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
Downloadable Draft Kit
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
Reds, Paul Maholm agree to deal for 2015
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(4:12 pm ET) The Reds and pitcher Paul Maholm have agreed to a minor-league contract for 2015 with an invitation to spring training, according to CBSSports.com Baseball Insider Jon Heyman.

Maholm, who is recovering from ACL surgery in August, made 30 appearances in 2014 for the Dodgers, posting a 1-5 record with a 4.84 ERA and 34 strikeouts in 70 2/3 innings pitched.


White Sox pitcher Jeff Samardzija willing to listen to long-term deal
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(12:32 pm ET) New White Sox pitcher Jeff Samardzija's agent, Mark Rodgers said Sunday he and his client "owe it to Chicago to consider an offer" on a long-term contract, according to Jim Duquette of MLB Network Radio.

However, Rodgers also said they would need to see how things go for at least half of a season before deciding whether to stay with the club.

Samardzija was traded to Chicago in the offseason from Oakland and has one-year remaining on his current contract.

Samardzija finished 2014 with a 7-13 record between the Cubs and Athletics, posting a 2.99 ERA with 202 strikeouts in 219 2/3 innings.


Scott Boras: Andruw Jones hopes to return to majors in 2015
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(12:18 pm ET) Agent Scott Boras said outfielder Andruw Jones wants to return to the majors for another season in 2015 and that at least two teams are interested in signing him as a designated hitter.

Jones has spent the last two seasons playing in Japan. In his major-league career, Jones totaled 434 home runs and 1,289 RBI.


Royals' Luke Hochevar nearing return from Tommy John surgery
by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(12:00 pm ET) Royals pitcher Luke Hochevar has been able to throw off a mound and expects to soon be at the full strength, reports The Kansas City Star.

Hochevar is recovering from Tommy John surgery, which caused him to miss the 2014 season and said he expects to be at full strength once spring training is underway.

"I'm conditioning my arm," Hochevar said. "Once spring training comes around they're going to monitor me for a little while, but once they cut me loose I become a regular guy again."

In 2013, Hochevar produced a 1.92 ERA in 58 games. While Hochevar said he's looking forward to returning, he wants to be cautious with his body.

"Hopefully, I'm ready in two weeks," Hochevar said. "But you never know and I'm not going to put a timetable on it. I'm going to listen to my body. I need to look long term, not just career-wise but season-wise. Me on the shelf is no good. If it takes me an extra two weeks, a month, whatever it is, I need to be mindful of that."


Report: Padres 'in touch' with Phillies regarding Cole Hamels
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(12:09 am ET) The Padres are "in touch" with the Phillies in an attempt to land pitcher Cole Hamels, FOX Sports reports.

The Padres have made plenty of upgrades across the roster since general manager A.J. Heller took over, and it's possible they don't have the ammunition to land the Philadelphia ace in a deal. Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said last week that he didn't expect Hamels to be traded before the start of the season. Hamels went 9-9 with a 2.46 ERA and 198 strikeouts in 204 2/3 innings in 2014.


Report: Orioles sign Mark Hendrickson to minor-league deal
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(1/31/2015) The Orioles have signed Mark Hendrickson to a minor-league deal with an invitation to spring training, CSNBaltimore.com reports.

Hendrickson, who last pitched in the majors in 2011, spent 2014 with York of the independent Atlantic League, posting a 1.54 ERA and 34:11 K:BB ratio in 52 2/3 innings over 55 appearances.


Rangers' Matt Harrison expects to open season on 60-day DL
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(1/31/2015) Rangers pitcher Matt Harrison said Saturday that he expects to open the season on the 60-day disabled list as he continues to recover from spinal fusion surgery, the Dallas Morning News reports.

"My job is to just get as healthy as I can and get myself right so I don’t have something happen like it did last year when I tried to come back," Harrison said. "I’m just going to focus on that and get ready to contribute whenever it may be."

Harrison is dealing with some stiffness in his right side, which will cause him to throw from a distance of 90 feet for a second consecutive week rather than progress to 105 feet. He hopes that he'll get his hips to rotate more and loosen up with more stretching and more throws from the 90-foot distance.


Report: Rays sign Ronald Belisario to minor-league deal
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(1/31/2015) The Rays have signed pitcher Ronald Belisario to a minor-league deal with an invitiation to spring training, the Tampa Bay Times reports.

Belisaro made 62 appearances with the White Sox in 2014, posting a 4-8 record, 5.56 ERA and 47:18 K:BB ratio in 66 1/3 innings. He'll compete for a bullpen spot during the spring.


Dodgers SP Zack Greinke hasn't decided whether to opt out
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(1/31/2015) Dodgers pitcher Zack Greinke said Saturday that he's yet to decide whether to opt out of his contract at the end of next season but added, "There's not really better options anywhere besides here," the Los Angeles Times reports.

Greinke is set to make $23 million in 2015, and he's due another $71 million over the following three seasons if he remains under his current contract. The Dodgers said earlier this offseason that they wouldn't discuss a contract extension with the pitcher during the winter.

Greinke went 17-8 with a 2.71 ERA and 207:43 K:BB ratio in 202 1/3 innings in 2014.


Orioles pitcher Ubaldo Jimenez hoping to bounce back in 2015
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(1/31/2015) Orioles pitcher Ubaldo Jimenez can't wait to get on the field and get past the 2014 season.

"I can’t wait," Jimenez said at Saturday’s FanFest event. "Whatever happened in 2014 is in the past. There's nothing I can do about it now. I can just look forward and now I’m going to do everything in spring training to get myself ready the best I can for the season and help the team."

Jimenez, who signed a four-year, $50 million deal with Baltimore in 2014, went 6-9 with a 4.81 ERA in 125 1/3 innings pitched. 

"It was pretty hard, coming in with a new team and signing a contract like that and not to do what everyone is expecting you to do, it’s hard," Jimenez said. "It’s hard not to be there for the team, but regardless what happened, I fought a lot. I think I was trying to find a way to survive to be there for the team and do whatever I can do the best. We got really far. I didn’t help a lot, but I tried to do whatever I could with whatever I had."


 
 
 
Rankings