 

To make things even more interesting/difficult, besides the $200 limit on players per squad, you also have to keep your squad under a $150 mil salary cap for the 2018 season. We also get to keep 5 players for the following season (their 2019 salaries will be added to the salary cap for 2019)

 

Any feedback to help on that option would be great. KAT would be awesome for his low salary this year, but blow up for 2019. 

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Lots of excellent tips. Thanks.

 

I did my first auction last week (went in blind.) I did not acquire any top players, but I was able to get some mid round targets for a good value. These were the results:

 

15
Chris Paul Hou, PG
$39
26
Blake Griffin Det, PF
$21
34
CJ McCollum Por, SG
$24
41
Kyrie Irving Bos, PG
$30
60
Paul Millsap Den, PF
$9
62
Otto Porter Jr. Wsh, SF
$16
73
Al Horford Bos, C
$16
79
Aaron Gordon Orl, PF
$11
82
Rodney Hood Cle, SG
$5
87
Brandon Ingram LAL, SF
$10
94
De'Aaron Fox Sac, PG
$4

 

 

I was left with $15/200, Wish i went harder after a few top player, but oh well.

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I think a lot of good rules of thumb here. Some things definitely change though depending on the frugality (or more likely the lack of frugality) of your league.

 

One thing I'd add is to not overpay based on hype. Sounds obvious, but I feel like I see a lot of it in these forums as well. Don't pay value equal to a player's ceiling. Good example is Donovan Mitchell. Sure people are saying he could reach 2nd round value, but don't pay 2nd round value for him. Think in terms of return on investment. In that scenario, you have a smaller chance of breaking even than if you just drafted a proven 2nd rounder.

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2 hours ago, mihs said:

I think a lot of good rules of thumb here. Some things definitely change though depending on the frugality (or more likely the lack of frugality) of your league.

 

One thing I'd add is to not overpay based on hype. Sounds obvious, but I feel like I see a lot of it in these forums as well. Don't pay value equal to a player's ceiling. Good example is Donovan Mitchell. Sure people are saying he could reach 2nd round value, but don't pay 2nd round value for him. Think in terms of return on investment. In that scenario, you have a smaller chance of breaking even than if you just drafted a proven 2nd rounder.

For my setting, Mitchell is a gold mine. Solid exciting young player with a really low salary. My nerves are going to be shot trying to plan this out lol

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Not to be rude here as you clearly took a lot of time to write this out and some/most of your points are correct and fine information, but this is some veryyy basic stuff and the strategy proposed here is about as simple of a strategy that exists. You are suggesting that people try to acquire one of the top 5, and then also get a second and third round type talent. That's nothing shocking or noteworthy. 

 

I actually prefer to let players pay the big time $$$ for the top 5-12 talent and instead have a well rounded team of 10 guys in the top 60 or so (obviously changes with different auctions). 

 

I think one major note is that for the balanced guys like me is to not get TOO balanced. You *need* to have at least 2-3 players that are only worth $1 or $2 dollars as you'll need to be able to be active on the waiver wire. If you have too good of a team you'll just end up dropping good players. 

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1 hour ago, CrypTviLL said:

Not to be rude here as you clearly took a lot of time to write this out and some/most of your points are correct and fine information, but this is some veryyy basic stuff and the strategy proposed here is about as simple of a strategy that exists. You are suggesting that people try to acquire one of the top 5, and then also get a second and third round type talent. That's nothing shocking or noteworthy. 

 

I actually prefer to let players pay the big time $$$ for the top 5-12 talent and instead have a well rounded team of 10 guys in the top 60 or so (obviously changes with different auctions). 

 

I think one major note is that for the balanced guys like me is to not get TOO balanced. You *need* to have at least 2-3 players that are only worth $1 or $2 dollars as you'll need to be able to be active on the waiver wire. If you have too good of a team you'll just end up dropping good players. 

I'm in that mode now. Do I try and grab a Giannis or Kat strategy, or sit and wait and load up and tier 2 and tier 3 guys

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40 minutes ago, squidthunder said:

I'm in that mode now. Do I try and grab a Giannis or Kat strategy, or sit and wait and load up and tier 2 and tier 3 guys

For me, I always take what the draft gives me. If Kat/Giannis go higher than their average then let them fly. 

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29 minutes ago, CrypTviLL said:

For me, I always take what the draft gives me. If Kat/Giannis go higher than their average then let them fly. 

Do u use a specific guide for auction price on players? 

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2 minutes ago, squidthunder said:

Do u use a specific guide for auction price on players? 

I always refer to the standard Yahoo Auction prices since that's the provider I use and the usual league set up I am using. It all changes if you use different roster sizes and amount of teams and different providers. 

 

It's very easy to manipulate it since it's so standard and you'll know the prices to expect. 

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So here is what I mean by the balanced strategy.

 

Note, this team is for ROTO and is a standard 12 team yahoo public. The draft had only 3 no-shows so it was a very active draft. Also, this was my FIRST actual draft of the year so I am only basing it off of Yahoos projected and average draft dollars and what I've read on RW forums here.

 

I love my team, I think it's balanced in every category and has a ton of upside. Yahoo also liked my team and I was first in their projected standings by quite a bit.

 

PG Mike Conley (PG) $13

SG Jamal Murray (PG, SG) $15

G Gary Harris (SG, SF) $16

SF Otto Porter JR (SF, PF) $24

PF Clint Capela (PF, C) $22

F N. Vucevic (PF, C) $20

C Rudy Gobert (C) $29

C D. Ayton (C) $21

UTIL Jeff Teague (PG) $8

UTIL G. Dragic (PG, SG) $10

B N. Batum (SG, SF) $6

B W. Carter JR. (C) $4

B Buddy Hield (SG) $3

 

I actually had something like $10 left over, which I almost never do, so that was a bit of a bummer.

 

But as you can see here, waiting in the draft can give you a team that is quite spectacular. I got steals on Conley, Murray, Harris, Teague, Dragic, Batum, Carter Jr.

 

I over purchased on Vuc and Ayton but since I had so much money I was OK on doing that. 

 

You'll never be able to get a team like this if you spend $60+ on your first pick and another $40 or so on your second. It just ain't happening. You get this team by waiting and being the strong bidder in the mid rounds when everyone else is dry. 

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, CrypTviLL said:

So here is what I mean by the balanced strategy.

 

Note, this team is for ROTO and is a standard 12 team yahoo public. The draft had only 3 no-shows so it was a very active draft. 

 

You lost me right there... No strategy to be gathered from a draft with bots. especially when they are 25% of the draft

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Hi Guys, 

 

I recently finished drafting my H2H auction league ($200 per team), we have 12 teams, 12 players each team, and it's standard 9 categories (FG%/FT%/3PT/PTS/REB/AST/STL/BLK/TO); unlike snake draft, you can basically get any player you desire in an Auction draft as long as the price is right; therefore you can predetermine which punt to target before the draft starts. 

 

I really want to aquire Anthony Davis this season, I went with the assist punt built, while hesitate between star/scrub approach and a more balanced team build, I went all in with star/scrub on which I have to say BBM draft tracker has been really helpful, I can see value in players where other league members can't (I really hope it'll turn out well after the season starts, finger crossed). 

 

1. Anthony Davis - $80

2. Kawhi Leonard - $60

3. Otto Portor Jr. - $21

4. Jarrett Allen - $16

5. Enes Kanter - $7

6. Nikola Mirotic - $6

7. Darren Collison - $5

8. Jonathan Isaac - $1

9. Mario Hazonja - $1

10. Cedi Osman - $1

11. Malcolm Brogdon - $1

12. Fred  VanFleet - $1

 

After the draft, I realize all the players I drafted are from East coastheadbang, which I will have too many missed games (PG, SG, G, SF, PF, F, C, Util, Util), my league is relatively conservative, which not a lot of trade would be allow to happen during the season, I'd like to swap some of my low end players from the wavier, the following would be our current waiver availables that I'm targeting, please give me some advise and rate my team. 

Jordan Bell/Marvin Williams/Aminu/Jerami Grant/E'Twaun Moore/Derrick Favors/Montrezl Harrell/Josh Hart/Jakob Poeltl/Dwight Powell/PJ Tucker/Jae Crowder/Markelle Fultz/Ryan Anderson/Cody Zeller/Yogi Ferrell/Moe Harkless/Avery Bradley/Miles Bridges/Kevin Knox

 

Thanks for reading. Have an awesome 2018-18 season!! applause

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7 hours ago, CrypTviLL said:

So here is what I mean by the balanced strategy.

 

Note, this team is for ROTO and is a standard 12 team yahoo public. The draft had only 3 no-shows so it was a very active draft. Also, this was my FIRST actual draft of the year so I am only basing it off of Yahoos projected and average draft dollars and what I've read on RW forums here.

 

I love my team, I think it's balanced in every category and has a ton of upside. Yahoo also liked my team and I was first in their projected standings by quite a bit.

 

PG Mike Conley (PG) $13

SG Jamal Murray (PG, SG) $15

G Gary Harris (SG, SF) $16

SF Otto Porter JR (SF, PF) $24

PF Clint Capela (PF, C) $22

F N. Vucevic (PF, C) $20

C Rudy Gobert (C) $29

C D. Ayton (C) $21

UTIL Jeff Teague (PG) $8

UTIL G. Dragic (PG, SG) $10

B N. Batum (SG, SF) $6

B W. Carter JR. (C) $4

B Buddy Hield (SG) $3

 

I actually had something like $10 left over, which I almost never do, so that was a bit of a bummer.

 

But as you can see here, waiting in the draft can give you a team that is quite spectacular. I got steals on Conley, Murray, Harris, Teague, Dragic, Batum, Carter Jr.

 

I over purchased on Vuc and Ayton but since I had so much money I was OK on doing that. 

 

You'll never be able to get a team like this if you spend $60+ on your first pick and another $40 or so on your second. It just ain't happening. You get this team by waiting and being the strong bidder in the mid rounds when everyone else is dry. 

 

 

 

I really like that squad 

 

I know for a fact there's going to be a ton of over spending, so I'll see how it plays out - as i mentioned before, I have that added wrinkle of player's salary too

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7 hours ago, CrypTviLL said:

So here is what I mean by the balanced strategy.

 

Note, this team is for ROTO and is a standard 12 team yahoo public. The draft had only 3 no-shows so it was a very active draft. Also, this was my FIRST actual draft of the year so I am only basing it off of Yahoos projected and average draft dollars and what I've read on RW forums here.

 

I love my team, I think it's balanced in every category and has a ton of upside. Yahoo also liked my team and I was first in their projected standings by quite a bit.

 

PG Mike Conley (PG) $13

SG Jamal Murray (PG, SG) $15

G Gary Harris (SG, SF) $16

SF Otto Porter JR (SF, PF) $24

PF Clint Capela (PF, C) $22

F N. Vucevic (PF, C) $20

C Rudy Gobert (C) $29

C D. Ayton (C) $21

UTIL Jeff Teague (PG) $8

UTIL G. Dragic (PG, SG) $10

B N. Batum (SG, SF) $6

B W. Carter JR. (C) $4

B Buddy Hield (SG) $3

 

I actually had something like $10 left over, which I almost never do, so that was a bit of a bummer.

 

But as you can see here, waiting in the draft can give you a team that is quite spectacular. I got steals on Conley, Murray, Harris, Teague, Dragic, Batum, Carter Jr.

 

I over purchased on Vuc and Ayton but since I had so much money I was OK on doing that. 

 

You'll never be able to get a team like this if you spend $60+ on your first pick and another $40 or so on your second. It just ain't happening. You get this team by waiting and being the strong bidder in the mid rounds when everyone else is dry. 

 

 

 

your players almost most of them are below average price,I don't think you can get them cheap in real competitive league

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15 hours ago, CrypTviLL said:

Not to be rude here as you clearly took a lot of time to write this out and some/most of your points are correct and fine information, but this is some veryyy basic stuff and the strategy proposed here is about as simple of a strategy that exists. You are suggesting that people try to acquire one of the top 5, and then also get a second and third round type talent. That's nothing shocking or noteworthy. 

 

I actually prefer to let players pay the big time $$$ for the top 5-12 talent and instead have a well rounded team of 10 guys in the top 60 or so (obviously changes with different auctions). 

 

I think one major note is that for the balanced guys like me is to not get TOO balanced. You *need* to have at least 2-3 players that are only worth $1 or $2 dollars as you'll need to be able to be active on the waiver wire. If you have too good of a team you'll just end up dropping good players. 

 

Something i never thought about, I will have to employ this strategy next season

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39 minutes ago, TrigPyramid said:

Something i never thought about, I will have to employ this strategy next season

Yeah -- most managers likely take at least 3 sleeper $1 players so that they can focus their money solely on the 10 other guys (standard 13 roster). An ideal strategy is to be able to have $2 left on the last 3 players ensuring that you have bidding priority for the last 3 (if you really want certain sleepers). 

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10 hours ago, CrypTviLL said:

So here is what I mean by the balanced strategy.

 

Note, this team is for ROTO and is a standard 12 team yahoo public. The draft had only 3 no-shows so it was a very active draft. Also, this was my FIRST actual draft of the year so I am only basing it off of Yahoos projected and average draft dollars and what I've read on RW forums here.

 

I love my team, I think it's balanced in every category and has a ton of upside. Yahoo also liked my team and I was first in their projected standings by quite a bit.

 

PG Mike Conley (PG) $13

SG Jamal Murray (PG, SG) $15

G Gary Harris (SG, SF) $16

SF Otto Porter JR (SF, PF) $24

PF Clint Capela (PF, C) $22

F N. Vucevic (PF, C) $20

C Rudy Gobert (C) $29

C D. Ayton (C) $21

UTIL Jeff Teague (PG) $8

UTIL G. Dragic (PG, SG) $10

B N. Batum (SG, SF) $6

B W. Carter JR. (C) $4

B Buddy Hield (SG) $3

 

I actually had something like $10 left over, which I almost never do, so that was a bit of a bummer.

 

But as you can see here, waiting in the draft can give you a team that is quite spectacular. I got steals on Conley, Murray, Harris, Teague, Dragic, Batum, Carter Jr.

 

I over purchased on Vuc and Ayton but since I had so much money I was OK on doing that. 

 

You'll never be able to get a team like this if you spend $60+ on your first pick and another $40 or so on your second. It just ain't happening. You get this team by waiting and being the strong bidder in the mid rounds when everyone else is dry. 

 

 

 

 

This team seems a little light on points and ft%, curious to see what Yahoo projected for those categories? I feel like combining Gobet, Capela, Ayton and Dragic would put you in punt ft% territory, which isn't ideal in roto.

 

I think overall you got good values but you also arguably have high bust potential factors in Conley, Teague, Dragic and Batum. All of these players are older  and were varying degrees of  disappointing last year. Not saying there's anything wrong with these choices (I'll be targeting Conley and Batum heavily myself for my upcoming auction) but that's alot of players that you are banking on having bounce back seasons. 

 

 

 

Edited by Purple Hippo
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17 minutes ago, Purple Hippo said:

 

This team seems a little light on points and ft%, curious to see what Yahoo projected for those categories? I feel like combining Gobet, Capela, Ayton and Dragic would put you in punt ft% territory, which isn't ideal in roto.

 

I think overall you got good values but you also arguably have high bust potential factors in Conley, Teague, Dragic and Batum. All of these players are older  and were varying degrees of  disappointing last year. Not saying there's anything wrong with these choices (I'll be targeting Conley and Batum heavily myself for my upcoming auction) but that's alot of players that you are banking on having bounce back seasons. 

 

 

 

 

Out of curiosity I ran this team through my BBM 8 cat roto settings and they project the team to be extremely strong in blocks, fg% and rebs, very low in threes and ft% and middle of the pack in points and assists for an overall middle of the pack type team. I guess Yahoo's projections for these guys are quite different. 

 

 

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1 hour ago, Purple Hippo said:

 

This team seems a little light on points and ft%, curious to see what Yahoo projected for those categories? I feel like combining Gobet, Capela, Ayton and Dragic would put you in punt ft% territory, which isn't ideal in roto.

 

I think overall you got good values but you also arguably have high bust potential factors in Conley, Teague, Dragic and Batum. All of these players are older  and were varying degrees of  disappointing last year. Not saying there's anything wrong with these choices (I'll be targeting Conley and Batum heavily myself for my upcoming auction) but that's alot of players that you are banking on having bounce back seasons. 

 

 

 

It was light in ft%. I figured it would be higher, but I guess Gobert+Capela hurt it and the others don't really help it. But in points I was top 5. 

 

But this depends on other teams drafts as well... lots of stars/scrubs approach in this particular league. In a more balanced league, I wouldn't have achieved this team and if I did it may not have been in first place in the standings. 

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I agree with @CrypTviLL that most of this advice is very basic.  Some of it I agree with and some of it I don't, although it could help new players, so thank you for putting it out.  You're basically turning an auction with all of it's wonderful possibilities into snake by selecting a first round player, a second round player, etc.  Not that this is wrong, as there are no wrong answers, just that I find it very limiting.  The only advice one can really give is pay attention to your league settings and draft undervalued, multi-cat players.  This advice isn't very specific, but that's the issue... every auction is different, so you can't really give generic advice and have it apply to every league.

 

For example, I have had enormous success drafting Cp3 and AD together in 9 cat roto leagues where you can tolerate injury risk better then fill it out with undervalued wings.  In fact, in every 9 cat roto league where I've gotten CP3 and Ad I've cashed.  But I wouldn't draft this team in H2H 8 cat.

 

Another example, I'm in a 16 team 11 cat league (oreb/dreb/ftm) where AD is absurdly valuable.  AD's default value in 12 team 9 cat leagues is about 75 and automatically since is a 16 team league add 33% to that which would bring his value to $100.  He's also a huge producer in rebounds and FTM so he's even more valuable given those league settings.  In fact, he's worth 150% of the 2nd best player given those league settings and I got him for $80.  Now that might not seem like a huge steal but I would consider that a $25+ discount from his true value.  I also got CP3 in that league and filled out the rest of my roster with undervalued players such Barton, Roco, Vuc, Gallo, Mirotic, etc.  So that's one instance where I'm willing to go Stars n Scrubs bc the best player in those league settings (AD) is absolutely irreplaceable, even though I have reputation for the "balanced approach".

 

A contra example would also be from a 16 team 9 cat H2H  league this one with only 8 starters.  Often people bid very aggressively on the early first round players and then save money for the later rounds so in a league like that your strategy wouldn't work as it would have you overpay for first and second round players and compete with everyone for your sleepers.  In a league like this the best value is found in the early mids.  So my core was: Lillard $53, Holiday $39, Barton $17, Aaron Gordon $17, Horford $24, Vuc $25.  I wasn't really targeting any of these players before the draft but they all fell to me at bargain basement prices.  E.g. that might seem like a standard price for Lillard in a 12 man league but in a competitive 16 man H2H league I think that's a steal.  He has a similar statistical profile to Curry and is more durable which is key in H2H.  None of these might appear to be bargains if you play 12 man leagues, but trust me that this is a good 16 man team.  So this is an example of the opposite approach, just drafting a balanced team of players who aren't sexy, but whom are good value.

 

I'm bringing up all of these examples just to show you that you can't be stuck in any one way in auctions, you have to be shapeless, formless, like water.  Sit back and see what the draft brings you.  

 

Another piece of advice that I hear often which I absolutely disagree with is that you should nominate players whom you don't want.  I will be the first to admit that I do this but not as my default.  Rather, my default is to use my bids as probing bets.  What do I mean by this?  I strongly believe that you can win 9 cat roto by punting one category, generally FT.  I've won leagues like this, and I've seen others win leagues like this, but some people still believe you should NEVER punt FT in roto.  Ok I want to figure out what sort of league I am in so I will nominate Drummond with my first bid.  If the bidding goes insane, like he goes for $40+, then I'll immediately assume there's too much competition for punt FT% and I'll get out of it.  But if he does for $20 something then I'll try to win him, assume punt FT is open, and immediately move into it.  That information is significantly more valuable than trying to get one player out of the other 15 to waste money on someone you don't want.  If you're in a 16 team league with $200 budgets and someone blows $32 on a player you don't want then you've only take 1% of the total money out of the league, that's a nominal impact.  But finding out whether or not other players in your league want to punt FT%?  That's hugely valuable information.  

 

I never come into an auction with a concrete plan.  That's a good way to f--- yourself when your targets are going for more than you anticipated bc the league is competitive.  Rather I come in with a GENERAL idea of who is overvalued and who is undervalued.  I don't come into the draft with a ranking system.  Rather, out of the top 150 player I put them into 3 piles: overvalued, fairly valued, and undervalued.  Then as the draft progresses if someone is going for less than I think he should then I'll go for him.  I don't pay too much attention to team build until I'm a few picks in and in that case the plan will unfold before my eyes.  E.g. if Drummond goes for much less than what I value for him then the flow of the draft is pushing me into the direction of punt FT like a current of water pushes a pebble down the stream.  My decisions then become very easy as I'm not choosing as punt FT, punt FT is choosing me.  

 

You really have to pay attention to the flow of the draft.  Like you said, you don't want to wait too long as in almost every draft I've been in late round sleepers go for too much as everyone hangs onto their money.  But you also don't want to blow your wad early as now you have 0 opportunity to get steals in the middle round.  Every draft I've been a part of I've also heard someone say something along the lines of "Aw man...that was a huge steal for Lillard, I would have bid if only I didn't blow my budget already".  So you really need to get a feel for the flow of things and that's something that can't be taught, it requires experience.

 

Anything I didn't disagree with above, just assume I agree with.  There were some good nuggets in there.  

 

 

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Thanks for the feedback! My only rebuttal is the fact that sometimes the simplest approach can be the best approach. It can sometimes be difficult to keep the discipline to maintain the basic approach. I agree that most people with experience in auction drafts will likely have come to very similar conclusions themselves. I've tried stars and scrubs, I've also loaded my team with mid-round players, and from my personal experience, this approach has served me the best. I also wrote it from the perspective of "If I've never done an auction draft what information would I tell myself?", so I can see why it comes off like a strategy for noobs. Thank you guys as always, you're by far the best collection of fantasy experts I've found anywhere on the internet!

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We had a 16 team auction draft yesterday and it was crazy. Took us around 3 hours. Centers like Bamba, Poeltl, Zeller were going for 10 or more because of scarcity of centers, Ayton went for 32. I am pretty much happy with my team, but would like to have an additional reliable big as well. Punting points, but got Beal because I really think he´s going to have a great year and he was a "must have" at that price.

 

. (1) Chris Paul (Hou - PG) $40
2. (41) Bradley Beal (Was - SG) $31
3. (48) Rudy Gobert (Uta - C) $40
4. (64) Otto Porter Jr. (Was - SF,PF) $26
5. (65) Robert Covington (Phi - SF,PF) $15
6. (78) Mike Conley (Mem - PG) $17
7. (104) Darren Collison (Ind - PG,SG) $9
8. (143) Marvin Williams (Cha - SF,PF) $4
9. (161) Bobby Portis (Chi - PF,C) $5
10. (177) Patrick Beverley (LAC - PG,SG) $3
11. (187) Jeremy Lamb (Cha - SG,SF) $3
12. (192) Pau Gasol (SA - PF,C) $2
13. (194) Josh Hart (LAL - SG,SF) $2

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