Forgot Log-in or  Password? |  Help  Not a member, Register Now!
Play Fantasy The Most Award Winning Fantasy game with real time scoring, top expert analysis, custom settings, and more. Play Now
      
Fantasy Football Today
2014 Draft Prep Guide
Gameday Inactives
Downloadable Draft Kit
Mock Drafts
Get Your Draft Board
Player News
Stats
Players
Depth Charts
Roster Trends
Columns
Injury Report
Projections
Rankings
Red Zone Stats
Teams
Schedules
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Playoff Challenge
Commissioner
Prize Leagues
Free
Office Pool Manager
Game Pick'em
Player Challenge
Fantasy Baseball Today
2014 Draft Prep Guide
Downloadable Draft Kit
Mock Drafts
Player News
Stats
Players
Depth Charts
Roster Trends
Columns
Injury Report
Rankings
Projections
Teams
Schedules
Probable Pitchers
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Prize Leagues
Player News
Stats
Players
Columns
Injuries
Projections
Rankings
Teams
Schedules
Message Boards
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Player News
Stats
Players
Columns
Injury Report
Projections
Rankings
Teams
Schedules
Mock Drafts
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Prize Leagues
Downloadable Draft Kit
Player News
Stats
Players
Columns
Injury Report
Projections
Rankings
Teams
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 .

Want an edge in your draft? Download the Fantasy Draft Kit App.

  •  
 
 
CBSSports Facebook Google Plus
COMMENTS
Conversation powered by Livefyre
 
 
Player News
Ryan Vogelsong twirls a gem vs. Brewers
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(1:35 am ET) Giants pitcher Ryan Vogelsong twirled a gem and received more than enough run support Friday night against the Brewers, scattering two runs on four hits over seven innings to improve to 8-9 on the season. He struck out seven and walked one in a 13-2 victory.

Over his last four starts covering 23 1/3 innings, Vogelsong has allowed nine earned runs. He owns a 3.73 ERA and a 1.24 WHIP over 27 starts (157 innings). His next start will come Wednesday against Colorado at Coors Field.

Wily Peralta gets roughed up in loss to Giants
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(1:35 am ET) Brewers pitcher Wily Peralta had a tough start Friday against the Giants.

Peralta gave up six runs on nine hits over three innings. He struck out one and walked two during the outing. Peralta got himself in trouble immediately. After recording one out in the first inning, Peralta allowed four straight singles. By the end of the inning, three runs had come across for the Giants. The issues continued in the second. San Francisco started the inning with a single and a double. Both runs would come around to score. Peralta would go on to give up his final run on a single the following inning.

With the loss, Peralta fell to 15-9. He’ll take on the Cubs in his next start.

Andrew Cashner stays sharp in no-decision
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(1:25 am ET) Padres pitcher Andrew Cashner turned in a strong start Friday against the Dodgers.

Cashner allowed one run on six hits over six innings. He struck out eight and did not issue any walks during the outing. Cashner was fantastic over the first two innings, striking out four without giving up a hit. That streak ended in the third, as Cashner gave up two singles to open the inning. Hanley Ramirez wound up hitter a run-scoring double, driving in the only run against Cashner. Cashner was able to get through his final three innings of work without giving up another run.

Cashner wasn't a factor into the decision. He’ll take on the Diamondbacks in his next start.

Dan Haren settles for no-decision vs. Padres
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(1:23 am ET) Dodgers pitcher Dan Haren tossed a quality start Friday against the Padres.

Haren gave up two runs, one earned, on five hits over six innings. He struck out three and walked one during the outing. Haren’s first run came as the result of an error. In the second inning, Haren walked the leadoff man. The second batter of the inning would reach on a throwing error by Dee Gordon, advancing the leadoff man to third. A sac fly would plate that run and give Haren the early deficit. The Dodgers would tie the game up the following inning, but Haren couldn’t hold on. With two outs in the fourth, Haren gave up three straight singles. The final hit wound up driving in a run.

Haren wasn't a factor into the decision. He’ll take on the Nationals in his next start.

Cory Rasmus will get the starting nod Saturday
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(1:15 am ET) Angels pitcher Cory Rasmus will get the starting nod Saturday against the A's, according to the Orange County Register. Rasmus has posted a 2.68 ERA over 37 innings this season out of the bullpen. He has not pitched three innings or thrown more than 51 pitches in an outing this season.

Felix Hernandez gives up four home runs Friday
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(1:08 am ET) Mariners pitcher Felix Hernandez had a rough start Friday against the Nationals.

Hernandez allowed five runs on 10 hits over seven innings. He struck out one and walked one during the outing. Home runs were a major issue for Hernandez. For the first time in his career, Hernandez gave up four home runs in one game. Anthony Rendon got things started in the first inning, hitting a solo shot off Hernandez. Jason Werth would take Hernandez deep for a two-run shot in the third. In the fourth, two other Nationals got into the act. Both Ian Desmond and Wilson Ramos clubbed solo shots, putting five runs on the board against Hernandez. Despite the rough start, he gave the Mariners seven innings.

With the loss, Hernandez fell to 13-5. He’ll take on the Athletics in his next start. 


Jordan Zimmermann wins his 10th game Friday
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(1:07 am ET) Nationals pitcher Jordan Zimmermann turned in a strong start Friday against the Mariners.

Zimmermann allowed two runs on seven hits over six innings. He struck out eight and issued one walk during the appearance. Zimmermann was tagged for both runs early. After picking up a strikeout for the first out of the game, Zimmermann allowed a triple against Dustin Ackley. After a walk to Robinson Cano, Zimmermann gave up two run-scoring singles. He was able to get things together after a visit to the mound. Zimmermann would make it through the next six innings without surrendering another run.

With the win, Zimmermann improved to 10-5. He’ll take on the Dodgers in his next start. 


Jered Weaver stays dominant in win over Athletics
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(1:03 am ET) Angels pitcher Jered Weaver dominated the Athletics on Friday, scattering only three hits over sevens shutout frames to improve to 15-7 on the year. He struck out three and walked three in a 4-0 victory.

Over his last two starts covering 13 2/3 innings, Weaver has allowed three earned runs. He owns a 3.57 ERA and a 1.22 WHIP over 29 starts (181 1/3 innings). His next start will come Thursday at Minnesota.

Jon Lester hit with tough-luck loss Friday
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(1:02 am ET) Athletics pitcher Jon Lester put together another solid start on Friday but was hit with a tough-luck loss against the Angels in Anaheim. The left-hander permitted three runs -- two earned -- on seven hits and one walk while striking out five over six innings of a 4-0 defeat.

Over his last two starts covering 13 innings, Lester has allowed only three earned runs. He owns a 2.55 ERA and a 1.11 WHIP over 27 starts (183 2/3 innings). His next start will come Wednesday at home against Seattle.

Addison Reed picks up a save Friday
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(12:41 am ET) Diamondbacks closer Addison Reed picked up his 31st save Friday against the Rockies.

Reed entered with a three-run lead, and shut the door. He faced three batters during the outing. Reed notched two strikeouts and picked up one groundout during the appearance. 


 
 
 
Rankings