Fantasy Football 2016 – Auction Draft Strategy

We only have a few more weeks until the NFL season is upon us…FINALLY! We are now entering the fantasy football draft season and if you’re anything like me, you are pretty excited to draft your team. Fantasy football is by far my favorite fantasy sport and in this article I am going to explain my strategy when it comes to auction drafts. Now when it comes to auction drafts, there are multiple strategies that you can see out. I am not telling you my strategy is necessarily the best, but it has definitely worked for me in the past. Enough of this, let’s get started!!

What is an Auction Draft?

Maybe not everyone knows exactly what an auction style draft is, so I will try my best to explain it. I 100% suggest you do a couple mock drafts on ESPN to fully get the grasp of an auction style draft, as that will be the best way you fully grasp the concept. In an auction draft, you get a “salary cap.” The salary cap on ESPN is $200. With this salary cap, you then get to bid on each and every player you want. You have $200 to fill all the positions of your roster. There isn’t necessarily a “draft order.” The order that you’re in is when you decide to put , whatever player you choose, up for auction. I guess you can say you are “nominating” players up for auction. Once a person is put up for auction, all of the players in the league can bid on them as long as they have the money to do it. The person who bids the highest before the time runs out, then gets the player. The amount you bid to win the player is subtracted from you salary cap. I will again say that you should do multiple mocks. If you do this, you will get the hang of it. It is pretty easy to get the hang of.

Strategy Time

I’ll get deep into this, but I just want to again explain that this isn’t the only strategy or even the “best” strategy to use. It just works for me, so I decided to share with everyone else. My last 2 auction leagues finished 1st and 2nd place.

Save Money

This is the first thing I do in auction drafts and I’ll most definitely do it this year. What I mean by “save money” is I won’t be investing in some of the top guys, mostly because I think they are being extremely overpaid. Antonio Brown will cost the most money in 99% of leagues this year. I don’t disagree with it as he is a stud, but I just don’t feel like paying $60 for AB when I can easily get Dez Bryant or AJ Green at $45-$50. It’s all about VALUE in auction drafts (which you’ll get the hang of in mock drafts.) I ran a few mocks prior to this article and AB went $63, $61, and $60 respectively. That’s literally 30% of your salary cap on one player. This is the NFL and injuries happen. I don’t really want to spend 30% of my cap on one player when he could easily get injured. I would much rather wait and try to get either Dez or AJ for about $48 like I already mentioned. Both AJ and Dez have upside that could land them at the #1 WR spot and no one would be surprised.

The same goes for running backs. A few years ago AP went for $75 in one of my auction drafts. That’s absolutely insane in my opinion. Why pay that much money when you can get a guy for about $45 with the same upside? This is the biggest point in my strategy that I use and that you’ll see in your mock drafts. Don’t overpay for AP or Gurley when you can get an Ezekiel Elliot or David Johnson for less than $50. Both those guys are still #1 tier running backs. Obviously if you believe AP or Gurley will just have a monstrous season, then go ahead and payup for them! In my opinion, I don’t think either of them will have a much bigger season than the likes of Elliot, Johnson, and Freeman (in PPR).

Saving this money will allow you to get all the 2nd tier guys you want. Your depth will be amazing which will help with the bye weeks and injuries that will happen in football.

EARLY ON – Nominate Someone You Don’t Want

This is something that I have caught on to this year. In the early rounds, you want to nominate someone you don’t really want. Someone like Doug Martin is someone I have no interest in this year, so I nominate him right away, no matter what spot in the order I’m in. This allows for other people to spend money on someone that you wouldn’t bid on anyways. If they do this, it allows you to be able to have less people to bid against when it comes to the guys you really like. Also, since it is early on, maybe they overpay for him because they have all their money still. In my 3 auction drafts, Doug Martin went for $45, $47, and $48 respectively. In my opinion, that is definitely an overpay. You can get Zeke and Johnson for that same amount of money. Trying to drown out other people’s money is a key in an auction draft and this is a way to do so. (You won’t want to do this in the later rounds, as you will need to nominate guys you need.)

BE PATIENT

Patience is virtue. Sounds cliche, but it is 100% true in auction drafts. You will need to be patient in order to get a complete line. Depending on how you spend money, you might be able to only bid $1 to fill out the last remaining people in your roster. Since when someone nominates a player it automatically puts a $1 bid on them, you will not be able bid on that guy (your max bid is $1). You will need to wait until you can nominate someone in order to fill out your roster. This could get time consuming, but is definitely worth it. Hopefully if you follow our “save money” strategy, you will not run into this problem.

Don’t Spend Much On A Kicker/Defense

“Wait until your last 2 picks to pick a kicker or defense” is something I use in a snake draft strategy. I also carry this over to my auction draft strategy. Kickers and Defense are where you can save money. DO NOT pay more than $3 on those two positions. Use the money elsewhere.


That’s all I have for you today. Hopefully this gives you more insight on auction drafts. If you have any questions, shoot them over to my personal twitter account – @breeden_bryce or JB’s twitter account – @JBDailyFantasy.

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