Saturday, June 5, 2010

Why did you pay more for Ryan Grant ($37) than either DeAngelo Williams ($30) or Reggie Wayne ($31) in your recent Experts Auction draft?

Recently I received a comment asking this question.

Why did you pay more for Ryan Grant ($37) than either DeAngelo Williams ($30) or Reggie Wayne ($31) in your Fantasy Index Experts Auction draft?

I replied to the post but also thought it was such a good question that I should make a blog post about it as well. I think many will get a better understanding of auctions and some strategies with this explanation.

Excellent question! You are right my values for each player going into the auction draft were:

De Williams $42
Reggie Wayne $40
Ryan Grant $37

These values are just that pre auction, meaning maximum cost. Once the auction starts I hope to get value by buying players for under cost-thus saving money for others if needed.
As it turns out Ryan Grant came up for bidding first. I got him for market price (IMO) at $37. He was the 23rd player bid. In other words, I passed on winning the first 22 players of the draft.
Note I did still bid on them, but I dropped out of the bidding once they were close to or over their maximum value. Essentially, none of these players were going for under their maximum cost. I avoid the first 20 players as a general rule unless I can get them for under cost.

Reggie Wayne was the 29th player auctioned off. By this time, most teams had spent big money on two players (some had 3 players paid for on their roster and one team had 4). So budgets had thinned and owners had less money to spend (part of my strategy), this resulted in me adding Reggie Wayne for just $31, a $9 savings. Then DeAngleo Williams came up for bidding as the 39th player (with many teams already having 1-2 RBs). Many teams were tapped out (low on money) so I got him for a steal at $30 instead of the $42 I thought he was worth.

Auctions do not always go this well. Rarely are potential Top 10 RBs left until the mid rounds. If they are, any owner with some money can make a steal. But the other side of that coin is if you wait and save your money too long, there may not be players worthy left over.

Bottom line you have to watch the players at key positions and judge when and where to make your move and not wait too long. Before the draft I made a plan to NOT spend more than 20% on any one player. With a $200 budget that meant $40 or less for every player. This strategy keeps me from bidding on the studs, but it also prevents me from overpaying for them too! So I targeted RBs in the bottom half of the Top 10 and the 4th best WR because I thought I could get them for around $40. As it turns out, I got them for much less.

Remember: In an auction often the price paid is based on when in the auction they came up for bid, how much is still left on the table and who has needs at that position. In my opinion, the first 20 or so players are often overbid since every owner has all of his budget burning a hole in his pocket. Stay away from the early players (unless they are value for money) and save some cash for the mid rounds.

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