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: Nando Di Fino's Auction strategies

Senior Fantasy Writer
  •  
More Auction strategies: Scott White | Al Melchior

People like auctions for one simple reason: you can get any player your heart desires.

While that's an undeniably fun part of the process -- not having Mark Trumbo snatched from your grasp just as I was about to pick him [side note: a lot of people also like auctions because you don't have to hear annoying owners constantly complain that they were just about to pick every player that was chosen before their turn] -- I like auctions for a different reason.

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!

The mindgames.

It can sometimes be as subtle as not offering a "nice buy!" when everyone else is giving up their kudos. In some online cases, it could be ignoring the chat room completely in order to cloak myself in mystery and intrigue. When I was a research assistant on the book, Fantasyland, we hired a female videographer to record the first hour of the auction, in order to throw the all-male room off their game. I'm not even sure there were tapes in the camera. Actually, I'm not even sure it worked, now that I think about it.

Still, at various auctions, I've nominated players I didn't like just to suck money out of the room. I've nominated players I like a lot, then didn't bid on them again until the very end. I've pretended to be texting to feign disinterest in a player I really wanted and purposely not laughed at jokes I thought were funny just to give someone else a sense of self-doubt. I've gone on Ray Flowers' SiriusXM show and openly told him what I was planning on doing in our Tout Wars mixed league the following weekend.

Does this messing around and low-level pranking actually work? Maybe. Do I have a problem? Yes, most likely. But it's fun. Every auction tends to take a different path, and if I can win the psychological game, I will be at least a minor step ahead of a room full of Fantasy Baseball's otherwise evenly-matched best and brightest.

Your auction tips ...

1. Make a list of the players you hate. These are your new best friends

The idea is this: nominate players you don't want and draw money out from your fellow bidders. Not only does it deplete the bank accounts of your competitors, but it fills up their roster spots with -- in our opinion -- inferior products. Say, for instance, you want J.J. Hardy. In a draft, you say his name and he's yours. In an auction, though, you want to nominate Ben Zobrist for bidding and let teams looking for a shortstop fight over him, filling up their shortstop spots and spending their money. Feel free to do an evil "Muahahahaa" as bidding skyrockets. You sneak in later and grab your Hardy at, hopefully, a discount.

A secondary benefit to nominating a player you don't want is that it gives you a solid minute to breathe, go through your lists, and re-assess your strategy. If you nominate Hardy, you have to stay active in the bidding as his price goes up. But if you nominate Zobrist and have zero interest in him, you can flip through your lists, see what you need, and take a deep breath amidst the chaos of the auction.You're essentially guaranteeing a minute of respite for yourself.

2. Consider dollar values more like loose ideas

I've never kept any kind of strict adherence to my dollar values. If a player on my list is $18 and the bidding is heading north of $22, it's a normal fluctuation that is understood coming in. I absolutely won't let the $18 value on him hold me back from shouting "23" and shocking the room (or getting thusly bid up to 24, where I will, more than likely bow out). There are 12 personalities in the draft room, alternately being hurried, rushed, confused, and prodded by forces of the process. And they're simultaneously dishing it all out to everyone else. There is not a set market. You aren't bidding against robots programmed to stop at a certain point. The owner across the table from me might be the only other person who wants to go after Jon Lester. But he might want him just as passionately as I do, meaning what could have been a $9 win for either of us goes up to the $15 level, with nobody backing down. Let the dollar values be your guide, but don't consider them gospel.

3. Don't sleep on the reserve draft

After the intense and long auction experience, you're going to have a reserve round, likely in the four-to-seven round range. You're going to have to shift modes from bidding to drafting, and the players available are likely going to have the appearance of all being scrubs. But there are hidden gems, and it's an important way to get depth. If you weren't able to buy a solid middle infielder, for instance, you can pad the position with some gambles in the reserve round (think Robert Andino-type players in single-league formats, and Tyler Greene/Stephen Drew types in mixed leagues). In last year's Tout Wars reserve, Jeff Samardzija, Garrett Jones, Jon Jay, James McDonald, and Ryan Ludwick all came out of the mixed reserve, while Tyler Colvin, Homer Bailey, Steve Cishek, Norichika Aoki, Rafael Soriano, Casey Janssen and Jason Hammel all were taken in the single leagues. It's not like a good reserve will portend success, but the Mixed and AL-only champions had two each of the players listed above among their eight total reserve picks.

4. You should not do anything at an auction for more than a dollar at a time

Place your opening nominations at a dollar. Bid players up by a dollar. Count out one-dollar bills to pay for food. There is no sense in nominating a player at $10, other than to speed things along by 45 seconds. But the downside of getting those 45 seconds could be getting stuck with a player who the room is down on and who wouldn't have gone for more than seven dollars.

Similarly, if a player is at three dollars and you think he's worth $14, don't just blurt out, "fourteen dollars." Sit tight until he gets to around $10, then sneak in "eleven." The room may freeze there, and you just saved three dollars for doing nothing more than being patient. Announcing a shock bid may not intimidate other owners as much as you think; in fact, a savvy owner may bid you up another dollar just out of spite, and you probably just displayed your cards in making such a brash move anyway (meaning that other owner bid that dollar so you'd have to go another dollar up to win the player you obviously covet). Being cool and fast-forwarding bids does nothing in an auction. If you think it'll send people scrambling to catch up, it will -- but they'll just ask the auctioneer to pause for a minute so they can catch up. And the auctioneer will oblige, because hey, we're all friends here. One dollar at a time. Ingrain that into your auction subconscious.

Stay in touch with the most passionate Fantasy staff in the business by following us on Twitter @CBSFantasyBB or Nando Di Fino at @NandoCBS . You can also send our staff an e-mail 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
Brewers' Counsell: It's 'probably likely' Will Smith will be suspended
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(10:46 am ET) Brewers reliever Will Smith is likely facing a suspension for being ejected Thursday night for having a foreign substance discovered on his forearm, according to Tom Haudricourt of the Journal Sentinel.

"That's pretty real," said manager Craig Counsell, when asked if he is expecting a suspension. "We know that's probably likely."

Smith was tossed by crew chief Jim Joyce in the seventh inning of Thursday's 10-1 loss to the Braves after Atlanta manager Fredi Gonzalez asked officials to examine the glistening substance on his forearm.

After the game, Smith revealed that he had a mixture of sunscreen and rosin on his arm while warming up in the bullpen, and acknowledged he forgot to wipe it off after he was summoned to replace Matt Garza in the seventh inning because he was in a hurry.

Counsell noted that players everywhere in the league, including some on the Braves do the same thing to improve their grip on the ball.

"It happens everywhere in the league, and it happens on (Gonzalez's) team, too," Counsell said.

In 2012, Joel Peralta, who was with the Rays at the time, was slapped with an eight-game suspension for using pine tar to improve his grip. Last season, Yankees pitcher Michael Pineda was suspended 10 games by Major League Baseball after he was caught using pine tar in an April game against Boston. Because Pineda's incident was more recent, Smith could be facing a suspension close to 10 games.

"Who knows? That's MLB's decision. It's not my call," Smith said.


Mets LF Michael Cuddyer could be finding his way at the plate
by Jason Lempert | Staff Writer
(10:39 am ET) Mets left fielder Michael Cuddyer had his first three-hit game of the season in Thursday's win over the Cardinals. Cuddyer reached safely in all four of his plate appearances, going 3 for 3 (all singles) with a walk. 

The veteran outfielder has gotten off to a rather slow start at the plate for his new team, but he may be starting to turn things around. He's reached base safely via a hit or a walk in each of his last seven games, batting .346 during that span. 

“I feel a little better,’’ Cuddyer said after the game, per the New York Post. “I don’t really tinker with mechanics too much. There’s a few things you I can do in the cage that will free you up a little bit, and we’re getting you that point. But ultimately, you look at the box score, and that’s how you say if a guy is hot or not.’’

Cuddyer hasn't homered since May 1, so the power hasn't quite been there for him yet. But the team is happy to see Cuddyer improving.

“Cuddy’s hitting the ball well. He hit the ball well [Wednesday] night, but right at them," Mets first baseman Lucas Duda said. "I think we’re getting rolling here offensively, and that will just help us. It should be fun.’’


Astros' Jon Singleton has 27 RBI in last 10 games at Triple-A
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(10:30 am ET) Astros first baseman Jon Singleton homered again Thursday for Triple-A Fresno, giving him six in his last 10 games and a minor-league leading 13 on the season. Singleton also has 44 RBI in 39 games, with 27 coming in his last 10 games.

"He's locked in right now. He's been having great at-bats, swinging at good pitches," Fresno teammate Carlos Correa said, per MiLB.com. "He's doing the work he needs to do to be successful on the field, and he can be proud of what he's bringing to the table. He's going to bring a lot to the Houston Astros eventually."

Singleton is batting .295 with a .406 on-base percentage, .651 slugging percentage and 1.056 OPS this season.


Astros prospect Carlos Correa thriving after Triple-A promotion
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(10:19 am ET) Astros shortstop prospect Carlos Correa has had a pretty smooth transition from Double-A to Triple-A. 

He homered for a second straight game Thursday and has hit safely in eight of nine games since his promotion. He has multihit games in five of his last six appearances.

The highly touted prospect is batting .326 with a .558 slugging percentage, .920 OPS, two home runs, four doubles and seven RBI in nine games since joining Fresno.

"I think I've gotten stronger these last two games -- I'm just kidding,"Correa said after Thursday's game, per MiLB.com. "I've just been trying to drive the ball, and I've seen some fastballs up in the zone."

Correa's home run Thursday came off former AL Cy Young award winner Barry Zito.

"It was really fun [facing Zito]," Correa said. "I've seen that guy pitch a lot at the big league level, and I've even played [as] him in video games, because I'm a video game guy. I have a lot of respect for him, and it was fun to play against him as a competitor."


Yankees SS Didi Gregorius looking to improve offense in 2015
by Jason Lempert | Staff Writer
(10:15 am ET) Yankees shortstop Didi Gregorius has had a rough go of it in 2015, his first season in New York. Through 35 games, Gregorius is batting just .214 with just four doubles on the year. He has been getting the bulk of the playing time at shortstop, sharing time with Stephen Drew. But Gregorius just hasn't been able to figure things out at the plate.

"I don't feel it, but who knows?" Gregorius said, according the New York Post. "You never know. Maybe I start hitting all of a sudden. I just keep working hard in the cage. That's how it all starts."

And his defense hasn't exactly lived up either. He four errors so far this year, after committing just six all of last year. 

“I didn’t come here to fail. “You always want to succeed.”


Rays OF Steven Souza racks up four strikeouts on Thursday
by Jason Lempert | Staff Writer
(9:55 am ET) Rays outfielder Steven Souza had a rough day at the office on Thursday. In the 3-0 win over the A's, Souza went 0 for 4 and struck out four times. It's the third time this month that Souza has worn the "Golden Sombrero".

With the poor performance on Thursday, Souza's season average was dropped to .225 as he has had a tough start to the year offensively. His 62 strikeouts this season are currently the most among American League hitters.


Tigers LF Yoenis Cespedes lacking power, but not hits in 2015
by Jason Lempert | Staff Writer
(9:48 am ET) Tigers left fielder Yoenis Cespedes reached base in all five plate-appearances in Thursday's win over the Astros. He went 3 for 3 with a double, walked twice and scored twice in the victory. That makes back-to-back three-hit games for the first-year Tiger, and four such performances in his last seven games. 

In fact, Cespedes has hit safely in nine of his last 12 games, and all nine games have been multi-hit performances. 

He also stole a bag for the second consecutive game, giving him threesteals on the season, all coming in the past week. 

Cespedes has had a rather interesting start to his tenure in Detroit. He hasn't hit for much power, with just five home runs on the year. But his 15 doubles are tops in the American League and he has an even .300 batting average entering play on Friday, despite his career .266 mark.


Red Sox P Matt Barnes adjusting to life in the bullpen
by Jason Lempert | Staff Writer
(9:33 am ET) Despite the fact that Red Sox rookie pitcher Matt Barnes was drafted as a starter, he has made 11 relief appearances in his brief Major League career, which started in 2014. Barnes has yet to start a big league game, and he may wind up being a reliever long-term for the Red Sox. But Barnes would be just fine with that.

“Right now, I’m not sure about (starting) because I’ve been doing one thing and I’m satisfied with what I’m doing right now,” said Barnes, per the Boston Herald. “I’m available to do anything and I’ll do anything the team needs me to do.”

Barnes, who was drafted 19th overall in 2011, is 2-0 and has allowed just one earned run in six appearances this year. And though he is currently blocked by Koji Uehara as a potential closer, manager John Farrell hasn't shied away from using Barnes as a late-inning option out of the bullpen.

“We brought him into high-leverage situations and there’s a reason we brought him into those situations," Farrell said. "Late in the game, you are looking at guy who can ideally control the running game and he’s got the ability to get a strikeout.”


Rays' Matt Moore to pitch in extended spring training Saturday
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(1:47 am ET) Rays pitcher Matt Moore is scheduled to throw 35 to 40 pitches in two innings of work during an extended spring training game on Saturday, the Tampa Tribune reports.

Moore had no issues after Wednesday's bullpen session, putting him line to take the next step on Saturday. He was limited to just two starts last season before undergoing Tommy John surgery.


Braves' Cameron Maybin provides spark in No. 2 spot Thursday
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(1:08 am ET) Braves center fielder Cameron Maybin batted second for the first time this season on Thursday, going 1 for 4 with a walk, two RBI, three runs scored and a stolen base in his team's 10-1 win over the Brewers.

"It was cool, man," Maybin said of hitting second after the game, per MLB.com. "I didn't really change my approach, tried to keep the same approach -- be a tough out, get a good pitch to hit and just make sure I'm on base, somehow, someway. Whenever I can do that good things happen, and good things happened tonight."

Maybin has excelled since taking over the full-time starting role in center field on May 2, going 17 for 54 with nine runs and 21 RBI.

"My confidence is high," Maybin said. "I've been able to put in some really good work with [hitting coach Kevin Seitzer] in the cage. And every day is a competition. Every day I feel like you have to fight to keep the job, win the job. So my mentality is to come out and go hard everyday and things will work out."

Maybin has hit .255/.352/.426 with four home runs, 17 RBI and five stolen bases in 94 at-bats.


 
 
 
Rankings