Forgot Log-in or  Password? |  Help  Not a member, Register Now!
      
Fantasy Football Today
Fantasy Football Today Blog
Gameday Inactives
2014 Draft Prep Guide
Downloadable Draft Kit
Mock Drafts
Get Your Draft Board
Player News
Stats
Players
Depth Charts
Roster Trends
Columns
Injury Report
Projections
Rankings
Schedules
Scores
Fantasy Games
Playoff Challenge
Commissioner
Prize Leagues
Free
Office Pool Manager
Game Pick'em
Player Challenge
Fantasy Baseball Today
Fantasy Baseball Today Blog
2015 Draft Prep Guide
Mock Drafts
Player News
Stats
Players
Depth Charts
Roster Trends
Columns
Injury Report
Rankings
Projections
Schedules
Probable Pitchers
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Prize Leagues
Player News
Stats
Players
Columns
Injuries
Projections
Rankings
Schedules
Message Boards
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Player News
Stats
Players
Columns
Injury Report
Projections
Rankings
Schedules
Mock Drafts
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Prize Leagues
Downloadable Draft Kit
Player News
Stats
Players
Columns
Injury Report
Projections
Rankings
Schedules
Mock Drafts
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Prize Leagues
No Fantasy Teams Found
 
 
 

2013 Draft Prep: Scott White's Auction strategies

Senior Fantasy Writer
  •  
More Auction strategies: Nando Di Fino | Al Melchior

Imagine a natural or man-made disaster reduces the earth to rubble, wiping out 90 percent of the population and most natural vegetation in one fell swoop.

The few who remain eke out an existence scouring the wasteland for adequate sustenance on makeshift land vehicles. Clean water is scarce. Those who have it charge a fortune, and those who don't willingly pay even though they know it won't completely sustain them. They'll need more. They don't know where they'll get it, but that's irrelevant. What they can get now is their only real hope of survival.

Get your Custom Draft Kits!
Download your Draft Kit for Draft Day 2014 that's customized to your specific league scoring system, format and player pool!
Download your Draft Kit today!

That's kind of the way an auction works. The economy is that of a post-apocalyptic world. In these days of price match guarantees and Groupon, we've gotten so used to shopping for bargains that we don't know how to assess value in a world where stores don't restock their shelves.

But that's what the player pool is. If you wait and wait and wait, hoping for a bargain, the entire procession of elite talent will pass you by. With a finite supply and an infinite demand, the cost is what it is. If you want it, you pay it.

And you should want it, at least in standard mixed leagues.

1. Spend, spend, spend!

An auction allows you to break from the restraints of turn order and begin with the star-studded roster that most everyone tries to assemble during the season by way of 2- and 3-for-1 trades. Why is that the goal? The quantity in mixed leagues is huge, so the quality is what sets your team apart. A $1 player becomes a $15 player easier than a $15 player becomes a $40 player.

Now, AL- and NL-only leagues are different. The quantity is as scarce as the quality. A $1 player is practically worthless, and because of that, a more balanced approach is in order.

But if in a mixed league, you back down from Robinson Cano -- who's far and away the best second baseman -- just because the price is $3 or $4 higher than some magazine said it should be, you're not thinking of your kids back in the land vehicle. And if you back down from every elite hitter for the same reason and wind up with Allen Craig as your best, you're dead.

Of course, even with a finite supply, people still have limits to what they can spend. Typically, each team begins with $260, which means $3,120 is in play in standard 12-team leagues. That's true whether the elite players go for $40, $50 or $60. Obviously, the more money people devote to the elite players, the less they can devote to everyone else.

To a degree, then, your approach should change based on what everyone else does.

2. Show up with a plan, but be ready to change it

If all of the elite players push $50 and $60, then those just outside of the elite category will naturally go for less than expected -- say, $15 or so -- just because that's all anyone has left for them. In that scenario, perhaps you'd be better off skipping the elite players entirely, provided you go full bore for that second tier.

That's different from backing down out of a misguided sense of fiscal responsibility. It's recognizing that the distribution of dollars has so fundamentally changed that the counter approach would actually yield better results. Will it build you your dream team? No, but it will give you a better return on your investment. Joey Votto is great and all, but four Billy Butlers are better.

Still, if you take a wait-and-see approach, you won't have a clue what you can honestly afford to spend, putting you in the dangerous position of having to guess.

Go ahead and make a budget going into the auction, assigning dollar values to each position and then fidgeting with them until they add up to $260. Obviously, what you hope to get at each position should influence how much you budget for it, and if you intend to bid aggressively on someone, budget a little extra for him.

Then when the draft begins, take the temperature of the room. If elite players go for more than or less than you expected, adjust your thinking. Subtract dollars from one position and at it to another.

Likewise, if you end up spending more than or less than you budgeted at a position, adjust as necessary. If you get Matt Kemp for $44 instead of the $37 you had budgeted for him, plan to pay $1 for that second catcher instead of $8. You're free to stray from the budget, but when you do, figure out how to get it back to $260. You always want to know what's doable.

3. Sleepers? Ha!

So ... who do you like as sleeper?

I might as well ask because everyone asks this time of year. People don't want a bunch of point-by-point strategies or philosophical musings. They just want a list of gosh darn sleepers.

And they get it. From this website or that magazine, from their friends, their foes and maybe even the mailman, everyone hears the same names thrown around with such reckless abandon that by the time the auction comes, nobody is actually sleeping on them.

Now, in a draft, that's not a problem. Because everyone regards them as sleepers, everyone knows to wait until the appropriate point to draft them. Someone might jump in a round early if his interest borders on obsession, but three or four rounds doesn't happen.

An auction is different. When a sleeper is nominated, everyone knows that's the one and only time to get him, and having pegged him as a must-have from the beginning, nobody wants to back down. The price rises higher and higher until that trendy sleeper pretty much has to meet his full potential to live up to the price tag, which kind of defeats the purpose.

Believe it or not, the best time to get your preferred sleeper might actually be at the beginning of the auction, when everyone still has his sights set on Buster Posey and Stephen Strasburg. Again, you'll want to take the temperature of the room. With your first nomination, throw out a trendy sleeper, though not your absolute favorite, and see what happens. If he goes for $3, perhaps even to you, then you might want to try sneaking your favorite through the stream of studs with your next nomination.

4. You can do a lot more with $2 than $1

Being down to nothing but $1 bids is one of the most helpless feelings in all existence. You can only win players you nominate yourself, which you have to wait your turn to do. So not only do you risk losing the player you nominate to anyone capable of bidding $2, but you miss out on countless other players waiting for your next turn.

That's how you end up filling out the back of your roster with the worst of the worst.

The way to avoid it is by controlling the endgame. You want to be the one bidding $2 on the best of those low-end players, not ripping your hair out when someone else does.

Go ahead and do your spending early in the auction, when you can assemble your dream team. Then, when you have about twice as many dollars as roster spots to fill, hit the brakes. You've done as much damage you can reasonably do without settling for everyone's leftovers.

Your goal then should be to drain everyone else's money. On your turn, nominate a player who could conceivably go for $1 and who you wouldn't mind getting for $1, but who you could certainly live without. If someone else bids on him, mission accomplished. If not, hey, you've filled a roster spot for only $1.

You want someone else to nominate your favorite low-dollar players, and you'll need to be on the edge of your seat, ready to jump in with a $2 bid when it happens. If someone beats you to it, that's it. Game over. Better luck next time. Every dollar is critical at this stage. Going to $3 isn't worth it.

Obviously, the $2 won't be enough for some players, particularly when the auction first reaches this stage, but when the money starts running out, you'll be happy you had the extra dollar to spend and jumped in with it first.

Stay in touch with the most passionate Fantasy staff in the business by following us on Twitter @CBSFantasyBB or Scott White at @CBSScottWhite . You can also e-mail us at fantasybaseball@cbsinteractive.com .

Get player news notifications, manage your team and check scores
- all updated in real time. Download the CBS Fantasy App.

  •  
 
CBSSports Facebook Google Plus
COMMENTS
Conversation powered by Livefyre
 
 
Player News
White Sox second baseman Micah Johnson has edge in position battle
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(10:05 pm ET) White Sox second baseman Micah Johnson appears to be in the lead for the position when the season begins, reports MLB.com. Manager Robin Ventura likes what he's seen from Johnson enough to give him a vote of confidence at the position, even though nothing has been officially set.

"He's done well enough to kind of be the leading guy," said Ventura of Johnson, who had two hits in Sunday's 4-1 win over the Indians.

Third base coach Joe McEwing likes the progress Johnson has sowed on defense this spring.

"Initially what we wanted to do was try to slow things down because everything Micah does, he does fast," McEwing said. "Everything in his game is fast. Just, defensively, try to slow him down and allow him to focus on his feet and his hands and everything working together."


Athletics pitcher Kendall Graveman posts another stellar performance
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(9:55 pm ET) Athletics pitcher Kendall Graveman continues to impress this spring. Sunday, he went 6 1/3 scoreless innings, allowing just three hits with three strikeouts and no walks. Manager Bob Melvin loves how the young pitcher has performed this spring, reports MLB.com.

"He doesn't blow you away, although you look at the radar gun and at times we've seen 93, 94 this spring," Melvin said. "But he's a pitcher; he's pretty cerebral in the way he does it.

"He reads swings very well. You know, it's late movement off the barrel of the bat, whether it's sink, whether it's cut, offspeed just enough. But he knows what he's doing and he's aware of what the hitters are trying to do against him."

Graveman has a minuscule 0.74 ERA in five starts this spring.

"There's a reason that he went from [Class] A-ball to the big leagues [in 2014 with Toronto], and then continued to pitch this well for us. It means he's real confident in what he's doing," Melvin said.


Nationals pitcher Doug Fister struggles again in outing Sunday
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(9:49 pm ET) Nationals pitcher Doug Fister surrendered six runs in four innings of work Sunday against the Marlins, pushing his spring training ERA to 7.02 in five starts. Fister gave up three more home runs in the outing.

"I can't let any of that affect me. I know I have to get the ball down regardless," Fister said to MLB.com. "I felt good today. I felt I was almost back in the swing of things. There are obviously some things I have to fine tune at the end of spring.

"I left the ball up, and it allowed the Marlins to get good contact on the ball. I don't let outside influences affect the game. It's a game I have to control and make adjustments."


Tigers targeting 200 pitches for pitcher Anibal Sanchez
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(9:45 pm ET) Tigers pitcher Anibal Sanchez tossed 10 strikeouts in Sunday's game against the Phillies, going 6 1/3 innings and surrendering four runs on five hits. 

"That means he's hitting his spots. It means he's locating," manager Brad Ausmus said to MLB.com. "When a guy takes a pitch, he thinks it's a ball or just off the corner and they end up getting the call. ... So he must have been locating. It looked like he was locating his fastball."

Ausmus also indicated he hopes to see Sanchez reach 200 innings this season.

"If we get 200 innings out of Sanchy, I'll be extremely happy. I think we'll be in a very good spot," Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said Sunday morning. "We talk about a lot of things, but if Sanchy can stay healthy, that would be an enormous plus for us."


Rays pitcher Drew Smyly targeting April for a return to the mound
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(9:39 pm ET) Rays pitcher Drew Smyly threw a fourth bullpen session Sunday to rehab from shoulder tendinitis and his hoping to be back in action in April, reports the Tampa Bay Times.

"I'm very hopeful that I'll be pitching in April, for sure," he said. "Something would have to go wrong, there'd be a step backward for me not to pitch in April I feel like."

Smyly is hoping to throw batting practice at some point this week.


Rays to use Brad Boxberger as fill in closer to start season
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(9:36 pm ET) Rays pitcher Brad Boxberger is expected to fill in to the closer role for at least the first month of the season while Jake McGee recovers from elbow surgery, reports the Tampa Bay Times.

"He will be in a lot of meaningful situations," manager Kevin Cash said. "With some other guys, but for what Box did last year and the confidence we have in him, I would definitely anticipate him pitching in those leverage situations."


Brewers release pitcher David Herndon
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(9:33 pm ET) The Brewers have decided to part ways with pitcher David Herndon, the team announced Sunday. Herndon last pitched in the majors in 2012, posting an 0-1 record with a 4.70 ERA in five appearances.

Rangers pitcher Nick Tepesch struggles in outing Sunday
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(9:25 pm ET) Rangers pitcher Nick Tepesch surrendered seven runs on nine hits, including one home run, in just 3 2/3 innings of work Sunday against the Dodgers.

"He threw the ball well for three innings, then it got a little loose," manager Jeff Banister said. "He got the ball up a little and got it flat. But he had three solid innings. The fastball was there and the breaking ball was in play."

Tepesch is now 1-2 in spring training with a 10.38 ERA.


Rays 2B Logan Forsythe looking for consistency at the plate
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(9:20 pm ET) Rays second baseman Logan Forsythe is working to become a more consistent hitter, regardless of his role on the team, reports the Tampa Bay Times.

"I think consistency depends on how you feel at the plate if the rhythm and timing are there," Forsythe said. "Last year I think that my swing was at a good point to where the rhythm and timing were there going into playing every day, so when I got into that consistency of more at-bats, more playing time, my swing kind of came out more. It's not hit or miss, but I think there's certain times in the season when the swing is there and it's not there. That's baseball."

Forsythe hit .223 with 26 RBI in 301 plate appearances in 2014. He is feeling good about his approach with Opening Day right around the corner.

"There's time when you feel good about your swing. It comes based on results you get in a game,” Forsythe said. "That feedback doesn't necessarily always have to be, 'Oh I got a hit.' Or, "I drove a run in.' Or 'I hit a home run.' As long as you put the barrel to the ball, it can be a line drive out or a web gem made on you, that confidence is boosted, and the more opportunity you get when your confidence is up, you're going to get better results."


Twins pitcher Mike Pelfrey makes first appearance out of the bullpen
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(9:15 pm ET) Twins pitcher Mike Pelfrey threw one scoreless inning Sunday, sending the Orioles down in order. Pelfrey, who made his frustrations about the transition known, settled down a bit and felt somewhat comfortable in the appearance, reports MLB.com.

"It was good," Pelfrey said. "At the end of the day, I have a lot of respect for him. I got a lot of things off my chest, and he got a lot off his. So it was a very good discussion. Obviously, my emotions probably got the best of me yesterday. So I told him I'm going to be professional and go to the 'pen and give it everything I have."

He has made just four appearances out of the bullpen in his career compared to 183 starts.

"I wanted to see how fast I could do it, and it was surprising to me I only needed those 10-12 pitches," Pelfrey said. "So that was pretty good. I think the hardest part was playing catch before the game and then waiting around and doing it again."


 
 
 
Rankings