Auction drafts have become increasingly popular in the fantasy baseball world. Many leagues have moved away from the assigned order draft format and opted for auctions instead to fill team rosters.
The auction style of drafting is done by allotting each league member a certain amount of imaginary money. That fictional budget is then used to bid on Major League Baseball players. A team owner making the highest bid wins a player and that pattern continues until all rosters are full.
For some fantasy owners, the idea of participating in an auction draft might be a bit intimidating. Auctions require much more direct involvement than a standard format does. However, most owners that take time to prepare should not have trouble making the adjustment.
Below are four important steps to follow when participating in a fantasy baseball auction draft.
1. Be Aware of League Setup
Knowledge of all league settings is very important when participating in auction drafts. Owners should be aware of such things as roster size, positions needed, scoring methods and categories used. Every owner should have this in mind when making bids.
Players that can help most, based on league settings, should be pursued and bid highest on by team owners. Generally players that produce well in multiple categories will go for the highest prices. Aside from this, those in keeper leagues should draft with the future in mind as well.
2. Know Position Depth
In every draft, there will be more talent available at certain positions than others. For example, there might be an abundance of good hitters at third base, but very few at second. Understanding the talent depth at each position helps owners determine how and where money should be spent.
A position with several good hitters might yield some bargain prices. This is because some good players might be left over as owners move on to filling other roster positions. On the flip side, owners bidding for a position scarce in talent will probably have to pay extra for one of the few quality players available there.
3. Avoid Bidding Wars
During the draft there will be a few players that certain owners really want. In the auction format, bidding for such players can get very high between some league members. Before submitting a bid, it is important to keep the actual value of that player in mind.
Sometimes the excitement of a bidding war might make an owner temporarily forget what a player is truly worth. Instead he might overspend and ultimately hurt his budget. Generally it is advised for owners to quit bidding when the price exceeds the player’s value.
4. Understand Opponent Tendencies
Every member of a fantasy baseball league will have his own particular style of drafting. Some might be aggressive and like to spend a lot of money early to get players they want. Anticipating opponent moves like this can help team owners plan and execute a strategy around it.
When dealing with aggressive spenders, a good idea is to find out the exact players and/or positions they are interested in. Once this is known, bidding against them in those particular areas should be avoided if possible. Also it should be noted that someone spending a lot of money early in the draft would probably be easy to outbid later on.